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braindead0

Wyze Camera V2 installing custom firmware

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In another thread Wyze cameras came up:

Generated a lot of interest, cheap HD camera...small...  I picked up a pair of V2 cameras for about $50 and did some playing around.

Wyze camera

From what I've been able to find out these are rebranded/slightly modified Xiaomi Mi home security camera aimed as the U.S. and European markets.  Instead of being tied to the Xiaomi Mi service, it's tied to Wyze.

Sadly they are not ONVIF compliant.

Wyze App

First thing I did was mess around with the official way to use these cameras.  From what I was able to gather info wise, the 'cloud' component is so the app can find your cameras and allows your camera to push recordings to their server

As this is unknown software/hardware, my plan was to put them on my guest network.  My guest network is unsecured with a captive portal, for this I was on my WIFI controller so I could authorize the cameras as there would be no way to put in the captive portal password. First thing I discovered was that the app cannot connect to unsecured WIFI, maybe they think that's a good thing for most people... probably is.  So I setup a new guest network that does have a password just to get past this hurdle.

Installation was pretty easy.  You put the camera into config mode, type in WIFI SSID and password on the app, it displays a QR code which is read by the Wyze camera.  That all worked as it should.

The camera image was very noticeably delayed on the APP.  It's very likely that the images are being pushed to their cloud service first and then down to the app.  Besides the latency, this means that if anyone involved (Amazon where the servers are, Wyze, etc) doesn't secure things properly anyone can look at your cameras.  IMO that is unacceptable.

OpenIPC firmware

OpenIPC is a fork of Xiaomi-Dafang, I think the idea was to make it more user friendly and perhaps add more features.. as least that's the claim.   The real goal seems to be to monetize open source code, the OpenIPC website really tries to sell you an 8GB SDHC card that just has the hack copied to it... nothing special that I could find.  Maybe they will deliver on features/usability in the future.. no clue on that.

They also seem to be lagging, failing to merge from the source repository on a regular basis.  I was able to install the firmware, however the imager in the latest hardware appears to be un-supported..  I didn't dig in further, I found recent posts reporting the same problem and nobody from OpenIPC offering any solutions/workaround or a timeline for a fix. 

Xiaomi-Dafang (link to github repository)

Other than the instructions being one too many steps (you can copy the hacked binary to the root of the SDHC card, AND copy the CFW firmware as well.. no need to install the binary then install CFW).  This worked well..

At this time max resolution is 1600x900 using hacked firmware, anything higher results in no image.  Getting the feed from RTSP was easy, works well.. direct access is of course much less laggy. 

I've attached the Xiaomi-DaWyze V2_Xiaomi-Dafang_Firmware.zipfang firmware, with Wyze V2 binary already in place.  You should be able to unzip that to root of a FAT32 formatted micro-SD card, update the config\wpa_supplicant.conf file with your WIFI settings.  Install, power up cam with setup button held until LED near power connection lights solid blue.. let go of the setup button and wait.  When light turns orange, you should be connected to your wifi and ready to go: https:\\dafang should get you to the camera. 

I'm still poking about in the config, playing with settings and the like.  For the prices seems to be a pretty good camera.

 

Conclusion

If you require remote access and are not willing/able to setup/manage the necessary infrastructure yourself (I used SSH tunneling).  And the risk of your camera feed becoming public isn't high on your list of concerns.  Give the Wyze app a try.  Otherwise I'd recommend the Xiaomi-Dafang hack as the best option at this time.

 

Wyze_V2_Xiaomi-Dafang_Firmware.zip

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Now that I've had a chance to poke around some with the hack firmware.

For surveillance purpose typically 5-10fps is sufficient.  I'm testing cameras set to 1600x900, 10fps, 2000 bitrate and CBR.  Seems like reasonable settings.

the motion detection seems to work okay, however the feature to send mail when motion is detected appears to have some bugs.   I can see it connecting to my mail server, then just dropping pretty much immediately.  There is a feature to FTP upload images from motion detection, you have to modify motion.conf to enable that.  I'm going to try that, and setup my FTP server to email alerts when new images are received.  That should work just as well as the camera sending directly.

 

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If you want to use FTP upload of motion detection, you'll need to add a variable to motion.conf

ftp_video_duration=10

It's in seconds, without that it'll record 0 second videos and upload them... not too handy.  I reported that to the person who implemented the feature so it should end be fixed in the repo sometime.

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On 3/11/2019 at 10:47 AM, Bob said:

Thanks Brenden, the privacy issues is my main concern, so right now the only camera that I will leave plugged in is the garage cam, and I will hook the others up inside when we leave to go to different places for work. 

I received my SimpliSafe stuff the other day including a camera. It has a "privacy shutter" which opens when the system is armed. The system is going into my business so haven't set it up just yet.

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Another bug I found, if you set a region for motion detection it somehow causes the RTSP server to crash after server 3 or so frames.  Removing the region, and it works.  I might look into this and submit a fix if I have time.

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