Giving up RPi - call me when Wifi+Motion+Webcam is working


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by DavidMS » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:46 am
Well is it Christmas eve, lots to do as usual. One reason for this is that having left my Rpi's alone for a couple of months in frustration with the inability to run reliably with WiFi, I once again made an attempt to setup a basic webcam application using Motion and WiFi with the hope that in the last few monthly a solution might have been found. Unfortunately little seems to have changed, all works fine with Ethernet but replace with WiFi if I am lucky I get about 6 hours of operation before something locks up. So this is my feedback, great idea, great product, lots of great improvements but sorry for me until the USB Elephant is fixed really just a novelty.


Anyway off to pick up the beer do some wrapping, Happy christmas
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by ghans » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:22 am
Could you provide info on the dongle and its chipset ?

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by Maxion » Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:58 am
Sounds like a power issue if you lose wifi and USB.
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by Paul Webster » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:18 am
Power issue seems unlikely to me since OP says it can run for 6 hours before problem occurs.
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by jamesh » Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:22 am
Sounds like a USB problem - ensure you have the latest distro, and check out the USB Redux thread for possible changes to setup that might help. Motion + webcam = lots of USB and CPU requirements, which is pretty much a worst case scenario for USB. Would be useful to know the exact setup so we can try and replicate the issue.
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by ski522 » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:19 pm
DavidMS wrote:Anyway off to pick up the beer do some wrapping, Happy christmas

This sounds like a better plan for now ;)! Merry Christmas!
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by DavidMS » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:42 pm
Ok so the setup

upto date Raspbian image [16-12] with recent update - on a 'early' RPi
also update Raspbian updated current but from an older late summer image this time on a new made in UK Rpi

Cameras a low end HP and Logitech [Logitech Webcam C200 -picked as is listed one that other have found to work ok]

WiFi - Edimax EW-7811UN

I am using powered HUBs from Farnell, and have done all the checks to confirm power is not the issue, I have the RPi setup for auto switching to Turbo mode but have tried other setting and not seen any difference

Interestingly back in September the WiFI still dropped out but motion kept going and I could often recover by pulling out the WiFi dongle and putting it back in, now Motion dies as well - but not cleanly in that I cannot re-start without a powerdown
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by jamesh » Mon Dec 24, 2012 1:29 pm
MOD: Have edited title to be more representative of the issue. Generally, wireless should work for the majority of people - in this case I believe it's the combination that is the problem, not wireless per se.
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by pluggy » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:38 am
This is one that can't be blamed on power. I've pretty much given up on Webcams on the Pi as well. I have 3 Pis and 6 webcams, One of them powered over GPIO with a 2.5 Amp power supply with extra smoothing. I get a rock solid 5.10 volts across the test points. And besides the webcams and 1 keyboard that misbehaves all the Pi's are rock solid stable too. Its a USB issue, all
the webcams work fine when connected to one of my other PCs (3 of 'em all Linux, except one which dual boots with Windows 8, and since the wifes laptop's screen got broken and its quite old, it looks like I lost that one). 2 of the webcams half work in the long term. One at reduced resolution, one at normal resolution. I just have them doing stills. Latest mainstream updates - the kinky rpi-update doesn't help.

I'm waiting for the camera module, since USB webcams are like banging your head against the wall.

It looks like Kernel development has stagnated in the mainstream OS (Raspdian) . It hasn't moved since 3.2.27+ dated October 18th. This is not a criticism, just an observation, but it suggests it isn't a priority. Don't get me wrong, USB improved dramatically between my first Pi in April and October, just nothing since (WiFi is usable now, providing you have the Pi keeping an eye on the connections and taking appropriate action if goes down, and more of my Keyboards mice and work without missing or adding keystrokes). I get the distinct impression that there are hardware limitations with the SOC and the LAN chip which get in the way of it working properly for all USB devices. Slowing the USB down to 1.1 rather than 2.0 helps with some devices, although most webcams won't work at 1.1

Happy Christmas to those who celebrate said festival and are sad enough to be looking at this on Christmas day..........
Don't judge Linux by the Pi.......
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by Cheeto4493 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:33 pm
I have been having trouble with my setup as well. Thought I'd work on it over the holiday.

I have a Logitech c270 webcam
Raspi B w/ 256mb
running Wheezy
Wireless WiFi dongle.

wireless seems to work well, and I can get the camera to work, but only at 320x240 resolution.
If I try to up the resolution, I get a watchdog timeout error.

I've tried different ram combinations, turbo over-clocking, but can't get the resolution any higher.

I have tried the camera plugged into my netbook and can get motion to capture up to 1024x768 or so.
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by KK7PW » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:26 pm
Hi. FYi, before you give up on the Pi and its wifi functionality, I was having difficulties using WICD with my Edimax USB dongle (i.e. timing out and not reconnecting) on my Debian Armel dist.

So, I found this website with instructions for editing the config file for WPAsupplicant. Using Putty SSH, for terminal mode access to the Pi, you can copy the author's syntax and right-click / paste into Putty for execution.

I had my wifi up and running in five minutes and has been working flawlessly since.

Here's the website:

http://omer.me/2012/04/setting-up-wirel ... pberry-pi/

I started at Step 3 because I already had WPAsupplicant loaded.

Good luck!

de KK7PW
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by zeke » Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:38 pm
I am having the same issues with Arch + EdiMAX wifi + Logitech Pro 5000.

I have done some diagnostics, and this is where I am at:

Ethernet + motion + stream to IP = works fine
wifi + motion + netcam streamed from another computer and then streamed to another IP (same Logitech camera attached to desktop) = works fine
wifi + motion + webcam with no streaming (just same files if motion is detected) = works

wifi + stream to IP with mjpeg-streamer = failure after about 3 min
wifi + motion + stream to IP = failure after about 3 min

When it fails, I lose the route and ip address from dhcp. All other machines on the LAN are fine, usually, but I have experienced a total crash of the LAN on occasion.

When it fails, the pi remains lit up and the wifi dongle continues to flash, but ssh = no route to host (as you could guess from the loss of route above).

I am now thinking that it is the camera + pi combo and maybe a different make/model would work. Does anyone have continuous webcam streaming on the Rpi working over wifi, and if so, what kind of camera are you using?
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by bgirardot » Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:06 pm
zeke wrote:I am having the same issues with Arch + EdiMAX wifi + Logitech Pro 5000.

I have done some diagnostics, and this is where I am at:

Ethernet + motion + stream to IP = works fine
wifi + motion + netcam streamed from another computer and then streamed to another IP (same Logitech camera attached to desktop) = works fine
wifi + motion + webcam with no streaming (just same files if motion is detected) = works

wifi + stream to IP with mjpeg-streamer = failure after about 3 min
wifi + motion + stream to IP = failure after about 3 min

When it fails, I lose the route and ip address from dhcp. All other machines on the LAN are fine, usually, but I have experienced a total crash of the LAN on occasion.

When it fails, the pi remains lit up and the wifi dongle continues to flash, but ssh = no route to host (as you could guess from the loss of route above).

I am now thinking that it is the camera + pi combo and maybe a different make/model would work. Does anyone have continuous webcam streaming on the Rpi working over wifi, and if so, what kind of camera are you using?


I do not follow it very closely, but have you tried the development firmware and kernel image for raspbian? If you have another SD card it might be worth a shot at seeing if it works with that. You will need to install the default raspbian from the downloads page and then install rpi-update from hexxeh's repository:

https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update

Others with ethernet/wifi issues have said the dev stuff helps their problems.
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by zeke » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:53 pm
Well, it is very clear this is a power issue. I can run motion with no problem if I unplug the wifi dongle.
I tried a different webcam - the Logitech c525 which is supposed to run fine on the pi without external power, but when I run it with the dongle attached the pi crashes. Removing the dongle allows effortless streaming from this or my original webcam (Logitech Pro5000).

It seems to me that the only solution for wifi+webcam+motion is a powered hub

I would love to hear from anyone who has got this working without a powered hub and what the equipment works.
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by jamesh » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:19 pm
zeke wrote:Well, it is very clear this is a power issue. I can run motion with no problem if I unplug the wifi dongle.
I tried a different webcam - the Logitech c525 which is supposed to run fine on the pi without external power, but when I run it with the dongle attached the pi crashes. Removing the dongle allows effortless streaming from this or my original webcam (Logitech Pro5000).

It seems to me that the only solution for wifi+webcam+motion is a powered hub

I would love to hear from anyone who has got this working without a powered hub and what the equipment works.


Not necessarily power, although quite possible. The addition of the wifi dongle also increases load on the USB system - perhaps that is where the issue lies. Easy to check - try with a powered hub.
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by zeke » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:48 am
Did that and solved it. No problems running motion streaming to an ip port via wifi for several hours now with a powered hub. This is using a an approx. 10 year old Logitech QuickcamPro5000.

Will see if I can update the elinux wiki for confirmed devices. This and the Logitch c525 work out of the box alone, and with a powered hub if you also want usb wifi.

Someone please call the OP.
;)
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by markyd » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:16 pm
This is a project close to my heart as I want to have a solar powered web cam in the garden to keep an eye on the bird feeder ... aka project "Parrot Cam" ... was a bit harder that I thought but in essence I have the wireless sorted, web cam sorted and motion set up as well. It has been streaming all weekend no problem but only at a resolution of 352 x 288 which is disappointing .... anyone know why there is this limitation? Its motion's default.

Here is a link to my blog, wont take any credit as there is a link in there to another post with lots of detailed info. Next phase to to sort out solar power & weather-proof web cam.

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... cam-35278/

------------------------------------------------------
pi@Pi-Two ~ $ lsusb
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 0424:9512 Standard Microsystems Corp.
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0424:ec00 Standard Microsystems Corp.
Bus 001 Device 004: ID 7392:7811 Edimax Technology Co., Ltd EW-7811Un 802.11n Wireless Adapter [Realtek RTL8188CUS]
Bus 001 Device 005: ID 0c45:62c0 Microdia Sonix USB 2.0 Camera
pi@Pi-Two ~ $
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by joan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:31 pm
I'll get my Logitech QuickCam 4000 Pro USB webcam out of the drawer and give that another try later (idVendor=046d, idProduct=08b2).
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by markyd » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:58 pm
.... just to add to my earlier post, my "Parrot Cam" is a very early Rev 1 board, 256MB RAM and those Poly Do Da's on the USB so it cant be powered off the USB alone, not sure it that is helpful or not oh ... and latest version of Raspbian. If I can help with anything just shout ...
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by gordon77 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:40 pm
"but only at a resolution of 352 x 288 which is disappointing .... anyone know why there is this limitation?"

I don't know what the limitation is but my Microsoft VX2000 will work but only upto 352 x 288 on the RPi :(

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by markyd » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:21 pm
..... that's the same resolution as with my cam and the default setting for Motion, I read the guff in the motion.conf file which is quite comprehensive and tried loads of alternate resolutions stepping up in increments of 16 but each time I tried to restart motion I got "unable to connect to camera" and a grey box ... which did resize appropriately ... anyone know of any other packages able to view web cams to check out if this is a software or hardware limitation? I am guessing if we can get another package to view the cam at higher resolutions, regardless of whether it streams or not, we can then rule out hardware.

Anyone know when the office Pi Cam is out?
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by pluggy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:13 pm
Its the USB driver for the Pi, It drops packets. Its a work in progress. There is a chance its hardware related to the Broadcom SOC and we're ,stuck with it. Look on the bright side - many webcams don't work at all. The Pi's dedicated camera module is due 'Q1 2013' - sometime before April.

The Model A was also due in Q1 2013 and I just ordered one, maybe the camera will be sooner rather than later......
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by Cheeto4493 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:19 pm
I'm having the same problem with my Logitech C270. maximum resolution is 320x240, or slightly higher. I have shelved it and have not done anything more with mine in the last month, but. I had tried hooking the same camera up to my netbook running Xubuntu, and motion software, and it worked great. I think I was getting the maximum resolution from this camera. Something like 1280x720.

I had thought it was from trying to run the WiFi dongle and the camera at the same time and overloading the data throughput of the USB chip, but have not gone back and tried it again.
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by markyd » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:46 am
My first "parrot cam" set-up used a newer Rev 2 board with 512MB RAM and sorted USB connections and I used it wired Ethernet too and got exactly the same results ....
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by pluggy » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:48 am
markyd wrote:My first "parrot cam" set-up used a newer Rev 2 board with 512MB RAM and sorted USB connections and I used it wired Ethernet too and got exactly the same results ....


They haven't sorted the USB yet. The rev 2 (all 512 are rev 2 but not the other way round) did away with the USB polyfuses which helped with the USB power problems. Iffy webcams are the fault of data connection on the USB. Its still a work in progress. Its easy enough to butcher an old rev 1 board to give it the power advantages of the rev 2.

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