Archive for the ‘ HowTo Articles ’ Category



What is a DDNS and how to setup a free TechPro DDNS account?

Written By:
Sunday, April 19th, 2015

When we sign up for an internet service, our internet provider assigns us with a unique numerical label which is called an IP address. This IP address is a must have if you want your devices to communicate with the computer network. The IP address serves two functions, network interface identification, and location addressing. Every time we are connecting to the internet using a modem, we are assigned an IP address that is available and not taken by other users. Although you may get the same IP address as a previous connection, often you’ll be assigned a different IP address each time you connect. When internet providers were “born”, everyone connected to the Internet over a modem and most people used the Internet for a few minutes to a few hours per week. Assigning a static IP address to every consumer would have been very pricey for something that most of us used just a few minutes a week, so the providers started assigning the customers with dynamic IP addresses. When modern providers enforce dynamic IPs these days, it may be in part to differentiate between “consumer” and “professional” services, reserving static IPs for customers who spend more for their services.

So what happens if the customers purchased and installed a CCTV system at his residence or his business and wants the option of remotely accessing the system to view his cameras? One option is to contact his Internet Service provider and purchase a static IP address that will be assigned only to him. The second option is to sign up with a DNS. What is a DNS (Domain Name System)? In simple words, it is a naming system for computers. It translates domain names, which can be easily memorized by humans, to the numerical IP addresses. Based on the same idea they came up with DDNS (Dynamic Domain Name System) service. DDNS updates a DNS server with new or changed records for IP addresses without the need for human intervention. This allows a fully qualified domain name that never changes to be associated with a dynamically assigned IP address that can change quite often. Let’s take an example . . . when you sign up with DDNS service, they ask you to come up with a domain name, let’s say that your new name is: ‘john.dyndns.com’. This domain will be tied to your dynamic IP address that your internet provider assigned to you. The next time your IP address changes for any reason, the domain name will update itself automatically. The DDNS service solution has two main advantages: You don’t have to remember numbers, only your domain name and you don’t have to be concerned when your ISP changes your dynamic IP address.

There are many good DDNS services like Dyn DDNS, Private DDNS, No-IP DDNS, Quick DDNS and CN99 DDNS. They are all supported by our equipment and a choice to choose is yours only. But you will probably say: “Wait, won’t the service cost me money?” Well……No! The customers of “Security Camera King” will get that service from us for free. Each customer that will purchase a DVR or NVR from us will get the DDNS service free of charge. In the next paragraph, I will explain how to set up a free DDNS service with us and utilize it for your system.

The first thing a customer should do is to go to techproddns.com and fill our simple form. Shortly after, our support department will set you up with an account and you will receive an email that will notify you that the account was created.

Capture211

 

After the account is created, go again to the same page: techproddns.com and on the bottom of the page click to login into the account. The account will ask you to create a new domain name and a password for the domain account. Try not to confuse the DDNS account password with the domain password. The domain password is the actual password that you will need to set up on your DVR.

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The domain setup will give you a confirmation “Your domain was successfully created” and the page will show all the information about your domain including your IP address that is assigned to you right now by your ISP. Be advised that “Security Camera King” gives you one free domain per one DVR or NVR unit that you buy. But if you purchased more than one unit, there is an option on the same page to create additional domain names. You can also get into the domain menu by clicking the domain name and on that page you can edit your domain names, delete and recreate domain names if you forgot your passwords.

Capture234

 

It’s time now to go to your DVR or NVR and login into the ‘Main Menu’. Under the ‘Setting’ tab you will select ‘Network’ and click ‘DDNS’ on the right side of the menu. Follow the next screen shot to setup the DDNS menu and remember to enable only the DDNS that you are setting up.

2015-02-16 12.24.11

 

You are all done and ready to use your domain name. Remember that you are using a domain that replaces your external IP address and you still have to use it as you are using an IP address, which means that you have to use it only when you are trying to access your CCTV system from outside the network. Also, remember to use the HTTP port when using an Internet Explorer web-interface on your desktop or laptop computer to access your system. It should look something like this: http://test-ddns.techproddns.com:88/ (if your HTTP port is 80, you do not have to enter it after the colon).

If you still have problems with setting up your DDNS service, you can always call us at 866-573-8878 to help you out.

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How to turn on and off an IP camera using Smart Devices | Getting more of your Smart Devices

Written By:
Monday, January 19th, 2015

smart bedroom

 

Many of you are installing cameras inside and outside of your homes and there are many times where you wish you could turn off your camera (at least the one in your bedroom) with the push of a button. Maybe by just giving a verbal command or simply pulling out your smart phone and using that to turn the camera. With “Smart”  items coming out for your home that are basically interconnected with your network, this is possible. I recently got a customer asking why there were no solutions to do this with his security system and after a brief pause I got a Eureka! moment. I figured that I already have some of these items and I can add them to my system. There are some items that you will need to accomplish this task. We are going to showcase some items that you will need and optional ones that will help you make your Home a Smart Home. Just follow this easy document on “How to turn on and off an IP camera using smart devices”

Items that you will need:

Single port Power Over Ethernet Switch POE-1G

POE1g

 

Belkin WeMo Insight Switch

372

ivee – Sleek Voice-Activated Smart Clock [Optional for voice Command]

ivee_sleek_lifestyle

 

The main items would be a Single port PoE Switch POE-1G which will power the camera via an Ethernet cable and that would get connected to a Wemo Insight Switch.

The Belkin WeMo Smart Switch communicates with your  IOS or Android Device to turn the power on any 15 amp 120V AC device on or off. This can be used to to control lamps, Christmas lights or anything that will use a 120VAC power source. We will be connecting the PoE single port switch to this device allowing us to power the device or turn it off, but I always like to push things even further. Why not add a Siri like device to operate not just this but any other Belkin WeMo Switch or Nest Thermostat devices? Well for this we need a device called ivee which doubles as a Smart Clock that connects to any smart device. I found myself needing to change my alarm from time to time and found this smart clock that also allowed me to turn up or down my temperature using my Nest Thermostat as well as turn on of off the lamps or even open or close my front door making my life a little bit easier since in times I forgot if I set my alarm correctly and also if my front door dead bolt was in the locked position, a simple command to the ivee from the comfort of my bed allows me to do this as well as allow me to turn off the camera in my bedroom when I decide I need some privacy.

There are so many things that can be done with this type of device that people do not realize it. For example you can add a command to enable one of these Smart Switches and on this smart switch you can have a relay that will accept any high or low voltage device, lets say you want to turn off a non smart device such as a fan. If you are a techie you can have this device restart a router or any network device that does not have the ability to be accessed or the manufacturer failed to add a shutdown feature to it.

 

One big project that I will be integrating this would be to add this as Do it Yourself Pet Feeder where I will be ordering one of these and dismantle it and use it to operate a stepper motor that will have an auger drill with a hopper that will have a “V” shape. This will enable me to command Ivee to feed my cats in the morning while I get ready to go to work relieving from doing so as well as giving me the ability to feed them once I get home.

 

This gentleman here has a Feeder for his fishes, You can see how it works. You have a drill that will be used as an auger and a hopper that will have the feed. You can time the feed for my cats I would say 3 minutes or so for each cat once it has does its thing it should turn off , a simple time that resets itself should do the trick for this now keep in mind that for indoors you need to enclose this device so that any children or pets do not mess with the device since it does power using alternate current. As well as adding fuses to protect the circuit.

 

Irwin-49924

 

Smart Home Devices should not only allow you to enjoy Media but assist you with the smaller tasks that take so much of your time. Having these devices will enable you to view you home from anywhere in the world, open or close your front door when ever you wish to do so, like when you are at work and all of a sudden something breaks in your home there is no longer a need to call in off because you need your washing machine fixed , you can simply have the Handy Man work on the washing machine while you view him or her on your Surveillance system and allow him entry using your Smart Lock. Since I have cameras all over my interior and exterior I can monitor anything that happens in my home as well as allow anyone entry. Another example is if you are renting your Home or Apartment,there are times where landlords do not know they are not allowed into your apartment or home, knowing if your landlord is coming and going at times they are not allowed will help you in a situation where the landlord or any individual has entered without your consent.

So next time you are buying or have an item laying around look at what else you can do not just what the manufacturer designed it for, Keep in mind that these and any hack can lead to voiding your warranty but if you are aware of this and the item is already out of warranty go ahead and learn , Trust me you will enjoy it. One big example is when I helped a Customer use an Auto tracking IP camera to track deer and other wild animals in here property and have the video footage go to her webpage as well as her Youtube account. She was happy with her setup as well as I was happy after I had completed this task. 😉

 

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How To Wire an Access Control Board (DX Series) – PART 1

Written By:
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Many customers have contacted us to help them with their access control needs and sometimes it can be cumbersome to explain. In this article I will show you How To Wire an Access Control Board. I will use our DX Series 2 Door Access control Board (ACP-DXEL2), a Proximity Card Reader (ACR-DXRF01), an electronic door strike (ACDS-DX1500SE), 22-8 wire and a power supply with at least 3 or 5 amps.

In this article I will cover the steps to wire the electronic door strike and access control reader to the board and test the system.

Note: In order to make the system work, our Free Access Control Software needs to be installed in your PC. You will need to program the Access Control Board in the software, create a user, and assign at least one card to that user. Also, it is necessary to create at least one zone in the software to properly identify in the logs which door has been triggered.

Lets look at the components we will be using:

2 Door Access Control Board – DX Series

2 Door Access Control Board - DX Series

Weather Resistant Access Control Reader – DX Series

Access Control Reader - RF01

Fail-Secure Electronic Door Strike – DX Series

Electronic Door Strike - Lock fail secure

If we take a closer look at the access control board you will noticed certain labels on each of these terminals. On some access control boards you will have two reader inputs per door terminal and a push to exit input as well. These two reader inputs are there if you want to use a reader to exit the secure site of the room without using a push to exit button.

The first setup I will do is the wiring of the power supply I will be using. I’m using a 12V 5amp power supply and from there I will be using a distribution block to run my power to some of the components. It also keeps it clean when explaining the wiring.

This is another diagram that shows where each device goes where:

ACPNew-

Looking at the diagram we can see that there are two reader ports in this board per door. You can also see the outputs (Door Strikes, Mag-locks) and other ports such as Ethernet and the fire controller port.

I will explain the wires on this RFID reader. These readers have 7 wires. Each wire is colored and is important to know where each of these wires go where.

FullSizeRender

These are the wires that we will need to connect to the access control board. The last two cables can be connected together and connect to the LED port of the Board. Having these two cables together will basically make the “beep” and the light work the same as the sound. In other words if the sound is 2 beeps then the light will blink 2 times along with the audio.

The red and black cable are very important to be connected correctly and not crossed, otherwise it will damage the equipment and the access control board. The green and white are the data cables (Wiegand). These should be connected correctly so when cards are scanned through the readers it sends the data to board and therefore access is granted or denied.

Power connections to the board and outputs are easy. Lets take a look at the power terminals and relay terminals from the access control board. Depending on the output you use, the connections to the relay terminals could be different.

Power-Outputs wiring

If you noticed from top to bottom, the board has different inputs. The top port will be the power input for the board itself.  You will need to run a jumper cable from the 12V (positive) port to the COM port; this will allow the relays on the board to operate.

Also if you pay close attention to the power supply, you could also run the 12V (positive) cable to the COM port directly.

Let’s take a look at the connections of the electronic door strike. Usually strikes are Normally Open (NO) devices. Normally Open devices (NO) require power to change its state. These devices sometimes are referred to as Fail Secure, as they require electricity to unlock.  For this demonstration I am working with a Fail Secure Strike, which means that if the power fails, the strike will stay locked.

Lock fail secure

This particular strike comes with 2 cables which have no order in how they are connected to the board and power supply. To connect the electric strike to the board, simply run one of the wires to the (NO) port of the Access Control Board, and the other one to the negative port of the power supply. That’s all there is to it.

You could test the connections manually if you login to the board through the web service. You can download this Web Configuration Tool to find the board in the network and enable the web service of the access control board.

After you have set that up, then you can access the access control board by its IP address. The default username and password is abc for username and 123 for password.

Once you have access to the board you can click on “Open Door” to activate the strike and test your connections. You could also configure certain things like door delay, add cards, change the board’s time, etc.

NOTE: The connections in the board are labeled properly. Reader ports will have RD1 or RD2 depending of how many doors the board supports. Also The board outputs will be labeled as well. These can be labeled as DR1, DR2 etc. There are also other ports and these can be for push to exit buttons and door contacts.

If you would like to have access to the board remotely, the only possible way will be accessing a computer on the network where the board is connected.

At this point if you have followed everything in here you should be confident that the system will work after you configure the software. I will be making a Part 2 of this article that will explain how to configure the software, add departments, personnel and upload those settings to the board.

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How to extract recorded video footage from a DVR over the Internet

Written By:
Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Techpro Security Products brand DVRs have a long list of pragmatic features and none of them are more useful than the ability to view your security camera footage from anywhere in the world. This is accomplished when the DVR and the network where it has been installed have been set up to correctly work together. This feature gives you the capacity to view both live and recorded video from a computer. There are a few different ways that you can do this. In this article we are going to examine performing this function through the Web Service, which uses Internet Explorer. This is probably the easiest method to set up and does not require you to install software. This is a great way to extract recorded video footage from a DVR over the Internet.

This feature gives you access to almost all of the settings that you would be able to adjust from the DVR directly, as if you were interacting with it through a monitor and mouse connected to it. You will also be able to see the live views from any of your cameras that you wish to monitor. In addition to having all the functionality of interacting with the DVR directly, connecting to the DVR through the Web Service allows you to download recorded video footage from your DVR directly to your computer.

Now we’re going to take a look at the process of getting this recorded footage from your DVR to your computer, which is fairly straight forward. Once you are logged into your DVR through the Web Service you will see a series of buttons along the top of the screen that includes the button that is marked as “search” (as shown in Image 1). Clicking on this button is the first step in being able to view your recorded footage.

Image 1

1

Once you have the “search” page pulled up you will first need to pay attention to the top center portion of the page. This section is labeled as “parameter”. You will need to select the date and time for the “begin time” and “end time” that will encompass the time frame of the recorded video that you are interested in reviewing. Next, you should select the camera that you want to view from the drop down menu next to where it says “channel”. This is located directly below where you entered the times and dates. You should also make sure that you have a check mark next to where it says “main stream” in order to get the highest quality of playback possible. Image 2 shows a general example of how this section should be set up.

Image 2

2

Once the “parameter” section has been set up correctly, the next step is to click on the “search” button in the upper right corner of this page (as shown in Image 3). Once you do, there will be a list of video events that will show up in the bottom portion of this page (as shown in Image 4). In order to view the video of any these events, you simply need to double click on them. This list can only hold a maximum of a hundred events. If you exhaust this list and haven’t found what you are looking for then you will need to adjust the search parameters on the top of this page to begin searching the next block of time.

Image 3

6

Image 4

4

While you are watching one of the recorded video files you will notice that there are some controls, located along the bottom of the interface, which will allow you to view the footage in the manner that you’d like to see it (as shown in Image 5). From the left, you’ll notice there is a slider bar along the bottom that will allow you to jump to different portions of the video file. As you continue this process from left to right on this bar you’ll next see the play, pause and stop buttons – the functions for these buttons are pretty straight forward. The last two buttons as you arrive at the right side of this page are the slow and fast forward buttons. Both of these buttons have multiple levels – the slow button allows for a maximum of 1/8th normal speed and the fast forward allows for a maximum of eight times the normal forward speed.

Image 5

5

If you ever have the need or desire to extract recorded footage from the DVR, you’ll see that this interface also offers a simple way to accomplish this process. Once you have viewed a particular video file or group of them, you will need to go back to the playback screen by clicking on the “search” button along the top of the initial Web Service screen again. Once you’re back on the playback screen, you’ll need to locate the file again and click on it, so that it has a blue bar. Then you’ll need to click on the download button in the upper right portion of this page (as shown in Image 6). When you do this it will open a browsing window, in order for you download the recorded video file to the location that you desire.

Image 6

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Before you actually download the video file there is one setting that you should make sure is set the way you want. This setting is in the download window and it’s marked as the “save as type” (as shown in Image 7) and it affects the type of format of the video that will be downloaded. The DAV format is the better option to select for this but it has a draw back. The good thing about the DAV file type is that it is very difficult to modify or falsify any portion of these files. The downside of video files that are formatted this way is that they will not play on most of the standard media players on a computer.

Image 7

7

There is an easy way around this issue. You will simply need to use the player/converter that comes on the disk which is included with your DVR and it can also be downloaded though our website. This program will allow you to play the DAV file in its original format and/or convert it to an AVI format. The AVI format is a format that will play on almost all standard video players that are available on a computer. If you should ever need to get footage to the police or an insurance company, then it is a good idea to get them a disk that has the original files in a DAV format and include the player/convertor program so that they can choose how they view it.

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Using an IP PTZ with Youtube Live Streaming

Written By:
Friday, September 19th, 2014

IPPTZyoutube

I just had a customer call in and give me a challenge to see if our IP cameras would allow her to push the video feed to a YouTube Live Streaming service.  The customer wanted to use an IP Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Camera feed to display the video in place of her Webcam. She wanted to take advantage of the fact that in her back yard she sees wild animals which can be displayed on YouTube Live and can be used to gain Subscribers and obtain Ad Revenue.

Lets start with the items that we will need:

Hardware:

An IP Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Camera

Router

Computer

Software:

Wirecast

ONVIF Manager

I have chosen this IPPTZ (IPPTZ-EL2MPIR250L30X-AT) for this demonstration because this camera will track movement and provide the footage that my customer is looking for. This IP PTZ is a high definition 2MP camera which will deliver 1080P resolution as well as a long range of “zoom Ability” with its 30X Optical Lens. The Camera’s Algorithm works as follows. If the camera sees a change in pixels it sees this as an object moving, so it follows the object. You can also set a Virtual Trip line and other ways to activate the motion features of this camera. Once we have installed the camera into the desired area to get the best angle possible we will need to get the RTSP string from the camera. For this you can use an application called Onvif Device Manager.

Onvif Manager 1

You may notice on the image you can see that our camera is on IP Address 192.168.1.108. I have changed this to 192.168.1.160 since I have another device on the network with this IP address and was giving me a conflicting IP error.

Onvif Manager 2

Once you have clicked on the correct camera you can navigate to “Imaging settings” when you see the video feed right below the video feed. I copied to my clip board the string “rtsp://192.168.1.160:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&unicast=true&proto=Onvif”  

This is the string that you need to define on the Wirecast Software.

Some Pro Tips to learn what you can do with this string is the following:

channel: Channel, 1-8; subtype: Code-Stream Type, Main Stream 0, Sub Stream 1.

Once you have obtained this we will be focusing on the software that will enable us to utilize the RTSP feeds and output it to Youtube.

Wirecast from Telestream is a live video streaming production tool that allows Mac and Windows users to create live or on-demand broadcasts for the web. This software is widely known with Youtube users which at one point where looking for software that allowed them to cue up videos from cameras. Since recently they have added the ability to utilize RTSP, RTMP and other feeds to them we can use this software. The software has a trial period that you can utilize but the downside of the software is the fact that you cannot test the RTSP feed unless you have the Pro Version of this.

Once you have installed the software we can jump into setting up Wirecast to receive the feed.

Wirecast 1

Navigate to Sources tab, on the drop down you will see “Show Sources Setting” and a pop up window will appear.

Wirecast 2

In this window you can select the video sources. In our case we will go ahead and create one by navigating to the “+” to add our cameras RTSP feed.

Wirecast3

In the new window selection you will navigate  to  Protocol and select “RTSP”. Once you have selected the correct protocol you want to tick the radio button “Live Stream” and input the RTSP string that we have copied to our clipboard into the “URI” text field.

To simply test that all of these settings are correct just click connect. On the window above the settings you will see the live feed, if you can see it properly save your settings and close this window.

wirecast sett

Now we move to opening the feed onto your cue window. We do this my clicking on the camera logo and selecting “Add Web Stream Source 0 Shot”. Once you have done this you will see the feed in the preview section. Once we have done this we need to start the Live Feed by pressing on the Right arrow.

Wirecast last

We then navigate to the Output Tab and click Virtual Camera Out on the Drop down, then click on “Start” to start this service. Make sure that the Check Mark for Match Canvas is selected and if the camera has a microphone select the Audio sources. In my case I did not add a microphone and did not test if this was possible.

Google-Hangouts-logo

Once you are set with Wirecast, and your camera is good to go, we will focus on Google Hangouts and start by verifying if the video feed from the Virtual Camera Service that Wirecast produces is working properly.

Optional*
You can utilize other feeds to display on your YouTube Live feed. In my case I selected My 720P camera then used a “Smooth” transition Cut to go from one feed to another just in case I want my viewers to see me while I am Live Streaming. 

Once you have this set up you can go back to the Hangouts Window and click on “You”. This will start a buffer and once that is finished you will see a Green Button called “Start Broadcast”. This will start your Broadcast. According to YouTube you have the ability to broadcast for up to 8 hours continuously. If you have subscribers they will be notified that you have a live session. You also have the ability to create a live session and set up a time and date allowing your viewers/subscribers to plan accordingly and watch your show.

Here is a video Illustrating how I have set up the Camera and software to get a good result and have my 2mp cameras feed go to the YouTube Live stream and have other options like utilizing the web cam and a USB microphone. Or maybe if you have an outside Microphone connected to the IPPTZ you can test and see if you can retrieve that Audio.

Here is a Nice video of what we needed to accomplish. I hope this helps everyone that is wanting to utilize a PTZ and push it out to YouTube.

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