Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles’ Category

Creating and Designing a Floor Plan or Layout WAC 314-55 (I-502)

Written By:
Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

With your application for I-502 WAC 314-55 you must submit a floor plan or Layout. This floor plan must adequately map your security layout, to include a variety of specifics, from alarms to cameras. Being detail oriented is extremely important in order to receive approval.  At this point your head is probably filled with questions. How do I make or find my floor plan? What needs to be on it in order to receive approval?  What details need to be included? Don’t worry! We’ve created our fair share of floor plans as part of applications, that have passed inspection, and we’ve come to help!

Haste makes waste so let’s start with the basics.  The first thing you need to do is obtain a floor plan of your basic architectural features or the ones you plan to have in the case of outdoor areas.  Often times these can be found online, if you don’t have a copy from when you purchased the land or structure.  It can be obtained from the counties public records. You may call your local building or housing department or start with the public records division, often they have a copy you may obtain although expect that you may have to deal with a significant wait(you need not express its use).  Other sources could be your realtor, landlord, or an online property appraisal website. If all these sources are exhausted for you and you still cannot obtain a floor plan you can always create your own, which is where this article maybe of help!

Now there are two main options when creating your own floor plan, the first option you can use is to design one by computer.   Don’t be too daunted by this. It is not as difficult as it sounds.  You don’t need to have a Computer Aided Drafting program (or CAD) to design your floor plan.  In all reality it is as simple as looking up your address in Google maps or Google earth and using that as your initial image print screen or screen shot the image. Once you have this image you can use any image editing software, even Microsoft paint can suffice for our purposes here. Simply trace the property and buildings or grow areas.  Now floor plans need to have several features mapped on them before you start planning out your security concerns.

But before we even get that far, let me cover how to create it by hand. Now this is of course assuming you can’t find your floor plan, from your records, bank, real estate agent, landlord, property appraiser or local government’s public records.  All you really need to do to create it by hand is buy yourself some graph paper a good ruler and set yourself to work with number 2 pencil.  As we covered when creating your floor pan with the computer the first thing you need to draw out is the area you will be using.

Regardless of whether you creating your floor plan by hand or by computer you need to map out the area you will be utilizing for your business. If this is indoor that means the building, if outdoor the fence and property line. It is vital to correctly measure out your dimensions of the area and write them down beside each length of fence or wall.  With a computer in paint or Photoshop simply use the box tool to create the building outline.  For a fence use the line tool for each segment of fence line. As stated earlier this easier to do if you use a Google maps or Earth image as its simply matter of tracing the aerial image. When doing it by hand use a ruler and scale the image so that every inch equals a set amount of feet.  For example if you set one inch to equal twelve feet than a hundred foot fence line would equal 8.3 inches.  Be sure to scale your site accordingly to the size of your paper.

Once you’ve outlined the exterior walls or fence line your next task is to draw in the different rooms, grow areas or greenhouses within your outline.  Using the same tools and scale you’ve used continue to map these features, each room should be measured and the dimesions should be annotated beside each of these walls or fence lines.  The idea is to map every space a inspector would want to see, so that they have an accurate idea of what your intentions and uses, are.  Marking what rooms will be used for growing and processing is helpful especially when you go for quotes for security and surveillance systems.  How high are the ceilings? Could the grow affect visibility of a camera?  These are just a few important factors to consider detailing so that the inspectors and security professionals can give you an adequate quote.

It is extremely important that you include doors and windows.  The reason this is so  important is when you want to quote out security systems you will need to camera and/or alarm every door, window, gate or entrance and exit way in order to be compliant. (see WAC 315-55-083 (2) (3)) This is to include an attic basement, 2nd floor or any area you intend on using for the business. Once you’ve mapped these features out your done.

You may attempt to estimate camera and alarm placement but this is not always recommended unless you are knowledgeable about the law and surveillance and alarm systems as there is a lot to consider.  For example the limitations on power and data streams change depending on the surveillance system your installing.  Each camera has different distance and resolution limitations.  It may be helpful to map power locations like outlets and circuit breakers but don’t stress too hard on these. With camera placement remember that both entrance and exit of every room, hallway, entryway and exit must receive coverage of the camera, and be able to identify the individual entering and exiting.  Understand all disposal areas, processing areas, drying areas, grow areas, quarantine zones and essentially anywhere the product may be at any point, MUST to receive coverage.  If you are doing an outdoor grow also note that the entire exterior fence line must receive coverage.

Here I’ve added a few videos for you to utilize as a guide lines. They pertain to how to search Google maps/Google earth and screen shot your image and paste it to paint so that you can use it for your floor plan. I’ve also made a few examples via Google Earth and paint for you to have a look at and reference.  However you choose to tackle this issue just understand we are here to assist you as much as we can.  We can help you turn  a rough estimated floor plan into a compliant success story. The intent here is simply to put more control into your hands and speed you along the process!


Screenshoting a (Google Earth Image)

Creating a Floor Plan (Google Earth Option)

Creating a Floor Plan

Adding Dimensions to a floor plan


Manage Your Inventory With An Extra Set Of Eyes

Written By:
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014


Owning your own business is hard enough lets face it, so the last thing you need is inventory issues. Lost product or misplaced product could be devastating to the fast paced flow of production, so you really have to be able to manage your inventory. This is something that may not be preventable but can definitely be managed. With an extra set of eyes you can track where your inventory is being placed, how its being handled, and who misplaced or mishandled it. Now, when I say an extra pair of eyes I don’t mean bring in another employee to help manage inventory, due simply to the fact that the more people you have touching and handling inventory, the more mistakes that will be made. Get a security camera system. This way when an employee notices you have too many of one thing and not enough of another, you can go back in your footage and see what the issue was, whether it be someone misplaced it, it was labeled incorrectly, or something just simply never came in.

Here at we ship all over the world, and by taking a quick look at our website you can imagine the type of inventory we have to manage. The things here that get misplaced or mishandled are not cheap things that are easily replaced, so this is why we have people within the company looking over and managing inventory along with our computerized inventory system. Say an order gets placed for an OD-LX700IR50 (one of our many analog cameras) once it goes through the system and takes its course like every order does, the camera will be automatically taken out of our inventory system and placed into the order. Once it reaches the time and place to pack and ship the order it is pulled from the shelf and shipped on its way to the customer. Say before this order was placed inventory says we have 1 left thats not really there due to any reason, maybe somebody is testing it or it was never put away in the correct spot. What ever the situation may be the order will be able to get pushed all the way through and print out to be shipped, when the shipping department sees there is actually no camera there someone will be notified and can then proceed with searching for it and looking through footage to see where it ended up.

That is just an example of how things work in our facilities, you may handle it differently but this way is effective, and not only for looking for misplaced product. You being the owner of a business want to make sure your products are being handled with care and caution. But, your not always available to watch over the people you employ directly, so you have a security system installed. Now you can be in you office and monitor what is going on throughout your company. You can see if people are just tossing your things around or not working up to par, and with a microphone you can even hear what they are talking about. If somebody is complaining about the way another person is working or if they are saying they can’t wait to quit or they won’t be there for long. Those are the things you don’t wanna hear from an employee, they tend to not care about the job at that point in time. When they stop caring careless mistakes will be made and this is a way to try and prevent them from ever happening.

Without the presence of a security system you are blind when you are not physically there at the office. You can only put so much trust into your management team, like I was taught at a young age if you want something done right you do it yourself. How can I see my employees working hard or hardly working if I’m not there, one might ask. Well with an IP based camera system you will be able to remotely log in to view your cameras. This simply means at home you can pull up the cameras footage through via the internet.

All things in life are achievable when you work towards your goals. So now, for once you can sit back and look at how you achieved those goals through hard work and devotion. Now you’ve got your very own business that you put your blood, sweat, and tears into. The last thing you need is some young punk tossing your things around like trash or not following your procedures and just plain old disrespecting you and your business. With one of these systems you won’t have to put up with such behavior any longer.

Don’t put it off any longer do yourself and your business a favor and get a security camera system. Its extremely easy, give us a call at 866.573.8878 or visit our website at Which ever you decide to use know your equipment will be in good hands as it leaves our warehouse due to the simple fact that we use our own systems to monitor our inventory and to ensure the employees are handling product the right way.

Now keep in mind, these systems are not just in place to protect your inventory, but to ensure your customers are getting the correct product in the shape they expect it to be in. If someone here in our warehouse was building a DVR/NVR and dropped the lid on the ground it will most likely be scratched. Now a good employee should inspect it and report it to management if it needs to be replaced. Unfortunately not every employee will notice or care to report it, and when the customer sees the lid all torn up and calls to tell us we can review footage from that order and find out what happened. whether it be the faceplate was scratched or the buttons don’t work, or even it may not work at all due to not being properly tested. What ever the case may be we will find out what happened and can be taken care of urther due to our camera system.


How to Configure the AIR ROUTER HP

Written By:
Monday, August 4th, 2014


Networking is essential in security systems from access control to security cameras. There are many types of systems out there designed for security. To operate normally most security systems don’t need the Internet, but to utilize all the bells and whistles in conjunction you will need to be connected to the web. There are many options for networking devices out on the market. Chances are you already have your own equipment. If you have internet service you have a router or modem.  In most cases when you add a security system you want to have it setup on its own network. To create your own network that will require another router. We suggest the Air Router HP from

A new router introduced to your local network will need to be setup properly to allow for connectivity and be able to implement security or restrict access to the system and subnet.  Our TP-Airrouter-HP is a great device to handle the job. It has a huge amount of integrated features for a small price. If you purchased a comparable router from AT&T you would be completely restricted and be missing standard routing features. When it comes to the networking there is much more than just getting “online”.

This router comes with a default IP of That IP may or may not work with your current network subnet. Most people or home users likely you will be OK for the initial part of accessing the router.  Routers are designed to operate within different separate subnets of each other. This first issue you will run into is that this router is handing out the same subnet as the current router of with a default gateway of This is not going to work as the routers will not know which route to use to transmit data packets to devices on the given network. Devices may stay connected but become sluggish or lose connectivity all together. There are a few ways to go about configuring the router for connectivity.

To begin you need a computer connected directly to the AIR ROUTER-HP. Then you will open a browser and enter the routers default IP into the browsers address bar and hit enter. You will arrive at the router’s login page.  Ubnt/ubnt is the user name and password to login. Once you log into the router you will see 6 tabs at the top of the page for different groups of features. The features we initially need access to be located in the network tab.  As we need this router to work with another router on the network there are a 3 ways to configure the router.  The network role is what you are looking for and the network mode is what needs to be changed. The modes of the Router are: Router, SOHO Router, and Bridge.

Putting the device in bridge mode is the easiest option to configure connectivity. Save and apply then connect to your other router and you will have network access. Bridge mode bridges the two routers together so they are in the same virtual network. In other words your main router is still handing out IP addresses to all devices connected to main router and secondary router. The next option that can save time is on the same page it is called Configuration MODE. Your options are simple and advanced. If you are going to bridge the router I would suggest leaving it in simple mode. Most of the options in advanced mode you probably won’t use. From here all you set is the secondary router’s IP address to be static or dynamic. For port forwarding it really does not matter as in bridge mode the forwarding is only done on main router.  If you decide to go into advanced mode this can change, but not necessarily. The features you gain access to in advanced mode are: Interfaces (physical ports on router) IP aliases (associating multiple IP to one interface), Vlan (restrict access to devices), Firewall (stop traffic coming in), Static routes (manual routing), Traffic shaping (rate limiting).

SOHO Router and Router mode are just about the same. SOHO means small office/ home office. The main difference is in the Network address translation feature. In Router mode all the NAT protocols are enabled. In SHO Router mode the features can be disabled or enabled as needed. In both SOHO router and router modes the Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) have to be manually configured.  In the WAN feature you can set the router to DHCP or static meaning you can assign a static IP or let the primary router assign it an IP. I can tell you for port forwarding to not stop working after power loss you will need to assign the router a static IP address. Since every time a router loses power when in DHCP mode it will get a new IP address between from primary router. This makes old port forwarding rules incorrect, so you will lose remote access.  The LAN settings are very important. You cannot have the same subnets assigned to two routers connected to each other. In LAN you will want to assign an IP address in a different subnet from primary router such as Then you need to enable DHCP server so the router can automatically assign devices a IP address in that subnet. Next you set the range. Typically the range would be to You can make any variation between the last octets 2-254. If you only want 5 devices connecting to that network you can program router to only be able to hand out 5 addresses, so the range would be to This will prevent people from randomly connecting devices to your network. You can still statically assign IP address to device you want to connect to this network.

As you go through this router you can see there are a lot more customizable features to use. Always feel free to call in for further options for configuration.


Recording Live Surveillance Feeds On Your Computer With Bandicam

Written By:
Friday, August 1st, 2014

bandicam Logo

So what happens when you are viewing a camera system, either online or at work but don’t have permissions on that Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder and still want to record what you are watching?  Most web based “live” camera feeds are set up without any basic permissions for the viewer to record to the Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder. There are a variety of times where not being able to record an important event can be frustrating.  Say you are observing your little one at a daycare website or you log into a DVR as a guest and see a superior or co-worker taking something from your desk?  Even if its being recorded on the DVR you want a copy for your own records. Perhaps you might just be watching a live feed of a local beach or the “squirrel cam” located on a public park website and see something you want to save for your own personal use.  Maybe you are even witnessing a traffic accident or a crime on a live street camera off a news or traffic site.  Maybe you have admin privileges, but what If you are viewing your home cameras from your computer at work and don’t have time to change the DVR settings?  Or you want to catch that person breaking into the neighbors house but you didn’t have the camera set to motion detect? Whatever the reason, you want your own copy of the video stream you are watching as quickly and easily as possible without having to ask permission.

The solution is actually relatively simple and there are several forms of free software that can be downloaded and utilized for this purpose.  This software allows the user to record, as a video clip (.AVI File), anything within a selected window or on their monitor (depending on the settings of the software).  The software has existed for some time and has often been used in the past to make tutorial videos for employees about how to access, run or utilize a new piece of software.  Many in the gaming community use it as well to record their achievements or performance and upload and share them via YouTube or another site, as bragging rights.  Put simply, this software also allows the user to take snap shots or videos of whatever is being viewed on your desktop either in part or in whole.

The software program that I would recommend to a new user for this particular purpose is “Bandicam” (But there is a variety of software available that would work for this scenario).  The first step in the process is to visit one of of these sites and download the software. The example I will be using  is:


Once you’ve downloaded the software it is as simple as running the installation file and a small matter of arranging the settings for your particular purpose, if you even need to at all.  The default settings for Bandicam are quite adequate for our particular situation but we will discuss some of the features and options in the following paragraphs.

With Bandicam you can record in full screen mode or use a movable window that will open and record anything within that window saving it to whatever folder you wish to designate as the destination. This option can be located under the general tab to the left hand side of the Bandicam window. This is also where the file location your snapshots will be saved to.  At the bottom of this tab is an auto complete recording option. Here you can set a maximum recording time and a maximum file size, allowing you to automatically limit the size and length of the file you are recording.  If you purchase the full version you can also have the option to automatically and immediately start recording again, shut down the program or shutdown the computer entirely after your first clip has been recorded and saved.

If you decide to use the window recorder, the window can be sized, adjusted and moved across your desktop at will and anytime, even while recording this window can be moved across your desktop. You can also set whether or not you want this window to be kept recording on top of your other windows by default.

With this software you can simply hit the hot-key whenever you wish to record. You can set your video hot-key and pause hot-key under the Video tab, thus allowing you to start and stop your video capture at the press of a button.

Under the image tab of Bandicam you have a separate hot-key to use in order to take a snap shot that can be changed for your convenience. This allows you to capture an image of your screen view, desktop or window.  So if size is an issue on your PC and you don’t want to take full video clips, you can simply take a screen shot of the image using this software (rather than having to revert to “print screening” and pasting to paint or another image editing software).  Under this tab you can also set the software to repeat the screen shot every so many seconds, if you so desire.  You can also change the file type you wish the image to be saved as.

Under the output tab you can view the files you have created by date and see details such as size, file type and name. It is also important to note that the free version of Bandicam does have a watermark that cannot be removed without purchasing the software.  However it is small in relative size to the clip and does not obscure much of the video.  It is located in the top center of the video clip and is still somewhat transparent.

The program can be set to record on opening and this is extremely helpful for our example.  Once its downloaded the programs is built to be a simple open and or hot-key and your capturing the video stream you thought you could never record.  This solves the problem of permissions or access to the NVR/DVR and allows you to save the video to your pre-designated folder, hassle free.

Overall I have found this software extremely useful for saving images, designing walkthroughs, creating “how to” tutorials and saving videos I would otherwise have been unable to record. There are various other forms of this software and they can be used in a variety of different ways.  Hopefully this article has given you a few options about how to record web based video feeds from your PC.  This way you capture that precious moment of your child’s first steps, that accident or crime you just witnessed, or just particularly amazing piece of scenery.

Bandicam Demonstration Video


How to configure and connect an ONVIF IP Security Camera (our TP-Series)

Written By:
Thursday, July 31st, 2014

IP5                           IP4                       IP2                  IPOB-TP2MPIR150L2812-B-main

Onvif Cameras have become very popular these days and many companies are adopting this new open protocol to integrate with other equipment brands.

Today I will introduce our new line of ONVIF cameras (our TP Series) with a new and elegant style, that promise to be an easy and great setup for your CCTV needs.

One of the greatest thing about this new line is the variety of models we are offering from bullet style, varifocal & fix lenses to small ball domes that can be installed in no time.

As I mentioned before, Onvif (Open Network Video Interface Forum), is an Open Industry aimed to facilitate the communication of IP based video products with other devices that are not necessarily from the same manufacturer. Some ONVIF products require to have certain features turned ON before integrating with any equipment that is not from the same brand. In my opinion and as a rule of thumb I always configure each device first to avoid any misconfigurations, then I will end connecting these to the recorder.

For this demonstration I will be using an IPID-TP2MPIR50L2812-W. The settings and access setup is the same throughout the entire TP-Series Cameras. Some settings such as brightness, sharpness, WDR, etc need to be adjusted depending of the environment where the cameras are mounted.

Like any IP based device it will require to know its IP address, or at least have a way to find it. These cameras come with a default IP of or sometimes will be set to DHCP. The best way to approach this is by downloading and using the TP-IP Series Search Utility.

The first step to connect to the camera is to find its IP. Open the finder and click on refresh, the result will show below:

TP Search

Select the resultant IP address and here you can change some settings such as port, IP address, mask, etc. I suggest to only change IP Address related settings and not change the ports.

Internet Explorer Settings

Internet Explorer is the only web browser that will work without any add-ons, and is in fact the only browser supported 100% with our DVRs/NVRs and IP cameras.

To access your camera with Internet Explorer, is important to know what version is currently installed in your computer. To do so, open internet explorer and click on Help>About Internet Explorer. A window will open and you can see the current version running in your computer.

IE Version

This particular version of Internet Explorer has been optimized for better graphics, performance, etc. The steps to connect to the camera are the same exempt now you will need to add the IP address of the DVR/NVR/IP Camera to the compatibility view settings of the software in order to show correctly.
1.- Go to Start button>Control Panel and Internet Options.


2.- Click on the Security Tab, then custom Level…

3.- On the next window we will scroll down to look for an option labeled “Download Unsigned ActiveX Controls”. Select “Prompt” and click OK.

IE Security

At this point you should be all set to access your Camera.

4.- Open Internet Explorer and type the IP address of your camera. If you are performing these task from the same location were the camera is, then type the internal IP address.

If this is the first time you are trying to connect to the IP camera then it will not show correctly. You will encounter this issue if you are using Internet Explorer Version 11, which is the latest version Microsoft is offering on computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Connecting to the camera for the first time

Once you have configured Internet Explorer, the next step is to connect to the camera. Input the default IP address, or if you have changed the address then you will need to use that instead.

A log in page will show up after the necessary Activex Files finish installing. The Default username is Admin/Admin.

Click on Configure to access the settings of the camera and begin enabling features like Motion, Schedule, Resolution, etc.

Camstar IPID Login

Configuring Motion & Schedule Detection

This is one of the main features that you should configure to allow the camera to record when there is movement. To do this click on the configuration panel on the left side and locate “Alarm”.

Motion Alarm - Apply to EveryDay

Once there, click on the top check mark to enable motion and proceed to select the Motion detection Area. Click on “Set Motion Detect Area” and drag you mouse across the picture to select the area you want the camera to detect motion, like in the picture above, and show the desire selection. Adjust the “Motion Detect Threshold” to adjust the sensitivity. The higher the number the more sensitive to movement the camera will be. Click on “Set” to save those settings. Move down to schedule and change the timing from “00:00 – 23:59”, this will make the camera enable motion 24/7 for a specific day. Click on ”Apply  to Every Day” then “Set” to save these settings. NOTE: when you move to another menu and decide to come back to the Motion Alarm settings, you will notice that the area you have selected for motion will not show up. Don’t panic, the settings are there, you just need to click on “Set Motion Detect Area” again and the area will reappear.

Configuring Encoding Resolution

Encoding will be one of the most fundamental settings you will need to understand and configure correctly. These settings will allow you to setup how the camera will broadcast the video resolution and quality to the NVR and smartphones.

Video Parameters 1Major

The settings above are the most common when it comes to configuring the Main Stream of the camera. These settings will be the ones the NVR will record with and it will affect the quality of the recordings if this is set incorrectly. You should set your cameras this way but sometimes it will be necessary to decrease these settings if you lack on bandwidth to stream IP cameras over the Internet.

Lastly the settings for the Sub Stream should be as follows:

Video Parameters 2Major

The Sub Stream is basically how you will see your cameras over a smart phone or tablet. These settings are usually at a lower frame rate and resolution (D1), without compromising quality on the video recording. Make sure you click on “Set” when changing any of these settings so the changes will stick.

NOTE: If you are using an NVR with PoE Switch build in, then you will need to configure the camera’s IP address to match the PoE IP address range. When ready to connect the camera then you need to add the camera manually utilizing Onvif as the Manufacture and the HTTP port number is 8080. Once that is all set, click add and the video will start streaming over the NVR.

There are many features in this camera that will make this article incredibly long but these are some of the essential settings you should have when connecting them to your NVR. For more information visit us a