My first FI8904W! (Outdoor IP camera) - Gadget Victims

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My first FI8904W! (Outdoor IP camera)

Since there is no suitable solution to place one of my FI8908W outside, I decided eventually to go for a proper outdoor IP camera.

So I ordered a FI8904W and decided I'd become a bit more knowledgeable about it by giving it a thorough inspection on arrival.

This camera came with standard 6mm lens (8mm, 12mm and wide-angle 3.6mm are also available according to the description the box)
The manufacturing date is October 2009 so it comes with the firmware
It also exists in different colours. According to the box, mine is "Coffee".
I ignore what substance you must ingest to see purple coffee, but someone in China's got the secret...

So my first experiment was to see if I could change the lens, with a wide-angle from my 6-lens pack (found at DX). While these lenses leave a unsightly gap in the indoor FI8908W, they fit the FI8904W perfectly.

It is not visible but the front of the camera can be unscrewed to access the lens compartment. It takes some grip but eventually will come off nicely.

Before you go ahead with removing the lens, check first for that tiny screw on the side of the lens base.
See it?  It's there to keep the focus locked. You need to release this guy a few turns and then only can you safely unscrew the lens anti-clockwise all the way.

Pay attention not to lose the rubber ring that isolates the lens chamber from the electronic components.

I picked the 2.8mm lens and screwed it in (with the rubber ring) until the focus was ok. I was lucky with this focal but apparently, other don't give good results at all, so you need to experiment.

A quick look inside

Opening the rear part of the camera just requires to unscrew the large hexagonal ring around the wire, then unscrew all 4 small hexagonal screws, which will void the warranty of course (in my case it would cost the price of the camera to ship it back to the reseller anyway...)

What I wanted to find is located on the main pcb: there's a jtag port (marked J2). As for most recent cameras, the pins are no longer present but, with a proper solder, it will be possible to make a serial connection and, if it gets bricked one day, perform the recovery operation previously explained in this article (same recovery files apply).

Below is a comparison between the factory lens and the 2.8mm lens field of vision.

Night vision (2.8mm):


  1. Could you please put up some day / night shots so we can compare picture quality.


  2. @tux
    I'll add one shortly at least with the wide-angle lens (It's quite comparable to the sample on this page, maybe a bit brighter).
    When I'll fix it outside, I'll update the pictures again, it should give a better idea in its intended configuration.

  3. Hey Bubbah where did you buy your FI8904W ?

  4. @Seathrun
    I bought it from a reseller called

    They're listed with other recommended resellers on
    Foscam web site.

  5. I just bought one on January, had it working for a week, and then it is having problems to connect wireless. It is like is not longer receiving the signal of the router, I took it aside of the router and it did connect. So it looks like if the reception signal has some problems.

    Anybody else experienced this issue?

  6. @JVC
    I heard similar things from the other model. The problem was always coming from the wire connecting between the PCB and the antenna port on the casing. Sometimes it's 'almost' disconnected or even damaged. I bet you have a similar problem.

    that's the black wire on this picture

  7. How long did shipping take from GoodLuckBuy for this camera? I want to order one and I see that they have free shipping, but that usually means a couple of weeks from China. I just bought my first Foscam from ebay seller but they do not have the outdoor model. Another seller has it for $95, but then is charging $25 for shipping. Also, I use mobiscope desktop to access from my iphone away from home due to my firewall and I am not computer savy to set up a you know if this will work with Mobiscope? My Foscam 8908 that I just received works great with mobiscope.


  8. Hi,
    I bought it from a reseller called andy.lig (123$ via UPS in 6 day in Italy).It comes with the firmware and work fine, for now.

  9. @slongoria001:
    My camera tooks 13 days to arrive in Ireland, which is quite good. Some orders I make from UK take about that long just to cross the Irish sea. From my experience, I'd recommend that eBayer.
    Other options are listed on the Foscam web site.
    I don't know for Mobiscope, but every application that works with the FI8908W works also with FI8904W. Apart from PTZ, they have the same software and features.

  10. Hi all!

    I want to ask Bubbah, if the cam resists rain, cold, sun heat well?..... Have you had a problem with water or condensation?

    I want to install one in my roof, Could you say me if it's very long power cable ..?

    Thanks a lot in advance!!! and sorry for my English..I'm from Spain

  11. @Diego
    Well, to be honest, my camera is still sitting on a shelf in my office. I have the firm intention to install it outside this month but haven't had time just yet. The cable does not exceed 2 meters I think and I'm planning to use one of the outdoor vents in the walls to pass the cable through it. One think to take into account if you plan to drill a hole: it has to be large enough to allow the Ethernet plug go through! That's the main annoyance.

    I'll put some update here once my FI8904W is in place.

    P.S.: your English is better than my Spanish ;-)

  12. Thanks for the I info. I went ahead and ordered it form eBay. B
    hopefully it will arrive soon!

  13. @Bubbah
    I think I will have to open it to check the black wire. I just put a tape to prevent the seal sticker to be broken, so I can still put it back in case I could not fix it and wanted to return it for warranty. I could not find an "L" key that fits, so I think is millimetric. Do you know the size of the key?

  14. @JVC,
    you need a 2.5mm hex key

  15. I opened my camera, the black cable looked good. I installed the netstumbler in my laptop to see the wifi strength signal and I discovered that my router signal was very weak on my yard. Also I just put a big CRT TV between the router and the camera, and installed a new wireless phone. So basically I had to move the router and changed the channel, actually changing the channel was more effective so probably it was making interference with the phone... Now it is again running!!!! hope my experience will help others.

  16. @JVC
    Channel 11 is often a popular choice. Works much better than default 6.
    Here's a good excuse to buy a flat screen... ;-)

  17. @bubbah
    Actually channel 11 was the original here, and 9 was the one with most signal based on netstumbler. And well, I had to buy the surveillance camera because I just have my new flat screen stolen :( but also I decided to buy this sony Flat CRT TV 32" because is HDTV can be connected to my computer and because is really very heavy in case somebody wants to stole it. ;P

  18. In the Night-Vision picture above, what is the lens flare I see in a ring around the central picture? Can it really be the IR LED's reflecting back into the lens? That seems kinda crappy.

  19. @Ed Bondurant:
    That's the inconvenient with this wider angle lens. The original one does not see the IR LED's.

  20. Hi Bubbah

    I'm considering buying 5 of these to go around my house but I have a couple of questions.

    Does this camera have an Ethernet port as well as wifi?
    Can you post a picture of the camera rear showing the connections.
    Also, if it's not too much trouble it would really useful to see some footage - maybe upload to youtube.

    I know I'm asking a lot but it would really flesh out your review.



  21. @Dan
    There's an Ethernet port, you can see more pictures of the cabling on the seller "happyseeds" which is listed on Foscam website.
    I can't post any footage right now but it's in project to have some in the future. Ideally Foscam should fix the "demonstration" section on their web site.

  22. Thanks Bubbah, I've ordered one to try it out! Will report back after testing and post some footage on Youtube so others can judge the day/night image quality.


  23. Sorry, this is a bit of an essay ;-)

    My FI8908W arrived quickly from the ebay seller WonderPCinc.

    I set it up for testing and was very impressed with camera's specifications, the cast aluminium casing is especially nice.

    Unfortunately after approximately 24 hours of use the camera died, the DC power supply light now flickers and there is no signal from the camera at all. When I disconnect the DC adaptor from the camera the adaptors light stops flickering, I suspect this indicates an electrical short in the camera.

    I've tested the DC adaptor and it's supplying a solid 5 volts when not connected the camera so I don't this is the problem.

    I've gone back to my seller who agreed to replace the camera if I ship it back to them, unfortunately the shipping is more than the value of the camera so this no good for me.

    Finally the seller asked me to talk to Foscam support directly, I've sent them an email and will report back with their response. Hopefully they will send me a replacement circuit board that I can install myself - fingers crossed!


  24. hopefully you did not used the 110v adapter on the 220v used at Europe. ;)

  25. A little update. I've now liaised with Sarah at Foscam support, she advised changing the power adaptor, which I did (not the problem) and then advised me to send the camera back to my supplier (shipping costs more than the camera - so not an option).

    I decided to dissemble the camera to find the cause of the fault, it's a short on the main board but I've not figured out exactly where. I've emailed Foscam to see if I can buy a new board directly and await their reply.

    I took pictures of the tear down, take a look here:

  26. Final update. Well Foscam support have gone silent, I guess they have no interest in supporting their shoddily made product.

    My Foscam is heading for the trash, as it's simply not economical to send it back to China.

    Be warned, if you camera goes bad you're stuck with it!

  27. Where do you live? probably some of us can pay you for the shipping and repair it. Or you can put it on ebay and tell us the item number.

    At least myself, If i can not repair it at least I can have spare parts.

  28. Hey JVC, I live in Colchester, UK.

    Make me an offer and I'll send it over to you. Or I can put it on ebay as you suggest.

  29. Does anyone know where to get wide angle lenses

  30. My FI8409W works with Winxp (internal and with ddns). Only in safe mode will it work with Vista/Windows 7. In normal mode it will not pickup the ip address with ipcamera tool. When tring to connect I get a timeout. When logging in Server Push Mode I get an X in middle of video screen. I do get video using Server Push Mode with Firefox . I am showing firmware version with web iu IP camera tool and activx control I made changes to my activex security but still no go.

  31. @Alberto,
    check the FAQ page, topic #9, it may help. It improved things for me, but it's not perfect though. Check topic #2 as well.

  32. A last update and happy ending.

    After being blanked by Foscam I figured I'd try and fix the camera before trashing it. If you look at images I posted earlier you'll see there are some 3.3v test headers in the IC (top middle). I applied 3.3v using a bench PSU and the camera powered up. This indicated that the fault was early on in the circuit so I started removing parts from the board - long story short it was the diode next the power input (top right). I replaced this and my camera is now working again.

    I still think suck but at least my camera is not a brick anymore.

  33. @Dan
    Good to hear it works again. Well, these are low cost camera after all. I'm surprised that their customer service actually replies, most others don't.

  34. I have a problem with the firmware want pictures taken with the same name but this cam is always changing its name, does anyone know if there is a firmware update for this problem? Regards Massimo

  35. I received also a FI8904W that I bought from ebay (82,99€ post cost to Europe included) and got it after one week, straight from Hong-Kong.
    The box looks like a Foscam box, but nowhere is written the brand and model's name. According to Foscam, after giving them the MAC ID number they confirmed it's from them.
    The coffee colour is very strange, maybe new purple coffee as mentioned by Buddah.

    I bought 1 and half year ago a FI8901W and a FI8903W 6 months after. The FI8901W has worked well since 2 weeks ago when I tried to update the firmware. The FI8903W didn't really work in wifi, it didn't stop to disconnect. But since I updated the firmware it works great.

    Now, The FI8903W and the FI8904W are working in wifi. I've been obliged to replace the antenna of my router by a bigger one and move it to a better place.

    I will have to replace the lens of the FI8904W which is too narrow. But I'm happy with these cameras and plan to buy more.
    I just hope that Foscam will develop a new software with all the functions available for IE and compatible with all other browsers. It's the only negative point I found, I'm using a Mac and it will be great to have the same functions.

  36. I have a new FI8904W. I can access it from the interent and from my iPhone no problem. Motion detection will upload a brief vid to a folder but the email alarm will not send anything. If I click on the test button in the configuration it sends an email successfully but otherwise it will not send an email when triggered. I have confirmed it is getting triggered. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

    Device Firmware Version
    Device Embeded Web UI Version

  37. Hi,

    I've got two FI8904Ws they work pretty well as cameras during the day but neither of them have any night vision.

    Any ideas as to what might be the cause. I can probably pull them apart and have a look at the connections but I thought I'd ask first.


  38. i have a FI8908W and works great. so i just received a FI8904W. the night vision is not as good as my 8908. with over twice as many ir you would think it would be better. i have put the in same spot outside(not at same time) and the 8908 out shines and can see farther than the 8904. any suggestions.

  39. Have you see this FI8904W i found this picture in this post

  40. @Dan
    I now have the same problem- it appears to be short as well. My Power adapter blinks off whenever plugged into the camera- stays on when not plugged in. Can you ID the diode on the pics you made- I'd like to try the same. Is the diode a surface mount or thru hole? I'll need to buy one. The camera(outdoor) is a legit FOSCAM verified by them.
    Thanks Kevin C

  41. Hi,

    just to close off the item above about the IR not working. I had a "conversation" with FOSCAM support and they pointed me in the right direction. It was the power cable between the IR array and the "motherboard". It was disconnected. Reconnected it and it works just fine.


  42. Hello,
    I have bought a FI8904W (with the standard 6mm lens) and I'm very happy too.
    About the lens pack, on the DX site is mentioned that there are no infrared filters on those lenses and it's needed to remove the filter from the original lens.
    But looking at your description it seems that for the FI8904W this didn't apply.
    Is It right ?

  43. @Alessandro Riva:
    You actually don't want to block Infrared on a nightvision camera as it relies on its IR LED to see in the dark. So that's not an issue here.

  44. Hi, I need to get an extension cord for my Foscam F18908W Camera, what size is the power cord lead?


  45. Hi guys,

    Just got my camera and not i'm looking for some multi camera software to record and play back. i've used milestone before with just the 1 free camera license and it's fantasic. I just cannot afford the 4 camera license and wondered what everyone else is using?

    Thanks for you advice..

  46. @stevefaloon,
    check the post title "Third-Party software for Foscam IP Cameras" in this blog. There's a choice of viewers for PC and mobile.

  47. Hi Bubbah!!! I bought an FI8904W with 24IR leds, but night vision doesnt seem to work. Is there a setting I need to activate or any other thing I can do?

  48. @Origen
    appart from the "Mode" parameter (50hz,60hz and outdoor), there nothing special to do. I guess that the connection to the led ring inside the camera is loose or disconnected. Its' not too hard to open without damage. Only thing is you need to brake a "warranty void" seal, but would you really pay to ship it back to the seller anyway ?

  49. @Bubbah
    Thanks for your help, I'll take a look inside and let you know if I can't find anything. Great site btw

  50. Origen, Frederick, I bought from usaHitec and also have this issue, no IRs. Did you find a fix, or wind up exchanging?

  51. Guys, I found the fix for 'no IRs' !!
    I unscrewed the lens...
    took out the 2 screws holding the IR board/ring in...
    took out the 4 screws holding the camera board in...
    And saw the power wire & connector for the IRs dangling freely.
    20 seconds later, I had it reconnected to the board right there in the front (easy access). Then screwed back together and all was well. I did this while it was Hot (powered up) with no issues at all!

  52. Unlucky week...
    My FI8904W is broken.
    Probably a fault on the camera board, because the web interface seems to work. When I try to access the webcam stream, the camera will restart. I tried to restore factory settings and update the firmware but no luck ...

  53. Hello.

    I need to buy an extension cable (or lead), to connect the ipcam to the antenna.

    May anyone tell me the impedance in Ohms of the cable that i have to buy?

    Many thanks.

  54. @zanzarame
    You can buy one directly from Foscam. You should email them for detail.

  55. Got some new findings...
    After leaving the foscam switched off for a day, it works for about 4 minutes then the camera module stop responding (and the web part keeps running). So probably it could be a component that becomes overheated... my guess is on a Zener Diode on the camera board but I'm not be able to identify the kind (moreover I have no experience about SMD soldering)...

  56. Today I replaced the lens with a 2.1mm wide angle one from ebay. Same as the others here. Before, I thought the colors seemed washed out, almost like the brightness was too high (even after adjustment) and the colors were almost gone, like it was black & white. Now the blown-out effect is even more pronounced and uncontrollable. The best I could get it is here:
    Any suggestions? When I point my iPhone camera at the Foscam, I don't see the IRs lit up, so I have no idea what to try next.

  57. @Bubbah
    Did you mount it outside yet? I haven't been able to get a good quality picture that isn't blown-out with brightness during the mid-day. Not sure what's going on or if it's defective. I have a decent view at night but its almost worthless in bright daylight. Anyone else having this issue?

  58. @Darrel,
    I haven't mounted the camera yet, some important renovation work ongoing in my house since February. I'll plug it in a temporary location this week-end just to see.

    I wonder if the firmware is not partially responsible? My indoor fi8908w where also affected since the sunny days are back, and I feel that it improved with the latest version. But it's still new, I upgraded this week. Now I use brightness between 2 and 4, contrast:4 and outdoor mode.

  59. Pay Attention. The lens is 'locked' with a tiny screw. Remove the IR LED plate first, then you can see the tiny screw and remove this. Unscrewing the lens should be easier then. (I damaged my screw-thread because it was very hard to get the lens out). Also I found that the original lens had better quality than the new 6 mm.

  60. Hi, I have this camera and the colors are very bad in the sun. Can anything be done?
    Foto from Kyocera M410r
    Foto from camera Foscam FI8904W:

  61. @Darrel & Castek
    my results are not better I'm afraid:
    Outdoor Capture #1
    Outdoor Capture #2
    Outdoor mode, Contrast=3, Brightness= 2 and 3

  62. Hi all
    I'm looking for a "Reflective IR cut-off filter", proposed in an article on Nov.19.2009 here on this site, from Tom.
    Link to the filter:
    I really dont like the color from the Foscam at day time! As good the cam is, that really bothers me. I don't need the IR at night. So the filter would be the solution. If it works ...
    Did someone try'd the filter? Does it work? How's the color with the filter?
    Does anybuddy knows a address in Europe, to order one of the filters?

    Thanks in advance

  63. I would second the request to find a usable infrared cut out filter. I have four of the cams bought from deal extreme and I have bought outside dome enclosures for them. These cameras suck beyond belief at outside image in daylight. The fact that you cannot turn off the infrared lights at night but have to tape them or disconnect them is terrible. Hanging on a 20 ft ladder at night taping them over was a very exciting experience only to be heightemned by the absolute awful picture in the daytime.

  64. Did anyone check out the link from my post above? Anyone else finding the whole picture blown-out in brightness with mid-day sun on the subjects? I have found that a reboot seems to make it slightly better, but should I have to reboot the camera each day a few times to get a manageable recordable picture?? Such a bummer... glad I only got 1 outdoor + 1 indoor so far

  65. Hi everybody,

    Just want to warn you about DealExtreme.

    I also ordered the set a 6 lenses from their website. A couple of weeks ago I received my order but when I opened the envelop I was very surprised to find only one lens.
    I sent few emails to Deal Extreme asking them why I got only one lens and not 6 as mentioned on the order confirmation and as I paid. I never get any answer.
    I decided to complain to Paypal and ask a refund. Today I got an answer from Paypal saying " It does not apply to complaints about the attributes or quality of goods received. Therefore, we are unable to reverse this transaction or issue a refund."

    So if I paid for 6 lenses but got only one, for Paypal there is no complain to do and I'm fucked up. I thought that paying with Paypal was a guarantee for the buyer. And I think that's Deal Extrem knows that, that's why they didn't reply to any of my emails.

    So, before ordering, be careful!

  66. @david
    not surprised about DX, but more about Paypal. It seems that their "buyer protection" only works when you buy from eBay (it worked already for me once)... good to know!

  67. Yeah me too I'm very surprised, I thought that Paypal was a good protection for buyers and not only when buying from ebay.

    Except Deal Extreme, does somebody has found another place where to find lenses for the cameras?
    It's a shame that Foscam doesn't propose different lenses in option.

  68. Anyone tried one of those filters yet? I'm not sure which to choose from that website. The picture quality is abysmal from the outdoor cam during the daytime. In fact today I put my indoor cam on the back patio looking out the screen and it has a MUCH better image than the outdoor version.
    I'm embarrassed to show anyone the feed except at night.

  69. Can anyone tell me how to view FI8904W IP cam via internet? it says my upnp isnt working?

  70. The FOSCAM model FI8904W is advertised by FOSCAM as 'Water-proof structure best for outdoor installation'. Their specification reads - 'Operating Humidity 20% ~ 85% non-condensing'. To me 85% humidity is not waterproof, but, to be fair, maybe this specification refers to the internal circuit board and not the case.

    When I physically examine the FI8904W, the front of the camera appears that it may, in fact, be sealed with rubber gaskets. However, the rear doesn't look so waterproof to me. The WiFi connector, the Ethernet connector and the entry point for the cable all appear to have no obvious water protection.

    Bear in mind that I have not disassembled the camera to see what waterproofing steps were taken, especially in the rear. My question for you folks that have disassembled a FI8904W is what waterproofing did you observe? Also, has anyone actually put the waterproof to an water test?

    Is the camera waterproof or merely water resistant? Just from observation it appears to me that the camera's front is water resistant but not the rest of the camera or cables.

  71. The problem where the FOSCAM FI8904W camera would false trigger an alarm each time activated by the embedded scheduler function is fixed in the latest firmware.

    FOSCAM technical support promptly responded and emailed the latest firmware to try. She indicated that she duplicated my test and got no false alarms with this firmware. She is right!'s website is often down, in fact is is down as I write this. Therefore, as a courtesy only, without warranty. i.e., use at your own risk, I copied the Release Candidate firmware version files that FOSCAM emailed to me for anyone to download. Everything that you need is in a file named at:

    Remember, this firmware is ONLY for genuine FOSCAM I8904W cameras.


  72. Please, I have purchased from UK a supposed foscam camera FI8904W. Before I give feedback to the seller I would to confirm if my camera is a real foscam. Can someone take a look to theses pictures and tell me?

    Any help will be wellcome!

  73. @Cojoncio,
    The model on the small label is the same as mine. Does look like a Foscam to me

  74. Thanks for the reponse. Another thing: it looks like that wifi camera has a very short range. More than 10 ms. from router and there is not link. ¿It's this normal? ¿There is a way to increase the power of wifi signal?

  75. I improved the range slightly by replacing the antenna on my router with a stronger one. It would have done the same on the camera but I didn't find an antenna with the right connection yet.

  76. Hi,

    Thought you could be interested in knowing that I managed to remove the cable through the little hole in the back and through the nut, without damaging the connectors or the cables. I did this to replace the huge ethernet connector plus all others with a single cable just for feeding power. I'll also hook this cable up directly to the connector, since I couldn't find a female aerial for the power supply plug.

  77. I'm not sure but I may be having a different problem with a lens swap. I put in a 3.6mm lens and now with my FI8904 camera at night with the lens cover on I only get a dark, almost black video. I unscrew the lens cover and everything works fine. Not sure I can leave the lens cover off due to rain and such. Is this the same problem others have had when swapping lens.

    This lens probably has an integrated IR filter, and cannot see the IR LED light.
    Could you give the url of the shop where you found it ?
    That could be a solution for people who complain about the colour rendering of those Foscam cameras (you know, pinkish trees and grass).
    Do you get better colour rendering during the day with that lens ?

  79. That's the strange part. I pulled the lens out of a FI8908W PTZ (FOSCAM) and put it into my FI8904W. Both are real foscams. I'm wondering if the IR plate orientation could make a difference, the sensor being on the bottom instead of the top of the camera. I've tried putting a collar around the lens, nothing seems to help except pulling the glass lens cap off of the camera. Only has the problem at night when IR is needed.

  80. On your situation.... I've come to almost loathe my outdoor cam. I find that setting bright/contrast to 4/2 or 3/2 makes it almost usable in broad daylight. Then after sunset, I get a black image. Resetting the cam has some effect and upping the brightness to 5/2 and/or changing from Outdoor to 50hz mode also helps. The night picture then is almost of better overall quality than the daytime one. I use http://192.168.xx.xx:xx/reboot.cgi?user=userName&pwd=#### to reset. But having to do it twice a day is really stupid. I'm about to sort out some way to automate it. If your lens indeed makes for a better pic during the day (real colors, not 50% too bright in daylight), I'd be interested to try it myself.

  81. On the note of motion detection. The built in Foscam motion detection is not accurate enough for outdoors, too many false alarms. I use really nice camera software that allows infinite motion settings but for outdoors with clouds, sun, trees I need a more accurate solution. How do you setup a remote motion detector to trigger the camera. Is this a whole system or a certain type of motion detector with alarm output.

  82. It is interesting to note that most motion detecting alarms and chimes do not false alarm over trees casting shadows on a bright sunny day. this leads me to believe that The foscams do not have true motion detection. rather they just analyze their images for changes. This is really bad because you are going to get a ton of false alarms and I do every morning when the sun comes up. And when it goes down as the camera auto adjust for the light it triggers its own alarm. Decrease the sensitivity and it no longer even detects a horse much less a person moving until they are so close as to actually block the camera view.

  83. Bubbah, I'm kind of stuck with my 8904W. I posted earlier that I replaced the 6mm lens with a 3.2mm and lost my IR only when I put the glass screw on lens cover on. Well, I went back to the 6mm lens and still have the problem so I messed something up. If I remove the outer glass cover the IR works so I'm guessing the light sensor is not working. Is there something I can check on these camera's to get it back working at night?

    I must say this is an enigma to me. I've just spend some time reading your previous comments again just to be sure I didn't miss something.
    So, at the moment, let's say, if you keep your camera powered and a live view page on your browser, when you start screwing the lens cap back on the camera the night vision will fail at some stage ? If you try this in the dark, do you see the reddish IR leds turning off at some stage of screwing the cap ?
    And, I don't know if it's possible but: you only swap the lens, not the whole IR plate do you?

  85. I actually disconected the ir to see if it would make the image "less pink" I was going to put a simple toggle switch so I could turn the ir on/off.

    Made no difference in the picture

  86. I own several Foscams since a few months. Among them one outdor (FI8904W), which caused and causes severe problems.

    The first one could only establish a wlan connection when placed less then 2m from the router (same room). I got a replacement. That cam worked correctly for two days. Then, while on wlan, connection got lost. Neither the IP camera tool nor the router could find the cam again – regardless if wlan or lan connected. After several long reset pushs and plug off-plug ons, connection was back - for two hours. Then the same problem: total loss of connection. This time, the reset method doesn't get connection back. Foscam's technical staff tells me that the wlan connection loss is a known problem on which they are working, but in my case, they suspect a problem with the network module. The UK vendor offers me another replacement, with, as usual, mailing costs (close to US$ 50 both ways) at my charge.

    I have a few questions here:

    - Do others on this board have experienced similar problems with the outdoor cam?
    - What is the longest working experience that somebody has had with the outdoor cam? A few months? A year?
    - While having warranty, I find the mailing costs for a replacement cam prohibitive in my case, being not sure that the next one will work correctly. I haven't opened the cam so far (warranty). The photos suggest that the interior circuit board can easily be removed through unplugging. Is that correct? – Maybe Foscam is kind enough and sends me a replacement module in this case

  87. @atvguy

    Check my post at:
    OR direct at:

    The problem is that the cam does NOT have a IR-Cut off filter. I installed one and now the picture is great!
    Check my site ...

  88. Hi,

    I Received yesterday a Foscam FI 8904W. Not problem for day use.
    For cons, at night the camera does not seem consistent with the characteristics: IR range up to 20 m.

    I did 2 experiments. At night.
    First, with no modification, the IR range is about 3 m. (far from 20m !!!)
    Second, I unscrewed the front ring (which removed the glass): ir range about 15 m. In this case, I lose the water-proof, and the Ir led and the lens are not protected.

    Conclusion, the glass is not transparent to IR.
    To have an IR range of 20m (or 15m) as described in the caracteristics, I Have to remove the glass. It Is not available.

    Do you have the same problem?

    Best regards.


  89. @Frédéric
    unfortunately, my camera has ended up behing a window to watch my driveway. This is a temporary measure (that last longer than expected) until I find a better spot to fix it outside. So at the moment I cannot say, but I'll give it a try in my garden soon to verify this.

  90. Hi everybody:

    To solve the IR glare problem, it is as easy as surrounding with black tape the black plastic cylinder that surrounds the lens when the cam is closed. This way, we make this cylinder "longer", wich avoids IR ligh to get into the lens cavity throught the gap between the cylinder and the IR plate.

  91. Hi Juan Francisco,

    I have no problem with IR glare, but with ir range. I made tests with my FI8908W to evaluate the IR range. Conclusion : my FI8904W sees less at night than my FI8908W (about 3 m cons about 8m).
    It is a real problem.
    Can you proceed to a test with your FI8904W to give me your IR range ?

  92. hi,
    i own a FI8904W ipcam (pink coffee one), which got bricked after a wrong FW update.
    i'm looking for jtag connection scheme as i have only 3.3v marked on the board. I suppose others are Ground, Rx and Tx but which way?
    any idea ?
    thank's in advance

  93. @Roland Hafid
    The post "Bring your FI8908W paperweight back to life" is based on FI8908W but you can use the same wiring standard on your FI8904W.

  94. Thank you Bubbah
    i've found this is the same wiring, thank to my multimeter.
    I performed "the back to live protocol" without success.
    it is even worse as, at least before, it was seen with IP number, which is not the case now.
    is there anything to do after final "boot" ?
    by the way, i'm unable to install ipcamsetup tools, at the end, i can only remove it. any idea?
    thank's in advance

  95. The procedure is the same for the FI8904W but next you'd need the ip camera tool in working order so it can detect the device and you can use it to upload the latest fw and webui to the camera.

    A possible reason for your ip camera tool problem could be that IE was not closed when uninstalling the it, which would prevent the proper cleaning of the old activex controls. It is also important to reboot the comptuter between the uninstallation and installation operations.

  96. thank you Bubbah
    i'll keep you posted
    some people could interested
    with regardss

  97. HELP!!! I just got my FI8904w camera and it worked for 3 days until it stopped working. I treid to connect it through ethernet and unable to get an IP address through the IP Camera tool software.

    I tried to hit the reset button several times and no luck. After reading the comments here, it sounds like this is a common problem. I am technical but not strong in soldering or rewiring cameras unless there is a step-by-step instruction.

    I keep reading about these cameras being "bricked". I have no idea what that means but it sounds terminal.

    Any help would be appreciated since my FOscam dealer is useless.

  98. well, looking at all these comments I think I pass this opportunity for a cheap cam.

  99. HI, Bubbah,
    I’m new to this IP camera world, and I just purchased a FI8904W via Amazon. I have it working over my driveway, watching over my cars. The daytime picture is great, but I think there’s not enough IR lighting for nighttime application. The picture quality is dark and the alarm don’t trigger with same sensitivity when people walk by (approx 10m) as during daytime. So, I’m thinking of getting the FI8905W which comes with 60 leds and widening the lens from the factory 12mm to about 3.6mm of less. This should give be a broader swath (e.g. 120* +) and more IR lamination. Does this make sense to you? Do you think it will work?

    I’ve also scanned the websites discussed in your forum for additional lenses. Noticed that the one of the sellers mentioned (i.e. Andy Lig) implies in his Ebay add that there is a physical difference in the lens between the 8904W/8918W versus 8905W. He never mentions what the differences are, but he offers different set of lenses for either one. Are you, or anyone on your forum aware of these differences and can enlighten me as to what they are?

    Mahalo (Thanks you in Hawaiian), Barry

  100. Hi Barry, this all makes sense but I don't have a FI8905W to confirm. Foscam claims +10m of visibility over the FI8904W. I guess the lens is of different quality even though I don't expect an improved colour rendering. They also claim a narrower viewing angle (22°) for the FI8905W where it is 42° for FI8904W.

  101. I got the following response from the Ebay vendor (Andy Lig) to my above question about differences in lenses between the 8904W and 8905W:

    “… FI8905W is much larger than FI8904W and uses bigger lenses, their inner structure is different too.
    A FI8904W lens is about 1cm in diameter while lenses for FI8905W is close to 3cm diameter. Here's a link to lenses for FI8905W you can easily see the difference…”

    I still interested to hear from anyone else that can share their experiences in swapping lenses between any of the FOSCAM cameras (esp. between the FI8905W and 04W/18W)

    One of the issues that I was looking at was that Lig charges $5 (US) for shipping, where as the DX lens was free shipping. I have on order the set of 6 lenses from DX. I’ve also have on order 2 each FI8918W cameras from Amazon. The cameras cost about the same as from elsewhere (e.g., Ebay), about $93 (US). One of the main reasons I chose Amazon was their 30-day return policy. The cameras are guaranteed by the seller to be original FOSCAM, so I have 30 days to resolve this issue, and if its not then deal with Amazon vice the seller on the return of the product.

    BTW, great website also, the weather is great here in Hawaii. Hope its not to cold in Ireland.
    Aloha, Barry

  102. Bubbah,

    This is a follow-up posting to let all concerned know that I’ve abandoned the idea presented in my previous posting on using the FI8905W with a wider lens to alleviate the shortcomings of my FI8904W on providing poor nighttime picture quality and alarm which don’t trigger with same sensitivity as during daytime.

    I became aware that modifying and using the 05W alone would not totally accomplish what I was hoping to accomplish.

    Andy Lig pointed out the following wrt the FI8905W:
    - Both optical (lens) and IR systems for this camera, are designed for long-range. Therefore, they are designed with very narrow focus.
    - Swapping to a wider lens will be like shining a very narrow-beamed flashlight into the darkness, where it will be like looking down a tunnel
    - He recommended using an external IR illuminator.

    - Lig’s been in the IP cam business for many years, so I put a lot of credence in what he offered.

    - This new path forward is a lot less expensive then purchasing and modifying a 05W.

    - I found an el-cheap-o 48 LED waterproof IR illuminators on Ebay with a built-in light sensing on/off switch, and a separate power supply for about $20+change. It’s inexpensive, meets my R&D budget, and its the only one that specified both being waterproof and having a light-sensing switch.


  103. Hello.

    Does anyone know where to download latest FI8904W firmware?
    On Foscam there is not downloadable.
    Helpdesk send me a file that should contain lr_cmos_11_15_2_17.bin and but it does not work.
    Latest Ipcamera tools says "cannot able to open the file" (obviously the right firmware file, after decmpressing the zip).
    From inside the ipcam web gui, the error is: unable to read the file, then IE close itself.

    Many thanks in advance.


  104. you can get it by contacting Foscam directly with the deviceID and fw version of your camera, so they can verify it's from them.

  105. @Barry
    Strangely your lastest post does not get on the blog, maybe it's too long. However I got it through my email notification. The short answer: I assume that the lens spec should match the sensor size but we can't be too picky as the choice on DX and eBay is quite limited. This may also explain why the picture includes part of the camera tube after swapping the lenses (see the 2.8mm night shot above). The main advantage remain a sharper picture in both FI8904W and FI8908W. I can't speak for the FI8905W as I don't have one.

  106. Bubbah: Didn’t know there was a size limit on your blogs.
    Found following info posted on Ebay by a CCTV lens seller named “johnjqx” via his storefront: MOTechnology:
    FAQ: “How to choose a CCTV camera lens!…
    … A 1" lens can work with a 1", 2/3", 1/2", 1/3" or 1/4" camera. A 2/3" lens can work with a 2/3", 1/2", 1/3" or 1/4" camera. A 1/2" lens can work with a 1/2", 1/3" or 1/4" camera. A 1/3" lens can work with a 1/3" or 1/4" camera. A 1/4" lens only can work with a 1/4" camera…”

    If interested, he has more information posted wrt the physical and technical aspects of selecting lens for CCTV cameras.

    Hope the 1/3” lens works with my 04W, because I purchased a few lens without knowing the above.

  107. does anyone know where i can get sofware for this cam that supports my mac book pro,


  108. Hi I have 3 FI8904W and run Windows 7.
    On my current PC the cameras all record video perfectly. I need to rebuild my PC, but any other PC I connect to the cameras with records corrupted video.
    This happens on Win7, XP and Vista, all on IE8
    I even made a fresh build of Win 7 on a new disk in my current PC and the issue was there.
    There must be some driver on my PC that is missing from the others HELP !!

  109. Hi, I have an FI8904W. I can wire it to my wireless router or connect to it wirelessly. Fine, I can administer it, view it etc etc.
    Here's the weird thing. The FTP on alarm works fine if the cam is hard wired but if I enable wireless the FTP on alarm doesn't work. What is more, the FTP test works fine on hard wire but as soon as wireless is enabled, hitting the test button just causes the camera to freeze.
    This is the second Chinese Cam I've had that does this.

    Any ideas please?

  110. Hi everyone,
    I'm thinking of buying one of these and mounting it on my roof.
    Question is does it overheat in direct sunlight?
    At the hottest it would be 35-40 C in the shade but the camera would be exposed to the sun all day every day and temps in the casing might get higher.
    Any help/ opinions would be greatly appreciated.

  111. Hi,

    I have several 8904Ws purchased form Andy Lig. Had a problem with one, setup to use wifi, but that was just playing dead. Its about 18months old, and was set high under eaves of house so neded a long ladder to retrieve it.
    Plugged it into power and ethernet, and tried to set it up again, but no UI. Was working, as IP/video.cgi gave me a stream.
    Reloaded firmware and Web UI, got login and was very happy.

    Can set alias, and video 640x480 OK, but as soon as reboot, back to ethernet no alias set.

    But it won't save any setup! Guess this was why it went bad. Presumably some kind of flash memory on board, but fails to save.

    Any hope? Or is it just a source of spare parts.


  112. Hi,

    I plan to buy this camera (FI8904W)

    I do have two questions:

    1. does the motion detection only work in full screen? I do have an indoor cam (wvc80n), and I can set smaller areas, and it is very useful feature to eliminate noise...

    2. does the camera need a PC running all the time? The other camera only needs a PC only to set it up, but then it works by itself (it sends notifications, it uploads FTP, it records to SAMBA etc)

    Many thanks,

  113. @petrum

    The embedded application is quite basic for motion detection, no zone definition, and it's also quite reactive to changes of brightness. So, while it can work alone w/o PC software, you'll get far better results with a 3rd party PC software (see my ppost on 3rd party software) or NAS application (like Surveillance Station from Synology).
    And yes, it can send alert with pictures through (plain) FTP and/or email (but no samba).


  114. Thanks Bubbah!

    I just got this reply from Foscam:

    "Currenly our cameras do not support gmail and hotmail for sender,but the new version which will be released in not long time supports gmail for sender."

    I guess I would wait, maybe they'll fix other things as well...


  115. @petrum
    I actually happen to use Gmail with my ip camera. Ok, you can't use encryption yet, but there's a way around, see pt#33 in my FAQ for IP Cameras

  116. Thanks again.
    BTW great website. Congrats!


  117. Possible security issue here...

    I installed a Foscam FI8904W over the weekend and all is working well.

    This morning my router sent me an alert that my network is being accessed by unknown IPs on the port where my camera is. When I did a reverse ip lookup by IP, I found that all of these IPs are originating on ISPs in China... Never had this type of problem before.

    I believe that this camera has "called home" to china and provided it's address to someone over there who is either trying to log in or is able to log in via a secret credentias... I'm officially skeeved out. This can't be a coincidence.

    Anybody else seeing anything suspicious on their networks since installing one of these?

  118. @David
    I have a FI8904 since 2010 and never noticed such traffic. Someone reported that kind of traffic somewhere in one of the posts but it was with a obscur "clone". If you're sure it's a Foscam, you should really contact them with your devideID to have an explanation.
    Let me know the outcome,

  119. Hi Bubbah,

    Many, many, many thanks for all this insight into these Foscam cameras. I have got hold of a FI8904W. It seems there has probably been a hardware revision as there's a new firmware version ( which, according to Foscam, isn't compatible with cameras running the 11.15.x.x firmwares.

    I haven't installed the camera outside yet, but left it running on the Wi-Fi overnight to test, along with being connected up to my Ubuntu Server box running ZoneMinder (these cameras work well with ZoneMinder, which is free/open source and are greatly enhanced with the excellent motion detection algorithms and recording features of that software). Suffice to say, it held the WPA2-PSK (AES) connection stable all night.

    Looking forward to mounting it, but wondering how others have gone about the hole-through-the-wall part - it looks like I'd need to drill a 25-30mm diameter hole to squeeze the chunky ethernet socket through, and then pack it with filler. Has anyone installed this with a waterproof box housing the connectors, with a smaller hole going through the wall to make things tidier?

    It looks like I could take the back off and disconnect the smaller connectors from the PCB and get them through a smaller hole in one of those boxes that way, then mount the box on the wall after...

    Also, the wall bracket supplied looks incredibly weak and flimsy, but we'll see how it does I suppose...

  120. @cbf125rider
    I recently achieved this operation for a cheap dome camera with exactly the same bulky cable grape. Forget about detaching the wires, it would have been ideal but they are soldered to the pcb, not just plugged.
    I've documented what you need here.

  121. Great article, many thanks! Luckily I only have to pass the cable through wood, and I have a 30mm woodcutter drill bit and some filler handy. :)

  122. Well, after more than 2 years of experience with my FI8904W, with lots of manually resets having to dismount it and mount it again, today I can say that it is dead now. It is under the same circuit with my door chime and just recently I had to reset the breaker because no chime at all, and later discovered that no communication at all with the camera. I still can see the IR light coming from it, but no external communication either wireless or wired. Probably it is time to upgrade to some better and still cheap option. Any recommendations here in US?

  123. I bought this camera from Foscam's UK website. The specifications on the site stated that the viewing angle was 67 degrees, with an option of 42 degrees. When the camera arrived I set the camera up and was immediately aware that the viewing angle was too narrow. I did some tests and found the angle was only around 42 degrees. After emailing Foscam customer service, they forwarded my emails to Foscam Tech Support. Tech Support confirmed that the camera was only able to give a maximum of 45 degrees, and that the UK website was showing the wrong specifications and up to me writing this review, still was. I contacted Foscam sales, telling them of Tech Supports findings and asked for a refund, they ignored me. I took my problem to PayPal, whom I paid for the camera through. We went through the resolution process and PayPal awarded in my favour, obviously. Things then got worse, I was told to mail the camera to Texas in the USA, even though the camera was sent to me from UK where I live. As you would imagine I was very angry, as I would have to pay postage and two of the prices I obtained were more than the camera was valued at, I didn't want to trust the cheaper ones. I will end this review now by saying, even after speaking to PayPal about this I was still expected to send this package back to Texas, even though I had the UK address that the parcel was sent to me from.

  124. @Sombra Negra
    I don't have a particular model in mind but if I had to replace my FI8904w today, I would check for those "720" or HD model with IR-Cut. Beside the better image quality, they allow to define specific areas of the picture to trigger the alarm instead of the whole area. Foscam recently told me that they would have new model from end of this month.

  125. @SNOWBALL
    I think they ship the several FI8904W with different lenses and it is nearly impossible to guess which one you'll receive. I've posted on this blog a cheap DIY method to replace the lense yourself...if you didn't throw the camera yet,

  126. @Bubbah: I will try the Wansview NCH-532MW. It has the descriptions you mention and only about 50 bucks more than the foscam. May be I can provide a review of it later.

  127. As a summary, I can tell the NCH-532MW is faster compared with my ex FI8904W. There is still some bugs other people documented like trouble to trigger night filter. I was considering of purchasing a cheap used minilaptop to record the video from my foscam, but I really liked this new cameras has the ability to record and read an SD card. Aside of the fix I need to do to the night/sensor issue (that there is a solution posted on an Amazon review) I would like to change the lens, since it has a 4mm lens that limited the view area compared with the 6mm from foscam. You will find problems to show the video on the same way as foscam since wansview uses the H.264 format, so to view the image on firefox I had to select the "mobile image" which is really small size, unless I make several adjustments to the quicktime addon.

  128. A correction It has 8mm lens, not 4mm as I stated.

  129. Thanks for the update Sombra Negra!

  130. Hi Bubbah,

    bought that type of cam from another brand. Seems to be really the same just that there is no "foscam" on the camera-body.

    firmware is and for Web-Interface

    do you think, i can upgrade firmware from / (i´m from germany)?

    when firmware-upgrade would go wrong, will the hardware-reset bring back the old firmware or is the cam defect then?

    i can give you any other information you need to answer that question.

    thank you very much!

  131. Hi LocRock, you will see a warning on Foscam web site: Achtung: 11.15.1.xx und 11.15.2.xx können nicht auf diese Firmware upgedatet werden.
    This applies to you unfortunately. Beware that flashing the wrong system firmware will brick your camera. A factory reset does not resolve this.
    You should just keep it as it is.

  132. Thank you very much for your answer!
    so i let the firmware as it is ;)

    What i actually can´t do is setting the mail service settings. test always fails. i think because of my routers ... in our flat we got a cable-modem without wireless lan and behind that i got a dlink-router for wireless lan ... i think these two devices don´t let the ipcam sending mails ... i got the ports 25 and 587 open on both devices and tried it with googlemail and another mail-service, but it always fails with "Test ... Failed
    Can not connect to the server"

    on foscams, there is another option with SSL or something like that ... my ipcam just has the option "need authentication" ...

    any other idea?

    here´s a screenshot of my settings:

    Kind regards!

  133. @LocRock
    Your problem is that cameras of the FI8904W generation never had the ability to send encrypted mail. The point #3 in FAQ for IP Cameras gives you a solution. Remember that you don't have to set a Gmail SMTP to send email alerts to a Gmail address. Most times you can use smtp.your which often does not require any authentication.

  134. Hey,

    i tried so long and just don´t get it ... :)
    But doesn´t matter, i think i will buy evocam and use it ... my mac is always running, so that could work.

    thank you very much for your help!

  135. Hello Bubbah, hello to everyone.
    I still have problems with the development of my FI8904W on which I mounted a lens of 1.8 mm.
    the new lens has an excellent viewing angle, but also shows the inside of the case of the camera (and some reflection effect caused by the IR illuminator leds).
    so I tried to approach the surface of the lens to the camera glass, inserting a wooden spacer(made by myself) between the metal plate on which the CMOS board is screwed and its media spin.
    the effect obtained is now better than before, but still not enough to permanently solve the problem.
    should be that the wooden spacer was of greater thickness (about 3 mm more than now).
    make a wooden spacer bigger is not a problem (in fact I have already built).
    The real problem is to put it in place of what I put on, because the assembly screws of the metal plate that holds the cmos plate are too short.
    so I need longer screws and that is the real problem.
    I tried screws of the same thread diameter in all hardware stores and model of my city but I have not found.
    I tried looking on ebay (like "screws foscam" or "camera screws" or "screws for electronics") but I could not find them.
    These screws are so special and have a diameter so small that they are not even able to figure out exactly what kind of screws they are.
    So I need to ask (and ask all who read this post): what kind of screws are these screws? can you tell me your exact measurement (diameter) of which I ask for? Do you know where I can find or purchase (possibly even on the web)?
    I trust in your response (or other visitors of your blog), which I hope to receive soon as possible.
    You can also reply to my email (
    Thanks and Happy New Year

  136. 8904W with 12mm lens going strong after 18 months, and just added 8905W. First 8905W arrived DOA, second was a useless 8905E, but third shipment Amazon got it right and it works fine. Visit to see them in action. Using Evocam and WeatherSnoop for streaming video and weather data to my Web site and WeatherUnderground

  137. Hey, bricked my FI8904W with wrong fw. Anybody have recovery files romfs.img and for this camera? My camera is just same as pictures above.

  138. Hello, I have a F18904W and got it working pretty well.
    I wanted to get a couple more, but saw there was also a F18905W. The price is pretty close, so I thought I'd do some comparison. From what I've read, the only differences between the 2 are:

    1) F18904W is more suited for close up, with a wider view angle

    2) F18905W has more infrared LEDs and does a better job at night, but has a narrower view angle more suitable for greater distance.

    Does this pretty much sum it up?

    This link says the same thing:

    I just thought I'd see if anyone has any personal experience comparing the 2, and what they thought.
    I found a video comparison, but I didn't get much out of that.


    1. The additional LED are indeed consistent with the greater visual coverage of the FI8905W, but there's more: it does H264 in 1280x960 and supports Wifi-n

  139. I would like to use this camera at a remote cabin. The neighbors have given me their password to their wireless internet but I do not have access to their router. Can this be setup wirelessly without router access? I would want to be able to view it from a few states away. Thanks

    1. I do not believe you can: you need to setup port forwarding in the router in order to view any IP camera.


    2. Also if you want to have a stable camera connection it is recommended to assign a fixed IP address in the router to the camera, and this also requires router access etc


  140. If I can access the router through its IP do I need to plug the camera in initially to the router to setup or can I do it wirelessly?

    1. You need to first connect to the IP cam to setup the wifi connection; since the wifi is not setup yet you need to connect it to the router using the ethernet.



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