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Esp32 CCTV with Sound

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I'm currently using esp32-cam boards and dummy CCTV housings to develop a system of recording the goings on at my home. I also have the esp32 Wrover boards available to use as well.

My current model uses both cores of the processor. One to stream video... the other to monitor the internal chip temperature and activate a cooling fan when the temperature gets up towards the rated 85 degrees C... which is quite easily obtained during the normal 40 degree summers we experience here.

All this has been covered before... but I'm interested in adding audio to the stream. Perhaps not with all units but at key points like the front door or access points to the outbuildings. I realise the Workshop has covered I2S and adding a microphone input to a board but I having trouble finding information combining audio to a video stream.

Perhaps this is a step too far, but if it is possible then I feel confident it would be a very popular video as Esp32 boards create great CCTV systems and audio would truly enhance the experience. 


   
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Ron
 Ron
(@zander)
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First, it's strange you think they make good surveillance cameras as the sensor is very puny and there are lots of valid complaints about the camera from folks expecting an iPhone 13 Pro image.

I have a bunch of these and using the RaspberryPi ZERO W with MotionEyeOS  is a somewhat useful exercise for my purposes although I would not recommend it for a surveillance camera.

However, if you are satisfied with it then great. As to adding audio, I think the 'standard approach' is a specific CODEC but I fear it would overtax the ESP32. A seperate mic+esp combo to stream the audio portion separately might work though, let me know as I also have a use for that. Perhaps use your temperature monitoring esp for that job as well so you keep it to 2 esp's. Good luck.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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Thanks for the thoughts, Ron. I appreciate any help I can get.

I am happy enough with the image from the esp32-cam unit. My goal is simply a security/wildlife CCTV system... so a super high quality image just increases the storage space required and I feel it is not really necessary. 

That said, image quality sufficient to make things out reasonably clearly is required. So I'm aiming at a mid sized resolution and frame rate. So far the tests on my bench have proven sufficient. 

I should clarify that the temperature code is running on the a different core of the same twin core processor board as the camera stream code. That experiment too seems to work well on my bench test.

The dummy camera housings easily have enough room inside them for both a esp32-cam and a Wrover board as well. So I think I have enough processing power inside for each camera unit.

I'm hoping it will be enough to put in seperate PIR sensors to trigger a separate relay to power a led light circuit. My theory is that at night the light coming on will assist the motioneyes motion detection functionality. 

On motioneyes, I'm still looking at options there. I saw a video using a Windows based software (the name escapes me atm) that I'm going to investigate. The issue I see with motioneyes is that my test version is running on a Model 4 RasPi 4gb and my research indicates that 4 cameras is about the limit.

Although I'm not at the point yet with my prototypes, I live on acreage so I have a desire to run between 8 and 12 cameras (including wildlife units). With the cost of RasPi units being so high at the moment, I'm thinking a second hand Windows based desktop may have the greater processing power needed for the CCTV server.

Sorry if this is going on too much.


   
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Ron
 Ron
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@sticks Not at all (going on too much). I have a couple dozen esp32-cams and associated MB boards to mount them in. Since my primary interest is game cameras, a new PI ZERO 2 W is under $20 and the PICO W is under $10 but MotionEyeOS isn't supported there yet, when it is that cuts the cost in half. 4 cameras on a Pi4-4G even  at pre-shortage prices is still more expensive than 4 PICO's. Have you looked into Arducam camera modules from AdaFruit?

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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While Pico boards are about $25 (AUD) here in Australia, the Zero boards are between $100 and $200 each depending on the model and the provider. So neither provides a suitable option imho.

I haven't looked at the AdaFruit modules. At this point I'm still seeing what possibilities the Esp boards can offer. As I can fit an esp32-cam AND a Wrover board will fit inside a dummy hemispherical case for a total of about $16 AUD... I think that is quite a bit of processing power and a possible 2 network connected cameras per case.


   
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Just went back and found the Windows base server freeware... Contacam from https://www.contaware.com/

I will be looking into its ability to handle multiple network camera connections sometime soon.

I should also add that all my CCTV cameras will be connecting through a router dedicated to my security system. I picked up a second hand one for $20 specifically for the purpose. The idea being to seperate the wireless traffic from my main home internet router.


   
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Ron
 Ron
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@sticks IIRC, your PM stood up to the Chinese government so now they are getting even thru price gouging. Be strong and let the economic forces work, as their volumes decrease due to high prices they will lower the prices to bring in more buyers. It might take a few months but it will return to normal. Our PM has given it to them a couple times already, and of course we held the Huawei exec for the Yanks and paid the price.

First computer 1959. Retired from my own computer company 2004.
Hardware - Expert in 1401, and 360, fairly knowledge in PC plus numerous MPU's and MCU's
Major Languages - Machine language, 360 Macro Assembler, Intel Assembler, PL/I and PL1, Pascal, Basic, C plus numerous job control and scripting languages.
Sure you can learn to be a programmer, it will take the same amount of time for me to learn to be a Doctor.


   
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@zander Without getting political and my apologies for going off topic, yes we do have a strained relationship with China atm and have answered their trade restrictions by diversifying the affected exports to other markets where possible. Luckily China needs our coal and iron ore more than we need cheap electronic components... so things are slowly returning to normal on that front.

Unfortunately though the supply chain issues, ridiculous fuel prices and an extraordinary display of corporate greed from a lot of our large companies has inflation going the wrong way here. 

Also... we excluded Huawei from even quoting the upgrade of our 5G network in Australia. So that's a sore point with the Chinese government for us too.

It seems the world economies are all pretty messed up at the moment. 


   
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frogandtoad
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@sticks

Posted by: @sticks

@zander Without getting political and my apologies for going off topic, yes we do have a strained relationship with China atm and have answered their trade restrictions by diversifying the affected exports to other markets where possible. Luckily China needs our coal and iron ore more than we need cheap electronic components... so things are slowly returning to normal on that front.

Unfortunately though the supply chain issues, ridiculous fuel prices and an extraordinary display of corporate greed from a lot of our large companies has inflation going the wrong way here. 

Also... we excluded Huawei from even quoting the upgrade of our 5G network in Australia. So that's a sore point with the Chinese government for us too.

It seems the world economies are all pretty messed up at the moment. 

Welcome aboard, cobba!

I'm from VicDanistan... so I completely understand!

Look forward to seeing more of your projects, and helping if and wherever I can!

Cheers!


   
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Sticks
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@frogandtoad Thanks mate. Howbout dem Cats? 


   
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frogandtoad
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@sticks

Posted by: @sticks

@frogandtoad Thanks mate. Howbout dem Cats? 

It was a big time slaughter, swans were very disappointing - I was hoping they'd win!

Blues hopeful here, lol 😉

Cheers


   
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Really? I've been a Carlton man my whole life. Hence the nickname.

I'm looking forward to top 4 next season too.


   
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frogandtoad
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@sticks

Posted by: @sticks

Really? I've been a Carlton man my whole life. Hence the nickname.

I'm looking forward to top 4 next season too.

Bloody oath mate!
I've met many of our legends at Carlton nights when I was a teenager (Dean, Williams, SOS, all of em!)

I dream of another premiership... it's been a while heh? 🙂

BTW... Love the way the NRL boys hit... the AFL should take note to bring that back!

Cheers sticks!


   
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(@dronebot-workshop)
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Posted by: @sticks

All this has been covered before... but I'm interested in adding audio to the stream. Perhaps not with all units but at key points like the front door or access points to the outbuildings. I realise the Workshop has covered I2S and adding a microphone input to a board but I having trouble finding information combining audio to a video stream.

Have you looked at using the ESP-EYE instead of the ERSP32-CAM board? They are more expensive, but they do have a built-in MEMS microphone module.   I've shown them (albeit briefly) in a few videos now, and may plan a wireless doorbell project video using one.

They do have one drawback, however - they have no I/O pins. They do have an integrated pushbutton (thus my doorbell application), but I really wish they had brought out some GPIO pins.

And as others have said, the tiny fixed-focus camera on the ESP32 boards won't make the best security camera, but you've indicated that you've tested it and are satisfied with the performance.

As for your original post, it's an interesting idea - streaming audio and video with an ESP32.  I'll certainly consider it.

😎

Bill

 

"Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window." — Steve Wozniak


   
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Hi Bill @dronebot-workshop,

RE: but I really wish they had brought out some GPIO pins.

  I have only glanced at the schematics, so this may be totally wrong --- but there might be a way of accessing 3 GPIO pins with a little surgery or skulduggery... depending on how adventurous/foolhardy you are feeling, and providing you were not looking to use the SDcard ....

I couldn't immediately see many details for the ESP-EYE ..it's Readme was "minimal"

https://github.com/espressif/esp-who/blob/master/docs/en/get-started/ESP-EYE_Getting_Started_Guide.md

But it's cousin ESP-S3-EYE was a little more forthcoming ... I am not sure if that means the former has been replaced or just me looking in the wrong place.

Starting at https://github.com/espressif/esp-who/blob/master/docs/en/get-started/ESP32-S3-EYE_Getting_Started_Guide.md

and then following Schematic for V2.2 on that page

https://dl.espressif.com/dl/schematics/SCH_ESP32-S3-EYE-MB_20211201_V2.2.pdf

Thus includes

image
image

 So it appears GPIOs 38, 39 and 40 are 'available' if SDcard operation is not required. 

I haven't checked to see if these pins have any 'unusual' electrical or functional limitations.

Plus connecting to them obviously presents a challenge ... Looking at a 'standard' ESP32 CAM, the pins to the card socket are visible, but quite small pitch. Alternately, perhaps an adapter card for an SDmicro could be 'surgically adapted? A small PCB shaped like an SD card would perhaps be the ideal solution?

Just a hare-brained thought if anyone is looking for a challenge!

Best wishes, Dave


   
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