Installation Tips & Tricks
How do I install an AgriCamera system?
We have tried to make installing our systems as simple as possible, but there is still a bit to get your head around. We have created this page to try and explain the installation process and share some of the tips and tricks we have learnt from installing systems over the years.
Set it up inside
Considering it is so simple to plug the system together, why not lay it out on your kitchen table and get a picture from the camera before you attempt to install it in the shed? It will only take 5 minutes to set it up, and it will be a lot easier to figure out any problems in the kitchen compared to being 20 foot up a ladder in the dark.
- Plug the Interface Unit (IFU) and the Weatherproof Power Supply (WPS) into the mains with the two kettle leads provided.
- Plug the IFU into your broadband router with the green cable. There is a green port on the front of the IFU called ‘router’.
- Using one of the long cables, connect one of the other 3 ports on the IFU to the port on the bottom of one of the transmitters. The power lights on the transmitter shoudl come on and the other lights should cycle on and off quickly.
- Connect another of the long cables to the second transmitter, and plug the other end into one of the ‘power’ ports on the Weatherproof Power Supply. Do not plug it into the uplink port as this will provide no power to the transmitter. The lights on the transmitter should come on and the two transmitters should now connect to one another. You will know if they have connected as the cycling lights will stop and the signal lights will go steady green.
- At this stage the transmitter alignment doesn’t matter at all. At extremely close distances they may actually not work at all if facing each other and need to be pointed in opposite directions in order to connect.
- Take the final long cable and plug one end into another of the power ports on the Weatherproof Power Supply. Connect the other end of the cable to the port on the camera. The camera status light should come on, the light on the port on the Weatherproof Power Supply should start flashing and the camera will do a self test if it is a PTZ camera.
That is all there is to it. If you have more than one camera these connect to the Weatherproof Power Supply in the same way. To complete the setup of the camera, go to the Get Started page and create your account.
Assuming everythign works well, you should now be confident in taking the bits you need outside and installing it properly.
The transmitters work best if they have a direct line of sight between each other. However, over short distances they will connect without a direct line of sight as the signal can bounce around. You can check the signal strength by looking at the lights on the side of the transmitter or on the transmitter troubleshooting page in your account.
The transmitter alignment is not that important as long as they are pointed in roughly the right direction. The signal comes out in roughly a 60 degree beam in both the horizontal and vertical poles.
The transmitter can be attached to a wall with the screw holes, or it can be mounted to a pole with a cable tie. Ideally you want to try and point the two transmitters at each other as best you can.
If necessary, the transmitter can be mounted at the top of a pole to help get a better line of sight.
Ensure there is a drip loop in the cable at the bottom of the transmitter to prevent water running in.
Use the supplied tube of dielectric grease to lightly cover the connector once it has been plugged in to keep any moisture away.
Weatherproof Power Supply
The Weatherproof Power Supply (WPS) should be mounted to the wall at a safe height to keep it away from damage and animals. Whilst it is waterproof, it is best installed inside a shed in a relatively sheltered environment. There are 4 mounting holes provided around the enclosure (you do not need to drill a hole in the back of the enclosure).
The WPS needs to be connected to the mains. A cable with a 13A plug is provided which can be plugged straight into a normal power socket. Alternatively, you can chop the plug off and wire the cable into a fused connection unit (fused spur). We recommend you consult with a qualified electrician before doing this.
The cables can be carefully passed in through the gland on the bottom. If you do it one at a time it is possible to pass four cables through without breaking the rubber gland.
Use a cable tie to secure the cables to the strain relief brackets underneath the glands. This will prevent the cables from pulling out of the connectors.
Ensure all the cables have drip loops to prevent water tracking into the WPS by running down the cables.
Always ensure the WPS is left properly closed and sealed to prevent moisture ingress.
Do not use dielectric grease on the Weatherproof Power Supply – there is no need and it just makes a mess.
Camera Mounting and Positioning
The cameras are all fairly straightforard to mount. Just use the included screws and do not overtighten anything.
Mount the brackets before tryign to attach the camera to them so you don’t end up dropping the camera!
Ensure all connections are waterproofed using the enclosures provided and that the cables are fed through the glands like on the WPS.
You can use a light smear of dielecric grease but it is not really necessary unless the camera is being mounted outside.
Try and position the PTZ style cameras as centrally as possible in the shed to reduce the distance to any corner. The camera should always be mounted level rather than at an angle or the camera may not be able to calibrate itself.
Cabling Tips & Tricks
Always route the cables along the easiest route – this may not necessarily be the shortest route but it will be the quickest to install!
Keep the cables away from any sharp edges or where they could get damaged (for instance keep them in the roof out the way of animals).
Use the supplied cable clips at around a 30cm spacing to hold the cables up. We also supply a range of other useful clips if you need to attach cables to steel girders or steel sheets.
Cable ties can be used to secure cables to objects that are otherwise difficult to fix to. It is often easiest to cable tie the cable to an existing run of cables / pipes but try to avoid mains voltage cables supplying motors / fluorescent loads.
Always leave extra cable coiled up at either end of the run in case you need to move things slightly in the future!
Commonly Asked Questions
The answer is yes but it’s a bit tricky to put the ends on. We only recomend making your own cables if you have a lot of wire to run and are confident that you will be able to terminate the ends.
All the bits required to make your own cables are available in our shop.
Yes and no. The cable required is an outdoor rated (PE or Polyethylene – NOT PVC) CAT5e cable, with stranded conductors, shielding (S/UTP or F/UTP) and an earth (drain) wire.
This cable is really difficult to get hold of (we have it specially made for us in China) and if you can find it in this country, it will probably be more expensive than our own!
You can theoretically use any old CAT5 cable and it will probably work, but it will invalidate the warranty and the transmitters are likely to get fried in a lightening storm.
The transmitters will be labelled on the back to indicate whether they are a ‘master’ or a ‘slave’. The label will also indicate which ‘channel’ the transmitters are assigned – only transmitters on the same ‘channel’ will talk to each other.
Connecting two Weatherproof Power Supplies is easy as you just link them together with the ‘expansion port’ on each one. However, if you have three WPSs to connect together, this is obviously not possible.
To connect them you simply connect two WPSs together with the expansion ports, and then connect the third WPSs expansion port to one of the power ports on either of the other WPS’s. The WPS will realise that it is connected to another WPS and that port will become a second expansion port.
The same applies if you have even more WPSs to connect. You can either wire them in a ‘star’ formation or in a ‘line’ formation. It doesn’t really matter.
If you have two WPSs to install in a single shed, it can sometimes simplify wiring if you put the WPSs at either end of the shed, to shorten the cable runs to the actual cameras.
Still not sure?
If you still are not sure whether AgriCamera will be able to do what you need it to, why not give the team a ring and chat it through? We love a challenge!
Alternatively, why not drop the team an email with the form opposite? We look forward to hearing from you!