Apr 27 2009
The mini’s small footprint and low cost make it perfect for dedicated tasks. In this tutorial, we’ll set up a wireless surveillance system.
What you’ll need:
- A wireless network camera like the Hawking Technology HNC320W (139.99 shipped free from Amazon) or another compatible camera
- AND Wireless Internet via 802.11 router or AirPort
- OR for wired webcamming, you can go with Apple’s iSight ($147.99) or a USB camera like Logitech’s QuickCam 4000 ($84.99)
- Evological’s EvoCam (shareware $25)
Now we’ll put it all together. I selected the Hawking camera because it is a low-cost, full-featured camera, accessible and configurable via web browser. The camera itself supports 640×480 resolution and 20 fps. Unlike many other network cameras, this one uses a Java applet rather than ActiveX to load images, another perk to Mac users (Check out Hawkings line of wired and wireless network cameras here).
But, we will only rely on the web interface for configuration. You’ll need to attach the camera via network cable and get on the same subnet to configure the camera. Settings will differ between cameras, but you will have to set up the camera to access your wireless network and give it an IP.
Once you’ve used the web interface to verify that your camera is working, it’s time to install EvoCam. From within EvoCam, you can add the network camera using its IP address and compatible settings.
The Hawking works using the D-Link M-JPEG settings (this camera is not officially supported by Evological, but works due to the common M-JPEG format). EvoCam works using default camera settings, but I’d advise setting the frame rate manually via the web interface, as this can prevent disconnects.
Once up and running, you can use EvoCam to configure image and movie archiving, uploading (using FTP/SFTP) and web sharing. Most network cameras have their own built-in webserver, but you can also use EvoCam to view your webcam from the ‘net (provided you properly configure port mapping on your router). If you went the wired route, you can do the same through EvoCam.
Now, depending on preference you can set up your webcam to broadcast your fishbowl or watch your stockpile of vintage Macintosh machines. Both the Hawking HNC320W and EvoCam support multiple cameras, so the setup is very scalable.