Zoneminder with Home Automation and Security

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JohnnySSH
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:14 pm

Zoneminder with Home Automation and Security

Post by JohnnySSH » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:26 pm

Hi,

I'm a total newbee to CCTV/security setups and Home Automation.

I hope someone can give me some advice to help with my confusion.


Basically I'd like to integrate Zoneminder with a home automation system. Now having done a lot of reading about the various different ways in which to build a setup and different protocols involved I was hoping to use Zoneminder as a central security system.

Since the way I understand it Zoneminder can detect movement either through motion detectors in cameras or optically say if a particular "defined" zone shows some kind of abnormality; from the red section in this screenshot from the site:

http://www.zoneminder.com/sites/zonemin ... irefox.jpg

So if something "hinky" is detected Zoneminder will issue an alert....


If I were to bullet point my questions it would end up something like this:

1. Can ZM be used as or in conjunction with an alarm system - as in when ZM alerts it sets of an external alarm sounder unit?

2. Can ZM be integrated with Home Automation protocols such as X10, so that one can network the whole setup?

3. When going for wireless IP cameras, what should one be looking out for? Since there is a vast variety of manufacturers out there, what's the difference between cameras costing say $50 and those costing $500?

4. Can ZM also link to smoke detectors and other "emergency" style detector or should I just simply view ZM as being a CCTV based PVR style software with many cool features?

- 4.1. If the PVR style is the case what's the best way to integrate ZM with a Home Automation system then? It would be great and so cool to be able to control everything from a central location; be it control panel or computer/phone software!


Thanks for any hints/tips help/advice regarding this :-)

troglodyte
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:41 am

Re: Zoneminder with Home Automation and Security

Post by troglodyte » Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:52 am

I'd love to know more about exactly that issue, unfortunately it appears from the lack of response to the previous question that its not considered of interest to regulars. In particular, I notice the official lines 'Highly partitioned design allow other hardware interfacing protocols to be added easily for support of alarm panels etc. ' & 'Support external triggering by 3rd party applications or equipment.' which suggest there is capability for communication between Zoneminder and PIR detectors, smoke detectors etc' Considering that Zoneminder appears to already have most of the essentials in place, there shouldn't me that much involved in configuring it to recognize input from other than camera inputs. Maybe these questions need to be posted in another part of the forum before they are considered worth responding to although newbies couldn't reasonably be expected to know all the protocols.

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asker
Posts: 1340
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:12 pm

Re: Zoneminder with Home Automation and Security

Post by asker » Tue Mar 24, 2015 8:33 pm

Hello,
1. Can ZM be used as or in conjunction with an alarm system - as in when ZM alerts it sets of an external alarm sounder unit?
4. Can ZM also link to smoke detectors and other "emergency" style detector or should I just simply view ZM as being a CCTV based PVR style software with many cool features?
As long as there is a way for you to detect when such events occur, you can use the ZoneMinder trigger architecture to trigger it to record. See http://www.zoneminder.com/wiki/index.ph ... on_with_ZM

For example, if you have a thermostat that offers some sort of API, you can poll it to detect state and raise a notification in ZM. I have a home alarm that is not "connected over IP" (its an old HoneyWell LYNX) but when I arm the alarm it screams "ARMED. EXIT NOW!!". I'm thinking of recording a voice sample of that and writing a script that keeps listening for that to be repeated with say 80% match and if so, it will trigger a recording. I have no idea how reliable it will be till I try it. For example, I already used their trigger architecture to initiate recordings when my Foscam detects motion using the HW detection of the camera (not ZM). The options are endless. Ideally, your 'device' should have some interface to interface with it (Nest thermostats, many new WiFi thermostats, Nest's alarms etc)

2. Can ZM be integrated with Home Automation protocols such as X10, so that one can network the whole setup?
Apparently yes. See http://www.zoneminder.com/wiki/index.ph ... 10_Devices (and the threads this links points to for more details)
3. When going for wireless IP cameras, what should one be looking out for? Since there is a vast variety of manufacturers out there, what's the difference between cameras costing say $50 and those costing $500?
I'd say,
a) Build quality
b) Camera image quality
c) How it performs at night (IR and quality of IR)
d) Wide angle capability & zoom
e) Compliance to standards (example RTSP, standards compliant Web interface - no activeX crap etc)

I use Foscam 9831W. Costs $99. Has PTZ, good image quality. 70 degrees field of view. Works well with ZM. Also seems well built.
I hear Axis cameras are better - no practical experience.
- 4.1. If the PVR style is the case what's the best way to integrate ZM with a Home Automation system then? It would be great and so cool to be able to control everything from a central location; be it control panel or computer/phone software!
ZM's trigger architecture. I love it.
--
My collection of ZoneMinder learnings:
https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Various_ZM_thoughts

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