Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

Advantages to Modeling Your Colorado Amendment 64 and I-502 Layout

Written By:
Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Amendment 64 Layout

Modeling Advantages for Washington Initiative 502 and Colorado Amendment 64: Introduction

So you’ve created the layout for your facility in order to submit it to the state, but now you are running into the questions like “How many cameras do I need?” or “Where and how do I position my cameras?”  Your first consideration should always be the governing authority’s prerequisites, and you’ll find few who are as informed as we here at Security Camera King. We have specialists in both the Washington Initiative 502 and Colorado Amendment 64’s rules and regulations. One of the reasons our customers are so successful at passing the boards and becoming licensed is precise layouts and camera placement.  One advantage we offer our Amendment 64 and I-502 customers is a 3D model of your facility.  This model can offer you several advantages that you would not otherwise have.  First, modeling your layout will give you an edge with the Washington Liquor Control Board or Colorado Department of Revenue by providing them with a precise example of where and how you are establishing camera coverage and security measures.  Second, designing this model can provide investors, contractors, employees, and coworkers with a professional rendering or rendition of the vision you have for your business.   And finally, modeling will help you with spatial planning by offering you a visual representation of how your grow area will look, work and function including how your surveillance and security systems will fit in.  This gives our customers a definite advantage over their competition!


Modeling Advantages for Initiative 502 and Amendment 64: Application

Modeling your I-502 or Amendment 64 layout allows you to have advantages normal applicants wont have! What do I mean? Let me be more specific. You can outline camera locations to give coverage from positions that may normally look to be obstructed on a traditional 2-dimensional layout. This allows us at Security Camera King to provide our customers with a more accurate camera count.  These counts are also far more precise in their coverage, which as a result allows you to express to the governing authority more directly what areas will be visible to the camera. For example, if you have a warehouse with a 15 foot ceiling and a 10 foot high grow, it would appear on a 2D layout as if the camera isn’t covering the full grow or that the camera’s vision is blocked by the grow itself.  However, on a 3D sketch up, you can clearly see the camera is overlooking the grow, providing coverage of all persons working on your product.  In another example we may find that a camera can cover 2 egress points because of a unique position not normally discernable on a 2d floor plan.  This level of detail gives Colorado’s Department of Revenue for Amendment 64 licensees or Washington’s Liquor Control Board for Initiative 502 applicants, a more precise depiction of your intent, allowing for faster approval of applications and licenses.  The level of detail a 3D rendering rendering is not just useful to the Liquor Control Board and Department of Revenue alone!


Modeling Advantages for Investors, Contractors, Employees and Coworkers

Modeling can also assist in providing an example of your idea to investors, co-workers, employees or even contractors during the construction portion.  Since we create our 3-Dimensional model after your floor plan, even a layout still in the preliminary planning process can be done long before construction of your facility is complete.  Even a pencil drawing with proper measurements included can be converted to a moderately detailed model with relative ease.  This allows us to help you to present your intentions to potential investors and clients. It can include specifics of your surveillance and access control solutions, and additionally your facility’s production, processing, and/or sales floor organization.  On some projects, we can even create short video clips to expressly present you with the products we are quoting you as well as a 3D walk-through of your facility, in addition to the 3-Dimensional model itself.  If you are in a renovation phase, modeling may also help allow you to illustrate where walls will be relocated, rooms portioned, windows paved over, alarm systems placed, and how your layout will change to both contractors and the governing authority.  The more detail you present us with, the larger the detail we can include on your quote and model.


Modeling Advantages for Initiative 502 and Amendment 64: Visual & Spatial Prep

Even if you are as far along as simply completing your order and placing cameras accordingly on an already state approved layout, a model can help you estimate where you will be laying or running cable and what areas you may have that will potentially be more difficult than others.  Modeling will help you with spatial planning and visual preparation, in general, by giving you a more detailed way to estimate cable lengths, in addition to envisioning positions of various other devices and systems.

For example, it may be useful in plotting access control locations and to see just which systems will be most beneficial to add security to your facility. There are a few concerns, however, that should be noted when using modeling as with any layout in that it cannot replace a physical walk-through that is necessary with the installation of any equipment.  That is to say that the engineering infrastructure of the facility needs to be taken into account, as well as any furniture and accessories that may not be visible on the model or layout when it comes to the installation.  Even so, many times these features can be included in the layout or floor plan and even without such features having a 3-Dimensional model is definitely an advantage!

Modeling Advantages for Initiative 502 and Amendment 64 Video

Our knowledgeable team can definitely help you answer the questions of “How many cameras do I need?” and “Where and how do I position these cameras?” We can also revise your layout and create a 3D model to give you a real visual and virtual representation of your facility, even if it hasn’t been constructed yet!  This will allow you to present your facility to the State with sincere confidence with our guarantee.  Not only that, but you now have a 3-Dimensional rendering to present to investors and future clients!  We here at Security Camera King are always looking to provide excellence in service to our clients, and this is just one of the ways we show our support!


Knowledge is Power! – Access Control and Circuits.

Written By:
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


As you may all know serves The Surveillance Industry as well as the Access Control Industry. These two industries are different from one another and it can be overwhelming when installing or troubleshooting your system, mainly because transitioning from surveillance equipment to access control is not the same. Access control requires some knowledge of how circuits work. In this article, I will go over some basic circuit knowledge that will allow you to install or know what to do in a case where you will need to troubleshoot your system. This knowledge can come in handy especially in an emergency situation.

Lets start by going over open and closed circuits.

When a device has a label that reads “Normally Open” this means that in a normal state there is no electric current flowing through the circuit. Think of it as a momentary switch (ex. door bell) when the button is depressed it completes the circuit this allows the flow of electricity and the device will turn on a chime in the case of a door bell.

Lets see how a door bell circuit works.


The image on the top illustrates the circuit in an open state where there is no flow of electricity, the image on the bottom shows the circuit in a closed state where electricity will flow, allowing the coil on the electromagnet to become energized and with the assistance of a spring giving you the ringing sound.

Now that we know the differences between open and closed circuits I will go over how an access control panel functions and then we can move on to see how they should be connected and why it is very important to know these two basic circuit functions (Normally Open and Normally Closed).

An access control system is simply a controller that triggers ON or OFF circuits by means of relays. This means that any output from the relays can turn ON or OFF [Open or Close Circuits] devices such as a Mag Lock, which is a high powered Magnet that is normally rated in pounds. Closing the circuit in a MagLock will create an Electromagnetic bond that keeps the door closed until there is an input from a reader to the control panel. The control panel opens or closes the circuit using its relays. The diagram shown below illustrates how a Mag Lock functions in the “Control Panel”. In this case it is the “Switch” part.


Lets see how a “Strike” circuit works. As you can see it works similar to the Mag Lock where the circuits closes and a coil will retract a rod that will allow the person to gain entry. This is called a solenoid.


Here is a Video on how this is accomplished.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s move to some other details such as Fail Safe devices. These are devices that even when there is no power the device will continue to be in a locked position, keeping the door secure. Fail Safe devices are typically door strikes.

Electromagnetic Lock Types.

With Door Status Switch: This device will show an open or closed door status to the system, allowing you to know if there is a door that is malfunctioning or someone has propped the door with an object.

With Delay: This will give you a few seconds before the mag lock will release the door. This is most common in a high security area.

The use of Mag Locks or Door Strikes are the most popular ways to control the entry or exit of a building.

Lets see how a one door system with a stand alone controller looks like.


This is the easiest way to get a small business with only one door up and running with their access control. In the picture above, we see a Door Lock [Door Strike] connected to the Stand-alone controller with door sensors, as well as an exit and Reader. The user identifies himself with the use of a Card or Keyfob at the reader which sends a signal to the controller. The controller goes in its database and sees that this user has access and then completes the circuit to the Door Strike allowing the person entry.

Seems simple?

Lets try it with a control board instead of a standalone. This is good for a medium size business. In this illustration you will see integration with other devices such as a surveillance system by using its alarm outputs. We can now use the cameras as another form of a motion sensor. We can also integrate the system with a fire alarm panel. There is a lot of possibilities, and it is all about knowing the limitations of each board and system.


Lets move on to battery back up and the use of fuses and Diodes.

When it comes to any security system, one will have the needs to keep these systems running even when there is not power present in the building, either by a malfunction of the Electrical System or by tampering.

There are different capacities of inverters such as 200VA, 250VA, 350VA, 400VA, 450VA, 500VA, 625VA, 1200VA, etc. The capacity of the inverter should be chosen based on how much watt of appliances you power at a time.

For a UPS with 875Va we can use a maximum load of 640 watts. For a UPS with 677Va we can us a maximum load of 540 watts

The main thing we have to understand is that whatever may be the UPS wattage, the battery backup will not vary. The battery backup will only vary depending on the battery Ah and the Usage Load.

To calculate UPS backup, We have a simple formula.

UPS Backup = Battery Ah * (Volts/Load) * (1/Powerfactor)

For Example:

Lets calculate the back up for a system UPS

Load is the usage power. Suppose we are running a PC then the load is around 300 watts.
Power Factor varies for device to device, the average power factor is 1.4

Voltage is the voltage of the battery.
For a single battery the voltage is 12v.
If the batteries are connected in a series   Voltage = 12 * no. of batteries.

Battery Ah is the battery ampere used for the ups,

System UPS battery AH is 7

Then   Battery Backup

=  7 * (12/300) * (1/1.4)
=  7 * (0.04) * (0.7)
=   0.19 hours
=    19 Minutes

Note: You can use the same formula for calculating the battery backup for UPS or an INVERTER.

Battery back up systems can become complex if you are looking to power the devices for more than 30 minutes. Knowing how to calculate what you need is crucial when purchasing the correct back up system or building your own.

This also functions for a Solar Power system. In the case of a Solar Powered System you will have to take into account the Solar Cells as well as the location and knowing peak Sun hours. Here is an article that goes into detail in regards to solar power.


Lets move on to the Function a Diode can have on an access control System. For this we need to know what a Diode’s function is. A diode is a small device with two terminals [+ side is called the Anode and the – side is called the cathode]. This device allows the flow of current only in one direction. This means that in a case where there is  malfunction and there is a device with a short, it will protect the device by not allowing current to flow back into the circuit.

Fun Fact: ;P

A Diode can be found on Light Emitting Diodes also known as LED’s. They work by electroluminescence. Try saying that 3 times, lol.  They work in the same principal where the + side [Anode] and the – side [cathode] and a Semiconductor crystal is in between these two. Depending on the semiconductor is the color that it will emit.


Lets move on to Fuses.

Fuses are devices that have have a small strip of metal, usually encased inside a cylindrical glass with two ends that connect to a terminal.  They are widely used in the electrical industry as well as the electronic industry. These devices will allow current to flow, but when the amperage is high above its rating the small strip inside will melt, cutting electrical flow while preventing damage to the circuit.

The Fuse is represented by these symbols.


Now that you know about how the circuits work when it comes to Access control, you can safely install your equipment as well as make a wise decision as to what you need. Keep in mind that the conductors carrying the signals from one device to another is also important, as well as grounding properly each control board if utilizing more than one. Consult our Sales team for any questions that you may have and we can also assist you with Designing the perfect system for your needs.


Colorado Amendment 64 Security Camera Law

Written By:
Monday, November 17th, 2014

It is now legal to grow and sell recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado. In the past it was only legal to sell medical marijuana, and then Colorado passed the law known as Amendment 64. In order to sell retail recreational marijuana, sellers had to have a previous medical marijuana licence. Now, the doors have been opened for any resident to become a recreational marijuana seller or grower.

Amendment 64, which is an amendment to the Colorado constitution, has some specific rules regarding the use and recording of security cameras. In this article I am going to go over them briefly and explain how are security recorders and cameras can help anyone in Colorado to get their recreational marijuana application approved in reference to the surveillance section of the law. We at have established a good relationship with the I-502 folks in Washington and have helped many get their application approved. Now for the Colorado residents, here is a brief breakdown on some of the parts of your law and how we can help.

One of the major parts of the law, when it comes to surveillance, is that your recording device needs to be able to record for 40 days 24/7. You will need to know how much hard drive space you need and we provide a free Online Hard Drive Calculator for that purpose. In the following image you will see how much Disc Space is required for an an analog system consisting of 32 cameras recording at D1 resolution at 15fps, about 8TB for 40 days of continuous recording.

CCTV Hard Drive Calculator
Disc Space Needed for an Analog System

And the image below shows how much disc space is needed for a High Definition Security System recording at 720p for the same amount of time and cameras.

Hard Drive Calculator 2
Disc Space Needed for a High Definition Security System

We have have both Analog DVRs and High Definition NVRs that will handle both of these scenarios. Depending on how many cameras are in your layout, we have the residents of Colorado covered according to Amendment 64.

Another part of the law states that the video recordings need to be easily accessed and viewed in a format that cannot be tampered with, and that the ability to produce a still photograph from a recording is necessary. All of our recording devices save in a DAV format which are saved in an encrypted format and cannot be tampered with.

DAV Record Download
Examples of DAV Files

Viewing the file is as easy as double-clicking a DAV file to bring up the viewer. To create a still photograph, all you need to do is click snapshot at the desired frame. You can also click snapshot when viewing live through the DVR Web Interface.

Security recording Snapshot
Using Snapshot from a Security Recording

DVR Snapshot
Using Snapshot through the DVR Web Service

Another part of the Colorado Marijuana Law states that the video system needs to be equipped with a “failure notification system” and also ensuring that the recording device is properly maintained. Our security recording devices have those features as you can see in the following pictures. Our DVRs and NVRs can be programmed to send an email alert if anything ever goes wrong with the device.

Disk Error
An Email Alert can be set up in case of a disc error

Disc No Space
An Email Alert can be set up when disc space is used up.
(this will only happen if you do not have your device set to overwrite old data.

Email on DVR
This is where you would set up your email configurations so the
recorder knows where to send the email alerts

Proper maintenance on the DVR is especially important according to the law and our DVRs have an amazing feature that will automatically reboot the DVR at a given time each week to ensure long time usage of the device as shown in the following picture.

Auto reboot
Reboot feature on a DVR provides for worry-free easy maintenance

Another part of the Colorado Amendment 64 calls for the secure placement of the recording device. It is a good idea to have your DVR locked in a DVR lockbox and secured to a wall so that no vandal can cause harm to the device. Pictured below is an example of a DVR Lockbox.

DVR Lockbox-EX
A DVR Lockbox keeps your DVR secure

Amendment 64, the Colorado Marijuana Law also states that a record needs to be kept of all logs of people who have access to the recording system. In the following picture, it shows where that information can be found.

Online User
Knowing who logs into your DVR is very important

The best part of all these functions I have stated above is that all these settings and more can be tweaked from anywhere you have Internet. You do not have to be at the DVR to control it. When you purchase one of our security DVRs and connect it to your network you can view the DVRs Web Service from any computer or smart device. Best of all is that all of our products come with free tech support so we can walk you though any of the settings. Our 32 channel full size DVR is one of the most popular recording devices for passing inspection for your marijuana licence. It can record up to 32 cameras recording at 960H resolution at up to 30fps. What makes the full size unit is so special is the ability to install up to 8 hard drives giving you a a total of 32TB of recording space. You will be ensured of 40 days of recording, 24/7 with flawless detail.

32ch Channel 960H security DVR
32 Channel 960H Full Size DVR

For those that want High Definition recording and be able to record with megapixel quality from 720p to 1080p, the 32 Channel NVR is a supreme choice for HD security recording. This units’s recording is so crips in detail, you will be able to digitally zoom on a recording and see details such as facial features and tattoos. This full size unit can also handle 8 hard drives totaling 32TB. If you recall the hard drive calculation above, the disc space needed for for 32 cameras at 1MP is just under 27TB, so that is why a full size recording device is needed.

32 CH Channel NVR
32 Channel Full Size NVR Security Recorder

I have just touched on a few of the points of the Colorado Marijuana Law and how our security equipment can help get your application inspection passed in reference to the surveillance section. As I said we have helped quite a few marijuana retail sellers and growers in Washington get their inspection passed, and are primed and ready to help out marijuana retail and grower applicants in Colorado.


Amendment 64:
Now Colorado Has Smoky Mountains Too

Written By:
Friday, November 14th, 2014


Yes, that’s right it’s now legal to buy, grow, smoke and sell marijuana for recreational purposes in Colorado.

On December 10th 2012, Amendment 64 went into effect. It states that individuals over the age of 21 are allowed to legally possess marijuana for any purpose, even for recreational use (as long as it does not exceed 1 ounce).

On January 1st of 2014 it became legal for licensed establishments to sell (the weed) to anyone over the age of 21. That basically means now it’s not against the law to go to the store, buy some pot and get toasted in Colorado.


It is important to note that it is still a crime to buy and sell marijuana under federal law and a lot of cities in Colorado have banned these types of stores.

This not only opens up the opportunity for people to benefit from the sale and purchase of weed but also creates great benefit to those who can now legally grow “The Pot”. Supply and Demand!

There is a lengthy application process with strict rules & regulations for those who wish to buy, grow or sell marijuana in the state.

Here are some interesting facts regarding Amendment 64. When you buy pot legally you will be on camera! All shops that sell marijuana must have an approved video surveillance system that is recording 24 hours a day 7 days a week. SMILE!

The stores have strict hours of operation, cannot be open before 8am and must close at 12 midnight.

You can purchase pot from as many stores as you like in a day but you must not exceed 1 ounce, on your person, at any time.

However, going from store to store stocking up so you can re-sell the good stuff on the street is illegal.


When you purchase the marijuana product, all you need is an ID. No other information has to be given to the store, and they don’t have to provide any documentation to the government about who bought, what they bought, or when they bought it.

You are absolutely NOT allowed to consume your newly purchased pot in the establishment where it was purchased. In other word “No Smoking in the Store!”

As a matter of fact, smoking in public is illegal under any circumstances.

Most, if not all of the Ski resorts have forbidden “smokin on da slopes”. Many are on federal land so it is a crime to smoke weed there anyway.

Where can you smoke? Well that’s not so clear. Although your landlord can tell you not to smoke on the property, what you do in the privacy of your own home is up to you.

Different cities have different rules. For instance in some places you can smoke it up on your front patio and in others it’s a no no!

It is totally illegal to take your stash out of the State of Colorado!

You are allowed to have it in your car as long as you’re not smoking it in your car.

You can get stoned at work as long as your employer is cool with it. But he can fire you for smoking during work hours if he chooses.

OK that’s it for me. I don’t even smoke and I’m getting the MUNCHIES!



Amendment 64: Colorado’s Recreational Marijuana Law and the Security Cameras Required

Written By:
Thursday, November 13th, 2014


Our company,, has been doing a considerable amount of business with Washington State’s I-502 applicants, and it has been a very beneficial relationship for both parties. Once these customers send us a floor plan diagram for the location they are trying to get licensed, we offer a recommended surveillance camera layout and then build them two quotes based on that suggested layout. This way we can make sure that the applicant gets the required video coverage and let them choose which type of system works best for them.

The two quotes that we offer as part of this service are for two different types of security camera systems which will meet the legal requirements in Colorado and Washington State. Each of these systems has its own strengths and a fairly equal number of them have been sold to several participants in this industry who have passed their final inspection and are now licensed.

- The first type of compliant system works with analog cameras. It’s the closed circuit TV technology that has been around for decades. Over the years this technology has been improved to the extent that it has pretty much reached the limit of the quality it can provide. This type of system meets the legal requirement because our analog DVRs are accessible through the internet and you can see the live feeds and recorded footage from each of the cameras. This is the least expensive type of surveillance camera system available today.

- The second type of security camera system which will meet the legal requirements uses IP cameras. This type of system offers megapixel quality video. Depending on the type of camera used with this technology, it can easily provide the highest resolution available in the security camera industry. Although this type of system costs a bit more, the reason is readily apparent when you see the difference in video quality.

We are proud to say that every one of our customers that have implemented our suggested camera layouts have successfully passed their final inspection and qualified for their license to grow, process or sell marijuana. The people involved in this burgeoning industry are spending a substantial amount of money in order to get their business off the ground and we take our part in helping them through this process very seriously.

When Colorado first legalized recreational cannabis our service wasn’t in as high demand because it had an established medical marijuana industry in place previously and the businesses involved already had the required video surveillance. However as this industry continues to grow, new applicants need to address this requirement for getting licensed and that’s where we come in to the picture in an expanded role.

We have been helping our I-502 customers to better understand the portions of the law which pertain to video surveillance, to the extent that we have even been working directly with the Washington State Liquor Control Board in order to help clarify the law. We have also done extensive research on Colorado’s Amendment 64 in order to be certain that we’re also able to help the applicants there qualify for their license and remain compliant in order to keep it.


Many of our customers in this industry come to us with the mindset that they are just getting a security camera system because they are forced to by the law. A smaller portion of these customers understand how a CCTV system can help with the security of their property and product. There is a less obvious potential application for a surveillance system in this type of situation – it can actually be valuable in helping to produce a high quality product consistently.

Once a customer has one of our DVRs or NVRs connected to that same router where they have a computer connected, then they can call our tech support team for help with the networking. The tech will be able to remotely log into the customer’s computer in order to get everything set up. After that process is completed the customer will be shown how they can remotely access their camera system from any computer in the world, iPhone or Android smart phones and/or a tablet based on the Android or Apple operating systems from anywhere in the world. Our tech support team is proficient at helping to get this set up and have done so for any customers that want to make use of this feature, regardless of the customer’s networking knowledge. The obvious application of this feature is to be able check on the security at the installation location. This is one of the features that can also help to grow a better product.


If megapixel cameras are installed at a grow location then the high resolution video will allow you to be able monitor the development of the plants during all of the growth cycles and under different circumstances. You’ll be able to notice changes in the plants which aren’t readily apparent when you have daily contact with them, by reviewing daily segments of recorded video over an extended period of time. In this way you can further monitor and evaluate how the plants react when you try different soils or soil substances, water levels, nutrient systems, PH levels, lighting cycles, growing temperatures, clipping frequency, and clipping style in order to optimize quality and production.

Example of a plant with the pH level is too low or high

Many of the serious problems that marijuana plants can experience will leave visible signs. By remotely viewing your cameras from your preferred device every once in a while you’ll be able to monitor your plants for some of the more severe problems that they can face and be able to potentially correct the issue quickly enough to minimize damage to the crops. With a high resolution camera you’ll be able to monitor your crop for signs of being stressed (possibly triggering a sex change), nutrient deficiency, fungus gnats, spider mites, whiteflies, white powdery mildew, white powdery mold, and/or aphids without even being in the same state or country. Below are some images of the early signs that your crops are about to face some serious problems. These are just a few of the problems that have visible warning signs.

Example of a plant growing male pollen sacs

Example of calcium deficiency

Example of fungus gnat

Example of spider mite infestation

Example of whitefly infestation

Example of white powdery mildew

Example of white powdery mold

Example of an aphid infestation

The ability to detect and avoid these potentially catastrophic problems early can be a key part of making sure that your business stays profitable. If you need to be away from the growing facility for a family emergency or you just need a vacation, being able to remotely monitor the crops means that you can have peace of mind even though you are unable to be hands on with your plants.