New here- may have cheapest install ever?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ibrouting, Jul 6, 2016.

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  1. ibrouting

    ibrouting n3wb

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    New to the forums but love the software. I am a convert of Zoneminder after the development kind of died off and was looking for a better solution. So my setup is a cheap one, and easy to manage. I am using a combination of phones/tablets for my cameras (and speaker- more in a moment) and BI for the intel on the backend. I am using old smart phones (some running Android 2.3!) for the cameras and using the IP webcam app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.pas.webcam&hl=en) for the access. I use the "overlay" on the webcam app to tell me the time at the camera and I can compare it to the time on BI for determining lag. I then installed Zello on the devices (https://zello.com/app) and created my own channel naming the devices what the camera names are. I set the IP Webcam software and Zello to restart upon reboot to make sure it is always available if it restarts. I have a total of $113 (including cost of BI) in my entire system. Below are a couple of tips if anyone wants to do the same, and please ping me if you have any questions!


    Tips for such a config:
    1) make sure both the server/computer and the phones/tablets are set to receive NTP updates from the same source for time sync
    2) make sure your power plug for the micro-USB puts out enough juice to charge the phone/tablet while it is running. This may seem silly, but some of the cheap chargers don't have the output to do both and the device dies over time.
    3) make sure your devices are either static set for IP or have a DHCP reservation so they always get the same IP
    4) good idea to make sure your computer is static too
    5) I factory reset the phones and copies the IP webcam APK to the devices. I DO NOT have them attached to a Google account!
    6) You can pick up a hard case for cheap for older phones if you want to put a device on a covered entry or Lanai.

    Enjoy!
     
  2. lifeatredline

    lifeatredline n3wb

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    I need to install that on a few old phones here and add them to the system. I've seen the app in play store and wondered how well it works. That also provides a couple hours of built in battery backup at the camera end. Throw a UPS on the router and modem and keep rockin during power outage.
     
  3. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    This is not a reliable solution. These phones are not designed to stream 24/7, they will eventually lock up. Wifi is also a poor choice and will not be stable. Couple that with the apps mjpeg limitation and you are asking for trouble.
     
  4. ibrouting

    ibrouting n3wb

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    That depends on what devices you use. I have 2 LG phones, 2 Samsung S3 an Asus tablet and a raspberry pi with a Pi cam on board. My 6 camera installation has been faithfully chugging along with 4 of them inside and 1 in the garage and 1 on the Lanai for over 6 weeks now without a hiccup. As far as "WiFi being a bad choice", If you reread the post you will see that my devices are on their own, segmented channel. Each device takes less than 400k of bandwidth streaming 10 FPS so I am not sure where you are coming from with that one. If you want to stream 1080p then maybe you would have an issue, but with the correct hardware it is easy to do.
     
  5. ibrouting

    ibrouting n3wb

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    Yeah, we get a LOT of storms where I live and lose power about once a week. Even if the Wifi goes down (will look into a battery backup- good idea!) the phones reconnect when it comes back up seamlessly. The next hing I am working on is making it a P2P network on my LAN so no router is needed. The BI server is a laptop with a 2 hour or so battery life so that kind of makes sense. I am also working on turning an Asus TF300T into a "live picture frame" where it boots up, streams IP webcam as a hidden service and then displays pictures. Hang it anywhere there is power and Viola! Instant security cam that is GUARANTEED to catch an image of anyone breaking into your home!
     
  6. lifeatredline

    lifeatredline n3wb

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    I know this thread is old, but out of curiosity I put an old phone in the garage about the time of this thread. It ran fine till a few months ago when I lost the feed from it, and heard a strange sound on the baby monitor in the garage. The phone battery had swelled up so much it broke the phone case and the sound was smoke venting from the phone. Something to think about if you deploy one of these even for a non critical view, it might burst into flames.

    Sent from my SM-S327VL using Tapatalk
     
    JNDATHP, looney2ns, Ckb3 and 3 others like this.