[lug] poor man's surveillance using Linux and cheapo consumer grade cams?

Mike Stanczyk stanczyk at pcisys.net
Thu Jul 9 10:37:27 MDT 2009

On Wed, 8 Jul 2009, siegfried wrote:

>>> I've had good luck with ZoneMinder http://www.zoneminder.com but I'm
>>> using IP cameras rather than USB.  I've also used ZoneMinder with
>>> multiple capture cards with decent results.  The software has a
>>> "montage" feature to show multiple cameras on the same page.
>> What is the cable length limitation for USB cams? Is this the incentive to
>> pay more for IP cameras?  How long can the cord be for IP cameras?
> Anyone have an estimate for the range of wireless cams? Do wireless cams use
> blue tooth or 802.11 or something else?

IP cameras pretend to be a webserver, in most cases, so you network them
just like you would any computer or laptop.  Some IP camera are wired
ethernet, some are 802.11g.

Don't go out and buy just any camera.  ZoneMinder has a compatibility list.
Some IP cameras won't work with ZM because they require an ActiveX plugin.
Yeah, I'm looking at you Linksys WVC54GC.

I've been playing with ZoneMinder and I can share my observations:

ZM is a resource hog.  You need a beefy machine to be the ZM server.
One IP camera on my Dell D610 Laptop is 60% utilization and in that
setup, ZM is only bringing the cameras feed to the ZM webpage, not
monitoring the feed for changes.

IP cameras cost more resources than a camera connected locally via usb
or video capture.


More information about the LUG mailing list