Cheap camera, cheap lens, open source software, pretty cool results

Below, my naked hacked up camera next to my weather system anemometer


I read that the Wyze webcam (v2) was cheap and hackable... that got me thinking, especially as friends and family had been bugging my wife and I about our view of Pike's Peak. She has been floating that idea of a webcam pointed at the mountain ever since we moved in...

So one day I saw that the Wyze V2 was on sale for $20 I impulse ordered it. It arrived in two days (or less) and I began fiddling with the open source firmware for it, called Open IP Cam.

And disassembly, because wide-angle is no good. :-D


The camera uses a fairly common M12 mount for the wide-angle lens. This is the size and pitch of the threads to thread in a new lens replacing the wide-angle lens. The current lens will have some glue on it so it will take a little force to break it loose.

I completely disassembled my camera several times to figure it out but I think it can be done more simply than complete disassembly.

The black plastic facing around the lens is just held in with pressure clips. I think this could be forced up and out with something like a sharp spackle knife or small screw driver. Don't worry too much about messing up the white housing, you will have to enlarge that some too.

So what is required modification to the housing? I will have to take more pictures to show you, but description follows:


Images and timelapses...

System 1, a linux desktop:

The desktop system grabs all images from the camera every hour and deletes them from the camera. It analyzes and detects bad images and removes them from the directory. Then at a hard-coded time to coincide with the sun being down, it builds a timelapse photo from the hundreds of stills and copies that to the web server. The sun-up and sun-down times are hard-coded for the start of the hour when it happens and naturally have to be adjusted through out the year (at the moment).

System 2, the web server:

My web server, I am calling "SWIMS" or Simple Webcam Image Management System. It really is simple, as in stupid.

The imagery here is captured and stored every 15 minutes, but there is also a live every-minute photo that is constantly overwritten. You can navigate through the photos and vote on photos with the thumbs up/down buttons. I eventually clean out photos based on time and votes.

To-do List

combine systems? perhaps... the timelapses fail when my desktop drive fills up, so definitely need some management there

Possibly a better camera. 1080p is so 2001.