Video Server – Version 2.

The deck is slowly getting a technology update. My desire to film the bird bath, and possibly catch the humming birds at some of the flowers had been the driving force behind this.

003My web camera is installed now in a water-resistant plastic box. The idea is to protect the camera from water coming from my upstairs neighbor over watering her plants, rain, and the random bird that will land on the camera after a bath.

006I need to say up front that I did not create this set up. I am a danger with power tools and things of that nature. As an example, putting a network card in my Linux server I managed to cut myself on the case. So to reduce the bleeding I had help.

We went to a company called TAP Plastic. They have everything you can imagine for plastic, from resin to custom plastic. We picked up a small light box with a top.

010The camera is attached to the box with a screw to keep it in place, that screw is attached to an L bracket to offer some ability to adjust. The L bracket is attached to an aluminum bar.

I have the bar in one of the window boxes to give the camera an angle that will limit the traffic on the road below me. I also wanted to get a bit of the plants growing near the bird bath. I am expecting to see some humming birds coming to these plants in the next few weeks.

009Currently this camera is still connected to a windows machine, running a free software called iSpy. I am a little disappointed in the picture from this software. It is small and not as good as pictures using the software that came with the camera.

I am working on creating a Linux server for the cameras. I have had some issues with the Linux distribution and the server hardware I am using. Most of it is based on the networking. Two distributions had difficulty with the wireless board in the machine. I am back using Ubuntu, and have installed a LAMP server. Now I will be installing ZoneMinder and testing it this week for robustness and stability.


This LAMP server is being run on Ubuntu 12.10. I installed Ubuntu via a DVD I created. The install is very straight forward. Next I installed the LAMP server.

sudo apt-get install lamp-server^

This went much smoother then when I installed each piece individually.

ZoneMinder installed smoothly as well.

sudo apt-get install zoneminder

You need to make it so zoneminder starts after mysql. In the terminal enter:

sudo gedit /etc/init.d/zoneminder

scan down the document till you find “zmfix -a”  you want to type “sleep 15” above this line. Then save and exit.

Now Apache and ZoneMinder need to be linked.

ln -s /etc/zm/apache.conf /etc/apache2/conf.d/zoneminder.conf

/etc/init.d/apache2 force-reload

adduser www-data video

When you are done you should be able to get access to ZoneMinder in a web browser


These instructions are all on the ZoneMinder wiki.

Currently I have not installed the server in its final resting point. I am testing it to make sure it stays connected to the WiFi, and that I can continue to remote access the machine. I am hoping to put the server in its new home this week.


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