Download: Foscam FI9805E and VideoSecu MIC01D Amplified Microphone

By Don Olsen


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This video is from my outdoor mounted Foscam FI9805E set to a resolution of 960i with audio from a VideoSecu MIC01D microphone.

The camera was purchased from Woot sometime ago for a reduced price and I purchased the microphone after researching what I needed. I was still unsure as to whether this mic would work with my camera but decided to pull the trigger and just try it. The $7 cost seemed like a reasonable risk.

VideoSecu MIC01D Amplified Microphone

The microphone requires a 12VDC power supply for it to output the proper audio level for the Foscam camera's audio input. Since I am powering the camera through the PoE (power over Ethernet), I didn't need the power supply that came with the camera itself. By luck, the camera power supply has the exact right power connector, voltage, and polarity needed by the microphone.

The only issue was hooking a audio cable from the mic to the camera. The mic has a standard female RCA audio type jack and the camera has a female mini audio 3.5mm jack.

In my collection of old audio cables I had a stereo audio cable designed to connect a portable audio player to a larger amplifier via 3.5mm mini headphone jack and two (left/right) audio output RCA jacks. This cable worked perfectly, I only used one side (the red or right) of the old Y-audio cable.

To record the video you see here, I have a dedicated computer set up with the Blue Iris Video Security Software configured to record motion events from the camera with audio recording enabled. From Blue Iris, I exported the section of video you see here, then uploaded it directly to YouTube.

All in all, the microphone works perfectly, I only wish there was a way to adjust the audio volume either in the camera or in the Blue Iris software. At this time, this model Foscam camera supports audio but does not have a level control for the external input. To achieve this, I'd have to put in a preamp or mixer to provide a variable audio level. The Blue Iris software receives the audio stream with no issue but it too does not have a control to adjust the incoming volume level.

In the video, you can hear quite a lot of background noise, lots of birds, cars driving by, car doors closing and even cars driving by on a nearby (unseen to the left) highway. Loud noises like thunder easily overdrive the sensitivity of this microphone and are clipped.

The specs on the microphone state that it has "Built in on board IC preamp, low noise, high gain and auto level adjustment". I have noticed that extended loud noises will eventually cause the AGC circuit in the mic to reduce the volume but it is slow to react.

Though the microphone doesn't appear to be for outdoor use, it is working fine on my covered patio in the Texas heat. Only time will tell how well it stands up to outdoor exposure. It is not exposed to the sun. I have noticed considerable wind noise and will likely cover the mic with a foam sleeve.

Foscam FI9805E on

3.5mm Stereo Male to Dual RCA Male Y-Cable