Posts Tagged ‘ DVR inputs ’

Using Your Security DVR or NVR for Automation

Written By:
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
8 Channel LT Mini

When it comes to home security there are many options out there.  When I was looking for a DVR I wanted a full featured DVR in a small package.  I came across the Techpro Ultimate MiniSeries DVR, this little unit is full featured and is great for automation as well.  It offers D1 realtime resolution on all channels, Dual Core processors, dual hard drive bays, alarm inputs and outputs, audio inputs, capable of two way audio, can handle up to four monitors, has a three year warranty, lifetime technical support, and free remote viewing apps for iPhone, Android, iPad, and Tablets.  There is not much this little machine cannot do especially when it comes to automation.

There are many reasons to why I like this unit. First is for the high quality analog recordings it can do.  D1 resolution at thirty frames per second.  This is a huge thing for me because when most systems record at D1 resolution they are not able to record at thirty frames per second on all channels, the most I was finding was fifteen frames per second on all channels.  With the thirty frames per second I know that no matter what is happening I am going to catch it and the recorded video does not look robotic.  The second biggest reason that I like this little machine is that it can handle two different hard disk drives, so that I can either extend the amount of time the machine can record or I can run the RAID configuration so I will always have a backup of the events even if one of the hard drives fail.

The two way audio capabilities of the Ultimate Mini DVR is fantastic for the application that I use it.  I have set up an old stereo that I had laying around to accept the audio outputs from the DVR and utilize it’s amplification to output the audio source from the DVR and relay it to some outdoor loudspeakers that I have installed.

8 Channel LT Mini Audio

This may sound crazy, but it has come in very handy in the past.  I can use the TechproSS application on my phone and speak through the DVR to those speakers.  This type of application could be used for many of things.  It is not however an intercom system, so whatever speakers are connected to it will have the sound come out of them.  For instance, if you had an office environment and you wanted to be able to communicate back and forth with someone, anyone else who has the speakers installed near them would hear part of the conversation.  But, it will work great if you have like a warehouse or yard and you wanted to announce something it would be able to handle that.   Now keep in mind that if you have microphones attached to the unit and are utilizing the audio out, if you have the channel selected with the microphone input, it will be broadcast through the speakers that are attached to the DVR.

8 Channel LT Mini IN.OUT

One of the best things about this unit is the alarm inputs and outputs.  Most people will think that I am crazy, but I can utilize these functions to do numerous different applications.  One of the functions that I can do is utilize one of the alarm outputs to trigger something.  I use one of mine to be able to open my garage door from anywhere that I have an internet connection.  I also use one of them to trigger an alarm siren on my house.  I use another one to turn on and off a light at my house.  They really can be used for almost anything you can imagine.  I have known of customers who have utilized the outputs to open gates, release Mag Lock doors, open blinds, and many other things.

There are a couple of things you will need to accomplish these things.  First you will need a relay coming from the alarm output.  The relay that I use and know works is an ELK-912. The reason that I like this relay so much is that it can handle multiple different types of power sources.  You will need some extra wire to connect the relay to the DVR and the device it will be controlling. If you are using this for turning on lights, I suggest you consult an electrician to help you not cause an electrical short or other problems.  You will want to follow the instructions that come with whatever relay you decide to use.  I am going to explain how I use the ELK-912 relay.  There are several different ways to accomplish the same result.  The first thing that you will do is to connect the positive wire from the device you are trying to activate to the Normally Open (N/O) on the relay.  You will then connect the negative from the device to the negative of whatever power supply you are using.  Then you will connect the common port on the relay to the positive of your power supply.  Next connect a cable from the negative of the power source to the negative of the relay.  You will then connect a cable from the positive terminal of the relay to the Normally Open (N/O) of the alarm output on the DVR.  The last cable that you will need to connect is from the Common Port of the DVR to the positive of your power source.

Now that you have your device connected to your DVR there are several different ways that you can activate it to test and see if it works.  The easiest method is to use the TechproSS Plus application on your phone or tablet.  Once you have at least one camera selected in the Live Preview, you will see a triangle on the bottom right of the screen with an exclamation point in it.  You will select this icon and another set of options will pop up, these are your alarm outputs.  You will select the check mark next to the alarm output that you want to activate.  If you have done it properly you will either have your garage door open, gate open, siren activate, light turn on, or whatever you attached to this output.

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 5.07.33 PM

Another cool thing that you can do is to use the alarm inputs to trigger the alarm outputs to do something.  For example if you wanted your lights to come on automatically when you walk into a room, you could take an alarm motion sensor and have it connected to the alarm input of the DVR, have the lights for that room or area connected to the alarm output.  The input would then trigger the output to respond.  I use this type of setup at my front door, so whenever someone crosses my motion detector my siren goes off.

This is typically a little extreme, except we never use our front door for anything.  I also use this setup for a room in my house that we rarely ever go into, but when we do the lights automatically turn on when the motion sensor is activated.

The options of what the inputs and outputs on the back of the DVRs can be used for are virtually infinite.  I have only briefly explained some of the ways that I have used them, but I know there are people out there with imaginations that I could never compare to.  No matter what way you decided to use these, I know you will have fun.


DVR Inputs and Outputs Explained

Written By:
Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

At first glance the back of a security DVR might look very complicated to the average person. Although the various features and options vary between models, there are usually standard components that can be found on most DVRs. We will use the TechPro Security Product’s “4 Channel Ultimate Mini Series D1 Real-time Security DVR” to explain the most common inputs and outputs.
Back of a DVRAbove is the back of the DVR-LT4120MHD sold by Looking from left to right you will see several components, ports, and jacks with labels such as “Video In”, “Video Out”, “Mic In”, “Spot”, “RS232”, “VGA”, “HDMI”, and so on. Let’s start with “Video In”.
As you might expect this is where the cables that come from each security camera get plugged in. These are BNC connections. BNC connectors where originally designed for the military as a quick connect/disconnect RF connector for Coaxial cable.DVR INPUT BNC

DVR INPUT BNC CABLECoaxial cable is similar to the cable you might have in your home connected to your cable box. Each camera will have its own dedicated coaxial cable running to each of the ports on the back of the DVR to transfer the video. This unit is capable of recording up to 4 separate video streams, making it a 4 channel DVR. There are also 8, 16 and 32 Channel models available.
DVR INPUT BNC OUTThe BNC Video Out lets you connect a TV or monitor to view your DVR user interface and security cameras. The display must have a BNC connection or composite video in. You can use a BNC to composite video adapter if you have the composite-in available.
DVR INPUT VGAThe VGA port essentially does the same thing as the BNC out but will accommodate devices with VGA Inputs.
VGA is most common on computer monitors or later model Plasma, LCD and LED televisions.
DVR INPUT HDMILike BNC & VGA out the HDMI port is used to manage your DVR settings via the local interface, view your cameras in real-time or search for and review recorded video.
One major difference is that HDMI is capable of resolutions up to 1920 x 1280 (1080P). HDMI out can be found on many DVRs including the full line-up by TechPro Security Products.
DVR INPUT SPOT OUTSpot or spot out is also a BNC video output. Unlike the BNC video out mentioned above, spot out is a special output reserved for spot monitors. Unlike the BNC video out, it does not output the DVR user interface and does not allow for any interaction with the DVR. Instead it is used to display only the video output from one channel, cycle through various channels, or display a matrix of channels. The setup and configuration of the spot out channels or matrix depend on the particular options of each DVR. Spot Out can also be hooked up to any display or monitor with a BNC connection or to a composite input with the use of an adaptor.

Example: BNC / Composite

DVR INPUT USBThis is a standard USB port similar to one you might find on any computer. The USB port can be used to plug in a mouse for use with your DVR local interface or to back up footage to a USB thumb stick or external hard drive.
This 4 Channel Ultimate Mini DVR also has another USB port on the front of the unit.
DVR INPUT ETHERNETThe Ethernet port allows you to connect your DVR to your local network via CAT5 or CAT6 cable with a standard RJ45 connecter. Once the DVR is connected you will be able to remotely view and manage it from any computer on the same network. You do this using the special software that comes with the DVR or a web browser if your DVR has the capability to do so.
With a little configuration some DVRs also have software and mobile apps so you can access you DVR from outside your network for true remote viewing, management and video playback.
All of the DVRs sold by support these capacities with software and apps for Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad and Android mobile devices.
A/B – RS485 PORT
DVR INPUT A/B RS485This port, also known as a terminal block, is most commonly used for PTZ (Pan Title Zoom) camera controller wires. Like most cameras, PTZs need wires for power and video but also need two extra wires to control the motors that allow you to Pan, Tilt and Zoom the camera remotely.
RS232 SERIAL PORTThis port actually has a few different uses. Most common include, but not limited to, physical PTZ joystick control and POS (Point Of Sale) system integration.
DC 12V POWER12 volt DC power plug receptacle. This provides the power to the DVR only. All cameras must be powered by an external power source.
ALARM INPUT TERMINAL BLOCK 1 - 8Here you will see 8 alarm inputs labeled 1 thru 8 with ground inputs to the right of them. The grounds can be shared among all of the alarm inputs. Alarms can be hooked up to devices such as motion detectors or glass break sensors that once triggered will send a signal to the DVR that in turn can trigger an internal DVR function. Examples include having a snap shot taken on a specific camera or a having an email sent to you. You can tell a camera(s) to start recording or even trigger your PTZ to look in a certain direction. You can even trigger external devices when used in conjunction with the alarm triggers explained below.
ALARM TRIGGERS 1 - 3This unit has 3 alarm triggers. Each trigger has “normally open” or positive on the top and “closed” or negative on the bottom. If you look closely you see the ’NO’ over the trigger number 1, 2 or 3 and the ‘C’ below it. There is no end to the devices that you can hook up to these outputs. They can be triggered by one of the alarm inputs mentioned above or can be manually triggered via the DVRs software or mobile apps.
Maybe you want a siren to go off anytime a specific camera see motion in a room from 6pm to 8am. Better yet, you could hook up your garage door and remotely open it from your smart phone.