Help with my setup

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by macfly1, Jan 13, 2018.

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  1. macfly1

    macfly1 n3wb

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    Hi Forum,

    First of all I would like to thank the creator and moderator for this knowledge base opportunity as well as the contributor to this forum. This is truely great!

    Here is my problem I would like some suggestions / ideas on.

    I have a few acres of land in a remote area with no main power. However, we have a small cabin on that land but lately it got broken in and they started stealing the flooring and other materials.
    To prevent us from more issues, I would like to install a few cameras around the area.

    My issue is the following:
    1. I need at least 4 cameras around the property to cover each entrance of the cabin
    2. The cameras should have night vision IR
    3. I have limited alternative power and an UPS which can run the setup but it need to have a low usage and run 24/7
    4. We have full coverage of mobile broadband via and USB dongle with enough data capacity to upload the data on motion only
    5. The data need to be stored away from the place as it is very easy to steal the setup

    I thought about to build a mini ITX setup but the power consumption is high. Furthermore, if they steal this box, I will have to replace it and this cost will add up quickly.

    That said, I am looking for a low cost setup.

    My idea is to have a sort of raspberry PI handling the 4 cameras and connecting to the internet via the dongle. As the upload speed for that dongle is around 15Mbps and I need a low powered computer, I do not think I can stream 1080p (around 8Mbps per stream) on 4 cameras at the same time over the internet reliable.

    A solution I was thinking of was to buffer the video feed on an ssd and upload the footage to a server in an interval and clean the ssd before it runs out of space.
    However, if this works, it will give me a unorganised dump of data which is hard to go through for events.
    Also, the box could be stolen before the next interval has started and the needed data is gone.

    In an ideal world I would like to have this setup:
    • 4 Cameras are connected to a low power usage middleware
    • The middleware connects to the internet to my server at home
    • The server runs ZoneMinder or equivalent
    • If motion has been detected on one of the cameras ZoneMinder will record the stream
    To achieve this my question would be:
    • How can i centralise the camera feed over the middleware
    • How do I get the motion trigger across
    • As far as I understand, the camera is constantly buffering X second to give me footage X second before the motion. Is this stored on the cam itself?
    • Is there an openSource IP camera with API available I could easy use? Like Armcrest but open for any cloud?
    • Are there better solutions matching my criteria above?

    Thanks for the help in advance!

    Cheers,
    Macfly
     
  2. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    @macfly1 do you have an alarm system at the location?
    how many watts of power do you have available 24/7
     
  3. macfly1

    macfly1 n3wb

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    Hi Fenderman,

    No alarm system as it has no landline and it is very remote - any noise will not be noticed.
    Right now the main power comes from solar panels. In the near future we are planing to add a micro hydro power plant to the river near by which will increase our available power by a lot.

    At this stage on an average day we are producing enough to run an high end computer but the bottleneck is the battery. We have only a small 3KW battery installed.
    With 6 sun hours we need to cover 18 hours of the battery. So we have around 150 Watt 24/7. So far we had not one day were the battery has not been charged fully over the course of the day but if it ever falls short I can add more panels. Furthermore, I would add an UPS to the entire system which will work as a second backup.

    So technically there is no Watt limitation as such as I could always keep adding more panels to the grid and increase the battery. But in the end I do not want to spend $1000.00 of dollars to upgrade maybe to a tesla powerwall 2 just to run a stronger computer which in the end still needs to upload the stream to a sort of cloud.

    But as it is remote, it would be just a question of time when they start to dismantle the power grid and steal the panels or even the powerwall itself.
    There is only one access road by land with a 4wd which is a one way road for at least 20 minutes. and if the camera would detect motion, there would be enough time to call the near by authorities to catch them before the come off that road. However, this will not be guaranteed that they will catch them in time.

    A footage will help to identify them as not many people know this area well enough.

    So yes, technically I could run a high end computer eventually but this is a high risk and high cost investment which I try to avoid. I would like to have a low cost setup connecting to the internet and saving the data on my server so if it gets stolen and the authorities do not catch them, it is not adding to the loss and replacing the system afterwards do not drain my wallet :)

    Cheers,
    Macfly
     
  4. Fastb

    Fastb Getting comfortable

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    Maybe a "game camera". Some can push images w/ cell network.
     
  5. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    If you have cellular internet access, then install an alarm system. It will have much less power draw, and be capable of notifying an alarm monitoring center via a cellular modem.
    Include a VERY loud siren inside the cabin.
     
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  6. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    You dont need a landline to send an alarm signal...it cam be done via cellular...noise is good regardless as the perpetrators dont know where you are...An alarm would be an almost 100 percent confirmation that there is a vandal there.
    You dont need a high end computer for this I would get at least 6 cameras...good ones like dahua starlight...add sd card inside for backup...
    a 100-125 dollar third generation i5 system like an hp 8300 i5-3570 would be more than sufficient. If you run blue iris you can have the system play prerecorded audio on motion detection....you can record to the internal drive and a small tiny nas drive well hidden someplace....then you can set blue iris to upload photos and video on motion only to save bandwidth as a constant stream will not work unless you have true unlimited service...another thing to consider with cell service is that most will not provide a routeable ip..and you will either have to pay serious cash or use a workaround (some have posted success running logmein hamachi)....some vms like network optix (digital watchdog) in the us provide their own free cloud service so (as i understand) you would not have these issues...
    again, the alarm should be number 1, because with cams, motion detection is 100 percent reliable....
     
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  7. macfly1

    macfly1 n3wb

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    Thanks for all the answers.

    I am not very familiar with alarm system but after reading your answers I must agree it was a stupid assumption that we need a landline for this .... Was not thinking clearly about it ;-)

    An alarm system with a loud siren will not really help. The cabin is on a land inside a huge national park surrounded by lakes. Everyone who find the cabin will know this. A better access is by helicopter anyway and perpetrators need to know the area. I may even know them which is most likely.
    Sure it may freak them out and they may run away but I cannot call the cops if the alarm goes off. The reason for that is that I do not have a visual confirmation and there are to many animals may or may not trigger the alarm.
    I would like to have a visual confirmation which also will work as evidence for insurance claims and I can see who actually brakes in.

    @fenderman
    I assume you mean "not", correct? (because with cams, motion detection is 100 percent reliable....).
    Thank you for the setup you have suggested. The VPN setup should not be an issue as I have a VPN server already I can connect to.

    If you would be so kind to answer me a few questions regarding this setup:
    • On my home setup the IP cameras have a build in motion detection which triggers the recording to my NAS only when a motion is detected. From my network protocol I can see that the IP cams are not sending anything unless motion is detected.
      • If I understand this correctly, I could use a simple VPN client and connect it to my server. The sever can than run Blue Iris and connect to the cam. If the cam record motion it send the video stream to blue iris via VPN, correct?
      • Does the motion detection buffer a short time in advance on the cam itself to ensure a few second head start of the motion?
    • Why do I need to record the video on a tiny NAS drive hidden away? For as a second backup in case of Wifi issues? - That would either need to have a wire or WIFI which all uses more power. The wire would lead to the NAS :)
    • Can you suggest a good alarm system?

    Cheers,
    Macfly
     
  8. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    you keep missing the point...an alarm system which will cost you 250 bux, will give you almost 100 percent verification that there is an intruder there - if a door magnet trips the alarm its a person - unless you have bears breaking down doors, and in that case I suggest you give up the cabin......if you have it monitored the central station will also call the local police...even if you are sleeping or not with your phone...the intruder does not know if you are nearby or how close the police are, then will not do the things you stated they did last time.
    Yes, its not 100 percent and depending on what you use for motion detection it can be 10 percent...with blue iris you can integrate motion sensors as well - zwave to make it easy.
    you have not answered whether you have unlimited bandwidth...if not, you will not be able to stream to your home 24/7...that will be a problem..that is why you must record locally and only upload on a motion event..a cable to the nas uses no power...the nas itself with a drive maybe 10w..
    There are a bunch of threads discussing alarm systems...wired and wireless...note because of the remote location wired is likely better because you wont be there to change batteries if need be.
     
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  9. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    The purpose of the siren inside the cabin is to cause pain, and hopefully the perps won't want to stick around.
    Two 110db sirens blaring in an enclosed space is really uncomfortable.
    A----properly installed----alarm system with the---proper--- sensors will give you 100 percent verification someone (or a bear) broke in.
    And practically no false alarms.

    Not all alarm installers are created equal.

    Or you could always setup the alarm to do a silent alert to the monitoring station, in the hopes the cops would arrive in time to catch the perps.
    But sounds like you your situation, don't count on it.

    You could simply setup one or two of these cams inside the cabin, with SD cards installed in a location that would get perps ID's.
    ANNKE I61DR 2MP (Hikvision Cube Clone)

    See the subject area on this forum dedicated to alarms.
     
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  10. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    Please describe your 'alternative power' situation in as much detail as you can.

    You might be looking at uploading still images rather than video, even that can violate the ToS with your cell carrier. You probably need to install microsd cards in the cameras as a back up, and record to two devices inside one that's obvious and one that's very well hidden.

    An alarm system will alert you to verified events and help you retrieve footage before it gets over written.

    Temperature in the winter could be an issue. How cold does it get in the winter?
     
  11. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    That does happen. But most often it's the result of people being idiots. If there are many habituated bears unwelcome mats and electric fence chargers work well as does boarding up doors and windows.
     
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  12. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Yeah, I saw an episode of I was prey where a guy was attacked in his cabin...that would be my last night there...
     
  13. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    Oh man say isn't so! The humanity!

    /sarcasim
     
  14. macfly1

    macfly1 n3wb

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    Thanks for the information and clarification.

    I am in Australia so no bears and no animal knocking in a door - I have seen a Kangaroo doing it but I think that is one in a million chance.
    I was worried about motion from snakes or larger spiders.

    Anyway, I do not want to start an argue about alarm system and if it is feasible or not. I get the point and I will look more into it.
    However, I would like to have a camera setup as well because I am very certain that it is a person who lives around the area and I most likely know him.

    I do not have unlimited bandwidth and only send data on motion would be the only option. As I asked before, if the cam is doing the motion detection, will there be a 24/7 stream upload coming from the cam? From what I see it is not the case as the cam only send the stream when it detects motion. Only traffic is handshakes.

    I have outlined that before.

    Our temperature in winter will not drop below 10 degree Celsius or 50 degree Fahrenheit.

    I would like to have as less hardware in the cabin as possible and let the recording happen away from it.

    DO you see any issue with running 4 cams on a POE switch which is connected to a RPI working as a VPN gateway to my server at home which runs BI?
    If the cam manage the motion detection and only send data on that event than this should not be a problem with our limited data.

    again - i am not against an alarm system and my install one as well but I would like to have a cam setup.

    Cheers,
    Macfly
     
  15. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    Sorry I missed the post where you explained the power situation.
    You should probably budget about 10w / cam with IR on and 30-50w to record the cameras (could be more with redundant systems).

    In the US cellular bandwidth is generally capped or slowed to dial up speeds after you exceed a certain amount. I think odds are good you'll ultimately need a local recording.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  16. macfly1

    macfly1 n3wb

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    In Australia we keep the bandwidth (around 20 mbps for 4g here) but will get charged for each gig extra. However, we have plans up to 200gb per month on 4g network and I can easy top up online. Expensive but ok :)

    So I assume that the cam is not sending anything unless it detects motion, correct?
     
  17. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    If you set it up that way, then yes, you would only get a notification upon motion. With a picture attached if you wish.