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BodaciousBuddha
  • 46 months ago

I'm looking into building a PC for a 4-camera security system. The cameras will all be wired.

Currently, for $240, there's the Amcrest 960H security system. They charge about $25 for each camera and include wires and other stuff, so let's say their build costs $140. It includes a 500 GB HDD and that's all I could find out.

What build would y'all recommend for recording video feed from 4 surveillance cameras?

Budget: <$300. No OS or peripherals required. The cameras' resolution is about 900x480 and would be filming at 15-30 fps.

I'm thinking the mainstream stuff would be cheaper. I don't know of any G4400 build that has a mobo which can connect 4 cameras. I'd prefer to build the system on my own because it'd be more reliable and because I'd know exactly what parts it contains.

Comments

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

If you want an effective camera system I highly recommend going for a closed circuit option. It really depends on what you will be using the system for but I am going to assume you are monitoring your home. What you will need to focus on is the UI of the system. My work uses a damn good array of cameras and storage but our UI is outdated and requires 10 clicks in order to print a still image. The Amcrest 960H looks like a good system and I would recommend it over any DIY system because it will undoubtedly have a better UI and it will have a warranty.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, thanks for the advice on the UI. I was looking into Amcrest's UI, and it seems very easy and quick. It even has a smartphone app for accessing the video feed.

It's for a 6-floor condominium, but only 3-4 cameras are needed. Not looking for 1080p quality cameras. The 960 x 440 (or sth. like that) is good enough. I don't know much about these little cameras, so I'm guessing that the 960H resolution, <1 megapixels(?), and 'good optics' are basically what I'm looking for.

Do you know of any good cameras in the $20-40 range?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Am I asking the wrong community?

Does anyone at least know of any motherboard or PCIe adapter which can handle multiple surveillance cameras?

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Some of us will know a bit about this, but we might not be the best. You will need a quad core (a powerful or recent dual core would work), but it does not need to be a current one. I would say it is doable.

The only issue would be the cameras them selves. I am assuming you are going to use IP cameras, and the network card to let you have 4x cameras could be $100 pretty easy. However the rest of the system will need to be dirt cheap. Are you plugging the cameras directly in to the PC or in to a shared router/switch? If you plug it in to the PC you will need a network card with at least 4 ports. If you are plugging it in to a router/switch that opens another can of worms. If it is your main network you may see a performance impact. If it is a secondary network you would need to buy the extra equipment. This would be an issue no matter which path your follow, prebox or build.

As I said you don't need much other then a quad core so before trying to come up with a list. Do you know anyone who is retiring a working PC? (or one that can be fixed, like a bad PSU) I would say a LGA775 or socket 939 (I think that was the late 00's AMD socket) is about as old as you want to go. It would need to be able to take a quad core CPU, so we would need to know what the model is and check the mobo upgrade path. Anything of that age should be less then $30 to get a quad core for.

Thrift store hunting may be a good idea too, just make sure not to go older then 2007. Anything with a P4 is out unless it is a LGA775 P4 (just google the model number of the PC to find the socket it uses), I would not spend more then $10 for a thrift store PC.

Also search craigslist and ebay (becareful of shipping from ebay), you should be able to find a working PC in that age range for $50. I would be willing to pay more for this route due to us knowing the PC is working.

I will see what parts list I can come up with from PCPP.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

This should do the job nicely. I don't think you will need 4gb of RAM so I just added 2gb, it would cost $10 more to go with 4gb. This includes a 4port network adapter, not the best one but should get the job done fine. It is a ITX mobo so you could get a smaller case if you want. The network adapter is killing the budget all around, but you kinda have to get one.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU AMD 3850 1.3GHz Quad-Core Processor $29.95 @ Amazon
Motherboard ECS KAM1-I(1.0) Mini ITX AM1 Motherboard $28.98 @ Newegg
Memory Patriot Signature 2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $9.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.89 @ Directron
Case Rosewill SRM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $27.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $38.98 @ Newegg
Wired Network Adapter Intel E1G44HTBLK PCI-Express x4 10/100/1000 Mbps Network Adapter $58.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $242.77
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-17 10:54 EDT-0400

You are much closer to $300 for a G4400 but that CPU is overkill for a camera rig.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Pentium G4400 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor $59.99 @ Amazon
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-H110M-A Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $47.98 @ Newegg
Memory Crucial 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory $14.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.89 @ Directron
Case Rosewill SRM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $27.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $38.98 @ Newegg
Wired Network Adapter Intel E1G44HTBLK PCI-Express x4 10/100/1000 Mbps Network Adapter $58.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $296.81
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-17 11:00 EDT-0400

Even going back to LGA1150 is $260 for a dual core, which should also be able to do the job.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Celeron G1840 2.8GHz Dual-Core Processor $44.99 @ Directron
Motherboard Biostar H81MHV3 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $40.98 @ Newegg
Memory Patriot Signature 2GB (1 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $9.99 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $47.89 @ Directron
Case Rosewill SRM-01 MicroATX Mini Tower Case $27.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply SeaSonic 300W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $38.98 @ Newegg
Wired Network Adapter Intel E1G44HTBLK PCI-Express x4 10/100/1000 Mbps Network Adapter $58.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $269.81
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-17 11:04 EDT-0400

I would still suggest trying to find a used PC (or used parts to build one with), and adding what you need but I completely understand wanting to built it yourself. I am in the processes of this right now however I have most of the parts already. I just need a better PSU and the network card. Best of luck and let me know what you think.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool. I didn't know about IP cameras. I'll check those out. Any you'd recommend?

And for the PC, the refurb/repairable option seems best. I've repaired several PCs and am a frequent online buyer and seller, so I'm glad that a build is possible. Pre-builds are all good, but building is more fun. Are there any proper surveillance software for managing the cameras, their video feed, and all that? What are some good ones?

I'll likely be dropping a 4-port switch into the PC. Analog AV cables are pretty straight-forward, but is there anything I should be looking out for when connecting the IP cameras? I figure the switch connected to the PCI slot and the proper drivers should handle any problems, right?

Great advice on which parts I should be searching for. Thanks, man.

[comment deleted]

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