Any experience with the Raspberry Pi and IR Camera?

toddmc451

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I've recently purchased a Raspberry Pi and IR Camera module that I plan on using for a DIY video doorbell. I hope to integrate it into my BlueIris solution. Has anyone here already done this? Have any pointers, etc.? I haven't started the configuration yet, and am still collecting bits and pieces to make this work. Either way, I'll use this thread to keep everyone informed as to my success or failure! Wish me luck! :)
 

Soepkip

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I recommend using picamera python if you want specific functions. For real-time streaming I use gstreamer.
It's a shame that after all these years there is still no suitable weatherproof housing available for a raspberry pi + camera. Software-wise I really like the RPi + camera (you can 'configure' it exactly like you want), but hardware-wise it is no contender for a decent ip camera.
I just recently started looking for new IP cameras (I have had a few Foscams and Wanscams for years) and the quality has greatly improved the past few years. Compared to a MJPEG Foscam the RPi gives a crystal clear picture during day. But at night it can't compete with modern IP cameras.
For a video doorbell it is probably sufficient and the nice thing about the RPi is that you can connect and program pretty much everything you need (there are also some applications available on the internet which might already suit your needs).
 

toddmc451

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bp2008

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I've used both camera modules and honestly unless you have a lot of IR illumination already then you are better off with the standard pi camera as it will capture more accurate color during the day.

https://www.ipcamtalk.com/showthread.php/3770-Raspberry-Pi-camera-long-exposure-night-samples

Blue Iris uses a lot of CPU to decode MJPEG so hopefully you can find a way to stream h264 if you want to use it with Blue Iris.

Also, the Pi 2 (as opposed to the original pi) is capable of much better MJPEG streaming (higher resolution, faster frame rate).

You could always use a dummy housing like this guy did: http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspberry-Pi-as-low-cost-HD-surveillance-camera/?ALLSTEPS

Here is an example from Amazon of a housing that is probably big enough: http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Security-Weatherproof-Surveillance-Enclosure/dp/B001D0D4S6
Why use a housing that big, when you could get a complete 4 megapixel security camera that is smaller for less money than the pi + camera + enclosure? :)
 

toddmc451

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Blue Iris uses a lot of CPU to decode MJPEG so hopefully you can find a way to stream h264 if you want to use it with Blue Iris.
I'm still a "noob" when it comes to security cameras and Blue Iris, and I'm still learning. I am currently using four Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I via PoE, with Blue Iris running on a fairly decent Win-10 PC with 32GB RAM. Still, I am concerned about the CPU usage. I'm fairly certain that I am using the default settings and configurations for the most part. Do you have any recommendations for decreasing CPU utilization?
 

toddmc451

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Why use a housing that big, when you could get a complete 4 megapixel security camera that is smaller for less money than the pi + camera + enclosure?
That suggestion was simply in reply to the comment that Soepkip made regarding the lack of a "suitable weatherproof housing"... "for a raspberry pi + camera". Personally, while I like the DIY aspect of that build using a dummy housing, I myself would probably stick with the Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I (for everything other than this Video Doorbell that I want to make).
 
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Soepkip

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I used multiple of those dummy enclosures, but it's far from ideal. They are either too small or you have a lot of spare space left in the housing. And there is no proper way to mount the camera lens in those enclosures so you end up taping or gluing it to the window. It works, but with the large amount of Raspberry Pi enclosures it's just too bad that there is no decent waterproof enclosure which is a perfect fit for the RPi + camera.
 

fenderman

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I'm still a "noob" when it comes to security cameras and Blue Iris, and I'm still learning. I am currently using four Hikvision DS-2CD2032-I via PoE, with Blue Iris running on a fairly decent Win-10 PC with 32GB RAM. Still, I am concerned about the CPU usage. I'm fairly certain that I am using the default settings and configurations for the most part. Do you have any recommendations for decreasing CPU utilization?
The most important thing to do to reduce cpu is use direct to disk recording. video>record>file format. This is a must for multi MP cameras. Use blue iris dvr format as well.
Blue iris now also supports hardware acceleration if you have an modern intel processor with quicksync.
Lower your frame rate to 15fps
You can also reduce the live preview rate.
 

toddmc451

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...with the large amount of Raspberry Pi enclosures it's just too bad that there is no decent waterproof enclosure which is a perfect fit for the RPi + camera.
I totally agree with you. My own solution (if I can pull it off) will have the R-Pi camera mounted in the wall of the house inside a typical electrical wiring box with a stainless steel cover plate and glass (or clear plastic) protecting the camera and IR diodes from the elements. I plan to have the R-Pi itself on the other side of the wall inside the house.
 

toddmc451

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The most important thing to do to reduce cpu is use direct to disk recording. video>record>file format. This is a must for multi MP cameras. Use blue iris dvr format as well.
Blue iris now also supports hardware acceleration if you have an modern intel processor with quicksync. Lower your frame rate to 15fps. You can also reduce the live preview rate.
Thank you for these tips!! :) I will look into this. However, I probably will not change anything for the next month or so, as the cameras are currently being used to record the progress of some remodeling work that I have going on right now. I don't want to change anything until that project is completed since everything (cameras & BlueIris) is working at the moment and I want the video format to be the same.

This reminds me of another question I had... Is it possible to convert recorded video from the BlueIris format to something else after it's been saved to disk? I would like to share some videos, but they probably need to be in a format that is more common.
 

StevesWeb

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I've recently purchased a Raspberry Pi and IR Camera module that I plan on using for a DIY video doorbell. I hope to integrate it into my BlueIris solution. Has anyone here already done this? Have any pointers, etc.? I haven't started the configuration yet, and am still collecting bits and pieces to make this work. Either way, I'll use this thread to keep everyone informed as to my success or failure! Wish me luck! :)
I have four Raspberry Pi 2 model B setup as webcams around my property and am using MJPG streamer and Blue Iris. I've built two in cheap plastic fake camera housings from eBay, and the last two are in oversize aluminum enclosures.

I like this one from Amazon the best. http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B004CBGFOS?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00
 

pila

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I adore my Raspberries, but I would not use them for a doorbell. Other posters made great points regarding housing.

I actually use a regular IP camera (mini dome) just above the main door as a doorbell for our cats (OK, and for everybody else). I do not use BI or PC. Cameras are displayed 24/7 on a dedicated 7" Android tablet with TinyCam and when door camera sends motion alert, tablet rings.

If I do not want to be disturbed by the "doorbell" (or cats are not outside), I can turn the tablet sound off or set it to lowest level. Am using it this way for almost two months (this was my first camera), and the system works perfectly. Camera is set to trigger motion alert in advanced mode to avoid bugs and dust and similar. Light change is the only false alarm.

No CPU or any other problem. Tablet is on constant power and is held in place by sucky holder (think GPS or a phone in a car). Has UPS built in :) Recordings are made separately and are not related to this use.

Actual doorbell button I may likely completely remove in the future.
 

toddmc451

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So for anyone who was interested, I found the following link to be the most helpful with regards to configuring the Raspberry Pi and Camera: http://www.home-automation-community.com/surveillance-with-raspberry-pi-noir-camera-howto/

On Blue Iris, I have the camera configured with:
Address: HTTP://192.168.1.19:8080
User ID: pi
Password: <password>
Media Port: 8080
Discovery Port: 8080
Make: Generic
Model: MJPEG Stream
Path: /stream/video.mjpeg
checked: Send RTSP keep-alives
checked: Use RTSP/stream timecode

These settings got it working in Blue Iris.
 
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