I want to devise a Baby monitor using LAN & 2 laptops

November 3, 2013 at 15:31:35
Specs: Windows XP
Our son and daughter in law have a 6 month old baby. They want to monitor her, while she is asleep, from the restaurant they run, which is about 80m from her bedroom through too many walls for a regular baby monitor to work. They have a pair of laptops with built in cameras and microphones which they use for Skype etc. How should they set them up on a LAN so as to monitor the baby, without using an internet connexion? I think ethernet via the mains cable is a possibility, but even if the two computers were next door to eachother, how do you display the video picture from the camera on computer A on the screen of computer B & vice versa? They have both Apple and Windows options.

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#1
November 3, 2013 at 16:35:15
I searched Google for "baby monitor over lan" There were a lot of hits. Whatever is shown as internet can be made to work on a LAN, depending on the distance.

http://www.brockthompson.com/blog/h...

http://www.netcamshop.com/Using-a-N...

Those are two of the hits. Repeat the search for others if they don't help.

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#2
November 4, 2013 at 11:09:00
Simple setup: you use Remote Desktop which allows you to view the desktop and camera display of the laptop in the baby room.

But nothing you write supports there being a lan between the baby's room and the restaurant.

You would need to establish a physical connection before you could do Remote Desktop.

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#3
November 5, 2013 at 06:59:21
Well, right now there is no physical connexion, but I can make one using ethernet cable, or we can possibly use the mains cable if the circuitry is favourable. I was trying to use Remote Desktop yesterday using Win 7 Pro on one and Win 7 home on the other computer - No Joy. Whichever way I did it - blue cable, yellow cable, via router..... nothing worked.

But I did get a good result with Net Meeting over 2 x computers running XP, either wireless, cabled or directly linked with crossover cable. So at the moment I am heading that direction.


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#4
November 5, 2013 at 08:56:05
You have to configure the windows firewalls to allow Remote desktop. Home can only be a client not a server. You also have to establish networking which it appears you didn't successfully do with the win7 pcs.

What is the distance from the restaurant to the baby's room?

What is this "main cable" you are talking about? What is connected to it now?

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#5
November 5, 2013 at 16:17:23
Thanks for your further input, Wanderer.... I will have a go with changing the firewalls - I didn't try that. The Windows 7 computers are both WIFI enabled and are in the same workgroup and homegroup on my network at my home/office and share files just fine - but remote desktop was a no-no at my first attempt. Since NetMeeting worked OK, I will probably use that facility, as it is free and I already have two old XP machines that I can use.

At my son's place, (which is in Mozambique, by the way), they have 3-phase 240V mains electricity (at least some of the time) and a generator which is cranked into action when the lights go out! The main fusebox/distribution board is in the office next to the restaurant, and right now, (from here in UK), I don't know if their house is on the same phase or the same ring-main as the restaurant. If it is, or could be, then we could send the ethernet signal down the mains cable and decode it at the far end. Otherwise it will probably be wires as it is a bit far between the restaurant and the baby's room (about 50m) for wifi to reach.

I'll be going to visit him in a couple of months so want to have the solution to his problem tried and tested. They already bought a top-model baby intercom, but it doesn't have the range with a wall or two in the way.


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#6
November 7, 2013 at 13:25:21
Another issue might be the difference between Windows 7 Home and Windows 7 Pro. If I'm not mistaken, you can use RDP from the Home machine to remote into the Pro machine, but not vice versa. If that's the case, you could set up the Pro machine in the baby's room with the webcam activated, and use the Home machine as the "monitor" through which you could keep an eye on the baby from downstairs.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4


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#7
November 7, 2013 at 14:05:06
A better approach would be to buy an IP camera that connects directly to the router/switch. You would need to setup port forwarding on the router to point to the camera. That way you won't need to worry about the Windows firewall. They come in all price ranges starting at about $20 (15 eur). The one I use to monitor my elderly father is a Toshiba PTZ camera which cost $750 (about 560 eur). My next camera will be an Axis PTZ (about $2,000).

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#8
November 8, 2013 at 08:39:15
"If it is, or could be, then we could send the ethernet signal down the mains cable and decode it at the far end."

You would need powerline equipment for this. Since the UK and Mozambique have the same power standards you should be good.

What I am not clear on [since I am in the US and don't use phased power for wall outlets] is if on a different phases if the powerline equipment will still work.

I would suspect it would not work if on different phases since there is no connection between the phases.

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#9
November 9, 2013 at 05:53:37
Thanks to all contributors. I'm not going to be able to select a "Best answer" on this occasion because nobody came up with anything easier or cheaper than "Net Meeting" on two XP laptops, with or without a router.

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#10
November 9, 2013 at 10:56:12
Most of us don't care about that anyway. So how are you going to solve your connectivity issue?

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#11
November 10, 2013 at 15:32:57
I'll take the old laptops with me when we fly out, and a spare wireless router I have, and about 30m of ethernet cable, and the little webcam I already have.

I'll put the router up in the eaves (single storey, straw roof I think) of the building which is nearest to the house where my son lives (about 30m I think - waiting for him to tell me a more exact figure), and cable or maybe wifi the router to the computer which will go in the office or the restaurant (up to them).

The other computer/webcam/mic will be in the house with baby's room.

I don't think the electric mains will work as a pathway, since the buildings are on different phases I'm told.

If all this techy stuff fails, the parents will have to get used to taking baby with them! (Though the risk of malaria from mozzie bites will be higher if baby doesn't sleep in an insect-proof room)

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