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Everything posted by Cortian

  1. Probably when you plugged the camera directly into the NVR if was given an address on a completely different network, which is why nothing on your network can see it. I don't know if Dahua IP cams have an external factory reset switch, but, if so, that's might be what you need to do. It might be the NVR gave it a dynamic IP address with a long lease, in which case your camera will eventually ask for a new address on your LAN. No way to know how long that will be. Could be quite some while.
  2. What I did for a living once-upon-a-time was design software for machine vision inspection systems, so I know just a little >< about how photo imaging sensors work. And, yes, digital camera photography is one of my lesser side-hobbies, so I know something of how that technology works, too. You can insist that photographic cameras not be brought up, but that doesn't change the fact they use essentially the same technology and are guided by the same laws of physics (as we currently understand them). "your [sic] adding more pixels to the same area...": Bingo! And more pixels in the same area means the pixels must be smaller. QED. Tom, the pixel size directly relates to its light sensitivity. That's the whole point of this discussion. Provably false. (I've already explained why. I'm not going to repeat myself.) It is? Please show us the ™ or ® mark on Dahua's use of the term "starlight." Please show us where Dahua's technology licensees are acknowledging the use of Dahua's patented startlight technology. You cannot, because "starlight" is a generic term for imaging sensors and surveillance cameras that perform better than others in low-light conditions. This is evidenced, for example, in this Bosch press release: Bosch introduces latest starlight technology - The ultimate 24/7 IP video surveillance cameras just got even better, where "starlight" is mentioned with no attribution. And Dahua is using Sony STARVIS sensors, as demonstrated, for example, by Dahua DH-IPC-HDW5231R-ZE - 2MP WDR IR Eyeball Network Camera and other Dahua Starlight products which also prominently mention using Sony STARVIS technology. I'm not going to argue this with you any longer. I have design background, technology experience, facts and documentation on my side. You have beliefs based on what is apparently an incomplete understanding of the technology, which is now leading you to contradict yourself.
  3. A "DIYer" with backgrounds in both hardware and software design and who was once a Senior Software Designer in the vision inspection systems industry. Oops? As to your "there is no such thing as big or small pixels" assertion: If that were true, then for every doubling of pixel count they'd have to double the image sensor size. That would, in turn, require increasing the size of lenses to make up for the light loss otherwise incurred in spreading the same light over double the sensor space. The sheer cost increase in fabricating them (the bigger the lens the harder to fabricate w/o various distortion artefacts) would make high-megapixel cameras prohibitively expensive. Obviously the lens on an 8MP camera isn't four times the size of that on a 2MP camera. (In fact I expect they're using the exact same glass on both.) In any event, your assertion is provably false, as evidenced by Sony's STARVIS CMOS sensor specs: CMOS Image Sensor for Security & Surveillance. The Dahua Starlight camera I recommended uses a Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor, which I'm led to understand is regarded as the best low-light sensor in the industry. So, unless Dahua's degrading the performance of those fine sensors in their software or with inferior glass, Dahua cameras should perform as well as anybody else's using the same sensor.
  4. The manufactures aren't all wrong, it's just that "pixels sell" and bigger isn't always better. E.g.: When my wife and I were getting set to take a vacation in Europe last year I spent more than a few hours qualifying a good camera that would be the best compromise between being easy to haul around and having acceptable image quality under varying conditions. No matter how many times I found myself trying to go for more pixels: In test-after-test and comparison-after-comparison the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300, which had a comparatively "low" pixel count, kept winning. Why? In part because of its low-light performance. Compared to cameras with twice the pixels or more: It captured higher-quality images, with much lower noise, in challenging lighting conditions. All the pixels in the world don't matter if the image is buried in noise. Wasn't the most expensive camera in its class, either. Heck, the macro lens for my Canon body cost twice what that glorified P&S camera did. So, while "2MP is old": "Old" does not necessarily equate to "worse." It's been proven, time-and-again, in real world tests and installations, that nothing beats a 2MP Startlight camera in low-light. That being said: I, personally, have no experience at all in this field. Something to which I've admitted several times. My opinions are based upon the reviews, opinions and tests of others. Some of those others, btw, are experts in their field. Some of them are relatives of mine that operate a highly-successful surveillance systems company. They concurred with my findings: That, short of cameras costing 3-5x more, nothing beats the Dahua Starlight cam I chose for outside use in low light. "Better day and night" was not my assertion. We're talking solely about low light performance. (It's in the thread topic. As is his desired price point.)
  5. Tom, you usually supply good advice, but you're provably wrong on this count, for the reasons I've already detailed.
  6. You're welcome. I'm new, very new, to this, myself. So I cannot in good conscious recommend anything, per se. All I can do is share the decisions I've made, so far, based on my own research. To that end: If you're looking for an outdoor, low-light PoE IP cam: The one camera is my only suggestion. I'm sure they have other 2MP Starlight cameras in other form-factors. I would only suggest you probably want to avoid domes for outside use, as they get dirty and the plastic gets degraded by UV, both of which lead to fogging the image.
  7. If you'd like to create a small badge (88x31px is a common size) and the appropriate embed HTML to go with it, I'd be happy to paste it on the front pages of my two sites. They're not exceedingly high-traffic, but every bit counts
  8. Cortian

    Indoor: Turret vs Dome?

    If you're looking at stairwells, which tend to be long and narrow, I don't know as 2.8mm is what you want. The FoV you need will be very narrow. With a 2.8mm lens you may be wasting a lot of pixels on looking at walls. For relatively unobtrusive cameras perhaps you want to look into ones labelled as "mini-dome"s or "wedge"s. E.g.: For our family room I chose the Dahua IPC-HDBW4231F-AS 2MP Starlight Mini Dome with a 3.6mm lens. I chose that lens because the camera will be corner-mounted and it has an 87° horizontal FoV, which is about as close to perfect, for my application, as can be. The 6mm lens on that camera has a 51° FoV, which might do well for stairwells and hallways. The other way to go is a camera with a motorized, or otherwise adjustable, lens. Then you can optimize it in-place. Reasons to consider domes for inside use? Well, to me, they look less intimidating (Particularly the little Dahua mini-dome I have sitting here.) Why do you want either no IR or to turn it off? True, when somebody's going up/down the stairs they'll probably be lit. The key word there being "probably." No need to unnecessarily hobble yourself, IMO. There are many brands. I like Dahua. @tomcctv dislikes Hikvision with a passion , whereas my security professional relatives in Europe love Hik. There are others who won't used Chinese-made cameras on a bet.
  9. @tomcctv isn't the only member here, but he's one of the most active. He's probably also one of the most knowledgeable. As to why there's relatively low activity, here? I do not know. Stick around. Learn. Eventually contribute. Then there'll be more activity here Speaking of which... I don't know about five threads, but you've started at least four on the same subjects. Please pick one thread and stick with it? (Except the one that got locked. Let this be a lesson in on-line forum: Don't get into battles with trolls.) For low light applications 2MP is "better" than 3, 4, 5MP or more because less pixels == larger pixels == better light gathering/sensitivity. If you examine, for example, two Dahua Starlight cams that are otherwise identical, except one (the one I previously recommended to you) is 2MP and the other 4MP, you'll find the 2MP has much better low light sensitivity. The other reason bigger pixels are better than smaller ones in low light is a property known as SNR: Signal-to-Noise Ratio. For a given level of light, in a low-light environment: Bigger pixels will have a higher SNR than smaller ones. This explains why a 2MP Starlight camera can appear to the the same, or better, resolution than a 4MP camera in low light: Because the 2MP image has less noise. Noise destroys definition. If you know you're always going to have plenty of light, then, by all means: More pixels is nearly always better. But in light-deprived settings: Not so much.
  10. I'm sorry, alpalp, but I do not have a recommendation for you. Some of the more experienced guys here I'm certain might have. A lot of people like BI. Maybe it's great. But I don't trust MS-Windows any further than I can spit, so I'll never know. If one of the Linux flavours is your thing, possibly Blue Cherry DVR? I may give that a go if things don't work out with Synology.
  11. You're welcome. As for Blue Iris: I can't help you. I try to avoid MS-Windows. As for the "other forum": If it's the forum I think it is you'll notice they sell BI
  12. Cortian

    Design recommendation from experience

    First question: What are you trying to achieve? That will determine what kind of cameras you need and how many. Second question: Is there a particular reason you want an analog system, as opposed to IP cameras? Third question: What do you consider to be "average cost?"
  13. Aside from NVR compatibility, when I did my research I found the low-light camera to beat is still the Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE 2MP Starlight. Outdoor usage: Check. Good low-light performance: Check. PoE: Check. $100-$200 USD: Check. It's manual pan/tilt. It has motorized zoom. I'll be using mine with Synology NAS Surveillance Station software... maybe. (Their notification mechanism is currently thoroughly broken. If they don't get it fixed, I'll have to find another solution.) N.B.: I have not installed this camera yet. It's wintertime, here, and I don't feel like hacking on our vinyl soffits and crawling through the attic in sub-freezing temperatures, or tracking snow, slush and mud all over creation.
  14. Before going to the expense of PTZ cameras ask yourself if you'll actually use the functionality. To my way of thinking they're primarily useful in live monitoring situations, or situations where you're receiving motion or other notifications and may wish to PTZ remotely. Other than that it's mainly useful during setup, then you don't use it again. As for camera choices: Read reviews. But always keep in mind some people are easily impressed
  15. Maybe you missed the word "minimum," bolded, in my reply?
  16. There are two ways to go about this: Find the output current rating on the power supply (I assume the Lorex NVR powers the cameras?) and multiply that by its output voltage. That will give you its approximate max wattage. UPS' are rated in VA (volt-amps), but it'll be close enough. The other way is to actually measure the current draw on the AC side using a true RMS ammeter. (That's the best way.) Then multiply the measured current draw times the line voltage. Next you have to determine whether the point is to protect your surveillance system and allow it to survive short-term outages, or to have it stay up for an extended time when there's an outage. (I note you list a "12V 10" PSU. If that's 12V at 10A, which would probably be about right for an 8-camera system [assuming about 15W/camera], then your want a minimum 120VA UPS. Depending upon the design, that may give you anywhere from 5-10 minutes of uptime [SWAG]). To a degree you can extend uptime by going with a higher-than-recommend-VA UPS, but there are diminishing returns with each bump in VA capacity. Reason is reduced efficiencies as UPS VA capacity goes up. For truly extended runtime you need an "extended runtime" UPS. They don't have greater VA capacity, but more battery. (They also take longer to recover because there's more battery capacity to charge back up. There ain't no free lunches.) E.g.: With a 120W load, a 120VA UPS may give you about 5-10 minutes of uptime, but a 360VA UPS won't necessarily give you 15-30 minutes. In fact: My old power-hog Dell 1600SC server had a 700VA APC SmartUPS on it. The computer + peripherals drew about 200W. The UPS had a runtime of only fifteen minutes with brand new batteries. Speaking of batteries: Make sure to buy a UPS with user-replaceable batteries. They have about a three-year lifespan. Also: Get in the habit of doing run-time tests about every quarter or so, to extend battery life. The UPS manufacturer should have a chart listing estimated run times for each of their UPS' vs. expected loads.
  17. I have two Dahua IP cameras: An IPC-HDW5231R-ZE and an IPC-HDBW4231F-AS. Both Firefox and Chrome work for settings and the like (running on Linux Mint MATE). Neither browser yields a video image for the 5231. That's an IE-only thing with that camera. (I'm hoping, since the 4231 does give me video on both browsers, Dahua eventually comes out with a firmware upgrade for the 5231 that'll do the same.) It's not a big deal, as I'm using an NVR, anyway. If these cameras were IE-only I'd never have purchased the 2nd one. We have two MS-Windows boxes in the house. Both installations are scheduled for demolition when MS-Win 7 EOLs next year. Then there will be no more MS-Windows in the house--at all.
  18. To the typical "smash and grab" burglar an alarm system isn't much a deterrent. They'll be in and out in five minutes. Long before the local constabulary can arrive, unless they're right around the corner and get the call quickly. What one may accomplish is to discourage more thorough burglars. E.g.: Say you have valuables in a bolted-down safe or well-hidden. An alarm system may deny more determined burglars the time needed to breech the safe or execute a more thorough search for valuables. We have a wired system here. To me it's primary benefits are it lets us know when a door or window is open, and it includes both smoke/fire and flood detection. It will also let us know if our home has possibly been burgled when we were away. (It's a monitored system, emails/messages events, and has an app.) (Our alarm system will never annoy the neighbours, because the siren is inside.)
  19. Any time you allow Internet access to anything the threat level goes from "very little" to "a lot," regardless of what you try to do to mitigate it. For starters: Login access to your router from the Internet should be entirely prohibited. Period. Incoming connections should be on a "that which is not explicitly allowed is denied" basis. Proper, explicit port-forwarding rules should see to that. Default accounts should be disabled. Or at least have passwords or pass phrases so incredibly long and complicated they might as well be. If login access has any "break in attempt" detection, that can temporarily blacklist source addresses that get an account i.d. and/or password wrong "X number of times in time T," that will tend to slow attackers down so badly the likelihood of success is vanishingly low. Regarding LAN security: It's wise, when possible, to use VLANs and isolate IoT devices to their own VLANs. Also: If IoT devices do not need access to the Internet (e.g.: cameras talking to a local NVR have no need to swap spit with anything on the Internet, other than to occasionally check for firmware updates), they should be prohibited from doing so, either by putting them on their own network segments, using VLANs that don't have access to the Internet gateway, or by blocking them at the gateway. (VLANs enforced by managed Ethernet switches are more secure than border-router blocking. Separate LANs, isolated with internal routers are even more secure.) Lastly: You have to put it in perspective. Unless you're a bank, government entity or some other high-value target: Odds are anybody taking a shot at you is just what we call "knob-twisting" in the I.T. security field. They'll get in if they can, but it's unlikely anybody will mount a concerted attack against you. You're probably at greater risk from what you receive in email and what you browse with your web browser than you are with your NVR and cameras.
  20. Ok, about the breaker number and phases. It works like this: Each pair of consecutively-numbered breakers is on the same phase. The next pair are on the other. So: Phase L1: 1,2; 5,6; 9,10 ... Phase L2: 3,4; 7,8; 11,12... The numbering will be 1,3,5,7,9... on the left side, 2,4,6,8... on the right. Again: This is so a tandem 240VAC breaker plugged into one side, say at 1 & 3, will net 240VAC. Reminder: Not all powerline Ethernet adapters are equal. I'm using Comtrend precisely because theirs, while not necessarily the fastest, have a reputation for reliability. Btw: If the garage power is being upgraded, that would imply you'll be trenching to run new power. Why not take that opportunity to just drop some conduit in the same trench for Ethernet and any other low-power cabling you might want? Put a pair of fish lines in it as you assemble it so you can easily pull your low-voltage cables later. Low-power and electrical can be in the same trench, just not in the same conduit.
  21. Not certain what you're on about, ak357, but I suspect it isn't particularly helpful wrt the OP's question, so how about we drop it, ok?
  22. Re: WiFi: I was referring to my previous reply. I kinda sorta know what WiFi is
  23. jreid1492, I think the approach I'd take would be to order a Comtrend G.hn 1200 Mbps Powerline Ethernet Bridge Adapter 2-Unit Kit PG-9172KIT ($70 on Amazon) and test it. Preferably by having something on the LAN and something in the garage so you can test the bandwidth and reliability. If that worked I'd be good to go. If it didn't work, I'd figure I could probably always find a use somewhere in the house for the powerline adaptors, then I'd move on to try the WiFi bridge solution. That's a bit riskier, being as the Nanostations are close to $90/ea. The PoE switch I chose for my surveillance system, btw, is the NetGear 5-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged Switch (GS305P).
  24. That is not necessarily critical. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to tell you how to build a watch so you'll understand what I'm telling you when I tell you the time Residential power in the U.S. is nearly invariably what's called "split phase." 240VAC (nominal) single-phase power from a center-tapped transformer arrives at your distribution (aka: "breaker") panel. One side of that goes to one side of the panel, the other to the other side. The breaker boxes are designed such that every other breaker on each side is on the same side of the split phase. Let's call them "L1" and "L2". (Because that's how they're actually labelled ;).) Between L1 or L2 and neutral is 120VAC. Between L1 and L2 is 240VAC. 120VAC breakers connect only to L1 or L2, and neutral is used for the "return." 240VAC breakers connect to both L1 and L2. (Either one could be said to be the supply or return. Supply/return really doesn't apply to L1/L2.) Where powerline Ethernet adaptors (and a lot of powerline home automation gear, such as X10) run into trouble is when one node is on L1/neutral and the other is on L2/neutral. The signals often don't make it across very well. With that, now, perhaps, you'll understand this: That your garage has or will have it's own breaker panel isn't quite as critical as which side of the split phase power each adaptor ends-up on. And, with this and my explanation of how a WiFi bridge might work for you, now perhaps you'll understand why I earlier wrote that either WiFi or powerline will work better, depending upon the particular site.