Technical Stuff

July 14th, 2009

For those that want to set up their own webcam, this is the information on how mine is set up. I have a standard color security camera in an outdoor enclosure that is mounted to the deck next to the feeder. The connection to the camera is via rj59 video coaxial cable. The video feed connects to the computer by way of a PCI video capture card. This could have been created with a wireless camera with much less hassel. Price and security concerns have prevented me from considering those options. I am not saying wireless video feed is insecure. I am only saying that a hard wired system is more secure :-D You can see the outdoor view of the camera here.

Software used to convert the video feed into something usable is operating system dependent. I use Unix type operating systems so the following information is intended for those Linux/FreeBSD users that want to set up a webcam. The video capture card uses the bt878 chipset and is supported in both systems. I use the motion software package to set the video stream as a mjpeg video stream. Motion is pre-packaged for many of the Linux distributions and FreeBSD. You can find more information on the motion package here. I use it to save a snapshot every 10 seconds for use in the video feed and to also generate a snapshot when motion is detected and save it to a different file. For Windows and MacOS users, a quick Google search will bring up many all-in-one webcam kits. These will include the camera, hardware for connection to your computer and the drivers needed for it.


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