Sanity check for newbie's first installation

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Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:25 am

Sanity check for newbie's first installation

Post by Pistos » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:34 am

Hi. I've never done anything with IP cameras or security system software, etc. I have over a decade of experience with Linux, though, and am very comfortable navigating the command line, editing text config files, and exercising patience in trying to set things up.

What I'm intending to do is have 1 or more cameras (buying more as needs and budget dictate) for indoor security/monitoring of a smallish premises. I'll begin with one room/area, and grow from there. I am mostly interested in intrusion/trespassing detection. I want alerts of some kind, either SMS or email or both. I would like the system to use motion sensing to reduce storage usage (i.e. record for N seconds after motion is detected, and not record when there is no motion). I would like to be able to view logs of motion/activity. Good picture quality in dark conditions is a must (night time, no interior lights on, a few windows allowing street lighting in). Nice-to-have would be over-the-Internet viewing of camera views, but that's not strictly necessary. I do not need any sound recording or monitoring. PTZ would be nice-to-have, but not necessary.

Here's what I'm thinking of trying/buying:

I have an existing desktop machine with an Intel i7 and 12 GB RAM, usually with 2 to 4 GB RAM free at any given moment. I am willing to spare 20 to 40 GB of disk space for ZoneMinder, but if more is necessary, I am willing to get an external drive. I'm not needing to keep a whole lot of historical footage, and probably would be content with very low frame rates (say, 2 to 5 FPS).

What I'm thinking of buying, and which fits within the kind of budget I want to allot for this project are:

* 1 TRENDnet TV-IP321PI camera -- I'm not dead set on this particular brand and model, it's just that I saw from the HCL that it is compatible with ZM, and the price seems reasonable
* 1 BV-Tech POE-SW501 PoE switch (4-port 10/100Mbps) Again, no loyalty to this brand and model, just something that turned up on a search
* CAT6 cable (Fosmon brand) of sufficient length to wire from the PoE switch to the camera location. I don't know whether CAT 5E would be good enough, though price doesn't seem much different between the two.

I'm not even sure whether I need a switch, vs. an injector(s?) or a midspan. Bear in mind that I do intend to expand to 2 to 4 total cameras, as budget allows. I also don't know if I need to consider the IEEE standards of the devices. The POE-SW501 seems to be 802.3 af i.e. not "at", but I don't know if that makes a difference for me. The camera seems to be 802.3 af as well, so I guess that's good?

I don't know if it's okay to use an existing desktop, or if I should buy or dig up a dedicated machine to use. I think I have a 10-ish-year-old machine somewhere. I also have a Raspberry Pi.

Any advice or guidance would be appreciated.

Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 3:19 am

Re: Sanity check for newbie's first installation

Post by Baylink » Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:49 pm

I should think you're in the general range, yes. Were you planning to coreside the package with other things on that machine? Which OS is it running?

For a single camera, you should have plenty of headroom, yes.

I'm using the IP-314PI's and, so far, I'm deliriously happy with them. :-)

And yes, 4-6fps is the recommended target rate 'round these here parts.

Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:25 am

Re: Sanity check for newbie's first installation

Post by Pistos » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:15 pm

Baylink: Thank you for your response.

I wanted to try first with an existing machine which is already in use for other things. It's running Gentoo. Even if I get/make a standalone machine for ZM, I would put Gentoo on it, also.

I have the frontend mostly working, but my current roadblock is that zmc for a test stream rtsp:// is segfaulting, and I've had no success with an old USB camera, either. I'd prefer to see ZM working properly before I shell out to buy the camera hardware.

Does anyone have suggestions for video streams to test with?

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