[Wlug] linux security camera

Frank Sweetser fs at WPI.EDU
Tue Mar 1 09:20:42 EST 2016

A few random thoughts, based on the much larger scale surveillance system we 
run here:

  * Cameras are useless without storage.  I would strongly recommend against 
storing the images on the Pi itself, as then someone could very easily walk 
off with them.  Instead, check out a centralized video storage system like 
Zone Minder.

  * Think carefully about what kind of images you want - resolution, image 
quality, and frequency.  Set up a test camera, walk around, do stuff in front 
of it, and see how much really gets captured.  30 seconds is a long time in 
between frames.  With something like Zone Minder, you should also be able to 
set data retention and long term compression policies, giving you more 
flexibility.  Once you have some settings you can live with, you can then 
translate those to actual disk sizes.

  * Assume wireless will stop working, because at some point it will.  Wire is 
pretty cheap (you can get good prices on bulk wire at Monoprice), and it will 
more than make up for it's cost in reliability, performance, and security. 
This is doubly true for the 2.4GHz only wifi on the Pi3.

  * Are those pictures important enough to back up?

Frank Sweetser fs at wpi.edu    |  For every problem, there is a solution that
Manager of Network Operations   |  is simple, elegant, and wrong.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute |           - HL Mencken

On 03/01/2016 08:39 AM, brad wrote:
> W - luggers,
> I plan to rig up a security camera for my wife’s store. Recently a drunk person stumbled in and gave the sales associate a bit of a scare, fortunately nothing happened.
> A company quoted $4k, which i thought was unnecessary, so linux powered i will go. I recall hearing on the list about a linux security camera potential a year ago with a PI, and a search through old list messages confirms that. The market for these PI-like devices seems to be fast moving. The PI 3 was announced recently, and the wifi option is attractive b/c less wiring is desirable. I know of other similar devices such as, beagle bones, other PIs, and ODROID (mentioned on the list). These devices are out of my domain of expertise and there are many of them. I thought the PI 3 would make for a good choice, but i thought i’d ask the list if there is anything else to consider.
> Price is not really an option since all these devices are so dang cheap. The camera(s) will likely fire a shot once every 20-30 second interval, so its not a continuous stream. Infrared is desirable for when the store is closed and visible light is low.
> Thanks,
>   - brad
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