Archive for the ‘ HowTo Articles’ Category



How to Configure the AIR ROUTER HP

Written By:
Monday, August 4th, 2014

Air-Router-HP-Wirelsss-Router

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 SecurityCameraKing.com

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 192.168.1.20. 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 192.168.1.1-.254 with a default gateway of 192.168.1.1. 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 192.168.1.20 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 192.168.2.1. 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 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.254. 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 192.168.2.2 to 192.168.2.7. 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.

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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 192.168.1.2 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.

IPSettings

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 192.168.1.2, 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 www.securitycameraking.com

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How to integrate an IP camera with a NAS (Network Attached Storage) Device

Written By:
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Many customers have tried to figure out ways to integrate an IP camera with something different than an NVR. Sometimes they use a computer with enough storage to record footage from a camera, but is there another way to do it without the hassle of logging in to the camera interface and pressing the record button?

The answer is YES! Technology nowadays offers many software interface solutions with the ability to stream video from an IP camera and allow it to be recorded to an internal Hard Drive, but is there a cheaper solution utilizing a 3rd Part Device to record footage? Again, the answer is YES!

This device is called a NAS (Network Attached Storage). There are so many of them in the market offering the ability to connect to cameras and utilize downloadable software from their market place. In this article I will be using one of my favorite NAS devices (Sinology).

This little box offers a lot of features beside the ability to use it as an NVR. It also can be used to host other services. Surveillance Station is a software that can be downloaded to most Sinology NAS devices and interconnects your IP cameras to it.

It also allows you to Monitor real time video of all your IP cameras. It is accessible from almost any computer, including Mac and PC. This great device also offers a free app to watch your cameras.

This software supports our EL Series IP cameras and the setup is very simple. You could also use any ONVIF camera but it will be very limited in features.

How to get the software and how to install it?

To get the software simply login to your Sinology NAS and download Surveillance Station from the Package Center. Make sure your NAS have the latest and greatest Software Updates.

After the installation, proceed to open up the software by going to the Main Menu icon and look for click on Surveillance Station

Synology 1

After you fire up the software, it will be necessary to install a plugin in your PC in order to get the interface of the software. Click on the download link and follow the steps to download the file. The interface will look like this:

Synology 3 pluging

The Next step will be adding your IP cameras. In this demonstration I will be using our IPOB-EL1MPIR50 and our IPOB-TP2MPIR50 (Onvif Camera). Notice that our camera will not displayed as a camera option under camera brand. Make sure for our EL Series you use “Dahua” as the manufacturer. After you type the IP address of the camera, the Model should Auto populate in the field.

Synology 5 Adding Cameras

A welcome screen will appear after clicking Add. Choose any mode you will like to proceed and add the cameras. Click Next to Add the camera information.

Welcome Screen

You can see here that the camera has been added successfully after typing the IP address and Brand. Also you should assign an intuitive name so is easy to search for footage later on.

Camera add

The next option will be configuring your video settings and recording schedule. I will recommend to set the format of the cameras as H.264; this is better for streaming and compression of the file. Adjust the resolution, bitrate control and kbps on the camera accordingly.

Synology 6 Recording

Adjust how often your NAS will save Video. Also adjust how many seconds the unit will pre-record and post-record. Lastly setup how the files will be handle when the archive threshold is reached.

Synology 7 Detection recording

Surveillance Station can record based on a continuous manner, Motion and alarm or when motion is activated.

Synology 8 Schedule

You can also utilize any other camera brand including ONVIF. Here is a link https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/camera#camera that will show you all of the compatible cameras that work with this unit.

If you want to use ONVIF cameras it is absolutely the same steps but the Onvif Port differs from a standard camera. For this example I used an IPOB-TP2MPIR50 which is purely Onvif protocol.

Camera add ONVIF

You will noticed that the port is 8080 instead. The last thing after adding the cameras is setting up your camera layout. Surveillance Station offers a variety of layouts up to 64-channel view. Also you can configure camera grouping and camera sequence. For more info you can visit this link https://www.synology.com/en-us/surveillance/index to learn more.

Live View Layouts

After setting up your layout of your cameras you can go to live view to view your newly added cameras.

Life View

There are many options you can play with while viewing the cameras live. If you go to the left bottom corner you can click the gear icon to see more options. You can click on the + to zoom in at close and utilize the scroll in your mouse to zoom in and out.

Lastly, access your recording at any time by going to the Management Tab and all your recording will show up in the list. Pick the camera you want to review footage and a window will open with a time line.

Recording Access

Although this is a great device to be use as a Storage Device for your IP cameras it can be very expensive when it comes to adding more cameras. Each camera requires a license that is not free. Your unit (depending of the model) will come with a license preloaded in the system. If you need to add more cameras then you will need more licenses per cameras. We recommend to use a stand-alone NVR such as our ELT series NVR. They are excellent for a simple installation, supporting up to 1080p resolution for recording and no licenses are required.

NOTE: Sinology is not a Techpro Security product equipment. If you need any support or help configuring the software after the cameras are added, you will need to go to https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/knowledge_base for more information.

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CCTV Installation and Wiring Options

Written By:
Thursday, July 24th, 2014

CCTV Installation and Wiring Options

Today there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a quality CCTV security system. You may decide to go with a traditional analog system, HD-SDI, HD-CVI or even an IP network based security products.

One thing all of these options have in common is you will probably have to run some sort wire to the cameras. Yes, there are some “Wireless Security Camera” solutions available on the market today, but if you do some research you will find that there are a lot of limitations to wireless security cameras. Most CCTV professionals would probably not recommend a wireless system in an environment where up-time and security are critical.

install

I do want to mention that it is possible to reliably transmit video wirelessly using a device such as the TP-LocoM5 – Wireless Access Point/Bridge as seen here at www.securitycameraking.com.

But even then you would still need to have a power wire run to the camera or a local power source near the camera and it only works with IP Cameras.

That being said, we will be talking about a fully-wired system in conjunction with a storage device such as a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) or NVR (Network Video Recorder).

NEW INSTALLATION
When installing a completely new security system you may want to have the video and power wires come from a single location located near the storage device (DVR or NVR) as shown below.

ANALOG SYSTEMS
Analog, HD-SDI and HD-CVI cameras will need two wires run to them. One for video transmission and a set of power wires in order to power the camera. You could run a coax wire and separate power wires but most CCTV professionals choose to use “Siamese Cable”. Siamese Cable is a manufactured coax cable with a set of power wires attached to it. The power wires can be split off from the coax in cases where your power source may not be in a close proximity to your recording device.

Siamese-Cable

NETWORK IP SYSTEMS
IP cameras use digital video transmission over CAT5 or CAT6 cable. In most cases you run your video and power to and from the camera on the same CAT5 or CAT6 wire, assuming you are using a POE (Power Over Ethernet) power source such as a POE injector or POE Switch.

Some NVRs come with built in POE,  but in most cases it is recommended to use an external POE switch like the POE-8MB1G from SecurityCameraKing.com. When using an external POE switch all of your CAT5 or CAT6 will run directly from each camera to a POE switch that is connected to your local network. Then you simply connect your NVR to the network and you are all set.

POE-Setup

Most IP cameras also come with an additional power wire if you choose not to use POE and power them with 12v or 24v power as shown below.

IP-Cable

If you are going to power your IP camera with 12v /24v power  you will still run all of your CAT5 or CAT6 from the camera to a Non-POE switch (usually significantly less expensive than a POE switch) but you will run an extra set of power wires from a power source to each camera.

NO-POE-Setup

RUNNING YOUR CABLES

Now it’s time to run your cable. The following will cover 2 popular scenarios.

Scenario 1: Running your cable through your attic and mounting your cameras to the soffit. This is a common installation option, provided you have access to your attic and your soffits are also accessible.

First you have to choose the placement of you recorder and power supply. Some people simply have them located in an office or a room within their home.  Others prefer having them in a more secure location such as in a lockbox, hidden in a closet, or even in the attic itself.

The image below shows the recorder and power supply inside a room of the home. Power and video wires run up the wall into the attic to the location where the camera will be located and out a small hole in the soffit were the camera will be mounted.

sOFFIT

Scenario 2: Another option is to run your cable through an exterior wall and then use conduit on the exterior of your structure to run your cables from one camera to another. This is a great option for those who do not have an attic or limited access to one.

Junction

Mounting Your Cameras

Once you have run your wires to the desired location you can connect your camera. In some cases where the cables are coming out of the soffit it is possible to connect your wires together and tuck the connections up into the hollow area of the soffit, then mount the camera directly to the soffit.

Direct-soffit-mount

In situations where you’re running your wires through a solid concrete or brick wall that the connections cannot be tucked into, it is common to mount a junction box.

Junction

Junction Boxes and Conduit
Junction boxes are particularly useful when running your cable through conduit on the exterior of your structure as they serve as a weather proof container protect your power and video connections from the elements and also provide you with a flat surface to mount your cameras to.

Box1

First you will pull your wires through the access hole on the back of the junction box. Then mount the junction box to the wall. You may have to drill a hole in the junction box cover big enough to feed your camera connections through. Next, connect the camera to the power and video connection(s). Then screw the cover on to the junction box. Now you can mount you camera to the junction box. See the diagram below.

JB

When used on a soffit, a junction box will sometimes be helpful in order to lower and drop your cameras below obstructions such as deep fascia boards as shown below.

obstruction

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How to Setup a License Plate Capture Camera

Written By:
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
TP-LP700 License Plate Capture Camera

I often get asked how to best capture a license plate from a vehicle with a camera system. I generally tell the customer that it is done with magical leprechauns, the tooth fairy, and a dash of pixie dust! Then when I get serious I will go into the long explanation of the proper setup to capture the image. With license plate capture there are several things that need to be considered and in place to be able to capture a license plate on a vehicle. You need to be between a certain height and angle, need to be focused on a concentrated area, need speed control of the vehicles, and need the proper camera.

The Right Height and Angle

With any camera, the right angle and height are very important when trying to achieve specific shots. A license plate capture camera is no different, and actually it is more important than most. There are several schools of thought as to what is the idea height and angles for this application. The one that I have found works the best, is to ensure the camera is between thirty six inches from the driveway up to ten feet. The height of the camera plays a big role in how clear the image will be, if the camera is too high and the vehicle has some sort of plate cover on it, you can get an image that is too distorted to make out.

If you think about it, most vehicle license plates are between twenty inches and forty eight inches from the driveway surface, so you don’t want to create a crazy angle to try and capture a license plate from. Another important thing to remember is how far off the lane of travel the camera is situated, this plays into the angle created on the capturing of the image. Typical rule of thumb is to have the camera as close to the lane of travel as possible. So the closer to the curb the better!  Now, I know you are asking yourself, “what if someone comes up and vandalizes the camera?” Well, the way to help protect this is by having a camera that watches over the location of the license plate capture camera.

Focused Area of View

Another big factor in license plate capture, is not trying to do everything with one camera. In order to properly capture a license plate, the camera needs to be focused on one lane of travel. So, if you are trying to capture multiple lanes of travel you will need as many cameras as lanes you are trying to capture. A good rule of thumb is to have a camera per lane and a camera that gives overviews of the area. The overview camera will give you the description of the vehicle, while the license plate capture camera will get the license plates. If you try to do too much with one camera you will fail at doing anything useful except get a description of the vehicle. It may cost you a little more upon initial setup for the extra camera, but what you will gain with useful information is priceless!

Speed Control

A very important factor to be considered is the speed the vehicle will be going. If you have a vehicle that is traveling at a high rate of speed and you expect to capture it’s license plate you better plan to spend some very very big dollars on a camera. Now if you are realistic and have an area where a vehicle has to slow down or even better stop, you will be in tall cotton. The most ideal way to capture a license plate from a vehicle is to have an area where the vehicle will have to come to a complete stop. Whether that is at a stop sign, a severe speed bump, or a gate that has to open does not matter, as long as you can get a vehicle to stop. The next best solution is where a vehicle has to slow down extremely, ideally under ten mile per hour or so. Now if you do not have the ability to slow the vehicles down, you are going to have to look into the cameras that most interstate systems use which generally cost in the thousands of dollars per camera.

Proper Camera

Barring needing a specialty high speed camera that interstate systems use, you can generally find a good camera with a reputable company. The right camera will depend on several things. The first and foremost is the distance from camera to target. Why this is so important is because you need the right lens to narrow down on your target. If you are at thirty feet and trying to use a 2.8mm – 12mm varifocal camera and narrow the shot down to a eight foot by eight foot area, you will fail. This is because at a thirty foot distance to target and the camera zoomed all the way to it’s 12mm setting, your area of view is going to be over ten foot by eight foot. This generally will be too wide of a shot to capture a clean enough image. I personally would suggest going with a 9mm – 22mm lens for anything over twenty feet to about forty five feet. For any shot that is from about fifteen feet to about one hundred and twenty five feet you should use a camera with a 6mm – 60mm lens. If you are unsure of the millimeter lens that you will need, you can always use the lens calculator on Security Camera King’s website.

If your project meets all of these requirements, your license plate capture should occur with minimal issues. With every job and every location there are different obstacles that will be needed to be overcome, no two jobs will ever be identical especially when it comes to license plate capture. The best thing you can do for yourself is to survey the area, taking lots of pictures and measurements. Find any possible available power source and possible areas to burry conduit to get to the camera location. Keep in mind to always obey local codes and pull the necessary permits. The last thing you want to have happen is an inspector/ code enforcement officer to flag the site and cost you time and money.

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