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  1. Not trying to attention hog but no ideas even 4 months later? :-/ Is there no way to digitize beyond SDTV analog signals to work with a computer if you didn't buy some single all in one system? If it's just some wiring adapter to turn conventional BNC type connectors (from analog cctv that they tend to use) into some component level capture for the PC, and then standard HD capture cards that's fine, i'm just trying to figure out how this is done.
  2. Hello, i've been quiet for quite awhile because intended business plans and such either fell through or got postponed awhile so the need for an immediate CCTV system fell by the wayside. I'm now trying to catch back up due to new possible needs. I have been slowly reading about and trying to learn about various CCTV options. To keep things simple i'll already state that I already know IP based systems are clearly the best for a new install/the most flexible, it's just also more expensive than what i'd like. So I am looking into both used equipment with future upgrade plans, and something more slowly upgradeable/scaleable a piece at a time. Two specific interest are the 960H resolution cameras (which alternately list as 960x480 or 960x582, i'm not sure where the latter comes from... forcing into PAL mode?) and the AHD analog HD 720 systems that seem to be flooding out of china at impossibly low prices for total systems. As far as I know I can capture 960H outputs with normal cards i'm just limited to D1 so it will be like 720x480. My question is are capture cards made which can capture the full 960 lines of resolution so it's not just in the monitor, but in a digital recording? Next question is the same about the Analog HD type cameras, are there capture cards made that can capture 720p from BNC, let alone 1080p or the even higher that some have suggested will be coming in the future? I am considering a 'chinese' AHD system but would like to be able to reuse the cameras in the future at full res, capturing into a PC at whatever full framerates are supported. General google searches haven't turned up much.
  3. I have to respectfully (but not too severely) disagree. I understand what you are saying, but sometimes it feels like people are implying everything is hopelessly over my head, and sometimes (such as when i've asked for suggested 'best texts' in other fields) I feel like i'm being told "oh thats too complicated for you, were the geniuses, now just pay our fee with the extra zeroes and don't ask any questions." Case in point - when I was trying to get a better understanding of dehumidification technology while working for a friends family business I tried asking on some HVAC boards and got what I felt was the "runaround" with nobody giving me a straight answer. Was almost verbatim what you said actually. I finally tracked down a proper professional text without help that told me everything I wanted to know. I did not after reading it "do it all myself" screwing things up, I rather realized the levels at which I would need a professionals involvement, the levels at which I wouldn't, and which things were so dang ridiculously simple I could suggest solutions to them on my own. (like "boss your real problem is not needing more moisture removal but to stop putting moisture into the air in the first place, move out of this concrete-floor building or cover your floors, then dehumidify the incoming fresh air stream instead of trying to do it after it's here with plug in units, it's all coming from that" and which let them dismiss the first guy who wanted to charge big bucks for a cure instead of using his knowledge to help prevent the problem) Later when things changed I was able to tell him when it was time to justify upgrading to dessicant wheels recharged with waste heat and using chillers and such and knew I couldn't spec a system properly for that. In short I gained a better appreciation for how to tell the real pros from the guys making things more complicated than it needed to be for the simpler problems. At the moment i'm trying to learn the same about here if I can get other suggestions of 'Bible' texts that will get me past any other holes in my understanding so I can plan around when to hand it off to pros.
  4. Self necroing because I found an example of the kind of thing I was hoping others would point me to. So in case anyone else is looking for similar i'm sharing it for that reason. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM FOR PUBLIC AREAS http://vteb.gov.lv/uploads/files/cctv_requirements_final.pdf Provides clear instructions on of course the purposes of different 'layers' (ie a low resolution/framerate level to just detect presence or movement up to the highest of identifying a specific individual to charge with a crime), the common talk of resolution and framerate, the UNcommon talk of proper lux illumination levels, common lighting mistakes, common mistakes in general - just a simple basic straightforward text talking about starting points. I learned things I didn't expect I would or was under the impression I already understood okay (but realized I didn't). If anyone in the future can bring up similar texts (for pay - even textbooks for security professionals whether theyre $100 or $300 books) please offer. Despite suggestions of "you need to hire a professional", I think I first need to have enough basic competence myself to discern the competent from the profiteers. I need to know when i'm being oversold or undersold a system. I have no problem paying someone to do a service as long as i'm not being taken advantage of - the best way to know that is to have a solid competence myself from a few dozen hours of intensive study. From that point the professional justifies what they do by taking things beyond (with their experience) what i'd have implemented myself and I can talk intelligently on the topic with the professional.
  5. Thank you for the suggestions, and yes that is all good advice, especially the bit about small flashing lights to get people to look straight at a camera. Now i'd just like to find books full of that kind of security advice! I'm aware the cameras and recording space is cheap, certainly cheaper than an on-site guard, they just result in mountains of footage. However by the time the system is put together (a few years off, this is just future planning because i'm a partner in a number of different attempted businesses which will eventually have thing worth protecting, and one of my jobs is to reduce some of the "expert help" needed for each project down to a minimum by learning a bit about that field and doing some of the groundwork) i'm assuming the facial recognition software or "follow this person through the store" should be commercially available. One of the business possibilities would involve a higher value rural site that insofar as possible we would want to protect from the normal sequence of someone randomly driving by, "the eyes desire", they case the joint a bit later, then eventually show up with some guys or try to steal construction material or whatever. It occurs to me to try and design some of the protective fencing or backdrops with the idea that I should have a perimeter nobody should be inside, so I can then motion flag everything instead of just aiming it over a field where anyone behind chain link not only sees things they want to take but would have the cameras going nonstop. Of course if anyone pops their head over the edge of the fence that would be nice to have in high res with a time code of 'anomalies above the fence'/who is looking and why. Of course this straddles into seeking general good security texts (beyond cctv) as well in the first place, just guidelines for intelligent building design or property layout (whatever 'intelligent' qualifies) or at least understanding things like how a thief or criminal/ vandal/ employee stalker sees a building or residential house, and trying to reverse engineer things to make a hard target to prevent trouble in the first place. The problem is that i'm not a thief or criminal so i'm not quite sure how they think, I just figure there must be plenty of things that I dont know, and dont even know the things that I dont know or what they could be. Beyond "at least 40 pixels for a face, and make sure it's lit and facing a camera at some point" I figure there must be alot more knowledge justifying the steep prices of many security professional shops want to put on their five figure installed systems when a couple off the shelf DVR systems would have the same number of cameras and recording space.
  6. Hello, been kind of lull for awhile because my original situation for joining changed suddenly and my needs got thus postponed. Coming back to things now hoping to resume. I'm trying to find some good baseline texts for designing up total security systems from scratch. By which I mean not the hardware (that's the last part, ie 16 or 32 channels of DVR in a given resolution, 4 terabytes of h264 compressed video for X hours of footage, yadda yadda yadda) but what a security professional would look at regarding a high end personal or business property in the first place to achieve the end goals - which is basically footage good enough to stand up in a court of law to identify people and criminal actions if someone needs to prosecute. An example of a "factoid" I picked up somewhere (don't remember where) is that i'll want 40 pixels of resolution minimum to identify a face. Therefore if I want to try and identify faces at a given distance across a given width of area (say anyone entering through a doublewide garage door, or anyone standing at the end of a property scoping things out for a future crime) it's not hard to figure out wanting so many HD cameras, at what field of view, to try and capture that footage for later identification. I'm looking for all the other pro factoids besides 40 pixels of resolution for a face though. Is there a cctv security bible on fairly high security, say to the level suitable for a casino or well heeled jewelry store? (ie well beyond the common shopkeeper who wants a 4 channel DVR and can't even identify the blurry washed out faces he captures) A professional would probably (have to) be consulted at some point later in the process, this is more to be able to scanread, get some guidelines, get enough knowledge to know yourself whether youre dealing with someone who knows what they are talking about (if you have zero competence, you cant easily judge people far more competent than you) to avoid being either oversold or undersold a system. Something that goes through overviews of fairly basic up to very high security (even if you would not implement very high security, just out of curiosity ie "this exists, but its probably beyond your needs without a bank vault" kind of things) would help me orient myself in terms of whats possible, what kind of estimates I should expect to hear, and what kind of price ranges I should expect them to cost. Any suggestions for reference textbooks and guides would be helpful... I'm well aware that even the best security systems end up creating mountains of footage to sift through looking for things relevant. However I consider this more of a future AI upgrade problem (as there are all sorts of automatic facial recognition software and other things coming onto the market soon), I am mostly wanting to have a good idea of the physical wiring, physical camera locations, special lighting or even architechtural features which might assist the cameras like making people enter through a well lit narrow passageway allowing high resolution imaging of anyone entering, and similar. At the end of the day the physical system still comes down to cameras of a given resolution, wiring, maybe lighting, and storing the footage, and i'm trying to just sort out that problem really competently first. The tech for that might change from six VGA cameras covering an area to two HD cameras to one beyond HD camera, but the raw specs that a security engineer would want drive those decisions and that is what I want to 'know what i should want to know' first. Thanks. PS - good references 'beyond cctv' on general are fine too, because i'm aware the basic architechture of a place can be designed or optimized for security before you even add the cameras. I'm looking for high security bibles in general including and beyond the CCTV aspects.
  7. twice_shy

    DIY Hand crank camera mast

    I was going to post what jeromephone already did, but another idea might be to try and find DIY budget filmmakers or a forum/discussion group where they congregate (I don't know where that is offhand and FAQ implies I can't mention other boards anyways for any reason) to see what ideas come up. They're always figuring out how to make camera rigs on a budget and i'd think someone could figure out the problem on the cheap because they might have a reason to use it themself. The main difference being that an emergency might involve high winds and you'd have to have a more resilent system than something only designed for good shooting conditions.
  8. Hello, i'm new to this forum and this is my first nonintro post. Before I even go into specific future scenarios for layouts of cameras and such, I was curious if anyone had a good list of website articles, books, or even instructional dvd's covering how to avoid being a target for crime in the first place. Most notably "how to think like a criminal"/how criminals think, so that you can work backwards avoiding being a target in the first place. It's one thing to secure a building or house already up, another to design it to not be a target in the first place or to consciously choose issues of location and neighboring buildings so that you're not 'the one'. I'm hoping to do the latter. Although I am not yet in a position to even begin shopping for rural land for a business project or residential location, I would like to educate myself before I even begin the shopping process because I want to pick a place that's going to seriously reduce the dangers as much as possible in the first place. I'm mostly concerned about being a random target - if I become a specific target for some reason (ie witness in a prosecution against bad people) that's a whole different ball of wax but then AFAIK it no longer is protective if your house is hard to find, or not visible from the road, or whatever. An example is I once read a series of articles that talked about things like don't have shrubs to hide in right next to the door because you could be ambushed, beware of having anything criminals can climb on to reach the roof readily without a ladder, but on other areas the jury seems to be out - a secluded place not seen in the first place may not be targeted if not seen (what the eyes do not see they cannot plan to steal or vandalize) but also provides cover for people to do anything they want if they don't fear passerby witnessing a crime. Yet when a van can pull up and loot everything within six minutes in broad daylight and many neighborhoods don't see a single thing i'm not even sure how much that matters. Unfortunately when I originally saw such articles I don't remember bookmarking them because I had the luck to mostly be in very low crime areas. Now things are different and I have to be alot more aware. PS - I am aware of the TV show "It Takes A Thief" from about 8 years back and things similar to that count (I don't know of anything else similar to that) even though I don't like that it's basically one long sales-pitch and focuses more on hardware solutions than avoidance. I'm really really looking for the initial avoidance issues - like something telling me "you want to be living in the middle of the block, not on the ends, here's why!" for instance. (I've no clue if that's even true, that's just an example, all of the initial base conditions that make you less of a target before additional physical security hardware even gets involved.)
  9. Hello, i'm new to this forum and this is my first post. In brief I am looking at potentially looking at moving within range of very high crime oilfield areas in the western north dakota/eastern montana region, many of which have serious gang problems including threats of physical violence so that's triggering my initial interest in security. Someone I know was a police chief who was literally run out of town by drug gangs in less than a year with his car vandalized with death threats at night in a row of several police owned houses with their squad cars parked outside and every spring theyre fishing bodies out of the lake that got 'dumped' over the winter so some of the crap happening in these areas is downright stupid, but I am not able to turn down the money offered in this kind of economy when i'm already in debt with a balloon loan on the house and growing medical bills of the lady in my life. I do not want to get too specific with exact locations and details because i'm sure bad guys can search forums for things like this also and put two and two together. Like there are alot of problems with gang guys who happen to like a number between twelve and fourteen but since this is a public forum i'd rather not be more specific than that. It's not quite going into Iraq, but it's pretty bad there. I am looking to embark on a fairly serious and rapid self education plan about all things security - cameras are one part of it but it's more than just that (so if people have suggestions of what other sources I should be looking into as well i'm all ears, I just started here not sure where else to start - the FAQ implied I can't talk about other discussion boards for instance and i'm not trying to but if someone offers a suggestion for topics totally not covered here in private that's obviously fine) because some of the situations are potentially life threatening to be able to identify who is creeping around your property at night. There aren't even security companies out there that I could have do things even if I wanted to - this will have to be DIY even if budget is less of a concern later in the process. I'm going to be having a couple of possible goals. Boosting security and adding cameras/presence simulation to the house i'm in now (which I wont be living in for awhile and don't want it robbed while i'm away), setting up a highly scalable (money will be tight at the beginning but if I can hang in long enough I can afford anything later) system for myself wherever I end up out there, and trying to possibly set up some 'budget' systems just because I have police friends out there who are getting paid a fraction of the oil company guys while paying skyrocketing living costs and aren't really in a position to drop thousands of dollars on a system either. Hell I might just give them a few systems if I can put one together cheap enough - when I see multiple used USB webcams for $4 in thrift stores combined with used computers from craigslist for a song I start wondering what I could throw together to just give somebody for a $300-500 budget or so - and i'd like to see some of the people doing crap late at night identified so they can be properly arrested and charged - benefits everybody. Anyway because of some of the things i've already either witnessed during visits out there or the way i've seen people out there targeted and stalked i'd like to not get into too many personal details. I'd prefer to focus on just the nitty gritty of designing up effective systems, thanks. Especially if I start making up and giving to police self contained systems that actually provide evidence to catch certain guys the groups they are known for being incredibly vindictive against anyone who had a part in the process.