[hackerspaces] Webcam setups, for security and community?

psytek at alphaonelabs.com psytek at alphaonelabs.com
Fri Nov 4 18:07:05 CET 2011


On Nov 4, 2011, at 9:42 AM, Ben Brown <ben at generik.ca> wrote:

> 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.
> Ben
> 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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