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Offloading cam video to real WiFi

I've been working with another system over the weekend. The system is a meter reading Push system that sends electrical meter readings to the web. The Push system has WiFi as well as ethernet connectivity. The WiFi portion seems weak, and drops the connection frequently. That's usually not a big deal, as the data is cached, then gets sent the next time the signal is good again, but intermittent signal is an annoyance.

A workaround for that weakness is to use a WiFi to ethernet bridge, so you can connect the push system to the bridge by ethernet, then have the bridge do the WiFi work. That results in a solid signal.

One such bridge device that works in this way is the old Airport Express, A1392.

Has anyone here ever used a bridge to offload a cam's video data to a more robust WiFi connection?

When you think about it, the cam's WiFi system must be pretty minimal compared to that of an Airport Express, for example.

Used A1392 Airport Express units are about $40 on eBay, and might be very useful in beefing up WiFi signals in areas where you can't get ethernet, and are having dropouts in video from the cam.

I'm going to try this on one of my cams, and will report back on how it works.

I thought I'd check to see if anyone else has done this.

The Airport express will be near the camera, and connected to it by ethernet, and will be wirelessly joined to my existing cam WiFi network.


  • I think this is a very good idea. As you say, the Airport Express units will generally be higher quality than camera built-in WiFi, and then you also have the possibility to position the Airport Express more optimally in order to get the best WiFi signal. Please report back with your experiences once you have set this up for one of your cameras.

  • I used a TP-Link Outdoor Access Point (type TL-WA5210G) about 10 years ago to connect a wired Vivotek camera because not megapixel outdoor Wifi camera was available. It worked very good for years. The Outdoor AP was connected to an PoE adapter/switch and connected as client to the WiFi network.

  • Well, the slowest cam in the system was the Dahua 5MP doorbell. It was also the furthest from a WiFi AP, out at the gate in the driveway.

    SS was reporting its frame rate at 0-3 frames per second, on average. There's a lot of stop-motion at that rate.

    The Dahua does not have an ethernet interface, so to improve the signal, I placed an additional Eero Pro in a weatherproof box about 5 feet away from the doorbell.

    That immediately improved the frame rate to an average of 8-10 FPS.

    The Eero mesh system makes adjustments to how it routes traffic within its network, and the two other cameras on that end of the network also incrementally improved their frame rates after adding the new Eero unit.

    Presumably because the new Eero took some of the existing Eero's workload, which they then were able to use for the other cams.

    I do still have a few slower cams at the other end of the network I'll eventually try bridging them from ethernet to WiFi.

    I bought a TP-Link AC750 and have been experimenting with it.

    It's classified as WiFi 5...the old Airport units are WiFi 4. In general, WiFi 5 is about 6 times faster than WiFi 4, so The TP-Link unit wins on speed.

    Ease of setup is a whole different thing, though.

    You work through the unit's ad-hoc WiFi to access its on-board configuration webpage, and that system is extremely slow. Like over a minute to load each page, with no progress indication, and enough hangs and stalls that you don''t know if it's quit or still working on loading.

    The setup documentation is not very clear or helpful.

    Tech support via chat was decent, and I eventually got it set up and working, but what usually takes me 2 minutes on an Airport Express took several hours on the TP-Link unit.

    It does work to bridge an ethernet connection to WiFi, once it's set up, but I don't look forward to using that interface again.

  • I've done this with a Unifi G3 flex connected to the old AirPort Express. Worked great in SS.

    Different topic but related -

    Have also tried to use this for Sonos to "hardwire" one ethernet cable into a Sonos unit and trigger a change to SonosNet. This worked with an old Ruckus unit and Unleashed, but didn't work with same AirPort Express. Must be some sort of multicast filtering in the AEx.

  • I set up an Airport A1392 last night to bridge my slowest performing WiFi cam to it using an ethernet connection.

    I had been getting 0-4 FPS via the cam's WiFi.

    As soon as I connected the ethernet, the cam dropped off SS, as it had pulled a different IP from the Eero subnet through the Airport.

    It came right back up as soon as I informed SS of its new IP address.

    The immediate results were not encouraging, the frame rate looked only marginally better, maybe 0-6 FPS.

    I went to bed.

    When I got up this morning, things had improved significantly. I'm seeing frame rates in the 6-12 range, occasionally up to 15, with still a few brief excursions down to 0.

    I think this is another example of the Eero's ability to adapt its network to the traffic it's getting, and optimize that flow.

    I'm going to take the brief periods of 0 FPS as a request for another Eero location down at that end of the network, and will try placing another one where it might be able to pick up more of the Airport's packets, with good triangulation back to the other Eero mesh system.

    My impression is that for +/-$40, the Airport bridge is an effective way to boost the frame rate of a marginal on-board camera's WiFi system, at least on an Eero Mesh system.

    This particular camera is an SV3C 5MP non-PTZ, model B06W-5MP-HX.

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