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Video Surveillance camera with ELK M1 / Insteon


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#1 matrix77ny

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:30 AM

I've recently began putting together my home security/ HA components for my new home which is being build as i write this.

I chose the ELk M1 GOld and ISY insteon controller for lighting/occupancy motions, front door locks , garage door control. ELk will obviously control security.

My question is which is the best route to control the 3 cameras I'd like to have to complete my system. I've come to the conclusion that I cant afford an IP camera that does PTZ and has the resolution that's decent. I've considered just using a fixed dome IP camera as they are much cheaper than the PTZ camera's.

What more affordable choices are avail and how would they be intergrated into my ELK/ insteon system in such a way that i'll be able to view them remotly. Thank in advance

#2 Work2Play

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 03:44 AM

Well, for what it's worth, the elk doesn't talk to any cameras... and I'm not sure Insteon does either... What Elk will do is let you see certain cameras on your TS07 touchscreen; and applications like eKeypad can access certain cameras within the same window that controls your elk.

That said, if you know what control tools you'd like to use, start with them and find out what they're compatible with. If you're using HA software to tie things together and run a touchscreen, that's where you need to find compatibility; if it's iPhone control, you need to look to eKeypad, and so on.

One camera that a lot of people are watching pretty closely is the Ubiquiti Aircam that's due out any time... it's a 720p IP camera for about $99... it won't blow your socks off but Ubiquiti has a reputation for really disrupting the market with low cost alternatives... I have my preorder in. The big deal with them is they're giving away the NVR software for free too so it should be pretty interesting... unfortunately they suck at sharing good info ahead of time... you have to wait until the product makes it into users' hands.

Otherwise for better quality, there's far more qualified people than myself to speak... I have the same problem - until I can get 3 megapixel and zero light performance for about $150, I'll never be happy.

What lead you to Insteon, and how much have you bought so far? Z-Wave is really looking attractive these days; that's where I'd look before Insteon. Also - the Insteon locks aren't 2-way; it's just a hacked transmitter for a Morning Industry lock (which I like and use - don't get me wrong)... or I personally use UPB for lighting (see my signature - it's a large install).

#3 matrix77ny

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 04:49 AM

I've recently began putting together my home security/ HA components for my new home which is being build as i write this.

I chose the ELk M1 GOld and ISY insteon controller for lighting/occupancy motions, front door locks , garage door control. ELk will obviously control security.

My question is which is the best route to control the 3 cameras I'd like to have to complete my system. I've come to the conclusion that I cant afford an IP camera that does PTZ and has the resolution that's decent. I've considered just using a fixed dome IP camera as they are much cheaper than the PTZ camera's.

What more affordable choices are avail and how would they be intergrated into my ELK/ insteon system in such a way that i'll be able to view them remotly. Thank in advance



As far as a control device I was planning on using Ipad with either the Elk M1 control Ekeypad M1 pro or using my media server to run Mcontrol software.

The reason I went with insteon was it was the easiest for me to understand having just started to learn about HA. Im not opposed to UPB or Zwave I just wanted to be able to control all aspects of the house under a single application. I would rather not have to switch to one app on the ipad to control security and another app to control lighting and yet another app to view security cameras.

I have open walls and i'll be networking the whole house with all gigabit rated components. Im running all the 22/4 and 22/2 wire also.
Im open to suggestions on other software and hardware for HA.

#4 DELInstallations

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 08:33 PM

If you're not going to go with an NVR and IP cameras out of the gate, you could also go with an IP encoder and analog cameras, Axis and American Dynamics make rackmountable units that can handle quite a few cameras, however you would have difficulties recording them without looping/splitting the signals.

IMO, unless you're going to bite the bullet out of the gate, your best option right now would be to get a capable DVR that has remote software/client and network that unit and depending on the DVR you choose, you might be able to use the Elk to either trigger panic inputs on the DVR or possibly (if the DVR manufacturer supports and can provide info) use a serial to go bidirectional between the M1 and DVR, but I'd wager that interface would be limited at best.

For most homeowners, keeping the DVR and video separate from the security/HA would be best and most economical. If needed, use the panel to trigger lights to help with recording after dark.

In the case of a rough in, right now, I'd pull a pair of C5E's and a single 18/2 to each camera, or at least a siamesed coax and C5E to each potential camera. Worst case, you're using baluns on a twisted pair if you only pull a C5E and 18/2 to each camera.

#5 tsasecurity

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:16 AM

I am currently in a similar situation to the original post.

I am setting up an ELK M1 and will use IP cameras with lighting (UPB or INSTEON)

I NEED the IP Cameras to be viewed on the TS07 touchscreen

I would spend at most $350 for an fixed outdoor night view camera (preferably dome and bullet options) that are above 720x480 (more like 1024x###)

Vivotek looks like a very good option right now as they meet those specifications. However I looked on Elk's website and the Touchscreen Software (RMS) page says that it only supports one type of Vivotek camera - the PZ6112, which is an indoor pan tilt camera. Thats not what I'm interested in. Go to the ELK website and look at the Touchsceren "Remote Manager Software" screen for a list of the supported cameras. According to the screen it only shows 6 cameras that it supports

I really hope the TS07 is not limited to only those cameras.. They are not the kind of cameras I am interested in. I really want to know if you can setup other Vivotek cameras to work on the TS07.

Also I want to know how I can trigger programs from the M1 to enable recording on the Vivotek cameras.. and where should they record to? a NVR like some that QNAP offer?




My next question refers to lighting:

First, I don't like Z-Wave because you can't get a 4 button controller (for scenes or groups) that is less than $150 which is outrageous.

When using the ISY Insteon seems to be the best option because you can have constant two way communication with the M1 for all devices, scenes, and buttons on Insteon keypads that way I can view all status' on the touchscreens. It also enables the Scene buttons on the Insteon KeypadLincs to control rules on the ELK M1.
For Example: I have a motion detector in the Master Bedroom that usually puts the lights on a "Dim Evening" scene if motion is detected between 5-8pm. Lets say though that I'm going to be doing some work in the room and would rather manually put the room on the "Bright Day" scene by pressing that button on the insteon keypad. I would want that action to override the M1's motion program to put the lights on the Dim scene when it detects me walking to my chair so my lights will be left on bright.

I don't think those kind of commands could be done while using UPB (I would only use Simply Automated) because from what I hear UPB doesn't have two way communication for scenes?






Please give any input you have regarding either subsystem (lighting, video, touchscreen, etc.)


Thanks

#6 aceman

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:21 AM

I to want to view the camers from either RMS or ekeypad. I think its crazy elk hasn't upgraded their list in years (and btw - the 7" touchscreen is discontinued)...
So does anyone know ifUbiquiti currently working w/ M1???

Aceman

#7 tsasecurity

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:57 AM

are you sure the touschreen is canceled? I know they stopped making the TS07 but the TS071 is the new one and it seems to still be advertised in a lot of places. I guess the thing to do would be to call elk and ask for an updated list.. I'm sure it doesn't only work for the 5 cameras they have listed...

#8 Lou Apo

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

ISY and Elk work extremely well together assuming you get the Elk module for the ISY. ISY is also releasing the 994iz which has zigbee in it. I assume it still does Insteon. The ISY has superb programability such that it supplants the need to write Elk rules for the most part. Elk rules are a little bit antiquated, but they are bullet proof on reliability.

I haven't found any great way to integrate video with my Elk/ISY/Insteon setup. It is a matter of having a cross platform user interface that makes it all seem to be together. These programs exist for pc and for smartphones, but none jumps out as a clear winner in my opinion. Generically speaking you would probably have the most success with IP based cameras since DVR type systems typically have proprietary software, or at least software that no one else bothers to integrate since the market would be too small.

There is no doubt, however, with ISY/Elk combo that you would have a very well integrated system that controls lighting, thermostats, fans, motors, just about anything with a switch, IR stuff, and just about anything that can accept a rest command. This all will play together with anthing that can be monitored via Elk or ISY including all your security stuff, energy, temp, weather/rainfall/etc, and even stuff like water levels in a sump, status of the washer, and on and on.

Just be sure to pull lots of wires while the sheetrock is down and take lots of pictures.

#9 tsasecurity

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:04 PM

My only problem with the ISY setup is that you are now using two automation controllers (the M1 and ISY). I would rather make the M1 the main controller of everything. It may seem a little picky but I feel like the money you spend on the ISY setup could have been spent on more dimmers and keypads if you went with a different lighting company. But if I did that I would only go Simply Automated by UPB and I am not sure if you can get two way communication between M1 and SA dimmers, keypads, and scene switches, which is a necessity for my project; If I can't have two way communication with UPB I might just have to go the ISY route.

Regarding cameras you can setup IP cameras to view on the ELK RMS for touch screens, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and more. I plan on using Vivotek cameras.

#10 Lou Apo

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 03:30 PM

My only problem with the ISY setup is that you are now using two automation controllers (the M1 and ISY). I would rather make the M1 the main controller of everything. It may seem a little picky but I feel like the money you spend on the ISY setup could have been spent on more dimmers and keypads if you went with a different lighting company. But if I did that I would only go Simply Automated by UPB and I am not sure if you can get two way communication between M1 and SA dimmers, keypads, and scene switches, which is a necessity for my project; If I can't have two way communication with UPB I might just have to go the ISY route.

Regarding cameras you can setup IP cameras to view on the ELK RMS for touch screens, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and more. I plan on using Vivotek cameras.


ISY supplants Elk when it comes to HA. All Elk HA systems have becomes extensions of ISY with the new module. So you really don't have two controllers, you have one controller (ISY) and one controllee (Elk). Security still lives primarily on Elk when it comes to turning a violation into a siren and central station call, but otherwise, ISY has enveloped the security parts as well. I suspect from your comment that you have never seen the ISY control the Elk.

#11 Work2Play

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 04:32 PM

I'm a heavy UPB user with Elk, specifically Simply Automated. When using Scenes the Elk loses track of status because of the way the protocol works... but I'm kinda anti-Insteon for the single-vendor reason; what if they have quality issues again - where do you go? or what if they decided to double their prices mid-way through your project? Non issue for many, but I couldn't do it... at least with UPB there are several manufacturer's and styles to choose from.

#12 Lou Apo

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

I'm a heavy UPB user with Elk, specifically Simply Automated. When using Scenes the Elk loses track of status because of the way the protocol works... but I'm kinda anti-Insteon for the single-vendor reason; what if they have quality issues again - where do you go? or what if they decided to double their prices mid-way through your project? Non issue for many, but I couldn't do it... at least with UPB there are several manufacturer's and styles to choose from.


If they doubled their prices they would only be a little higher than UPB. But I doubt that is going to happen as it is a fundamental part of their business model being in that price range. For myself, I bought about 80% of my system at the start, so there wasn't much room for a problem if they raised prices suddenly and severely. But I suppose if you planned on trickling the system in over several years.

Personally, I would be more concerned about bankruptcy. However, the protocol would be sold off for sure by the debtors so someone would pick it up. It could definitely put a monkey wrench into things. It does not seem to me that they are in any financial distress. I am basing that on the fact that the R and D keeps moving forward with new products and updates to old ones. But who knows.

#13 Work2Play

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:49 PM

Yeah - it's definitely a preference/comfort level thing; I got into this when they were at their worst, so UPB was a no brainer; and smarthome isn't great with dealers either.

#14 kojack

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

I've been looking at cameras to use with my ElkM1 recently. The Vivotek IP8362 seems really good. Anyone tried it?? I guest it depends on what you really want to do.

In my case it is monitoring my cottage so getting email snapshots triggered from my ELM M1 through the cameras IO input is great. It can also get ongoing video on its flash memory or ftp to a local PC. I like the simplicity of the flash memory, but not as safe as a hidden recorder. All of the email setup is done from the cameras direct e-mailing capability. It can stream different video formats if you want. Night vision, ect... and the documentation is well done. The camera can even email a system log, and EMAIL ENCRYPTED with SSL. Damn.... I hope ELK is reading this and realizing how their ELK M1 emailing capability is just outdated, especially with its inability to send encrypted ssl and system values and logs!! I am even considering getting a camera and take daily snapshots of my ELK keyboard to get status info sent over by a reliable email (and not the unsecure GMX that I must use) :)

#15 kojack

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:24 PM

OK this was my first post. Maybe I should be more positive about ELK. I really enjoyed setting up my M1 a year ago and it is now doing exactly what I want...... well almost.




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