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Mounting cameras on TV antenna tower?

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Hi!

 

My neighborhood has had a rash of crime activity in the last couple of weeks so the wife wants a security camera system installed and I am trying to just figure out the basics at this point. I do know that I want to be able to access the camera from the internet, smartphone and if it worked with my Vera2 z-wave setup that would be a plus as well. And I also know I want a standalone DVR setup and not something that will have to be run via a computer. I am guessing I need about 6 cameras to cover my property sufficiently (garage, front door, courtyard, back yard).

 

Neighbor and his brother down the street and their parents are all using the Swann Alpha system from Costco which from what I have read is not all that super a system.

 

We have an antenna tower at one end of the yard that used to have a weather station on top of it and a Dish Network antenna mounted on it towards the bottom. Does it make sense to mount cameras high on an antenna tower to be able to cover a large area (no trees to get in the way) or is it better to mount cameras lower (eaves or gables) of the house? My house is stucco so I don't want to mount a camera and then later move it so trying to do a lot of planning first before making a move.

 

I'll probably post more once I have done more reading about cameras and DVRs.

 

Thanks,

Chad

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Done.

 

We have an antenna tower at one end of the yard that used to have a weather station on top of it and a Dish Network antenna mounted on it towards the bottom. Does it make sense to mount cameras high on an antenna tower to be able to cover a large area (no trees to get in the way) or is it better to mount cameras lower (eaves or gables) of the house?

 

We can't really say if that's "better" without a better picture of the layout, and what you hope to actually capture. Everything is a trade-off - the farther the camera is from the subject, and/or the wider the angle covered, the less detail you'll get... for example. You could put the cameras WAY up the tower and cover the entire yard, but not get a lot of detail (remember the old joke about people on the ground looking like ants from an airplane - "Those ARE ants, idiot - we haven't taken off yet!")

 

Another down side to mounting the cameras too high is that you'll get the tops of people's heads more than faces - fine if you want to just watch activity in the yard, not so much if you want to identify people (unless you have some super-advanced bald-spot-recognition software).

 

Usually, you want to look at a combination of angles... like, if you have a gate, have a couple higher-up cameras to catch all the movement, and then a lower one with a tight shot on the gate, so you're more likely to get clear facial shots of anyone who uses the gate.

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The wider the area your camera covers, the less detail you will capture, that is unless you use a high magnification Pan Tilt and Zoom camera (PTZ) and a controller, which is not appropriate unless you are ready to also install lots of PIRs or trihggers to make the camera go to areas of activity.

 

I use a combination of cameras to cover a wider area and then a detailed close up shot (which needn't be in colour either) and link them to record when the other one records.

EG a close up camera in a front porch and wider angle covering the area at front of the porch.

 

You are right about Swann, they aren't that wonderful, but they are better than nothing, so unless you can afford more, Swan would at least be better than nothing, but only just.

 

One other thing, if you want your CCTV to deter villains, then they need to SEE it and uop a radio mast isn't ideal from that point of view. It may seem like a great vantage point but at night it could be virtually useless without extra lighting PIR security lights etc.

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I have a combination of views in my setup.

 

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=27405

 

See how the wider, higher shots are only really good for an overview, not detail. With an overlap of tight and wide, my chances increase for detail a bit. But as much as I love the wide shots, they will probably be moved for a 'down to earth' view next spring. Always tweaking. Good luck.

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Thank you everyone for the replies. I am going to can the tower cam or limit to a single one giving an overview of the back yard and stick with cameras at the eves or gables. I still should be able to do what I want with an 8-camera system, I think.

 

@shockwave199 - I am glad you posted here as you had the cameras that I had been looking at the other day but couldn't remember the brand name. As soon as I went to your link I recognized the stills from the other day and was able to see you were using Gadspot cameras.

 

So at this point I am leaning towards the 700TVL cameras and some DVR of unknown make/model at this point as I have no idea if the Gadspot DVRs are the ones to use or not.

 

Thanks again everyone for the help!

Chad

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CNB cameras seem to offer great value for money and very often are feature packed for the price you pay. Dahua DVRs are also quite well spoken of on here.

A single Hi resolution camera for a wide overview of your yard may be a good idea if it's appropriate. For wide angle shots, i.e. more general, colour cameras are a good option.

You can then link that to record when others are recording and visa versa using either alarms or motion detection (MD).

 

As for your DVR get the very best you can afford. this is the absolute heart of your system.

If you need four cameras now, buy an 8 or 9 channel DVR etc etc. I have replaced several DVRs for customers and always they want more channels and more storage.

Think about posting warning signs at your perimeter, 'an ounce of prevention and so on and so forth....'

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nobody seems to of mentioned that you want them as close to eye level as possible. if they are high then all you are going to get is the top of heads, so i would recommend putting them as low down as possible.

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I took an aerial and marked areas in red that I would want close up cameras and those in blue to give a wide angle shot to see what is going on. I have a need for 9 cameras at this point so I am guessing a 16 camera DVR just to cover future additions. Looks like I'll look for a Dahua made DVR though I have no idea on specific model.

 

No idea on cameras at this point though it would be nice to have location 7 covered with a high resolution camera that could be used to get some details out further away.

 

168241_1.jpg

 

1 = driveway (cars kept in garage)

2 = front door

3 = side courtyard

4 = side gate

5 = back covered patio

6 = side gate

7 = front yard and street

8 = side yard

9 = back yard

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unless you can find a camera with a 180* lens you are going to struggle to cover each blue area with one cam.

 

i had the same problem with the road at the front of my house. the blue circle is what i want to cover but i have to use two cameras. one camera is orange, one is red. they overlap slightly to stop blind spots.

 

168268_1.jpg

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I have a combination of views in my setup.

 

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=27405

 

See how the wider, higher shots are only really good for an overview, not detail. With an overlap of tight and wide, my chances increase for detail a bit. But as much as I love the wide shots, they will probably be moved for a 'down to earth' view next spring. Always tweaking. Good luck.

 

Wow, all you need is a undefloor camera to look up his trouser leg and you got all angles covered

Nice clarity on your cameras by the way, some very useful views there well positioned.

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