Posts Tagged ‘ relay ’

Triggering an Electronic Lock with a Security Camera Alarm Output

Written By:
Friday, June 19th, 2015

Alarm Trigger Setup

Many of our security cameras have a built-in camera alarm output that can be utilized for a variety of devices such as strobes, sirens, flood lights, etc.  But, did you know that these alarm outputs can be used with our access control devices to trigger the unlocking and locking of doors?  Today, we are going to utilize our alarm output to trigger a door to unlock.  Basically, upon motion, our door will unlock to allow entry with a slight delay to allow for a clear snapshot of the subject entering the facility or limited access entryway.

Say you have a customer-only door that you only wish to open when a customer is present.  In addition to taking snap shots of the customers as they enter as well as sending you alerts or pictures of them, you can have the camera automatically unlock the door during these specific hours of operation.  Or, for example, say we have an employee-only room but you want to know exactly who was in that room and when.  This can be used in congruency with the camera’s snapshot feature to trigger the door to unlock with a delay, thus ensuring you get a full picture of the employee who entered the door as well as a date/time stamp of when they entered. This can be obtained by increasing the delay at which the door unlocks and thus opens.

So, today we are going to to go over how to use the camera alarm output on a camera to trigger a door look such as an electronic door strike or magnetic lock.  I’ve chosen to use our 3 megapixel IP Vandal Dome (IPVD-EL3MPIR) and our 1500lb. DX series fail safe strike lock (ACDS-DX1500SA-L).  I’ve also chosen our single channel relay (ACA-Relay-1) to relay the signal between the camera and the lock and the power supply. For the power supply I used our Power-12V3A to provide power to the lock.  For additional cable I recommend our SC500-22-6-SHST-G as it works far better than the Cat-6 cable I utilized for our short run.  It is well worth noting there are a variety of cameras and access control locks that can be utilized with this setup. I certainly encourage you to give our Sales Department a call, and we would be glad to give you a complete list of options of cameras and locks that can be utilized in this manner.

Wiring Diagram For Camera Alarm Output

First, we are going to go over the wiring process and how to hardwire these devices into the relay.  The power supply should be connected to the ground and the hot to the common relay terminals.  The strike should be likewise connected to, in our case, the ground and normally-closed (NC) part of the relay terminals.  Your alarm output should be connected with the alarm out to the ground and +12V terminal.  This should allow a complete circuit until told otherwise from the alarm output.   This allows for current to flow only when the alarm output allows.  When motion is tripped you should also notice a red light on the relay showing the flow of power through to the lock.

Once we’ve done the hard wiring of everything it’s time to configure the camera.  The easiest way to test the wiring is to trip the relay from the camera with the relay or alarm out button located at the top right hand corner of the screen.  It will be the siren like icon located just below the the setup tab after you have logged into the camera.    This is an interesting feature in and of itself as it allows you the unique ability to lock and unlock the lock on manual command, thus allowing you to cancel the entry of the person at the door should you not wish it.

Once you’ve tested the relay, the next step is to configure the camera under the setup tab located on the top right hand of the screen.  From here you will go to the Event tab on the far left hand side of the screen and click the alarm sub-menu.  Make sure the tab for relay out is checked and set the delay for the alarm by the number of seconds you wish to delay.

Next just above alarm-in the sub menu is a video detect event.  You want to ensure that you are inside the motion detect panel and have enabled this feature as we will be using it as the event to trigger the unlocking of the strike.  Following this, we will need to click setup on the working period and set the schedule we want this event to be trigger-able.  Say it’s an entrance for customers, and you only want it to trigger from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday (typical business hours). Here is where you would specify these details.   Once you’ve saved these settings you should click the area set up button and assign the area you wish to have the camera trigger motion within.   Say there is a tree in the background that waves in the wind and you do not want it to affect your door. You would make sure it is not included in the selected area for motion detect.  Again, be sure to save your settings!

Having completed this, you can now test the camera’s motion and you should at this time see the  un-lock triggered after the motions set delay.  This will guarantee that clear snapshot, and allow the person to enter the facility or room. This allows you the peace of mind to let traffic flow as normal without feeling any loss of security.  You also have the ability to look back at each event via email if you chose to click the email notification box in the settings.  With this added feature you will find your camera can be used for many things in addition to typical surveillance options, simply by including it in controlled or limited access areas.  This feature set up is not unique to this lock or camera and it is highly encouraged that you give our Sales team a call to see which camera and lock would best suit your needs!

(hope you enjoy the complete video)


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.