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[Worklog] Hiiggy's CCTV Rig
#1
Also known as Big Brother.

So it would seem that lately there have been more frequent occurences of people stealing store goods and fuel from my family's petrol station, so it was decided that the surveillance needed some upgrading. Along with getting better cameras to better read license plates, and a few more cameras in the store, I've also been asked to put together a new computer that can handle 15 to 20 cameras (it's a big petrol station) at high quality settings. Looking at the budget I was given, it appears that I've been able to find some pretty cheap parts, and as such, I was well under my budget.

So why not add FondleBOINC capabilities?

Specs:

1x AMD A6-6400K APU
2x WD 2TB HDDs
1x MSI A55-G41
2x 2GB DDR3 1600mhz RAM
OXZ ZX 1000w PSU
1x el-cheapo case

You're probably wondering why on earth I would stick a 1000w PSU in a computer that wouldn't need more than 350 watts. Simple. The PSU and RAM are my own, and I gave them away for free, since they weren't being used, and were just gathering dust. No point letting them rot, right? Plus, the ZX comes with high efficiency, so less heat and power needed for a computer running 24/7.

I'm still building the computer (the RAM and PSU should be here in less than an hour), but for the time being, have some photos:



The el-cheapo case, in all its glory!

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I should get a black party hat, glue it to the front of the case, and name it Nyx...

Side of the case. And it looks like something is inside!

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It took me a while to figure out why there was a giant hole at the front-bottom of the case:

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If you look closely, you can see a mains power cable. Somehow, the PSU is mounted here. I don't think I've ever seen that on a case before.

See where the power cable is supposed to plug in to? That's just like an extension cable that runs behind the mobo mounting plate, so you still connect the power cable at the back:

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Not bad for a cheap case. USB multi-card reader, and two fans included:

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And here are the goods!

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This is where things started to become complicated. The case came with standoffs, but two of them were in the wrong places. No problem, I figured. I'd just unscrew them, and put them in the right places. Turns out that the other holes where they should have been in were too small, so I had to drill a hole that was just a tiny bit larger, so it would fit.

It didn't stop there. Once I had the standoffs in the right locations, the mobo had to be aligned. Problem was that it required an almost dangerous amount of brute force to align the mobo, so that I could get the screws in to mount it. Looks like there was an issue with the I/O plate, but I can't tell if it was the fault of the plate, or the case. My guess is the latter.

The ride never ends, so you're not getting off Mr. Pone's Wild Ride just yet! Thanks to a lack of photos on the product page when I bought the case, I didn't realise that the hard drive mounting rack had space for only one drive. So I had to mod the case:

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Just look at that amazing German Bogan engineering! It's rigid, and doesn't bend when it's put on its side! If you're wondering what it is that I used, it's some leftover pieces of something I used to play with when I was younger. While other kids had action figures, sports, or friends, I had screws, nuts, and bits of metal to construct anything I wanted, and that was my passtime for quite a while! It was like lego! But with flat metal pieces!

Moving on, here's where I have to stop, until I can get the RAM and PSU:

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Cable management is pretty decent so far, but those bloody SATA cables had to ruin it. There's no more room to wire them behind the mounting plate, like the front panel cables you see coming out near the bottom.

Also, I find it strange that the power LED uses a molex connector, instead of connecting to the mobo like everything else. The fans using molex are also quite annoying, but I don't think noise will be an issue with this rig.

Well, this passed a few minutes, so hopefully I'll be done in another half hour. Until then, amuse yourself with the stuff above!

EDIT: Well, that took longer than I expected. Installing took much longer than expected. Blame Linux. Continuing where I left off...

Just to further fuel my hatred for this horrific case design, there is barely any room depth-wise for this PSU, and though you cant see it here, there is a small little recession where the PSU should fit, so that it's not sticking out to the point where its almost in line with the outer case parts. Problem is, that recession is too short, so the PSU is at a slight angle. It made closing the side panel later on a nightmare as well.

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Now if you didn't notice how little room there was between the hard drive and PSU, you can see how much space I had to work in, so that the cables could connect to the PSU:

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Seriously, WHY would you put a PSU at the front like this?

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Camera decided to be a potato for the last image, but this is everything before closing it up. I had a spare Corsair H70 fan, so I put it here as a side intake, alongside the rear and top exhausts. As you can see, cable management went to hell.

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Now that the construction is done, I'm going to set up the essentials sometime tomorrow (or today, considering its 3 in the morning now). I've already installed a 64bit Lubuntu on it, but the rest will have to wait until I've had some rest. I also tried to do some temperature monitoring, but lm-sensors hasn't picked up the right temperature. I doubt the processor is running at either 0K, 0C, or 4C. BIOS reports 37-40 degrees at idle, so something is wrong here. If anyone knows, please give me a hand with this.

EDIT:

Have a screenshot of the system running via TeamViewer:

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I've only set up 7 of the cameras so far. There should be another two, but thanks to greedy software developers, no third-party IP cameras will work with the program until you have bought a special USB dongle to lift that restriction. More cameras should have been set up, but I've only been able to do three more so far (cameras 01 and 08 and 09), because I had to spend hours crawling around in the roof, getting all the wiring done.

I'll tell you now that it was no easy task. Pitch black, save for my pathetic little LED light, dusty, and with so little room that I was manoeuvring around, over, and under cables and air ducts like it was that scene from Entrapment. Hell, I'm pretty sure I violated a massive list of workplace safety regulations!



EDIT2:

More updates!

Since that case was so shitty, I decided to do a case swap with the old and new computer. Made life so much easier! And looks a little better, especially without my bogan solution to hard drive mounts. I also found a 1TB hard drive, which I added in behind the DVD drive. Added a couple of extra fans for more cooling, too.

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I also took the video card out of the old computer, and popped it into this one. It took down the CPU temperatures a bit, so I could get it to remain safely at 3.9 Ghz. Unfortunately, the room it is in is very stuffy, and lacks proper ventilation, so it gets pretty hot in there. I should probably look into that and see if I can improve the air circulation there.

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And here's the ugly part. All the cables that were too long for my uses ended up clumping behind the DVD drive. Not a major issue though. It's not blocking any air over there. Also, you can see the 1TB drive hidden behind the cables here.

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Also, have some videos of where I spend most of my days working on these cameras...

This one has been stuck on 'processing' for some time now, so I don't know if YT screwed up or something. But yes, it's pretty damn dark up there...evidently.


Great way to start off a video is to grunt like an old man. I do that a lot in these videos. Hey, you'd be grunting, and breathing heavily if you were up there for several hours, either hunched over or crouching almost everywhere!

Also, I look like a bloody kid. I blame shaving!


Though this video doesn't truly show how little space I had, I think it shows it reasonably well...


Oxygen deprivation takes its toll (or something like that)...


Finally! Drilling stuff! And more bitching about how it's hotter than Australia during water restrictions.


This last bit took longer than I thought, so it's really just six minutes of me crouching and tying a string to a drill bit:




EDIT3:

Mounted the next camera today. Took me ages to drill through the ceiling, since the drill bits were piss poor. I actually gave up at one point, then found a universal drill bit, which made things so much easier. Could have saved half an hour if I had found this bit first.


And then the batteries in my LED light died...

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#2
Could try using TPC to see them temps, its what me and tiwake use on you bigadv systems:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1669698
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#3
Nope. Still shows an incorrect value of 9 degrees, I'm afraid.
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#4
For reference on your chip TMPIN0 is the CPU and TMPIN1 is the GPU.

so after installing tpc when you type "tpc -temp" what do you see, on my rig it outputs:

root@speedstar:~# tpc -temp
TurionPowerControl 0.44-rc2 (tpc-0.44-rc2-r144)
Turion Power States Optimization and Control - by blackshard

Detected processor: Family 15h (Bulldozer/Interlagos/Valencia) Processor
Machine has 4 nodes
Processor has 8 cores
Processor has 7 p-states
Processor has 2 boost states
Processor temperature slew rate:9.0°C

Temperature table:
Node 0 C0:30 C1:30 C2:30 C3:30 C4:30 C5:30 C6:30 C7:30
Node 1 C0:30 C1:30 C2:30 C3:30 C4:30 C5:30 C6:30 C7:30
Node 2 C0:30 C1:30 C2:30 C3:30 C4:30 C5:30 C6:30 C7:30
Node 3 C0:30 C1:30 C2:30 C3:30 C4:30 C5:30 C6:30 C7:30

Done.

And for reference what is the output of "sensors" ?
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#5
I'll get back to you in a little while on that. Already had to reinstall the OS, after following the installation guide on some DVR software (Zoneminder).
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#6
Here's what I've got:

Code:
TurionPowerControl 0.44-rc2 (export)
Turion Power States Optimization and Control - by blackshard

Detected processor: Family 15h (Bulldozer/Interlagos/Valencia) Processor
Machine has 1 nodes
Processor has 1 cores
Processor has 7 p-states
Processor has 2 boost states
Processor temperature slew rate:9.0°C

Temperature table:
Node 0  C0:0

Done.
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#7
You're using ZoneMinder I assume?
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#8
Oh dear.
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#9
(2014-05-03, 12:11:21 PM)Fir3Chi3f Wrote: You're using ZoneMinder I assume?

Yep. I got it installed earlier today though (ie, 4 in the morning). It doesn't work on 14.04, so I had to downgrade to 13.04. Something about deprecated features that were removed. Looked too complicated for me to have the patience with finding older versions, locking them, and moving on, so I reinstalled with the older version of Ubuntu.

I think the number of times I've reinstalled is now in the double digits.

Byobu is reporting a temperature of 20 degrees now, which seems to be close to the system temperature reported in the BIOS, but still not the CPU temperature, which would be a minimum of 30 degrees at idle. Since it's running BOINC now, it should be higher.

Speaking of BOINC, I can't seem to get GPU work done reliably. The system would freeze after a few minutes, but I can't tell if that's instability due to a bad chip, or excessive temperatures.
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#10
So after the countless times I've had to reinstall the damn operating system (which I swear was at least fifteen times...I lost track), I finally got the CCTV software to work!

...Except that it wasn't detecting the cameras. So, I torrent a copy of Windows 8, install iSpy, and within two hours, the IP cameras were working.

Gentlemen, this is why I will always like Windows over Linux. Sure, Linux can be considered faster and more secure, but at the end of the day, those mean shit if the damn thing doesn't work. With Windows, things work. Things don't need an entire weekend to get set up. Sure, it's got problems, but it has fewer ones, that's for sure. In my case, that's by orders of magnitude.

Also, it's sensing temperatures, and it doesn't freeze when running GPU BOINC tasks.

Still, I'm not finished with the computer. So far, I've only set up the IP cameras. I ran out of time to work on the cameras connected via PCI cards, since I was fine-tuning the individual camera settings, like motion detection sensitivity.

Based on very rough calculations from an hour of running two cameras, I estimate about 50 days worth of footage capacity with 20 cameras attached. Not bad for 1TB. I'll need to be sure to fine-tune the performance-impacting settings, if I want the computer to handle that many cameras at high resolution, and have BOINC chugging along beside it.

I am going to make a massive mess tomorrow when I have to dismantle the old computer and rip out those capture cards. There's going to be cables EVERYWHERE!
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#11
(2014-05-06, 08:57:26 AM)hiigaran Wrote: Gentlemen, this is why I will always like Windows over Linux. Sure, Linux can be considered faster and more secure, but at the end of the day, those mean shit if the damn thing doesn't work. With Windows, things work. Things don't need an entire weekend to get set up. Sure, it's got problems, but it has fewer ones, that's for sure. In my case, that's by orders of magnitude.

No truer words were ever spoken.
Specially Trained Derp

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#12
(2014-05-07, 03:31:23 AM)SXRXE Wrote:
(2014-05-06, 08:57:26 AM)hiigaran Wrote: Gentlemen, this is why I will always like Windows over Linux. Sure, Linux can be considered faster and more secure, but at the end of the day, those mean shit if the damn thing doesn't work. With Windows, things work. Things don't need an entire weekend to get set up. Sure, it's got problems, but it has fewer ones, that's for sure. In my case, that's by orders of magnitude.

No truer words were ever spoken.

I third this. Though I love me a slick linux distro. Windows will just work.


I'd love to see some screenshots of all your IP cams up and running- must be an impressive sight!
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#13
I ordered the DVR PCI card just yesterday, so still a while before it's fully functional. I estimate it to arrive early next week. Hopefully it all works by the end of next week, once I've got all the fine-tuning adjustments complete. I've only got 2 IP cameras, but 10 BNC cameras. More will also be bought.

EDIT: Okay, I've noticed something rather annoying. Looks like the APU is being throttled. It's running at 3.1 Ghz, instead of the default 3.9 (even though its advertised at 4.3). I thought I disabled all those throttling options. Anyone have a full list of BIOS options that could affect it?

I've also noticed that I can't manually overclock it via Catalyst Control Center, or AMD Overdrive. I can 'overclock' it in the BIOS, and it would show the right frequency if I go back into the BIOS, but as soon as the OS loads, it's back down to 3.1. What is interesting though, is that in both CCC and Overdrive, there is an overclocking test that automatically increases the CPU multiplier, tests it, raises the multi again, and so on. During this test, I see the frequency changing. 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3...Until I stop the test. Then it returns to 3.1.

Now granted, I wouldn't want it running at 4.3 if the temperature reported is 80 degrees, but surely I should be able to run it just fine at 3.9.

At no point was the voltage increased.
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#14
Install Process Hacker, and check whether the overclocking test is increasing the clock speed by opening up "System Information" and checking the CPU tab. It'll show something like "3.1GHz/3.9GHz".

First value is current clock speed (throttling). The second value is the reported clock speed the chip is aiming for. It's possible that AMD Overdrive overclocked it to an unsafe temperature and is now throttling it back. If the reported clock is above the chip's stock clock speed, then just reset overclocking and it should stop whinging.

Either that or underclock the iGPU.
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#15
I've already confirmed that the clocks are actually rising during those tests via CPU-Z.

I'm considering underclocking the iGPU, but what do you think would be better as far as BOINC is concerned? Higher iGPU for lower CPU, or the other way around? The throttled CPU isn't affecting the primary purpose of the rig.

EDIT: Long overdue:

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