Best way to run 4 webcams effectively

  • Hey guys,

    This has been bugging me for a while, but I finally found some sw that works effectively for a cctv system and have 4 Microsoft Lifecams (VX-100 here in Australia I believe) and have these connected with also 4 usb "active" extender cables. No problems whatsoever with the signal, picture is crisp. However, I believe power is an issue here. Initially I bought 1 powered usb hub (rated 5v - 2A). Everything went along ok for several weeks even until I started getting dropouts. Then it dawned to me.. hmm.. 2A = 2000ma.. 4 x 500ma = 2000ma and the extender cables are probably going to need some (maybe not a lot) power and also the unit itself needs some of that 2A also. So I grabbed another 2A powered hub. I decided to plug each hub into a seperate port at the back of the box and essentially each powered hub (both plugged into the power board) would run 2 cams each. OK, I think there was some improvement but I can't be sure. So then I thought about "daisy chaining" this setup. Only have one hub plugged into the back of the comp and plug the other hub into that hub and then run "2 in each". Ok, long story short, nothing has really worked out perfectly. At the moment I have the daisy chain setup, but the child hub is running all 4 cameras. I just rebooted and now nothing shows up, all four cams are dead. I realise there are usb 3.0 hubs with 4A power? that are reverse compat with 2.0 usb devices.. but is that 4A available to only 3.0 devices maybe 2.0 devices would simply draw standard 2.0 power (500ma each).

    P.S Hope this post is ok in a Pfsense board, but you guys know a lot and tried some other places so thought what the hey.

    Thanks heaps!!

  • Netgate Administrator

    This is general discussion, you can post anything! (within reason  :P)

    With powered hubs of the type you have they won't draw any (or very little) current from the host. Hence if you have them daisy chained and all four cameras in the second hub, then the second hub will be trying to supply all the power.
    You should have two cameras in each hub to correctly spread the load.


  • First try to put only a single cam(1) on your hub >if ok> plug the second hub in "daisy chain" with only single cam(2) attached

    if ok> then you should upgrade your hubs power supply to 3 Amps+ and shield your cable with ducking tape
    if not> maybe your powered hubs does not support daisy chain….

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