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Thread: Recording (web)camera to carpc

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate DaKyy's Avatar
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    Recording (web)camera to carpc

    Well, this topic has been probably discussed before, but didn't find any corresponding on search...

    I'm just wondering if anyone has put up recording camera that runs when you're running the car. Kind of like the police has on their cars for evidence. This would be very good if a crash or a crime would happen.

    So, what I need to know is...
    Is there a good enough webcam (image quality wise) for this kind of use? (to id registration plates) AND small enough to fit&attach in front of rearview mirror?

    Second, a program that records raw video data from the cam? And, does Epia M10000 have enough cpu power to store the data - for example 10 frames per second? And also running the frontend at the same time.

    My idea is to let computer keep the last two hours of the recorded video for example. After that it would be erased. In case something happens, you could store the current file for later use.

  2. #2
    FLAC john1701's Avatar
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    I would try logitech for a good cam.

    you didnt search enough. I remember posting how I "tested" over a year ago in the forums how to make a security cam with epia 10000.

    Yes, epia 10000 has enough cpu to capture when I tested it with only one usb cam recording 22fps to a uncompressed avi file. It also recorded 12-15 fps to a divx file.

    The problem I had is battery life. At the time of my testing, I only had a stock battery. I have not done anything with it since. Been busy.
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  3. #3
    Low Bitrate DaKyy's Avatar
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    I won't be needing a constant feed. It will just be on when I'm in the car - or when the car is running. So battery drain won't be a problem.

    What program did you use for recording?

    edit: also I just checked the logitech cams, all of them seem to be manual focusing - Is there an autofocus option in any webcam?

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    This gets asked about once every 6 weeks. However, your question is a little different in that you want to record only when the car is operating.

    You should use what makes sense. A tape based system with a repeating 30 minute tape is probably the best thing to use here. Otherwise, you'll need a big hard drive to record scads of video images waiting for that one single time you need it.

    If you still really want to use the computer, I don't think a webcam with manual focus will be a problem. You can set it to infinity and most likely be able to read license plates from 15 feet and farther.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    I haven't gotten around to installing it in the car yet, but I got a few Sanyo SRT 6000 security vcrs cheap (~$50usd shipped each) on ebay. Fits up to 40 hours (decent quality) on a regular vhs tape or you can go lower for better quality.

    Also has RS-232 and RS-485 jacks (so you can control it serially or make your own remote which is a simple voltage divider, the schematic is in the manual), time stamps and tons of alarm inputs/ouputs and other functions. Can be set to automatically repeat, if you wire the alarm to it it's input, it will actually mark the tape so you can automatically go to the event. Once I get the pc finished up, that's the next project.

    They used to go for between $600 and $900, but a lot of places (especially casinos are going digital) so there's usually a lot of them on ebay.

    edit
    Forgot to mention that I've been using one hooked to a camera where I park. Awesome. Found a ding on my car, looked back and found it was my neighbor's girlfriend. Nice to have some accountability.

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    I just saw a thread go up that allows one touch recording of USB camera to your PC. Sounds like someone was thinking along the same lines as you!

    Edit: Here it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
    -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

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    I use the new D-link DCS-950G wireless 54g camera, along with a DNS-G120 wireless network storage adapter. Just power these along with a usb harddrive separately from the car pc. If you park close enough to access your home wireless network, you can keep the network storage inside your home (the camera itself is very power conservative). You can set the camera to only record to net storage when motion is detected, nice alarm system type feature. By offloading the intensive recording to an external drive like this, you free your car pc up for more important tasks, and conserve the car pc's local harddrive storage. With a total cost of around $400, its probably not the perfect solution for everyone, but the piece of mind that automatic recording of in-car events to safe storage inside your home provides is quite an incentive.

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    Constant Bitrate Prefect's Avatar
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    @DaKyy: i think my tool (like BugByte said) does what you want. you can set it to auto record and generate new files after xx MB.
    --> Here

    set it to 1 fps and 640x480, new file every 500MB, and hit "start"

    i will soon implement an option, that you can specify to auto delete old files. i'm thinking of a parameter in the config.ini "KeepOnlyNumberOfFiles = 3" or so..
    then, set "StopAfterMB" to 100MB, and only the last three files will be stored. the oldest will be deleted when starting a new recording file.

    this, i think, will be implemented in the next version

    i the mean time, keep enough space on your harddrive! but its amazing how long you can record with only a little harddisk-space! (4GB is enough for 4 hours of 30fps 320x240 film! at lower fps rates and with your 60gb drive you could almost record infinit time...) and, the programm automatically stops recording if free harddisk space drops below 50MB.

    Greetz, Chris

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    Low Bitrate DaKyy's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the answers!

    Prefect: That seems like a handy tool for me! Have to give it a go when I get home. I'm thinking of 5GB separate space for those videos.

    I'm going on a budget with about 30$, so getting a separate system is not in my range, also my system is powered with M1-ATX so those VHS-systems are out of range too. Those systems would be worth considering if I'd be looking for a security system. I'm just interested on what's happening on the road and get proof of what has happened. I often drive alone so what is a better proof than a recorded video of accident. Even if I'm not involved in it.(erm, no, I haven't seen any major accidents, nor been in any. Just to be safe. Fingers crossed :)

    More to this later....

  10. #10
    Low Bitrate DaKyy's Avatar
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    I've also located a possible camera for my use. The Creative Webcam for notebooks seems to be quite small and it also has automatic focus. Tho' the manual focus would seem to be better solution after all - as bugbyte said manual focus should be clear enough from 15ft or so. With autofocus you could end up with sharp picture - of your own windshield Well, probably not, but it still could autofocus to wipers or some crap on windshield.

    http://www.creative.com/products/pro...53&product=629

    I've planned to attach the camera behind rearview mirror and bring the cord down between the screen and dash/frame. Should be enough just to stuff it in there.

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