Archive for the ‘ CCTV Articles ’ Category



Recreational Marijuana in Oregon?

Written By:
Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Marijuana-in-Oregon

The State of Oregon is one for the most recent states to allow recreational marijuana in Oregon State. Of course, Oregon being its own state, is going to make up its own laws covering the cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and legal possession of weed/ recreational Marijuana in Oregon.

There are some general laws that all states with recreational marijuana have. Don’t smoke and drive, you have to be at least 21 years old to possess any weed and no public use is tolerated. In comparison, the rules for Marijuana consumption are very similar to the rules for alcohol consumption.  The biggest differences in the laws for Marijuana in Oregon are for the growers, manufacturers and distributors.

Right now the state of Oregon has some very strict rules but, what is surprising is the lack of description for surveillance and security systems. To put it into perspective, security protects your business from people that would do harm to it regardless if it is from the inside or out. Page 47 section 86 of House Bill 3400 from the state of Oregon states that you are responsible for “[(A) Installing a minimum security system, including a video surveillance system, alarm system and safe; and]”. Then this system must meet the requirements of any rule adopted by the authority under that subsection.

If you continue to read the bill it just goes on about how to track medical card purchasers and denying of intoxicated customers. That part could have easily been adopted or just straight copied for the currently existing alcohol laws, but that is not the troubling part.

The lack of specifications on theses so called “security systems” is a huge gap. The law also implies the local municipalities will have different requirements than the state.  In Colorado and Washington they have minimum specifications written into the law so there is no leaving it up to the inspector to say yes or no I think it looks good. The inspector says yes you have the right setup or no you do not based on state law regulations.

By definition, a security system would alert you to an intruder. Well, I could put one PIR sensor on a window and “poof” . . . I have a security system that is a joke.  On the other side, the inspector could demand you put sensors on everything including the plants (which makes no sense). The inspectors are not security experts. Sure it makes sense to put sensors on exterior doors and windows, but not interior doors and windows.

Types of locking mechanisms for doors and egress. The lack of descriptive language for “security” again can and likely will be a judgement call. Ask any fire marshal and they will tell you a locked door must allow for unrestricted egress from a building.

An alarm system is also required at the location of distribution, manufacturing , and growing. Again the way “alarm “ is not defined is a problem. When it comes to securing your perimeter from intruders, this is very important to protect your business.  You are going to need, not want, but need sensors on every external door and window. If you have a gated facility you are going to want sensors on the gates as well. Instead of sensors, installing an access control system that can work with a gate would be best. As an access control system would have a log of people going in and out with their access cards or fobs. Getting into access control there are different types of mag locks with different amounts of force holding the lock shut. More to the point, force equals mass times acceleration (F=MA)  meaning that a 350LB mag door lock is not the best option. Unfortunately businesses that grow or sell marijuana products are targets. For someone like myself, if I ran full speed at a door with a 350LB rating I would open it. My shoulder would hurt and might get bruised, but I would still get the door open without tools. Never just meet regulations when it comes to security . . . always exceed them.  Get the 1200LB mag lock and know I will need a Mack truck to open the door.

Another aspect of an alarm system is that it notifies somebody that there is a breach in real time. In a fire alarm they typically notify a central monitoring station and personnel is dispatched to go onsite to investigate. How that exactly works is dependent on the municipality. Some cities monitor themselves and charge the business while others cites have a separate monitoring businesses that monitor and then notify the authorities if needed.

The surveillance system and lack of visible ID cards on staff, are going to be the gravy in fines the state collects from everyone. I have heard this first hand from the growers in Washington and Colorado. These are the easiest things to check and fine you for. All employees must have the badges on them and not covered. It does not matter if it is under a shirt because you will still get fined. For the security camera system they cite people for not having the correct resolutions, frame rates, and total recording time.  In WA and CO the resolution must be at least D1 with 10 frames per second and 45 days storage of data. When inspectors ask you to show them your settings . . . they had better be correct. For playback, they will ask you to go back as far as you can and if you have 44 days and 23 hours your are going to get fined! You must have at least 45 days. We have calculators and people to ask to make sure you get the right equipment. Also, our entry level equipment will in most cases fill all the requirements but they will have to be configured to the state law.

By the end of the year, Oregon is supposed to have more clearly defined what the security system requirements are for possessing Marijuana in Oregon. Once all of the specifications are known, give us a call so we can get you compliant. When you are within or exceed state requirements you can rest easy knowing that you are not going to get fined because you didn’t know or were unsure about set up. Here at Security Camera King we have worked closely with the states including Oregon in getting requirements that work for everyone. Then, we train our customers on operations of the security cameras so you all understand the law and your equipment.  

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Correctly installing a security camera outside.

Written By:
Monday, December 28th, 2015

Installing a security camera system is an intelligent way for you to protect your home or business. Many people do not understand how valuable a surveillance system is when it comes to security but the fact is that having one of these systems can help to secure the locations that are most important to you. It is pretty common knowledge that these CCTV cameras can provide you with video footage which can help law enforcement investigators catch criminals who may target the protected premises. Not everyone realizes that a security camera system can also act to deter crime in the areas where the cameras are mounted. The general idea here is that when someone who intends to commit a criminal act sees that they are on camera that they will move along. In order to maximize the benefit of a surveillance camera system, it really helps to have the cameras mounted in the most effective positions. The technique of installing security cameras is not difficult but mistakes can be pricey. For this reason, it is a good idea to understand the entire process before beginning your installation.

Pic1

SELECTING THE CORRECT CAMERA

The first thing you will need to do is choose the camera which will best suit your budget and role that you have planned for it. Techpro Security offers several different types of security cameras which offer a wide variety in cost and the way they perform. It is very important to understand these differences before purchasing your equipment. Securitycameraking.com offers a vast amount of information and our sales team specializes in helping you to understand the details of the different pieces of equipment.

You will need to make sure that the camera that you select is meant to be installed outdoors and can handle the elements and the proper temperature ranges. It is not recommended that you use indoor cameras outside, regardless of how well protected the mounting location will be. A security camera will not function well if moisture penetrates into the interior mechanisms of a security camera. This can easily cause the camera to malfunction and stop working. Outdoor cameras may cost a bit more initially but it will be cheaper than having to replace an indoor camera which has died because it was asked to fill a role which it was not intended to fill.

There are several other features that security cameras have which may be helpful for you to know about when making a decision. One of the most important features of an outdoor camera is the ability to produce infrared (IR) illumination. If a camera has this feature it will be able to project infrared light to varying distances and see that far even though this light is not visible to the human eye. This will allow the camera to produce high quality video even though a person will not see any light in the area except a slight red glow coming from the camera. Alternatively, you can either have other artificial lighting fixtures in the area or you can also hang a separate IR illuminator in the area, but you will need to make sure that the camera has IR cut filter in order to see this type of light.

In a perfect world, all security cameras would have consistent lighting conditions throughout the field of view. Unfortunately this is not always possible so it’s a good thing that there are some features to look for in your security cameras when the lighting will present a challenge. For example head light compensation, back light compensation and wide dynamic range will all be features to help you capture high quality video in most lighting conditions.

PLANNING OUT YOUR SYSTEM

Before we get to the actual camera installation, it’s important to realize the camera is only one component that will make up your security camera system. What do you want your camera system to do? Are you trying to make sure that you have video of any criminal activity in the area? Are you keeping an eye on employees? What resolution do you want? These are all question which are vital to planning out your security camera system. Once you have a clear understanding of what you need the system to do then it’s a good idea to talk to our sales team as well as doing any research that you can.

At this point, when you talk to our sales team they will be able to match you with the equipment that will best suit your needs and budget. We can help you get the cameras that will be able to view the required distance or area. We can help you make sure that your cameras will be able to have the illumination required to get you the best video possible. We can even help place your cameras to maximize their effectiveness. Every install is different and we have helped with thousands of them. We make it a priority to make sure that every customer is happy and their surveillance camera system performs the way that the customer wants.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS

Real criminals usually put a considerable amount of planning and thought into their crimes. This means that you will need to pay close attention to the fine details of an install location. We are here to help you but walking the grounds can be invaluable. You will need to make sure that there is a clear field of view between the cameras and their target areas. It’s also a good idea to make sure that it’s not possible to sneak up on a camera without being viewed by another camera.

You should also mount your cameras as high as possible because this will increase their field of view and keep them out of arms reach. This will help prevent anyone from tampering with the camera.

Another consideration is to look out for any sight obstructions in the camera’s view and blind spots that they may create. It is a very good idea for you to do some testing for this and every other aspect of your CCTV system before actually mounting any cameras or pulling the cables through tight space. This will allow you to make adjustments without it adding to the labor involved.

MOUNTING THE SECURITY CAMERAS OUTSIDE

It’s a fairly simple process to actually mount a camera but there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
– If you are going to mount a camera on a particularly hard surface (like brick or concrete), then you will probably want to use a hammer drill.
– It is very important that you protect the camera’s connectors from the elements. Even if the camera is designed for use outdoors, the connectors will always be vulnerable   to moisture. This can be achieved through the use of a junction box or by mounting the camera over the hole that you made in the mounting surface in order to get your   cable to the camera.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 – It is always a good idea to use some type of weather proof sealant around a camera’s mounting plate. This will help to further protect a camera’s connectors.

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Splitting Your HDMI Signal

Written By:
Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

hdmi splitters

 

There are a multitude of reasons one might want to split a video signal from their Digital Video Recorder or Network Video Recorder: from being able to view it in multiple rooms in your house, to showing your camera view above a point of sale to alert customers of surveillance. Regardless of the reason, you may find that you run out of usable video ports on your DVR/NVR so when looking to view these multiple images, what are you real options? With the advances in technology, HDMI has become the premier format, as such it has become the main video output on most of our DVRs and NVRs. So what are your built in options with our products? What are your alternatives? What are the limitations? What can we recommend?

Spot Outs

So first there are a few options to consider. Are you looking to use this monitor for a point of sale or some place at your business where its viewable to the public. If you are making it viewable to the public then you may want to seriously consider a DVR/NVR with a spot out. A spot out is a monitor connection that shows cameras in sequence that differs from the main display in that it does not reveal all the cameras recording on DVR/NVR. This is extremely beneficial when we talk about privacy and security. If you wish to utilize one of these spot outs I recommend our full-size units which provides you with this option in addition a larger amount of inputs and extra SATA slots for potentially longer recording times. But what if you want to show this spot out to multiple points of sale or other locations around your business? This leads us to our alternative solutions.

(below I have linked a few of these models with spot outs for your convenience)

DVRS

http://www.securitycameraking.com/16-channel-hybrid-federal-series-60050-prd1.html

http://www.securitycameraking.com/16-channel-full-size-cvi-60020-prd1.html

http://www.securitycameraking.com/16-channel-tribrid-cvi-ip-60019-prd1.html

http://www.securitycameraking.com/32-channel-compact-series-hd-60059-prd1.html

http://www.securitycameraking.com/32-channel-elite-compact-series-59510-prd1.html

NVRS

http://www.securitycameraking.com/32-channel-elite-series-2u-60155-prd1.html

http://www.securitycameraking.com/NVR-ELE32-4K.html

http://www.securitycameraking.com/64-channel-4k-hot-swap-60136-prd1.html

 

Splitting Your HDMI Signal with HDMI Splitters

So what if you have one of these DVR’s/NVR’s and still need to split the signal to multiple locations? What if you are looking to split the regular video matrix to be viewed by multiple monitors/TVs around your home. What are your options then? Well that’s where HDMI splitters can come in handy.  They allow you the unique ability to split the signal to two different cables or more depending on the splitter. There are two main kinds of splitters, passive and active.  Passive splitters will work fine for a small split like 1 to 2 way splitter but if your runs between different locations are significant distances 25-50 feet or more it is recommended that you go with an active solution as this allows for greater distance between each location. Additionally, you can use active splitters to split your signal to even more than just two locations allowing you greater distances and the option of running an HDMI anywhere in your home or business.

Unfortunately there are some limitations to this and they are worth noting and considering depending on what situation you’re likely to encounter. For example, the viability, performance, and compatibility can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and unfortunately as we do not currently carry any of these units I cannot particularly recommend any specifics but I can show you a video of a passive splitter I tested to provide an example of just how beneficial this technology can be. Moreover, you can see just how simple a passive HDMI splitter is to use. There is however one additional thing you should consider and that is that you cannot split them over and over, that is to say they cannot be daisy chained like other devices often are. Lastly, among the most important limitations is that the aspect ratios and capabilities of the splitter need to match the settings you’ve chose on your DVR/NVR and the television or monitor. The primary concern is the television and monitor, just as the DVR/NVR, is somewhat flexible. For example, if you are looking to use one of our 4k NVRs or DVRs you should also utilize a splitter capable of handling this on a TV or monitor capable of viewing this resolution or it will be somewhat counterproductive.

In closing, I would like to leave you with a few recommendations. First is that a full size unit and a spot out are always preferred when in a sales or business environment. This is to protect assets with the knowledge that information is a key part of security and providing a potential vulnerability to the public is almost never beneficial. Second that you carefully weigh the risk reward of passive and active HDMI splitters before finalizing your decision because it’s frustrating when you find a part doesn’t work the way you want it to. The third and final recommendation is that you make sure to check the capabilities of the device you purchase against your monitors and TVs to make sure they are compatible.

So what can you take away from all this? Well, hopefully that an HDMI splitter is a worthwhile piece of equipment that can be utilized in a variety of situations to help you take full advantage of our surveillance equipment and expand your camera layout to be viewable throughout your home or business, offering you an even more customized security solution. If you have any questions about our DVRs or NVRs and video outputs please give our knowledgeable sales staff a call at 866-573-8878. And if you’ve already purchased and are seeking support for your system remember all our products come with a lifetime supply of tech support and our experienced staff is as always here for you.

 

For your convenience here is the aforementioned video. Please bear in mind this is only one option when utilizing an HDMI splitter and there are a variety of products for various situations. Hopefully I’ve helped you get better insight into the possibilities and capabilities of both HDMI splitters and our systems in general. Please feel free to like and share this video with friends or coworkers.

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Covert Cameras and how they can benefit your Security

Written By:
Sunday, December 20th, 2015

covert-camera

We at Security Camera King are passionate about our jobs, we advocate, educate and design security to the best of our abilities to not only please you our customer but to increase the overall safety of your business and overall public safety. This includes security design and covert cameras.

When considering a system how do you know what to choose? When searching for the perfect system you have a lot of options to consider and you may have a lot of questions on your mind.

What CCTV technology should I use?
Analog? HDCVI? TVI? IP Network? IP Network 4K Security? What type of system technology will benefit you?

What type of facility to you want to secure?
Are you securing a home? A complex? Construction site? A small business? A large business? A cannabis business? A corporation?  A retail store? Or restaurant? Do you want to monitor multiple locations? Or do you need to monitor a single location?

What are your goals?
Sure you want a security system to help monitor or prevent theft and crime but a well-designed security system can do much more than that. Set up security cameras to monitor traffic patterns and monitor inventory placement. Setup motion detecting to catch activity at each entrance or exit? Is your security system design required to be set up to abide by state laws and guidelines? Basically, how does your security system enhance your quality of life and business?

These are all great questions and all are viable when designing a concrete surveillance system. The answers to these questions can determine the amount of cameras you will need and the hard drive space you will need in your recording device or DVR.

Any one of our security experts will be able to create a system designed perfectly to fit your business needs and safety goals, if you need security guidance in creating your system, Security Camera King’s agents are just a phone call away.

But what does a well designed security system have to do with Covert Security Cameras?
Covert Security cameras will not make up for a well-designed security system. What covert cameras can do is provide the added benefit of being a discrete and virtually undetectable recording device that can be used to increase your security, adding to your security system. Covert security cameras essentially can be used as an additional back up security system. A backup covert security system, that can be used to protect you, your family or your business in cases where your traditional system is rendered incapacitated.

Example: Santa Ana Dispensary

In Santa Ana police were caught on covert video footage insulting a disabled staff member and possibly easting a pot edible after conducting a raid on an unpermitted medical marijuana dispensary. See video below.

This cannabis business was prepared. They not only had their required security system set up in place but they also had an additional assortment of covert security cameras installed throughout the facility. In this particular example, covert security camera footage caught Santa Ana cops displaying incriminating behavior during this raid, after police had destroyed their traditional CCTV security system. This footage was posted online after the incident and became viral, to which, prompted an internal affairs investigation of the Santa Ana Police Officers. Read the full story here.

This story is a good example of how covert cameras benefitted this small business, but in a rare case where the activity caught on video was footage of police officers. In a typical investigation you would be turning over the video footage to police so that they were able to help and aid you in the investigation of whatever crime was committed against you.

Covert cameras and covert surveillance systems can aid in security in a number of different situations beyond this example.

In cases of suspicious activity:

Property and inventory are mysteriously disappearing, you suspect someone is making this happen but you do not know who and all you know is that you want to find out without making it obvious that you’re aware of this suspicious activity.  In this case you choose to install the CVICV-TP2-SMOKE, a 2MP high definition covert camera disguised as a smoke detector and the CVICV-TP2-PIR, a 2MP high definition covert motion detector camera.  You place the cameras in the areas where the activity is occurring. These cameras are discrete and unnoticeable as cameras. Once installed, you now have the peace of mind knowing that if anything were to happen or any items were to “disappear” again, you will now have footage and proof of the incident.

Covert cameras are great for business owners who are suspicious of certain employee behavior or for home owners who often have items from their home disappear.

Covert cameras are also commonly used in the following ways.

  • To set up a Nanny or Baby sitter Cameras
  • Catch Theft By friends, roommates or family members
  • View acts or vandalism
  • Catch that critter who destroys your grass
  • Catch Employee Theft and theft in the workplace
  • Find out about Suspected Drug use
  • Catch Theft By Contractors

Covert camera selections: At Security Camera King you are not limited. We have a variety of covert options, some cameras are wearable, some cameras are wireless, some are all in one systems and some cameras can be added to your current system. If you need more information on our hidden camera selection see the categories below.

Weather your traditional system has been vandalized or you’re in need to observe some suspicious behavior, a covert camera system has multiple advantages. Use covert cameras as a back up in cases where your system is vandalized or add covert cameras to your system to monitor areas of high risk.

Don’t be caught off guard, your security is our business. A good security system design is best practice for your surveillance needs but adding a covert security camera system for back up adds additional security for your security system.

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Placing Elite IP Cameras on the channel you want with an Elite system that has a built in POE switch

Written By:
Friday, December 18th, 2015

placing elite IP cameras

One of the big problems that people call in about is that they have trouble placing elite IP cameras to the desired channel. People are expressing interest in seeing the cameras in a specific order for various reasons. Perhaps you want your indoor cameras as the first block, and then your outdoor cameras. Perhaps you want your front door and counter in a business to be set to channel 1 and channel 2. Or perhaps you just want to order your cameras by importance to you. No need to worry, this article will cover how to get this done.

The reason this is difficult is that analog systems have been plug and play for years and networking IP cameras is all about the numbers. This Elite system with a built in POE switch was designed to be a plug and play option for people that do not want to put any thought into it. When you plug in an Elite camera into the POE switch, it automatically takes an IP address that is given by the switch. The built int POE switch acts as a DHCP server, so any cameras set to DHCP will receive an IP address. The default gateway address for Elite series Network Video Recorders’ Switch is 10.1.1.1. If you would like to change this network range, look for a section labeled Switch in the Networking area of the menu. This DHCP option is problematic at times because of a memory effect that has been created from the first time you plug in a camera. Since you are supposed to plug in cameras one by one, they will appear on the channel in the order that you connect them. The port number on the back of the NVR means nothing. It does not represent where you will see the camera on your TV or monitor. With IP based systems, it is all about the numbers.

Static IP addresses for cameras is always the best option

If you want your cameras to go exactly where you want, you need to set all cameras to static IP addresses. This will allow you to add them in the exact order you like. The first thing you need to do is find the cameras. The EL cameras require the EL camera finder utility, also known as the Config Tool. The Config Tool will allow you to change the IP address and network information in the camera. The problem is that the camera needs power on the same network that your computer with the config tool is connected to.

placing elite IP cameras 1

If you plan to use a 12V power supply to set up the camera, that is the best option. You can put the camera on your main network TEMPORARILY while you log into the web service of the camera and change any settings that you want. Since IP camera settings are done at the camera level, this may be a good choice. With Elite cameras and Elite NVRs, majority of the settings should synchronize and be accessible at the NVR. This is not true with ONVIF cameras. Your second option for putting your computer on the same network as the camera is to plug the camera and computer into the POE switch. Your computer and camera will get a 10.1.1.x IP address, so you will be able to access the camera through the config tool and change it to a static number of your choosing. This does work, but I always worry about the camera getting that first dynamic address the second you plug it in. Most of the problems occur when people plug in all their cameras at once and they all get Dynamic IP assignments. I have found that even though it gets a dynamic IP address and a Channel 1 assignment, it is replaced by your static IP address when you remove all cameras that are automatically added and add your camera manually.

Adding Cameras Manually

The final step in adding your camera to the POE switch by using a manually add button. Lets say you decided to start at 10.1.1.10 in your numbering convention. This is where you will push the Manually Add button at the bottom of the remote devices or add a camera section. Do not push the Refresh button or Device Search button. The names of the section can depend on the Web Service version, model number, or interface directly at the NVR. When you set up your camera in the manually add screen, you can choose the exact channel where you want to put it. This is the only way you get to choose the channel. Otherwise, you can add cameras in the order that you choose by using the device search button, selecting the camera, and clicking the add button. This method will place all cameras in the first available channel. So if you are numbering your cameras 10.1.1.10, 10.1.1.11, 10.1.1.12, and so on, you can select one and add one at a time only, and it will get the first available channel. In this case, 10.1.1.10 will get channel 1 since this is our first camera.  Then when you set up your second camera at 10.1.1.11 and hit the device search button, you will be able to automatically add it to channel 2.

placing elite IP cameras 2

In Summary

If you are starting from scratch, this article will help you get to where you need to be.  If you are trying to fix a current NVR, you need to unplug all cameras, default the camera section, then reboot.  Then you will be able to start over.  IP cameras are all about the numbers, so taking control of the numbers will be your best option. If you want a plug and play option with the built in POE switch, then it will work that way by assigning IP addresses. However, the order will be random if they are all connected at the same time, or based on the order that they are plugged in with a non-sequential number scheme. While most people do not care about the numbers that the cameras have, I have found that the static option works the best and that people with problems usually have them set up dynamically. Take control of your cameras and set them up so those numbers do not change. The extra work is a one shot deal and will save you future aggravation.

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