Isaac vom Geistwasser

A BLOG about a DOG

Final Version of dog-cam

Keep in mind I’m aware that there are wireless web cams available from companies like D-Link that would make this process a lot easier. I went the convoluted route because I didn’t want to spend any money on anything.  This was all junk I was able to scrape together laying around my office. Here is a link to the page where you can view the web cam feed

Software being used

  • Operating System Windows XP Pro (no hot fixes, service packs, or anti virus…just running light because it’s not a powerhouse machine)
  • Mozilla is my browser of choice
  • Stickam is handling the streaming for me, and here is a nice video with the details
  • To turn a MiniDV camcorder into a web cam I am using DVdriver.

Hardware being used

  • Old machine with like a gig of ram
  • Firewire PCI card
  • Belkin MIMO USB Wireless adapter
  • Cannon ZR45MC Digital Video Camcorder
  • Tripod
  • Toolbox on wheels
  • Power strip


This is where I got a little creative (little being the operative word). I didn’t want a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse and all that laying around where ever I wanted to use the web cam and I didn’t want to dedicate a laptop to the project.

I took the computer apart and placed it all in a tool box on wheels. There is a power strip attached to it for the computer and Camera to plug into. Since I’m using wireless I don’t need to be near an RJ45 jack in the house.

Also since I didn’t want to waste an LCD flat screen by mounting it to the toolbox (or strap a giant tube monitor to it) the setup doesn’t have a monitor. I have XP Pro installed and can turn on Remote Desktop and simply manage the system from another machine in the house.

Here are some pictures of the final setup, today I used it while he was in his dog room and then quickly moved it to the basement window with relative ease. If you had an extra machine with a monitor laying around and would be filming in a stationary location you could skip the entire toolbox step.

Pictures of final version

Here is a picture of the entire thing, the camera on the tripod all attached to a computer stuffed in a toolbox on wheels.


Here is a shot of the motherboard, power supply, HD, CDRW, and all the wires that go along with it.


Here is a shot of the little wireless USB device from Belkin I’m using


The old power strip I had laying around


Here is the firewire plugged into the MiniDV Camcorder


Streaming Live

I am now streaming live from Isaac’s kennel! You can view the Dog Cam (when it’s live) at the Live Webcam Page.

Here’s what I’m using

Future plans include mounting the hardware on a self contained mobile cart. Right now it’s just a tripod sitting in the basement, with the computer stuffed behind the DLP.

Cow Mat solutions

OK so Isaac is still choosing to chew on 1 of the 3 cow mats. There are a couple ideas floating around that may solve the problem.

  1. Tabasco Sauce on the one he’s chewing (will he just move on to a less spicy mat?)
  2. Steve Romard suggested the Tri-Tronics (I’ve got the Dogtra 2300NCP). The issue with this is that he’s a sneaky little fur ball and it’s hard to catch him in the act.
  3. Jen brought up a good point. Maybe it’s not Isaac’s fault, maybe it’s a defective mat and I should return it.

Since I’m a dork I looked into video survalance. I don’t have a webcam, but I do have a Digital Video Camera and found a niffty little DVdriver from TrackerCam that will allow me to use my expensive DV as a webcam. I signed up @ and have embedded a feed into a page on this here blog.

Now if I really want to use a little electrical stimulation I should be able to monitor from a remote computer for chewing. I would of course want to physically see him doing it before I introduced stimulation due to possible lag time, but at least I wouldn’t have to stare out the window for hours on end. Seems like a lot of work, but the little test I did in my office worked and only took about 20 minutes to get up and running.

Here are a few images of Isaac enjoying his cow mats…

sleeping3 sleeping1

No Michael Phelps

Isaac is no Michael Phelps, but he a swimming dog these days. He still doesn’t have those back legs going; it’s all front slapping and pounding for him. It gets him some exercise and an excuse for a bath so it’s all good. I wish I could find some even cleaner water for him to swim in (anyone offering up their pool?).

DSC_1167 swimming2

I think I’ve posted this before in one way or another. Isaac is definitely showing that he’s a little nervy (define that how you will). He’s not 100% sound/stable. Sure he’d pass the gun test on the field and fireworks don’t bother him, but other things like bags of rock salt piled on his patio throw him off. He’s not showing it towards people or other dogs, and he’s gotten over the lawnmower, but he’s definitely showing a little ‘tweaky-ness’. It’s not horrible and he’s nowhere near the level of other dogs you’ll see out there (pets), but if I hold him up to dogs I’ve seen work he’s definitely a tad off. He’s showing more of that giant Marmaduke/Poo-Bear character it seems he has.

His ball drive is at an all time high, and he still drops that deep nose to the ground, but 3rd phase just doesn’t seem realistic (from what I’ve seen with Bill and just around the house). He got his first real “No Bad Dog”  correction when I busted him chewing on the Cow Mats and soft might be an understatement (he almost shutdown). I am questioning if it’s the second fear impact stage hitting him at 15/16 months because he’s large and definitely maturing slowly. His obedience is coming along as nicely as can be expected, especially since he’ll now work for the ball.

On the buy/sell/hold scale I’m at sell, but Noah has a firm HOLD position, even though Isaac chomps him on a regular basis. One weighs 70 pounds and the other is around 95 and I’m not sure which one has a clearer head. They are both pretty fast and both make a mess when they eat. They both run on the treadmill, though only one of them has defecated on it! Doesn’t seem like they’ll be separated anytime soon.

Never trust a Fart

Isaac learned to never trust a fart the hard way, while on the treadmill! He had evacuated his bowels just 45 minutes ago and was only cruising at 4.5 MPH with just over 1/2 mile completed and I smelled a little action Jackson.

Low and behold there were smelly brown nuggets stuck to the wall… I’m just glad we weren’t up to 8 MPH yet, I’ve got to imagine the impact would have been far more dramatic.

It is strange that this occured on the 4th of July, last year we had a similar poop incident click here for those details.

Cow Mats

Isaac, Noah, and I did 3 miles on the bike this evening and now Isaac is lounging in his pimped out kennel.

Made a trip to farm and fleet and purchased 3 Cow Mats to lay down in the kennel. I noticed Isaac was getting calluses on his elbows and figured this would help. He seems to like them and I don’t think he’s too interested in chewing/eating them. I also got a cover for the kennel,  it seems that the the position of the earth relative to the sun has changed and he is now getting a little direct sunlight in the afternoons. I also purchased a tub of bag balm, all this bike riding is causing a little chafing in my ….. just kidding! I’m putting the bag balm on the start of his calluses in hopes of eliminating them.


Future Wimbledon ball boy

Here’s a little video of Bethany and Anna trying to play tennis with Isaac’s help (Kerry makes an appearance).

Though I haven’t officially posted it yet I’m getting close to admitting that Isaac will never do bite work. Currently arriving at the third stage of grief, anger. I’m angry at Fenga and blame her for my current deli ma.  Bargaining will happen when I have to spend 4 times what a new dog costs on a honey-do list to get Kerry to buy into a second dog. Then it’s only three more stages to complete, do these have to happen in order?