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    Thread: Home Security - surveillance cameras for general home owners

    1. Member Phrost's Avatar
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      09-21-2010 09:18 AM #26
      ^ Anything is on topic. It's just from my understanding, the alarm systems cost more and involve a monthly fee to be monitored. I'm just asking about cheap equipment.

      On a side note, my other camera comes tomorrow so I can get started on the install

    2. 09-21-2010 09:34 AM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by roman16v View Post
      Where do you guys mount the DVRs? Seems like you would want to have it some place rather hidden right?
      Gun safe, with a hole drilled in back to run the wires through.

    3. Member mad8vskillz's Avatar
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      09-30-2010 03:16 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by CRAIG1MACK View Post
      Gun safe, with a hole drilled in back to run the wires through.
      I had this thought as well.
      Demokratikally Elekted Fist Lieutenant of the Outside Cavalry of the Independent People's Republik of Offtopikstan
      Quote Originally Posted by GodSquadMandrake View Post
      That's too bad but, VWVortex said so... so you have to do it now.

    4. Member Phrost's Avatar
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      09-30-2010 08:41 PM #29
      Life is really busy right now, so I never got to do my install yet.

      But I finished wiring lights throughout my attic so I can see what I'm doing up there, and hung my security flood lights in my back yard. All is ready to hang my cameras and route the wires whenever I have the time.

    5. Member Phrost's Avatar
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      10-09-2010 06:24 PM #30
      DVR is setup, and my front yard camera is up and running. DVR hard drive and fan are kind of annoying, so I might relocate it somewhere else

      Taken with my Droid camera:




      Front door:


      If you couldn't see the cam:
      Last edited by Phrost; 10-09-2010 at 06:30 PM.

    6. Member unimogken's Avatar
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      10-09-2010 11:25 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by CRAIG1MACK View Post
      Gun safe, with a hole drilled in back to run the wires through.
      Most if not all of the big gun safes already have holes to run dehumidifiers inside of them.
      I really wish everyone would update their location in their profile!

      Someone buy my car already!!

      Always looking for free firewood to feed my hungry wood stove!

    7. 10-10-2010 04:41 PM #32
      Found a link on how to view your camera feed online. Might be relevant.


      Link.

    8. Member Phrost's Avatar
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      10-10-2010 05:40 PM #33
      ^ Thank you

      There is a chapter in my DVR's manual about connecting it to my router or modem to get it online, but I'm not sure if my Droid will be compatible with it. Haven't tried it yet.

      I have to aim my front yard motion lights better, with no lights on there is almost no visibility, as I expected. I can see my front porch, then the rest just looks like fog. I'm going to add landscaping lights soon too, which should help, but night recording is the reason I put up the cam. Maybe 100w floods instead of 45w floods will do it, even thought I initially went with 45w to not piss the neighbors off

    9. Member xmaciek82x's Avatar
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      04-25-2011 04:41 PM #34
      Figured I can ask here without starting a new thread.

      Can I take a camera like this one http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A1YX7EB80E4EIU and mount it inside to look through a window over my driveway?

      Would the glass window mess with the IR at night time?

      Thanks

    10. Member unimogken's Avatar
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      04-25-2011 09:57 PM #35
      When I tested some IR cameras inside looking thru the glass before I mounted them outside you could see reflections of the IR's. They're kinda ghosted but the IR still passes thru the glass.

      The optimal mounting location would be outside of course.
      I really wish everyone would update their location in their profile!

      Someone buy my car already!!

      Always looking for free firewood to feed my hungry wood stove!

    11. Member xmaciek82x's Avatar
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      04-26-2011 10:59 AM #36
      Quote Originally Posted by unimogken View Post
      When I tested some IR cameras inside looking thru the glass before I mounted them outside you could see reflections of the IR's. They're kinda ghosted but the IR still passes thru the glass.

      The optimal mounting location would be outside of course.
      Perfect. Thanks. Unfortunately mounting the camera outside is not an option right now. I'm only looking to mount 1 camera from my office window to overlook my driveway.

      Are there any good USB IR camera that are worth looking into? Since my server is right next to the window, I can just plug it in.

    12. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      04-30-2011 03:29 AM #37
      I set up one of these for a guy about 4 years ago that had 8 cameras. We setup a standalone PC as a DVR. The power supply was standalone with a UPS to record for an hour or so after power was cut off. The PC went into a secure box with it's own UPS and it uploaded video to a remote server. So even if they cut power and destroyed the camera PC, we had evidence.

      The cameras were pretty normal color day time/ infrared night time with the LED things and the domes. They worked ok, but you couldn't see the whole backyard at night. The best solution IMO is an infrared flood light that can shine all the time. A regular flood light with motion detector makes a flash and it takes the camera a while to adjust, and if you don't have a light on the camera can't see the motion to record. So if you just keep an infrared floodlight turned on it seems like the best. I dunno it depends on the situation and a lot of things.

      But as far as I have seen, the cameras haven't improved dramatically. And that's really the biggest problem. The DVR's are nice, but you need decent quality video at all hours of the day.

    13. Member Khyron's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 12:09 PM #38
      Just a bump - I find even the expensive video cameras are pretty much useless for ID. Generally can't get plates, or faces. Does anyone have high MP cams that take 1 or 2 still pictures a second instead of full 15-30 fps video? Seems to me those would be more usable?

    14. Member jpr's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 12:29 PM #39
      Ive been wanting to get a 4cam setup with an 8channel dvr with room to add more cameras later. A big thing with clarity on these cheap cams is camera placement. Where you mount the camera can have a lot to do with IDing faces and plates etc.... however you dont want to mount them where they can be easily accessible is the problem. Up and out of the way means up and out of the way of IDing faces and plates too. Its a catch22. Like khryon said, ive seen multi thousand dollar cameras that can zoom in across an entire parking lot and read a windshield sticker but can't get a plate number on a car driving by during recorded playback.

      Your gonna get into the few hundred dollar range for megapixel security cameras.

      http://www.supercircuits.com/Securit...urity-Cameras/

      check out the Arecont 2MP camera to get some ideas of the clarity you can get 1600x1200 images
      Up to 24 fps in HDTV-1080p mode (1920 x 1080)
      Price: $789.95
      http://store.videosurveillance.com/a...2815-ip-camera
      Last edited by jpr; 07-21-2011 at 12:33 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Adler v. Relynet
      THE COURT: Knighton was that strange guy; right?

    15. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      07-21-2011 11:32 PM #40
      [QUOTE=jpr;72653109however you dont want to mount them where they can be easily accessible is the problem. Up and out of the way means up and out of the way of IDing faces and plates too. Its a catch22. [/QUOTE]

      That's going off the assumption that your cameras can be easily tampered with. I setup an 8 camera system and all of the cameras over lapped so there were no blind spots. If you approached the house at any angle except from the sky, you'd be caught on multiple cameras. You couldn't approach one camera to spray paint it, smash it, etc without having a close-up of your face on the first one because they worked in back-to-back pairs and were put on walls. Yes they were pretty obvious, but the point was to create a strong image of security so that a potential thief would move on to the next house on the block.

      After the cameras were setup I realized that everyone's seen the movies where they just steal the tape and this system is useless if they get the tapes. So instead of a VCR or DVR we used a PC with a PCI camera board that could watch up to 8 cameras. It came with the software to manage it all. The computer transmitted the video to a remote location as long as it had a working Internet connection. But realizing that wasn't exactly perfect either, I had the home owner weld me up a custom armored box for the computer. He was a fabricator so it was easy for him to make something that you couldn't move or break into without some serious hardware. We threw a UPS in the box too to give us a little extra time in case someone cut off the power. The cameras also had their own UPS but it was too big to go in with the computer.

      That was way cheaper and easier than trying to setup a foolproof camera location with a super high quality camera. All 8 of my cameras still didn't cost as much one Arecont 2MP camera. I could've even just bought another PCI board and expanded to 16 cameras if needed and the PC had the capacity for it.

      I wouldn't say this house was high security. Cameras won't stop a smash and grab and there were 2 sliding glass doors which are known to be easy to break into. It was just a normal house with cameras.

    16. Member jpr's Avatar
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      08-01-2011 05:01 PM #41
      i hear what your sayin.

      The good vandal proof cameras are virtually indestructible. Ive seen people whack these things with aluminum bats and 2x4's and metal pipes and they dont break. All you need is a high enough location to where an over average height person would have a hard time reaching without a lot of effort.

      I guess its more of a preference thing but I would rather have a couple really good cameras than a bunch of ****ty ones. No matter how many ****ty cameras you got and how many angles and directions you catch somebody in if you can't identify a face then all you have is a bunch of video of a suspect you know nothing about. A security system in any aspect is only as good as its weakest link.

      I was thinking about putting 8 or so cameras on my property but the more I look at things and measure things out I think I'm only gonna get a few really good cameras that would overlap on the property a lot easier than a bunch of baseline cameras would.

      Im gonna start with an 8 channel or 16 channel DVR so I will have room to grow if need be. Crappy or not you can never have too many cameras I'd just rather do things a little more efficient the first time so I'm not stuck with cameras that don't really perform well or are pretty much pointless in whatever location they might be in after all that installation etc...
      Quote Originally Posted by Adler v. Relynet
      THE COURT: Knighton was that strange guy; right?

    17. Senior Member SAPJetta's Avatar
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      08-01-2011 05:54 PM #42
      Good stuff here. I was just discussing security cameras with a couple of neighbors the other day after a couple of odd things have happened at night around our places.

      I could set up two that would not only capture our front driveway and entryway, but also the entrances to both neighbors homes and parking spots in the front. It would pretty much capture anything odd that went on around the houses.
      Where are we going and why am I in this handbasket?

    18. Member Phrost's Avatar
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      08-07-2011 10:45 PM #43
      My one that views my front door and driveway (post 30 on page 1) shows my sister's front yard and driveway after I aimed it... but it's so far away its pretty useless, its just a "was anyone over there and what time was it" convenience.

      I have another 2 cameras but I'm unsure where I want to wire them...

    19. Member Sizzla's Avatar
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      08-08-2011 09:02 AM #44
      Subscribed for future use.

      Great posts!!

    20. Member GodSquadMandrake's Avatar
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      08-09-2011 02:03 AM #45
      Home Security is an interesting topic for sure. How about physical security?
      A friend of mine who lives in a north Minneapolis, MN neighborhood had a home invasion last month. His wife was out and he was taking a nap in the bedroom on the second floor. They kicked in the back door, which was a wood door with wood frame, and just stole the TV and 2 laptop computers. He heard the noise and woke up. Around the time he got dressed to go downstairs, a man opened his bedroom door and came in. He said the conversation was like this:

      "Oh sorry is this George's house?"
      "No who are you man?"
      "Sorry the door was unlocked."
      "Get out of my house!"

      And the guy just shut door and left. My friend was really freaked out. When he went downstairs the back door was just laying there on the floor and the stuff was gone. Internet tough-guy comments aside my friend is just a typical city dweller and doesn't keep guns under his pillow or anything. Conceal and carry permits were legalized in that state a few years back, but local businesses retaliated by posting "No guns allowed" signs outside of every business. It's quite strange, Minnesota is the only state where I have ever seen signs that say "No guns". But it just means that if you try and get your permit you can't take your gun inside of anywhere. If you did, you are committing a felony and would lose your ability to carry a firearm. Even just by mistake if you forgot you are carrying it's a felony. So you would have to keep the gun inside of your car if you are driving even to the grocery store. Criminals know that so they just break into cars and steal your gun when they know you don't have it. So the only place that it's practical to have a gun is still your house and the lifestyle is relatively unchanged. It maintains the image that I grew up with of guns. The idea that anyone who has a gun is either a cop or a criminal. So it's considered to be deviant to own one for anything other than hunting or collecting purposes. That just decreases the demand for training and safety classes too. So unfortunately gun ownership doesn't work nearly as well in that state's culture as it does in other gun friendly states. But guns aside I wanted to know what people think about doors and things.

      Why are security doors so uncommon in these high crime neighborhoods? I noticed that in my neighborhood in Yokohama every single house has a metal door. Most of the windows, even second floor, have bars. If they don't have bars they use a rolling metal door at night. The sound is freaky at night. Right when the sun goes down you hear an orchestra of rolling metal doors slamming and locking. It's not for storms, they are clearly just for security. I'm talking about this type:

      This is a very low crime neighborhood but if you wanted to break into a house you'd need a plasma cutter. Most of the houses look bulletproof literally. So why don't people in neighborhoods like Minneapolis get this kind of stuff? Is it the city building code or something? I know sometimes there are protests against shops that have bars on the windows. People say that it brings down the image of the neighborhood. But some of the bars of the windows are quite beautiful with laser cut designs and pot holders for plants. Especially the rolling metal shutters, they aren't obvious until they are shut. Even then it can just look like an extension of the aluminum metal siding of the house.

    21. Member jpr's Avatar
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      08-09-2011 09:26 AM #46
      how much do those things run?
      Quote Originally Posted by Adler v. Relynet
      THE COURT: Knighton was that strange guy; right?

    22. 01-02-2012 06:59 AM #47
      Hi,

      I have been in the security services business for over 9 years. I finally have a topic that I can help with. :If you have any more questions feel free to ask me.
      http://www.mr-locks.com

    23. 01-10-2012 03:48 PM #48
      Man I hope this place gets traffic.

      I have a home alarm that was installed when I had my house built. It's about a 3 year old Brinks system.

      I want to get it activated for just use inside the house. I know monitoring will basically pay for itself with a discount in Homeowners insurance, but I may be moving in 6 months and ALL the monitoring companies want 36 month leases.

      Is it possible to get the system hooked up just inside the house with an alarm with out using a monitoring system? How does one go about getting it "turned on"?

    24. Member Phrost's Avatar
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      01-11-2012 12:56 AM #49
      I know it's possible, my sister has an off-brand system with a siren that is not connected to anything yet.

      On a side note, I just purchased 2 more dome cameras to complete my 4ch system recently Won't be installing them until spring since I don't want to mess around in the cold. But wiring is a beotch, and the only place that works with wiring isn't really a spot I need to monitor... but at least I'll have all the main spots of my house covered lol.

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      01-11-2012 11:09 AM #50
      I'm looking forward to upgrading my home surveillance system as well once we move. We live in a very safe neighborhood but I just like to be able to have the added security. I'm currently using pan, tilt, zoom wireless IP cameras directed at the front driveway and at the rear entrance. As someone noted, for cameras aimed at the outdoors, unless you mount the camera outside of your house, you will get a reflective glare. You will still be able to see what's going on but the quality and detail will be greatly diminished.
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