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  1. CCTV_Guy

    Please advise on cheap DVR

    Hi Rory, please excuse my delay in getting back to you ... I was out doing battle with some raccoons, if ya can believe it. Yeah, along with conventional, off-the-shelf cameras, we sell what we call the Predator camera which, as stated earlier, is simply a packaged Sony block camera (for example : http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/DisplayModel?m=10005&p=2&sp=10&id=69180 ). Now for us, this is pretty much a niche-market item and a specialty item, but all come ready for networking, and all are pretty much tailored to the client's needs. Some operate remotely (and/or autonomously) as wildlife projects, others serve in homes or yachts. Some come equipped with covert illuminators; some are ambient-light only. We embed entry-level PHP scripts in Axis 2401+ servers to control the basic camera parameters as well as optionally controlling the camera's response to ambient light (i.e. rather than simply turning the camera on 'AUTO' and letting it fly, we offer an extra-cost scripting option which'll manage the cam's response predicated on the output of a light sensor peering out the housing window alongside the camera). And, if a client wishes to do some fine-detail camera work, we'll write and install the scripting, or (rarely) sell the scripting and let the client modify it as he/she sees fit. Or, at least we've talked about selling the scripting; we haven't actually done it yet. However, the 2401+'s days are numbered and we don't have many left so I think I'll have to re-cast the PHP scripts as shell scripting 'cuz I think the newer Axis servers no longer use PHP3 (or any flavor of PHP for that matter). Regrettably, while I'd like to house the Predator in a dome, I've found it tough to find a dome that is reasonably priced AND whose control language is known to us or openly available. I like the Hitachi PT-50 ( http://www.eaglepantilt.com/ ), but only very recently learned of it and haven't yet had an opportunity to play with one. In the meantime, if the client specifies a dome cam, I generally suggest PELCO or the Sony EVI-D70 ( http://bssc.sel.sony.com/BroadcastandBusiness/DisplayModel?m=10005&p=2&sp=22&id=72199 ) Incidentally, I know of a manufacturer here in the Seattle area that became stinkin' rich selling packaged Sony block cameras. The camera alone - no illuminator, no P&T, no networking - goes for $6000 (not a typo: I meant to type $6000 - camera alone). Their niche? US military, US law enforcement, and oil companies around the world. Indeed, after selling $6000 cameras for years (they began with the IX45-a (perhaps even before that)) they're now rich 'n powerful enuf that while they still sell their repackaged Sony block cam, they now work with the Predator remotely-controlled aircraft, Homeland Defense projects, and other ultra-high-profile projects. Their clients want results and don't want to be bothered with trivial issues such as cost. They know the name of the camera they want and that's what they specify in their RFQs - no substitutions, please! Can you imagine the profit margin on selling a Sony block camera for $6000? Heck, you don't hafta imagine it, call your Sony distributor, get your price on the 480, and calculate the profit margin! Consequently, I'm a big fan of Sony and Pelco (oh! and VisionTech and Watec/Genwac). Best wishes, bill
  2. CCTV_Guy

    Please advise on cheap DVR

    Oh! Maybe he was. If that's the case, then you're right, of course. After all, who knows what some other manufacturer'll do with the chips? But when Sony does sumthin' with'em, it's been my experience that the results are professional-grade. Sorry 'bout my misunderstanding. bill
  3. CCTV_Guy

    Please advise on cheap DVR

    Man, judging from Rory's comments, I guess I've just been lucky with Sony cameras ... Now, admittedly, I have only five years' experience with Sony cams (generally block cams bundled into someone else's housing), and zero experience with Sony's smaller cams, but if a no-name outfit like VisionTech can make a pretty strong performer, one would expect that Sony can too. I've used cams similar to the 8-LED cameras that Andris spoke of, and night vision-wise, they were always a disappointment. Some o' the larger 40-LED cams throw a lot of light, though. Comparable to a 60-watt illuminator? probably not, but it ain't drawin' 60 watts, and it didn't cost $500, either. Certainly, Extreme CCTV is a quality manufacturer, but one pays for that quality, they ain't givin' it away. Someone working with a Clover budget may wish to avoid Extreme pricing. I think Andris will see a significant improvement with his new camera over his previous 8-LED camera. Will it be the best possible configuration? probably not, but it will be a significant improvement, and (I'm guessin') at a reasonable price. And, contrary to Rory's experience, my experience with Sony cams lo these last five years (I sold my software company five years ago and got into this gig immediately thereafter) has all been good.... no, GREAT. My clients aren't complaining. I like it when the tech support phone remains silent. I also use Watec / Genwac cameras where applicable.... I guess we all have our favorite brands, brands that came through for us when it really mattered, and Sony and PELCO did just that for me. Consequently, even though Rory may prefer his favorite brand, Sony's a winner in my book('specially those block cams .... they're putting my kid thru school) as is PELCO. Best wishes, bill
  4. CCTV_Guy

    Please advise on cheap DVR

    Andris, the Sony cam, or any cam with tons of LEDs will certainly be an improvement, but for honest-to-goodness coverage you might want to go with a discrete IR illuminator although they are expensive. On the bright side, if you'll pardon the pun, they last forever (well, years anyway). Incidentally, I have a li'l VisionTech camera with ... I dunno, 40 LEDs I guess, at a nearby salmon hatchery. Those LEDs cast a lotta light. Another thought re illuminators ... check the spectral response of your camera. If it can operate in the covert range, I'd trade off range for stealth. The term 'covert' refers to the fact that those illuminators do not betray their presence with the red glow characteristic of IR illuminators. That way, 'bad guys', if vandals are the reason for the night vision in the first place, bad guys never know they're in the spotlight and being recorded for the viewing pleasure of the local court system. Best wishes, bill
  5. Great! Thanks Jeffrey. I'll try your suggestion tomorrow morning on several of the unused pins ... if it's a go, I'll install it permanently an' the boat'll sail with the benefit of your good advice. Hey! ... Thanks again. bill
  6. One of the cameras I'm working on at one site uses the PELCO LRD41C21 receiver/driver, and Dead Micros drives (or at least they tell me it's driving) AUX 2. Consequently I purchased PELCO's AUX-CONN kit and am planning to use the connector halves that constitute the kit. The question is, how does one make a secure connection between the wires and the connector? The connector itself is pretty intuitive ... the two halves slip easily and firmly into position on the LRD, but if I'm doing it correctly, the wires are attached in what seems an uncharacteristically flimsy method. Indeed, on the 50-meter walk from the garage to the boat, one of the wires just fell out, and another fell out on the bridge ten minutes later. So, what am I doing wrong? To insert the wires, I press the little bar immediately above the appropriate pin, slide the wire in, and release the bar. At first it seems secure ... it resists any low-pressure tug, but just 10 minutes later the wires just fall out on their own. Anyone here know of a more secure method of attaching the wires to the connectors? bill
  7. CCTV_Guy

    remote viewing with a router

    Hi D-Eye. I routinely use port-forwarding, both on client sites when appropriate and here at the office, but, having zero experience with Conexant, I'm afraid I cannot offer much specific help. How 'bout Conexant Tech Support? Can they help? They would certainly know all the secret codes and hand-shakes involved with configuring port-forwarding on their router. The rule-of-thumb seems to be "Different Strokes for Different Folks" regarding port-forwarding and routers. Some routers will port-forward only one device, other forward many devices, and a very few forward nothing. And I think they all use a slightly different procedure to configure the port-forwarding. It's generally a simple procedure, but ya hafta know which menu to use, which button to push, etc, and that changes from vendor to vendor. I favor D-link because my experience with their routers has been great; they support numerous forwarded devices reliably and inexpensively. Cisco also offers several dynamite routers, but one pays a significant price for that flexibility. I also liked Farallon but alas, they've fallen by the wayside, acquired by Proxim and as I recall, are strictly wireless now. There's probably someone here that knows all about Conexant, but if he or they are out on a service call at the moment, you might contact Conexant (or just Google the user's manual for your particular router). Best wishes, bill
  8. CCTV_Guy

    Output to Tv Channels?

    Hi Craig. You asked "How do you usualy address the problem when customers utilize a digital cable box ??? Do you use one of the kits to route the modulated channel around the box? " Craig, it has been my experience that it is unnecessary to route the modulated channel around Comcast's digital box. Take my own home, for example, I have Comcast digital cable in several rooms and basic subscription in the others. The security cam video enters the TV distribution system for the entire house, digital and basic, in the garage where it becomes just another channel (or set of channels). As mentioned in earlier posts, I filter out a range of several existing Comcast channels with a Channelvision 3205 filter, then assign the modulators within the now-empty channels. (Fortunately, there is no dearth of candidates for filtration ..... Damn! 200 channels and nuthin's on!) To the TVs connected to the non-digital outlets, the CCTV video is just another channel. To the TVs connected to the digital outlets, it appears that Comcast is broadcasting an image of bill's driveway (or whatever I've tuned to). The point is that the digital outlets have no idea I have hijacked the channel and they're very happy to tune to it (indeed, the TV Guide continues to think the video is its own and displays the name of the program that should be visible on that channel at that time). This is an important point for the digital cable outlets ... if you hijack an existing channel and insert your own video, you simply tune the digital box to the desired channel. If you insert your video in an otherwise-empty channel, the digital box KNOWS that channel is not in use and won't tune to it!. In such a case, you hafta power down the digital box, converting the outlet to basic subscription, then tune the TV to the desired CCTV channel. Then reverse the order when returning to the regular Comcast channels. At least that has been my experience with Comcast here in the Seattle area. I would also point out that Comcast apparently does not have a problem with subscribers filtering out Comcast channels and inserting their own video (so long as one does not interfere with the cable signal outside one's home, of course). Indeed, the only reason I go with channelvision filters is that occasionally Comcast doesn't have the appropriate filters. It has been my experience that if Comcast has'em, they'll supply'em to the homeowner. One need only call their support center to have a technician sent out. If you're interested in seeing the installation, PM me and I'll give you the address ... you can drop by and see the installation for yourself. Best wishes to all, bill
  9. CCTV_Guy

    Camera will not work on PC based

    Doug, Thanks very much for your post and your link .... I learned something important from your post. In the five years we've been doing this, I never encountered the situation described in your linked article, which may possibly be the situation Bishop is experiencing. I knew of the video levels of course, but it never occurred to me that a device would shut down because the level rose to, say, 2v p-p (indeed, it never occurred to me that a signal would rise to that level!) It has been my experience that if I could see the video on my laptop at the camera, but couldn't see it at the server, then invariably (in my limited experience) the problem has turned out to be an intermittent power or cable connection, water in the BNC connector (I see that occasionally in our wildlife apps) or something of that sort. I learned something from the webpage you provided. Thank you. Best wishes, bill
  10. CCTV_Guy

    Camera will not work on PC based

    Just a quicky comment and I'll leave you alone .... I agree with Scott. If you have video displayed consistently on the TV AUX channel, then the camera is putting out unmodulated composite video. Period. If neither you nor your nephew can view the video on your respective PC systems, I would suggest two things .... a) while the camera is connected to the TV's AUX channel, vigorously flex the video cable over its entire length, and especially where it terminates at the connector. Also vigorously flex the power cable, especially the power connector. If the display remains constant, no flickering, etc, then the camera is probably doing what it should. Go on to step b). b) check the switch settings (hardware and software) on the PC card/system, especially if you're both running the same system. The question now is why is the PC system not working with an unmodulated composite video input? Just one old man's opinion .... probably worthless, but at least it's sumthin' to try. bill
  11. CCTV_Guy

    CAT3 Cabling

    http://www.pelco.com/support/tools/wiregacalc.aspx Is cat 3 24 gauge? If so, 200 feet would seem to be marginal .... based on the chart above, I'd think that doubling up would be the prudent thing to do. Guess it depends largely on the current you'll be drawing. Best wishes, bill
  12. CCTV_Guy

    Re: Send a Vandal to Jail

    de Sade, May I make a suggestion and then back on outta here? would a b&w camera suffice? The reason I ask is that the Watec 902H (and its successor) is a very small camera(like, 1-inch cube not counting lens), yes b&w only, but it has two important attributes .... it performs very well in very low light levels AND the manufacturer claims it operates in the covert range of IR. I think the covert range is important in your application because you're looking for bad guys, and nothing will betray a camera's presence like the red glow from conventional IR LEDs (assuming sufficient number and power). Consequently, if bad guys see that glow, they just wear a mask over the face, walk up to the camera and smack it with a baseball bat, or worse, take it home to guard their place! Operating the camera in conventional lighting or the covert range of IR eliminates that red glow. Bad guys never know they're in the spotlight. (of course, if bad guys sever the cable to take the camera, some servers can be triggered by the loss of video and execute a script which sets off an alarm, activates a voice-dialer, or takes other action, but that's another story) Now, as I recall, the cost per camera will put you right at your upper limit, and the cost of a lens (you must purchase lens separately) may put you slightly over your proposed limit. AND, it does not come with illuminators - those would be additional cost. The alternative is to go with conventional lighting - this camera really doesn't need much light as you can see from the specs( http://www.wateccameras.com/genwac/specs/gw902h.htm ) I happen to have a 902H here, and my home is surrounded by covert IR. If you're interested I might be able to take the 902h home with me and connect it to the internet so that you can see how it operates at night (to be honest, I've never seen it operate at night - I'm taking the manufacturer's word that it's responsive to covert IR). We installed a similar model watec camera up in Alaska for a local manufacturer: they had this one-inch cube WATEC camera attached to a 20,000 mm lens. Yes, 20,000 - that's not a typo. The lens was the size of a small wastebasket, with this one-inch camera attached. Regrettably, it was watching a bird nest 3/4 of a mile away, over water, but the clouds were such that the client was never able to use the camera and subsequently took it down. Anyway, in your case, I would suggest that the IR, should you choose to use IR, should not be the only covert attribute of your system. The camera housing and placement should be covert as well .... Instead of just putting a big ol' dome cam on the front or side o' the house, why not install a camera-equipped bird house or planter? Stick the camera in a flashlight housing in the car, or in the eye of a lawn ornament. Perhaps you can place your camera at a neighbor's home, in the bed of a truck parked across the street, or on a telephone pole ... anywhere away from the area they'll strike. Get creative. Once you decide where you'll place the camera, then measure the distance to the area of coverage. Using the desired field of view data (range to target, field-of-view height and width), consult any one of a million lens calculators found on the internet ( http://www.thermosight.com/LensCalculations.htm for example, or Google on "lens calculator") to select the appropriate lens (rather than buying a pre-packaged camera/lens combo which determines the range and field-of-view for you). One last comment if I may ... if you do decide to go with a discrete lens, i.e. one you select rather than a prepackaged camera system, try to find a lens that will not go out of focus when using IR illumination. Many will, but there are a few that are unaffected by the change between conventional lighting and IR light. They remain in focus either way. And get a recording that'll "catch their best side" and really impress the jury! Good Luck. bill
  13. CCTV_Guy

    DIN Converters....where to buy

    Levon, I think 'hemi ain't gonna have the luxury of RG-59 coax ... at least not without some additional effort on his part, but he may still need to connect to a BNC connector on the device. One option (among many) is to connect the two wires he identifies as video & video GND to an RCA plug (taking care not to cross the wires, thus grounding the video signal!), then use an inexpensive RCA-to-BNC adapter (generally $3.95 or less in Seattle). Voila! There's the conversion between the two wires he has and the BNC he needs. Indeed, I used that procedure in reverse to interface a WATEC 902H camera to a Guardian 2000 camera system. However, my application was easier in that I was interfacing a camera to the system; 'Hemi's application is slightly more complex in that he is introducing a new device, so I don't think he wants to simply cut and re-route the video&video gnd wires, he wants to splice them .... he now wants video to go to BOTH the system controller/display AND his new DVR, so he must keep the video flowing to the system controller/display while now feeding the DVR. re DVRs, there's a million good ones out there, and many at affordable prices. My recommendation? if they have any left, I'd go with ATV's brand new, fully warranteed discontinued specials ( http://www.atvideo.com/Sales/disconprod.asp ). I've used these DVRs on remote wildlife applications. They work well; the price is not only right, it's incomparable(if there are any left), and they're new and warranteed. One final comment before retiring this thread (or at least this post) ... it has been my experience that for splicing wires, I think 3M's Scotchlok IDC connectors are the way to go. Cheap, reliable, small, and easy. I recently used'em for the first time when adding wires to PELCO's 37-pin connector, and again up in the housing some 15 feet up the mast. I'm told they're widely available. Bon Chance, 'Hemi. bill
  14. Za, this thread has some links related to modulators et al ( http://www.cctvforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=24077#24077 ), and may be the one you were speaking of. It'll at least serve ta get ya started. Keep in mind however, that a modulator isn't required if your TV has an AUX channel. A modulator is a very nice feature though, and generally inexpensive. You can also display your video on your PC or laptop. Some cards are rather expensive, but I seem to recall that the DAZZLE system is quite INexpensive and works well (until I got my ImperX card, I used the Dazzle system). Yeah, you may get to be on a first name basis with the guys at your local Radio Shack or other local electronics shop, but this'll be a fun experiment. At some point though, you might wanna experiment with equipment and configurations of your own choosing rather than a package deal. Good Luck (I think you're really gonna enjoy this - it's a fun technology). Best wishes, bill
  15. CCTV_Guy

    DIN Converters....where to buy

    Hemi, I think Levon had the better idea ... try to find the manufacturer's documentation. That being the case, I Googled "Lorex camera" and came up with ( http://lorexstore.strategicvista.com/product_category.aspx?cat_id=83 ). Wondered if you could take a look at that site and try to identify your camera from the list of Lorex cameras. With a model number, we can refine our search terms for documentation which will provide pinouts ... then, with that information, you can make the connector you need. Yet another idea ... can you call the dealer (Sam's) and see if they can provide documentation? Same thing with the Samsung camera although with "phone-style jacks", I would think that might be a bit easier - depending on what is meant by "phone-style" (i.e. number of conductors). However, I think it only prudent to inject a note of caution here ... I'm not as sanguine as I was earlier. I have no doubt of our ability to eventually identify the wiring and hijack the video for you, BUT .... that video is currently going somewhere: a backbox, a system controller, sumthin'. We can't just reroute your video or that existing functionality will come to a screeching halt. We might have to splice (and possibly splice and convert) the lines. That in itself isn't so difficult, I'm certain that any one of us on this thread could do this in our own shop, but doing it remotely, without being able to see the equipment we're working on, could be tricky. But let's think positive and take the next step: get the pin assignments one way or another. Levon's method is the the best first pass. If we just can't find documentation, then we can consider the next step. So, can ya take a look and see if you can identify your camera by model number? PS: is this what your camera's talkin' to? ( http://lorexstore.strategicvista.com/product.aspx?id=1491 ) PPS: NOW I see what you meant by 'closed' system, Levon .... 22 pages and no description of pin assignment - let's hope Hemi's camera manual defines pinout ( http://www.smarthome.com/manuals/7544n.pdf ) Best wishes, bill