If the camera supports it, you can also connect a traditional 12 or 24 volt power supply. Since most of Acti's newer cameras are PoE enabled, and this guide is for the E42A, we'll assume you are using PoE. To access the camera from your PC, they'll need to be on the same network.

Acti E42A Basic IP Camera Setup Guide

Acti E42A Basic IP Camera Setup Guide

In this tutorial we'll go over some basic steps in connecting and configuring an Acti IP camera for first time use.

Step 1: Connect your camera to a PoE injector (midspan) or switch

If the camera supports it, you can also connect a traditional 12 or 24 volt power supply. Since most of Acti's newer cameras are PoE enabled, and this guide is for the E42A, we'll assume you are using PoE. To access the camera from your PC, they'll need to be on the same network.

In a typical network, you have a modem and router with a switch function. When you sign up for internet service, your internet company will send an installer who sometimes brings a device that combines these devices into one. Since most residential modems don't have PoE ports, you'll need to purchase a PoE injector or switch and connect it to your switch using one of the built in ports. If your modem doesn't have a built in router, you'll need to purchase one. Since PoE switches are getting cheaper, this might be a good time to purchase a PoE switch if you're using more than one camera. There are some good 4 port PoE switches for less than $100. Good injectors can cost up to $30 so it might be worth it to some to purchase the switch because it's a cleaner install.

Make sure you have activity on both the switch and camera. Blinking lights are a good indicator that the devices are talking to each other. If you don't see activity (no blinking lights), check your cables and make sure they're both plugged in properly. If you still don't see activity, it could mean the cameras is done talking to the switch or that it's not receiving electricity.

NOTE: When picking a switch, you want to make sure the A) each port has enough electricity to power your camera and B) the overall power budget will be enough for the numbers you're plugging into the switch. A standard bullet camera like the E42 that doesn't have optical zoom or PTZ capabilities (no motors) typically uses 15.4 watts or less (802.3af). Different switches will have different power ratings. Check to make sure the one you buy matches what the camera requires. The same applies for an injector/midspan. Make sure the electricity on the single port is enough to power your device. PTZ cameras, for example, require significantly more electricity because they have motors.

Step 2: Scan your network for the recently added IP cameras

Note: If your network has DHCP enabled, the camera will detect it and pull a new IP address. If DHCP is disabled, the camera will automatically configure itself to IP address 192.168.0.100. This is important because it will determine how you will find the camera. If enabled, use Option #1 below. If disabled, use Option #2.

Option 1 - DHCP

Once you're done hard-wiring the camera to your network, you can start looking for it. The easiest way to find a newly added device is to use Windows' built in network scanner (see example below).

To access your network devices on Windows 7, click on the start menu and search for "network". Click on the icon to see a list of devices connected to your network. Cameras connected to your LAN will auto populate using the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) feature on the camera.

To access the cameras IP interface, click on the camera you just added to bring up the log in field and launch the browser.

If you are configuring multiple cameras by DHCP at once, it's more convenient to use Acti's free IP utility. The IP Utility is a useful tool that lets you scan your entire network for Acti cameras. It lists them in column and row format with other useful information like MAC addresses, firmware versions, model numbers with descriptions, and serial numbers.

This information can be very useful especially when setting up multiple cameras at once. You can also configure cameras straight from the utility without having to access the cameras individual web pages.

You can download Acti's IP Utility here: https://www.acti.com/product/IP%20Utility

Option 2 - Manual

To access your camera manually, you'll need to make sure the camera and computer are on the same subnet. If the camera is plugged into the network and doesn't find a DHCP device to pull its IP address from, it will assign itself the IP address 192.168.0.100 and the default port is 80. In the example below, we'll use a Windows 7 PC to access the camera manually.

Since the camera is at 192.168.0.100, you'll need to bring the PC into that subnet. Click the image below to see an example using the IP address 192.168.0.99 on the computer and 192.168.0.100 on the camera using the 255.255.255.0 subnet mask.

Once you're able to access the cameras interface, you can set the IP address to something in your networks range. Don't forget to change your computers settings back to what they were before.

Manually adjusting multiple cameras is too time consuming. Instead of configuring each camera individually, use the IP utility once you connect all the cameras. Since the cameras all default to the same IP when DHCP is unavailable, you'll need to configure each one with different IP addresses for them to work on the network. Using the utility, you can select all the cameras on the network and configure them simultaneously by picking the first IP address. So if you use .101 for the first camera, the second will automatically configure to .102, then .103 and so on. Once it's done you can refresh the list and you should now be able to see the new IP addresses.

Step 3: Access the cameras

Now that the cameras and computer are on the same network segment, you can access the cameras configuration page by visiting its IP address in your browser. Most browsers can access the IP interface but Internet Explorer is recommended because it guarantees you'll have full functionality. For example, on motion detection and privacy settings, only Internet Explorer supports those so if you're using Safari or Chrome, you might miss some of the functionality of the camera.

For Internet Explorer you'll be prompted to accept a download when you go to the Acti cameras IP address. Make sure it isn't being blocked from popping up. Adding the IP address to the compatibility view list helps as well. The most important part is to make sure you give the plugin permission to install itself on the browser. So if you're having issues or don't see it, it might be because it's being blocked on your antivirus software or a plugin on your browser.

For Safari you'll need to install Quick Time (https://support.apple.com/kb/DL837)

For others install Basic VLC Media Player: (http://www.videolan.org)

Oct 25th 2022 tony

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