I have some Yi cameras (Xiaomi) and I quite satisfied with them, with only one complain: They make two versions of their cameras, one only for China and another one for the rest of the world (China version and International version). They both are identical in hardware and features, except for the price. International version is almost twice.
Xiaomi it’s making great efforts to ban using China version cameras outside of China. Originally China version worked outside China, but in a firmware upgrade they blocked it. Then the camera said “This camera can’t be used outside China” and then it was switched off. The fix was easy, make a firmware downgrade. But now, Xiaomi has improved the mechanism to detect China version cameras outside of China. Now the make it at server level, I think they check your serial and your IP address, so no firmware downgrade helps any more. After this improvement, my camera keeps working, even you can pair it with your phone (Chinese Yi home app), the camera save the videos in the SD card, but you can’t use Live View. You can’t access the camera through Yi home, not even to change the configuration of the camera (switch off status light, change video quality…). When you try it it stucks at 50% and gives you a -20009 error.
So, after a deep search, I found how to bypass the outside China check. My first aproach was change my internet connection configuration to use a VPN with a China server, but this is only for testing purposes, it’s not a feasible solution, too complex. Finally I found a project in github where someone (niclet) got it. The project was not thought for this, its main target was to get some missing features for the camera, telnet, FTP, RTSP, change language, and timezone, but niclet also got setting a proxy. You can specify in a variable the proxy you want your camera use. If you specify a China proxy the -20009 problem is gone. The project is here. All merits for niclet.
- There is two Yi Home apps, one International (you get it in Play Store) and one Chinese (you get it in MI Store). If your camera is Chinese version you need Chinese app.
- When you edit the configuration file yi-hack-v2.cfg to add a Chinese proxy don’t use Wordpad, it makes some format change that make the file unusable for the camera. I recommed using another editor, like Notepad++.
- There is three Yi Home cameras, Yi Home Camera, Yi Home Camera 2, Yi Home Camera 1080p, each of these in various versions, Chinese or International (United States and European) . We are talking about Yi Home Camera 2 Chinese version.
So, summary, what you have to do is:
- Format SD card in FAT32
- Download yi-hack-v2 files from github project and copy the contents of sd folder into your SD card.
- Edit yi-hack-v2.cfg to set a Chinese proxy. You have to uncomment the last line of the file and add a Chinese proxy. I get the Chinese proxy from this site. Put attention at the protocol the proxy use, it’s the part of socks5h://. In the list you have the protocol. As an example this is mine:
- Insert the SD card into the camera, with the camera off, and switch the camera on. You don’t need to reset the camera to factory defaults (small back button).
- Now you can use Chinese Yi Home app perfectly, even Live View.
As a note, when the proxy stops working, you don’t have to get you sd card out to edit yi-hack-v2.cfg. As you now have telnet access you can do it comfortably from your PC, using vi. Then remember to reboot your camera, the script is executed in the boot process.