Build your own wireless IP camera

The Bifferboard

First we start with the brains of the camera. The Bifferboard  (BB for short) . My bifferboard came pre-installed with OpenWRT. A nice linux distribution oriented towards embedded devices such as routers and such. I chose the bifferboard because 1) it is cheap, 2) it runs linux, 3) it is low-power @1 Watt.

First we need to be able to install packages on our bifferboard. This is a bit of a challenge. OpenWRT is made to use a package installer opkg. However, the OpenWRT build that is preloaded on the Bifferboard is NOT compatible with the standard repositories. So to be able to install packages you will need to setup your own package repository. You then you point opkg to your own repository. You’ll need a linux machine available and the bifferboard connected to your local LAN (luckily the BB comes with a network port). Biff (the designer of the BB) has a great site with a wealth of information. Including a description on how to build OpenWRT for the BB. Building OpenWRT automatically yields a repository with with .ipk files. These are the packages. To setup opkg to use your own repository, change the file /etc/opkg.conf and add the line:

Since opkg is retrieving these files using wget, your repository needs to be accessible at an http address.  I’ve got apache running on the machine I use to build OpenWRT. I just copy the entire contents of the repository to /var/www (make sure apache has sufficient permissions to read these files).

Once you have a working repository you can now select new packages to build for your BB and install everything you need (or as much as the 8Mb flash chip can contain) using the standard opkg commands.

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