How ChristmasCam Works

ChristmasCam's setup is a hodge-podge that has grown up over the years. In fact, I resurrected an old camera that had been decommissioned so I could have the camera in the tree. This latter camera is the origional "LivingRoomCam" camera and a computer that is left open because it has heat problems.

One of the effects of having grown up over the years is that most of the cameras are different and all of the cameras are connected differently. I've been trying different methods of capturing images weighing the problems of wiring and price. So, I'll cover each of the cameras separately.

camera in the kitchen Kitchen. The kitchen is the "cleanest" camera implementation so it should come first. I'm using an Axis 2100 Network Camera from Axis Communications . I have two total (the other one is in the tree). You plug the camera into the network and it serves up JPEG images. No muss, no fuss.

The kitchen camera is installed on the ceiling and I crawled around in the attic to run the network and power cables down to the basement where the network hub is.

camera in the Christmas tree Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree is another Axis 2100 camera but, rather than running cables around the house for networking, I'm using a WET11 Wireless Eternet Bridge from Linksys. The bridge just extends the ethernet connection from the house. The access point is a WAP11 Wireless Network Access Point that's in a closet in the middle of the house.

camera in the livingroom LivingRoom. The camera covering the livingroom is my oldest camera. It's an old Intel video conferencing camera that outputs video rather than any nice networked JPEGs. So, my original setup was video out of this camera to a 2.4GHz Wireless Room-to-Room Audio/Video Sender from RadioShack . This transmitted the video through a few walls to a receiver that was connected to an Intel Smart Video Recorder III. Since this video capture card is not longer made and there are no new drivers for it, I had to resurrect an old Windows 98 box that is currently sitting on it's side open because it seems to have heat problems. This camera will retire (again) after Christmas.

Desk. My desk has an Intel Camera Pro (USB) that is being captured by WebCam32

Finally, it's all pulled together with scripts running on my Linux box that serves up the site over my DSL connection. I can only hope that I never get slash-dotted.

The total picture looks something like this:

Diagram of cameras

MisterBlue / / YM: MisterBlue
Copyright 2002, Adams Software / December 24, 2002