Micro PC or small Power efficient devices to use for remote access

Hi every one

We are installing remote cameras with LPR functionality and security systems for farmers in the greater Karoo.

I have been looking at Arduino or Raspberry PI devices

Has anyone done remote access to sites that use these devices and is there any experience regarding this.

Some of our devices are more than 500km from Cape town and to do remote support would be great.

Just an idea of what a typical setup consist off.

1 x Mikrotik LHG 5ghz XL
1 x Mikrotik RB951
1x ANPR kamera
1 x Acusense strobe and siren combo Camera
1x Acusense vandal resistant MINI dome with inputs and outputs
1 x 160w Solar panel
1 x MPPT solar charge regulator
1 x 105a Gel deep cycle battery

we need to do some firmware upgrades and small tweaks for alarm conditions

this is installed all on a 8m Pole in the middle of nowhere.
High sites consists of basically the same setup except no ANPR camera.

Average link distance to closest high sites are about 25-30km

I would love to hear from you guys


Hey there.

This isn’t my field of expertise per se, as getting on giant erections (solar powered or not) is merely a recreational past-time. But i have some experience installing/working with everything you listed, sans the Acusense items.

I’m going to need a bit more info on how you guys are going to set up the network.

Depending on the brand of ANPR camera (some explicitly needs L2 with multicast from it to NVR), 1) the camera nodes could be subnetted and NAT’d. With the HSs on a separate IP range. Or if it is a small enough network, 2) all devices use one subnet.

I don’t kmow about the Acusense devices, but everything else have web interfaces for settings and FW updates. So scenario 1 would just require multiple port forwarding and for scenario 2 you just need to be on the network (and monitor/filter broadcast messages).

That’ll allow you acess to the web interface. If the cameras use proprietary software to update (like hikvision’s iVMS or SADP) which require either L2 mac address access or broadcast traffic for device location/config, considering each tower has a mikrotik the simplest solution would be a VPN into the towers subnet. I have successfully done this using both a bridged PPTP and an L2TP connection. FYI PPTP is inherently unsecure, but easier to set up and from experience, much more stable.

If you absolutely must have a mini-pc device (that has a GUI and web browser for obvious reasons), something like THIS is cost effective, efficient and provides adequate IO. Alternatively an even cheaper solution, albeit lacking IO, is to use 2nd hand android phones running remote desktop software or a UserLAnd OS with a VNC GUI.

What are your IO requirements in both the HSs and the nodes?

Hi Angryplum

Thanks for the info.

What needs to happen is that we need remote access on a Breedenet network to our devices.

Dynamic ips is a problem as we will need to have hundreds of them.

What we are planning to do is to use these devices to run say TeamViewer or VNC and give us access to a network / camera

The reason for this is that we tried to get static ips from Breedenet and was told not possible due to the fact that one point may have 25 cameras.

Easier to build our own network with a internet breakout at a control room and then having these devices at our high sites.

Gives us more control and we can do a watchdog setup as well. (ping each device every 5 minutes and get email alerts when a device is no longer replying.

Al devices are 12v powered and our devices that is to be installed should pe 12v compatible whether using a dc-dc buck converter or stepdown transformer.

We don’t want to use inverters to power 220v as it is not really energy efficient

Hope this gives you a bit of an idea as to why we need to remote in.

You know a lot more than me and I would love to chat about your experiences in this field

Kind regards


Hey again,

A friend of mine used to say “knowledge is pretty thin stuff, unless mixed with experience”, and my experience with a project as niche as yours is limited. That said, I’m up for a chat.

Thanks for the break down. I thought you meant you wanted a PC in each site/node, but you are just looking for a bounce box that’ll allow you to traverse/bypass breedenet’s infrastructure, right?

So if you have access to the internet breakout router, a simple port forward for mstsc to connect to the bounce box using rdp. this would only work from inside the breedenet network, because their internet IPs terminate at the edge of their infrastructure. Unless they assign a fixed IP to your breakout.

If none of those are viable, you have a choice of always on outbound VPN, ring back VPN using a push client and a P2P hamachi type network tunnel.

here are the cons for each.

always on outbound: its the least secure option, because it allows people time and data to decipher the encryption.
ring back with push: The push client needs to run on the device that dials back, IE the bounce box. meaning the device can’t be suspended to save power.
P2P tunnel: Data integrity with UDP streams isn’t reliable. and tunnel client also runs on bounce box.

Depending on how “Baller” you are and how much clout you have with breedenet, you could ask them to setup a tunnel to your breakout (or routing to your network’s allocated private IP range). meaning they would forward one port on a public IP through the tunnel into your NAT’d private IP range.

As for the hardware power constraints, look at THIS or THIS. Keep in mind the first one is bare-bone and the latter has thermal issues due to compact design and runs off 5VDC and needs HDMI port connected to boot.

Hope my ramblings aren’t to confusing and at least vaguely helpful.

DM me your number if you want to chat via IM

If the devices are going to be out in the Karoo or anywhere where it can get hot, you might want to focus devices that run cool. Raspberri Pis are known to overheat. I don’t know what the solution is, but I’d recommend you do some research on this. I’m guessing low power devices like Arduino will be a better option. Or maybe add a Raspberry Pi heat sink and ensure your dome or whatever has some ventilation?

<… Insert standard disclaimer about having no experience …>