Posts Tagged ‘ advantages of closed circuit television cameras’

Knowledge is Power! – Access Control and Circuits.

Written By:
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


As you may all know serves The Surveillance Industry as well as the Access Control Industry. These two industries are different from one another and it can be overwhelming when installing or troubleshooting your system, mainly because transitioning from surveillance equipment to access control is not the same. Access control requires some knowledge of how circuits work. In this article, I will go over some basic circuit knowledge that will allow you to install or know what to do in a case where you will need to troubleshoot your system. This knowledge can come in handy especially in an emergency situation.

Lets start by going over open and closed circuits.

When a device has a label that reads “Normally Open” this means that in a normal state there is no electric current flowing through the circuit. Think of it as a momentary switch (ex. door bell) when the button is depressed it completes the circuit this allows the flow of electricity and the device will turn on a chime in the case of a door bell.

Lets see how a door bell circuit works.


The image on the top illustrates the circuit in an open state where there is no flow of electricity, the image on the bottom shows the circuit in a closed state where electricity will flow, allowing the coil on the electromagnet to become energized and with the assistance of a spring giving you the ringing sound.

Now that we know the differences between open and closed circuits I will go over how an access control panel functions and then we can move on to see how they should be connected and why it is very important to know these two basic circuit functions (Normally Open and Normally Closed).

An access control system is simply a controller that triggers ON or OFF circuits by means of relays. This means that any output from the relays can turn ON or OFF [Open or Close Circuits] devices such as a Mag Lock, which is a high powered Magnet that is normally rated in pounds. Closing the circuit in a MagLock will create an Electromagnetic bond that keeps the door closed until there is an input from a reader to the control panel. The control panel opens or closes the circuit using its relays. The diagram shown below illustrates how a Mag Lock functions in the “Control Panel”. In this case it is the “Switch” part.


Lets see how a “Strike” circuit works. As you can see it works similar to the Mag Lock where the circuits closes and a coil will retract a rod that will allow the person to gain entry. This is called a solenoid.


Here is a Video on how this is accomplished.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s move to some other details such as Fail Safe devices. These are devices that even when there is no power the device will continue to be in a locked position, keeping the door secure. Fail Safe devices are typically door strikes.

Electromagnetic Lock Types.

With Door Status Switch: This device will show an open or closed door status to the system, allowing you to know if there is a door that is malfunctioning or someone has propped the door with an object.

With Delay: This will give you a few seconds before the mag lock will release the door. This is most common in a high security area.

The use of Mag Locks or Door Strikes are the most popular ways to control the entry or exit of a building.

Lets see how a one door system with a stand alone controller looks like.


This is the easiest way to get a small business with only one door up and running with their access control. In the picture above, we see a Door Lock [Door Strike] connected to the Stand-alone controller with door sensors, as well as an exit and Reader. The user identifies himself with the use of a Card or Keyfob at the reader which sends a signal to the controller. The controller goes in its database and sees that this user has access and then completes the circuit to the Door Strike allowing the person entry.

Seems simple?

Lets try it with a control board instead of a standalone. This is good for a medium size business. In this illustration you will see integration with other devices such as a surveillance system by using its alarm outputs. We can now use the cameras as another form of a motion sensor. We can also integrate the system with a fire alarm panel. There is a lot of possibilities, and it is all about knowing the limitations of each board and system.


Lets move on to battery back up and the use of fuses and Diodes.

When it comes to any security system, one will have the needs to keep these systems running even when there is not power present in the building, either by a malfunction of the Electrical System or by tampering.

There are different capacities of inverters such as 200VA, 250VA, 350VA, 400VA, 450VA, 500VA, 625VA, 1200VA, etc. The capacity of the inverter should be chosen based on how much watt of appliances you power at a time.

For a UPS with 875Va we can use a maximum load of 640 watts. For a UPS with 677Va we can us a maximum load of 540 watts

The main thing we have to understand is that whatever may be the UPS wattage, the battery backup will not vary. The battery backup will only vary depending on the battery Ah and the Usage Load.

To calculate UPS backup, We have a simple formula.

UPS Backup = Battery Ah * (Volts/Load) * (1/Powerfactor)

For Example:

Lets calculate the back up for a system UPS

Load is the usage power. Suppose we are running a PC then the load is around 300 watts.
Power Factor varies for device to device, the average power factor is 1.4

Voltage is the voltage of the battery.
For a single battery the voltage is 12v.
If the batteries are connected in a series   Voltage = 12 * no. of batteries.

Battery Ah is the battery ampere used for the ups,

System UPS battery AH is 7

Then   Battery Backup

=  7 * (12/300) * (1/1.4)
=  7 * (0.04) * (0.7)
=   0.19 hours
=    19 Minutes

Note: You can use the same formula for calculating the battery backup for UPS or an INVERTER.

Battery back up systems can become complex if you are looking to power the devices for more than 30 minutes. Knowing how to calculate what you need is crucial when purchasing the correct back up system or building your own.

This also functions for a Solar Power system. In the case of a Solar Powered System you will have to take into account the Solar Cells as well as the location and knowing peak Sun hours. Here is an article that goes into detail in regards to solar power.


Lets move on to the Function a Diode can have on an access control System. For this we need to know what a Diode’s function is. A diode is a small device with two terminals [+ side is called the Anode and the – side is called the cathode]. This device allows the flow of current only in one direction. This means that in a case where there is  malfunction and there is a device with a short, it will protect the device by not allowing current to flow back into the circuit.

Fun Fact: ;P

A Diode can be found on Light Emitting Diodes also known as LED’s. They work by electroluminescence. Try saying that 3 times, lol.  They work in the same principal where the + side [Anode] and the – side [cathode] and a Semiconductor crystal is in between these two. Depending on the semiconductor is the color that it will emit.


Lets move on to Fuses.

Fuses are devices that have have a small strip of metal, usually encased inside a cylindrical glass with two ends that connect to a terminal.  They are widely used in the electrical industry as well as the electronic industry. These devices will allow current to flow, but when the amperage is high above its rating the small strip inside will melt, cutting electrical flow while preventing damage to the circuit.

The Fuse is represented by these symbols.


Now that you know about how the circuits work when it comes to Access control, you can safely install your equipment as well as make a wise decision as to what you need. Keep in mind that the conductors carrying the signals from one device to another is also important, as well as grounding properly each control board if utilizing more than one. Consult our Sales team for any questions that you may have and we can also assist you with Designing the perfect system for your needs.


Making Security Simple with IP CCTV Cameras

Written By:
Friday, July 6th, 2012

Making Security Simple with IP CCTV CamerasClosed circuit television security systems have been a staple of security systems for years. However, there are numerous advantages when it comes to the security systems of today and what used to be around years ago. As the technology changes and improves, so do the amount of capabilities that closed circuit televisions offer.

Video Security in Terms of IP Cameras

In today’s society, the security cameras are able to use closed circuit television cameras along with IP technology. Internet protocol security systems have an amazing resolution when compared to an analog system, which will provide more ease of installation and the features are easy to use.

Join Analog Technology Along with Closed Circuit Television Technology

It can become extremely expensive to do a complete replacement of your older analog closed circuit television systems when compared to the new Internet protocol cameras, but luckily you don’t have to worry about anything like that. You will be able to integrate all of the new Internet protocol technology through a hybrid platform. This will help provide you with all of the benefits the new technology has to offer and the cost is a lot more effective when you compare that to starting the whole process over with all new equipment.

Advantages of Closed Circuit Television Technology

It doesn’t matter if you are looking to replace all of your old analog equipment with the new Internet protocol technology or simply perform an integration of the two technologies because you will notice that there are substantial advantages to the technology:

Easy to Use and Cheap
• It is relatively inexpensive and a lot easier when it comes to maintenance and setting the system up. Purchasing and setting the whole system up can be done in a few simple steps, not to mention maintenance is a breeze. Since today’s closed circuit television systems are mostly all digital, they are a lot simpler to manage. Storing the information that the systems send over is a lot easier than it was before, which also means that is not as corruptible. Information will be stored on the digital video recorder in coordination with the closed circuit television cameras, instead of being placed on tapes that can easily be destroyed or damaged. You will also be able to download all of the footage onto your computer, but if you need to save everything on a long-term basis, you will be able to burn it all to a CD.

Even though the technology for analog systems has remained on the higher end for pricing and the equipment is a lot bigger and difficult to handle, the cameras of today have undergone a dramatic reduction in their size. This means that you will be able to have the most sophisticated equipment at a price that you will be able to afford. Although you may want to have your camera in plain sight for security purposes, the cameras are very tiny in size, which means that you can place them anywhere you like and still get the coverage you need.

Continual Recording
• The older analog systems that once used tapes would generally only be able to provide you with a time lapse recording. However, the newer closed circuit television cameras are able to record on a continual loop and capture all of the information and save it into a large file from all of your cameras. This helps business owners to be able to track down information from all of the sources and keep accurate historical records. Tapes would end up being recorded over, which would end up costing the individual valuable information.

• Since you can go out and purchase a closed circuit television system in any number of sizes and configurations, you will be able to choose the perfect system based upon your individual needs. As your business continues to grow, you will be able to expand upon your system and make sure you always have the coverage that you need. Due to the technology being relatively cheap, you will be able to grow your system without having to worry about the added cost or storage limitations that some of the options originally provided you.

Making Security Simple with IP CCTV CamerasSafety with Closed Circuit Television Systems

Closed circuit television systems all around the world have been looked into with a much greater level of scrutiny and expectation when it comes to reducing the crime level. Although it is not a surefire way to prevent any crime from happening in the first place, many of these closed circuit television systems have proven to be successful at protecting the home from some type of criminal activity. They are a great deterrent when it comes to keeping your assets out of the way of a potential intruder. However, there are a lot of people who feel the results are not guaranteed when the crime taking place involves alcohol to some degree. Many of the people who are intoxicated are not going to care about anything around them, so a security camera will prove to be useless when it boils down to it.

Depending on where you are located at, there may be an issue where the individual person may be monitored by hundreds of cameras throughout the day. When there are numerous cameras around the area monitoring you, there is a less likely chance that someone is going to try something stupid to begin with. Closed circuit television systems are extremely effective when it comes to saving people a lot of time and money over the course of time. Many towns and cities have implemented security cameras across their area as a way to prevent any criminal activity out on the streets from taking place.

Keys for Evaluating Success in a Closed Circuit Television System

Catching the Criminal in the Act - Once you put the fear of being recorded by a closed circuit television system into an individual, they will normally turn the other way when it comes to committing a crime.

Publicity- If your closed circuit television systems are made obvious to the public, the offender will probably end up leaving their intended area and head into another area with less coverage. It has been shown that once the cameras are in position more and more people are running away from criminal activity in the area. However, if the systems are kept on a more private level, the offenders are not going to know where the cameras are positioned. In the end, they will avoid the areas because they won’t know where the cameras are monitoring.

Deploying the Authorities – Closed circuit television systems are able to help improve the time that law enforcement officials are able to respond to the scene of a crime, which helps to save on anyone in the area having to call the police department. The security camera operators are able to determine the appropriate number of officers that need to be sent to the crime scene and alert the law enforcement to what is going on before they even arrive on the scene. This will help the police department know what they are walking into before they ever get there.

Crime Time – If the perpetrator thinks that they are going to be able to get the crime completed before the closed circuit television system has time to record it, the police department will not have as great of a chance at capturing the criminals in the act. As an example, if there is a car thief that is well aware of where the camera is pointed, what the speed and range is limited to, they will be able to determine the best route for avoiding the closed circuit television systems. Even though the criminal may think that they are able to get away with the crime, there are often a lot of times where they are caught on tape anyway.

Where Do Closed Circuit Television Systems Perform Well?

Although a closed circuit television system may likely reduce and eliminate any property crime in public locations, they are not as effective at being able to prevent a violent crime from occurring. The systems are great for sending a crew of police officers into the scene of the crime in a timely fashion, but the perpetrator may be able to avoid the security camera completely. If the cameras are mounted in public areas, the violent crime will not be recorded because most of the time they do not take place in those areas. In this particular instance, having proper lighting in the streets will be able to prevent the violent crimes from occurring in the first place. Whenever alcohol is a contributing factor, the perpetrator does not care or even think about the consequences of their actions, which make the closed circuit television systems ineffective against someone who is intoxicated.

Making Security Simple with IP CCTV CamerasWhen you think about the positive side of a closed circuit television system, you will quickly notice that they help to dispel any fear that the public
might have when these units are in place. Since the police officers are quickly dispatched to the scene of the crime, there is a lot less time for the perpetrator to behave in a violent manner. In order to verify how effective the systems are, local law enforcement needs to go through all of the surveillance footage over an extended period of time to help eliminate any potential errors in crime statistics. If the closed circuit television systems have been given the proper training and they know the quickest way to get the authorities on the scene, the systems will be that much more effective. A closed circuit television system is one of the best ways for preventing crime down the road, which means that as the cameras become more advanced there will be more and more criminals caught in the act and the crime will be stopped in its tracks.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.