Re: Security camera signs
From: Lion Kuntz (
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2006 19:40:28 -0800 (PST)
Agreed that there are whole packages, but some other things
should be considered.

Webcams are $20 on up. Everybody here has a computer, and old
ones can be found for nothing or next to nothing. Ethernet is
faster than internet. Wireless ethernet is commonplace.

Whether you already have your own community server, the cost of
such factored over the number of users may make it
cost-effective to offer broadband internet to your members. Then
adding unlimited webcams is trivial for both security,
picture-phone-intercoms, and private networks for watching the
kids room while you are online.

Depending on your web hosting service, streaming video to a
cyber storage requires minimalist hardware and simple webcam
softwares widely distributed. Many webcams offer the software
with the hardware, and I'm sure I can find lots of sources for
freeware or cheap open source webcam drivers.

If you have advanced to offering your own server and ISP
services then these webcam addons are cheap. Conversely, if you
are not locked in to proprietary systems, but are already using
webcams with home computers and paid ISPs and webhosting, you
have a migration pathway later if you do upgrade to your own

The closest thing I see on Costco is a $799 system...
Q-See 4 Channel Internet Monitoring DVR System
w/ 160 GB HDD and 4 Wireless Cameras $799.99 Item # 929927

Somewhere in CoHo-land is somebody who can put together better
packages for you. 

Here's a 250 GB Maxtor SATA HDD for $99.99 -- that's 90 GB
larger than the Costco bundle. I have 2 unused slots in my
motherboard that could each take one of those, and maybe there
are half a dozen of your members who have those slots already
installed, ready to use. I have everything I need already but
the webcams, some ethernet wiring and the software, and so does
just about everybody reading this list. Probably there's more
than one obsolete computer taking up storage space among the
members just gathering dust.

For internet, instead of intranet, you need only add modems and
phone lines. For the Costco kit you need the phone lines, but it
evidently has modem built-in although it doesn't say so
explicitly, it implies that with the words "Internet

56K dialup modems start at $13, ADSL start at $70.

The entire rest of the Costco kit (that you don't already have
in surplus quantities,) besides the modems and cameras is the
software, and $600 to $700 for software strikes me as pricey.
Especially pricey if the software comes already bundled with the

... Lion K.

--- Lyle Scheer <wonko [at]> wrote:

> I don't know about that... Costco has some nice looking
> security systems
> that start at about $700, which includes 4 wireless cameras
> and a base
> box with computer and hard drive and firmware that
> automatically archive
> the video, let you log in if you have the password, and
> basically do
> everything for you.  I would think building this from piece
> parts would
> cost just as much and then you would have to write the code to
> handle
> all of it.
> - - Lyle
> Lion Kuntz wrote:
> > Security cameras, sold as such, are high priced even for the
> > cheaper B&W models, whereas webcams are cheap for color
> models.
> > 
> > If you want to see a PC in a lunchox that can power webcams,
> try
> > this one...
> >
> > 4 GB flash memory for $70 and you can skip the harddrive
> power
> > loads and run it off solar-charged batteries...
> >
> > 
> > You can also dedicate obsolte old computers to this job
> instead.

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