Camera for Supervising my SO3XXL

Curious what others use to monitor your Shapeoko from afar?

I’ve seen some non-WiFi cameras with stand alone monitors, mostly in the video baby monitor department.

I’ve seen some fairly cheap ($25), to very expensive, WiFi based cameras. I could view these on a separate device, or even buy a cheap kindle fire ($50) as a dedicated monitor for it. My only concern here is possible bandwidth hogging.

Also, I’ve thought about plugging my Shapeoko into a WiFi enabled outlet to allow shutdown from afar. While I never plan to leave the house with it running, the ability to kill power from anywhere in the house could be nice.

And lastly, I’d love to add a smoke detector. The WiFi ones are probably out of budget, but I’d hear a normal one through the camera (do people usually leave the sound on or muted?). Has anyone had difficulty with a smoke detector in close proximity to a Shapeoko causing false alarms due to dust or light burning?

Just want to make sure I’m protecting my home, family, and investment…but without going too overboard or breaking the bank. Thanks!

I’m probably not going to be of much help here, but I would never leave my SO3 unattended. I’ve personally had work pieces come loose where I had to run to my kill switch (2 feet away) and have seen several videos and forum posts where loose work has caused a fire. These aren’t $200,000+ milling centers that are designed to run “lights out”. If/when I need a potty break I usually call my wife out to the shop with instructions - “if something goes wrong, press the BIG RED button”. Just my $0.02, do what you will, not trying to bash you at all.



This is all I have to say about that.


Does anyone step out of the room while their Shapeoko is running?

What’s the common denominator? Is improper work holding the most likely cause of a fire? Even with the work holding problem, I think that video would have been different if 2 things would have been used: dust collection and a smoke detector. I don’t think there would have been any flames in that timeframe without the piles of sawdust, and I think a smoke detector would have gained an operator response in way under a minute if you were anywhere else in the house and could hear the alarm.

I have a wyze camera off amazon that works well. I can monitor from my phone. I’ve seen a setting that a smoke detector alarm will cause the app to alarm in the phone. Haven’t tried it myself though

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Also a fan of the wyze camera. With suitable cautions of course.

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When my SO3 is drilling holes for a cribbage board and it is going to drill 220 - 450 or so holes at 5 pecks per hole, it can take some time. I will usually stay for the first run of the G-code, but if it looks good, I’ll leave for 30-45 minutes at a time, and come back to check up on it periodically.

Typically, if I am actually cutting, I will stay for the reasons listed above.

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I got a Wyze cam, small fire extinguisher nearby, and always stay in earshot. Sits in a larger apartment closet with the doors closed. I’ve had workpieces come loose, lost endmills, and machine adjustments so far but nothing more. It’s definitely risky being more than a few feet away so take some precautions.

There’s still a use for a camera, even if you don’t leave your machine unattended. I plan on building an windowless enclosure for my shapeoko, since it’s easier to reduce noise when you don’t have a window. The camera would allow me to monitor the cut without hurting noise reduction. I’m still deciding if I want a fixed camera that gives an overall view or one that is attached to the spindle and provides a closer look at the cutter. Maybe both… Just my two cents.

+1 on @PaulAlfaro’s comment above on having a fire extinguisher nearby.


if enclosed, you could build a fire suppression system that triggers with excessive temp and/or smoke.

and shut down the system :slight_smile:

Recently I moved the dust collection (ShopVac) into the attic to isolate the 93db it creates. It has been nice to be able to hear how the machine is cutting during production jobs if I have my back turned or am in another part of the shop. Otherwise, I stay at or next to the machine if I am running a job for the first time, or cutting something besides production materials (1/8" MDF or 0.045" Alum.). I cannot think of any job I would trust running while on lunch.

Just auto turn it off if you “have to” leave it alone.

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