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Security Camera Recommendations

garydidio

Member
Hi,
 
I am looking to expand my Elk M1 Gold home automation and security system with security cameras and was hoping to get some recommendations that are not too expensive.  Here is the situation:
 
  1. I have a second home in the Adirondacks that I visit once every 2-3 weeks and spend long weekends and vacations when I can.  I currently have an Elk M1 Gold in a central wiring closet for security, temperature monitoring, thermostat control, etc., and am slowly expanding to incorporate some home automation features (light control, etc.).  There is a separate barn that has a separate XIN to secure all the doors and windows, and will eventually include motion and fire detectors.  Wireless is installed, but I don't have a lot of free time to work on it.
  2. The Elk is connected to both my network and the telephone system.  I can access the system either way, but prefer the M1 app on my phone.  The telephone interface is used primarily to listen into the microphones installed throughout the house,. when the telephone system is operational.  I am at the end of the phone line and we get lots of surges, which blows out my surge suppressor.  When it does, I cannot use the phone interface.
  3. Because the house is remote, I have satellite internet (Exede Wildblue) which is very reliable, although a bit slow at times.  Inside the house I have a gigabit network off of a Cisco RV042G small business router.  I will probably expand the internal network a bit to include a couple of switches - one for remote access from within all the rooms in the house ( there is a home-run internet connection in every room) and another for my audio system.
  4. The audio system is in a separate central location and includes a Speakercraft MZC-88 audio system, Yamaha receiver and separate bass amplifier for the TV surround sound system, Oppo Blu-ray disk player, DirecTV receiver, and a soon to be installed VHS/DVD/CD player with an HDMI interface (yes, I have a huge VHS collection!).
  5. The TV is a Samsung 8000 60" plasma with a wireless network interface, but I will probably run a network cable to it once the switch is installed in the audio closet.
What I would like to do is install security cameras both inside and outside of the house that ideally would allow me to access them remotely over the network, as well as have their footage stored on a network video recorder (NVR) that I can access at a later time.  The NVR will more than likely be installed in the audio closet.  One of the cameras should be mounted on the front of the barn because it will have a complete view of the house from across the driveway (about 100' away).  If the cameras have motion detectors embedded in them, it would be great for them to interface to the Elk and let me know so I can log into the system and see what's happening.  I know some systems offer 2-way audio, but not sure if I need it.
 
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!!!!!
 

pete_c

Guru
I utilize Optex combos. Each camera has a built in PIR, night day switch and case switch (3 pairs of NO/NC switches).
 
The outdoor cams are wired to the NVR and OmniPro 2 panel. 
 
Here is what the Optex cameras look like today.  (mine are older and very stealthy looking - you cannot tell that they are cameras).
 
optex.jpg
 
Note there are a few mfg's of similar types of cameras.  Also some new IP cameras have external PIR terminals to trigger events right on the camera which you can see virtually via the browser interface and stored on the camera's storage.
 
Note I do not work for Optex.  They are well built and modular cameras.  The whole Optex Redwall thing is a combination of Optex outdoor sensors, Optex cameras (one Optex demo shows Axis cameras), Optex NVR, et al.  Your outgoing data pipe size will determine how well you can see your NVR / cameras from the internet.  Your satellite pipe has inherent stuff directly related to satellite transmission.  What does your ISP provide in the uploading pieces to the internet.  IE: can you do 10, 20, 50, 100 Mbps uploading?
 
Here utilize LTE as a failover / back up internet connection and it works OK with VOIP, music, video stuff.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
I personally use HikVision cameras, which have the Digital Input/Output (DIO) built into the camera itself. Last I checked the 3MP, POE models could be had for about $85 ea.
 

pete_c

Guru
Here newer cams are Grandstream and they also have Digital Input/Output (DIO) as mentioned above.  The extra icing on the Grandstream cams is that they have SIP such that you can configure you VOIP / video phones to talk to each cam.  Management software or firmware includes these functions.  The Grandstream NVR also comes with the IO terminals for outdoor PIRs.
 
I wonder what kind of camera is being utilize in the attached picture.  Kind of odd that the Rain bucket appears to be held up by black tape.
 
160815-alaska-nps-scientists-gates-407p_2d57774c6fde1bf91846c59d8859b9a6.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000.jpg

 
Physical scientists Ken Hill and Pam Sousanes perform an annual maintenance check and data download at the Pamichtuk Lake climate monitoring station in Gates of the Arctic National Park in the Brooks Range of Alaska.
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
Pete, WRT the SIP functionality, do the Grandstream cameras have a speaker and mic. built-in? I really haven't looked into it much on the HikVisions, but I know they do have the ability to add a microphone.
 
I got a text message of a woman at my front door about  a month ago. I pulled up the live video that took place outside my front door; my wife and the lady talked for about 15 minutes. I later found out it was a neighbor who lived behind us, who I had only met once before, years ago. It was after that exchange that I wanted to see about adding a mic so that I could have listened in and had an idea of what was going on :)
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
pete_c said:
Here newer cams are Grandstream and they also have Digital Input/Output (DIO) as mentioned above.  The extra icing on the Grandstream cams is that they have SIP such that you can configure you VOIP / video phones to talk to each cam.  Management software or firmware includes these functions.  The Grandstream NVR also comes with the IO terminals for outdoor PIRs.
 
I wonder what kind of camera is being utilize in the attached picture.  Kind of odd that the Rain bucket appears to be held up by black tape.
 
Makes me feel a little better about some of the flaky stuff that I've done in a pinch.
 

pete_c

Guru
@drvnbysound
There are connections on the Grandstream motherboards for sound and MMC/USB memory. 
 
Never have to date played with it.  The Grandstream encoder / decoder has the same stuff.
 
The main board / lens board are tiny with a zif cable from the top to the bottom.  Easy to change the lens on it.
 
They are now shrinking the whole 38mm square camera board to a single board with same features set and there is a tiny RTC battery on the board.
 
I have configured the cameras to autocheck for new firmware and install it.  Every update appears to add more stuff.
 
gs-1.jpggs-2.jpggs-3.jpggs-4.jpg
 
@Mike
 
Yeah here have black tape around every wire-net in every electrical box in the house.  What a PITA it is to remove.
 
I have used black tape to position a satellite antenna while on vacation.  It did work. 
 

drvnbysound

Senior Member
Ah ok, so no built in mic or speaker for the SIP communication then. I'd have to log in, but I think the HikVision's have a similar capability. Not sure if fully SIP integrated, but I haven't played with any of that at all, so I'd need to do a LOT of research there...
 

mikefamig

Senior Member
pete_c said:
@Mike
 
Yeah here have black tape around every wire-net in every electrical box in the house.  What a PITA it is to remove.
 
I have used black tape to position a satellite antenna while on vacation.  It did work. 
 
I learned a neat trick a while back. If you are using electrical tape to hold a bundle of wires together you can put the sticky side facing out and wrap it to itself so that it is easy to remove.
 
Mike.
 

pete_c

Guru
Thank you Mike.  Great idea.  Never thought of doing that.
 
Yes meant wire-nuts inside of metal switch boxes.  Really now thinking that it really isn't necessary if you the wire-nut covers the bundled and twisted together wires. 
 
For my outdoor weather wires here used plastic ties which work OK most of the time.  Cheap junk gets brittle and breaks over time. 
 
The Optex cameras wires going inside of the camera are protected via style of housing.  Looking 10 years later inside I see no weathering of any of the wires.  Noticed way back with the Ubuiquiti Air cams a similar mechanism of protection. 
 
Landscaping LV wires were soldered together.  Initially did use black tape and it is held up OK.  Best though to cover the solder joints with a an outdoor wire-nut with a waterproof grease.  You do not have to solder these wires together if you use an outdoor wire nut with grease.  Here ended up having to dip the copper to clean it from some of the wires just being twisted together.  I did end up soldering the LV wires which worked for me.
 
outdoorwirenut.jpg
 
I didn't do this with outdoor LV boxes as sealed they have weathered fine.
 

CarolP

Member
Always determine coverage area and target distance. Select the security camera focal length. Choose the right camera type for you. Bullet cameras are a good option for their small size which often hides them. There is this dome and box where the former is used in malls later is used in shops and banks. Select the camera resolution, night vision cameras and good IR lighting, wired  camera. Consider their cost consideration
 
Box cameras are essentially a dead product. Nobody specs them and fewer install them. Really it's legacy items that can't be converted elsewhere.
 
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