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Toughswitch

Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito

Some time ago I installed a series of IP cameras to keep an eye on the horses at the farm. With the dodgy power, the sometimes less than stellar performance of the IP link to the farm (it is a long radio link) and the generally poor firmware found on domestic IP cameras, it is not a rare event that that the cameras lock up and need a power cycle.

My original plan for fixing the issue was to install an Arduino with an Ethernet driving a relay and have a Nagios event handler tell the Arduino to bounce the relay. I already use something like this to help fix the WiMAX radio link when it gets confused. Reducing the number of calls I make to my saintly mother-in-law and brother-in-law to help bring the link back up.

After a face-palm moment I realised I was over engineering this problem and already had a piece of equipment that gave 90% of the solution - a ToughSwitch POE. This PoE switch has a watchdog facility that reboots devices if they fail to ping for a sufficiently long period of time - I deployed this device to control my outdoor APs in November of 2013 to great success. All that was needed was to make the cameras PoE devices ...
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