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  • Please share your car DVR experience and recommendations

    I have experience in security DVR systems - years back - so I'm not totally ignorant but I'm way out of date and definitely budget constrained.

    I would like to include 8 to 12 channels of DVR in my car PC setup. I'd like video of all directions, front, sides, and back, on the outside. I'd like video of all the car entrances on the inside. I think probably 6 on the outside - two on each side and one front, one back. Depending on coverage, 4 to 6 on the inside. I'd like the cameras to upload through a cellular wireless to the web on any alarm or panic button. In fact, I want the system to upload video that was recorded up to 30 seconds before the panic button or alarm if I can get the right APIs to write the software for that.

    I've bought some sample cameras to determine what quality I can afford and I can get quite good video quality in the cameras for an affordable price. What I haven't found is any affordable DVRs that will support the quality of the cameras.

    Have any of you installed DVR systems in your own cars? What kind of results did you get? What kind of cameras and DVRs did you use? Pictures, of course, would be hugely appreciated.

  • #2
    I'm doing something like that in a building. I'm using a couple different variations of Foscam IP cameras (about $80 each). They all ftp images based on either elapsed time or motion detection to a Network attached server.

    The Foscam cameras all run off of 5 volts, so a 12-5 volt converter could run them. They draw about 4 watts a piece during the day. I have never measured them at night when the IR illuminators are on.

    The Network attached server (WDSHARESPACE) runs of an external power adapter, so I am pretty sure something like that could run off DC as well. The drives go to sleep after a minute of activity and the power consumption drops quite a bit. There is a place in the server to plug in a USB memory stick. I ftp all my images to the memory stick so that I don't have to wake up the hard drives all the time. A PC transfers all the saved images from the USB stick to the RAID hard drives a couple times a day.

    I am sure you could do the same thing with USB cameras. Based on my limited experience with USB cameras however, they take a fair amount of processing power for each camera. I'm not sure what would happen if you plugged so many into a PC. Also, you will run into issues sorting the cameras out if they are all the same kind. With Ethernet cameras, each camera has it's own I address. With USB cameras it isn't so clean. It is hard to sort out each camera from each other camera. I tried it once many years ago with just 2 cameras on a Windows 2000 machine and had many headaches. I wound up replacing one of the cameras with a different one that had a different model number and that stopped them from fighting with each other for drivers and such.

    If you do try to send lots of video over a cellular wireless connection, be careful as to the encoding method. For instance, the Foscams all come in two different Variations... either MJPEG or H.264. While MJPEG is a better format as far as picture quality goes. the bandwidth requirements are maybe 20 to 50X greater. No way you are going to stream multiple MJPEG feeds at once over cellular wireless.

    Rick

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    • #3
      I wasn't really planning on usb cameras. For instance, this is one of the cameras I bought for sample for this project.

      http://www.securitycamera2000.com/products/690TVL-Ultra-WDR-Pixim-SEAWOLF-HD-CCTV-Mini-Camera-3.6mm-Lens-OSD-Menu.html

      I've tried USB DVR in the past and not had good results. I am thinking a PCIE DVR card in my carPC or dedicated DVR if I can find either that have the capacity, performance, features, and price I can live with.

      I have a Geovision in my home DVR but that's a full-size PCI for 4 channels. Full sized anything, PCI or PCIE wouldn't fit in a mobile case even those few that have PCI or PCIE risers. And I don't want to pay a thousand dollars for 16 channels in my car. If I get everything else done and can't find a solution I might spring for it just for the novelty of having the system I want but I'm holding out for a better price.

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      • #4
        OK... I've played with Video cards and analog cameras a little bit, but never to the extent that you want to do.

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        • #5
          Been there, done that, lol.

          I bought a RVS-300c Black Box Recorder. Also bought the second camera for it. I wanted all sides to be monitored so I hacked it. I bought a security camera quad processor. Then backed up the rear cam so I can get the dedicated connectors for it to attach the security camera quad processor to input 2 on the black box. Installed a camera in the rear, left and right sides.

          Here is the result: (sorry for the weird zooming on the video, Google did that on upload.)

          Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

          1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
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          • #6
            HiJack, that is amazing. Exactly what I am looking for. Have you a thread here detailing your design and install? What are you using for monitor real-time in the car? Anything? Or are you just recording and analyzing away from the car?

            I'd love to hear more details and see pictures.

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            • #7
              Check out his thread. It is an awesome set up.

              Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

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              • #8
                Lol thread link is missing from your post.
                2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
                Gigabyte Z97 mITX Intel Mobo, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i5-4590S 3.0GHz Proc, 320 GB Hard Drive, Dual 12' VGA HDMI DVI touchscreen monitors,....
                http://www.mp3car.com/show-off-your-...avalanche.html

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dalepres View Post
                  HiJack, that is amazing. Exactly what I am looking for. Have you a thread here detailing your design and install? What are you using for monitor real-time in the car? Anything? Or are you just recording and analyzing away from the car?

                  I'd love to hear more details and see pictures.
                  I do not have this on the Car PC. It is its own system, I did so that if I was in a major accident, the recorder would survive and maybe keep recording. It has a rear view screen that splits up the left rear, rear, and right rear. I see those in real time. To see the front I have to pull the SD card out, put onto the car pc and I can evaluate. I didnt really go into much detail on my thread because its not part of the car pc, but id be glad to answer questions.

                  Originally posted by latinmaxima View Post
                  Check out his thread. It is an awesome set up.

                  Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
                  You are to kind!

                  Originally posted by Dluvr22 View Post
                  Lol thread link is missing from your post.
                  http://www.mp3car.com/worklogs/15346...thin-core.html
                  Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                  1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                  4X MK808b
                  3x Perixx Touchpads
                  3x 7 inch Screens
                  1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                  1x Win 7 PC

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ditto on the awesome HiJackZX1 (not that that's unexpected)! I watched the vid, but the aptly named Urban Assault read will come later (another round-tuit event).

                    I wanted to add the probably obvious - that for identifying individuals, "common" cameras may be insufficient. That has been a common problem when shops etc submit theft recordings to Police etc, and though the actions are clear, facial resolutions are insufficient.
                    Usually that is simply a lack of resolution though sometimes it can be contrast etc - eg. CMOS vs CCD (though some CMOS are IMO excellent!).
                    Oh - and as I've learned on any cam, lens quality makes a HUGE difference - viz my Sony 1.5MP camcorder with Carl Zeiss lens against other 4MP & 12MP cameras, or more recently my low end Canon against cheaper Nikons.
                    To ID who is at fault in accidents, that pic quality usually isn't as important except to ID occupants or license plates, and maybe witnesses lol. (Or whoever threw that rock or dropped that concrete.)


                    Recently I looked at cam & pvr options. I want an endless looper that keeps the last few minutes at the press of a button and until the next press etc and then loops the rest. Inertial & GPS are nice but probably not for the price.
                    Prime will be forward, but an additional rearward facing is also a high priority.
                    Also a parked surveillance system - 4 cameras etc looping with motion- or alarm/sensor-triggered keeps else large capacity (eg, for later manual ffwd perusal). That's to be a central PVR in a "hidden" location.
                    The lot could/should be one system, but that may cost too much up front for my present fiscal income.

                    Then comes near real-time transmission to an additional remote capture. That could be at lower resolution since I expect its need to be more of a "macro" requirement, eg to prove that <whoever> confiscated the onboard stuff.

                    I was thinking of checking out Russian sites as apparently the majority of Russian drivers have onboard cams due to their road and legal system. (Apparently they have the highest cam per car/driver ratio.)

                    Hmmm - may also a non-broadcast hi-res directed at the passenger, but she hasn't changed much over the years.... It might be handy to prove who threw the first punch though...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OldSpark View Post
                      Ditto on the awesome HiJackZX1 (not that that's unexpected)! I watched the vid, but the aptly named Urban Assault read will come later (another round-tuit event).

                      I wanted to add the probably obvious - that for identifying individuals, "common" cameras may be insufficient. That has been a common problem when shops etc submit theft recordings to Police etc, and though the actions are clear, facial resolutions are insufficient.
                      Usually that is simply a lack of resolution though sometimes it can be contrast etc - eg. CMOS vs CCD (though some CMOS are IMO excellent!).
                      Oh - and as I've learned on any cam, lens quality makes a HUGE difference - viz my Sony 1.5MP camcorder with Carl Zeiss lens against other 4MP & 12MP cameras, or more recently my low end Canon against cheaper Nikons.
                      To ID who is at fault in accidents, that pic quality usually isn't as important except to ID occupants or license plates, and maybe witnesses lol. (Or whoever threw that rock or dropped that concrete.)


                      Recently I looked at cam & pvr options. I want an endless looper that keeps the last few minutes at the press of a button and until the next press etc and then loops the rest. Inertial & GPS are nice but probably not for the price.
                      Prime will be forward, but an additional rearward facing is also a high priority.
                      Also a parked surveillance system - 4 cameras etc looping with motion- or alarm/sensor-triggered keeps else large capacity (eg, for later manual ffwd perusal). That's to be a central PVR in a "hidden" location.
                      The lot could/should be one system, but that may cost too much up front for my present fiscal income.

                      Then comes near real-time transmission to an additional remote capture. That could be at lower resolution since I expect its need to be more of a "macro" requirement, eg to prove that <whoever> confiscated the onboard stuff.

                      I was thinking of checking out Russian sites as apparently the majority of Russian drivers have onboard cams due to their road and legal system. (Apparently they have the highest cam per car/driver ratio.)

                      Hmmm - may also a non-broadcast hi-res directed at the passenger, but she hasn't changed much over the years.... It might be handy to prove who threw the first punch though...
                      I agree, for theft control, this may not be the best system. I strictly put mine in to defend against people that use our suck a$$ law against people. One accident I was ticketed even though I was driving ok. She was speeding up a Bus Only lane and because I had no proof, I was ticketed. The camera system is also useful with Police stops. Police in my area can be rude, nasty, and down right awful. Since the camera system, all of them treat me with respect and usually let me go with a warning. In FL law, it against the law to record video and sound unless its a public employee that works for citizens. So once I get pulled over, I immediately let them know my car is being recorded for sound and video and that it can not be shut off and is for my safety purposes. They then see the equality sticker on my rear hatch (yes i'm gay), and in their heads it equals harassment charges on my behalf. Police hate dealing with things like this, so rather than go through it, they just let me go with the fakest smile on their faces.
                      Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                      1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                      4X MK808b
                      3x Perixx Touchpads
                      3x 7 inch Screens
                      1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                      1x Win 7 PC

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                      • #12
                        Hey HiJack, I'm happy too! :wink - as in friendly wink:

                        And not wanting to hijack this thread (no, that wasn't an intended pun)...
                        Interesting about the law and recordings. Usually it is not illegal to record, but it's how its used. If it's illegal to record, I wonder how they deal with all the tablets and phones etc. (LOL - to the checkout chick that queried why I had a video camera in my bag: "My phone is off for repair." - and that was totally acceptable!)

                        And yes to an up-front declaration of recordings. That is often a legal requirement for phone recordings etc (for companies LOL) else otherwise mitigates any post-declaration privacy arguments of a complainer.
                        But it also often prevents nasty confrontation.

                        And don'tcha love affirmative action (or anti discrimination)? It is wrong that there should be the lighter handling of the target groups, but until the much greater crim.... wrong of discrimination disappears IMO it is a necessity, and totally fair. (Hence the "affirmative action" situation here - it is a legal bias that attempts to redress a civil bias. IMO if the norms want to remove that affirmative bias all they have to do is overcome else remove their bias. Simple eh? (Not!).)
                        Of course it can be abused, but in cases of wrong (eg, nasty cops), it can be beneficial by instigating a civil(ised) approach.
                        I wonder if my gf will ever pull her indigenous status, or if I ever pull my NESB status (Non-English Speaking Background)? Both are ridiculous as we are indiscriminable from everyday ockers, not that that prevents others knowing our backgrounds and being biased against that.


                        Forgive my later diversion, but that too is one of my passions.

                        Back to DVRs...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HiJackZX1 View Post
                          I agree, for theft control, this may not be the best system. I strictly put mine in to defend against people that use our suck a$$ law against people. One accident I was ticketed even though I was driving ok. She was speeding up a Bus Only lane and because I had no proof, I was ticketed. The camera system is also useful with Police stops. Police in my area can be rude, nasty, and down right awful. Since the camera system, all of them treat me with respect and usually let me go with a warning. In FL law, it against the law to record video and sound unless its a public employee that works for citizens. So once I get pulled over, I immediately let them know my car is being recorded for sound and video and that it can not be shut off and is for my safety purposes. They then see the equality sticker on my rear hatch (yes i'm gay), and in their heads it equals harassment charges on my behalf. Police hate dealing with things like this, so rather than go through it, they just let me go with the fakest smile on their faces.
                          I agree completely.. well, almost completely. But my thought is not about theft identification. Many courts have ruled that you have to have 300 to 350 vertical lines of face for identification. Of course lesser video can still help with theft protection. It might not convict but it can be probable cause which could lead to more evidence or recovery.

                          But my primary reasons for wanting video are accident and LEO protection. And just the fun of having it. Like you, my response to a police officer would be that the interaction is being recorded and it is hard-wired and cannot be turned off. Of course his reaction could be to arrest me and put me in his car where his cameras watch and record instead. But number one is accidents. There are so many wackos on the road it just blows my mind. And fault is assigned to whoever convinces the traffic cop. And think of the YouTube possibilities

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dalepres View Post
                            Many courts have ruled that you have to have 300 to 350 vertical lines of face for identification.
                            What? The implication being that if you have less lines but it conclusively IDs the person, it will be rejected on a technicality?

                            Luckily here they threw out technicalities - or rather, it is the intent of the Law that is more important.
                            Unfortunately that means I can no longer get out of speeding or murder charges because they wrote oldFart on the warrants etc instead of oldSpark - provided they can prove I am definitely (or beyond reasonable doubt) that I am the intended person.
                            Hence even if the Law had its reasons for specifying >300 lines for ID, lesser lines would probably not be rejected if they clearly confirmed the ID/person.

                            However, when I hinted at low-res, I was thinking of typically below 450 verticals. The old PAL resolution of 576 (x 720) is what I start to consider as acceptable.


                            Just remember, if the driver is insured and the vid "proves" or supports that they were intoxicated, don't submit the vid. (That assumes their insurance is void when intoxicated. The same may apply to unroadworthy vehicles, or merely the driver of that vehicle.)
                            Vids can also be handy to prove that you hitting someone didn't kill them - they died when they hit the ground. (LOL. Or not LOL.)

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                            • #15
                              Thing is he cant arrest you. If he does, that just adds to the harassment case you would file. It is 100% legal to record them, if he doesnt like it and arrests you, then he doesnt know the law and you will have a lawsuit case against them.

                              One time I was driving past an accident, which forced me to slow down, not only to see what was going on, but because its the right thing to do for Police and safety personnel. Well I guess one cop decided that he wanted to pick on the truck that probably has some stupid uneducated person driving it. So he pulls me over, screaming that I am speeding and that im a stupid f#%k, and should know better and that when I see a cop working an accident, I am supposed to slow down. I mean he was going off on me. So then I just looked at him with a blank stare, you know the one you do when you want to let someone know they shouldnt have went there? Then I took my finger, pointed to the camera and black box recorder, and waited for his response. His response "I am sorry sir, you have a nice night." I am a heavy speeder on the highway and because the FL highway patrol now uses Dodge, and my car has a very similar look, people get out of my way in fear of being pulled over. Well one day I was going 80 in a 60 and the HP pulled up along side me. Instead of pulling me over, he was maneuvering his car to see how it will look on the screen I view to see my rear and blind spots. By this time I am going 60, and I am starting to get nervous. So I said screw it, lets see what he does. I speed up, he speeds up, then leaves me in his dust. I get to my destination thankful. So my guess is that most officers do not want to even screw with someone that can record them, they rather just go to the next car that they do not have to watch themselves. Im certainly not complaining.
                              Nirwana Project, the Android/Win 7 hybrid system!

                              1X Ainol Novo Flame Tab
                              4X MK808b
                              3x Perixx Touchpads
                              3x 7 inch Screens
                              1X 7 inch motorized Screen
                              1x Win 7 PC

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