Wirelessly attach wired cameras - Part 1

So, you decided you need some security cameras...

goodforyou

But, the security minded voice in the back of your head keeps reminding you that you don't want to use some cloud based platform to monitor your home. Let's face it, we know it's always just a matter of time when you give up security for convienence before it comes back and bites you.

So you end up finding a company that has great quality cameras and doesn't require you to use their cloud service. For those still struggling to get to this point: https://www.ubnt.com/unifi-video/unifi-video-camera-g3/

So you've made it that far, but now you say to yourself:

Self, 
These are great power over ethernet cameras... but my crappy little wireless router is so far away... and I only have 2 free ethernet ports and I HAVE to have 5 cameras.. this won't work.. what ever shall I do?!

WRONG - and again, is one of the many reasons why you suck and I don't... but don't worry... Ima learns ya.

Go ahead and buy yourself a cheap wireless router you can flash DD-WRT on...

I used https://amzn.to/2GIYv2u

Reasons why I went with it:

  • It was $20
  • It came with high dBi antennas
  • I knew it was compatible with DD-WRT. https://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database
  • With DD-WRT I knew it could potentially support 5 cameras (turning the WAN port into LAN port) although, I've not used it for more than two at a time, I would assume you may run into bandwidth issues at 5, but you never know until you try.

I don't have pictures to support this setup because I did this in 2016.. but the setup was as follows:

  1. Go find your firmware: https://dd-wrt.com/site/support/other-downloads?path=betas
  2. Click the latest year, then latest date..
  3. Do a find for "tplink_tl-wr841"
  4. Click the link that matches the version number of your router
  5. Download both files: factory-to-ddwrt.bin and tl-wr841nd-webflash.bin

Plug the router into your machine, if you suck at life (which I know you do), make sure you turn off wifi on your laptop. Hard wire into that bad boy (DUH, NOT THE WAN PORT STUPID).

Let the router's DHCP give you a new IP.

For winblows do an ipconfig in command prompt.
For anything superior do an ifconfig -a in the terminal.

You should have a 192.168.0.1/24 IP - go to the gateway address. hint: http://192.168.0.1

Use the default credentials or whatever you may have changed them to and log in.

Go to the "Firmware Upgrade" page, and upload the factory-to-ddwrt.bin to and flash that bad boy.

You're going to need to get another DHCP lease - you may need to force this if you are impatient (for winblows ipconfig /release then ipconfig /renew, OSX there is a renew dhcp lease option in System Settings > Network, and in Linux you should be able to do a dhclient if it's installed.)

Once that is done, you should see your default gateway has changed to 192.168.1.1 - this is good. Log into that - it should make you create a password. Once signed in, go to the Firmware upgrade tab, and flash the tl-wr841nd-webflash.bin

Phase one is now complete.

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