Posts Tagged ‘zoneminder’

ZoneMinder Running Again

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

After a long period, since Grace moved into her present bedroom, so probably about four years, I’ve finally got my CCTV system running again. This is based in a software package called ZoneMinder – and it allows you to toe up a bunch of video cameras to a PC and do all the monitoring and movement detecting you want – with alerts, time-stamps and the ability to manage and view from any net connected browser.
I have an eight port input card, which cost a fortune originally, and as I no longer run a power hungry file server, I fitted it into a Mini-ITX box. It’s running Ubuntu 8.04 as that’s about the most recent thing that will run (without recompiling a kernel) in the C3 mobo as the Via processor doesn’t have the mov instruction. Probably unsurprisingly, it runs quite well despite the lower specified board in use for this application. I’ve run a length of CAT5 from the point in the loft where the original co-ax cables terminated into the new study and connected a four way BNC/CAT5 balun at each end. This seems to work well enough for monitoring purposes.

Montage of four video feeds

Video Feeds at Sefton Villas

I’m collecting four feeds (the fifth, an IP camera, makes the system reboot, so it’s not presently included) – one of which is a nest-cam mounted in a box on the side of the shed. At last, a blue tit has started using the box – as yet only at night to sleep – and this is probably because we have remounted it in a better position, now north facing, on the new shed. The picture accompanying this post is a montage of the feeds, including nightime Front Garden and Back Garden views and of the little bird snoozing this evening. Grace has named him(?) Albert.

Linuxy Things

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

A couple of Linux related activities in the first part of this week. Firstly, I’ve got my web->SMS page back up and working, so I can now send SMS messages from anywhere with web access. Hardly novel, these days, but when I first built a system like this for the bank I worked at then, it was one of those little occasions where Linux wormed its way into an organisation. That must have been in about 1997 or ’98 I guess. (It was also about the same time I created the first effective search engine for the organisation using HTDig on Linux as well.)

All went well re-creating the set-up, except I wanted to use a GSM modem that actually had an FXO port on so I could tie it up to my Asterisk PABX as well for voice calls direct into a mobile network. Despite much fiddling, the Psitek modem was so old as to have an antiquated subset of the AT command set and it was too much effort to make it work SMSTools (although, having the source, I did recompile it a few times with some commands adjusted) – and which, by he way, is now at version 3.x under a new maintainer. Once I used the more modern (only just, though!) reliable Falcom GSM modem it worked a treat.

I’ve also updated and added to my entries in the Linux Counter, having been reminded of it by a thread in the Surrey Linux User Group mailing list. First registered there in about 2002.

Lastly, I’ve transplanted my eight port video card (only four ports of it though) into one of the Mini-ITX workstations, so perhaps later this week I’ll see if I can resurrect ZoneMinder and get the NestCam back in operation soon.