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How to configure periodic FTP image transfer in a Mobotix IP camera

Mobotix cameras, while amazingly flexible can sometimes be a little tricky to operate, especially for the non-technical user.

This guide will show you the simple steps required if you want to send an image by FTP on a periodic basis from your Mobotix camera. In this example we will configure the camera to send an image every 30 minutes but we will explain how you can adjust the time to suit your requirements.

We are using an Mobotix M22 camera in this example but it should be valid for all Mobotix IP cameras in their range.

Step 1: Log in to your camera

Access your camera and log in as the administrator until you can see a live image from the camera. The areas we will need to configure are located in the Admin Menu so from the menu on the left select the “Admin Menu” option.

Step 2: Setting up your FTP server details

From the Admin Menu choose the ‘FTP Profiles’ option under the ‘Transfer Profiles’ heading. There are two areas which need to be configured here. The global server settings and the FTP profile.

Global Options – Server Settings

Screenshot of Mobotix FTP Global Settings Page

FTP Server: Enter the address of your FTP server here. You can enter a domain name such as “ftp.myserver.com” or an IP address.

User name: Enter the username to access your FTP account.

Password: Enter the password for FTP account.

Connection: Choose Passive or Active FTP depending on your server.

FTP Profile

Mobotix FTP Profiles screenshot

Directory Name: Enter the path where you want to store the files on your FTP server

File Name: Enter the filename you wish use for your stored images. You must remember to include the .jpg extension. You can include variables in the filename to add such information as date/time etc. See the camera for a full list of supported variables. NOTE: if you don’t include any variables after the file name the file will be overwritten with each transfer.

File Type: You can choose to use an existing image profile or create new image/MxPEG clip settings.

Temporary name: Enable this option to have the image transferred to the FTP server using a temporary file name. This is useful when updating a live image on a public web page as the viewer will only ever see a full downloaded image every time they visit the site.

Event Directory: Leave set to disabled. This is only for event triggering.

Click the ‘Set’ button to save your settings.

Step 3: Setting the rate of transfer

To set how often each image is transferred you need to create a ‘Time Task’, so click the ‘Time Tasks’ link on the Admin Menu which you can find under the ‘General Administration’ heading.

You will see a screen with a series of table entries as shown below:

Mobotix setting a time task screenshot

Under the ‘Task’ column Select an entry from the bottom of the table which isn’t currently being used and using the drop-down box select your FTP profile which you created in Step 2 of this guide.

Minutes: Enter ‘0-30’ to have an image transferred every hour and every half hour.

Hours: Enter an asterisk so that the event will be active for every minute.

Days of Month: Enter an asterisk so that the event will be active for every day of the month.

Months: Enter an asterisk so that the event will be active for every month of the year.

Week Days: Enter an asterisk so that the event will be active for every day of the week.

This table can be a little confusing when you first try to use it. If you follow the instructions above the camera will transfer an image by FTP every half hour. Note that the special asterisk character means “all the time” so if you have asterisks under all the columns the camera will try and FTP an image every minute of every day, 24-7 all year round. You can use numbers to limit the number of FTP transfers as we have done above. See the camera for more help.

Save the Time Task table by clicking the ‘Set’ button. This will return you to the Admin Menu.

Finish

That should be your FTP transfer set up. All you need to do is perform an overall save of the configuration in the camera by clicking the ‘Store’ button under the Configuration heading in the Admin Menu. Once stored you can begin to check your FTP server for images.

When troubleshooting or setting up FTP for the first time we normally set the FTP transfer time to something small like 1 every minute until we are satisfied the event is set up correctly, then we change it to the required time.

Published on April 23rd, 2009 by Greg

15 Responses to “How to configure periodic FTP image transfer in a Mobotix IP camera”

  1. Ryan Davidson says:

    Hi
    I'm setting up a mobotix M25 and I would like to record the images to SD card in the camera and then collect them manually. When I am in the "time tasks" menu which option should I be choosing in the "select task" drop down menu? There's no option for record to SD Card. I was intending on using snapshot recording at 1 image per hour, then connecting to the cameras webpage and collecting the weeks images via the event download option.

  2. Chris says:

    I'm getting and error #51

    I look this up and it's something to do with SSL certificates, but I didn't think FTP was secure?

  3. James Drinkwater says:

    @Gary:

    It really depends on the image quality you're trying to capture and the limitations imposed on your connection by your ISP. For a mobotix camera at full resolution you'd be looking around 400kb per image, so in a 24 hour period you're looking around the 10Mb area. It's not a lot on most modern wireless internet connections, but check with your supplier.

  4. Gary says:

    Trying to set up a camera at my cabin and be able to access it through wireless internet. I am good with being able to see a still shot every hour. Would this work for me? Concerned about data usage as I am limited.

  5. James Drinkwater says:

    @Pedro

    It looks like your camera doesn't have any DNS servers set. Add these into your camera and it should solve the issue.

  6. Pedro says:

    Hi there.
    I think I have done everything right but keep receiving this message: Unable to resolve hostname 'ftp.puertocabras.info' (Error #57)

    Any idea what to do?

    Thank you.

  7. Mike Wildberg says:

    OK, so it's not a controlled interval?
    Doesn't it fill the whole connection channel then? I'm a bit worried that it won't leave me a decent admin throughput this way…

  8. Greg Innes says:

    Mark,

    Ignoring the above method you can also set up an FTP profile for anything under 60 secs. There is an option to set the camera cameras upload interval to "fastest" and in this mode it will send the next image as soon as the first one has been sent.

  9. Mike Wildberg says:

    So it seems more than 1 fps is impossible?

  10. Greg Innes says:

    Hi Marcel,

    Yes you can transfer an image (using any image profile) to the SD card every hour.

    Start by reading up on the guide to setting up recording to a microSD card on a Mobotix M24 on this blog.

  11. Marcel Rood says:

    Is it possible to make every hour an picture on the inside sd card, so yes how. I want to try this with the m12 and q24 to make picture's of building under constuction.

    Greets Marcel NL

  12. Abhishek says:

    Hello,

    I have used time task to schedule the data transfer from SD Card to FTP Server.

    I am still not understanding which data is getting transfered at the specific time.

    Is this the entire data available at the time when the my FTP task runs.

    Can someone help me in understanding what data transfers to FTP Server when we use time task.

    Regards,
    Abhishek

  13. James Drinkwater says:

    Hi Abhishek,

    The uploaded file will depend on the selection you make in the time task drop down box.

    If you select an option ending "…current image" the task will upload a jpg image of the current view. If you select an option "…event tar file", the camera will upload images plus a video player to display the images.

    The Time task function will not copy images from the SD card, only transfer live images currently being seen by the camera.

    Regards
    James

  14. James says:

    For FTP updates with intervals less than a minute, the best option is to use the streaming FTP option. To see this, Go into the Admin menu then FTP Profiles. Click the "More" button at the bottom of the page and you should see a Streaming FTP option near the top. Select the FTP settigns to use and specify the time interval (from as fast as it can to once per minute). Set a time table if required and click set. The camera should now FTP at the interval specified.

  15. Paul says:

    Having difficuly trying to get this camera to store an image to an FTP server every five seconds. This is my first Mobotix. Working with Axis, Sony, Panasonic, Trendnet, Y-Can, Linksys was easy. Always able to figure it out quickly. This is overly complex. Any help? Once a minute too long. Thanks. If I can get it to work easily, this will replace the Axis 214 in a lot of applications for me.