Posts Tagged ‘ CCTV’



How to Avoid CCTV Camera Vandalism

Written By:
Thursday, May 15th, 2014

PROTECTING YOUR SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS

CCTV cameras are vulnerable to being destroyed by vandals if not properly protected. There are many different ways to deliberately destroy a security camera on someone’s business or personal property. In this article, we will discuss a few different ways that vandals will try to ruin or disable your camera and also go over the multiple ways that you can protect your security equipment from damage.

Vandal1

Types of Vandal Proof Cameras

There are many different types of security camera housings which will protect your camera from being destroyed by vandals. With enough research, you will find cameras which are listed as vandal proof security cameras (vandal domes), explosion proof, dust proof or dust-tight, bullet proof, and pressurized housing. Vandal domes are usually rated to have the ability to resist the most basic of vandal tactics. A lot of them can even withstand being run over by a car. Most of the other ones are pretty self explanatory, however, a lot of people mistake explosion-proof cameras for being able to resist an explosion. These camera housings are made so that they will avoid creating an explosion in places where there are gasses and other explosive elements around.

camera

Another thing you should be aware of is that certain lasers and laser pointer pens can damage the lens in the camera rendering it useless. Many lasers are monochromatic, so if you use color filters you will be able to reduce the effects of a vandal trying to ruin your camera with a laser pointer. A lot of filters will also affect the quality of the image on the camera and overall light sensitivity so be aware of this when using them. If you wanted complete protection from lasers, you could use black filters but this will make your camera pretty much useless.

Fake Security Cameras

fake-camera

Having visible cameras which are fake or non-functional can also help you avoid damage to your actual working surveillance cameras. Many people will purchase broken cameras and put them in plain sight, while other cameras are hidden somewhere pointed in the same general direction of the area they’d like to capture. This way if a vandal comes on the property with the intention of destroying your cameras, they will at lease be destroying a camera which in non-functional instead of breaking an expensive camera that can record them in great detail.

Another benefit of fake security cameras is that they can deter people from doing something wrong if they think they’re being watched. Some people don’t even go through the trouble of installing a real surveillance system. Just having the fake ones up can deter most people from doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Most criminals are looking for the easiest way to commit a crime and will certainly avoid places with cameras. However, if something does happen, those people are out of luck and will not have the evidence they need to prove the crime has occurred.

When choosing a fake surveillance cameras there are a few things you should know about. Criminals who know a thing or two about surveillance systems will be able to spot a cheap dummy camera with a quick glance. If you want to fool them, the best option is to purchase a camera which is a real surveillance camera that has malfunctioned from a CCTV distributor. A great place to find some deals is on CCTV auction websites. Be aware of cameras which have a red LED that remains on with the use of an internal battery. Many times this is used to fake people into believing that the camera is on and recording but in reality, surveillance cameras do not have any lights on them and only the IR led’s come on at night. You can also get a real surveillance camera which is broken but still has a functioning IR emitter and this can definitely deter the more educated criminals who may see them up on your wall or ceilings.

Hidden Security Cameras

Owning hidden security cameras is another great way to avoid having your cameras vandalized. If a criminal doesn’t know that there’s a camera there, then they won’t attempt to knock it out. As mentioned above though, there are some benefits to having visible security cameras since it can deter a lot of people but in the case that you have issues where you feel someone is going to vandalize your property or security cameras, the solution would be to purchase a camera that is not visible.

hidden camera

Hidden surveillance cameras can come in many different styles. There are cameras which are simply small enough that most people will miss them, then there are some cameras which are in shapes of other objects. Some of these items include smoke detectors, mirrors, motion detectors, clocks, and many more. Be careful when purchasing hidden surveillance systems. Often times they are limited by the amount of space they can record on, such as SD cards, and battery life. These type of hidden systems are best for when you know something is going to occur. I would suggest purchasing the camera first and testing how long it’ll last for and how long it’ll record for. Another downside to these is that they don’t always come with the best resolution and quality that you may be looking for.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, There are many ways and devices that can help to deter criminals from vandalizing your surveillance systems. Either way you choose to go, make sure you do the proper research so that you’re getting the right equipment for your needs. If you ever have any questions or concerns, you can always call us or contact us by email and we’ll help you choose something that works for you. Techpro Security Products and Security Camera King is operational Monday through Friday from 9AM-6PM eastern time. You can contact us at sales@securitycameraking.com or call us toll free at 866-573-8878. Our staff is trained to help you with these type of questions so please don’t be afraid to ask!

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How to Connect HD-CVI Cameras to an HD-CVI DVR

Written By:
Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

HD-CVI is a brand new CCTV technology that delivers High Definition Video over Standard Coax Cable. In this article, I will explain various options on how to connect your HD-CVI Cameras to your HD-CVI DVR. All of the products I will show are available at http://www.securitycameraking.com.

The first option is the one we recommend the most.

HDCVI Wiring Option 1

As you can see in Option 1 this configuration utilizes Siamese Cable with a Distribution Box. The great thing about HDCVI (High Definition Composite Video Interface) as stated above is that you can achieve up to 720p resolution over Analog Coax Cable. To power the HDCVI cameras in this configuration you will need a distribution box. The one in this picture is a 4-channel distribution box. The 18-2 wire coming from the Siamese Cable connects into the distribution box and the other side connects into the female power lead, which then plugs into the power port of the camera. To see and record the video, you will connect the RG59 part of the Siamese Cable to the HDCVI Digital Video recorder (DVR) via a BNC Connector into the video input jack. The other side of the cable will connect to the BNC port on the camera via another BNC Connector.

In the next option, you will see the same sort of configuration except with a power plug instead of a distribution box.

HDCVI Wiring Option 2

In this option, you will use a 1amp minimum power supply to run power to one camera. If you have multiple cameras, either you can use separate power supplies or you can use 4-channel Output Switching Supply if you are powering up to 4 cameras, or an 8-Channel Power Supply for powering up to 8 cameras. In this configuration above for power, you will need a male power lead to connect to the power supply, attach the 18-2 wire from the Siamese cable, and attach the other end of the 18-2 into a female power lead. Then, just plug the power lead into the power port on the HDCVI camera. Keep in mind you will do this for each camera, even if using a 4-channel power supply. For video, the connections are the same as in option 1.

The next option is the simplest option but not highly recommended (although it does work and is good for novices).

HDCVI Wiring Option 3

In this option, we use a Plug and Play Power/Video Cable. There is no special wiring involved. For power, just plug the power supply into the power adapter of the plug and play cable, and then plug the other side of the cable into the power port of the HDCVI Camera. For Video, connect the BNC from the cable into the Video Input on the HDCVI Digital Video Recorder, and attach the other end to the BNC port of the camera.

In the next configuration the diagram consists of the same setup as above except with a distribution box as the power supply.

HD-CVI Wiring Option 4

In this configuration showing how to connect an HDCVI Camera to an HDCVI DVR, power is generated through a power distribution box. To send power to the camera using a plug and play video/power cable as shown above from the distribution box, you will need a female power lead. Connect the two wires of the female power lead to the port in the distribution box and connect the other end of the female power lead into the power port of the plug and play cable. Then, attach the other end of the plug and play cable to the HDCVI Camera. For video, plug the BNC from the cable into the HD-CVI Digital Video recorder and the other end into the camera.

In the next option, we move on to using Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet cable for video and power transmission.

HDCVI Wiring Option 5

The great thing about High Definition Composite Video Interface (HD-CVI) is that video can be streamed through either Standard Coax Cable or Ethernet Cable. In the above diagram, the power starts with a plug-in power supply. In order to go from the power port on the power supply to the Ethernet cable, you will need to use a passive video and power balun. The power supply plugs into the power port of the balun and then the Ethernet Cable plugs into the RJ45 Jack of the Balun. Then the other side of the Ethernet cable is plugged into the RJ45 jack of the camera side Balun, and the camera’s power port connects to that balun. For video, The BNC from the Balun connected to the power supply is connected to the HDCVI Digital Video recorder and since the Ethernet cable is already plugged into the baluns, you just need to connect the camera’s BNC port to the other Balun.

In the last option in this article, we use the same configuration except with a distribution box.

HD-CVI Wiring Option 6

In this configuration, things get a little tricky. Instead of just plugging in the Ethernet cable using RJ45 Jacks, you will be working with the raw wires that are inside the Ethernet cable. You will use two of the wires for power and two wires for video. Whichever two wires you use, you have to make sure you use the same two wires on both ends.

For the power, connect the first pair of wires to the distribution box. On the camera side, connect those same two wires to a female power lead, and then attach the power lead to the power port on the HDCVI camera. For video, use another pair of wires from the Ethernet cable and attach both ends to passive video baluns. Connect one Balun to the HDCVI DVR and the other to the BNC port on the camera.

In conclusion, there are many different options to connect the HDCVI DVR to an HDCVI Camera. We highly recommend the first two options for best picture resolution and clarity. Plug and play cables are easy, but the clarity isn’t as good as standard coax cable. For more information on HDCVI, visit our “What is HD-CVI” page on our website at http://www.securitycameraking.com/what-is-hd-cvi.html.

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The Differences Between Megapixel IP Security Cameras and HD-SDI

Written By:
Friday, February 28th, 2014

Megapixel VS HD-SDI

What is the difference between Megapixel and HD-SDI Security Camera Systems? We get many calls on a daily basis with customers asking whether or not they should choose one over the other. There are good and bad things about both. You should be aware that even though both systems can record at megapixel resolution, there are vast differences about both systems that you may want to consider before making your choice.

You will find many different debates between both surveillance systems. The easiest way to choose which system is best for your application is to take a look at these differences below:

  1. Megapixel cameras are capable of recording on their own. They generally have all of the same features that you would find in the rest of our Digital Video Recorders (DVR’s) and Network Video Recorders (NVR’s). You will be able to set up one IP camera on its own, or set up a few of them without ever needing an NVR to record its footage. A lot of megapixel IP cameras these days have the ability to record onto a micro SD card. It will save you some money if you’re looking to set up a surveillance system on a budget. However, you’ll ask yourself, so why would anyone ever need an NVR? That’s because in some application, you’ll need more storage space. If you set up the cameras on their own, you’re going to be limited to the amount you can record on a micro SD card. In turn, you’ll only have the capabilities to go back and view a couple of days of recorded footage as opposed to a couple of months. Also, NVR’s are generally going to act as a central hub for all of the cameras where recording each one on their own will make it harder for you if you’re looking to view all of the cameras at once. With an HD-SDI system, you’ll only be able to record the cameras if you’re using some sort of digital recording software or hardware.
  2. With an HD-SDI surveillance system, you’re going to need to have all HD-SDI technology. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use your current DVR with HD-SDI cameras. They transmit a different signal through the wires.
  3. Even though you may not be able to use your current DVR you will be able to keep your analog system wiring. This is a huge benefit for anyone who cannot re-wire their home or business. There are some situations where wires have been installed during the construction of a building and running new lines are near impossible without doing damage to the structure. In this case, it would be best to leave the wiring alone and upgrade your analog security system to an HD-SDI DVR and set of cameras. You’ll then be able to get the benefit of recording at megapixel resolution instead of being limited to D1.
  4. Even though it’s usually not really noticeable, megapixel systems have a bit of latency. Latency is also known as lag. If you’re viewing your video in real time, you may have a situation where you need to view the video exactly as its happening. Depending on how the network is set up, you may have a bit of latency (sometimes one second or more) and having an HD-SDI system will usually solve this issue when directly connected. You are then bypassing any network issues and recording the signal directly to and from the system without the inconsistencies of data packets being delayed.
  5. Many people purchasing a new system have a limited budget to purchase their security system with. HD-SDI generally ends up costing more money than a megapixel IP system. The chip needed to process the video in an HD-SDI system is generally more expensive than the ones manufactured for megapixel. Price has dropped considerably in the past few years and megapixel systems have become way more affordable these days in comparison to the costs of HD-SDI hardware.
  6. Even though an HD-SDI system is a bit more costly for the hardware, at the end of the day you may end up spending less because of ease of use. With a megapixel system, you may be stuck hiring someone with more of a technical background to set up your network and make sure that all of the cameras are connected correctly. Megapixel cameras each have an IP address and they all need to be set up correctly onto your NVR in order to begin recording each camera. You will end up having to choose between directly powering your cameras with a power supply or whether you want to use Power over Ethernet (POE) to power each IP camera. If you choose POE, you’ll have the benefit of just running one Ethernet cable for each camera all back to a POE switch, and then from there back to the NVR. This is where things can get confusing for most people who don’t deal with this type of network setup on a regular basis. Once you factor the cost of hiring a network technician, you may end up spending more money. However, with an HD-SDI system, every component is basically plug and play. You won’t need to worry about setting up each camera individually and at that point, running the wires will be your most difficult task.
  7.  One last thing you’ll need to consider is the reliability of your new surveillance system. If you ever have your DVR or Hard Drives fail on your HD-SDI DVR, your whole system will go down. You will no longer be able to record anything that’s happening on your property. However, if you’re using an NVR for your megapixel system and it crashes, at least you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re cameras are still capable of recording everything that’s happening for the next couple to few days depending on what type of memory card you have installed in each camera.

It seems that there are quite a few things to consider when trying to decide on HD-SDI VS Megapixel. If you think about it, it’s really not that hard of a decision to make. Personally, I would choose a megapixel IP system over an HD-SDI. It looks like the future is pointing to megapixel over HD-SDI because of all the added benefits between costs to reliability. Please keep in mind that HD-SDI still has its uses though. There are definitely some instances where it will be a benefit over a Megapixel IP system.

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The Many Uses of Security Cameras

Written By:
Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Cameras have changed completely since their inception. Some of the first images were of a piece of paper with silver chloride. The images were mostly dark shadows with no real details. Nicephore Niepce was reported to be the first person to create those images. Unfortunately his “pictures” would become entirely dark over time. The entire process was very cumbersome. You would need special chemical baths for the film to be developed. This was all around 1786 unfortunately Nicephore Niepce did not live long enough to see the fruits of his labors. About twenty years later the Box camera came to light. Although cumbersome it did start to produce quality images for the time period. The severe downside was the exposure times are very long, 3 hours long to be precise. Through the 1900s cameras of this style were the norm. Most were limited in application.

As you can see these cameras need a serious stand built for them so they can be motionless during the exposure time, and whatever you are taking a picture of would need to be motionless as well. These cameras worked well for people when everything was going a little slower than today. Those pictures are a good fit for picture albums and other typeset print media, i.e. books and pamphlets.

Today cameras are all about where and what you can put them on or in. After a trip to the doctor’s office it is a little unnerving what they can now look at in full color. Cystoscopy is a test that looks at the inside of your bladder to determine if you have any urinary tack issues. Cystoscope is the instrument that is used. This picture is of an actual cytoscope:

cytoscope

This camera allows your doctor to look at what has been bothering you. Now this is as closed circuit Television as it gets. The video feed is piped directly to a monitor for the doctor to look at and any brave family members you have with you. A cytoscope is a water proof camera for obvious reasons, so it is great for wet environments.

Working Length: 370mm
Angulation: 210° Up & 150°Down
Field of View: 120°
Depth of Field: 3mm-50mm
CV-1.5 Insertion Tube OD:

(1.5mm Channel)
4.7mm x 5.4mm

These specs vary depending on where you get the camera scope from, but as you can see it is very small.

Another type of radical camera is a bronchoscope. It is designed to allow a doctor or physician to view the inside of your respiratory tract.

bronchoscope

Depending on the procedure the care provider will go through the patient’s nose or mouth. During the procedure the device will pass though the throat and into the airways of the person. The Scope itself consists of a camera with light attached. It is like your own camera crew only they are in your lungs. Once inside the camera can see any blockages or inflammation the patient maybe having an issue with.

bronchoscope

As cameras have grown in popularity people have gone above and beyond as what they will put a camera on. The following picture is a novice that understands the importance of being able to record around their vehicle.

cameras on van

On a professional level UPS has found the need to place cameras on their delivery trucks. There are three main reasons for this straight from the UPS driver. The first and most obvious would be to prevent and track theft. The second reason is to help the driver to prevent getting into accidents. The third reason is to prevent general mayhem from people around the truck, such as people trying to hitch a ride on the back of the truck. Apparently it happens more than you or I would think. Almost weekly people are being booted from stealing a ride on the back of UPS trucks. That is about as bright as skitching a ride on a skateboard by hanging onto someone’s bumper.

Another great use for IP cameras is to use them on rental items such as quads or four wheel drive vehicles. I have a customer that has set up several rental business with IP dome cameras on their equipment and then they sell the video back to the customers too, so not only does it video of any negligence people can get a movie of the crazy stunts they probably were not supposed to be doing as well. Motor cross as a whole has been growing with more widespread use of helmet cams. Riders are now able to share their sick rides through the forests, the dunes, or on tracks. Before all of this was only seen with recording equipment that the television and cable networks had.

Nascar has taken cameras to the next level with putting them on the cars. Nascar has a service called “RaceBuddy” It is very cool if you are into racing. You get six video feeds from the driver. Next you get in and outside views off the car. Also you get the backstretch cam which is amazing being able to see the leader with everybody on his tail. Then you get video from the pit crews and pit road. This is all done over the internet so many users can be logged in to look at all the different camera shots. What makes RaceBuddy so innovative is how they use the video stream on a website. Any camera or DVR has a limit to how many users can log in at one time. Taking the RTSP stream to a webserver so only the webserver actually logs in then multiplies the feed to users on the website is brilliant. This method lets as many people to view without overloading your own network.

RaceBuddy

School busses and regular public transit has been installing more and more cameras for public safety. The installed cameras on busses help resolve differences between passenger and another passenger or issues with the bus driver. There is now a way to make sure the people on the bus and the operator all doing the right thing. This also helps the operator do some of the more important tasks like drive in heavy traffic not mediate a dispute between riders.

schoolbus cam

Not that our loving children are doing anything wrong on the bus while going to school, but it is always good to be sure especially in a court of law.

Cameras are getting smaller and smaller as the technology matures. From the medical field to racing, and law enforcement cameras are making every picture worth a 1000 words. The scope of a camera has changed from entertainment to tools of the trade and these tools are getting more precise as time goes on.

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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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