DVR Build

Post here to ask any questions about hardware suitability, configuration in ZoneMinder, or experiences. If you just want to know if something works with ZoneMinder or not, please check the Hardware Compatibility sections in the forum, and the Wiki first. Also search this topic as well.
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SeattleMike
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm

DVR Build

Post by SeattleMike » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:59 pm

I recently built a PC/DVR for use with ZM and thought I'd share it here. Here's what I used:

Items bought new:
  • ASUS H110M-E/M.2 LGA1151 DDR4 M.2 HDMI USB3.0 H110 MicroATX Motherboard ~$56
  • Ballistix Sport LT 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR4 2666, 16GB total ~$65
  • Intel Core i7-7700, 3.6 GHz, LGA1151 socket (bought unused from a buddy for $150, woo hoo!)
  • TP-Link AC1300 PCIe Wireless Wifi PCIe Card | 2.4G/5G Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter - $35
Total, about $306.

Old, repurposed parts I had laying around:
  • Mid-size case from a previous HP Media Center PC
  • Spare 21" monitor (you can buy a similar one brand new for ~$90 or so)
  • Misc fans, Keyboard, mouse, BT adapter - all surplus stuff that were just gathering dust
  • 500W power supply from my son's old gaming PC (a new one would be ~$30)
Total, $0

So, a little over $300 for a very capable box to run ZM on.

The old PC I had running ZM would sit at a a typical load of 2.5 to 4.0. when idle.
The newly-built box running ZM sits at ~0.4 to 0.7 when idle. :)

I have a couple of inexpensive wifi cams to use in low-interest areas, and I'll be getting several PoE cams for the other zones. I'll probably have 6 or 7 cameras total by the time I'm done. The only other thing to buy is a PoE switch, and I'm thinking something like this will probably work just fine:

https://www.amazon.com/BV-Tech-Port-Swi ... B005GAATOG (8/9 ports) - $61

I'll buy one and see if that's enough for now. So, for under $400 I should have a pretty solid system.

I considered dropping more $$$ on a pre-built NVR/DVR system (like Hikvision or Amcrest or something similar) but I liked Zoneminder and kinda wanted to build a system myself. A few people recommended Blue Iris but I'm not a big fan of Windows, especially Win10. I do have to say that Blue Iris looks like a very good application. Too bad it's a Windows-only program.

I also had someone suggest using tinyCam and running it on an Android emulator like Remix OS Player. I've gotta admit, tinyCam is pretty nice, has lots of features and it can push to remote storage very easily. tinyCam also does very good network scanning and can take almost any camera you can throw at it. I'm tempted to try it just for fun, but I think Zoneminder will do everything I need just fine.

So, there ya have it. Comments and suggestions welcome!

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snake
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 2:20 am

Re: DVR Build

Post by snake » Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:36 am

There are vendors selling used rack servers on ebay with 1 or 3-year warranties for $300-500. That's what I do. Then there's no need to build anything up. It also works good with 1.32+ as you can utilize the docks for multiple storage areas. I have an R710 with a 10TB HDD* in it, and I'm going to throw some more HDDs in there. For the 10-20 cameras I have, I'll easily be able to pick and choose what cameras get long term storage, vs which get only a couple months.

802.3 POE is the only way to go. Don't mess with 12V passive POE. You need adapters, and it looks poor. I use POE injectors, instead of POE switches. Personal preference - I don't like managed switches.

*There are some catches, for example, not all servers will support large HDDs, and you might have to buy docking trays, and / or SAS drives (or interposer boards if you want to use SATA), but overall, it's not a bad route. A server CPU (not a consumer i3,5, or 7) will always outperform the consumer CPUs for larger deployments.

SeattleMike
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm

Re: DVR Build

Post by SeattleMike » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:44 am

Thank you for the info, snake.
snake wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:36 am
There are vendors selling used rack servers on ebay with 1 or 3-year warranties for $300-500. That's what I do.
Hmmm, that sounds like a really good way to get a lot of bang for the buck.

snake wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:36 am
802.3 POE is the only way to go. Don't mess with 12V passive POE. You need adapters, and it looks poor. I use POE injectors, instead of POE switches. Personal preference - I don't like managed switches.
Can you expand a little bit on what you mean by "You need adapters, and it looks poor"? I'm not sure what you mean there. (??) Also, instead of 12v, I'm guessing you're saying to use 48v? I can't tell what voltage the switch I mentioned uses- it doesn't say anything about it as far as I can see. (??)

I'll have to research injectors vs passive to get up to speed. For some testing I got a simple injector that plugs into the wall, is that what you're referring to, or...?

Also, I plan on getting a little more HDD space, but I'd like to have some of the recent video pushed to an AWS S3 bucket, with some of the long term stuff pushed to AWS Glacier (super cheap long term storage).

I'm a little leery of keeping all the video locally- if someone really wanted to they could just yank the PC out and take it with them, along with the videos. Pushing some of the recent stuff (like the last day or so) to an S3 bucket would mean that no matter what happens I'll still have the video.

AWS Glacier is pretty cheap. For the US West 1 region it's $0.004 per GB/month, and retrieval (which hopefully I'll never need) is $0.01 per GB. So it might cost a bit to get it back if I ever need it, but it won't cost much- 100GB would be a dollar. Outbound data transfer to Glacier is free, no charge at all.

S3 bucket storage costs a little more, but not much. Standard pricing (Over 500 TB/month) is only $0.021 per GB. So, storing 100 GB would be a couple dollars a month. The AWS redundancy and reliability is incredibly good. Amazon says this about the chance of losing a file:
"It's possible to lose files in S3. S3 Standard, & Infrequent Access has a 99.999999999% durability of objects over a given year. That said, if you store 10,000 objects (files) with Amazon S3, you can on average expect to incur a loss of a single object once every 10,000,000 years."
One file per 10 million years, lol. I can live with that. :)

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snake
Posts: 254
Joined: Sat May 21, 2016 2:20 am

Re: DVR Build

Post by snake » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:48 pm

SeattleMike wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:44 am
Can you expand a little bit on what you mean by "You need adapters, and it looks poor"? I'm not sure what you mean there. (??) Also, instead of 12v, I'm guessing you're saying to use 48v? I can't tell what voltage the switch I mentioned uses- it doesn't say anything about it as far as I can see.
A few things are going by the name POE these days, but all you want to use is the ~48V Official 802.3af POE. There is also something called passive POE, which can be 12, or 24 volts. You can buy the 12V adapters cheaply, and then simply plug a DC adapter which will put 12V onto two pairs of the ethernet wire. Some vendors sell 24V passive POE for Wifi APs. Finally, some POE devices don't follow the standard, and should be avoided at all costs. Make sure the device you are buying mentions 802.3 compatibility.

Here's a picture of the passive POE adapter I was referring to. Some vendors also sell DC adapters that have passive POE built in, as I mentioned, so they don't always look like this. A passive POE injector can look identical to a 802.3af compatible POE injector. Passive POE is to be avoided.
s-l225.jpg
s-l225.jpg (4.27 KiB) Viewed 1407 times
I'm not a fan of Amazon, but S3 backup is built into 1.32+ ZM storage areas. You can always backup locally to another server, or have redundant camera servers. ZM is flexible.

SeattleMike
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri May 17, 2019 2:28 pm

Re: DVR Build

Post by SeattleMike » Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:40 am

Ahh, okay, thank you. Here's a pic of the 48v injector I got (mostly for testing, but which will eventually be used somewhere).
IPCamAdapter.png
IPCamAdapter.png (11.36 KiB) Viewed 1399 times
I haven't had a chance to hook this up to the SV3C camera and get it connected to ZM, but it's on my list of stuff to do this weekend.

Does this switch look like it would work as a suitable PoE switch?
https://www.amazon.com/BV-Tech-Port-Swi ... B005GAATOG

In one of the reviews it mentions that it supports 48v cameras. The description says "PoE+ Switch (8 PoE+ Ports | 1 Uplink Port) – 120W – 802.3af/at", so based on what you said, it seems like it should work.

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