Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category



New and Improved Config Tool And Simple EL Camera Setup

Written By:
Friday, January 30th, 2015

Here at SecurityCameraKing.com we offer a variety of IP cameras, and some of which have different tools that are used to help find the cameras on your network. For example, the two most popular series of IP cameras that we offer are the TP Series and the EL Series. These two series of cameras use a completely different finder tool. In other words, the TP Series Finder will find only TP cameras on your network and the EL series finder will find only EL cameras on your network. The EL Series Finder is something we like to call the Config. Tool, and we have recently released a new and improved version of this Config. Tool. The older version was very cut and dry. You could log into the camera and change the IP, set it to DHCP, and click a link that opens the camera in IE (Internet Explorer). This new Config. Tool has many more features that are going to come in handy when you need to make configuration changes. Please understand that if you are using a POE switch that is built in to the back of your NVR, these tools will not work, unless you set your computer to DHCP and plug it into that same switch. The computer will pull an IP from that switch and then you can use the tool, the reasoning behind this is, that switch is a completely different network than your NVR and your router. This is especially important when using the TP series IP cameras, but that’s another article in itself.

First thing is first, when you receive your EL cameras and want to get them up and running, it is important to plug them in one by one as not all of them are set to DHCP and if you plug multiple in at a time, you may cause an IP conflict and that will cause you to have network issues with the cameras. So you will need to download the Config. Tool, go to the link provided here http://www.securitycameraking.com/securityinfo/downloads/?wpdmdl=61&ind=0 or if you would like to know how to get there on your own for future reference go to www.securitycameraking.com > click on CCTV Learning Center > click on Downloads > click on Tools and Software Downloads > scroll down until you find “EL Series IPC/NVR/DVR IP Address Finder & Config Tool Downloads” > you will want to download the first option with the – Version 2.0 on the end. Once that is downloaded you are ready to set up your cameras using the Config. Tool. You will plug your first camera into your network by itself meaning one camera at a time, and open up the Config. Tool and you should see this screen ( Below).

Config Tool

Once the camera is powered up and does its post you will see the camera’s IP address in that Config Tool. Even if your computer is on a different IP scheme than the camera it will find it. For example, say your router is at a 10.0.0.1 network, these cameras will come with a 192.168.1.1 default gateway. This is why the Config Tool is necessary, it will find that camera at 192.168.1.108 or what ever the IP of the camera may be on your network. Again, plug them in one at a time, and what you will do is click on the settings icon that looks like a gear under “Config” (Refer to picture above). In this page you can change video settings such as Brightness, Contrast, Hue, etc, and you can also make network changes if you would like. Click on the tab that says “Net”, here you will see the IP address of the camera, the gateway, and the ports used. What you will need to do first is put this camera on the same IP scheme as your router, and make sure you assign it an IP that is not currently being used, also make sure DHCP is NOT checked. See picture below!

ConfigtoolART3

Once you have got this camera on your network you can set it up to your standards, and once you have done so, your EL Series IP camera will be up and running on your Network. With the old Config Tool, you would have to log into the camera via IE to do so, but with the new 2.0 version you do not have to do that and install the plug in and go through that nonsense. What you will need to do next is click on the tab that says “Encode” and you should see a screen that looks like the picture below. As you can see in this page you can change the way the camera will record under “Main Stream”. You will have the options of Regular, Motion, or Alarm. You can also change the resolution, so if you have a 3MP camera and want to set it to 1080p you can do so right here in the Config Tool. With the old Config Tool you would have had to go into IE and log into the camera, install the web plugin, and it was just a hassle. You can also change your bit rate here as well, so if down the road you need to lower the bit rate you do not need to log into your NVR to do so. Just log into the camera via the Config Tool and it is all right there. Another feature this new Config Tool has is you can upgrade your firmware from the Config Tool, but the old version had that as well. However, a feature that only this 2.0 has that coincides with firmware is, SYSINFO. This will tell you the current version of firmware you currently have, the build date, and the serial number. So, if you call us up needing a firmware update, we will ask you for all of this information. Normally you would have to log into the camera and find it in the camera’s menu. But now, it is all spelled out for you right here, easy as pie.

ConfigtoolART2

In addition, this tool will find all of our DVRs and NVRs on your network as well. The old version could do that, but the 2.0 version has features that help with setting up those DVRs and NVRs that the old version did not have. If you look at the first picture I provided up top, you will see the main screen of the tool. I want you to look at the second column labeled “Type”. That will tell you the ID of the IP you are looking at is an IP Camera, NVR, DVR, etc. The old tool did that as well, but wait. Click the gear next to your DVR or NVR to log in via the tool. You should see a screen that looks identical to the screen when you logged into your cameras. There is a huge difference though. Click on the drop down menu for channel, you will see all of the channels on your DVR. Now I want you to click on a channel other than 1 and you should see that the live preview changed to that camera. So, you can see all of your cameras directly from this tool. Why is that so important? Well, I will tell you. Before this new tool, when you wanted to change the encoding on an analog camera hooked up to your DVR, you needed to log into the DVR and do so. Now you can do all that right here. Go to the encode tab and select the channel you wish to configure, and you will be able to set how you want to record, motion, regular, or alarm. You can change the resolution, the frame rate, and the bit rate all from your config tool. If you have ever used the older version of this tool, you understand how big of a deal this is. the list of features goes on and on. If you have any further questions on the set up of EL cameras or how to use the Config Tool, please feel free to give our free tech support line at 866.573.8878, Option 3.

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How to Secure a Security Camera System

Written By:
Monday, January 26th, 2015

Adding a security camera system to your home is a great asset and can provide you with a lot of benefits. One thing about that is your system is only as secure as you make it. This means that when putting your security camera system up you have to think about the DVR’s (Digital Video Recorder’s) location and other aspects that can make it harder for someone to destroy footage. The three main ways you can protect your system are placing the DVR in a secure location, creating admin accounts and changing the default passwords, and applying alerts to your system to prevent tampering. I will explain with detail how this effects everyone who is using our security systems and how it will protect you and also how to secure a security camera system.

Everything that you want to keep secure there is always some way to protect it. For example, if you are trying to protect printed documents from being read or destroyed you would buy a fire-proof file cabinet or get a Safety-Deposit Box at a bank. Its the same thing with your security camera system. Here at SecurityCameraKing.com you can get a DVR LockBox and place your DVR in there. This will provide proper ventilation and a secure box so that it become difficult to tamper with. Having that box will help with tampering but you also want to place it where no one can reach or see it as well. In a home setting this box might not be something that you might want to put up because it is bulky and very noticeable. In that case you can place it in a basement, closet, or even an attic (Providing proper ventilation and climate). These places make the unit more difficult to find your Digital Video Recorder and can deter the criminal from even attempting to search for it. Following these simple steps can help you better to secure your system from destroying evidence that can put them in jail.

DVR Lockbox From SecurityCameraKing
This Large DVR LockBox can Accommodate Full Size DVRs and NVRs

When it comes to getting new devices like a Computer that you store large amounts of information to, the best way to secure all of that information from being accessed remotely is to have strong passwords. The same applies to your Security Camera System. When completing installation of the system, people tend to forget to put a strong password. Even worse, people may create a new admin user with a really strong password but forget to remove or change the passwords to the Default Users!! This is an issue because if you have your devices (DVR, NVR, IP Cameras) on the network, better yet open to the web, you are extremely vulnerable to a cyber hack. There are articles posted every day that show websites that populate unsecured security camera devices and stream there footage without peoples knowledge. Its a really scary thought having someone viewing the camera that is in your new babies nursery. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a security camera system or not use the cameras for what you want. You just have to make sure you secure it properly by creating difficult passwords and removing default accounts or changing there passwords. When your system is being viewed remotely make sure you change the default Ports in your router so no one but you and the people viewing your cameras can access the cameras. You can also change the port every so often so that if someone did get access they will lose it. Here at SecurityCameraKing.com we provide lifetime tech support so if you need help figuring out how to protect your cameras’ network we can help you.

If there was ever the chance that someone did access your security camera system or was vandalizing your equipment, you could set up alerts to notify you when you are not there. This is a great benefit because you will have real time updates of your system all the time. Our systems support many types of alerts that include when a camera loses video. This can happen if someone is destroying the cameras to prevent being caught, or if a camera dies for some reason. Other alerts include if there is motion in the cameras. This is useful because if there is a camera that is facing your Digital Video Recorder it can give you a last second picture of the person’s face that was tampering with the unit before it loses connection. These alerts can be given in several different ways as well. If you want to receive an email for any of the alerts, you can, and it will either send you a picture or a detailed email of what is happening to the unit. You can also have the alarm trigger a siren or a door lock for criminals to be deterred or prevent them from going in a specific place. Our Digital Video Recorders are very customizable and can help you prevent and protect anything that you desire.

Having a security camera system will help you protect any asset that you need it for, but one thing you have to remember is that you also have to protect the system itself. You have to protect the system physically to prevent destruction of footage and you can do that with strategic placement and locked protective boxes. You also need to make sure that the system is secured virtually with difficult passwords and removing or changing default passwords. Last but not least is making sure that if anything is tampered with that you have proper alerts that give you warning so you can see real time what is happening to your asset. SecurityCameraKing.com provides all of these products and features that help you keep you and your system safe. For any questions on how you can further secure you and your system or to purchase the products can call us at 1 (866) 573-8878 or visit our form at http://www.securitycameraking.com/securityinfo/forum/.

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Instantly Record Video Clips To Your DVR?

Written By:
Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Access Control Remote

Instantly recording video clips to your DVR!

So what happens when you want to record a short event at the push of the button with your dvr?  Let’s say you want to use your surveillance system for interviews. How about File Transfer Protocol video clips? Youtube uploads? Or any important event that you would rather self trigger? Could push button recording be the solution you are looking for? How do you do it? While generally speaking most of our customers are best served by using motion detect or 24-7 recording, there may be some instances when triggering the recording from an alarm input can be beneficial.  You can easily set this up with a remote trigger like our access control remote by using it as an alarm relay and record the video clips directly to your DVR.  This can be done just as easily with traditional alarm inputs, such as our passive  infrared or door contacts, just for example.  So lets get specific. What kind of instances, exactly, would benefit from this manner of recording?  How would you wire and configure the input?  And finally what are the limitations to using this type of solution?

When is it a good idea to use push button recording?

So let’s start with the first basic question. Why would you want to use one of these remote alarm inputs?  And what is it usedfor exactly?  If you are working in the investigative field or for an investigative agency, this can be exceptionally helpful both with hidden cameras and with traditional surveillance cameras.  Being able to start a recording per interaction can be useful to conserve and maximize hard drive space, organize video files and simplify DVR configurations for multiple users. By only recording when the user directly intends to, one can guarantee no wasted recording time, thus allowing the hard drive to last longer than it might otherwise if you were using traditional motion detect or 24/7 recording.  Push button recording also allows for more simple organization as each interaction can easily be sorted from the previous or next.  The final advantage is the ease of which recroding can be explained to a new user (Simply hand the user the remote and point to the record button).  The uses for push button recording are not limited to security encounters only either.  One could use them for any limited time interaction based recording.  Lets talk a bit more about the other situations where this could be useful, such as video minutes for a council meeting? Push button recording could be exceptionally useful in this scenario.  It could be used in lieu of a web cam for Youtube video clips. Just push and record in replace of your traditional webcam with more than likely a higher video quality depending on your current system.  In place of any snap shot FTP based video clips, like a squirrel cam or something you may want to use later for time lapse clips. The list of possibilities is almost unending for this item.

How do you wire and configure our access control remote relay to an alarm input on you DVR?

So next, let’s move to the more direct question of how.  Just how does one hook up this type of system? First, the physical wiring, which is fairly straight forward and simple, comparatively speaking.  A pig tail connector or PT-3 is wired into the remote receiver, providing power to the relay.   Then a simple pair of wires is wired into alarm inputs matching “normally open” and normally “closed” sections of the input.  See the below wiring diagram and example for reference.  It is important to note however the power link up for our system is a bit more simplified as the power supply is directly routed into our device rather than as show below.

Relay Diagram

Notice again that the below image is the device, and it is wired in slightly different manner than the above schematic.  Instead of going through the power supply to the alarm input we go directly to the positive and negative and directly to the “normally open” and “normally closed” inputs on the DVR.

relay wiringwiring relay

Following this it is important to configure the DVR to utilize the alarm input to record.  Enter the username and password to access the main menu and select the settings page.  From there you must select the Alarm page and edit which channel or channels will be triggered by the alarm.

DVR Main Menu

Following that the Detect and Schedule pages should be utilized to configure the settings of how long using the Latch settings on the detect page and at what times the alarm or remote in our example will take precedence for recording on the schedule page.<

DVR MenuDVR Menu

The final question, What are the limitations?

At first it might seem like this solution has unlimited use, but what are the limitations?  Alarm inputs are unfortunately limited to a short trigger time, this can vary greatly from Digital Video Recorder to Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder to Network Video Recorder but generally can be estimated at a max of 900 seconds or approximately 10-15 minutes.  As we discussed before this can be adjusted under the latch settings within the detect page under settings.  It is also not useful when your not going to be actively around to supervise the cameras and areas.  It can not record if you do not tell it to, and in a security setting where you need to detect the undetected. Anywhere video evidence is key, it can be damaging to not have it record every event that could possible relate to a crime or incident.  Please protect yourself and understand this is not something to be used in place of 24/7 recording or motion detect.

What is the conclusion?

The conclusion is that this is  just another tool in the chest of our DVR capabilities.  This should not be used in place of general security and surveillance, our systems have far better built in features.  But if your looking to use your surveillance system for unconventional surveillance, interviewing or another more obscure reason, this could be the tool you need for the job.

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Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs – Overview of the New Menu System

Written By:
Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The menu system in all Techpro Security Products DVRs and NVRs has been very similar over the past few years, with little variation regardless of the model or the type of system that it’s designed to accommodate. The older menu system was great but recently several improvements have been made to it. Once an operator makes the adjustment to the changes then it’s easy to appreciate how the improvements actually make the system easier to navigate and operate. Hopefully this overview article will help you to understand and appreciate these changes.

After you have connected a monitor and mouse to the DVR or NVR and powered up the unit, the first thing you’ll see is the startup wizard (see Picture 1). The first thing that you should do is to cancel out of this feature.

Wiz
Picture 1 – Start up wizard.

Once that has been done you should right click anywhere on the screen. This will bring up a small menu (see Picture 2) and selecting Main Menu from the bottom of it will bring you to the log in box (see Picture 3).

popup menu
Picture 2 – Pop-up menu.

Clicking in the password field of the log in window will bring up a virtual key board. The user name is the default password – so the password for the admin account is admin. The password for the 888888 account is 888888. The admin account and the 888888 account are the only two that will give you full admin privileges. The default user accounts should never be deleted, although their passwords can be changed.

Log in
Picture 3 – Log in window.

Once you’re logged into the recording unit, the first page you will see is the Main Menu (see Picture 4). This menu page has twelve selection icons which are separated into three rows. The respective rows are labeled as Operation, Info and Setting. The first part of this article will be discussing the Operation row, which includes the Search, Backup and Shutdown selection icons.

Main menu
Picture 4 – Main Menu.

Search:
The Search page (see Picture 5) is where you will be able to view your recorded footage and export it if you desire. This interface will offer you several different ways to review your recorded footage.

Search
Picture 5 – Search Page

The first part of this page that you will deal with is the calendar (see Picture 6) in the upper right corner. You will need to select a blue day because these are the days where you have recorded footage.

The next step is to locate the drop down menus below the calendar. The tabs above the drop down menus will allow you to choose how many cameras will be reviewed at the same time. You choose which camera or cameras are reviewed with the drop down menu or menus.

Search calender
Picture 6 – Search calendar.

Once everything described above has been configured correctly, you should see colored sections show up along the search bar (see Picture 7), which is located at the bottom of the page. The type of recorded footage can be determined by using the color key located below the search bar. The bar is divided into 24 sections representing the hours of the day. Simply clicking anywhere in the colored portion of a bar will allow you to see your recorded footage playing.

Search bar
Picture 7 – Search bar.

The buttons (see Picture 8) below the area where your video will show up gives you a nice level of control over your playback.

Playback controls
Picture 8 – Playback controls.

Going from right to left on the control buttons, they will allow you to:

  • Play your video normally.
  • Stop your playback.
  • Play your video in reverse.
  • Step the playback backward frame by frame, once the video is paused.
  • Step the playback forward frame by frame once the video is paused.
  • Play the video slowly in the direction that it’s traveling. There are multiple speeds which can you access through clicking the button more than once.
  • Play the video quickly in the direction that’s traveling. There are multiple speeds which can you access through clicking the button more than once.

Backup:
This page of the menu system (see Picture 9) will allow you to export segments of recorded video to a thumb drive or other USB storage device which does not draw power through the USB connection. After such a storage device has been inserted in a USB port, the detect button is used to get the DVR or NVR to recognize it. Once this has been done you will see some information about the device will show up.

You can use the button which is labeled as ‘Format’ to prepare your storage device. It will be prepared with the FAT32 format style and this must be done before you can begin backing up your recorded footage.

Back up
Picture 9 – Backup page.

It is also possible to format the storage device through a computer. This is done by connecting the device to a computer and then going to the same page on your computer where you can see your CD drives and hard drives. You should see the recently connected device on this page and you will need to right click on it on order to see the format option.

Shutdown: (see Picture 10)
Selecting this option is the way that you should turn your DVR or NVR off. Turning a recorder off in any other manner has the potential to cause additional strain on the hard drive and possibly shorten its life.

Logout:
Selecting this option will log the user out of the menu system and lock it. It will not be possible to interact with the menu system again until you log in with one of the user accounts.

Reboot:
This is the selection that you should use in order to restart your DVR or NVR properly. It’s also a good idea to use this feature after you’ve made a significant amount of setting changes. When this action is performed, you will see a message indicting that the DVR or NVR is saving data displayed on the screen.

Shutdown
Picture 10 – Shutdown page.

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Things you should know about Amendment 64 and Amendment 20

Written By:
Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Marijuana Legalized in Colorado

In Nov. of 2012, fifty-five percent of Colorado’s locals voted in Amendment 64 which turned out to be pretty historic. This document ended prohibition of marijuana under Colorado Law. In Dec of 2012, Amendment 64 went into effect making private use and limited possession of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age or older. In turn, state legislature also permits cultivation, processing, and sale of all marijuana products. This ends up establishing a system that regulates Marijuana to be distributed and taxed just like alcohol as of Oct 2013.

If you currently own a recreational or medical shop, or if you’re planning on opening one, there are some things you should definitely be aware of. Some people think that they can just walk in and open up a store to sell weed, but there are many hoops you must first go through before you can legally run a shop or grow business.


legal marijuana in colorado

Here are some facts you must know about Amendment 64:

  1. Adults aged 21 and older may grow up to 6 marijuana plants. No more than half may be mature flowering plants. This means that 3 may be adults, and the other 3 must be newly planted. This allows for you to have up to 3 plants cycling out at a time. The plants must be in a locked space and you may legally keep all the bud it produces as long as it stays in the same place it was grown.
  2. You may possess up to 1oz. of marijuana on you while traveling as long as it’s within Colorado’s borders.
  3. You may give marijuana as a gift to anyone you know as long as they’re 21 or older. The limit is 1 oz.
  4. Marijuana is regulated similar to alcohol, so you will receive similar offenses for driving under the influence.
  5. Consuming Marijuana in public is still considered illegal in Colorado. Do not get caught smoking out in public or on federal land because you will receive a ticket for doing so. It may have been decriminalized, but you still want to avoid doing it since it’s illegal and will be on your record.
  6. This amendment has allowed for licensing to be issues for businesses who want to cultivate, manufacture, test, or sell marijuana as a retail product.
  7. Marijuana is prohibited anywhere on the property of Denver Airport and it’s also highly illegal to take any marijuana with you outside of the state of Colorado.


colorado-home-grow

Amendment 20 was also passed. This amendment refers to the legalization of medical marijuana in Colorado.

Here are some facts about the medical side of marijuana legalization that you should know about:

  1. Amendment 20 was approved in Nov. of the year 2000. It allowed for the use of cannabis in the state for any patient which was approved and has written medical consent from a doctor.
  2. Under this law, any medical marijuana patient is allowed to carry up to two ounces of marijuana on them at a time.
  3. Patients are also allowed to grow up to 6 plants, but 3 must be maturing while the other 3 are not.
  4. Doctors have the ability to recommend to the state for patients to carry more than the amounts listed above. This is in the case that a patient may need more than the law allows for. It all depends on the patients specific needs.
  5. Medical patients were still under fire because of the federal law. There were a lot of places that were still at risk of being shut down since federal law still doesn’t allow for marijuana use or sale. However, a law did pass recently that will help put a stop to the federal government shutting down dispensaries and medical marijuana retail locations.
  6. Patients may not use marijuana in public places, or any place that may be of plain view.
  7. Patients may not use cannabis in any area that may put others at risk, like any business where the employees are operating heavy machinery after medicating.
  8. Patients are still unable to fill a prescription at a pharmacy. Unfortunately, because it’s still against federal law, pharmacy’s are not allowed to sell it to patients and you must go to a licensed medical dispensary to purchase your cannabis.
  9. Because federal law still does not recognize this, businesses may still use that as an argument to ban use of marijuana by their employees.

There have been a lot of positive and a few negative effects from the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. Many people moved to Colorado in hopes that they could work in the cannabis industry and ended up becoming homeless because they were unable to meed the requirements necessary to land a job in the industry. You may not work in the industry if you have felony convictions, and you must also have a 2-year CO residency. Because of this, there is definitely a new strain that has grown on organizations that help the needy, such as the Salvation Army and Urban Peak to name a couple.

There are a few other states that have also decided to legalize marijuana. In states like Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, Marijuana has been legalized. Some of the states that have Decriminalized weed are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont.

Here is a list of states where marijuana has been approved for Medical Use: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Washington, D.C.

If you’re planning on opening your own retail shop, be sure to know that there are other laws you must abide by. We write these articles here at SecurityCameraKing.com so that you are aware of different things you need to know in order to legally get into the marijuana business. One of the important things you may want to look up is the legalities on the type of surveillance system that you’ll need in your place of business. Whether it’s a grow warehouse or a retail store, you can call us today and we will help you get all set up with everything you need in order to get your permit approved during your inspection. We even send you a certificate to help pass the inspection. Contact us today so we can answer any other questions you may have!

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