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Thread: Security Camera Suggestions

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    Bradfo69's Avatar
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    Default Security Camera Suggestions

    Totally non-laser related but, what better place to ask for opinions. I was asked yesterday to look for a security camera system for our new outdoor function space for weddings/events etc.

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    We're thinking four cameras and I guess recording to a hard drive is the current flavor of these things. I just started searching and saw this:

    http://www.bjs.com/defender-pro-conn....261627?dimId=


    Anybody have any experience with a system they particularly like? Things to watch out for? Suggestions on what to do or not do? Not looking to spend thousands of dollars.

    Thanks in advance!

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    Brad,


    Are you looking to have live recording at all times or is this more of a record at night when no one is there. There are cameras that can start recording when they see motion. So at night when no one should be around it will capture someone trying to steal something. This can help save space on the hardrive and also helps when you need to review video. You won't have to review hours and hours of nothing just to see the few seconds that are important.

    Keep in mind how you are going to run your power and communication to the camera. Most places you want a camera don't have an outlet to plug in a camera. Your power will obviously need to be hard to access so it not easy to disable the camera. Wireless communication is fairly reliable but not as reliable as hardwired enet. So again you will need to think about how to run the enet cable and how to get it back to the receiver.

    Having the system send an email or text message is super important so you know immediately when something is going on. My personal opinion is to setup a specific email for just the security system and then on your phone just push that email rather than have it text you all the time. Often times the way this feature works is every time it detects movement it will send an email. If you have a wedding going on it will send a shit ton of emails or texts. You do not want your personal email to be over taken by this feature.

    I do not have a specific system to recommend but these are the things to think about when getting into this endeavor.
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    Thanks. It IS primarily for night time use for any possible vandalism. I don't think running the wires is going to be too difficult as my office window looks out over this space and the cameras can go in the soffit and are within the 65' length of the cable that comes with this set. I don't know that it sends texts or e-mails but, it CAN be monitored remotely via the internet. That's a good idea to look for in a system though so you can check it in real time if it sends you an alert. Especially when I live 16 miles away. The good thing is my local state police barracks is less than a half mile away.

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    A few things concern me about that system.

    1. There is no such thing as Zero Lux response, even if the cameras have built in LEDs.
    2. There is no rating on the field of view (FOV) of the lens, or even if there is a lens (pinhole camera)
    3. I'd like to see a Hyper-HAD silicon CCD in cameras used for night service. Cheap CMOS CCD cameras do not do well outdoors.
    4. Without a Auto-Iris lens, going from very bright sunlight to very dim night causes problems for security systems used outdoors.
    5. What powers each camera, a wall wart, 24VAC, or Siamese Cable (power and video) from the DVR?

    I just put a system in my church, 8 cams, mix of outdoor dome cams and indoor box cams with zoom lenses.
    I found a company that gets Walmart and Target's old indoor box cams and resells them with lenses for 25$ a unit.
    I used a LG DVR,and am thrilled with it.

    There is always Supercircuits.com. Prices are inflated, but at least you know what your getting.

    Issues to think about:

    Prewired cables are hard to use, fishing cables through walls and ceilings is difficult with the connectors on. ( I bought a connector crimper that is world class, I'll loan it to you)
    Exposed cables are ugly, but wireless 2.4 Ghz cameras really suck.
    Lenses matter, there are free on line FOV and distance calculators. Do you want to see/record faces, or just movements?
    Camera quality matters, cheap cameras can cause the DVR to loose sync, results in a swimming image.
    What powers each camera, ie 24VAC that lets you run long distances, or do you need a 110AC outlet for the wall warts right at each camera?
    Do you want a beep on motion detect?
    Do you only want to record when there is motion? (very nice option, saves searching through hours of useless video)
    IP Cams are nice, they let you use Ethernet cable.
    Does it rain on the camera?

    Motion can be sensed with the camera or with a cheap (21$) IR sensor with a remote beeper, I use both.

    Brad, think about what you really want to view:

    In our case the cameras are for theft prevention during the week, A overview of the parking lot from up high, and protecting the children's area/nursery during worship. For the later, I have the lenses set up for excellent facial recognition, you can't get in and out of the area without two cameras recording your face and a volunteer getting a beep . One camera lets us see who's approaching the main entrance, and for letting the ushers know we have guests.

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 05-20-2014 at 07:11.
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    I have this and am pleased with it. Only problem is you cannot stream all the separate vids back to view, needs converting but a fairly good cheap-ish little system.

    http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-UDR444-...=uniden+udr444

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    Hey Brad

    Have a look at Axis Cameras (http://www.axis.com/), by far the biggest range of IP cameras, highly recommended

    One thing to consider, here in Australia you now need a security licence for consultancy/installation of commercial surveillance systems, not sure if you if you have the same thing over there but it's meant to ensure systems are installed by professional to assist in ensuring that what is being captured is usable in a court of law

    Also watch what you are going to use for the DVR, the all in one systems can be right pain to upgrade/replace, personally I would go with a server with software like Milestone http://www.milestonesys.com/ and normal storage this way it's easily upgradable

    Also Milestone will give you a free licence for a camera
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    Brad, I'd cover that area pictured with two dome cams on the soffit, then maybe something to grab faces at the entrances. Grabbing faces is overkill. Which way does the Sunlight come in ?
    Do you have any lights out there at night?
    When does the laser projector hit the camera?


    In America no license is needed except in a few towns with weird laws. This might explain why much of our security video is horrible.

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 05-20-2014 at 07:17.
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  8. #8
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    In that picture, the sun rises over the fireplace and sets pretty much at the 7 o' clock position over my left shoulder when taking the photo. The window you can see in the left hand edge of the picture is my office window. So... it's a pretty easy bump to get out to the soffiting.

    Here is what that looked like 3 weeks ago yesterday:

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    And from roof at the other end where the bar is:

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    Trees all along the outside of the wall are going in as I type.


    Yes... there are HPS wall packs out there now but, there is all new lighting going in as well on each of the pillars, as well as low voltage under the knee wall all the way around. We'll probably do something to light up the pond and waterfall as well.

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