5 Mar ’12
I am thinking of buying a DVR security system to help monitor our place and driveway. We have had some people driving by recently and turning into our driveway and then reversing out or coming up to our house and turning around. We are out in the middle of no-where and so I clearly have a problem with this. One part of the solution is a gate and another is a camera security system. I have a few requirements -- a) sub $500, b) has the ability to make wire runs greater than 200ft and c) integrates power and video signal in the same cable.
Do you guys have any advice?
I was hoping for a slick Power over Ethernet (PoE) set up but they are around ~$900 for the DVR and cameras. I found a Swann system on Amazon with awesome reviews and this particular model comes with 4 cameras but can support 8. The analog BNC cables also have a small power cord that goes along with it so it is only one cable run. I think the max distance is ~300 feet. I think this would be a great addition and could even help monitor the chicken coop in the future.
The only downsides I can think of are that the unit would be running 24/7 so I would draw more from our solar setup. I've done some cursory searching but haven't seen anybody hook one of these up to a Kill-a-watt to show how much power one actually consumes. It won't be a lot but I don't like increasing our power usage 24x7 into perpetuity.
It costs $320 with 500 GB hard drive and 4 cameras. I think I would need to buy a 300 ft roll of cable which would be ~ $60.
18 Mar ’12
The short answer is you get what you pay for. Cheap IR cameras are crap, during low light use they will only be able to tell someone was there and their general shape. Most dont do much better during the day light for positively identifying someone. Spend the money for better quality day light cameras and have a motion activated light set up in the direction they are pointing. The light will do two things, give you good quality video and when the light activates nervous thieves will be startled. When startled they will look directly into the direction of the light, giving you a great shot of their face. When you set up cameras dont hide them. Time after time I have seen burglars point out and look right at a live camera. Spend the money for an active battery backup, (for on grid setups) I am starting to see some of the sharper burglars just flipping main power switchs and snipping the exposed phone line, disabling video and alarm systems. I have an active battery backup and will soon be installing a cellular dialer on my own system.
Trust me when I tell you the only thing more frustrating than being burglarized is being burglarized and having unidentifiable video of the jerks doing it. In the meantime, post a sign at the end of your driveway stating that thieves will be executed and have their severed head mounted on a post above this sign. Most importantly remember, you dont have to be an impenetrable fortress. You just need to look like a less favorable target then the guy down the road.
I agree with everything Rinkus posted, we have a motion light with each camera, I know you are off grid pork, there are solar options out there
from my experience, cameras are more important than the dvr, I say that with quotations though, the cameras will give you a better live view and recording, but the dvr does impact playback quality, this was our cameras one night
yes, camera one shows a shirtless pillhead headed towards our front door with either a knife or screwdriver in his hand
even with the crappy quality, we were able to ID him
this show's our side yard with our old cameras
this is the quality with what the security firm owner told me was military surplus cameras, not sure if he was just blowing smoke or what, but you can see the difference with clarity and field of view
stay away from wireless, they run on the same hertz as cordless phones etc and can cause interference
we had a system for the restaurant and it crapped the bed a couple weeks ago, I ordered this one to replace it,
like Rinkus said, I'd be putting up signs saying, smile, your on camera
21 Feb ’12
I spent about 3 years installing security electronics for jails and prisons in CA. Obviously, most of that stuff was high end, tamper resistant and expensive equipment. I have installed a few systems for residential and commercial structures, and as rinkus mentioned, you get what you pay for. The Swann system you hadyour eye on I have actually put in before and while it does do the job, the cameras are pretty low quality. It'll work tho. A great idea mentioned above is to combine the camera with a motion sensor light as the IR is usually pretty bad on low end equipment. also, a good idea is to set up your cameras to provide cross coverage to eliminate blind spots, basically have 2 cameras facing each other so you can catch a perp coming or going. The main thing tho as rinkus said is you don't have to look like a bunker, just appear to be a harder target than the next guy. On a final note, make sure your dvr is located someplace secure that's low on dust and will stay cool. Hope this helps.
5 Mar ’12
Good ideas guys, thank you. I am most concerned with our driveway because if anyone is coming up they are most likely coming from the driveway. It is ~250 feet long and winding through the forest so we can usually see if a car is coming but not get a good look at it -- plus I want it recorded.
Good point on the motion detector lights -- ironically we don't have a single one right now. I have been passively looking at solar motion lights -- please let me know if you guys have used any that you like.
In y'alls opinion -- would 'D1' cameras be a worth upgrade to CIF cameras? We also have a few Foscam pan/tilt IR IP cameras that we have used around the place before but they are really indoor only and not a permanent solution. I like the idea of IP cameras hooked up to a computer but I'm not sure if the cost is worth it. I know all you may need is software and a switch -- Thoughts?
Here is what we have...
And here is what they also offer -- should I just buy a few of these IP cameras and wire them into a computer I already have running 24/7 for solar? It is actually a laptop and so it's built it battery is like having a battery back up. I guess the main downside here is that IP cameras may bot have a good quality image -- and good IP cameras are expensive.
I bought this and it should be arriving today -- wireless driveway alarm. It looks robust enough to last a long time but easy enough to install that I can put it up quickly. You can buy multiple sensors for this but it still does not allow me to see who is coming. A good stop-gap though.
5 Mar ’12
we had just a simple night owl system, I think it was like 199 dollars, we upgraded the cameras to the surplus ones, those were 199 apiece, was worth the investment. The simple one we got for the rest will work good for us there due to the fact we just use it inside, which we keep the lights on and the restaurant is broken up into zones where the cameras really don't have to see over 15 feet, we also keep all the lights on at night. We have been broken into several times over the years and have been adding more security layers each time it happens. I feel pretty comfortable with the system we have now. We just upgraded to a dialer so no concerns with someone snipping the phone lines. With this system sending me alerts to my phone and with our monitored system, response would be pretty quick, it's one goo thing about living 50 feet behind it
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