Tag Archive: Airvision

Busy busy busy

Unfortunately I’ve been very busy with work so little time for blogging. Just a few little bits:

Problem Steps Recorder

A colleague told me about this recently. A new tool available in Windows 7 designed to record steps to recreate problems- you can then send the output to support desks etc who can analyse the output.

You can access PSR (Problem Steps Recorder) by typing psr into the start menu and clicking the top result (highlighted above).

The tool is very straight forward- I’ve only used it a few times to date, but essentially it records screenshots and describes each "action"- for example clicking, dragging, user input etc. The output file is then a zipped, self-contained html type structure. See example: http://tickett.net/downloads/ip_address.zip (I have to admit I’m a little puzzled as I recorded the steps to launch a command prompt and run ipconfig to determine your ipaddress but the keyboard input doesn’t appear to’ve been captured- I think I need to play a bit more).

The beauty of the tool is that it could quite easily be used to simplify the process of creating documentation and user guides as well as the intended purpose of recording problem steps (currently we often create documentation but taking numerous screenshots and manually pasting into word with annotations- this automates that process somewhat).

Lock Screen in OS X

I did a google a while back as I’ve started to use my laptop in the office a lot more and never like leaving the screen unlocked. In windows I’m sure we all know ctrl-alt-del allows us to lock the workstation, but I’d yet to find an option/keyboard shortcut in OS X. My search didn’t turn up much- and the first item I tried didn’t work at all.

The next day a colleague showed me the "hot corners" option available in the system preferences under displays / screen savers. This works pretty well but my ideal solution would be a keyboard shortcut.

I resorted to trusty stackexchange and was informed that shift-ctrl-eject which actually puts the display to sleep but effectively achieves the desired result of locking the screen (as once awoken the password is requiring to resume).

Ubiquiti AirVision / AirCam Update

I have finished permanent installation of my 3rd Ubiquiti AirCam but have been experiencing increasing problems with the AirVision and NVR software.

For example the above screenshot- you can see the Back Garden feed is blank. These increasingly problems in addition to the rather cpu/memory hungry windows processes spurred me on to give the linux software a go.

I diverted a little from the linux installation guide on the forum: http://forum.ubnt.com/showthread.php?t=44098

Here are my steps:

  • Install Ubuntu server edition checking only the OpenSSH option
  • SSH into the ubuntu server and escalate to root: sudo su
  • Modify the apt-get sources file: nano /etc/apt-get/sources.list
  • Add at bottom of file: deb-src http://extras.ubuntu.com/ubuntu natty main
  • Add at bottom of file: deb http://www.ubnt.com/downloads/airvision/apt natty ubiquiti
  • Quit and save changes: ctrl-x
  • Update apt-get: apt-get update
  • Install AirVision and all dependencies: apt-get install airvision
  • Install AirVision NVR and all dependencies: apt-get install airvision-nvr
  • Ensure everything is up to date: apt-get upgrade

You should now be good to go! Try an browse to https://server-ip-or-hostname:7443 and you should be presented with the configuration/setup wizard.

NB: HTTPS. I made the mistake of trying to browse to http://server-ip:7443 and wondered why it wasn’t working :)

So far performance seems better and resource usage seems a little lighter. Fingers crossed.


Ubiquiti AirVision Improvements

It’s great to see Ubiquiti appear to be working really hard on the AirVision software. Earlier today I upgraded to the latest versions of the AirVision (v1.1.0b4) and AirVision NVR (v1.0.9) software (see http://forum.ubnt.com/forumdisplay.php?f=70)

Further to my earlier post: https://tickett.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/home-security-cameras I’m sure there are a lot of new features but 3 I’ve instantly noticed and feel the need to shout about:

E-mail alerts (for motion and loss of camera/nvr connectivity):

New improved iPhone (potentially other but that’s all I have to test) interface:

Ability to save/export recordings:



After my relative success with the AirCams last week (https://tickett.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/home-security-cameras/) I purchased some AirCam Domes to try out.

Initially when I unboxed them I was a little surprised/disappointed by a few things:

  1. There appears to be no mounting option other than "in a hole"
  2. The lens cover doesn’t seem very secure
  3. The position/orientation of the RJ45 ethernet jack seems to limit mounting options
  4. The lens can only be adjusted up/down (vertically) not left/right (horizontally) – this seems to be yet another indication that the Domes aren’t really meant to be wall-mounted
  5. You can simply unscrew the camera from the "nut", unplug the ethernet cable and walk off with the camera (equally easy with the AirCam)
  6. I’ve got my doubts as to how waterproof the unit is *EDIT* Oops- apparently i dreamt that this is suitable for outdoor use? :)

WHT from the Ubiquiti forum: http://forum.ubnt.com/showthread.php?t=48067 suggested a solution for wall mounting the Dome by reversing the nut usually used to clamp the camera to a ceiling. I followed the advice and set off drilling 3 holes in the nut to mount it to the wall:

I then drilled 3 holes in the wall for the screws and one in the middle for the ethernet cable:

I mounted the nut, pulled an ethernet cable through and crimped an RJ45 connector on the end:

The camera wouldn’t screw back into the nut because it’d been slightly skewed by the screws. I backed them off a bit and it went on a treat. With the added bonus when I fastened the screws back up the camera was locked in place and couldn’t be unscrewed without easing the screws back off:

I may make some adjustments as ideally I’d like to look further left and lose a bit from the right:

I experienced some issues with the camera not registering properly with the NVR ("PREVIEW MODE. PLEASE ASSIGN TO NVR"):

But it seemed that the software had ground the server to a halt and a reboot seems to’ve fixed things for the moment. I’m still a little concerned at the number of processes running and the amount of CPU usage they’re consuming:

And that’s with only 2 cameras currently connected. I may try installing the software in linux later to see if it appears any more efficient.

I have a few more cameras to mount but they’re going to be a bit trickier (running the ethernet cables etc). I’ll update once I’ve found the time.


Home Security Cameras

I’ve been in the market for a while but couldn’t make a decision. Finally I thought I’d give the Ubiquiti Aircam a go: http://www.ubnt.com/airvision

Here you can see it mounted just below and to the left of the satellite dish:

And a bit closer up:

Quality isn’t amazing (1 megapixel) but price (£100), interface and ease of use make up for it:

I have another camera but have yet to mount it.

Currently the Aircam is running off of the included POE injector but I have ordered a few adapters to allow me to run them straight from my POE switch: http://www.ubnt.com/8023af

I have also ordered a Ubiquiti Unifi access point to try: http://www.ubnt.com/unifi and a pair of Nanobridge M (NB-5G25) combined bridge/antenna: http://www.ubnt.com/nanobridge with which I will attempt to create a link to a house "down the road".

*EDIT* As per request i’ve added a few bits.

Performance at night is pretty poor (no ir night mode) and i’ve got quite a bit of ambient light around. I intend to add a motion activated light in the back garden eventually though.

The web interface does work from my iPhone but it doesn’t look like it’s really designed to:

I’ve not noticed any options for text/e-mail alerts but once i get my hands on a raspberry pi and start using some form of central home automation software I will most definitely be looking at integrating it!


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