To check if your cam works okay with installed driver, there are two simple programs that can help you: xawtv and camorama (both can be installed with apt-get or aptitude). ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security applications, including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child or family member or home monitoring and other care scenarios. By the way ZoneMinder has a lot of useful functions and is well documented, so I hope it won’t be difficult to set up certain feature.
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To install the Foscam control script: find where the control scripts are installed on your distro.
Once you’ve found them, create a new file called FoscamFI8918W.pm and paste the code below into it. You’ll need to add the control script to the ZoneMinder interface and attach it to your camera. Now back on the main console click the 'Add New Monitor' button to add a new monitor camera. Now save the new monitor, then go back and edit the newly created monitor and on the control tab you should be able to pick the Foscam camera.
The script now uses Sleep and Wake to turn the IR off and on and passes the username and password via the Control Device parameter. For the budget minded, Zoneminder is open source NVR software to record from your IP cameras and allow you to view them from any web browser. Zonemineder runs on Linux and you can chose from different distributions but for the sake of compactness, I chose Ubuntu Server. Adding a camera is not like most NVR software where you select from a choice of cameras, provide an IP address and an image appears.
Lots of information here, but you set the zone area by dragging the corners to create a trapezoid of the area you want to cover. A count of events is provided on the home screen for each camera at different summary levels like hour, day, week, month. There’s a lot of flexibility here but comes at the price of a lot of work to set this up.
This is well worth the effort as its motion detection is superb at capturing the right things at the right time and won’t just blow your hard drive space in days flat. If you have the patience and time this is well worth the effort it takes to install it, not only are you working with a secure operating system like CentOS which is also free you are also saving a lot of money on other expensive software that honestly does way more than you need it to.
All in all though, ZoneMinder was great for the price, if you want to go through the set up.
In this post I’ll provide you with a free-style guide on how to set up home video security system that supports above mentioned features and is based on rather cheap webcams, free as beer software ZoneMinder and Ubuntu.
You can check your webcam Linux compatibility here (it’s highly recommended to look through this list before buying camera).
To check if your cam works okay with installed driver, there are two simple programs that can help you: xawtv and camorama (both can be installed with apt-get or aptitude). ZoneMinder is intended for use in single or multi-camera video security applications, including commercial or home CCTV, theft prevention and child or family member or home monitoring and other care scenarios.
By the way ZoneMinder has a lot of useful functions and is well documented, so I hope it won’t be difficult to set up certain feature. It supports capture, analysis, recording, and monitoring of video data coming from one or more video or network cameras attached to a Linux system. It is true that setting or installing security camera monitoringsystem in your property is no longer that expensive and complicated. In 2007 I started LinuxScrew to share my personal notes on anything related to Linux and Open Source on the whole and found this pretty interesting. You must create a new monitor with all the data except the control tab, save the camera and then when you edit the camera again you will see the drop down list for the Control Type expanded (this is a zoneminder bug). You should now see the Foscam FI8918W script in the list. Zoneminder works, but it takes a great deal of effort to set it up so it depends on how much your time is worth. Adding a camera involves research on your part as you have to figure out what the URL is to retrieve a stream from your camera. Once setup, it does record events, allows you to play them and works from any browser including those on smart phones. It also has the fantastic option of purging old events when your hard drive hits a certain percentage.
One advantage is that because it can run on a linux server with no graphical interface, the hardware requirements are far less. I was trying to replace a windows based surveillance system that was running Vivotek software along with three vivotek IP6122 cameras.
Secondly, how many hours did this take to get up and running – as this has a direct cost effect on the customer?
I used Ubuntu server distro which does not have a GUI, so it’s all command line but you can use a distro with Gnome to make it slighty easier.
If it’s not clean there is no reason to proceed with this manual but to get your cam working (Google helps in most cases).
If you are lucky and someone else has gone through the pain, you can leverage that from their forums. This brings up the group scnreen where you click on New to create a group of cameras you want to view. The cost of the product including the operating system is the #1 factor for using Zoneminder but it does require some Linux skills to install and a good amount of research and frustration to get cameras configured.
While the experience was entertaining, especially using Foscam PTZ cameras with their settings tweaked to allow very fast movements, it was largely useless because ZoneMinder can only calculate where it thinks the camera is pointed based on 1) where it started off, and 2) where it moved next. Former server broke, so I got a refurbished server, installed Ubuntu server on it and zoneminder. If it’s not clean there is no reason to proceed with this manual but to get your cam working (Google helps in most cases).
The software itself monitors motion detection so the more cameras you add, the more motion detect zones, the more CPU it will take up. Although I’m able to see the cameras from a WXP laptop using IE + some Activex plugin, I failed to get those cameras work with zoneminder. I like to feel the music flowing on my face, I like good books and romantic, action,cartoon movies. I cannot find anything on internet related to zoneminder + IP6122 cameras, so I don’t really know if those cameras really work with zoneminder or not. Compared to a simpler Windows based product like BlueIris which took about an hour to setup. Then double each of those times to fine tune the options like motion zones, schedules, etc.
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