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Everything posted by Cortian

  1. Cortian

    Cat and Cat5e?

    Often it's not the cost of the cable, but the cost or difficulty of running it. That was why, when I did new cable installations for my employer, I always ran 25-50% more runs than the projected need. (And, when they recently switched from a legacy phone system to IP phones, it still wasn't enough. But they only had to add a dozen or so new runs, so not bad for a 20-year-old install with close to 500 runs ;).) Terminating existing cable is inexpensive and trivial. I'd terminate it, try it, and see if it worked. If not: Then replace it with Cat5E or Cat6.
  2. Cortian

    IP Camera

    Can't go 900 ft. with twisted pair Ethernet without powered repeaters. Max is 100 meters (328 ft.). And even that may be pushing your luck with PoE, depending upon the load.
  3. Cortian

    Hello all

    Welcome, Daniel
  4. Cortian

    Need a really good hd nightvision cctv cam

    Define what you mean by "HD," please? Technically speaking: "High definition" is 1280x720 or better. That would be a 2MP camera. Secondly: As resolution (megapixels) goes up, light sensitivity drops and noise increases. Thus, in low-light conditions a lower resolution camera can out-perform higher-resolution one for image detail. Search on it. There are plenty of real-world examples. As an example of sensor megapixel count vs. light sensitivity, consider the specs of two otherwise identical cameras: The Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE (2MP): Minimum Illumination: 0.006Lux/F1.4 ( Color,1/3s,30IRE), 0.05Lux/F1.4 ( Color,1/30s,30IRE) and IPC-HDW5431R-ZE (4MP): Minimum Illumination: 0.03Lux/F1.4 (Color,1/3s,30IRE), 0.3Lux/F1.4 (Color,1/30s,30IRE) The 2MP camera has five times the light sensitivity at a 1/3 sec. frame rate and six times the light sensitivity at a 1/30th sec. frame rate. OTOH: If you're relying on IR illumination it's not such a big deal and more megapixels may be advantageous for you. The other thing you may wish to take into account is your display capability. It boots nothing to have a 4K camera and a non-4K display. The camera may see the detail, and the NVR record it, but the display won't render it, so you won't see it.
  5. Cortian

    Chinese Surveillance System Manufacturers

    They're to be banned for use by government agencies and, I would expect, private businesses performing sensitive work for government agencies. They're not banned outright. However: This is a black eye for those manufacturers. Many companies will look at this and think "If it's not good enough for the government, it's certainly not good enough for me." I wonder if any non-Chinese tech firms will see this, realize they're being presented with a tremendous gift, and jump to take advantage of it? Btw: As far as we know, Dahua was simply guilty of poor security practices, as opposed to actual intentional nefarious activity. This is why I'm willing to give them a pass--with safeguards.
  6. Cortian

    Which security camera to purchase?

    Just adding a 3rd vote to Tom's and SL's. (With the exception of SL's comment, re: WiFi. Yes: Wired is way, way better. Particularly with video streams and when we're talking security systems. But a good WiFi system [most are crap] can work just fine, IME.)
  7. Cortian

    Indoor: Turret vs Dome?

    That's a bit inaccurate. Hikvision (and Dahua I believe?) are banned for use by the U.S. government. (And, likely, by US Gov't contractors and others with sensitive US Gov't contracts.) They are not "banned in the USA." Nobody's suggesting a firewall should be one's first line of defence. Egress filtering on a firewall's there in case other measures fail. E.g.: I would not buy and use Dahua cameras were I not relatively satisfied with Dahua's explanation of what happened and their assurances they've addressed it. My LAN and Internet border security measures are just in case they're misleading me, after all, or for potential future issues. That being said, and I meant to address this in my earlier comments, but forgot: The measures I've taken are well beyond the capabilities of the average (read: consumer) Internet user. What should really happen is Internet border routers should be configured for security stances similar to what I've described out-of-the-box. Problem with that is: Then a lot of plug-and-play IoT things would be difficult to get to play. It's the same reason MS-Windows was was so easy to compromise for so very long. If Microsoft had made it half as bullet-resistant as they should have: It in all probability would not have achieved the wide acceptance from non-techie end-users it did. So: Manufacturers are damned if they do and damned if they don't. On the gripping hand: Shunning Hikvision because the U.S. Government (or whomever) suggests they're a threat doesn't solve individuals' network security problems. Anything consumers (and, by "consumers," I mean all consumers--residential, business and government) install on their networks, particularly IoT devices, can be a threat.
  8. Cortian

    Indoor: Turret vs Dome?

    Sir Lenscelot has the right of it. Proper firewalling consists of both ingress and egress controls. The default policy on the most effective firewall is "That which is not explicitly allowed is denied." That is somewhat impractical, taken to its absolute, wrt egress filtering, but you can take measures to limit your exposure. E.g.: The only device on my LAN that's allowed to make outgoing connections on port 25 (SMTP) is the home LAN server. That way, even if a desktop, laptop or IoT thing does become compromised with a spam-generating Trojan, it isn't getting anywhere. For my cameras: I've put them all into a particular subnet and blocked that subnet for all outbound traffic. (Inbound connections are always default denied.) Soon I'll acquire a managed switch for our LAN's "backbone." I'll implement VLANs and one of those will be a VLAN for only IP cameras. The border router will prohibit connections from that VLAN. That way: Even if some camera comes with malware pre-loaded, malware that's smart enough to come up with its own legitimate IP address that's not blocked by the border router, it isn't getting anywhere. In fact: All IoT stuff is going on isolated VLANs like that. Not only will that stuff not be able to get to the Internet, but it won't be able to get to Other Stuff on the LAN to which is does not need access. The only reason I didn't already have a managed switch is, until recently, it hasn't been particularly necessary. Now, with all the IoT stuff, it is. Indeed. Even I can't get directly to my IP cams from outside the LAN.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.)
  13. Tom, you usually supply good advice, but you're provably wrong on this count, for the reasons I've already detailed.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. @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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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?"
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. Maybe you missed the word "minimum," bolded, in my reply?
  24. 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.