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FI8910W FTP Break

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FI8910W FTP Break

Postby bartstrt » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:11 am

Hi,

I have recently set a new FI8910W with realative ease getting all of the items to work correctly with the exception of one.

When the alarm triggers, I have it set to upload images every 1 second to a NAS via FTP (which works great thankfully!). However, after about the first 5-8 images (seconds), there is a 20-30 second drop out of images on the FTP site and then it resumes with a final continous 30 seconds of images. So in essence, I would expect 60 images, but I am only gettin about 35-40 images (with 5 in the first 5 seconds and the 35 in the last 35 seconds). I tried reducing this down to every 2 seconds for an upload, but still had the same problem with a chunk of time missing.

I thought this may be do to the alarm wanting to "record" when the interface was open, but this happens even when there is no webUI open.

Thanks for any help!
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby TheUberOverLord » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:27 am

bartstrt wrote:Hi,

I have recently set a new FI8910W with realative ease getting all of the items to work correctly with the exception of one.

When the alarm triggers, I have it set to upload images every 1 second to a NAS via FTP (which works great thankfully!). However, after about the first 5-8 images (seconds), there is a 20-30 second drop out of images on the FTP site and then it resumes with a final continous 30 seconds of images. So in essence, I would expect 60 images, but I am only gettin about 35-40 images (with 5 in the first 5 seconds and the 35 in the last 35 seconds). I tried reducing this down to every 2 seconds for an upload, but still had the same problem with a chunk of time missing.

I thought this may be do to the alarm wanting to "record" when the interface was open, but this happens even when there is no webUI open.

Thanks for any help!


You are very welcome.

Please see this:

http://foscam.us/forum/fi8918w-drops-wifi-connection-t3440.html#p15934

IMHO, it's virtually impossible to make FTP uploads for the MJPEG cameras on alarms always work at 1 second intervals, during alarm periods, especially so when the image resolution is 640*480.

While I have personally seen it work as expected for the 60 second alarm period. I have seen it fail more often than not. But using the above link, you can tune your cameras to be as responsive as possible.

There is a lot going on during alarms, the cameras try their best using the small processor they have, but they can't wait forever on FTP uploads. If they timeout, while trying, you will miss some images.

This is a major reason why some cameras now have SD memory cards, so that the camera can write to the SD memory card, when/if needed retry sending the saved image from the SD memory card to the FTP server.

Due to the limited memory in the MJPEG cameras, there is no place to store images to be re-tried later.

Don
Last edited by TheUberOverLord on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby bartstrt » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:35 am

Don,

Thanks for the reply. I have seen you have posted this same link to other questions asking the same type of question: ie
http://foscam.us/forum/post16479.html?hilit=FTP#p16479

However, I have read your post a few times now, and really don't see how that explains anything with regards to this issue. The only thing that your post mentions about FTP is to make sure that you have adequate settings, which I feel like I do considering the fact that it can maintain 1image/second for the final 35-40 seconds with absolutely no problem. My question is why does it drop out in the middle. I read that post that mentioned drive spin-up time, but that also doesn't really jive considering it gets the first 5-8 images on the immediately and then just doesn't do anyhting for a pretty consistent 20-25 second break.

Thanks
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby bartstrt » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:39 am

http://foscam.us/forum/fi8918w-drops-wifi-connection-t3440.html#p15934[/url]

IMHO, it's virtually impossible to make FTP uploads for the MJPEG cameras on alarms always work at 1 second intervals, during alarm periods, especially so when the image resolution is 640*480.

While I have personally seen it work as expected for the 60 second alarm period. I have seen it fail more often than not. But using the above link, you can tune your cameras to be as responsive as possible.

There is a lot going on during alarms, the cameras try their best using the small processor they have, but they can't wait forever on FTP uploads. If they timeout, while trying, you will miss some images.

Don


Don

I understand there is alot going on during the alarms, but it just seems odd that the camera can consistently upload those images for the first few seconds and then does no uploading for a set interval and then resumes uploading normally for the remainder of the time. This wouldn't be a big deal, but I unfortunately had people in my home the other day that triggered the alarm, and i missed part of the their movement because of this gap.

Thanks again!
Last edited by bartstrt on Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby TheUberOverLord » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:42 am

bartstrt wrote:http://foscam.us/forum/fi8918w-drops-wifi-connection-t3440.html#p15934

IMHO, it's virtually impossible to make FTP uploads for the MJPEG cameras on alarms always work at 1 second intervals, during alarm periods, especially so when the image resolution is 640*480.

While I have personally seen it work as expected for the 60 second alarm period. I have seen it fail more often than not. But using the above link, you can tune your cameras to be as responsive as possible.

There is a lot going on during alarms, the cameras try their best using the small processor they have, but they can't wait forever on FTP uploads. If they timeout, while trying, you will miss some images.

Don

Don


I understand there is alot going on during the alarms, but it just seems odd that the camera can consistently upload those images for the first few seconds and then does no uploading for a set interval and then resumes uploading normally for the remainder of the time. This wouldn't be a big deal, but I unfortunately had people in my home the other day that triggered the alarm, and i missed part of the their movement because of this gap.

Thanks again![/quote]

You are very welcome.

Please take the time to view the information using the link in my prior post here. It might help this situation.

Don
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby bartstrt » Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:57 am

Don,

I have done a little more work on this today and think I have exposed the major flaw with the current firmware that is causing this issue. It apperas that when I have the camera set to only upload to FTP, then it will consistently upload images EVERY SECOND for the entire 60 seconds. However, it appears the camera is set up to upload FTP and send an email, it causes the gap in the FTP upload. My theory is that there is a processing issue that is chewing up resources in the middle of the alarm period to execute the email message sending instead of continuing FTP uploads. This makes sense that whlie the camera is compiling the images for the email (first 5-8 seconds), it can upload those images to the FTP, and once the email is ready to be sent, it uses ALL of its resources to actually send the email, then resumes the FTP uploads. Does this sound reasonable to you based on your knowledge of the processing system?

Is there any way to suggest to the firmware designers to wait until after all 60 seconds of FTP upload is completel to actually execute sending the email when "upload on alarm" is selected?

Thanks!
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby TheUberOverLord » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:16 am

bartstrt wrote:Don,

I have done a little more work on this today and think I have exposed the major flaw with the current firmware that is causing this issue. It apperas that when I have the camera set to only upload to FTP, then it will consistently upload images EVERY SECOND for the entire 60 seconds. However, it appears the camera is set up to upload FTP and send an email, it causes the gap in the FTP upload. My theory is that there is a processing issue that is chewing up resources in the middle of the alarm period to execute the email message sending instead of continuing FTP uploads. This makes sense that whlie the camera is compiling the images for the email (first 5-8 seconds), it can upload those images to the FTP, and once the email is ready to be sent, it uses ALL of its resources to actually send the email, then resumes the FTP uploads. Does this sound reasonable to you based on your knowledge of the processing system?

Is there any way to suggest to the firmware designers to wait until after all 60 seconds of FTP upload is completel to actually execute sending the email when "upload on alarm" is selected?

Thanks!


You are very welcome. Yes things like this are exactly what I mean.

That said. Not sure there is any easy fix. One example would be, if you happened to also be using a video stream from the camera while an alarm started. So, it's like playing "wack a mole".

The CPU in these cameras only have so much power and memory, that keeps their "Price Point" where it is. So, part of this camera tuning process, is to decide what's important to you, knowing these limitations.

While you maybe happy to delay this or that in order to reach your constant 1 image per second FTP upload rate, others might not want that delay. For example, they might want Email to have priority vs. FTP because they want to receive an Email ASAP on camera alarms.

So, not sure what to say other than whatever alarm notifications you have configured, as well as anything else that camera is being tasked with, at the time of an alarm, can and will impact the cameras ability to perform, when delays are thrown into the mix.

In your case, you may wish to try using another Email account, maybe the current Email account, is not responding, in a timely manner?

Even something as simple as going to the path/location directly, at FTP logon vs. having the need to send a path/folder change request, can save time.

There are free tools to drill down and locate any unusual delays during this alarm time period. Tools like Wireshark. They are very complicated to use, if you do not have TCP/IP knowledge however.

This is why I supplied the link in my prior post to at least be able to make your Internet connection from/to the camera as fast as possible to try and limit any delays caused by that.

As stated before, in my prior post. These cameras don't have much memory. They can't delay this or that and store this or that for very long. It's because of this, that a simple firmware change might not be able to improve any delay between Email and/or FTP servers.

Don
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby mmaaxx » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:23 pm

Bartstrt, great finding! And it'd be great if feature you've described would get implemented!

What could be done to "band-aid" the problem currently: disable the email on alarm on camera, then create a script that periodically (once a minute) checks number of files on FTP, and if it changed - send an email (with links to the X most recent pictures). It is relatively simple, if used with a real web server (FTP and scripting enabled). I guess not a lot of people have it.
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Re: FI8910W FTP Break

Postby pd5rm » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:40 pm

I agree with bartstrt, this seems like a firmware/design bug. We shouldn't lose FTP uploads during email sending, and if we are then it needs to be noted prominently somewhere as a limitation of the camera features. I've opened a support ticket with Foscam in the hope that engineers will look at addressing this.

Here's what I wrote in the ticket:

I have an alarm trigger go off, I see updated images on FTP server, then see a gap of missing images for 30-40 seconds, then images continue again. The images in the email don't contain the missing gap, and unfortunately the time gap contains events I'd care about.

The ones with suffixed with _XXXX numbers are from FTP server, the other ones were sent in the email as attachments.

I've set FTP upload interval to 1, clearly it's missing the 1 sec interval sometimes up to 2-3 seconds, but there's significant bump (~ 30 secs between 20130111154955 and 20130111155026).

My FTP server is in the same network and has low latency. My guess: this looks like a typical coding race (two things tying up a resource and working against each other). I even saw a corrupted green frame for one of the images (maybe one thread/process was accessing a shared buffer for image frame, while another was writing to it)

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