Making Alexa Work -



  • I have a HIKVision Camera DS-2CD2032-I
    I used VLC to verify that my feed string is correct.

    I enabled Monocle in Alexa as a skill and discovered devices. My stream name in Monocle is called “Visual Front” (with no quotes).

    Alexa claims not to know about this device - it “sees” it as a camera. I called it Visual Front and then renamed it “Front Porch”.

    I simply cannot get my Alexa Show device (second generation) to show me the feed.
    Any ideas?



  • @TexasBill

    On your camera config in the Monocle Gateway, there is a Camera Feed History button.

    bc9a9bcb-00b1-4af1-afc7-cd179293237a-image.png

    This will display any requests (and responses) that we get from Alexa for your named camera. Take a look and see if you see any recent requests show up.

    b6a07313-cba1-414f-ae05-0e4762bac0dd-image.png

    If you are not getting any requests, then something on the Alexa side is not calling us for your camera.

    One think to check is which profile Alexa is running under. She can support more than one profile and its very confusing when an alternate profile is selected and you can’t access any of your cameras. Just ask, “Alexa which profile an I in?”

    Also, what is the exact error that Alexa is speaking to you?

    Thanks, Robert



  • Thank you for the prompt reply -
    I am in my wifes account on Alexa and on MY account on my phone.
    That was the problem -
    I logged into my wifes account on my phone and enabled the skill on her account and it now says “OK” and tries to show the feed from the camera.

    I after about 30 seconds it finally says “hmmm, the camera isn’t responding.”

    My WIFI is 300 mbps. I have plenty of bandwith.
    The VLC of the steam worked a treat so I am pretty sure that I have that correct.
    Thoughts?



  • Here is the history now that it is connecting:

    [
    {
    “timestamp”: “2019-06-03T22:51:13.171Z”,
    “request”: “InitializeCameraStreams”,
    “response”: [
    {
    “uri”: “rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.86.216:554/StreamingChannels/101”,
    “proxy”: “rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/7a8be63a-26e6-4b9f-bad3-ddaffd021acf”,
    “resolution”: {
    “width”: “1920”,
    “height”: “1080”
    },
    “authorizationType”: “BASIC”,
    “videoCodec”: “H264”,
    “audioCodec”: “AAC”,
    “protocol”: “RTSP”
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    “timestamp”: “2019-06-03T22:49:59.999Z”,
    “request”: “InitializeCameraStreams”,
    “response”: [
    {
    “uri”: “rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.86.216:554/StreamingChannels/101”,
    “proxy”: “rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/02a06b52-01b2-4681-9f5d-10db00a23b93”,
    “resolution”: {
    “width”: “1920”,
    “height”: “1080”
    },
    “authorizationType”: “BASIC”,
    “videoCodec”: “H264”,
    “audioCodec”: “AAC”,
    “protocol”: “RTSP”
    }
    ]
    }
    ]



  • @TexasBill

    OK, so far so good. While it won’t show anything in the log history that you can see via the website, I have verified (on our side) that the Alexa device did in fact make the request for the camera stream.

    However, after this we have no visibility into the connection and communication between your Alexa device and the IP camera. You can install and configure our Monocle Gateway software which would provide more details and we may have to do that to diagnose any further. (https://monoclecam.com/monocle-gateway)

    But first, let just check a few basic things. Is the Alexa device and IP camera on the same network. The Alexa device will need to be able to directly connect to the IP camera on your local network. I ask this because some people put devices like Alexa on private or guest networks that can’t necessarily talk to other nodes on their network.

    Thanks, Robert



  • OK - I tried that and here is what it says:
    "Unable to create the cache directory (/home/ubuntu/monocle/www.monoclecam.com/www/cache/twig/8f)

    I have GOOGLE WIFI in my house - so I don’t know if your gateway software will work with Google WIFI?



  • This post is deleted!


  • @TexasBill

    OK, I think I figured out the issue and have fixed the website.

    Thanks, Robert



  • @Monocle I got excited and said “Alexa show front porch”
    She said OK –
    Then after about 30 seconds she said that the camera is not responding…
    Here is the log:
    [
    {
    “timestamp”: “2019-06-04T13:26:03.628Z”,
    “request”: “InitializeCameraStreams”,
    “response”: [
    {
    “uri”: “rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.86.216:554/StreamingChannels/101”,
    “proxy”: “rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/c4bcac5a-a7d5-4a07-a028-f71e5ca386fd”,
    “resolution”: {
    “width”: “1920”,
    “height”: “1080”
    },
    “authorizationType”: “BASIC”,
    “videoCodec”: “H264”,
    “audioCodec”: “AAC”,
    “protocol”: “RTSP”
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    “timestamp”: “2019-06-04T13:24:31.729Z”,
    “request”: “InitializeCameraStreams”,
    “response”: [
    {
    “uri”: “rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.86.216:554/StreamingChannels/101”,
    “proxy”: “rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/54671d1b-8bd6-496a-8864-150b079a55fd”,
    “resolution”: {
    “width”: “1920”,
    “height”: “1080”
    },
    “authorizationType”: “BASIC”,
    “videoCodec”: “H264”,
    “audioCodec”: “AAC”,
    “protocol”: “RTSP”
    }
    ]
    },



  • @TexasBill

    Well at least she is trying now – so we are on the right track 🙂

    Try following these tips (some may be redundant with things you have already tested) to see if you can get it working:
    https://monoclecam.com/tips

    Thanks, Robert



  • @Monocle
    So - we know that your proxy / tunnel will not work because I got the error message on my Google WIFI that I posted above.
    Tagging my camera with @tunnel simply made it fail faster.

    At this point I am not optimistic. I think it PROBABLY is that I need to open port 554 and 443 but I am having difficulty doing that on my GOOGLE WIFI network.
    Bill



  • @TexasBill

    The error should have been fixed on our end, if not, let me know and if you can provide a screenshot.

    Thanks, Robert



  • @TexasBill

    I don’t know much about Google WIFI, but you should not have to expose these ports to the outside world (the Internet) they are only accessed locally inside your network from the IP camera and Alexa devices.

    Now, if the Google WIFI somehow blocks internal network access to these ports, then there may be something additional needed to allow incoming access on port 443 to the Monocle Gateway and incoming access to the IP camera on its RTPS port (554).

    Thanks, Robert



  • @Monocle
    Internally Google WIFI does not block anything. Glad to know I do not need to open any ports.

    It is still not working. The VLC works a treat so I know that my information is good on the stream.

    What can I send you a picture of that would help?
    Bill



  • @TexasBill

    Just a screenshot of the error you were getting.

    If you have the Monocle Gateway installed locally and your camera tagged (@tunnel) to use the gateway, you can copy the log data to this post and I can review it for any errors. Make sure to include the part of the log that includes the startup messages as well as the period of time that covers you asking Alexa for the camera feed.

    I just thought of one more technical item that Google WIFI could be blocking (if you are using the Monocle Gateway software). DNS Rebinding, please see: https://monoclecam.com/monocle-gateway/troubleshooting/dns-rebinding

    Thanks, Robert


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