ZoneMinder meets the ESP8266

This is the first page in a planned series, detailing the use of the popular ESP8266 WiFi SOC as an external trigger source for the open-source surveillance application, ZoneMinder (

The general idea described in this blog is to use the ESP8266 to communicate the status of a third party sensor or device to a server running ZoneMinder. The device or sensor can be an IR motion sensor, garage door opener, door status contact, sound threshold sensor (bark detector), temperature sensor, etc. The possibilities are limitless.

ZoneMinder is a complete open-source video surveillance solution. It was originally written by Phillip Combes in 2002 and has many features. Phil has since given us permission to continue to develop this application, which currently lives on github.

The ESP8266 is a family of Wifi chips, complete with hackable firmware. These chips can run your own code, so there is often no need to piggyback an additional micro-controller. These chips come in varieties like ESP-01, ESP-03, ESP-12, etc. As far as I know, the chip on each of these varients is identical. It is the physical form factor and the number of I/O pins which are different.

Thanks to a strong open source community, there are multiple ways to program these chips. I chose to use the Arduino IDE simply because I was already familiar with it.

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