Security camera questions

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A mate wants a set of security cameras around his home. I called a mate in
the biz and found that the hardware is not badly priced, but the cameras are
very expensive. For a high resolution camera (only), the cost runs to around
$1,500.00 each. He needs to be able to identify faces at around 20 Metres.
This rules out any of the usual solutions from Electus/Altronics.

I figured that an alternate solution might be at hand.

Buy a couple of standard HD video cameras (say, $300.00 ~ $400.00 each).
Choose models with remote control (do the remote controls usually operate
the zoom?) and use an external box with pan/tilt capabilities. Use a remote
extender to the camera box, along with power and video feed. Take the output
and feed it into his computer and the total cost can be kept quite low.

Any thoughts?


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



Re: Security camera questions
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  Obviously you are ill equipped to offer advice on this matter
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  Sounds amateurish and is an dreadful concept  , fact is wholesale a
good 4 cam analogue installation excluding cable and labour at 540 tvl
1/3" Sony inserts built from generic parts will run over $1200.00 for
fixed cams , legally only a licensed cabler can install most of it and
if you were to do so would be fined heavily , refer this person to
someone with  clue in the industry
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Re: Security camera questions

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 Yes, you've never done this before have you?  With good reason.

 Don't give up your day job.
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Re: Security camera questions
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**OK, so you don't know either. I assume you would be able to point out
where I have it wrong, if you could.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



Re: Security camera questions

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 It's been a few years since I've worked in the industry, but I'll try
to remember, and keep up with changes.

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 A $300-$400 "HD" camera is a combination device, you're not only paying
for the image element and the interface electronics, but also for
features that are directly marketed to end users who intend on hanging
them around their necks, not bolt them to a wall.
 As such, you get less image element value for money, and more tourist
value for money.

 Dedicated cameras are all image element and interface electronics, and
come standard with mounting bits because they know *their* end users are
going to bolt them to a wall, not wear them around their necks.

 Optional extras, such as B/W, Colour, auto-iris, infrared efficacy
(especially for colour cameras where their IR response may not be as
good as your typical monochrome camera).  In addition, pan/tilt/zoom etc
are all are options because you may not need certain features in certain
areas, and probably don't want to pay for it either.

 In addition, dedicated cameras have optional weatherproof cases,
touristy-style cameras may or may not, so you're gambling somewhat when
it comes to cases, AND their mounting options (waterproof touristy type
cameras only have a neck strap, no provision for bolting to a wall) are
very limited - all bets are off, and it's up to YOU to find mounting method.

 I haven't even touched on the interface options of the cameras?  Do
they have composite video output as a option?  USB?  IP?  What are the
implications of each, and did you factor in the cost of interface
electronics where required?

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 Remote control of pan/tilt/zoom functionality also is better refined,
in that the signals are transmitted during the blanking phase of the
video signal, negating the need for an additional signal cable. Thus
making installation costs lower.
 IP capable cameras inherently have two-way communication, so it largely
a moot point as far as additional control cable costs go.

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 Along with low cost, you also lose the right to use that video footage
in court, if it came to that.  Be sure to check your setup is going to
generate court-acceptable footage if you need it, because otherwise
it'll only be good for internal company monitoring (employee theft,
slacking off etc).

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 Yes, I have lots of thoughts, but the ones that are specifically
pertaining to this converstaion include supplied software (for
PC-centric installations), or features on supplied box that are going to
be a HUGE drawcard (or drawback depending on your point of view).
 If you can get what you want from something that's sold entirely as a
software solution, then great, but you may be losing out on other
features or configuration options you might need just don't know yet.

 Do your homework.

 You clearly haven't, because you're posting a statement disguised as a
question.
 If you've already made up your mind, then why ask?

 You didn't even state if cost (cheap) is the all-important option.
This is a valid point.

 If you want full features and are finding if you can get that at
ultra-low cost, there ARE going to be drawbacks.  Not only in image
quality, control and storage, but also system management, AND (again, if
it comes to that) what you can legally do with your data once you've got it.

 Basically, if your lunch was free, you lose your whining rights.
--
The polls show 8 out of 5 schizophrenics agree!

Re: Security camera questions

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**NOW we're cooking!

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**You'd think so. However, I've examined the output from a $400.00 HD
camera. It is excellent and very likely suitable for the purpose. In fact,
the performance is nothing short of astonishing. In fact, I did some work at
a pub I fitted a sound system to a few years back. They upgraded all their
surveillance equipment to digital (it was all analogue) and I had the
opportunity to play with the equipment. Since the cameras were mounted in
domes (which my mate says is a *very bad thing*) I judged the results as
possibly inferior to a domestic handycam. Of course, I could not do a
side-by-side comparison. I was hoping that someone may have done so.

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**Indeed. I am aware that there is a fair bit of jiggery pokery involved,
but my mate is reasonably handy.

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**Pan/tilt empty cases can be purchased quite inexpensively. IR response of
the handicams is unknown to me. Arranging some IR floodlighting is not
difficult, nor that expensive however.

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**Like I said: A weatherproof case is not difficult to obtain, nor onerously
expensive.

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**There's where stuff does get interesting. If I can use high speed USB or
Firewire for video and control, then things are simple. If I need to take an
HD feed, then things get a little messy, but not insurmountable. My mate is
willing to keep cables quite short (<5 Metres) to keep things sensible and
cheap. Interface electronics will depend on what the camera feeds out (of
course).

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**Running one or five cables is pretty much inconsequential, given the short
cable runs. I'm happy for him to run separate cables for power, video,
pan/tilt and remote control. It's not a big deal. IF it can be made to work,
of course. I'm relying on the camera having remote zoom capability. This is
something I've only touched on, as the sales droid at JB HI Fi had no idea.
Oh, except for one thing. One part of the Miranda store had a dead zone for
video surveillance. They rigged up a cheap digicam and organised it to work
and, by all reports, it worked fine for their needs.

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**Sure. I looked at that option, but, again, the costs of professional
equipment, with adequate resolution (full HD) is quite expensive. If my mate
was prepared to live with (say) VGA resolution, it would be a no-brainer.
I'd just buy him a professional kit and let him hook it all up.

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**Not my problem. But I will ensure that he is aware of that issue.

  Be sure to check your setup is going to
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**It is was for commercial premises, I would certainly ONLY use professional
equipment. This is domestic only.

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**I was curious if anyone had done what I propose and if it was successful.
If someone had tried it and it had failed, then I would likely can the idea
out of hand.

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**Indeed. When I quizzed him on his needs, I went to the usual catalogues
and quickly found that the Electus/Altronics solutions are inadequate for
his needs. My security mate provided the minimum specs of the equipment that
I would need for the job. Then my mind wandered to domestic digicams. And, I
have to say, their performance is surprisingly good.

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**I expect drawbacks, but the cost is potentially around $1k, compared to
almost $8k for a professional set-up. That is a huge temptation to try it
out. Worst case, my mate is stuck with a couple of domestic digicams and
some cables, that he can't use.

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**Thanks a whole bunch for your input. I appreciate it.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



Re: Security camera questions


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if you can't get remote zoom using "LIRC and a led" you might have to
use a couple of solenoids or modify the camera replcing the switch
contacts with reed relay contacts.



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Re: Security camera questions
On Tue, 12 Apr 2011 13:58:27 +1000, John Tserkezis

<snip>

Interesting thread. On the topic of security cameras, I have an issue
I've been meaning to looking into, namely how to stop spider webs in
and around outdoor cameras... many of mine are only good for 2-3 days
before spider webs obscure the night view and require cleaning. Any
ideas, anyone?

Also, been wondering about the viability or running external IR
lights? Do they even exist at all? I did have a look around several
months ago but didn't find anything along those lines. Cheers

Re: Security camera questions
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Depending on how far you want to go, could use one of those timed
aerosol sprayers
(like they use in public toilets) load with insect spray and get it to
give a burst every day,
in the direction of where the spiders tend to start from.

Some method of wind detection could be used, (either a rotating vane,
or a hanging metal flap connected to a switch)
so as the spray only happens in still air, to avoid spray coming back
onto the lens and fogging it.

Another method - if the webs are relatively close might be to have a
bit of bent wire - in a semicircle, motorised that will to a sweep
out around the front of the camera, sweeping the webs away every day
or so, or on demand and coming to
rest against the wall.


I think you will find that if you destroy the webs often enough in the
same place, the spider will go elsewhere.
Hence why you don't often see spider webs across walkways etc, where
there will be plenty where people don't
go, and don't disturb them.

.





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Re: Security camera questions
On Sat, 16 Apr 2011 19:21:09 -0700 (PDT), kreed

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Thanks Kreed, you've got some good ideas there :)
If I can't find an easier solution, I'll certainly give your ideas a
go.

Re: Security camera questions
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I have 5 permanent security cameras, here is one of them:
http://www.dontronics.com/webcam/

A feather duster every 2 or 3 weeks generally sorts them out.
Perhaps it a geographical problem. I am in Melbourne.

Cheers Don...

================

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Dontronics Blog:     http://www.GodzillaSeaMonkey.com
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Re: Security camera questions
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Krunchy , ask your pest exterminator

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Re: Security camera questions

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Could be. N.E Tassie here, it gets on the cool side usually (although
we still seem to be in spring from last year - summer never happened).

I was wondering if the minimal heat being generated by the cameras is
attracting them... could be I suppose. Theyre just consumer grade
Swann cameras.

ATM I use a feather duster to clear the webs approx. every 3 days,
which is too often IMO. More often than not, the night vision remains
obscured because I can't be bothered or just plain forget.

Cheers

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Surface spray. Good for six months

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Yes




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:-P

Re: Security camera questions

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Now why didn't I think of that? Thanks :)

Re: Security camera questions
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  Can't help with the spiders - others already have.

IR lights - A few people I've met have built them themselves from kits
(or own design construction) using an array of IR LEDS (often with one
LED swapped for a standard visual LED for "power on" status)

I've seen some designs which are simply a rectangular/ square array, and
others which were 2-3 rows of LEDS arranged in a circle, with the lens
poking through the middle

HTH Des

Re: Security camera questions
On Mon, 18 Apr 2011 08:25:25 +0800, Des Bromilow

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Thanks Des, I'll have a look around at what kits may be suitable,
cheers.

Re: Security camera questions
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**There's this:

http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KG9068&keywords=infra+red&form=KEYWORD

And these:

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=infra+red+illumination&_sacat=See-All-Categories


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au




Re: Security camera questions
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http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KG9068&keywords=infra+red&form=KEYWORD
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http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=infra+red+illumination&_sacat=See-All-Categories
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And this.

http://secure.oatleyelectronics.com//index.php?cPath10%0_70&osCsid=b96c3cc9dc541da9803d356ca7a6177b

Re: Security camera questions
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http://www.jaycar.com.au/productView.asp?ID=KG9068&keywords=infra+red&form=KEYWORD
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http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=infra+red+illumination&_sacat=See-All-Categories
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http://secure.oatleyelectronics.com//index.php?cPath10%0_70&osCsid=b96c3cc9dc541da9803d356ca7a6177b

**Even better. Oatley are the nicest bunch of guys to do business with. Nice
and local too.


--
Trevor Wilson
www.rageaudio.com.au



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