View Full Version : The D-Link DCS930L Camera and you

04-12-2013, 10:46 PM
I got tired of digging into the middle of another thread to check info on the DLink DCS930L wireless camera, so here is a thread combining all the relevant information for this camera.

Previous threads
- DLink stuff on pages 3 and beyond (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?4110-Re-Looking-for-a-better-IP-camera-Cisco-Wireless-N-Internet-Home-Monitoring-Camera-WVC80N)

Camera internals/details
To take the camera apart, pry off the front white panel. The grey trim is part of the back half of the case.

For Pictures, See mannyr7's post (http://forums.trossenrobotics.com/showthread.php?4110-Re-Looking-for-a-better-IP-camera-Cisco-Wireless-N-Internet-Home-Monitoring-Camera-WVC80N&p=46019#post46019).

The included power supply is 5V @ 1.2A. Uses a standard barrel connection (same as Trendnet cameras, for example)

Weight is 59 grams, case and all.

The camera board includes an auxilliary antenna connector. It is not known if this actually is used if an antenna is attached.

CAD Model and integrating the board into your design
I whipped this up a while ago. See the attached D-Link DCS930L board.zip (.igs format; camera internals only)

The method that several mechs use for mounting the camera board is to encase it in several layers of (lasercut) plastic. Specifically you need a piece cut from .125" material and a piece from 3/32" material; These will surround the camera, and then you need a front and back plate to hold it in place. Illustration (click to embiggen):

Viewing the D-Link camera
Two options:

Use the in-browser viewer, which is reached by putting the IP address of the camera in the URL bar. (Bizarre: an emulator of what this looks like (http://support.dlink.com/emulators/dcs930L/100/advanced.htm))
Use Python to capture the video stream. Upgrayd's repo on Github (https://github.com/RyanLowerr/mwscore) will do this for you. (specifically server/MWCam.py)

For reference, Python takes advantage of

A little searching in the D-Link forum produced these links:

http://<camera ip>/video/mjpg.cgi

http://<camera ip>/image/jpeg.cgi
http://<camera ip>/image/jpeg.cgi?profileid=1

Paste these in your browser or imaging software of choice to view streams or stills devoid of the D-Link GUI.

Bonus: Upgrayd's Python script includes code that talks to the scoring server in MW, so you get the current scores overlaid.

DLink has 7 or so versions of firmware for the camera. These can be downloaded from here (http://tsd.dlink.com.tw/).

If you are using Python to stream the footage, I have found that some of these firmware versions result in huge lag and ~1FPS, while the rest are fine... The WORKING versions of the firmware for me are 1.03, 1.04, 1.06. 5 7 8 all are bad, and I did not test 0 and 2. There may be other advantages to different firmwares, I only tested framerate. Also, some of the newer firmwares seem to not work properly with older versions of DLink's camera setup software. These installers are also available at the above link.

Try holding down the reset button, powering it on, and keep holding the rest button down for ~10s. Then hook it up via ethernet and look for IP address or in the browser. (Your computer must be on the 192.168.0.x subnet) More info in this thread (http://forums.dlink.com/index.php?topic=40689.0).

I have had issues with mine resetting itself: it fails to connect to wifi, and then the DLink setup software finds the camera and reports the camera as not configured. I have a spare ordered for this reason...

04-13-2013, 12:34 AM
Hi, I'm new and have been lurking the crap out of these forums the last 2-3 weeks. Posts like this make me smile. Concise, condensed, with references and a CAD model to boot. Thanks for the solid info Gertlex.

06-24-2013, 10:27 AM
If you still want to grab one of these cameras, on sale through tomorrow for a nice price:

D-Link DCS-930L Cloud Wireless IP Camera | 640x480 Resolution | mydlink enabled


With Promo Code: EMCYTZT3671

07-02-2013, 10:38 AM
So I've used the 930L quite a bit for a teleoperated robot over the past year, and I can definitely speak to the pros and cons of this camera.

To give a little background, I've put the camera on two teloperated robots, one with tank treads and the other with omniwheels. The control for the robots were over Xbees, so the only wifi traffic was the camera. For viewing, I've used Upgrayd's code and used the included software with the camera.


Low power consumption
Great visibility (when in good signal range)
2.4/5.8 Ghz

Seems to drop connection when moderately far from router
Randomly has low framerates
Hard to attach to something other than the stand (unless you rip the post off the back of it, then glue it to something)
So I would love to say that this camera was awesome and that this is the best one for using with MW, but sadly it isn't. I'm actually rather peeved at the camera, since a team of robotics engineers at NC State university actually lost a competition due to this camera (thanks to a network drop out right before we had to compete).

I've used two different Linksys routers (WRT54GL and E1200) and I've used both 2.4Ghz and 5.8Ghz for testing. I also used both of the video viewers mentioned above. Long story short, at short distances with a clear line of sight, and not in the presence of other network devices causing interference, this is a great camera. During our competition, I had to place the "command center" behind a black plastic curtain, and my framerates dropped from 30 to 1, just by putting the router behind a curtain. I really do think it's the camera that's the problem, and not the routers.

Anyway, I hope you all find this useful, and you might want to look into the RF cameras, rather than networked cameras.

07-02-2013, 01:40 PM
Sorry for the OT, but i have to give a Wolfpack shout out! I graduated from ECE in '04. Sorry for the frustrating loss. Sounds like you guys are up to some interesting stuff, though. I wish they had or I had known about that stuff back then.