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Farmer Ted

CCTV setup for farm

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Hello,

I'm planning to install camera system in order to view animals in a shed when they are calving/lambing/ill.

I'm unsure how to set it up in the shed.  Is it better to have multiple fixed cameras or a single PTZ which can cover most of the shed?  I estimate that using fixed cameras I would require 4 - 5 cameras.  For the PTZ to be useful I would need to mount it on a bracket to suspend it down off a roof beam seam that it can pan and zoom into area of interest - although i expect there to be some blind spots requiring an additional 1/2 cameras for complete coverage (if really required).  These will primarily be viewed via mobile phone so a good compatible android app is essential.

On top of this I would like to add some security cameras for the sheds.  Here I have no ideas as to what I require. - although for these ones I would like high resolution and excellent night vision.  These would be the only ones which I would require to have recording.

In terms of installation, I intend to pull an exterior spec Cat5e copper cable from the house to the shed feeding into a PoE switch which then distributes around all the cameras.  In the house I'd have a NVR with a CCTV spec HDD.  For the external security cameras, if I could obtain them in a discreet colour (green would be ideal to blend in).

I also have two sheds at separate locations which I would like to install some security cameras.  These sites have no electricity or internet connection onsite.  I intend to use leisure batteries charged by a generator (when it is in use) and topped up by a solar panel.  Do I keep these two setups separate from the home installation?

 

What should I be looking at in terms of camera spec for the home shed for both the calving and the security cameras at home?  The calving camera needs to be clear and have a microphone as the ability to hear the animals is necessary.  however, there is the inclination to over spec, so advice appreciated.  Any brands to avoid or focus on?

I also need to ensure that everything links up together so all advice appreciated before I start purchasing.

 

 

Thanks.

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Hi. We’re are you located and what is your budget. 
 

360 camera might be best for your barn areas plus it would keep the cost down for your remote location barn as they are very low power use. 
 

your nvr would be located on the house which would give you view of all cameras

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Budget would probably be £400 - £500 for shed coverage and single security camera - but I don't really know what spec of system I require - it is flexible, but would have it in or around this price.  I am capable of installing myself, but I may tend to overspec the cameras and devices.

I can add additional cameras as money becomes available.

My one issue with a PTZ is that I'd need to put it onto a wall mount bracket and as a result it would be more visible and possibly vunerable to accidental damage.  So I was wondering if a small number of decent fixed cameras (or some smaller dome PTZ) would be sufficient.  I reality for the shed cameras all I need is to see and hear whether a cow is calving maybe a small number of fixed cameras would be sufficient and the PTZ is overkill?  The idea of zooming in is 'nice' but it is not a necessity.

How many decent fixed cameras can be bought for the price of a PTZ?

 

 

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Hi. I would look at 6mp cameras with audio 

with your budget. 
 

4 cameras in a shed will give you most cover as 6mp will give you more detail than a 2mp

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What brand and camera should I be looking at?

As per the initial mail as it will be viewed mostly from phone a good app is required.  

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Superlive plus is one of the best apps at the moment

fast HD with audio and full control of nvr from mobile/pad and pc

what will be your cable distance 

house> nvr > cameras

we’re are you located

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I would guess from the NVR in house to the PoE switch in she would be approx 30-40m.  Initial cameras would be an additional 10-15m.  but later ones (if I add) are going to be approx another 40m.

 

Located in Northern Ireland.

 

Are the apps independant of the cameras or do they all come as a package?

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Okay, I'm confused.  The plan was to track a single Cat5e cable from NVR in house to shed.  This would be the fed into the switch to connect the shed to the NVR in house.  All cameras would track back into this switch too for power and also access by the NVR.

Can you describe what setup you are suggesting?

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Hi. Cable from house to shed will limit your data from cameras (running all data from switch back to nvr on one cable)

install nvr in shed and run your network cable from house to nvr in shed. 
this will save you a lot of money as no switches are needed and you won’t be limited to resolution of cameras

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The shed is not a great environment for a NVR.  It would need therefore to go into an IP66 or better enclosure.  Plus I'd need to find a suitable location for it.

Would running two cables back to house do anything to improve the problem?  Probably as easy to pull 2 as one.  The calving cameras will only be accessed intermittingly throughout a few months of the year allowing the security cameras the remainder of the data transfer capability of the link.  I thought Cat5e rated at 1000Mbps would have been more than sufficient?

I've not yet thought about the installation on the outfarms.

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Hi. With a budget of £500 going the Poe switch option and your cabling your budget is not much. 
 

how many cameras do you think you need 

4 in 1 shed and 2 in the other ?

 

an nvr is now only the size of small dvd player a box would only be a few £s to house it in. 
 

you can buy cheaper options from eBay or amazon ..... but you need to look at how the audio is configured some need wired mics back to nvr some the cameras don’t have built in microphones so that’s an extra cost

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£500 is the budget (approx) for the home shed.  I'm happy to just install a minimum (calving cameras and a single security camera) to see how it goes and then add in the additional cameras at a later date when I see it is operational.  If I can get a suitable system much cheaper then that is better for me as I need to do the outlying farms too, so the budget can be re-directed to them,

The other two sheds are in locations that are a number of miles away (and indeed a few miles from each other too).  They have some complexities regarding power supply too, so I think we should put these to aside for the moment and resolve a setup for the shed at home.

In terms of cameras, sound is a definitive for the calving cameras - it is almost more useful than video at times).  for the security camera(s) I would have thought that sound would have been a good idea too here?

 

The calving cameras:

  1. Clean sharp colour images (with ability to zoom in for a reasonable level of detail - either image zoom via phone app or PC; or camera lens zoom.  I don't need to be able to read a wrapper on ground)
  2. Audio
  3. No need to record
  4. Only requires access intermittently over the calving season

The question is how much is a fixed versus a comparable PTZ?  I could do with 3 fixed cameras (with possibility to expand to 1 - 2 more, if required)

 

The security cameras are not an area whereby I know very much - other than I don't want to have an unwanted visitor and be unable to identify their face from a reasonable distance or unable to pick up number plate of a static vehicle.  Excellent night vision/clarity is a must.

  • Do PIR floodlights have a negative impact on security lights?  I was considering installing these in order to provide a deterrent and also to  give the camera a better chance of picking up facial features at night
  • Can the cameras be obtained in a discrete colour (green would be ideal)
  • These security cameras would need to record onto the NVR
  • I think I could get away with max 3 for security externally, but there are two places where I would like to install a camera at a later date as there is some machinery I would like to keep tracked
  • Do these only record if their motion sensors are activated or are they continuously recording

 

Do the calving cameras need to go through the NVR?

If a cameras is covering the entrance to a building is there any point in having an additional camera inside the building?

 

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Start with a proof of concept demonstration

I would start with an IP camera that displays the focal length. temporarily mount it where you think you might want surveillance cameras, adjust zoom to suit and document for replay. determine needs before committing cash, sell management on more.

if you get the coverage you need, and you don't need to PTZ all cameras, get cheap wired cameras, wire them to a DVR in the barn, and feed that to a wireless bridge. they come with either 6mm lenses or 2.1s.  I have a pile of unused 6mms. use the focal length determined with the zoom lens above to order lenses off ebay.

here in the states you must have the DVR time and date accurate or the opposing lawyer gets the evidence banned from court. this means you need NTP capability. all cameras sync themselves to your national time standard. disable the clocks on the IP cameras if you have them and use DVR NTP as the sole time source.

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I'm going down the NVR route for a few other reasons too.  But yes, I think I'll build the system up in installments and integrate more as needed.

That is interesting what you say about the timestamps.  I'll have to look into that a bit more - thanks for the heads up on that.

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