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Computer For the Video Security System

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#1
After getting all my cameras operating and Blue Iris running to my satisfaction I needed to get it off my daily driver and put it on it’s own system. I was planning on running the system headless and RDC (Remote Desktop Connection) into it to access it. I wanted a small unobtrusive machine that would look like just another piece of equipment setting on the shelf in my LAN closet. I finally settled on an Intel NUC, model NUC7i3BNH.
m005752120_sc7.jpg

https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...kits/nuc7i3bnh-16gb-optane.html#expertReviews

The Intel NUC is a small form factor PC. At 2 by 4.5 by 4.3 inches (HWD) it's not quite as small as the pocket-size Intel Compute Stick or the Asus VivoStick, but it's faster and much more fully featured.

On the front are two USB 3.0 ports, the headset jack, and the power button. On the rear, there are two more USB 3.0 ports (note that there are no external USB 2 ports), an HDMI port with 4K support, an Ethernet jack, and an optical audio line. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 4.2 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Two internal drives are supported, 2.5 form factor. I installed a 250 GB SansDisk SSD. There are two memory slots for up to 32 Gb of memory. I installed a single 8 Gb module.

Setup would have much simpler if I had Windows 10. It appears as mickysopht and intel got together to force you out of Win7. Widows 7 has no support for USB 3 devices so when you finish installing win7 on the unit you cannot answer questions (no keyboard) or move the mouse beyond the first startup screen. Ten hours later (and much cursing) I finally found how to include USB 3 drivers for win7 — it wasn’t pretty and is not for the faint of heart. So if you’re thinking about buying one of these Intel “Next Unit of Computing “ (that’s where intel got the name) you better plan on using windoze 10.

The system is now up and running, recording to a 1.5 Tb USB external drive and for the last couple days it has been performing without a glitch. Tucked away downstairs, silently (the fan in this runs with no discernible noise) watching over all four sides of the homestead. Unless you’re reading this, you wouldn’t even know its there.

BF
 

nickndfl

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#2
I was thinking of a Ring Doorbell and a Blink system for inside the house?
 

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Nic
Had to search up the Blink. Seems like it is a good, quick solution for triggered monitoring. Batt life at two years is based on about 12 hours of recording time. I did notice mentioned somewhere that there was a micro USB connection on the cameras that could be used for powering it. I see that you have to get a central module to run the camera(s) and that you can call up live action on your digital device (android or some such).

Personally I prefer hard wired devices even though they're more work initially. Once you run the cable its there until someone tears it out. You can use it for other computer applications. You can power devices over these lines if you use cat 5 wiring.

If you're going to use a video monitoring system you need to decide, first of all, what you want it to do. I want mine to record video when triggered 24 hours a day and save gigabytes of data to memory (hard disk). I want to know if someone is casing my home. I want to know which neighbor's dog is tipping over my trash can on Thursday night. If all you need is to see who broke into your house while you were at work, a 60 second recordings might do it. I can just picture someone at work getting an alarm on their digital device, opening up the app and watching some punk ransack their house 50 miles away. Maybe the police would get over there before he left.

I'd be interested in knowing how the wifi gets from the Blink camera through the sync unit to your android. Do you know how it does that? Especially when your android is 50 miles away. Or am I missing something?

BF
 

Goldhedge

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Thanks, been looking into something like this as well.

Had 2 conductor wire installed around the house when it was built 10 years ago, mostly for motion detectors, but I now see that cameras have come down in price. Wish I put cat5 in there too...and coax...

Also the wireless network cameras do a pretty good job as well.

Costco has the DVR w cameras set up for about $500, but I'm not so sure of the picture quality.

I like the small form factor you have in the NUC. Heck, I use 10 on a PC and wouldn't mind using it for this either.

What kind of camera's you using?
 

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The only wireless I saw there were a couple WIFI single cameras. They set up on your wireless network and you use either their free security/monitoring program or you buy a standalone like I have. The rest of them look hard wired, ONVIF compliant systems.

I have noticed in my research that there are cameras that work only with a propitiatory system, cameras (and DVR systems) that are ONVIF compliant, and IP cameras that are not ONVIF compliant.

They have Q-See cameras (in wireless) and I've never been impressed with their equipment (YMMV). Take a look at some of Frys offerings.

BF
 

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Well the NUC 7i3 didn't make the grade, I had to return it for a more powerful model. Same form factor, a NUC from Intel but a little higher speed processor (4 gh vs 2.5 gh). Same footprint but a wee bit taller, model NUC7i7BNHX1.
NUC7i7BNHX1.png
Still had to go through the same old bs to get win7 installed on it (and let go of an additional $200 for the unit) but it was a lot smoother this time because of my previous complex exercise of OS installation experience.
So this is now up and running to see if I can use one of these systems to run video security. Still running the same evaluation copy of Blue Iris (completely happy with that). Eventually when I am satisfied with the overall operation of the system I will purchase their program.

Questions?
BF
 

Goldhedge

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#9
What were the issues with the NUC7i3 not being powerful enough?

Stuttering video kind of thing??

Just bought these two from Gearbest. 720p's. @ $40 each. Only 'problem' is they have to be powered by a POE switch. I don't have power where I want them.

Looking for an inexpensive POE switch at the moment. Looks like $75 for a 4 port Netgear is the norm.

Got them hooked up for testing. They work pretty well. Put 16g micro SDs in them.

IMG_1183.JPG
 

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GH - in Blue Iris there is a 'ticker' at the bottom showing cpu utilization. With the previous NUC it would run (constantly) at 60% or so. My original test computer (my main machine) it would run at 20 - 40% at most. The smaller NUC loaded down once so much it crashed. It was a windy day and all four cameras were pretty actively triggering. So far the larger NUC is running at 35% pretty consistently. So a lot depends on how many cameras you are running and how sensitive you have the motion triggering set up. Windy days are a killer for motion detection. :D
BTW you can also see your cpu utilization with Resource Monitor (found in \Windows\System32 -in win7). And lots of other operational data there also for those interested in their systems.

About the POE - you can also buy an injector for each line, it fits inline on the cat5 patch cable. I think they're about $10 each.

BF
 

Goldhedge

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#11
Thanks!

I've read good things about Ubiquiti.

I just got 2 Ubiquiti Networks POE-24-12W POE External Injectors $10.00.

Reading up on POE's it seems that the cheap ones (not Ubiquiti) can take out networks.

Curious to know more about Blue Iris. I think I read that it's free for 2 devices? I might give it a try.

The one that came with the cameras, CamHi, works, but it's clunky.

I have the motion detection on the middle setting sitting on my desk and it catches anyone walking past the door. It's not even pointed at the door!
 

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#12
GH - download Blue Iris and check it out, you won't be disappointed. You HAVE TO know the IP address of the camera and the camera administrator name and password for each camera to install them on BI. And the free version will handle all the cameras you have, not just two. It's the purchased version that has the limits and it's the cheap one, not the $60. The more expensive one allows 64 cameras.

And POE specifications call for 12w power available to the camera but I've discovered that PTZ cameras (Pan, Tilt & Zoom) require 20w available power or you have frequent camera disconnects.

Currently I am looking at a PTZ camera by ReoLink (https://reolink.com/product/rlc-423/#overview) with intentions of purchasing one. There are a number of available models at ReoLink's site (https://reolink.com/) which may be a good place to begin for someone interested in video surveillance. ReoLink equipment is also available at amazon.

And for those who wonder just what the heck ONVIF Compliance is all about, here is a decent resource: https://www.security-camera-warehouse.com/knowledge-base/onvif-compliance/ (I know - read, read, read :D)

BF