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Thread: Build your own home security system?

  1. #1
    SG DC Team Member lance-tek's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Build your own home security system?

    Has anyone ever looked into this or even executed it?

    I thought about tying in cameras a long time ago but the prices of a network camera now are so low and the software to use them is even free at times (if you can deal with a little portion of the camera feed being taken up). So... why not do it instead of paying out the nose per sensor to ADT or someone else...

    This is all coming up because I am only months away from heading to Iraq for a year and my wife wants to ensure that she an the kids are safe. We have an alarm with ADT but it only monitors the doors and windows and motion.

    Recently she heard about their pulse system which allows for remote monitoring, getting text messages, smoke, fire, CO2 etc. and this kind of brought her on board with the idea of it all.

    Instead of spending $1500 for them to install it, I know I can do it for less and the monitoring we have seen from ADT in the past is well... it leaves some to be desired. So, I thought I would start the journey of building my own system based around a PC. At least this way I can upgrade it and add on whenever I want and still spend a LOT less money on it.

    Anyone have any thoughts on the topic?

    Thanks,

    -lance
    A mistake does not become an error until one refuses to correct it

    Folding for the future

  2. #2
    NYC Newbie Slayer Prey521's Avatar
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    I have 4 Foscam wireless camera's managed and monitored using Vitamin D and it works great. There is a free version of Vitamin D but it will only work with 1 camera. I decided to shell out the $150 for it earlier this year and it was definitely worth it. There are some free apps out there for video monitoring but this one was the easiest for me to setup and configure. It has some pretty cool features like motion activation and it will also email you a picture of the motion that it detects if you want it to. It's always fun going back over the logs after my wife says she's heard some strange sounds and watching a raccoon digging about the garbage cans. lol
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  3. #3
    resident Humboldt's Avatar
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    We use a Costco system at work and it works fine so far.

    8 cameras with motion detection and night vision + DVR.

    Can be accessed online easily.

    Worked so well we bought another 8 cameras. Even with all 16 running 24/7 it stores almost 2 weeks of data before it writes over itself.

  4. #4
    SG Enthusiast Easto's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'd really like to setup a 4 or 5 camera system here at home but don't know where to start. Wireless sounds good. most of what I would want to record would be in lighted areas or areas that that motion sensors that would illuminate the area.

  5. #5
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    I have 5 automatic security motion lights around my house,and the two areas that I can't see from my office or living room windows,I have 2 car video cameras and 7" car monitors running off a converter in my office so I can see the back of the house and cars and shed.works real good for cheap.this year I have chased off two not so nice cars hanging out in the area.called the police on one of them,got the LP and it turned out it was a stolen from Oakland,and I got rid of a lowlife on a bike looking for places to break into,we live in a private gated community and they sneak in following other people sometimes,but we have the right to question them and tell them to leave if it needs to be done,it's private property,and I am the block captain for out fairly active "neighborhood watch" program.it works pretty good for us neighbors to help keep an eye out for each others places,
    I have 2 locks on my shed door,and all 3 cars have alarms.
    and one small but very loud Australian shepherd that has free access to the yard,via a small dog door.
    Last edited by Dan; 12-17-10 at 03:38 AM.

  6. #6
    SG Enthusiast Rainbow's Avatar
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    I have set up a bunch, theres a lot of free decent software, I use my iphone to see mine when I'm not at home. Most software has motion detection and will email you, its setting up the sensitivity that can be annoying sometimes. I have used Foscam, Trendnet, Airlink, Axis etc etc. Newegg sells Trendnet at a decent price and there not bad, excellent night images with the IR ones. Make a decision with wired or wireless, obviously wired is better and when done you will have zero drop outs, Wireless can be a hassle and sometimes drops out depending on location, network etc.

  7. #7
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    here is a typical good deal
    http://www.frys.com/product/5999494

  8. #8
    Senior Member loop2kil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I have 5 automatic security motion lights around my house,and the two areas that I can't see from my office or living room windows,I have 2 car video cameras and 7" car monitors running off a converter in my office so I can see the back of the house and cars and shed.works real good for cheap.this year I have chased off two not so nice cars hanging out in the area.called the police on one of them,got the LP and it turned out it was a stolen from Oakland,and I got rid of a lowlife on a bike looking for places to break into,we live in a private gated community and they sneak in following other people sometimes,but we have the right to question them and tell them to leave if it needs to be done,it's private property,and I am the block captain for out fairly active "neighborhood watch" program.it works pretty good for us neighbors to help keep an eye out for each others places,
    I have 2 locks on my shed door,and all 3 cars have alarms.
    and one small but very loud Australian shepherd that has free access to the yard,via a small dog door.
    That sounds pretty cool...I can attest to the Aussie's being loud. Nothing and I mean nothing gets into my backyard with out the whole neighborhood knowing it at my house.

  9. #9
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loop2kil View Post
    That sounds pretty cool...I can attest to the Aussie's being loud. Nothing and I mean nothing gets into my backyard with out the whole neighborhood knowing it at my house.
    we love our aussies !

  10. #10
    NYC Newbie Slayer Prey521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbow View Post
    I have set up a bunch, theres a lot of free decent software, I use my iphone to see mine when I'm not at home. Most software has motion detection and will email you, its setting up the sensitivity that can be annoying sometimes. I have used Foscam, Trendnet, Airlink, Axis etc etc. Newegg sells Trendnet at a decent price and there not bad, excellent night images with the IR ones. Make a decision with wired or wireless, obviously wired is better and when done you will have zero drop outs, Wireless can be a hassle and sometimes drops out depending on location, network etc.
    Yes, I forgot to mention that. I had to setup a wireless repeater on the far side of the house because the 2 cams on that side kept dropping. I haven't had a problem since.
    Have your feelings been hurt by a random act of E-Thuggery? If so, call 1-800-Waaaaahmbulance, we're here 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, to take your call, you could be due a large monetary settlement, don't delay, call now.

    "Please be careful prior to entering the world wide web, the internet is serious business"


  11. #11
    SG DC Team Member lance-tek's Avatar
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    a lot of good thoughts here...

    I currently have a GE Interlogix Simon 3 that is no longer monitored. I pulled a few manuals online before i found the right one but I am noticing that there are a lot of things on it that don't show up in the manual (option 81, option 82, etc) and I have no clue what they are.

    The whole thing I am looking at is adding the capability for video and I am wondering if I can add the video on the computer side and then tie the two in together (arm and disarm remotely). I am still trying to figure out the alarm that is on the house (we had it put in years ago but ADT just wasn't too expensive for what they were giving us) which not having cared for years and now trying to figure it out on the quick isn't the best approach.

    Anyway, the video through the PC is the best approach I think. I just want to ensure that my family can be alerted if someone should break in and they are upstairs sleeping.... Oh the fun :-p
    A mistake does not become an error until one refuses to correct it

    Folding for the future

  12. #12
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    That’s a good idea. I have been looking for this on the internet since a long time and your article has given just the perfect recipe for me. Thanks for the article and the good work. I appreciate your efforts in bringing out the cheaper and innovative ideas for the human welfare.

  13. #13
    Resident Atheist Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morkel View Post
    That’s a good idea. I have been looking for this on the internet since a long time and your article has given just the perfect recipe for me. Thanks for the article and the good work. I appreciate your efforts in bringing out the cheaper and innovative ideas for the human welfare.

    "for the human welfare" ? LOL go away spammer

  14. #14
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    "for the human welfare" ? LOL go away spammer
    What's better is "recipe for me!" LMAO! 1 cup dried arbole chile, 2 cups sun dried tomatoes, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon dried habaneros, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon sugar, some sea salt, cracked black pepper...got anything else to add to this RECIPE?
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