Setting up Sensr to monitor a DCS-920 Camera

Sensr.net makes it easy to Watch Your Stuff with an Internet-enabled Wireless camera.  The D-Link DCS-920 is one such camera that is often available on Amazon for a good price ($48 in April 2010).  This article takes you through the steps to add a new camera to your Sensr account and program your DCS-920 to send its images there.  Many other brands of Network Cameras (both wired and wireless) have FTP-upload capabilities too.  If you have one of them, you may find this article helpful in setting it up.

The DCS-920 Network Camera

Add a New Camera to your Sensr Account

Login to Sensr using your Facebook username and password.   Select the “My Cameras” page.  Here you will see thumbnails of the latest images from your cameras.  To add a new camera to your account, click on the big green button labeled “Add New Camera.”

Sensr.net - "My Cameras"
Select the "Add New Camera" button on the "My Cameras" Page

Tell Sensr About your Camera

On the “Camera Info” page you should fill in the fields marked with arrows.  Give your camera a name that you like.   Select an appropriate timezone.   When you are done, click the “Add Camera” button at the bottom.

"Add New Camera" Setup Page

The “Add Camera” step allocates a new Camera Server on Sensr to watch your DCS-920.  As part of creating a server, Sensr has created a new FTP account for your DCS-920 to upload its images to.  The FTP credentials are displayed on the following page.  The important bits of information are

  1. the FTP server,
  2. the FTP Username, and
  3. the FTP Password.

These three items of information need to be entered into the camera."FTP Settings" Setup Page

Tell your Camera about Sensr

Now we turn our attention to programming the DCS-920 so that it sends its images to Sensr.  You should have already gotten your camera added to your network.  If you have not already done that, you may find my previous post about the adding the DCS-920 to my home network helpful.  Now, navigate to your DCS-920 Home Page.  On my network, the camera gives itself the address http://dcs-920 – which makes it easy to find.

From the Home page, select the “Setup” tab.

DCS-920 Home Page
DCS-920 "Home" Page

And from the “Setup” Page, select the “FTP” Parameters page.

DCS-920 "Setup" Page
DCS-920 "Setup" Page

The FTP Setup Page is where you enter all of the detailed parameters – including the FTP Credentials created for you by Sensr.

  1. In the “Host Name” field, enter the “FTP Server” from Sensr.  (In our example it is “f4.sensr.net”.)
  2. In the “User Name” field, enter the “Username” from Sensr.  (In our example it is “cam205”.)
  3. In the “Password” field, enter the “Password” from Sensr. ( In our example it is “itbazlmx4t”.)
  4. Select the “Passive Mode” check box.
  5. Double-check that you’ve left the “Path” field with it’s default value “/”.

There are a few other parameters we want to set in the camera.  We want to tell the DCS-920 to upload a new image every second, so be sure to select the “Enable uploading images to the FTP server” button.  Also set the upload frequency to “One Frame Per Second.”

A few parameters that set the uploaded file name should also be set for best results.  Leave the “Base File Name” as “DCS-920.”  Select the “Date/Time” suffix option.  (What these two settings do is tell the camera to give each uploaded image a unique filename of the form “DCS-920-201001021231.jpg.”  Giving each file a unique name prevents successive uploads from interfering with one another.)

Finally, click the “Save Settings” button at the top of the page to store these settings in the Camera.

DCS-920 Ftp Setup
DCS-920 "FTP Setup" Page

At this point, you are done!  You can close the browser window programming your Camera and go back to Sensr.  Click on the “Take Me To My Camera” button to see the Gallery view of images coming from your camera.

Now you can share your camera and its images with your friends on Facebook.  Have fun!

20 thoughts on “Setting up Sensr to monitor a DCS-920 Camera”

  1. Hi Tom, I ran across your website while searching on how to setup my DCS-920. I must say you have done an excellent job on the setup guide. I bought 3 of these Cams for my home, but I’m curious will I be able to use my iphone to view the Cams? If so could you explain on how to set it up? Secondly is there a way to to view my Cams outside of my network? I’m using a program called EvoCam by Evological for Macs. Thanks again for all your help.

  2. Tom forgot to ask if you have any info on how to setup Remote Viewing using the DCS920 for video and Images?
    Thanks.

  3. Hi Tom,
    Love your site and work. I have a question about cameras I’m using 2000 miles away.
    Is there any way to reboot a camera remotely through the sensr page?
    Thanks
    Kelly

  4. That’s a great question. I really like the D-Link cameras (DCS-920 and DCS_930) but as far as I know, the only way to reboot them is to disconnect the power, wait about 5 seconds, and then re-connect the power. I’m not even aware of a way to re-start the camera through the web interface built-in to the camera.

    If I hear otherwise, I’ll post the information here.

  5. Found this article via the D-Link forums, hoping someone can help.

    I’m trying to FTP images from my camera to my desktop. I’m using FileZilla as the FTP server on the desktop.

    ipconfig tells me that the IP of my desktop is 192.168.1.21.

    When I enter this IP in the D-Link admin interface, along with a port of 21, user name & password, and try to send the test image, I get the informative message “Invalid FTP server setting.”

    I notice that I’m being prompted for a path in the D-link interface. I have FileZilla set so that the camera can write to E:\movies. I have no idea what that translates to in FTP-ese, so I left a slash in path. Could this be the problem?

  6. The D-Link DCS-920 is a decent camera, albeit VERY unreliable. It drops connection after about 7-14 days on-line.
    If you experience those issues, and want to automate it, or are (as Kelly above) far away, put the cameras on an el-cheapo timer that cuts the power once every day (=power cycles the cameras), you should have solved most of those issues. A timer does not cost more than a few $$ these days, and you likely have a few of them laying around.

    But for next one, I am likely going with Panasonic, since I really want a camera with built-in motion detection (DCS-920 does not have that).

  7. The DCS-920 was the first camera I bought – still probably the best picture. I was hoping to mount a camera on a TV tower so my son in Afghanistan could see pics of the fields back home. Any advise on an inexpensive highly weatherproof camera?

  8. What a great use for a camera! I don’t have any personal experience with outdoor cameras however. Perhaps someone else will post a comment here about their experiences with an Outdoor Camera Enclosure or an Outdoor Camera.

  9. I have a DCS-920. Followed all the steps and fill all the needed info on the Admin Server page. But when i use to connect (do a test for FTP) it gives me error. FTP test not successful.
    My sensr username is camxxxx
    Please help as i want to utilize this awsome service…

  10. Not sure if previous post was deleted or timed out.
    Nice blog, I was searching for 920 power components and came across this blog.
    I use 8 DSC920’s mainly security. All monitored remotely. Bottom line best camera for the price.
    1) I reboot remotely with X10 technology. (Have not had to in over 1 year)
    2) Stream live to webpages and smartphone
    3) Use webcamXP for motion and video recording
    4) Even mounted 1 cam outside under my eavesdrop. No other protection. I expected it to fail right away. Been streaming for 2.5 years. North Ontario.
    5) Use ip updater to easily find dynamic IP changes

    Now I designed a solar power pak to run a 920 outside. So far testing is good. Trying to keep it compact.

    Jeff C

  11. I have been using the free service of Sensr but unfortunately they have started to charge for their packages.
    Is there any other similar service available that we can use.
    I like the fact that Sensr let me remotely view and keep motion detections without having to use my PC connected to the camera all the time.
    Thanks.

  12. How do you limit they number of files to the ftp server. Is this done by DCS DLink or do I need to write a script to manage the files on my ftp server.

    I am uploading my images to my ftp server.

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