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  1. zr1

    Storage Shed project

    Nice! How many amps does your charge controller run? I imagine even 10A controller is well above what your PV panel is pushing out.
  2. The fast-n-simple-(and kinda low cost) is one of the myriad of wifi cams out there. Nest Cam was one of the big advertisers, but there's a zillion cams out now just like them and do just as well for less cost. Wifi cams are typically indoor cams, and being Wifi, easy to plug in and go for viewing from the smartphone. But on the down side, wifi is not a solution for install and forget for months and months...they disconnect once in a while meaning a reboot (typically they'll go days or weeks without a needed reboot). But for the reliable better-than-99.99% solution, it means a wired solution. A nice IP camera (such as Hikvision as we see on here mentioned many times) wired via Cat5/6 cable to your network. Some of these do have SD-card recording on the camera and you can log in on the camera directly. Or you can use an NVR for more storage and other options. I've been liking Hik's "Exir" series for general use.
  3. Something has to control the PTZ and that means either a DVR or a PTZ controller (joystick, etc.) And that's how we used to do it (still do on some applications or retrofits). But at this year's Vegas show, there was a whole bunch of "mini IP PTZ domes" out and for a whole lot less than PTZ cameras used to be (Dahua had quite a layout, but also a bunch of lesser-known brands too). Even on Amazon, there's a bunch of them in the $200-300 range. Quite a few of them are doing 4x-10x optical. But there's also some 20x optical cams. Then with the higher resolution, many cams allow for digital zooming. Lay your Cat5/6, plug it into the router...everything else is simply controlled from the computer or smartphone/tablet. Even power it from a POE switch (or single POE injector). None of that 24 volt stuff, no separate RS485 wire. If it needs to be on the big screen TV, if the TV has USB input to handle something like Amazon Fire TV, then one of the Android-based USB dongles can typically get the right app and it can be controlled from the TV and a remote control. Still a bit of research to match it all up, but it's some good times we're living in!
  4. zr1

    system upgrade time

    D1 resolution using H.264 at medium quality settings @20fps 24/7 (no motion activation) 12TB is around 55-60 days of recording. +1 on the TVI (or other high-def analog formats..AHD, SDI, CVI, etc.) They look really good and are a huge step up for the cameras that you add on (or replace). About 2 megapixel-ish, which looks great. True, IP cams go above that. The big advantage of retrofitting with TVI (etc) is cost and time where you wouldn't have to redo all your cabling and simply reuse your existing coax cable. The higher resolution does mean more storage space. And of course the cameras these days are all adjustable with so many settings to balance the data storage and image quality. Whether you run a single 32-channel DVR, or run two 16-channel DVRs and use a CMS tool to manage everything on one view. And some people even run two DVRs and simply log into whichever one they need. It goes more toward the workflow of the company and what is more efficient for them. As for which of the high-def analog formats, it'll be up to you. To me, I always thought SDI gives a slightly prettier image (even though they're all 1080P-ish). I've been focusing on TVI lately because it's easier to stock tools and inventory just for one. I do like that TVI is real flexible on cameras/DVR's from different brands without a hitch (that I've found). TVI is also an open standard (as is SDI and AHD) while CVI is proprietary to Dahua. Dahua is awesome, I just didn't want to hitch up to a single company. And last, TVI has that 1600 foot cable run capability (as does AHD). Is TVI the best? Probably depends on the situation more. But I do like it for: * retrofits * jobs where the cable runs are reallllly long
  5. The Hikvision cams and NVRs that I've been using in Arizona, they've dealt with the heat well. 95% of the time, the NVR is indoors, but for the few that have to live without air conditioning, they still work fine. But I do keep them in the shade. And I do install a fan on whatever enclosure or the NVR will heat up the enclosed space higher than the 115 degrees that it is outside. Hard drives and POE switches do ok, but they do have to be replaced more often (every few years).
  6. Yup, the little wifi cams do get a lot of capabilities. They still have the wireless issue of going offline, but such is the nature of our wireless at this time. I haven't worked with the SNH-P6410BMR before. I've done the SNH-1011 that people have bought and wanted me to con-fiddle for them. They do remote viewing, they do record, and the little software gizmos. One annoyance for the smartphone app for the SNH-1011 though is it won't show more than one camera on the screen at a time.
  7. There's multiple options to choose from that should work fine. For that kind of money, you may be looking at individual cameras that record to an SD memory card. Depending on the size of the memory card, the bitrate of the video quality you set it as, and whether you set it up for motion-only recording...then you may get several days to a week or two of recording out of such a setup. Going with a setup with a DVR/NVR, then you can add whatever size hard drive to the DVR/NVR and get a whole lot more storage. The DVR/NVR would go over your budget though. Then again, a quality system goes over the budget as quality systems just aren't that low cost. Back to budget...Yeah, you could do a few 1-2 megapixel (720P or 1080P) cams. And you'd be able to see them on your smartphone...most all of them do that these days. Depending on the smartphone app...you may be able to see all cams on your phone on one screen. Some apps though only show one cam at a time. Wireless In 2016, it's simply not as reliable as wired. So every week or three, a cam will go offline and you'll need to reboot it, etc. And even with a wireless cam, you'll still need to get a wire to it for power. Budget #2 You could go down (way down) to D1 or 960H on your budget...but that's like crap video...1930's era of video quality. Stay with either IP cameras or go with a High Def version of analog (SDI, TVI, CVI, AHD, etc.). An issue with one of those alphabets is that once you go down that road...then you stay on that road. If you get CVI, then you stick with CVI (unless you start over).
  8. zr1

    Mobile Unit build

    Very well done! I like it! For some of my remote construction site projects, I've been using some Dahua 12v PTZs as I don't have a generator handy (solar + batts...which is kinda pricey$$$), so I try to keep the juice-usage low...so I just stay 12v DC and avoid the DC-AC inverter altogether. But if you've got an engine, whether the vehicle engine or a gas generator, then sure, go with the inverter setup. Winching (not the Pirate version...y'arrrrr!) The electric winches do sell well to end customers, so I have them on some remote applications. But adding a high-juice-draw device like the winch adds more stuff to the system...which adds more weight and complexity. Yeah...it sells well, but for the remote systems that I rent out and service myself, using a hand winch keeps the system simpler and seemingly lower maintenance.
  9. zr1

    Multiple Switches ?

    Yes, you can totally do that and run switches in line. Cable For those longer 150' cable runs, use some quality cable (I like all copper instead of the CCA stuff). Cat5e or Cat6 should be just fine. Switch vs Hub Switch The nature of a switch minimizes unnecessary network traffic. Type of switch For simple 3 cameras, a Fast Ethernet (10/100) switch is fine. However, these days, I prefer Gigabit (1000Mbps)...but it's more effective if you've switched the rest of your network over to Gigabit. Brand of switch D-Link, Cisco, Linksis, Netgear, TP-Link, Trendnet, Asus, Buffalo I've been fine with all those brands.
  10. For recording, the internet speed doesn't matter. The cameras and NVR can record at their highest settings if you want on the Local Area Network (LAN). Whether the Cat5e/6 wire from the camera goes back to the NVR directly or you have switches on your LAN (simply use Gigabit switches and you'll have plenty of LAN bandwidth). For the internet part of it... Most systems already have a function called a substream to send a much-lower bandwidth video portion to the internet connection. Whether by remoting in from another computer or via smartphone/tablet. So even a lowly 3G-cellular connection could handle spot-checking or remote monitoring. Even a low-512Kbps DSL would be just fine for that. And if you wanted to (from remote) you could simply click on the Full-Stream button/option to give you the high-detailed version, it just lowers the frame rate. (Some newer systems have 3-tiers of full-stream/sub-stream/mobile-device stream...and you can customize all those bandwidth numbers on many systems tailored to your internet connection. Also remotely, you could download the recorded video to you whenever you wanted, the internet speed would affect that. But for local recording? The internet speed doesn't matter. And I'd still go IP cameras/NVR whenever I could on a new system. I have solar-powered systems on cellular that record fantastic locally and I simply spot-check them as needed. I have some solar-powered systems way out in the middle of nowhere that record away even where there's no internet/cell service. And for those, I gotta drive out there to get the recording (what we used to call "sneaker-net" back in the day...hehe)
  11. High-Def Good choice on that. When I'm doing a new-install, I don't bother with coax/High-Def analog (TVI, CVI, AHD, SDI, etc.) and I go straight to IP systems using Cat5e/6 wiring. IP The cams can be 1 megapixel (MP), 2 (which is about 1080P like Blu-ray), 3, 4, 5, 8....it goes way up..as does the price. The sweet spot for pricing was in the 3MP range last year, but lately, the 4MP IP cams have come down in price and seem to be the best bang for the buck. IP NVR The NVR will have to be able to record at whatever the cams are giving. A midrange Hikvision NVR will take 5MP recordings or lower. Throughput - Each cam is transmitting an amount of data (such as the above-mentioned 2048kbps...most cams are adjustable too to balance detail vs data usage). A mid-level Hikvision NVR might handle 50Mbps...so more than enough. But a no-name-cheap-NVR might only handle 10Mbps...so hooking up 8 cams to the el-cheapo model might bog down the recordings a bit. Agreed, they're quite good. Agreed. Most of my small business installs like to have about a month-worth of storage. Cams This will be specific to where they need to be. Ball/turret cams Dome cams bullet cams lens (telephoto vs wide angle) weather resistant vandal resistant Brand A/B mixing We do have a common protocol known as ONVIF...it does work. But it isn't perfect. When I'm doing a ground-up install, I simply stay with one brand and it avoids the Brand A/B mixing question.
  12. zr1

    Getting a nanny cam

    Catch * hidden cams * sometimes you already suspect something bad, but going public with your suspicion might be bad for you (company wanting to fire an employee, but without proof might face a lawsuit, etc.), so a hidden cam helps you get the information to act (or not act) * you're willing to risk using a bad thing happening to catch the act This is more common with employers that suspect employees doing things over the long term. Such as a business where the employees were taking company materials, loading it up on company trucks, and going out and doing their own work for customers and keeping all the money. In this case, the business was willing to risk losing a few thousand dollars of materials in order to figure it out, find which employees were doing it, and try to reach out to the customers they were losing. In the long run, the few thousand dollars of materials (that was pretty much used as bait) they lost was offset by the tens-of-thousands they brought back into the business. Deter * Cams out in the open * You don't want to risk something bad happening +1 on that
  13. The closest compatibility we have is the ONVIF protocol. It does well. But it's not perfect. Most all the time, the ONVIF devices I have play well together. When I have incompatibilities, it's usually with some semi-advanced feature not working, but most all the time, I'm at least getting an image and recording. However, when I'm doing a brand new system for a customer from the ground up, it's not worth the time (whether 1 in a 100 or whatever) in a business environment, so in those cases, I don't mix Brands and simply go with a single brand.
  14. zr1

    Indoor cameras outside

    I had some giant 8' boxes I brought home for my stepson (age 11) to build a fort. Of course...I wired up a little security camera (outsiede the heavy-duty box) to a 7" monitor (inside the box). He and his friends thought it was way cool to have a fort with a security system. The camera is outside, and it's an indoor ball/turret camera. Nothing special, just a cheapo analog camera I never used. It's rained a couple of times (but not super heavy) and the camera's still going. Water will kill it at some point though. I'm surprised it lasted these past two months. I bet the coming summer Monsoons will render it toast.
  15. It goes to the goal of a security camera which is to capture what happened. NVRs do vary, but take something such as the Hikvision DS-7604NI-SE/P. It can record up to a 5 megapixel resolution. So the 3MP, 4MP, or 5MP camera gets fully recorded just fine. Now the playback output is 1080P. Which lines up with the majority of monitors/TVs out there in 2016 being 1080P. But the recording is still in 5MP (or whatever the camera recorded it as). So on playback, if a person wants to see the higher resolution, they can zoom in and see it. Just like an iPhone or Android smart phone where the photos are captured in 8MP or higher, but the screen is only around 1080P, so zooming in on the photo afterward to see whatever detail. Same deal with the high-MP NVRs, the recording still has the detailed resolution to zoom in on when needed. NVRs with higher playback resolution are appearing. There's the Hikvision DS-7608NI-S that can playback up to 2560x1920. And a few manufacturers at the Vegas security show a couple weeks ago were showing NVRs (and cams) with 4K resolution (about 8.3MP) to line up with the 4K budding trend with TVs. How many years will we all have 88" 4K monitors in our bathrooms? 5 years? 12 years? Maybe by then, 27MP monitors will be coming out?