DIY surveillance with Ivideon and PNI

I seem to have a crush on Ivideon in combination with ONVIF-compatible devices (most under the PNI brand which has proved reliable in the past years for my offline DVR that I keep at our work-in-progress home at the country-side, on my father’s land, donated a few years ago to me).

These days I went off on a small house project to mount a few speed dome cameras at my in-laws house, at the country side also. The reasons I wanted to do the project was because my in-laws recently contracted a FTTH service (Fiber To The Home) from one well known provider in Romania (Digi/RCS&RDS).

Romania is well-known on it’s good Internet quality, mostly due to the fact that we started fresh since 1990’s without any previous investment in previous infrastructure, so with the development of FONs (Fiber Optical Networks) our providers were quick to adopt.

With such good connectivity there’s also an opportunity to do pretty good surveillance of your properties. I already had some minimal surveillance at the apartment in Bucharest, mostly with a baby-camera for our son, Cristian which I then connected to Ivideon, because of the availability of the server. of the PC client and mobile application, creating an eco-system for easy usage. Indeed, even my tech-savvy in-laws find it easy now, with Ivideon, to see and control these PTZ cameras.

At our Bucharest apartment we already owned an i7, 32GB RAM and lots of HDD server that I over-hauled from my old “gaming rig” into an decent Proxmox-based virtualization server (where I run a few Linux boxes and a Windows machine where I keep the Ivideon Server and the Plex server for our in-home streaming).

Back to the project, I initially started with an in-door camera to see if the idea would validate. Initially started with Ivideon running locally on an Acer “minipc” I had lying around, only to see that the little bugger freezes on my installation of Linux (kernel 4/5+). Afterwards and after a bit of thinking I realized that I could combine my home Ivideon Server, over the Internet, through the router (exposing the ONVIF + RTSP protocols) over the DDNS provided by the ISP (under the *.go.ro domain). It then became a simple mapping of the WiFi IP Cameras through the router, over the Internet back to my server).

After validating the set-up I went off to buy two PNI 631w WiFi IP cameras which you can see attached. These cameras sadly have a very short line to the power socket so I had to buy a couple of IP66-grade Shucko sockets to mount as near as possible to the cameras. While the 12v power source doesn’t close full in the IP66-grade Shucko, it’s sufficient even in heavy rain or snow to stay protected.

To compensate for the reduction in protection I’ve found and ordered a couple of exterior 12v adapters that have a small socket that allows the Shucko to close (eg. be impermeable) while still properly powering the PNI IP camera. A bit of a fuss, which could’ve been made easier by having a longer cable on the PNI cameras, but oh-well, it’s nearly done now.

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