Something new. Build a Video Security Monitor.

What happens when you combine a ReoLink wifi camera with a Raspberry Pi and with a RasPad LCD screen? You build a battery-operated video security monitor. What for this video next week.


I will be watching to see if this camera can operate without having to have an internet connection and/or an account with the company that makes it. I’m only interested in cameras that can operate standalone. I do not wish to put video of my place out on the net where it can be hijacked, nor take the risk of having outsiders gain access to my camera(s).

I use Raspberry Pis with MotionEye software, which can act as Host or Slave.

You can link multiple cameras, it can record to NAS-Storage or locally and open a multi screen display, like seen in Movies. And you are able to setup motion detection and tons of other options. A web interface is used to display and configure all this.

It is not a display containing all hardware, but all you need is to screw a Raspberry PI to the vesa mount at the back of any display to set up your security base.

I should have fessed up: my B-i-L owned his own access security company. He didn’t have much computer knowledge. As security systems got more and more automated, he called on me to help him . Over a few years he got really quite good with computers, and I learned a lot about security access control and surveillance systems, because I often went with him on service calls. Sadly, he died some years back.

Believe it or not, and despite my B-i-L, I don’t actually have a security system at my house. I’ve often thought about it, but cobbler’s children you know :slight_smile: A RaspPi system with several USB cameras might be a good option.

@Geit, how many cameras do you think a Pi 3 B+ or 4 B can handle? Obviously, I realize it depends on the resolution of the cameras. I’m just looking for a ballpark figure. Also, can a Pi handle more cameras if I install a multi-USB hat?

Well, nothing is as easy as it seems. Got the iSpy Agent software installed after I found the missing libraries. But the Reolink E1 does not support RTSP which is not obvious in the description. Just ordered a Reolink E1pro which is $20 more. Since I only order one to try to make sure it works I will not be able to test the multiple camera support right away, but I will do some basic CPU measurements with the single camera. Since the Reolink camera does motion detection in the camera this feature may be useful to reduce CPU load on the Raspberry pi.

So, no RTSP. That’s inconvenient. From the specs I see it supports SSL, TCP/IP, UDP, IPv4, UPnP, SMTP, NTP, DHCP, DNS, DDNS, P2P. I’m so glad to see it supports email. Just what I need in a security cam :stuck_out_tongue: Support for NTP would be nice, if I wanted to have my cams connect to the Internet (not).

The pro version has SSL, TCP/IP, UDP, IPv4, UPnP, RTSP, SMTP, NTP, DHCP, DNS, DDNS, P2P. There’s that all important RTSP support. Haven’t been able to find out what streaming format the plain E1 supports.

I see ReoLink also has some affordable PoE outdoor cameras. Those would be of interest to me. Hardwire connections to cameras pretty much eliminate vulnerability to WiFi jammers. A small PoE switch, or a regular switch with some PoE modules, and your in business. 'Course, there is the need to run cables, but not both E-net and power.

@Geit, how many cameras do you think a Pi 3 B+ or 4 B can handle? Obviously, I realize it depends on the resolution of the cameras. I’m just looking for a ballpark figure. Also, can a Pi handle more cameras if I install a multi-USB hat?[/QUOTE]

Yes, you can connect more than one camera directly to one Raspberry Pi working as a host. Of course this requires more power, but I guess scaling gets handled by the hardware itself. You can connect cameras to USB, internal pi camera port and import external standard webcams via network. In that case you should connect the host to a LAN port. Wifi will limit the number of connections before the raspberry pi runs out of power. AFAIR remember there is no limit, but I guess the USB ports will run out of bandwidth at some point.

I was also thinking the CPU would run out of bandwidth at some point.

Well, I have all of the parts now. But for the next few days I will be working on the Thingiverse project and here is the test URL.

Feel free to share this with other people that might like to help test. It should work from any computer using a modern browser and also from a Chromebook. Unfortunately, I could not figure out how to get it to fit on a phone.