Badger Cam

The History of Hardware and Software used to support Badger Cam


Simple weather proof Infra Red security camera with built in Infra Red lights. I have tried several different models of camera as follows:

Logitech QuickCam Cordless, purchased from Ebuyer. This sounded ideal as it needs no cables back to the computer. However, it only works in very good light, does not respond much to infrared and image quality is not great. At this point I realised that USB cameras would not give me the cable length I would need so I started looking at CCTV cameras.

Second, AVC 307R Purchased from Maplins. This is reasonably priced but in this application did not have enough light output, even with the added light and suffers from a high level of noise in pitch black conditions. I used this camera for about 18 months but was never happy with the results.

The third camera is the Swann T3. This has performed very well so far. Also available from Maplins although I chose one from SoftJam. A second T3 is in use as a security camera (not viewable on the web).

2006, also dabbled with an unbranded camera from Ebay. Poor picture and poor in low light.

Early 2008 bought a Swann Black night wireless IR camera. Picture quality was ok, wireless was weak and needed augmenting with high gain aerials to get even a few metres range, it was also badly affected by wifi networks.

October 2008 the Black Night failed as it was half full of water.

Unfortunately now in 2008 one T3 has lost all it's IR LEDS and the other has an intermittent fault.

November 2008 just bought a pair of new cameras These are unbranded 1/3 inch from Ebay. Model number VS-54SNH-2A 540TVL. Nabishi Both perform well, the best cameras so far. (see how they fair over winter)

Also one wireless TX RX pair, also unbranded (marked as BADA) from Ebay. This performs much better than the Black Knight although both are easily upset by an near by wifi setup. It is not at all water proof but I have mounted in a water proof plastic box from Maplins.

2010 Eventually gave up on the wireless cameras and have now got various IR CCTV camera from ebayd, various sources, all cabled direct back to the capture card.

2013 Trialing an IR IP HD CCTV camra, IPS911, performs well but the jpeg capture is only very low resolution. (ongoing....)


In addition to the camera light there is an extra Infra Red illuminator. Purchased from Maplins. The T3 seems to work well even with out additional lighting. (still experimenting)

Early 2008 bought a couple of IR LED flood lights from Hong Kong via EBAY. Excellent value and Excellent results.

November 2008. Both of the Flood lights have lost a few LEDS but both are still working well.

2013, Both flood lights still working, they have however needed quite a few IR LEDs replacing.

Video Capture

I have tried 4 different sets of capture hardware so far:

First the Logitech has its own wireless USB interface. This worked well. Although the driver install, installs all sorts of rubbish on the PC which takes time to remove.

Second, I tried the Hauppauge USB-Live and Hauppauge WinTV USB, both purchased from Ebuyer. These worked ok but were let down by unstable driver software.

Third, I have now settled on Pinnacle Rave PCI cards for video capture, purchased from Ebuyer.

Fourth, finaly switched to 4 Channel 120 FPS High Performance Card from Camsecure.


I tried several different combinations of hardware, software and operating system.

First the Logitech software under Windows ME. This worked but did not have any of the functions I needed.

I then moved to WEBCAM XP running under ME then Windows 2000. This was getting close to what I wanted but I never managed to get it to run for more than a few hours (Blame Hauppauge) and the web pages were a little inflexible and scattered with Powered by WEBCAM XP comments.

Next I tried DCAM, this is a Sourceforge Visual Basic project which meant I could make adjustments to the software as needed. Again I never managed to get this to run 24/7 (Blame Hauppauge).

Finally, in 2005, I moved to Debian Linux using Motion software and the Pinnacle cards. This all worked first time and has never crashed or hung up. I am currently tweaking the configuration.

October 2008. They say Debian Linux is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it.

I love it because you can guarentee that is has been tested and will be stable (even the unstable version)

I love it because they guarantee that is it free, truly free.

I love it because Debian are Paranoid about security.

I hate it because I upgraded the os in October and the movies stopped working. Why, because Debian noticed that Mpeg 4 format has a patent out on it. Hence it is not free. So they have been removed from the standard system. While it is possible to download Mpeg 4 support from elsewhere I have decided to go with the flow and have switched the movies to swf format.

Swf format did not last long and I switched to motions msmpeg4 (avi) format.

Sept 2013. After a long overdue overhall. We are now on Debian Wheezy and the latest debian versions of Motion, Apache2, mysql etc. movies aare still in msmpeg4 avi format but avconv is used to genertate HTM5 compatible mp4 files. Thumbnails are now extracted from the movie with ffmpeg to remove the need for motion to save any jpegs at all.

Live view is now simplefied to use java/php to grab jpegs form motion's mjpeg stream. This ensures cross browser compatability without plugins.

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