Beaglebone Black - Devuan Jessie

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Note: For a full listing of RPI/ARM based install docs see Single Board Computers

Materials:

  • Beaglebone Black Industrial
  • Logitech C525 webcam
  • RTC1307 real time clock (optional)

Steps:

Installed Debian Jessie via a netinstall from Elinux.org BeagleBoardDebian. Used serial port. This was actually a slow idea, much better is to use the prebuilt images (see lower on that page) but either way works. Migrated to Devuan via dev1fanboy guide. Installed Zoneminder using jessie-backports according to official install guide.

Industrial BBB was chosen, to use as a dashcam under cold winter conditions.

Camera works plugged into USB. No external power needed. The camera was obtained by looking at the H-node hardware compatibility list for webcams. Another good resource is Elinux RPi USB Webcams There is no guarantee that all webcams will support the framebuffer grab that ZM requires, but in this case, it did. The webcam is 960x720p and cost about $12. See Logitech Webcam Pro 9000 or other webcam setup docs for hints on setup.

Logitech camera works under the following settings

Zoneminder settings:

  • Source: Local
  • Maximum FPS: 3
  • Device Path: /dev/video0
  • Capture Method: Video for Linux 2
  • Device Format: PAL
  • Capture Palette: *MJPEG
  • Capture Width (pixels): 960
  • Capture Height (pixels): 720

Though I run it at 640x480px.

Total load with camera, gets about 960x720 3FPS, with roughly .7 load on the server in record mode. I can see using this as an external ZM server or standalone.

YUYV works with resolution of 320x240, but no higher. MJPG is able to get 320x240, 640x480, and 960x720. I put the wrong resolution in during MJPEG mode, but the ZM logs told me that the 'correct' resolution available was 960x720, so I used that.

This being an SBC, there is a additional interfaces, expansions (I2C, GPIO) to use in addition to the camera itself. Sensors can be added easily. Possibilities are many. No longer just a camera, an SBC with a cam is a swiss army camera.


Notes:

  • I ran into problems using this BBB with a long (>25 ft) ethernet cable. Network functions were slow, or failing. This could be a problem if you were to use these as substitutes for cameras over long drops. It may have been my particular model (BBB Element14 industrial) or the cable. A shorter cable resolved all issues.
  • In using this as a dashcam (albeit, a slow, expensive, but DIY dashcam) it was required to add a real time clock to the expansion header to keep time. It should be possible to use EEPROM or the flash to keep chronological time, without the need for an RTC...


See Also