Posts Tagged ‘ cameras’



Marijuana Cultivation and Camera Systems

Written By:
Friday, January 24th, 2014

marijuana cultivation

You are probably asking yourself, how do these go together?  The reason being is that most people hear of someone growing marijuana and they think illegal drug dealer, not profitable business.  For the last several decades you were right, but times have changed and so has the industry.  In recent years there has been some dramatic changes in the perception and regulation of marijuana, whether it be for medical marijuana or recreational use marijuana.  In recent years more and more citizens have voted to allow for the use of marijuana in different ways.  As the laws have changed so has the regulations for this industry.

 

One state in recent months that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana has been the state of Washington.  With the legalization of use, also came the legalization of cultivation.  With the cultivation lawmakers have put in place a series of requirements that growers and sellers have to follow in order to be in compliance with state laws.  The following information comes from Washington State Liquor Control Board.

 

(2) Alarm systems. At a minimum, each licensed premises must have a security alarm system on all perimeter entry points and perimeter windows. Motion detectors, pressure switches, duress, panic, and hold-up alarms may also be utilized.

(3) Surveillance system. At a minimum, a complete video surveillance with minimum camera resolution of 640×470 pixel and must be internet protocol (IP) compatible and recording system for controlled areas within the licensed premises and entire perimeter fencing and gates enclosing an outdoor grow operation, to ensure control of the area. The requirements include image acquisition, video recording, management and monitoring hardware and support systems. All recorded images must clearly and accurately display the time and date. Time is to be measured in accordance with the U.S. National Institute Standards and Technology standards.

(a) All controlled access areas, security rooms/areas and all points of ingress/egress to limited access areas, all points of ingress/egress to the exterior of the licensed premises, and all point-of-sale (POS) areas must have fixed camera coverage capable of identifying activity occurring within a minimum of twenty feet of all entry and exit points.

(b) Camera placement shall allow for the clear and certain identification of any individual on the licensed premises.

(c) All entrances and exits to the facility shall be recorded from both indoor and outdoor vantage points, and capable of clearly identifying any activities occurring within the facility or within the grow rooms in low light conditions. The surveillance system storage device must be secured on-site in a lock box, cabinet, closet, or secured in another manner to protect from employee tampering or criminal theft.

(d) All perimeter fencing and gates enclosing an outdoor grow operation must have full video surveillance capable of clearly identifying any activities occurring within twenty feet of the exterior of the perimeter. Any gate or other entry point that is part of the enclosure for an outdoor growing operation must have fixed camera coverage capable of identifying activity occurring within a minimum of twenty feet of the exterior, twenty-four hours a day. A motion detection lighting system may be employed to illuminate the gate area in low light conditions.

(e) Areas where marijuana is grown, cured or manufactured including destroying waste, shall have a camera placement in the room facing the primary entry door, and in adequate fixed positions, at a height which will provide a clear, unobstructed view of the regular activity without a sight blockage from lighting hoods, fixtures, or other equipment, allowing for the clear and certain identification of persons and activities at all times.

(f) All marijuana or marijuana-infused products that are intended to be removed or transported from marijuana producer to marijuana processor and/or marijuana processor to marijuana retailer shall be staged in an area known as the “quarantine” location for a minimum of twenty-four hours. Transport manifest with product information and weights must be affixed to the product. At no time during the quarantine period can the product be handled or moved under any circumstances and is subject to auditing by the liquor control board or designees.

(g) All camera recordings must be continuously recorded twenty-four hours a day. All surveillance recordings must be kept for a minimum of forty-five days on the licensee’s recording device. All videos are subject to inspection by any liquor control board employee or law enforcement officer, and must be copied and provided to the board or law enforcement officer upon request.

 

Alright, now that you see the law lets talk about the systems that will meet these requirements to keep your location in compliance.  Based on the bare minimum requirements, any of Techpro Security DVRs or NVRs will work.  To meet the absolute requirement of 640×470 pixels will put you into any DVR that can record in D1 resolution (704×480).  Since there are no required minimum frames per second stated, you can get away with a Techpro Security Mini Economy DVR .  This unit will record D1 resolution and 7fps (frames per second) on all channels.  It is also accessible for remote viewing, which makes it meet the requirement of IP internet protocol of the recorder.  Based on the 45 days that is being required to be stored and recording 16 cameras at D1 resolution and 7fps, you will need a minimum of a 3TB hard drive.  You can calculate a rough idea of the amount of hard drive space you will need with Security Camera King’s Hard Drive Calculator.  If it was my operation, I would want to have more than the “bare requirements”.   I would do a Techpro Security Ultimate Series DVR ,  the problem with only using the mini is that to record 16 cameras at D1 resolution and 30fps you will need 10TB of hard drive space, and the mini unit will only hold up to 6TBs of hard drive.  I would step up to the Ultimate Full Size, with this unit you can put in up to 8 hard drives or a total of 24TBs of space.  You will also want to upgrade the cameras from a basic OD-CM600IR50-B camera to a minimum of the OD-LX700IR50-W.  Although the basic camera meets the requirements of the law, I am not a “bare requirements” type of person.   Based on the fact that marijuana plants are very sensitive to light, I would shy away from using any camera with greater than a 50 IR distance in any area where growing occurs.  Otherwise you could turn your plants unusable from too much stress.

 

Now if this was my business and my livelihood, I would go all out to protect my investment.   I would use a Techpro Security NVR and Techpro Security IP Cameras.  The reason I would go this route is that the resolution on these cameras are at a minimum of 720p and go up to 1080p.  I don’t know about you, but I want to know exactly what is going on with my investment and know if anything ever happened I would be able to catch the perpetrators.   If I was looking for a system already put together for me I would go with Security Camera Kings pre-built Complete 16 Camera Elite Series NVR Security Camera Surveillance System.  With this configuration you will need to have at least 15TB of hard drive space to stay in compliance.  I would personally put in 18TB to slightly exceed the minimum, because the last thing that I would want to have happen is be even a couple hours short of the 45 day requirement.   Now if I was trying to be a little more conservative on my spending, the next system I would go with would be an analog system with more cameras to give me over coverage, an example would be the COMPLETE 32 CHANNEL DVR ULTIMATE SECURITY CAMERA PACKAGE.  I would at a minimum upgrade the cameras to the OD-LX700IR50-W and add at least 19TB of HDD space.  Now if a pre-built package won’t work for you, there is a really cool option of creating a Custom Built Package, which offers the same discounted products but you can customize the equipment to meet your exact needs.

 

No matter what way you go, you can’t go wrong with a system from Security Camera King, even the base records will meet the requirements of the State of Washington Liquor Control Boards requirements.  The only thing you will want to make sure of is that whatever recorder you go with can hold enough hard drive space, so make sure to use the CCTV Hard Drive Calculator.  The last thing you want to do is fall short on this one requirement and either get fined or worse lose your license.  It has been way too long of a wait to be able to grow and cultivate marijuana.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

How to Capture License Plates with Security Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, November 12th, 2013
Capturing License Plates With CCTV Surveillance Cameras

Using a surveillance camera to capture video footage of the license plates of vehicles that are entering and leaving an area has proven to be an effective way to have a record of the traffic at the location. Law enforcement agencies across this country are making use of this technique more and more commonly. It has already helped them to gather information that has helped them follow vehicles thought to be driven by individuals that were suspected of crimes, even when the officer is nowhere near the vehicle. The data that these cameras provide can be invaluable if a crime takes place, allowing someone to review footage and know who was in the area with certainty. The data collected about these license plates can be more helpful to law enforcement officials when trying to identify a suspect then the highest quality images of a suspect’s face. The installation of security cameras for this function may seem deceptively simple but if it isn’t done correctly you will not get the video that you need. This article will provide with the information that will you to accurately record video footage of license plates every time.

The first consideration that you should look at for licenses plate capture is the location. Finding the right place to record useful video of these small fast moving targets is a key element in the process. The place where you set up for this should be a place where traffic is already controlled in such a way to be beneficial for this process. Someplace where traffic is already forced to stop, such as a stop sign or the gate of a community, is an ideal spot. The entry way of a gated community is probably the best location because it will also be a place where there are fewer lanes of traffic and you will need a dedicated license plate capture camera for every lane of traffic that you’re monitoring, so fewer lanes will require fewer cameras to get the video footage that you want.

The next thing that you should consider for this process is making sure that you have the proper equipment to record the best possible video of the license plates. There are many different security cameras on the market today that offer high quality video, but few are actually designed to record high quality video of a license plate. The cameras that perform this function correctly have to be able to deal with the glare of light bouncing off the reflective surface of the plate, angles that are often challenging, widely varying illumination levels, being able to record video of a moving target that isn’t blurry and they usually have to cope with moderate to long distances. All of these factors, in addition to other location specific issues that haven’t been mentioned, that the camera must deal with are the reasons that you really need to have a surveillance camera that is specifically designed to capture video of license plate despite the difficulties.

Another part of this process that you must account for, in order to do it correctly, is properly monitoring the area where you will be identifying the license plates as well as providing an exterior view of the vehicle. A camera that can capture video of the car or truck and its activity will provide you with some very useful information particularly when you can identify the vehicle’s license plate at the same time. Making sure that you at least have a reasonable high resolution camera for this overview purpose is a very good idea, but it doesn’t need to provide the same type of high quality of video that the license plate camera should. A moderately high quality camera for the overview role will allow you to have a high level of detail in the video shot to help you get an accurate understanding of what type of vehicle the license plate is attached to and how many passengers are in it. This over view camera can also provide other details about the vehicle such as the relative speed that it’s traveling and whether it’s being driven recklessly or not. It’s also a good idea to get a camera for this purpose that has a varifocal lens so that you can adjust it to the camera view that’s needed from the position that’s available for mounting the camera. This type of lens will let you compensate for a reasonable amount of distance from the targeted area and make sure that it’s focused on the exact point that you want.

So now we have established that an overview camera needs to be mounted in such a way that it can view the traffic choke point where you are going to be capturing video of license plates. The next step is to make sure that you have the surveillance camera that will actually be doing the license plate capturing in the right place. The traffic point that you choose for this installation should allow you to know where the target vehicle will stop. The license plate capture will need to be positioned in such a way that it’s field of vision will be focused and the lens will need to be zoomed in to the point that the license plate will take up about sixty percent of the camera’s view. Make sure that you take into account the varying heights of the different types of vehicles that will be traveling through the area. You will need to have one dedicated license plate capturing camera set up this way for each lane of traffic that you wish to monitor.

Once you have these cameras set up in the manner that’s described in this article, you should be ready for monitoring the traffic in the area in great detail. It’s a good idea to test how the camera views will catch the license plates where the vehicles will be stopped and the make the fine tuning adjustments in order to guarantee that you will be getting the video that you desire.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Surveillance Camera CCTV

Written By:
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Today’s surveillance camera CCTV systems have made “leaps and bounds” in technological improvements compared to the systems from just 10 to 15 years ago.  Not only that, but the camera’s prices have steadily decreased with the increase in technology.  All of this has lead to video surveillance cameras becoming a “household word” for family protection and safety as well as business protection and workplace documentation.

Original surveillance camera CCTVs were based on analog signals.  These systems and components of the systems were often referred to as CCTV or Closed Circuit TeleVision.  CCTV was so named because although it closely resembled a typical television studio system, there was one major important difference.

Studio television cameras’ video signals were boosted by the broadcast station and sent via radio frequency via a large antenna.  Once the signal left the broadcast antenna, anyone with a receiver could pick up the signal.  Video surveillance cameras however, sent their signal along a cable, directly to a specific monitor and recording device.  In this respect, the system was a “Closed Circuit TeleVision” system.  In fact, any system used for monitoring, surveillance, or security in this manner was referred to as a CCTV system.

Today, video surveillance cameras still operate on a CCTV based system, but to be accurate, we must redefine CCTV to make it somewhat looser in application.  Although modern digital video surveillance cameras also transmit their video signals via a cable to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and one or more monitors, they also employ additional methods for transmitting their signals that must be taken into consideration of the definition of CCTV as well.

These cameras may also transmit their video data wirelessly via an on-board camera transmitter and antenna.  These cameras use modern day wireless technology often used in land-line based telephones such as 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology or 900Mhz technology for broadcasting their signal.  These systems are designed to transmit their signal to a nearby receiver, which is usually plugged in by cable, to a DVR and/or monitor.

Another method that is employed today is the use of the Internet as a vehicle for networking and transmitting.  Video surveillance camera CCTV and their DVRs have the capability for connecting to the Internet.  When they do possess this feature they are often referred to as Internet Protocol or IP ready, because they deliver their transmission using IP format technology.

Although it is true that individuals other than who the video images are intended for can gain access surreptitiously, the intent of these wireless broadcasts and Internet transmissions are directed to a limited number of very specific viewers.  Thus, although our definition for CCTV as now become a bit broader in scope, it is easy to see why even today, these units are often called surveillance camera CCTV systems.

While we are on the subject of CCTV versus new video surveillance cameras, it would be prudent to mention that there is some carry over from the “analog days” of CCTV to the current “digital era” which can make the comparison of components or the selection of a system somewhat confusing.  This primarily involves the use of reference to the detail or resolution of the video image created by the camera and displayed by the monitor.

Electronic video images may show a varying degree of detail.  That is evidenced by the contrast between standard television broadcasts and those called High Definition (HD).  Television was originally displayed on a Cathode Ray Tube or CRT (also called the “picture tube”).  The CRT reproduced the image on its screen by shooting an electron beam horizontally at the rate of about 60 times per second.  To a large degree, the number of horizontal lines determined how detailed the video appeared.  In this situation, the more lines, the smaller the lines, the greater the detail of the picture.

Today, however, most televisions are like computer monitors; they are Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD), plasma, or Light Emitting Diode (LED) displays.  These monitors display tiny dots called pixels instead of horizontal lines; therefore, they can display a much higher detail picture.  Yet, many video surveillance cameras still specify their picture quality in terms of the older, horizontal line method.  It’s important to know that the lower end of resolution or detail is from about 300 up to 650 TVL (TeleVision Lines).  Video surveillance cameras CCTV with 650 TVL displays can produce very high definition video images.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

CCTV Video Server

Written By:
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

There are many ways to use the Internet these days to enhance your digital video security system and one such method may be to use a CCTV video server.  While the Digital Video Recorder or DVR is the center of the powerhouse for a digital video security and surveillance system, the CCTV video server could be considered its cousin, the major difference between the two being the CCTV video server is designed to work specifically with the Internet.

A typical digital video security and surveillance system works in the following manner:

  1. The digital cameras capture the video image and send it via a video transmission cable (for distinction here the cable is usually RG59) to the DVR (or a spot monitor)
  2. The DVR processes the video data; it compresses it using a CODEC (COmpression/DECompression) utility that reduces the size of the file but maintains high levels of quality in the video image.
  3. The DVR records the video to its Hard Disk Drive or HDD and also displays the image on a monitor.

In the above example, the system is usually self-contained in a specific geographical area because the cameras must be cabled to the DVR.  There are wireless cameras and other equipment but for the most part, these systems are still located in one specific location.

CCTV video servers are used as an adjunct to the older analog systems.  A typical analog video security and surveillance system with a CCTV video server works in the following manner:

  1. The analog (or digital) cameras capture the video image and send it via a video transmission cable (RG59) to the CCTV video server.  Note that a video server normally works with analog systems but may work with digital systems as well.
  2. The CCTV video server processes the video data; it compresses it using a CODEC.  Often, the CCTV video server will use more than one CODEC.  For example the server may save the cameras’ video images to the HDD using MJPEG technology, but for video that may be watched over the Internet, H.264 may be used to “stream” the video to its destination.
  3. The CCTV normally doesn’t use a monitor except for setup.  Usually its video feeds are processed (using H.264 for example) and are sent out over the Internet where they may be downloaded and viewed on any compatible computer.

As you can see, the biggest difference between a DVR and a video server is that the images remain local to the DVR while CCTV video servers digitize the analog signal and make it accessible via efficient streaming over the Internet.  There are advantages and disadvantages to the CCTV video server experience.  We’ll a mention a few of each in the following paragraphs.

(As a side note, Security Camera King has all but eliminated the need for a CCTV video server with its newest DVRs as each one contains its own Web server technology.  By going through the DVR oe can access every camera in the system over the internet.)

Probably the one single greatest benefit of all of a CCTV video server is the ability to view analog video over the Internet.  For analog systems, specifically cameras, this is not possible without a video server.

Another huge benefit of the CCTV video server is that the unit is able to save the video image to its HDD or send it along to a DVR to record to its HDD, and broadcast it in a streaming fashion over the Internet simultaneously.  This may not sound very impressive since Security Camera King’s feature digital systems can easily do all of this and more. But it is a convenient way of utilizing older analog cameras using the Internet.

The down side to using a CCTV video server and analog cameras is that if the Internet goes down, you will not be able to access your system remotely.  Also, a slow connection will yield a painstakingly slow monitoring experience.

One last thing; don’t confuse CCTV video servers with Network Video Recorders (NVRs).  NVRs do not work with analog cameras; they are designed for use with IP (Internet Protocol) ready cameras.  NVRs are basically the IP ready camera’s equivalent of the DVR while CCTV video servers simply get the camera’s video IP ready and broadcasts it over the internet.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

PTZ Web Camera

Written By:
Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

There are very few things in the digital video security and surveillance system industry that are more versatile than a Pan-Tilt-Zoom or PTZ Web camera. These cameras merge the technological wonders of digital cameras with the speed and omnipresence of the Internet to yield an inexpensive, versatile monitoring tool.

There are basically two types of PTZ, one where a small motor moves the camera horizontally or vertically and zooms remotely or electronic PTZ which is truly electronic – no motors, it just a digital PTZ. Our main concern for this article is the first example mentioned; cameras designed with built-in motors to move the lens horizontally and vertically and also another small motor to move the lens for small or wide shots.

The alternative to this is digital PTZ. Using this method the camera is aimed at the general area that needs to be monitored and the digital controls make changes within the field of view that allow you to Pan-Tilt-Zoom. Some cameras may contain both digital PTZ and the motorized type of PTZ.

A PTZ Web camera has two great features that make it an incredibly versatile piece of equipment. Sometimes two PTZ Web cameras is all you need to do the job of 4 or more stationary cameras. A good example is a customer who bought two PTZ Web cameras from us to use for construction surveillance. Before they begin construction the first thing they do is set the poles for the two cameras. Based on his comments, they haven’t needed more than the two PTZ Web Cameras yet.

A PTZ Web camera can Pan (move horizontally usually in at least 180 degrees if not a full 360), Tilt (move vertically usually through 180 degrees of movement), and Zoom (enlarge the shot so as to magnify distant objects so they are bigger and show detail).

These cameras are great for perimeter use, parking lots and parking garages, store or other commercial business parking areas, and just about anywhere you need to place a camera that needs to cover more area that just its own initial field of view.

In addition to PTZ many of these cameras come with built in “track and follow” technology. That means that a PTZ Web camera can actually detect motion from a vehicle or a person entering its field of view and the track or follow and zoom in on that object to obtain the best view. The camera will follow the object as long as it is in the PTZ total field of view.

The second feature of a PTZ Web camera that makes it so versatile is the fact that it is an IP (Internet Protocol) ready camera that can be easily connected to broadband Internet service and accesses just about anywhere in the world there is Internet access including 3G and 4G cell phones. With this technology, you could be in Japan and your home and security system could be in Florida and from Japan you could monitor your camera and manually use the PTZ functions all from a smartphone.

PTZ Web cameras can also be collectively networked which means that if you have PTZ Web cameras that are IP ready and are located in different locations (distance between the two cameras doesn’t really matter as they are being networked through the Internet) you can treat them as though they are all part of one system. Instead of using a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) you use a Network Video Recorder (NVR) to record, access, monitor and control your cameras.

It is important to note here that Security Camera King features 4 different DVRs, the Elite-Mini Economy, the Elite-Mini HD, the Elite series, and the Ultimate series. All of these DVRs have Web server and Internet technology built right into the unit so you can do the same type of networking with these cameras that you could with a more expensive PTZ Web camera.

However, cameras could not be placed in different locations that are miles away. In this type of system all the cameras on your DVR (such as a home system) would be accessible. But you could access these cameras just like the PTZ Web camera without the added cost of an NVR and without the need for a Web ready camera.

As you can see the power and versatility of a PTZ Web camera is nearly unimaginable. Coupled with the use of the Internet for networking there is almost no limit to this system’s capabilities.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail