CDPD Modem Setup

 Configuring Axis Web Camera with Raven Modem

This document explains how to configure the Axis 200+/240 Camera Server with the AirLink Raven CDPD Modem (Note: AirLink PinPoint Modem can also be used with the camera and has been tested with it.)
First you must have an AirLink Raven Modem, an Axis 200+/240 Camera Server*, a straight-thru cable (9-pin female to 9-pin male), a cellular antenna and the power supply for your Raven.

*Note: Axis Communications: Has found an issue with a Hardware version of the 200+ Camera -- any version with a # 2 after the product number does not work if you have a Hardware Version 2 please call Axis Communications.

Any units with a letter and a number (1C) etc. work fine. I have noticed that when the unit is connected and is continuously sending data it will stay on-line with no problems if the unit is stationary. If it intermittently sends data or is mobile it may lose the connection and stop until restarted. Axis Communications and AirLink are working on all these issues at the moment.
Our goal is to make it reconnect if it should drop off so it will be more reliable.

Configuring the Raven

There are no special settings you have to configure the Raven with to make it work with the Axis Camera. Configure your modem per the instructions in the Raven/PinPoint User's Manual.
Enable hardware flow control is in your Raven, and set the baud rate from 9600 to 19200.

Configuring the Camera

First set up the camera over a LAN line (10Base-T) connection per the Axis instructions. Use your web broswer to go to the IP address you have assigned the camera so you can configure it correctly.
Make sure you have version 1.41 or later for your camera software. Check http://www.axis.com/techsup/cam_servers/ to download the software. Read the Axis instructions included with your camera on how to update the software in the camera.

  1. Open your web browser and go to the IP address of the camera. http://192.36.253.80 (The default Address for example).
  2. Click on Settings
  3. You should be prompted for a login name and password. The login name and password are included in your Axis documentation. Be sure to change the default password for your login. (The Default user name is "root" and the password is "pass")
  4. The first page you see should be Configuration - Image. We have optimized the camera to transfer small images at 30 second intervals, so some of the settings given here are optional depending on how you want the picture to look and how often you want it to update.
    Here are the settings AirLink uses:

    Rotation: Normal
    Mirror: Off
    Color: Color Level 5
    Compression: High
    White balance: Outdoor
    Brightness: 5
    Image Cache time: 0
    Front panel LED: On
    Image Text: n/a
    Autoadapt period: 0

     

  5. Click on Store Image Settings and the page should refresh
  6. If you're going to display the date and time on your image, click on the Date & Time button and set it appropriately.
  7. Click on Security only to change the root password if you haven't done so already.
  8. Click on Modem. You should be in the Serial Mode. If not, click on Mode.
  9. Change Serial Type to "Full Support."
  10. Click on Store Mode Settings.
  11. Click on Settings.
  12. Make sure you have the following parameters:

    Modem Type: Autodetected Modem
    Detected Modem: MODEM NOT AVAILABLE (this is normal)
    Modem Init String: (blank)
    Busy Redial Attempts: 0
    Baud Rate: 19200
    Dial Prefix: Tone Dialing (ATDT)
    Flow Control: CTS/RTS

  13. Click on Store Settings.
  14. Click on Back to the home page.
  15. Click on CRON.
  16. Click on Start the text editor.
  17. Enter the following lines

    Exactly:

    # Establish PPP link with AirLink Modem
    0-59 0-23 1-31 1-12 0-6 * :
    online -dial 10001;
    %
    # Reset the camera every 15 minutes.
    0,15,30,45 0-23 1-31 1-12 0-6 * :
    reset -hard;
    %

    The first line tells the camera to connect dial 10001 to the Raven when the camera boots up, and it doesn't matter what time of day.The second line does a power cycle/hard reset to the camera every fifteen minutes. In the future, we hope to eliminate this line. It's in here now because the camera hangs every once in awhile.

  18. Click on Apply.
  19. Click on TCP/IP and put in the IP address of the modem. This step is optional. The IP address is obtained when you put the modem up on the serial port, so this step is listed just in case things aren't working. Leave the rest of the parameters at their default settings. Then click "Store IP Settings. Note: You will loose contact with the Camera Server if the IP Address is different then the IP Subnet you are on
  20. Disconnect the power supply and all LAN connections from the camera. Now connect the DB-9 cable from the back of the Raven to the DB-9 connector on the camera.
  21. Power on the Raven and make sure you get a channel, and that the Link and Reg lights are on solid. RSSI should be blinking or solid.
  22. Power cycle the camera. Note: The Modem must be on and registerd before the Camera Server is turned on.When the camera is online it will establish a PPP connection with the modem, and you can then go to your browser and type TheIP Address of the modem in the Address field, you should see the home page of your camera successfully.

Using FTP

If you're setting up a web page that lets users view the current image from the camera, the WRONG thing to do is create a page that points directly at the IP address of the Raven to get the image directly from the camera. That bogs down the Raven because it can't handle more than a couple users requesting the download of an image.
The CORRECT thing to do is use a FTP CRON Script to send the image at particular interval (ie: every 30 seconds, or 1 minute, etc.) to the web server. Then create a web page that loads the image that is stored on the server. Then the users viewing the web page are not making a direct connection through the modem and bogging it down.

Example:

# FTP Images to an FTP Server.
0-59 0-23 1-31 1-12 0-6 * :
online -dial 10001;
ftp -host 192.36.253.81 -user camera -pass pass -src fullsize.jpg -dest cdpd.jpg -loop s20 -time m15;
(This means every 20 seconds for 15 mins. Otherwise you would get 1 picture)
offline;
%

A couple things to know about retrieving pictures over CDPD:

  1. The transfer rate is approx. 9600. CDPD is mainly designed for short bursts of traffic so large file transfers aren't always successful. This means you cannot get a new image every 1 second over CDPD, for example.
  2. What you have to do is give the FTP CRON Script a realistic time interval for sending pictures over CDPD. We have FTP CRON Script set to send every 20 seconds and have our web page update every 30 seconds in case there is any lag time in retrieving the file. However, we do miss an image update once in awhile. You may even not get consistent image updates.