By Alan J. Pierce EdD
Providing Classroom Resources on New & Emerging Technologies
EZVIZ Mini Trooper Security Camera
(MSRP Bundle =s Base Station + One Camera $149.99 Extra Cameras MSRP $79.99 each)
The mini trooper security camera has its own internal power supply and works with a separate base station. See photo 1 and photo 4. It is this base station that provides a constant link with the internet for the Trooper to use if it senses an intrusion. To increase battery life of the Trooperís power source (4 CR 123A Batteries) this camera is always in sleep mode with its Passive Infrared (PIR) sensor active. When PIR picks up body heat it wakes up the camera to record the event. See photo 3. The micro SD card that will record what the camera or cameras are seeing is housed in this base station rather than in each camera. If someone steals a camera they donít get away with any of the video that the camera recorded. You need to purchase one bundled Trooper with a base station and if you plan on having a number of Mini Trooper cameras the other cameras you purchase (5 Maximum) should be purchased without a base station. The Mini Trooper will only work if it is linked to a base station.
The base station comes with an 8GB micro SD card and if you run six cameras I would recommend that you increase its size to a 32GB or 64GB card. It can handle one as large as 128GB but that size card is still rather expensive and probably not necessary. This review is based on my experience with just one camera and base station so I canít report in this review how well multiple cameras will be able to send separate feeds to the base station at the same time. Multiple feeds would only occur if the PIR on the different cameras were all picking up body heat from people or pets at the same time.
The installation process begins with the installation of the four CR 123A batteries into the camera. EZVIZ indicates that you should not have to change the batteries for at least nine months. After the review was completed and published I found that the batteries only lasted one month. We are experiencing single digit temperatures and that could be why the batteries quickly went down to 12 percent. A 12 pack of replacement batteries can be purchased online at Amazon or other vendors for about $20.00. They feel, and I agree, not having to drill a hole through your wall to install an outside camera is worth the inconvenience of needing to replace batteries frequently. That said I would install Troopers just outside of upstairs windows so it is easy to retrieve the cameras, without a ladder, when it is time to replace batteries. The Trooper Mini camera has a wide angle lens that will give you a 115 degree view of the area in its surveillance territory. See photo 2 again.
The user manual provides a wired and Wi-Fi procedure to install the base station. Only use the wired procedure if you intend to keep the base station plugged into your wireless router. If you intend to have the base station communicate with your internet wirelessly you need to follow the Wi-Fi installation procedure. With the Wi-Fi procedure you should create your own strong long password for the base station since it is broadcasting a Wi-Fi signal that anyone in range, even outside of your home, can pick up. Since the base station access point has no internet access you must remember to tell your smartphone to forget this EZVIZ access point that you used for the Wi-Fi setup. If you donít your smartphone can automatically select it leaving you perplexed to why you suddenly donít have internet access.
Reasons to Drool
The video quality is excellent (see photo 2 and 3), the camera is weather proofed for outdoor use and since it has its own power source you donít have to drill holes in walls to install it outside. It also doesnít waste time recording motion from moving objects that donít give off heat so cars traveling within its field of view will not cause it to send you an alert.
Not So Cool
Before installing it outdoors I tested it indoors and the PIR sensor did a good job picking up movement. I have found it not very effective in picking up people outside when people are wearing coats and the December sun is adding some radient heat to the situation. A good warm coat allowed a person to pass through the protected area without being picked up by the passive infared sensor of the Mini Trooper. The batteries went down 12% with heavy use during testing so I expect the nine month battery life indicated in the companyís advertising to be extremely optimistic. Therefore I would have liked to see a rechargeable battery system incorporated into the unit. Setting in the smartphone app, see photo 5, only gives you limited control compared to what you can set on other EZVIZ cameras. Photo 6 shows you how push notifications will look on your smartphone. A simple click will show you the video the camera recorded during that event. See photo 3 again. The batteries only lasted one month! Please note temperatures are single digits and the camera is installed outdoors. It will be interesting to see if the batteries recover when the temperatures rise into the 40s or 50s.
Camera's Battery System
PIR Motion Detection
PIR Captured Event
During the Day
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