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OpenIPC…Making the WyzeCam More Useful?

openipcam logo

I have been using a WyzeCam for a while (well actually a couple WyzeCams) and have been very happy with the video quality and the app functionality. You can read my full review here but one of my complaints was third party integrations as currently there are none. Well the other night while scrolling through Reddit I stumbled across this thread about, OpenIPC which should change this! OpenIPC is an open source firmware extension for Wyze and Xiaomi cameras and enables RTSP, SSH, Telnet and NFS and has a web interface to manage it.

I was excited to see this and quickly jumped in with both feet as I just happened to have a spare WyzeCam laying around. I have to say I am happy to report that it works and the RTSP scrpt gives me the ability to get my video into third-party applications like SmartThings. I will say though it did take some work to get up and running and at first the instructions were very rough (although improvements have been made). I will take you through the installation process start to finish.

To begin the installation process you will need a MicroSD Memory Card, and the ability to format and burn an image to that MicroSD Memory Card. I am sure most of you know how to do these steps already but I will give my recomendations, for formatting I prefer to use SD Memory Card Formatter for Windows and to burn the image Etcher. So how how do you actually install OpenIPC? Well you can refer to the instruction here or just read below.

Memory Card Preparation:

  1. Insert MicroSD Memory Card into a computerSD Formatter
  2. Open SD Memory Card Formatter for Windows
  3. In SD Memory Card Formatter for Windows Select the Drive that corresponds to your Memory Card
  4. In SD Memory Card Formatter for Windows Click Format and wait for it to finish
  5. Download the disk image from https://github.com/openipcamera/openipc-firmware/releases
  6. Open Etcher.
  7. In Etcher Select the previously Downloaded Imageetcher
  8. In Etcher Select the Drive that corresponds to your Memory Card
  9. In Etcher Click Flash and wait for Etcher to Finish
  10. Etcher will unmount the Memory Card so you will need to remove and reconnect it
  11. Open your Memory Card in a file manager and locate .wifissid and .wifipasswd (i was unable to do this in Windows and needed to use a Raspberry Pi I had laying around) Note: You may need to show hidden files to see these files
  12. Open .wifissid in a text editor and delete what is there, type in your SSID and save the file
  13. Open .wifipsswd in a text editor and delete what is there, type in your WI-Fi Password and save the file

Flashing the Firmware on the Camera:

  1. Put the Memory Card into the WyzeCamWyzeCam Setup Button
  2. With power disconnected to your WyzeCam press and hold the setup button
  3. While still pressing the setup button, connect power to the WyzeCam
  4. Continue holding the setup button for 12 seconds (until the light on the WyzeCam continually blinks) and then release
  5. Press and release the setup button one more time (you may have to press it more than once) and you should hear a Chinese voice prompt, If you do not start over and perhaps try a different Memory Card
  6. Remove the Memory Card from the WyzeCam
  7. Reinsert the Memory Card into the WyzeCam and after a few seconds you should here two audible tones from the WyzeCam (if you do not get the two tones remove and reinsert the Memory Card until you do)
  8. You should have a flashing Blue LED
  9. Find the IP address of you WyzeCam (Note: the Mac Address of your camera will have changed through this process and should start with c0:6d:1a)
  10. From a computer on the same network as your camera go to http://”ipaddress”/cgi-bin/status (do this from a computer not a phone as the page does not scale well on a phone)
  11. On the top left of the page Click Apply Hacks

That’s it your done! I know that looks like a lot but it really is a quick process and I think my instructions will help people who were intentionally having problems. Your WyzeCam can now be accessed via RTSP using any compatible app and going to rtsp://”ipaddress”:554/unicast. Other than the steps above all I did was some port forwarding to get my WyzeCam accessible from the outside world.

OpenIPC Screen

Now my main objective here was to get my WyzeCam into SmartThings and I a happy toopenipc-screen-2.png report that is easily done using the Generic Video Cammera Connect SmartApp and Device Handler.

Overall I am pretty happy, you will notice however that my WyzeCam with OpenIPC is currently looking at a jar of peanut butter, well it is going to stay that way for a little bit until I have some logs to show where my video is being sent, but early indications do not show any abnormal activity.

Any WyzeCam users going to give this a try? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

 

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Mike View All

I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.

22 thoughts on “OpenIPC…Making the WyzeCam More Useful? Leave a comment

  1. Hi ! How about frame quality ? Video / frame compression ? Original WyzeCam is about 10kb – 50kb per frame which preserves no details on fullHD … I wonder if this is tweakable with this firmware, or did you notice any bump into image quality / Detail ? Thanks

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  2. I am trying but I got an error message the first time when trying to apply to hack:

    Applying fang hacks scripts…
    Source file not found: ‘/media/mmcblk0p1/bootstrap/sdcard’
    Source file not found: ‘/media/mmcblk0p1/bootstrap/rc.local’
    Source file not found: ‘/media/mmcblk0p1/bootstrap/rcS’
    Source file not found: ‘/media/mmcblk0p1/bootstrap/fang_hacks.sh’
    Source file not found: ‘/media/mmcblk0p1/bootstrap/fang_hacks.cfg’

    Then I tried again, burning the .img from a Mac and this time when I browse to the camera I get
    404 Not Found
    The requested URL /cgi-bin/status was not found on this server.

    Any idea how I could go about troubleshooting this? The camera responds to the ping so it looks like it does register on the network

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  3. Mike: Thank you for your article.

    My main concern is getting the Wyzecam to show on a web browser so that I may view it on my laptops. Will using OpenIPC somehow facilitate that? Can you recommend another way to make the Wyzecam viewable on my laptops.

    (I don’t have a smart phone and have no desire to buy one. And I certainly don’t want to monitor activity at my remote home location on a screen as small as a smart phone!)

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  4. Hi Mike, your article was super helpful to get it up and running. I can see the stream in my browser, ip cam app on iPhone, vlc player, but it has a BIG lag. how do I tackle that?

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  5. So I have OpenIPC running on the camera, and it’s working on Synology Surveillance. I cannot get it to connect to SmartThings, though. I installed two Smart Apps and one Device Handler. The camera shows up as Active, but when I try to connect to it through the app I get “There was a problem retrieving the livestream url.”

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