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Suggestions for a property security system?

Started by DaveN February 16, 2011
Hi All,

I'm thinking about building a security system with multiple (2-3) 
webcams and some lights with a few sensors around.  The idea is that in 
the event of an incident detection, the lights are turned on (if at 
night) and streams from the cameras recorded to a flash memory of some 
description, maybe compact flash.

Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers 
to get the images.

I don't want to be reinventing anything as it's not aimed to be any sort 
of commercial product just for maybe a few friends/family so overall 
cost is not too much an issue but <&#4294967295;100 for everything would be preferred.

So I was thinking of an embedded PC running linux so that I can have 
some inputs for detections, some outputs for controls, connect the 
webcams and have on board CF socket.  Addition of ethernet and on board 
vga may be useful as well.  I don't think it needs to be particularly 
fast by todays standards.

Any thoughts on what may be a suitable platform will be well appreciated.

Thanks,

Dave.
On 16/02/2011 16:01, DaveN wrote:
> Hi All, > > I'm thinking about building a security system with multiple (2-3) > webcams and some lights with a few sensors around. The idea is that in > the event of an incident detection, the lights are turned on (if at > night) and streams from the cameras recorded to a flash memory of some > description, maybe compact flash. >
Compact flash is probably a poor choice - they are generally small (you can get bigger devices, but they are disproportionately expensive). A small flash SSD will give more value for money, and let you store a lot more. A small hard disk could also be a good choice - if you are only making a couple of non-commercial systems, you could use second-hand drives to save money.
> Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers > to get the images. > > I don't want to be reinventing anything as it's not aimed to be any sort > of commercial product just for maybe a few friends/family so overall > cost is not too much an issue but <&#4294967295;100 for everything would be preferred. >
I think your budget here is a bit too optimistic.
> So I was thinking of an embedded PC running linux so that I can have > some inputs for detections, some outputs for controls, connect the > webcams and have on board CF socket. Addition of ethernet and on board > vga may be useful as well. I don't think it needs to be particularly > fast by todays standards. > > Any thoughts on what may be a suitable platform will be well appreciated. >
Look up a project called "motion" for Linux - it tracks the input from cameras and activates recording or alarms when motion is detected.
On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:01:37 +0000, DaveN <DaveN@DaveN.com> wrote:

>Hi All, > >I'm thinking about building a security system with multiple (2-3) >webcams and some lights with a few sensors around. The idea is that in >the event of an incident detection, the lights are turned on (if at >night) and streams from the cameras recorded to a flash memory of some >description, maybe compact flash. > >Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers >to get the images. > >I don't want to be reinventing anything as it's not aimed to be any sort >of commercial product just for maybe a few friends/family so overall >cost is not too much an issue but <&#4294967295;100 for everything would be preferred. > >So I was thinking of an embedded PC running linux so that I can have >some inputs for detections, some outputs for controls, connect the >webcams and have on board CF socket. Addition of ethernet and on board >vga may be useful as well. I don't think it needs to be particularly >fast by todays standards. > >Any thoughts on what may be a suitable platform will be well appreciated. > >Thanks, > >Dave.
Hard to beat somthing like this for ~180 GBP. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11533547&search=security+system&Mo=9&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=security+system&Ntt=security+system&No=7&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1 The cameras have built-in IR illuminators.
On Feb 16, 10:47=A0am, David Brown <da...@westcontrol.removethisbit.com>
wrote:

> > of commercial product just for maybe a few friends/family so overall > > cost is not too much an issue but <=A3100 for everything would be prefe=
rred.
> > I think your budget here is a bit too optimistic.
For just a few, probably not. Cheap webcams with IR illum are available for <USD10 on eBay. A $50 old laptop with a USB port would do for the computer. Wired IR sensors maybe $10 each, and connect each one across a key on the computer keyboard, or to an input on the parallel port. Relays driven off the parallel port outputs... really, not much cost there, just dev effort. Not going to go into that in any more detail as this is actually my day job, but for sure if you were doing it as a hobby thing you could make a DIY hack system that would work.
On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:01:37 +0000, DaveN <DaveN@DaveN.com> wrote:

>Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers >to get the images.
But what about cable length ? With USB I see a problem there because normally you would have several cameras at different sides of the building. Ethernet and WLAN would be easier but of course more expensive. RK
On 16/02/2011 16:15, Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:01:37 +0000, DaveN<DaveN@DaveN.com> wrote: > >> Hi All, >> >> I'm thinking about building a security system with multiple (2-3) >> webcams and some lights with a few sensors around. The idea is that in >> the event of an incident detection, the lights are turned on (if at >> night) and streams from the cameras recorded to a flash memory of some >> description, maybe compact flash. >> >> Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers >> to get the images. >> >> I don't want to be reinventing anything as it's not aimed to be any sort >> of commercial product just for maybe a few friends/family so overall >> cost is not too much an issue but<&#4294967295;100 for everything would be preferred. >> >> So I was thinking of an embedded PC running linux so that I can have >> some inputs for detections, some outputs for controls, connect the >> webcams and have on board CF socket. Addition of ethernet and on board >> vga may be useful as well. I don't think it needs to be particularly >> fast by todays standards. >> >> Any thoughts on what may be a suitable platform will be well appreciated. >> >> Thanks, >> >> Dave. > > Hard to beat somthing like this for ~180 GBP. > > http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11533547&search=security+system&Mo=9&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=security+system&Ntt=security+system&No=7&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1 > > The cameras have built-in IR illuminators. > >
Indeed that looks good but I can't see how to buy in the UK and anyway there's no fun in buying a working system! :-)
On 17/02/2011 08:25, Reinhard Kopka wrote:
> On Wed, 16 Feb 2011 15:01:37 +0000, DaveN<DaveN@DaveN.com> wrote: > >> Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers >> to get the images. > > But what about cable length ? With USB I see a problem there because > normally you would have several cameras at different sides of the > building. > Ethernet and WLAN would be easier but of course more expensive. > > RK
My particular application only requires a small area to be covered so even with 3 cameras I could get them all within 3 or 4 metres of the central controller. It is an issue though if I wanted to expand the system.
Hi Dave,

On 2/16/2011 8:01 AM, DaveN wrote:
> I'm thinking about building a security system with multiple (2-3) > webcams and some lights with a few sensors around. The idea is that in > the event of an incident detection, the lights are turned on (if at > night) and streams from the cameras recorded to a flash memory of some > description, maybe compact flash. > > Webcams are preferred because they're dirt cheap but do require drivers > to get the images. > > I don't want to be reinventing anything as it's not aimed to be any sort
----^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> of commercial product just for maybe a few friends/family so overall > cost is not too much an issue but <&#4294967295;100 for everything would be preferred. > > So I was thinking of an embedded PC running linux so that I can have > some inputs for detections, some outputs for controls, connect the > webcams and have on board CF socket. Addition of ethernet and on board > vga may be useful as well. I don't think it needs to be particularly > fast by todays standards. > > Any thoughts on what may be a suitable platform will be well appreciated.
If you opt for RS170(-ish) cameras (composite video out), you can purchase one of the ubiquitous "4 channel camera" cards for a few dollars, use a surplus PC, install the equally ubiquitous (Windows?) application that: - monitors the 4 cameras - allows you to define "motion regions" in the image streams - signals an alarm when motion is detected - begins recording video (to whatever medium you have on PC) - exports live video feeds via web interface (assume PC has NIC) etc. Your total out of pocket would be defined by the cost of the cameras you select. The downside is cabling costs/hassle. (also, frame rate will vary with the horsepower you have available -- but even a *few* frames a second is usually enough for this sort of application). You might also consider adding audio to your implementation. I'm finishing up the design of a low cost "mote" that would allow a USB camera (or a variety of other things) to be hung on a PoE/wireless drop for exactly this sort of application (with "local intelligence" instead of just pushing bytes down a wire). However, that would require *more* work on your part (the boards are *really* small) I will try to locate the camera card and software that I mentioned (but I am traveling so don't have easy access to the resources I would normally have :< ) HTH, --don

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