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Cameras and motion detection and other questions...
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splashfx



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Harrison, AR

Post Cameras and motion detection and other questions... Reply with quote
Is anyone doing anything as far as cameras and motion detection with vCrib? Possibly an external program that feeds into vCrib to generate an alarm? I love what I've seen of ZoneMinder, but it's Linux only... I tried WebCamXP, and it's good software that works with a great deal of different devices, but external interfacing didn't seem to have much support.

I have been writing my own code, until I can find a better solution. Blog post on my motion detection code:http://homeauto-don.blogspot.com/2009/10/10-14-2009-motion-detection-example.html I have written several modules trying to make my own home automation software (W800RF, CM11A, camera and motion detection, Timer (very full featured, I think), Twitter, SMS/MMS via Gmail, e-mail), but vCrib looks better and more reliable. Smile So now I'm back to vCrib and hoping to finally get something installed that is stable and useful.

Also, I'm curious about zWave. Is anyone running this? If so, how to you like it? Is it reliable? I have been running X10, but it's unreliable (see: unhappy girlfriend). I wanted to run Insteon, but the wiring in my home is so old that it won't work (no common wire) and it will be a major investment to make changes of this magnitude. I'm looking for a good alternative to X10 and Insteon, and that works with vCrib, if anyone has a suggestion. Or if Insteon is still the best route to take, I would like to know that too.

Another thing, I think I saw SnyperBob mention something about this in one of his posts, but has anyone created a DC power bus to power their X10 wireless devices? I hate all of the batteries associated with my motion sensors and door sensors, and was curious if someone had a better solution. I was thinking of having all of my door sensors in a single location where they would be powered, and running wires to each door / window switch. Is there a limit to the length of wire that can be run to the switch? What about a DC power bus to power motion detectors?
Mon May 10, 2010 3:18 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
splashfx



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Harrison, AR

Post Reply with quote
I installed vCrib last night and configured my motion sensors and door switches, along with the W800RF and it works great. One small thing, when I created a new "Kitchen door" object it would crash Admin because that object already existed, but it was a very small learning curve - just thought you might like to know.

v0.90 is a dream to setup. With the video to walk you through everything, and the Zip that includes all the files in one location. Thanks Vaughn for all the work, this is really excellent.

Is there some way to have an external application generate an event? For example, using my camera/motion detection software, could I generate an event like a motion detect and send this into vCrib?
Tue May 11, 2010 1:23 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Humanzee



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 519
Location: Seattle, WA

Post Re: Cameras and motion detection and other questions... Reply with quote
splashfx wrote:
Is anyone doing anything as far as cameras and motion detection with vCrib? Possibly an external program that feeds into vCrib to generate an alarm? I love what I've seen of ZoneMinder, but it's Linux only... I tried WebCamXP, and it's good software that works with a great deal of different devices, but external interfacing didn't seem to have much support.

I have a motion sensor on my porch that tells vcrib to run a bat file that tells my sagetv to tune to the tuner card that has the front door camera. It works but is not elegant.

_________________
vCrib Tester #1, Forum moderator, using INSTEON devices, X10 sensors and remotes via W800RF, All doors are wired with contact closures.
vCrib Wiki
Wed May 12, 2010 1:14 pm View user's profile Send private message
Eatmeimadanish



Joined: 29 Jun 2009
Posts: 36

Post Reply with quote
You could use Eventghost, Vcrib, and VLC Media player to run a sequence of events, and provide a picture in picture pop up on your multimedia station, or computer system.
Wed May 12, 2010 2:51 pm View user's profile Send private message
splashfx



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Harrison, AR

Post Reply with quote
Maybe I phrased my question incorrectly. I have an external program that watches a video feed and compares the previous frame to the current frame and detects motion. When the amount of change reaches a certain amount I would like to be able to send an event to vCrib, or maybe write it in the MySQL table, to say that my program has detected movement. I understand that vCrib has capabilities to run external programs or to react when X10 or similar devices are triggered, but I am curious if I can do something similar in the software.
Mon May 17, 2010 7:34 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
hobbes487



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Boston, MA

Post Reply with quote
You would need some way to have your external program to communicate with vCrib. How does the program notify the user of motion? Is there any way for your program to run a command line command. If so you could use the vccl.exe app to raise an event in vCrib. Otherwise you would need to build some sort of interface to allow them to communicate. It is not hard to write a simple app to communicate with vCrib using the API.

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Brian
Tue May 18, 2010 3:41 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
splashfx



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Harrison, AR

Post Reply with quote
Yes, it can run external applications, it would be a small thing to add. Currently, it's setup to save the image (JPG) that had the motion and send it, via gmail, to my phone via MMS, but having it call an external application would be easy to do.

Is there a reference to the API? If I can interface correctly, it might be something someone else might like to use - although it only supports "IP Kamera" brand cameras at this moment. I would like to add support for DirectShow devices, so that most webcams and capture cards are supported.

Thanks Brian,
Don
Tue May 18, 2010 3:56 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
hobbes487



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Posts: 268
Location: Boston, MA

Post Reply with quote
if you can have it call another application then you probably don't need to make a app to interface with vCrib. you can just run the vccl.exe with the proper command line parameters. You can find info on how to run vccl.exe and documentation on the API and creating a plugin in the wiki.

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Brian
Tue May 18, 2010 9:58 pm View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
splashfx



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Harrison, AR

Post Reply with quote
Ah yes, I see vccl has a very easy way to send commands into vCrib. How sweet is that? Smile I can do that easily. Thanks Brian!!!

I checked out the API and the creating a plug-in sections. Looks very good, but since I'm not using Visual C# or anything else that uses Visual Studio, then my development path may take a little longer, but still excellent work and it looks easy for anyone using Visual Studio to be able to create a plug-in without too much trouble. I may have to convert my Twitter library over to VC#, I would love to have have key events (security changes) tweeted via vCrib.

Thanks for all your help.
Don
Wed May 19, 2010 5:15 am View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
CribKeeper
Site Admin


Joined: 09 Aug 2007
Posts: 653
Location: Overland Park, KS

Post Reply with quote
BUT the industry standard way to interface with motion detecting camera systems is via the relay outputs on the cameras. Of course, to go the other way, you use the digital inputs on the camera system to tell it to record based on vCrib alarms, etc.

senerio 1 sucks because camera's motion detection sucks BAD. Senerio 2 is vital...

(Here is a simple trick, if you have a DVR system with outputs, plug the wires from a DS10A into them and let your cameras talk to vCrib wirelessly)

Vaughn

_________________
the Crib Keeper
www.vcrib.com
Thu May 20, 2010 5:02 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
splashfx



Joined: 18 Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Harrison, AR

Post Reply with quote
Yes, you're correct, but my camera's are cheap (crappy web cams and X10 stuff that I have laying around) and they don't have motion detection built into them, but I tried to use an X10 motion sensor to turn on/off the camera but I wasn't happy with the results - but this could be bad placement of the motion sensor on my part. So, yes, having a good camera would be better, but I can write code for free. Smile

Granted, the camera motion detection does suck. There is constant noise, and it gets better or worse depending on the amount of light. Also, in outdoor monitoring, I've found that having shadows in the picture are bad and if it's a windy day you're very likely to have to TON of false positives.

That said, the camera motion detection works very good in a controlled area: see constant or controlled lighting and nothing in frame that moves unexpectedly.

My software has a filter for noise that works very well, so you can tune it to filter out any noise. Plus, I think it would be easy to add an automatic noise filter into the application, so that noise wasn't an issue. The next thing I plan to add, and this should be very easy, is the ability to block out areas from the comparison of frames. I can create events, and send them to vCrib very simply now that I've read about vccl.

I know industry standard security cameras would be better, but I just don't want to spend the cash on them right now.

Thanks Vaughn for all your work. This is a great system.
Don
Thu May 20, 2010 8:27 pm View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
TerryRon



Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 1

Post Reply with quote
splasehfx wrote:
Yes, you're correct, but my camera's are cheap (crappy web cams and X10 stuff that I have laying around) and they don't have motion detection built into them, but I tried to use an X10 motion sensor to turn on/off the camera but I wasn't happy with the results - but this could be bad placement of the motion sensor on my part. So, yes, having a good camera would be better, but I can write code for free. Smile
Don


The problem with motion detector cameras is that they're too sensitive.
Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:47 am View user's profile Send private message
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