Thursday, September 17, 2020

Syncing time

The issue

One of the things suggested to save CPU on Blue Iris is to turn on the in camera overlay instead of having Blue Iris add it while viewing. Note this works most of the time but some instances in camera overlays mess with tools like LPR. But many of the clocks seemed to refuse to keep time. At first I thought it was the local ntp servers having problems and wrote a quick tool to test all my ntp server options. The real issue is I'm finding different models of cameras work with only some ntp servers. In a perfect world this would not be an issue but in the real world they are often off a bit from each other and for syncing of video you want them a close as possible. And it also means you need to know which cam works with which and set them to ones as close in time as possible. Plus I want to avoid uploading packets where possible given my network connection is 900 down with only 40 up and I'm backing up to the cloud contentiously. 

Main options I have to work with are:

  • internet time servers (time.windows.com for instance)
  • ntpd on OPNsense router box 192.168.0.1 using 0.opnsense.pool.ntp.org as source
  • Windows time server on a Blue Iris server 10.10.3.48 using 192.168.0.1 as source
  • NetTime on a Blue Iris server 10.10.3.46 using 192.168.0.1 as source
  • ntp service running on IoT Unifi network gateway 10.10.0.1 using 192.168.0.1 as source

Note just setting the time server you want to use on a Windows 10 PC gets complicated. Microsoft really wants you to use time.windows.com. Detailed instructions to change the server can be found here.


What worked with what

Hikvision

System->System Settings->Time Settings (ColorVu)

Basic Configuration->System->Time Settings (older cams)

Would not even ping most of these. In the end the only one it would connect to was the Windows time server

ColorVu screen shot


Reolink

Network->Advanced->NTP

Only seems to like the OPNsense box. Takes 3 screens to set all the time options.


Amcrest

System->General->Date & Time

Hard to say since there is no test button. You just set it and hope. I'll set them to diff servers and see what keeps time. Though it looks like it might do a sync on save so you can see if something works if the time was off. After a day it appears OPNsense did not seem to work as the time was WAY off.

Used Windows time server 

Dahua

System->General->Date & Time

Like Amcrest (some claim the Dahua makes many of Amcrest cams and the software is very similar) it is hard to say since there is no test button. You just set it and hope. I'll set them to diff servers and see what keeps time. Though it looks like it might do a sync on save so you can see if something works if the time was off. After a day it appears OPNsense did not seem to work as the time was WAY off.

Used Windows time server 

JideTech

System->Time

Not sure if this is working or not. Comes set to time.windows.com which seemed to be working. When I set it to a local one it changed the date to 2036 and stayed there till I "Synced with PC time". Then tried to dup and could not. Set to OPNsense box. After a few days the time seems to be hold so think is OK. Note there is no option to set DST start and stop.  

Foscam

Basic Settings->Camera Time
OPNsense seems to work OK. Note this old enough there is no option to set DST start and stop.

Escam

Again OPNsense seems to work OK. 






Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Quick outdoor audio compare

Overview

Been seeing posts wanting cams with audio lately. My Ring compares playlist has some examples of the diff between a ColorVu and a Ring doorbell that contain audio but when outside doing a bit of weeding around the bird feeder and hearing coyotes playing near by I thought I'd grab the footage form 3 near by cameras to show the diff between them.

The 3 cameras are:

Dahua IPC-HDW4631C-A mounted under the window AC unit

Reolink RLC-511-5MP mounted on side window frame

Hikvision (ColorVu) DS-2CD2347G1-LU (far one) mounted on the soffit at the corner of the roof

Placement of cameras

The links to the videos are:

  • The Dahua video
  • The Reolink video
  • The Hikvision/ColorVu video


If you watch the lower timestamp you should hear:

  • Various bird calls and till 11:28:40
  • @11:28:40 you should hear my footsteps and the hedge trimmer starting up.
  • @11:29:37 you should hear me walking through the dried "weeds" crunching them and a jet passing overhead. Then me tossing the branches into a pile off screen.
  • @11:29:58 I start using the hedge trimmer again.
  • @11:30:07 I stop and you can hear what sounds like coyotes yapping a few hundred yards away.
  •  @11:30:23 you should hear me say "listen to that" (meaning the coyotes) in a normal speaking voice.

It is totally calm so there is no wind noise to deal with. I should probably do another sample with speaking when there is wind and when the house main AC unit (around the far side of the house) is running. I'm amazed how loud that AC unit sounds on footage compared to when I'm in the yard.