Friday, November 26, 2010

Dockstar Surveillance

I finally stopped being lazy and finished up deploying 2 Dockstars. The first one has been set to replace a HP T5700 thin client that was mainly being used with xPLGameport for contact closure over IP. I connected the T5700's gameport to the Dockstar and it was plug & play. It's also running as a bluetooth proximity sensor and a webcam interface using the cheap (and often hated) $9 EasyCap USB video adapter which I got from Amazon (see below). I used these drivers and installation was a breeze. I'm using Motion to provide a webcam interface. Right now, it's connected to one of my old, unused surveillance cameras. Finally, I found a Linksys PAP2T on Craiglist for $15. I've installed Asterisk on this dock and want to use it to set up an intercom so we can call the kids from downstairs. I may do some VOIP integration. We'll see how far I get with that.

The 2nd dock is also being used as a webcam with Motion and another old camera. This one I'm actually using the motion detection to generate events when an area has activity. Motion divides a screen into 9 zones and I've specified 2 of them. It's sending out xPL messages with xPL Perl's xpl-sender app. It works really well, much better than the motion sensor I have in that location, which picks up bushes blowing in the wind. It also has a bluetooth dongle.

I also picked up a couple WRT54G routers from Craigslist, loaded them with Tomato firmware and I'm using them as bridges for the cheap Squeezeboxes I found earlier. Since the gen 1 squeezeboxes don't support WPA, I needed the bridges so I wouldn't have to run a router with WEP "security".

Finally, there is no Black Friday aftermath this year for me. Surprisingly, there really wasn't anything I wanted to get. It's the first time in many years where I didn't get up at 3AM to do some online shopping or hit stores in the wee hours of the morning. I do want to upgrade our cellphones, but there's no hurry. Plus, I'm holding out for some decent Android tablets. The Pandigital Novel got returned again as I just couldn't stand how slow it was, even for $80.

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