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Setting up my first video system and wanted to get some feedback on the design before I purchased everything.

 

What I want the system to do.

I have ranch that I want basic indoor/outdoor surveillance on. 4 camera system that is scalable to 8. Camera locations will be front door, back yard, living room and babies room.

 

For recording I would like a DVR that can record all 4-8 cameras at once. Output viewing should be able to support 1 camera at a time or all 8 at once. The main feature for me would be being able to view the cameras remotely via a web browser or smartphone (Blackberry preferred).

 

I would also like to be able to view the cameras on any TV in the house but this is a nice to have and not a requirement.

 

Equipment

  • •DVR
    HDE2424DV - 8 ch DVR with DVD burner
     
    •Cameras
    (1) VCM-24VFH - outdoor dome camera with heater, day/night, varifocal lens (front door)
    (2) DBM-24VD - indoor color dome, varifocal lens (living room and babies room)
    (1) LDM-24VF - outdoor vandal IR dome camera (back yard)
     
    •Power
    Altronix ALTV248175UL - 8 channel 24VAC power supply
     
    •Optional for TV viewing
    Channel Vision 3205 notch filter
    Netmedia mm70 modulator

 

Questions

1. Will the above setup meet my needs

2. Is there a cheaper solution that will meet my needs without sacrificing quality or feature set.

3. Do I need a heater for the outside cameras? Reading it looks like that helps with freezing, fogging, etc.. can I just use fog-x or something like that on the outside of the dome

4. How is the visibility without IR on the 24VF’s. For the front I always have light. In the back yard, it is fairly dark. Should I use the IR or just get external lighting somehow.

5. What is the longest I can run BNC cable and power? I think my longest run is 150 feet.

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Please don't use a LDM-24VF, I use an LDM-20s and IR bleeds through the foam and effect the picture quality because the foam blocks the IR from entering.

 

If you need IR due to low lighting, a bullet cam works best or just an external Infrared Illuminator.

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good tip.. sould like i will just go with 2 of the VCM-24VF's

 

How is the picture quality otherwise?

 

Anyone using these heaters?

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good tip.. sould like i will just go with 2 of the VCM-24VF's

 

How is the picture quality otherwise?

 

Anyone using these heaters?

 

I'm in California, but I don't use any heaters or fans. Picture quality is good otherwise. I use 4 CNB's (two VBM-24VF, one LDM-20s, and one VFL-20s). The VMB-24VF do great in low lighting, but do need some sort of light source. During the day quality is great on all four cameras. The only thing is when it rain I get a few small drop on the bubble (I use rainX as well)

 

Just be prepared to focus them when first setting up. A small portable TV works for that. It is best to focus during dusk (when the cams switched over to B/W.) I have found myself having yo re-focus about three times to get the picture the way I want it. Settings are another thing that needs to be done all of it is very easy though.

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another thing that may be of interest.

If you can get away without using a vandal dome ..

the BBM-24F which is the box camera version of the VCM-24VF is inexpensive and also has the cat5 connection so you can change settings remotely. This saves ALOT of time when setting it up (not focus), especially if its not right outside your house. Also with the box camera you can then get a much better lens to get rid of that slight blur on the edges when set to wide angle view- eg. F:1.0 Aspherical IR corrected lens from Tamron .. so it not only will see more in low light than the dome which has the F:1.4 lens, it will also have a better overall image due to the type of lens being aspherical. Just theoretical right now As I am ordering some now but havent tried them yet, price is low also, can just use a Samsung Housing which is half the cost of the Pelcos and others.

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I've used a BBM-24F outside under the porch with no enclosure for the last 1/2 year with no problem. Does not get super cold here maybe 17F this year. I may eventually try to protect from water a bit better (esp w spring around the corner) but it has been fine. Not an expensive camera so did not want to go to the bother.

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I'd definetely recommend putting them in an enclosure regardless of whether they are under an eave or wherever. As long as they are exposed to moisture, fog, dew, condensation, etc, you will want to put them in a housing, otherwise the internal parts will rust up and corrode overtime.

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I'd definetely recommend putting them in an enclosure regardless of whether they are under an eave or wherever. As long as they are exposed to moisture, fog, dew, condensation, etc, you will want to put them in a housing, otherwise the internal parts will rust up and corrode overtime.

 

Good point. My rationale was based on

1- that they are not any different than the CNB domes internally (i.e. not like they conformal coat the PWB's or used hermetically sealed components)

2- they are inexpensive compared to an expensive pro camera that might try to address this w/ dehumidification etc

3- my application is poking the lens through the lattice work under the back porch, so I could not use an enclosure.

 

If you want to do it right, as has been pointed out get an enclosure.

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Im cleaning cameras and replacing some at a job now which is a warehouse and they have loading dock doors opened all day .. the cameras are covered in dirt .. the lens needs to be cleaned and Id hate to see the guts of the camera. If they had a housing anyone could clean that but they tried cleaning the lens before and knocked them out of focus Housings are cheap now also, check the Samsung SHB-4200.

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I decided to stick with the domes. After the enclosure cost, with the price I am paying it not much savings. Maybe 10 bucks. Not really worth the effort and the domes look better IMO.

 

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I ordered the cameras and the DVR yesterday and hopefully if all goes well I should have this installed by end of the weekend.

 

Couple additional questions. Should I use the standard Siamese RG59 or go with a good balun for CAT6 use? I have both cables already so whichever gives me the best quality is what I would like to use.

 

The Cameras support both 12v and 24v. Does it matter which one I use. What is the benifit of going with 24v, do you get less voltage drop or a better image transmission? 2 of the cameras will have heaters built in (vcm-24vfh) so not sure if that makes a difference.

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I decided to stick with the domes. After the enclosure cost, with the price I am paying it not much savings. Maybe 10 bucks. Not really worth the effort and the domes look better IMO.

Yep, although can generally get a little better image with the box cameras if using an Aspherical lens and lower F stop.

 

Couple additional questions. Should I use the standard Siamese RG59 or go with a good balun for CAT6 use? I have both cables already so whichever gives me the best quality is what I would like to use.

I personally would go with the RG59 Siamese, but its up to you. If its a difficult run and you think you might upgrade to IP cameras in the future then maybe run the cat5, or both. They have Coax to IP converters also though. I get RG59 siamese very cheap though so unless its a really long run that needs active transmission or going from one building to the next .. i stick to RG59 siamese. But its up to you.

 

The Cameras support both 12v and 24v. Does it matter which one I use. What is the benifit of going with 24v, do you get less voltage drop or a better image transmission? 2 of the cameras will have heaters built in (vcm-24vfh) so not sure if that makes a difference.

Use 24VAC, get decent 24VAC Altronix Fused Power supplies for less than 12VDC and with more amps. And you can run 24VAC a longer distance. Just use 12VDC if its a cheap install and short runs (eg. 150 and less).

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Perfect.. thats what I needed. I have the cable so I will just run both RG59 and CAT6 and use the RG59 for now.

 

I dont have very long runs but it 24v is better that is what I will go with.

 

thanks everyone. I will let you know how it turns out.

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Everything hooked up. Cabling was a major pain but it turned out well.

 

I dont like the indoor cameras, I think I need something with IR. My lights are typically off at night inside and you cant see anything.

 

I got the external web viewing going.. is there anyway to view this from a blackberry?

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Yeah that camera needs light, I think it has a fixed IR cut filter also (at least going by a reply from CNB tech support - which is what I want it for) so wouldnt pick up IR if thats the case. Would need to replace with a camera with IR - CNB also have those, or you can pretty much use any cheap low res turret IR dome.

 

And yes I hate running wire also .. i have an electrician on call now though to do the difficult runs for me .. so I can go do other things, quotes, other installs, testing, etc.

 

I dont know about the blackberry thing, but here is a list of the CNB software, they mention Iphone and Android for the HDx Series DVRs:

http://download.cnbnewsletter.com/support/prdpds_en.php

 

I do like their CMS software, its a quick GUI, I used it for another DVR brand which is by the same manufacturer that makes the CNB ones - Indigo - CNB made their own custom version but the boards are basically the same.

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Thanks for the replay... I got the cameras localy so I think I will just replace the indoor ones with some other CNB IR camera.

 

I ended up putting the DVR in a different location (for now) then I originally wanted because of the cabling issue. Wish I wouldnt have finished my basement before I did this

 

The IMON software is only for I phone or Android like you said but I found some 3rd party veiwers I am going to play with.

 

I got the focus and zoom set pretty well last night. Is there any typical settings I should play around with on the OSD menu for each camera.

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