Groundhogs, Coyotes, Night Vision & Streamie


So, we had a groundhog problem. At first I only spotted the guy from a distance and thought it was the most over-fed squirrel I'd ever seen, but it didn't take long to realize he was the reason for the recent appearance of ankle-breaking holes in the yard. It also didn't take long until he ventured a little too far out into the open and....


Dead Groundhog


Story's over! Good night folks.


Actually though, I took the carcass and tossed it out into the woods. The following morning he had vanished -- either miraculously resurrected or, perhaps more likely, a midnight snack for something larger. I had an inkling the night before that this might be the groundhog's fate, so I pointed the exterior PTZ camera at his next-to-final resting spot.


(Warning: there's _a lot_ of chewing going on in this video.)



I used to have a groundhog problem, and then I didn't, and now I have a coyote problem. The coyote was nice enough to clean up the groundhog mess, but if I were fortunate enough to have a coyote mess, how would that get cleaned up? I should ask the internet ... do coyotes eat dead coyotes?


Do Coyotes Eat Dead Coyotes


So, if I could get one coyote, then maybe I could get more coyotes. There's just one problem: the coyote was here pre-light and I'm not in to spending $10k on night vision hunting equipment. I talked to a neighbor and he gave me his IR scope to try out. It's kind of cool in that it is sensitive to the same IR light emitted by the exterior PTZ camera (and my other security cameras), but I already have a nice scope on my rifle and I didn't really want to swap it out. If I'm honest, the IR scope is handy, but truly ugly. Aesthetics matter.


IR Scope on Counter


Surely there's some sort of IR-sensitive camera sensor thing that I can attach to my existing scope and "look through" somehow. It took no small amount of hunting (ha ha) before I discovered OWLNV and their N9 Rifle Scope Camera. Ordered immediately.


Amazon Snapshot


Commence impatient waiting.


The following morning, two of the kids are sick, so we stay home from church while the others head out. The rifle scope camera isn't going to do me (or the coyotes) any good if I'm not sighted in, so while the other half of the family is at church, the two sick kids and I do an arts-and-crafts project.


Arts and Crafts Project


After making backwards adjustments a few times and then finally figuring it out, we get things good enough.


Rifle Sighted In


Later in the week and approximately an eternity later, the N9 finally arrives and I get it all situated on the Tikka. Speaking of aesthetics, man that T3x TACT A1 has got it going on. (Is “Stacy's Mom” playing in your head right now?)


Tikka T3x TACT A1


So, the thing about the N9 is that in addition to that very adequate five-inch LCD screen, it can also function as a wifi access point and you can wirelessly stream the video. Speaking of streaming video, I have an app for that! I wonder....


After some investigating, it turns out that the N9 _does_ support RTSP, but only for a brief moment and then it stops. After some more investigating, it turns out that it has its own little proprietary stream keep-alive mechanism. You have to give it the good old 3016 periodically to keep things fresh. Easy enough.


(As an aside, check out Recording a Packet Trace to learn about the rvictl command and how it can change your life.)


Code Snapshot


So, it is far from perfect, and you sometimes have to reboot the N9 after it just stops wanting to stream over wifi, but it _mostly_ works.



One cool side-effect of having Streamie support [1] is that remote streaming "magically" works. What you see in the photo below is an Apple TV (connected to my home internet) remote streaming via my iPad (connected to cellular internet + the N9's wifi access point), the N9's RTSP stream. So, if your friends were truly bored, you could send them a URL at like 4am and they could watch your coyote hunt live. Half useless, half cool.


Remote Streaming


It seemed that at this point I had everything wrapped up. I just needed to tempt some coyotes to come visit, but then for the next couple of weeks, dense fog overnight meant that all I could see through the camera was this.




And then I kind of lost interest because I'd unlocked the mysteries of the OWLNV N9 and got everything working in Streamie (mostly).


[1] To be clear, the janky keep-alive stuff that I added to Streamie to get the OWLNV N9 to a mostly-working state is _not_ enabled at the moment. I could enable it. I should enable it. I'd just need to do a little polishing and stuff.


Related Topics




About Streamie


Streamie provides a best-in-class user experience on your iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Silicon Mac, with an intuitive user interface that makes it simple to discover, stream, record, monitor and share your HomeKit, Google Nest, Ubiquiti UniFi Protect and ONVIF-compatible IP and RTSP cameras. Streamie keeps you informed with motion event notifications and it works with most cameras using its advanced audio and video codec support. You can watch your cameras from anywhere, record 24/7 to your private NAS, remotely manage multiple locations, device permissions and seamlessly synchronize settings across your devices; configure Hubitat smart home automations, live stream to YouTube and rely on the in-app technical support system when you need help (but you can also reach us by phone). Download Streamie today. Lastly, Streamie is solar powered!