[hackerspaces] Webcam setups, for security and community?

Ben Brown ben at generik.ca
Fri Nov 4 14:42:42 CET 2011

Our space is using two D-Link IP cameras monitoring both entrances out
in the hall. I had tried to get zoneminder to play ball (along with some
regular USB webcams) but no dice. For now we're using the DVR software
the cameras came with. Seems to work well enough, plus we have two weeks
of motion-detected video if we ever need it.

However you'll never beat the quality of a commercial surveillance
system... expensive as hell, but you do get what you pay for.


On 11/3/2011 1:07 PM, mars at redecho.org wrote:
> Forgive me if this topic has been beaten to death already: I am new to
> this list and have found it difficult to search through the archives.
> I am affiliated with Air Light Time & Space here in Seattle. We want to
> set up some webcams, both as a security measure and as a way of promoting
> community engagement. We think that people will be more likely to "just
> stop by" if they can check in first and see what to expect.
> Commercial security camera systems look complicated and expensive. We were
> thinking that we could get a bunch of cheap USB webcams and plug them into
> a cheap PC and run some free software on it. Of course none of us actually
> know how to do this, which is why I am asking for advice.
> Have any of you set up such a system? Can you give me any pointers on
> hardware or software that I should look into? What is the state of Linux
> camera drivers - are there certain models which should be favored or
> avoided? Is there such a thing as a weatherproof USB webcam? How far can
> you stretch a USB connection? (It'd be cool to put a camera over the front
> door, but that's a good 80 feet from where the PC would live.)  Video
> would be great, but we would be happy with still frames.
> Thanks for any pointers you can offer!
> Mars Saxman @ ALTSpace
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