Posts Tagged ‘ CCTV’



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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How to install a Home Security Camera System

Written By:
Wednesday, February 12th, 2014
home cctv security camera

Installing home security has been seen as an important field of action that uses technology to provide protection around a person’s home, while being controlled from tech support. These surveillance systems allow you to monitor your home and provide a safe environment for you and your family by using web browser on a computer or even a smart phone. The following is a brief listing of new ways that you are able to keep your home well guarded from different types of intruders.

There are many essential parts in a surveillance system. Some of theses include surveillance cameras, a DVR (digital video recorder), power supply, cables, and a monitor. The cameras are used to film areas that are under surveillance; however, the DVR is used to record footage and display live scenes through the monitor. The power supply, which is used to power the entire system, is connected to the digital video recorder. It is also possible to run the DVR through a power box and then connect the power supply to the box. There are many things that should be put in consideration when installing a surveillance system. However, one of the most important things someone should consider is the type of cameras that should be used.
If you are considering installing a video surveillance around your home, you should learn about the different types of cameras that would best fit any reason or situation you may have for possessing a surveillance system. There are a couple of features to consider when it comes to choosing from the variety of cameras for a surveillance system. The three main cameras choices that are most commonly selected include: dome cameras, bullet cameras, and box cameras. Dome cameras have low visibility, meaning they blend in well with their surroundings, and are always attached to ceilings. Bullet cameras are prominent and are obvious in their appearance as surveillance cameras.

After selecting which the appropriate type of camera, the next step is to choose where the cameras will be installed. Out door cameras would be in necessity of weather protection, but it is also possible to purchase waterproof surveillance cameras or protective camera housing. In indoor installation, cameras must be placed where they cannot be seen by other but still allow coverage of the area that needs watch. Bullet cameras are usually placed in corners of walls while dome cameras are less likely to be seen. After determining the areas where the cameras will be placed, the following step in installation.

Installation can be a complex process. It is a difficult process from setting up the wiring to placing the surveillance cameras in their position and the connection of all the equipment from the installation. Where you place the camera is important. The distance of the camera to the area you are focusing on should be given careful consideration and make sure it is clearly visible. You must make sure the camera is properly mounted so it will not shake or distort the picture or image.

For those worried about security, out door camera are suitable because they are used to prevent criminals from attempted robbery and break-ins. If you would want to know what happens while you are away, these surveillances may ease your mind. Video surveillance allowed you to monitor or record in personal areas. For example, parents may want to watch over their children while they are sleeping and lower risks of danger or even to catch a crime in your own front yard.

But before you install a security system in your home, you should be aware of the legal restrictions on video surveillance. If you are not aware of these legal aspects, you may potentially face charges. Knowing the laws of having a security system will lead us to finally installing the surveillance system.

It is important that the installation of the surveillance cameras is done properly. Poor installation will not get provide proper results you’ve hoped for. Some surveillance has motion detectors that activate once the gadget picks up any movement within the area.

Home security systems may be very complex and installation involves mounting. The alarm system is called a close circuit system. When doors or windows open, they trigger sound circuits because when closed wires are in wiring loops, opening breaks that loop causing those unsatisfying noises. Installing this means installing the sounder first. This alarm is used to scare away any intruder or to call attention for help. You must be sure that the mount is correctly mounted. We must know how to wire the system after mounting the alarm and installing the switches, fire sensors, and window foils. A knife or wire stripper is used to cut off ¾ of an inch of the wire ends. Then loop each wire under a different terminal screw on the switch. Run the wire to every entry detection switches and sensors. Then add the copper wires to the screws and twist together two silver wires. They should go in the sensors without breaks or interruptions.
To connect the sounder, use solder less connectors to join black wire from the battery to the sounder to make it operate correctly. Then connect the wire ends from the switch to smaller wires on the sounder. Test sounder after by opening the door or window. If it is correctly installed, the alarms should go off. Besides alarms, there are many more gadgets for security for your front door. For example, push-button locks allow you to lock and unlock using the Internet or a smart phone.

When installing the indoor cameras, you must follow the manufacturers. Bullet cameras generally need screws to be able to be hung on the wall, it is that simple. One the other hand, dome cameras require a perfectly cut circle from the ceiling where the camera is going to be placed. These systems involve whole home wiring. Video surveillance and 24/7 monitoring that carry many features.

Installing home security system helps raise awareness about your home’s security and often leads to people being able to lower the risk of a home break-in. It also teaches families about security and how to take control of the home environment.

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Five Things to Consider for When Selecting a CCTV Camera System Component, Package, and Company

Written By:
Friday, January 10th, 2014

Five Things to Consider for When Selecting a Camera System Component, Package, and Company

When shopping for a security camera system, its very easy to fall into any of the traps set by good marketing and advertising. You have to navigate through oodles of jargon and flat out lies in order to even start your decision. Here’s a few ways to tell whether or not you’re getting a good system from a reputable company (and no. Just because a company is “big” doesn’t make it either a good system, or the makers/marketers any more reputable).

1) Tech Support. Quite possibly the biggest factor. It doesn’t matter how amazing the picture is, or the quality, or anything else. If the manufacturing company doesn’t offer accessible support, you’re eventually going to be very unhappy. All things technical eventually, if not immediately have an issue. You want to make certain that you can actually reach someone in the event of an issue. Make sure there is more than one method as well. You want options like email, forums, phone lines, and online resources. Perhaps even go as far as give it a test run. Pretend you’ve had an issue before you’ve even bought something. What are you going to do? Can you find email contacts? Are there frequently asked questions sections in their resources? Can you get through to tech support? Does anyone answer the phone numbers provided? If you have a problem at any point, you want to be able to get it resolved. Support contact is imperative.

2) Warranty. Actually, not just if it has one either. Warranties are only as good as their usefulness. Some warranties don’t actually cover anything. Also, some are flat unclaimable due to the fact that there is no one to contact if or when the system has an issue. If a company has two different warranties for two different products, there is most likely a reason for that. There are obviously differences between tiers of products. You really want a two to three year warranty if you can find one. Some companies offer five, six, seven, and rarely more years of coverage. Again, this could be because they stand behind their product, or it could be because they have no intention on being around when it comes to pay the piper. Be leary of excessive warranties. One or two years is the standard. Low voltage electronics are not designed to last this long due to the fact that they are typically out of date technically in under three years. Essentially; you’re most likely going to want to replace them in two to three years anyway.

3) Value. Bang for the buck. No one likes the feeling they get when they buy a system and find out next week it went on sale, got discontinued or closed out, or is comparable (if not exactly the same) as another system for less money. Contact the company selling the system and find out these things. Also find out what is actually inside the machine. There aren’t a lot of chip and processor companies out there. The likelihood that you can find the exact same components on the market in another housing is very very good. Don’t base your entire decision on this, but use it as a “tiebreaker”. Companies do not usually support products their competition have sold, even if they are exactly the same. Just because you got a great deal doesn’t guarantee your long term happiness. What I find to work (often) is simply ask the company you like more to meet/match the price. They most likely are already familiar with the competitor. They may not match it all the way, or be happy about doing it. But they will most likely give you a price that will at least satisfy your pocket.

4) Future-proof. This actually goes more for the infrastructure involved with your system components. Often people are concerned about how long their components will last, and not at all about the cables and connectors that are involved. You really must consider this element as critical. As technology gets phased out, it becomes scarce. IDE hard drives are an excellent example of this. This was the standard for years, and within a single year they pretty much disappeared to the successor (PCI). Now its nearly impossible to find them. This too is somewhat true of the cables involved. You may think “big deal, cables are cheap”. However, your time isn’t. Even worse if you need to pay someone else to do the work. Being able to use your cables for future systems is probably going to save you a bundle later. Try to choose a cable type that can be used for something other than cameras (like Cat 5 or Cat 6). This will increase the likelihood of you getting future usage from them.

5) Knowledge. This is another common sense factor that often gets overlooked. The market is full of importers and warehouses. Yes, you can most likely get a deal from them. However don’t forget to consider the amount you know about security camera systems. A discount computer is fine, due to the fact that you’ve most likely owned several dozen and are also most likely well-trained on the operating systems they work in. But have you spent the same amount of time working on camera systems? Choosing a company that knows its products can save you massive amounts of headache in the long run. Checking their website may give you some insight as to whether or not they know what they are selling. However, too often material on websites gets stolen, reworked and reworded, and then re-posted again. You really need to contact the company. Use several methods. Call them. Email them. Fax them. Use the methods you prefer. Do a little discovery to see what other contact and information forms they may have. A running forum perhaps? An active and updated online database? A video database? A YouTube Channel? All of these things can and will help you acquire knowledge quickly and efficiently when you need it.

Clearly the quality, capability, and performance of the equipment you choose is important. But also is being able to learn how to use it, getting it repaired or replaced, and upgraded. In today’s market, there are so many good (and bad) alternatives that you really need to consider the place you purchase from as much (if not more) than the equipment itself. After all, you may save 50% on your purchase. But what good does it do you if you can’t use it at all?

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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.

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Basic Port Forwarding for the DVR & NVR

Written By:
Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

security system support groupsToday we will be exploring a simple world of port forwarding. For those of you who like to be hands on and grasp the “What, Why, and How to do” or you simply want to complete this segment of your job or project and Tech Support is unavailable I welcome you to proceed reading. I will begin with, “Make sure you have a PC, DVR/NVR, router and/or modem all [plugged in and ready to go. Also please obtain all passwords to each device (if necessary) to ensure flawless setup as we go from procedure to procedure. Once you have done so please access your START MENU on your PC.

basic port forwarding for nvrs

{Depending on what operating system you have, the above picture may vary.)

Choose the RUN option and then type in the command CMD. Then hit the enter key and you should have a window like the following:

setting up your security system

In this window, type in the command IPCONFIG and hit the enter key, this will pull up your LAN (Local Area Network) IP scheme. The one you will see my network in is a 192.168.1.xxx scheme. If yours is different, PLEASE DO NOT DESPAIR**, following along with the same process while subsitutuing my scheme with yours, will provide you with the SAME results. You should have now the following window:

As you see in the picture above my gateway 192.168.1.1 (which is my network scheme). The IP address of the PC I am using is 192.168.1.104. This is the unique IP belonging only to my device (my computer). This is the name, if you will, that the LAN knows my PC as. Every device that is attached to my network is issued its own unique IP address. Now our DVR/NVR and IP Mega Pixel cameras all have a default IP address of 192.168.1.108. On my network 192.168.1.108 is already taken so I will establish the IP of the DVR to 192.168.1.120. I suggest anyhow, to always change the IP address of any our devices to a known open IP on your network. You can see if an IP is open or not by pinging your network. You can check this in Command Prompt by typing in PING (hit the space bar once) and then the desired IP based on your established scheme. It will look like so:

how to manage your security system

(Above you can see this IP address is assigned to another device due to the com packet replies)

(Above you can see the IP address is not in use)

Now that we have established an open IP to assign to the device lets change it. If you right click on the mouse of the DVR, chose the following:

Main Menu -> Settings -> Network. Configure your network to the chosen IP in the IP address field. Make sure to change the Default Gateway in the respected field as well if your network requires. While we are still in this menu, let’s go ahead and assign our desired ports for the HTTP and TCP. I for instance will change the HTTP to 88 and keep the TCP port as it defaults of 37777. I now will save my configuration. (If the DVR prompts you that it wants to reboot, this is fine and a necessary function. Just hit okay.) Now let’s move onto creating PORT FOWARDING rules on our network. Normally you can just open up any browser and type in the DEFAULT GATEWAY of your IP scheme. Please refer to the picture below:

how to set up port forwarding for NVRs

(Before)

port forwarding set up for security systems

(After)

I will now access my router by putting in the password. Once Inside I can now create port forwarding rules for my device. Based on your router and/or modem the following pictures will not look the same. The current router I am using is a Linksys 1750AC.

(Main Menu once you log into the Linksys 1750AC)
single port forwarding for security cameras

I will now go to the Security tab at the bottom left hand corner, then choose the APPS & GAMING tab, and then SINGLE PORT FORWARDING.

double port forwarding for security systemsecurity system set up

As you can see in the above I have created (3) different port forwarding rules for the IP address 192.168.1.120 which is my DVR. You WILL have to only create two, the HTTP PORT & TCP PORT. Once completed be sure to save the configuration and now let’s check to see if our external is now connected to our internal with this two ports. We are going to proceed use a website known as: CanYouSeeMe.org

security system port forwarding support

Once on this page proceed to enter in the HTTP & TCP ports you assigned to your device and opened on your LAN in the box like so:

security camera help forum

I hope you got the same results as I did! If all was successful you ports should have shown a SUCCESS: I can see your service on (your external IP here) on port (your desired port you choose). If not, again do not despair***, please try following the same process over or contact us for your free technical support on OUR products. Please see the below for the DVR view on a browser:

best security camera system support

best security system help

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