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'[OT] Monitoring a remote camera'
2005\09\25@123017 by John Nall

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This is posted on the off chance that perhaps someone on this list has
expertise with the subject.   I have none, and have to do a project.  
Here is  the situation.  My wife owns a coin laundry.  She wants to
mount a small camera on the wall there, and be able to get on our
computer at home and look at what is going there when she is not there.  
At home, we have a LAN which connects through a cable modem to a WAN
(Comcast).  The laundry has a computer there which also connects through
a LAN through a cable modem to Comcast.  My thought is basically that
she can buy a VCC camera which attaches to the USB port of her computer
at the coin laundry and that would be a way to get the video to the
WAN.  Clearly there would have to be a software driver in her computer
there to transmit the video when requested to do so (just a few brief
snapshots from time to time would be plenty).

But the devil is in the details.  Our system at home goes through a
router, with dynamic IP addressing.  The computer at the laundry does  
the same thing.  So neither one has an IP address that can be accessed
by the other.

Back in  the "good old days" we used to be able to transmit files from
one computer to another (at different locations) by connecting them
directly via modems.  Seems like it should be possible to do the same
sort of thing via the internet, but I cannot figure out just how to
accomplish it.  I did some googling, but this type of things seems to
take place primarily by having a web server, and that seems like
overkill for no more than what she wants to do.  As a part of the
Comcast service, they give me a "web page," but it seems like using that
would require that a file periodically be refreshed, which again seems
like a case of overkill.

Thanks for any suggestions.

John

2005\09\25@125219 by Josh Koffman

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What about using some sort of instant messaging program? Most of them
require someone on the sending end to validate that they wish to
transmit the camera to the receiver (prevents people you don't know
from spying on you). I think Yahoo IM might allow you to disable that
setting.

Because you're going through their servers, there is no IP address
issue. The only problem might be that if they go down, you lose your
camera, through no fault of your own.

Josh
--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

On 9/25/05, John Nall <spam_OUTjwnallTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\09\25@131215 by John Nall

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Josh Koffman wrote:

>What about using some sort of instant messaging program?
>

Well, by gosh I never would have thought of that!!!  Yeah, that most
definitely has possibilities!  Thanks.

John

2005\09\25@132631 by Dave Wheeler

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John,

The other one that might do you is over at http://www.no-ip.com

Dave


John Nall wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2005\09\25@133736 by John Nall

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Dave Wheeler wrote:

> > The other one that might do you is over at http://www.no-ip.com


Yeah, that would be an alternative.  They charge, though, whereas since
I am running Windows XP on both the computer at the laundry and my
wife's computer (I have convinced her of a lot of things, but never have
been able to convince her of the intrinsic beauty of Linux :-( and both
provide the Windows Messenger software at no charge, that seems like at
least the easiest way to start out.

John

2005\09\25@140220 by Neil Cherry

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John Nall wrote:
> This is posted on the off chance that perhaps someone on this list has
> expertise with the subject.   I have none, and have to do a project.  
> Here is  the situation.  My wife owns a coin laundry.  She wants to
> mount a small camera on the wall there, and be able to get on our
> computer at home and look at what is going there when she is not there.  
> At home, we have a LAN which connects through a cable modem to a WAN
> (Comcast).  The laundry has a computer there which also connects through
> a LAN through a cable modem to Comcast.  My thought is basically that
> she can buy a VCC camera which attaches to the USB port of her computer
> at the coin laundry and that would be a way to get the video to the
> WAN.  Clearly there would have to be a software driver in her computer
> there to transmit the video when requested to do so (just a few brief
> snapshots from time to time would be plenty).
>
> But the devil is in the details.  Our system at home goes through a
> router, with dynamic IP addressing.  The computer at the laundry does  
> the same thing.  So neither one has an IP address that can be accessed
> by the other.

First look into http://www.dyndns.com/ most routers support several
dynamic dns services. I've used this one for several years and I'm
very happy with the free service.

Next consider getting an IP camera, there are 2 ways for you to
attach to one of these cameras. The first is to open a port on
the router to the camera (use a password and login). The other
is to set the camera to login to a service that the camera's
maker provides (I've not used this method). I have 2 cameras,
the first is a cheap NC1000, works ok and can see in the
dark, the other is a Panasonic IP camera. It's a little more
refine (interface) but doesn't seem to have a nice picture
in some cases.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       .....ncherryKILLspamspam@spam@comcast.net
http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/               (Text only)
http://hcs.sourceforge.net/                     (HCS II)
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog

2005\09\25@140410 by Jamie Lyon

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On 25/09/05, John Nall <jwnallspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

> Yeah, that would be an alternative.  They charge, though

They only charge if you use your own domain name, if you use one of
their provided subdomains it's free. I use it personally to run a
small ftp server on my pc used for copying files to my PC from Uni
etc... works well.

There is software out there that can take periodic snapshots and copy
it to a folder on your pc, if you were to run a webserver (a simple,
cut-down apache server for example), you could easily access it
remotely.

Remember that IM may sound easy, but you've got to work out a way to
trigger the remote PC to turn on the webcam/etc... or have it
constantly connected, both of which are more hassle than a simple
server running on your laundry pc.

-Jamie.

2005\09\25@144526 by Charles Linquist

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face
GoToMyPC might work in such an instance.  It allows remote login of a
computer just like you were at they keyboard / screen. It is extremely
reliable and quite fast.

The downside is that it costs about $17/month, but it does work with
dynamic ip's on both ends.

Charles Linquist



Josh Koffman wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2005\09\25@154003 by Richard Prosser

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pysoftware's "Active WebCam" plus a free "no-ip" account.
Works for me (most of the time - I am getting software lockups but
think something else is responsible)
PYSoftware also provide a server service for a small fee if you prefer
not to use no-ip.
RP

2005\09\25@194607 by Roy J. Gromlich - PA

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First take a look at this URL (in the daytime East Coast USA)  
http://rti.dtdns.net:200

This is an Axis 2120 web camera looking at the highway out of the side window of our office. It is serving full motion video through port :80 to any web browser.  It is connected to our internal LAN and then is passed out to the web via a D-link 604 Broad Band router, which is forwarding the camera's port :80 as port :200.  The first time you look at this URL it will download an ActiveX control or a Java applet to do the MPEG decoding and display.

This is not a particularly cheap camera, but there are many small cameras on the market right now which do pretty much the same thing for $300 - $300.  You need a BB router which con do address and port translation to the web, but many can these days.

We are using DTDNS service to give us a fixed IP addy from Comcast's dynamic IPs.  Works just fine.

If you click on the URL now and don't see anything, remember it is 7:45 in the evening here - it's dark outside.

RJG
 {Original Message removed}

2005\09\25@200624 by Carey Fisher - NCS

face picon face
Free VNC works as well or better than GoToMyPC and it's FREE!!

http://www.realvnc.com

Used in conjunction with dyndns or no-ip it's a great remote access
solution.

For webcam use, get ConquerCam.  It's free and will automatically ftp a
picture anywhere you want.
http://www.conquercam.com

Carey



  > {Original Message removed}

2005\09\26@025617 by Ruben Jönsson

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This is what I have done to get hold of my home computers IP adress which is behind a router and with a dynamic IP (that sometimes changes a couple of times per day). My ISP also provides space for home pages on their servers which is accessed through FTP:

A small program on my home computer is constantly monitoring it's IP adress (or rather the routers, as seen from the outside) with checkip.dyndns.org. When the IP changes it is FTPing an updated html page, containing the current IP adress for my home computer, to my home page area on the ISP's server. Of course I also have to open or redirect the needed ports in the router to get this to work.

I have used this method to test web servers and clients with my home computer as the server (under IIS and also with standalone web server/services using GSOAP).


Regards / Ruben


> But the devil is in the details.  Our system at home goes through a
> router, with dynamic IP addressing.  The computer at the laundry does  
> the same thing.  So neither one has an IP address that can be accessed
> by the other.

==============================
Ruben Jönsson
AB Liros Electronic
Box 9124, 200 39 Malmö, Sweden
TEL INT +46 40142078
FAX INT +46 40947388
EraseMErubenspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTpp.sbbs.se
==============================

2005\09\26@100136 by Gerhard Fiedler

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Carey Fisher - NCS wrote:

> Free VNC works as well or better than GoToMyPC and it's FREE!!

So does and is NetMeeting. Comes with every Win2k and WinXP computer (run
"conf").

Gerhard

2005\09\26@103909 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Does this camera have automatic exposure control?  Right now it's very
washed out.  I can make out a few cars, and see movement.

-Adam

On 9/25/05, Roy J. Gromlich - PA <rgromlichspamspam_OUTpa.net> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>   {Original Message removed}

2005\09\26@104251 by John Nall

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Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

>> So does and is NetMeeting. Comes with every Win2k and WinXP computer (run
>"conf").
>  
>

I'll just reply to this one as more-or-less a general reply to all  the
good suggestions that I have gotten.  Trying to do this with a minimum
of time/trouble/expense, I have purchased a webcam (from Amazon.com) for
$20, and will install it down at the coin laundry when it comes in
(after checking it out here at home, of course).   Then will try to see
if I can use  the Windows XP instant messenger video capability to be
able to periodically monitor the laundry from home.  There is a
full-time attendant at the laundry who can be called on the telephone
and told to do thus-and-thus, so remote control hopefully is not required.

So we shall see.  Thanks again to all who replied.

John

2005\09\26@104448 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Nevermind.  Apparently brightness was set all the way up (perhaps an
early morning veiwer?)

-Adam

On 9/26/05, M. Adam Davis <@spam@stienmanKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> >   {Original Message removed}

2005\09\26@105449 by Neil Cherry

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M. Adam Davis wrote:
> Does this camera have automatic exposure control?  Right now it's very
> washed out.  I can make out a few cars, and see movement.

Looks fine on Firefox. One thing to note, it looks like the camera
is sitting in a window (I see the reflection of a curtain off the
glass). The windows, in my home, have various coatings on them
which are pretty good at reflecting light back at the camera. It's
usually better not to have anything in front of the camera.

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       RemoveMEncherryTakeThisOuTspamcomcast.net
http://home.comcast.net/~ncherry/               (Text only)
http://hcs.sourceforge.net/                     (HCS II)
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog

2005\09\26@112839 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
On Mon, 26 Sep 2005 10:39:08 -0400, M. Adam Davis wrote:

> Does this camera have automatic exposure control?  Right now it's very
> washed out.  I can make out a few cars, and see movement.
>
> -Adam
>
> On 9/25/05, Roy J. Gromlich - PA <spamBeGonergromlichspamBeGonespampa.net> wrote:
> > First take a look at this URL (in the daytime East Coast USA)
> >
> > http://rti.dtdns.net:200

The image looks quite clear and well exposed to me - but the clock's 5 minutes fast!  :-)

These sort of cameras often have problems with dynamic brightness range - I have one that is OK in overcast
weather but in direct sunlight it either washes out highlights or loses everything in shadow.  And it does
have some sort of automatic brightness adjustment.  I have seen discussions as to whether CMOS or CCD is the
better technology, but despite the theory the practical results don't seem to favour one or t'other.

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\09\26@121335 by Roy J. Gromlich - PA

picon face
Yes, the camera has auttomatic exposure control and Yes, I knw the clock is wrong. I will fix that when I think of it.  But someone will probably knock the time off again - seems to happen when people hit the wrong button on one of the ADMIN pages.

BTW - the camera is not being forwarded now - all of you folks seem to have been slowing the router too much, so I disabled it.  i think I'll set that so it is only available before/after office hours.  Or put it on the big server, which can handle (???) simultaneous connections.

That camera uses sequential JPEGs to produce motion video - JPEGs are pretty good, but not the best - the files you were looking at ran around 45K - 50K.  There are several cameras out now using WAVELET compression, which can produce much higher compression ratios.

RJG
 {Original Message removed}

2005\09\26@123255 by Peter

picon face


On Sun, 25 Sep 2005, John Nall wrote:

> But the devil is in the details.  Our system at home goes through a router,
> with dynamic IP addressing.  The computer at the laundry does  the same

http://www.dyndns.org

Peter

2005\09\27@042552 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>One thing to note, it looks like the camera is sitting
>in a window (I see the reflection of a curtain off the
>glass). The windows, in my home, have various coatings
>on them which are pretty good at reflecting light back
>at the camera. It's usually better not to have
>anything in front of the camera.

<VBG> reminds me of the picture from an ebay item - the item was a kettle,
and you could see the photographer reflected in the chrome finish - wearing
no clothes.

2005\09\27@092155 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
John Nall wrote:

> Trying to do this with a minimum of time/trouble/expense, I have
> purchased a webcam (from Amazon.com) for $20, and will install it down
> at the coin laundry when it comes in (after checking it out here at
> home, of course).   Then will try to see if I can use  the Windows XP
> instant messenger video capability to be able to periodically monitor
> the laundry from home.  

Running the messenger full time may work. If not, I'm sure there are dozens
of webcam applications that do this more reliably.

> There is a full-time attendant at the laundry who can be called on the
> telephone and told to do thus-and-thus, so remote control hopefully is
> not required.

Remote control is easier than you may think... For WinXP, you run
NetMeeting ("conf") on the host in the laundry and set it up for remote
control (including requiring encryption). Then you get a dynamic IP account
and run a client on the host that automatically updates the IP. Then you
run NetMeeting on your client at home and connect to your dynamic IP URL,
logging in as a user of the remote PC (in the laundry).

But maybe the IM works more reliably than I expect it to...

Gerhard

2005\09\27@225152 by kravnus wolf

picon face
Yes things have gotten more complex but still
understandable.

The first thing your need to do is to set your
network correctly. You may want to look into virtual
private network to allow both machines to talk to each
other.

John

--- John Nall <TakeThisOuTjwnallEraseMEspamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> --

2005\09\28@000901 by Tim Hayward

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Why not just a webcam like an axis or a dlink with dyndns.org support. I
know the dlink cameras support it; I suspect other brands do to. Then you
just browse to it and view what is going on. Pan and tilt are supported too.


{Original Message removed}

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