The 2nd Generation Y-cam boasts a new MJPEG video compression format which has been added to make the camera compatible with a wider number of Internet browsers and computer platforms.
Since the update we get a lot of interest from Mac users as the Y-cam now represents an affordable home security solution on the Mac platform. However, we must point out that the Y-cam is NOT fully supported. You won’t be able to use the video clip creation tools, you won’t recieve any audio and you won’t be able to use the installation software which comes on the CD-ROM to help set up the camera.
This is where a Mac user will struggle. The software which comes with the camera is Windows only so the initial setup can prove difficult for the average Mac user. We are here to lend a hand.
This HOWTO guide shows one method of setting up your Y-cam using a Mac. This guide is suitable for the following cameras:
You will also need an Ethernet crossover cable so that you can connect your Y-cam directly to your Mac without using a router or switch. You can obtain a crossover cable from any good computer store.
Step 1 – Connect the camera
Without being able to use the CDROM you cannot configure the camera while it is plugged into your router. Most routers, including AirPort, will have DHCP turned on. DHCP is a protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on the local network meaning that if you plug the Y-cam into your router it will be given an IP address automatically, since DHCP is the default mode for the Y-cam. It also means that you have no way of finding out what the camera’s IP address is because that is the function of the installation software on the CD-ROM, which you can’t use on a Mac (unless you can access your router directly to see which devices are attached).
So instead, what you need to do is plug the camera directly into your Mac but to do this successfully you have to use a crossover cable. A crossover cable is an Ethernet cable wired differently to allow two network devices to communicate directly without having to go through a router or switch on the network.
So the first step is to connect your Y-cam to your Mac using a crossover cable and turn on the power to the camera and boot up your Mac.
Step 2 – Changing the IP address of your Mac
Important: Before you change the IP address of your Mac please note down the original settings as you will need to change back to those to regain access to your network/Internet.
Why do I need to change the IP address of my Mac anyway?
Well without getting too complicated, if your Mac is on a different range of IP address (subnet) than the Y-cam then you will not get a connection to the camera.
For example, the Y-cam has a default IP address of 192.168.1.150. The 192.168.1 part of the IP address is the ‘network’ address and the .150 is the number associated with the ‘host’, or device. If your local network has a network address of 192.168.0.x then it cannot communicate with any device on a 192.168.1.x network. So we need to put your Mac on the 192.168.1.x network so it is compatible with the Y-cam’s default IP address. Phew…
To do this open ‘System Preferences’ by selecting it from the dock. You should be shown the following:
Select the ‘Network’ icon (highlighted) to edit your network settings. The following dialogue should open:
This dialog box should show you all available networks you can use from your Mac. As the Y-cam is connected to your Mac using a cable we must choose the ‘Built-in-Ethernet’ option. Select ‘Built-in Ethernet’ and click the ‘Configure’ button. This will open the following dialog:
We want to configure a static (so it never changes) IPv4 address so select ‘Manually’ from the IPv4 drop-down box at the top of the dialog. This will allow you to manually enter your IP address details as shown below:
Use the following details in your Mac. These will allow you to communicate with the Y-cam using its default IP address:
IP address: 192.168.1.10
Subnet mask: 255.255.255.0
DNS Servers: Not important at this stage.
Search domains: Optional, leave blank, not important.
Click ‘Apply Now’ to save your changes and your Mac should now be set up ready to configure the camera.
Step 3 – Connect to your Y-cam IP Camera
You should now be able to connect to your Y-cam using the Mac.
Open an Internet browser and use the following IP address to connect to your camera:
When you access the camera for the first time it will ask you for a username and password. The default details for your Y-cam will be:
You will then be presented with the camera’s splash-page like below:
Select the ‘settings’ option to enter the camera’s setup pages as below:
What you want to do is adjust the camera’s IP address so that it is compatible with your local network. To adjust the IP address select the ‘TCP/IP Setup’ option from the menu on the right. This will open the network settings of the camera as below:
The values you want to put in here should be taken from your local network.
We would suggest you leave the camera with a host address of 150 but you may need to change the network address. For example, the default network address of the camera is 192.168.1 so you would need to change that to the same as your local network’s address. You should have made a note of the original settings at the beginning of Step 2 of this guide.
First make sure you have checked the box titled “Use the following IP address”. This will make the IP address in your camera static so that it never changes.
So, as an example, if your local network was on a 192.168.0 addressing scheme then make the camera’s IP address 192.168.0.150. Your network might be 192.168.1 or 192.168.2 or anything up to 192.168.254.
For the other values:
The subnet mask is typically always 255.255.255.0
The default gateway address is the IP address of your router.
If you know your DNS server addresses (obtained from your service provider) you can add them here too otherwise you can use your router’s IP address as Primary DNS address.
Step 4 – Wireless settings (optional)
If you have a wireless router you might want to take this opportunity to configure the wireless settings in the camera. See the following HOWTO: guide for help in setting up the wireless connection: HOWTO: Set up a wireless connection in your Y-cam IP camera
The camera has now been set up. Unplug it from your Mac and plug into your network (or connect to it wirelessly). Remember to revert the settings in your Mac to what they were previously then you should be able to access your network and have access to your camera.
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If you have any questions or feedback about this guide please leave your comments below and we’ll be happy to answer.