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# 81371 12-Apr-2011 09:58
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Anyone have any experience using a Linux system for home security monitoring?

I currently have a little EEEPC that I use with motion and the EEEPC's built in webcam. It's just running Debian and the only reason the lid's ever open on it is for the webcam.  I ssh into it, I don't actually use it.

It works OK, it detections motion and I've configured the box to ping me a direct message when it sees things.  The built in webcam is worse than crap though.

I'm thinking of getting a couple more USB webcams and plugging them into a hub to monitor motion around the house.  It can then message me if it seens anything and snap a few frames into a Dropbox directory.  So if someone does break in and steal the laptop at least the frames have, hopefully, been uploaded to Dropbox.

Anyone have any good quality webcam suggestions that they know work under Linux?  Is this even a viable idea, I'll have to run USB extension cables around the place, ugh.

Any other suggestions for monitoring a house (from a security point of view) using Linux?  Are there any door opening sensors or similar that people know of?

I'm going to get the Twitter integration going so that I can DM a box and it'll turn the system on and off, all doable using the ttytter program.

Keen to hear about anyone using Linux for home automation things, using simple console/shell stuff.  The box is too small to run XWindows (well, it could) but I just want to be able to ssh in and control things.

Cheers,

Tim




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  # 457756 12-Apr-2011 11:14
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Zoneminder might be a possibility, it has a web interface which might be useful if you want to remotely check video whilst not requiring X. I haven't used it personally but have it on my list to setup one day. However if you've already got motion working with some simple scripts and are happy to SSH in there probably isn't much advantage.

As for USB web cams I use a Logitech which works well under linux. Here are some resources I used for selected cameras:

http://www.ideasonboard.org/uvc/
http://www.quickcamteam.net/devices

Interested to see how you go with this project. I want to get some IP cameras at some point but have been put off by the price, maybe cheaper USBs is an option for a basic setup.

Cheers,
Ewen



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  # 457776 12-Apr-2011 11:48
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Thanks heaps Ewen, some good sites to look at there.

I'll keep you updated how I go. IP Cameras would be lovely, but I don't have that sort of budget right at the moment, it wasn't my numbers that came up on the weekend!




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  # 457851 12-Apr-2011 14:45
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if only a device such as this http://www.camsecure.co.uk/CamsecureUSBtoIP.html was cheap.

not sure how successful you will be running long UDB cables






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  # 457855 12-Apr-2011 14:49
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Regs: if only a device such as this http://www.camsecure.co.uk/CamsecureUSBtoIP.html was cheap.

not sure how successful you will be running long UDB cables


Yea, long cables are my concern too.  The hub'll have to be powered I'm sure.

You'd be surprised at just how good motion is.  It does live streaming of the cameras (it supports 4 I think, though it might be as many as you have) as well as doing motion detection.  It'll trigger when it sees movement etc.

But that little box doesn't do anything that motion can't already.

I think I'm going to get a single "Linux USB Webcam" off trademe for $20 and see how it goes.  I'm not after super high quality images here, but mostly to be able to react (set off a loud noise, send me a Twitter message etc) when motion's detected.  I can then login, see if it's "bad" and call the cops or my neighbour who lives at home. 




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  # 457894 12-Apr-2011 15:47
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Regs: if only a device such as this http://www.camsecure.co.uk/CamsecureUSBtoIP.html was cheap.

not sure how successful you will be running long UDB cables


I've just had another look at this and yea, it's actually more awesome than I realised.  It looks like motion built into a little box! 




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  # 457911 12-Apr-2011 16:23
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Sounds like from the description of your setup you don't need to run a box, Linux or otherwise, at all.

What about the Foscam FI8918W - it's an IP webcam, all you need is power (and a wifi signal).

At home, you can access the FI8918W over your local network, or externally from the Internet when your away from home - from your mobile phone, or Mac/PC Internet browser.

At home, the FI8918W connects to your Wifi modem/router. No PC needs to be running, just the camera and your WiFi modem/router.

When you log in remotely, you can control the camera to pan/tilt/rotate via your browser, there's two way audio (talk and they hear you and visa versa, or just listen), time of day schedules, email alerts when movement is detected, track movement and photos taken, etc.

I recommend the FI8918W over all previous Foscam models. This product is listed on Pricespy and Trademe.co.nz  No, I don't work for them or sell the product (I do use them though :)

It's good, videos on http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=FI8918W&aq=f

Yes, I mentioned the same thing in another thread:
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=66&topicid=81216



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  # 457923 12-Apr-2011 16:43
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@digitaldivide: I think I love you. That's exactly what I'm after.




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  # 457967 12-Apr-2011 19:07
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muppet: @digitaldivide: I think I love you. That's exactly what I'm after.



And I'm man enough to like compliments :)

A few points to mention:

1/ The camera isn't Megapixel, but if Megapixel something you Absolutely must have, then other people here can recommend cameras about $500 - $700 ($2k even!) and a different feature-set to the Foscam model, and nothing I've used myself.

2/ The Foscam FI8918W camera isn't that bad, the camera has a maximum resolution of VGA 640 x 480 at 68 degrees.
There's a bunch of footage on Youtube (just search FI8918W).

3/ There's a gazillion reviews online, like:
http://wireless-camera-review.toptenreviews.com/foscam-f18918w-review.html

4/ Foscam make an OEM Generic product with a number of physical ports/features missing, which are added/improved in the Foscam FI8918W version. The OEM Generic version is a dog, and can't be upgraded with the Foscam firmware updates from the Foscam website. AVOID.

There's a pretty good comparison here:
http://www.gadgetvictims.com/2010/10/quick-look-at-foscam-fi8918w.html


10.4.Over.

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  # 458174 13-Apr-2011 11:33
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Damn now I want one of these...

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