Sometimes you wonder what happens in and around your house when you’re not home.  I want to show you how I set up a motion sensing security camera using a webcam and your PC. This is a hobby level surveillance system which I used to prove the uninvited traffic through my outdoor property is more than a mild case of paranoia. I’ve used it as an outdoor camera as well as indoors. But if you do decide to set up your itty bitty security camera outdoors, don’t hold me accountable for damages that are guaranteed to happen to your ten dollar webcam.

Indoors, it’s great for unwelcomed family members coming over using your stuff. Or if you just want to catch squirrels stealing food from the birdfeed (through your window, otherwise it becomes an extremely vulnerable and probably be destroyed). Whatever you can imagine and your webcam can reach, you can capture. By the way, you can always get USB extensions if you want a further reach. Let’s get to it.

Firstly, if it’s not already, install your webcam as normal. Download and install Dorgem. It’s free and should be easy to install. Launch Dorgem and select your webcam from the “Camera Selection” drop-down list. Click “Preview” to see what the camera will see and adjust the camera as needed. Click “Source” and adjust the brightness until you’re happy. Click “Options” and check “Use motion detection” and click “OK”.

Now click “Store settings” and choose “File” and click “OK”. Give it a name, make sure “Enable” is checked, and set “Interval” to 1 or 2 seconds or a higher number if there’s a lot of traffic in the area you’re monitoring. Now click the “…” next to “Filename” and point it to where you want to save the pictures. Use %g to give your filenames a timestamp and %G to give it a year stamp. For example I call mine, “balcony-%G%g”. So the images will be saved as “balcony-20090306165001.jpg” which is
balcony – the current year – the current month, day, hour, minute and second. Click “OK”, click “close” and now is time to play with it a little to test the setup. Walk around in front of the camera and adjust as needed. There you have it, a motion sensing security camera for about ten dollars.