Turn Old iPhones Into Security Cameras
Betlej handles all things communications and IT at Mary Baldwin
College in Staunton, Va., and has contract engineering experience. He
ran across a free app that you might enjoy.
Fig. 1: The Presence app
from People Power turns an iOS-based device into a WiFi or
cellular-connected video camera.
app lets you repurpose an old iPhone into a motion-detected security
camera. It is called Presence and is produced by People Power, a Palo
Alto software developer. Using WiFi, a second Apple device (like
iPhone or iPad) can be used as a monitor. Presence can be programmed
to record a five-second video clip when motion is detected, and send
an email alert. Furthermore, you can set an unlimited number of Apple
devices for motion detection.
company recommends connecting devices to wall chargers so that they
don’t run out of power and stop streaming. Using old devices as
plugged-in security cameras won’t run up electric bills; at most,
you can expect to pay an extra dollar if you use your devices this
way for an entire year.
though the app is free, the company hopes users will go to the app’s
Store and purchase accessories such as device tripods and fish-eye
lenses to enhance security systems.
is available from the Apple App Store; an Android version is expected
by the end of the year.
equipment is a favorite subject of this column, so thanks, Bill, for
* * *
folks at phasor manufacturer and communications company LBA Group are
offering training in OSHA liability, a topic that has largely been
ignored by broadcast management. There are important new chemical
safety training rules; and few employers realize their establishments
fall under these new standards.
the use of benign chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, requires that
companies provide workers with OSHA HazCom GHS training. OSHA
mandates that all affected workers are to be trained to read and
understand new safety data sheets and chemical labeling before Dec. 1
of this year or face major penalties.
help you meet the deadline, LBA University offers comprehensive,
online GHS training. In groups of five or more, the training costs
less than $40 each. For information, contact Bryan Dixon at LBA,
(252) 757-0279, or visit www.lbagroup.com/.
You can learn more
about the requirement at www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom.
* * *
our column, many readers, including Southern California engineer Marc
Mann have mentioned the use of silica gel to slow the effects of
moisture formation on tools. Wrapping tools in a cloth after dousing
with WD-40 lubricant only goes so far. And what about corrosion
effects on electronic equipment?
Fig. 2: An example of
Cortec’s corrosion protection products.
In a publication of industrial products, Marc read about a company
that produces tablets that protect metals inside packages; it uses a
technology that releases a “vapor phase corrosion inhibitor.”
Marc thought this would be great but that what we really need is a
product that can be placed inside of cabinets and housings that could
provide this same protection to electrical and electronic equipment.
called the firm, Cortec Corp., and spoke with Robert Kean. Marc asked
if their product would work inside of operating, powered-up devices.
it happens, Cortec manufactures a range of products that utilize this
technology to protect valuable electronics from corrosion. Best of
all, they do not need to be in a sealed bag. The “emitters” range
from label-sized, self-adhesive-backed types to containers with
breathable membranes to allow the area of choice to be protected.
are non-toxic and safe to handle. They can be placed in just
about anything from fuse boxes to telecommunications equipment —
even inside of microphones. Marc foresees these being used in not
only the transmitter plant but in remote equipment that will be
exposed to moisture and high humidity.
you’re plagued with corrosion, this might just be the answer. Marc
ventures to say a station engineer might never run out of places this
product could be used, including tool boxes.
Robert Kean can be
reached at Cortec Corp. at (800) 426-7832. The website is
have been fighting corrosion for years, especially near large bodies
of water. Having a product that can be placed inside the equipment to
be protected is wonderful news.
Sagi often has neat thoughts about topics we discuss in Workbench.
Remember our parabolic microphone project, using a discarded
satellite dish, for adding audio realism to high school sports
events? Positioning a microphone on a parabolic dish, Paul noticed
that the dish was shiny; so he pointed it towards a light and
positioned the microphone so there was a bright spot of light on the
end of the microphone element. He did this in a darkened room,
pointing the dish towards light from another room.
a quick way to align the mike to the focal point of the dish.
used a similar idea to position stereo speakers. Put a small mirror
on each speaker. Now darken the room. Go to the listening position
and shine a flashlight, looking for a reflection from both mirrors at
the same time. Reposition the speakers as required.
to Workbench. You’ll help your fellow engineers and qualify for SBE
recertification credit. Send Workbench tips to email@example.com.
Fax to (603) 472-4944.
Author John Bisset
has spent 44 years in the broadcasting industry and is still
learning. He is SBE Certified and is a past recipient of the SBE’s
Educator of the Year Award.