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Thread: Please share your car DVR experience and recommendations

  1. #1
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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    I have experience in security DVR systems - years back - so I'm not totally ignorant but I'm way out of date and definitely budget constrained.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. #2
    Constant Bitrate Rickk's Avatar
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    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

  3. #3
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    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.

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

  5. #5
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    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
    4X MK808b
    3x Perixx Touchpads
    3x 7 inch Screens
    1X 7 inch motorized Screen
    1x Win 7 PC

  6. #6
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    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.

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

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2

  8. #8
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    Lol thread link is missing from your post.
    2002 Chevrolet Avalanche
    Zotac NForce 610i ITX, 2GB RAM, 2.6 GHz Intel Pentium Dual Core CPU, 320 GB Hard Drive, 12' VGA touchscreen monitor, 3D mouse
    My Worklog : http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...avalanche.html

  9. #9
    Who am I? HiJackZX1's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

    Quote 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!

    Quote 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

  10. #10
    Raw Wave
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    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...

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