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  1. Hiya Folks, I'm starting to get back to my project before I have to leave the country in a few weeks. I thought I had it all sorted out but am now questioning myself and have generally just confused myself. Here's the situation. Looking at installing IP cams at my home and detached garage. Was planning roughly 5-7 outdoor cams and 1-2 indoor cams for the house and 5-6 outdoor/1-2 indoor for the garage. Ultimately going to more like maybe 10-12 outdoor on the house and 8-10 outdoor on the garage (in the future). Have pretty much decided on the Acti 3mp domes (D72 and D55). Given I plan to add more in the future, I'm thinking of locating 16 ch network switches at both the house and the garage, then feeding them to either a couple of NVR's, a PC, or maybe even a server. I'm not looking for continuous recording but instead, just recording when motion is detected but would like the ability to view the camera feeds. I've been thinking of just going with the free Acti software. I have an older PC or two that I could gut and use the case so that might be the easiest option but I don't want to do something now only to find out I didn't plan well for future expansion. So that's where I get to wondering if I should go towards a Dell PowerEdge server. They seem relatively inexpensive on ebay and may be a better option (or not!). The NVR's seem simple to implement but I can't help but think the cost of them would be prohibitive. Whatever I get, I need to be able to manage it remotely since I will be out of the country. Please let me know what other information you need to help me out. Thanks very much.
  2. Angelfire

    Acti D/E series...anyone getting good images?

    Thank you for posting these. Sure seems like the Acti D/E series does a great job during daylight hours but as shown, they struggle in low or no light. I know they did a firmware upgrade but just wondering if future upgrades would get them working well or should I just start looking for something else?
  3. Hiya, Very new member here but not so new to other forums. I'm finding that I can't stay logged in. As an example, I log in this morning to see some pictures posted to one of my posts and as soon as I log in and get redirected to that post, I've been logged out. Is there some setting that needs to be made for me to be able to stay logged in for more than one refresh? Thanks.
  4. Angelfire

    Acti D/E series...anyone getting good images?

    Thanks. I'd be interested in seeing what you're getting. I was really hoping the Acti's would be a good, low budget alternative to the Dahua's/etc... but it appears this may not be the case. Limited feedback so far but what I've seen to date emulates your feedback pretty close.....great daytime performance but not so good at night. Cheers.
  5. Hiya Folks, I've been researching cameras and such for my home and had settled on the Acti D55 and D72 based on specs/price alone. Unfortunately, when I go out to find reviews of these cameras, it appears they really aren't generating very good images, particularly at night/low light. I understand there was a recent firmware update and I've seen a post or two indicating the update didn't improve things much. Just wondering if anyone has used these and has found that they are capable of producing the images they should be producing? I'm on a serious timeline to get these ordered, installed, operational so if it appears they are still too buggy etc...then I'll have to start looking into other options. Thanks much.
  6. Angelfire

    Domes vs. Bullets

    Thank you. I'm definitely leaning towards the domes. The locations would be around 12' above the ground so I could probably use the bullets but I think the domes just look less obtrusive. My real concern at this point is how they will hold up in our very high UV environment here in the desert southwest.
  7. Hiya Folks, Am in the planning stages for an IP setup here at my home. I have two buildings to worry about with one being the house and the other being a detached garage. I'm using Cat6 cable and will be using PoE IP cameras. Currently planning on the lower priced Acti offerings. Anyway, my questions. I don't have eaves (or an attic for that matter!) so whatever I put up outside will be mounted to the wall and be fully exposed. We have horrific UV here so I'm conncerned about how well the cameras would hold up. I think I'd prefer the domes as they are less obtrusive but the bullets would seem to offer better protection. So just looking for any insight as to which would provide the best option in terms of holding up the sun around here. As you may have guessed, not much rain (which means stuff gets spotty when it does rain...another vote for bullets I'd imagine)! Cheers.
  8. Angelfire

    Newbie Help on a timeline

    Thank you!
  9. Angelfire

    Newbie Help on a timeline

  10. Angelfire

    Newbie Help on a timeline

    Hiya Folks, Been scanning the web and in particular these forums. Great information and very helpful members! My situation: I am putting the final touches on an addition to my home. As part of this work, I also added a detached garage that will ultimately be used for woodworking/automotive. I ran CAT6 throughout the addition before closing up the walls in the addition. The garage is exposed studs so I can run the ethernet there anytime. I should also mention that this is a flat roofed house so it's a pain in the neck to run new stuff once all the drywall/ceilings are up. Additionally, the family has a small cabin in the mountains (temp range of -40F - 90F although the -40 occurs once or twice during the winter) and have always considered putting cameras there. I still have lots to do on the addition as well as a few projects so was really planning to get started on this later this year doing my homework etc... Well I just found out my employer is sending me overseas soon (Aug)! What I'm after: I think I'd like the ability to look in and check on the house from afar just to make sure things are ok. I plan to install WiFi cabable thermostats etc... so I can keep an eye on that aspect of things as well. Overall, and based on what I've read to date, I want to go with IP cameras (hence the Cat6!). I'd like to be able to view the cameras output on both PC's and smartphones. What I know: Not much! I know I ran enough ethernet to handle about 7 cameras outdoors on the house and could install another 8 on the garage. Additionally, I'd probably want to set up a few cameras indoors although they probably wouldn't be permanently installed just due to time constraints etc... So my thoughts were to probably go with 2 NVR's and 2 POE switches, one for the addition and one for the garage. I've seen a lot of comments regarding Dahua, Axis, Acti, etc... and at this point, I think I'm just more confused over which equipment I should get. I do know that I want good resolution and will need good night performance. I'm thinking 2MP as a minimum but am open to the 1.3MP cameras as well....can always upgrade later. Budget: I haven't put together a formal budget just yet but will. I'm inclined to think maybe $2-3k for both systems and if that means adding fewer cameras to meet this, that's ok as long as they are highly reliable (and I realize that budget is low...still need to look closer at that). Given I won't physically be present, I really need something that I can turn on and not worry about from 6500 miles away. Other concerns: Without eaves, the cameras will be exposed to the sun and it's brutal here (NM....skin cancer of the world!). So again, need something that's going to hold up. I'd prefer not to have big ole bullets hanging off the side of the house and would prefer domes as they would appear less obtrusive. Recommendations: So all in all, I'm requesting help with a plan of action that I can put into place to get this done in the next couple of months. The system doesn't have to be perfect by any means but I would really rather not put something in only to find out that in a year or two when I return, that I need to completely upgrade things. So far, I'm leaning towards Dahua's NVR's (but am by no means married to them!), either Zyxel or Cisco switches, and dahua, axis, or acti cameras. Seems the latter two are producing some cheaper costing versions to compete with the Dahua folks. So thank you for reading through my novella! I appreciate any inputs you may have. Thank you.