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My Surveillance System

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Dwayne
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:46 am    Post subject: My Surveillance System Reply with quote

During the last year my company got victim of some unwanted visits. We had thefts from our ground, young people having parties on our parking lot (with leavign their stuff there) and even someone who seems to have his fun behind one of the buildings, at least he left some used rubbers there..

So we decided to place some surveillance cameras, open to see for everyone, hoping that would reduce the visits at night.

At the current state I have 7 cameras running, all of them IP cameras.

Parking Lot: Siemens Gigaset Wlan Camera (outdoor in housing via wlan)
Main Entrance: Aviptek NC4000 (outdoor in housing via wlan)
Front Area: Aviptek NC4050 (outdoor in housing via wlan)
Front Area: Aviosys 9060A Megapix Camera (Indoor behind Window via LAN, for testing puropse)
Back Area Building 1: Aviptek NC4050 (outdoor in housing via wlan)
Back Area Building 2: Aviptek NC1200 (outdoor in housing via powerLan)
Privat Entrance: Aviptek NC4000 (Indoor behind a Window via LAN)

I also used a Trendnet TV201 cam, which I do not use any longer.

As recording system I use Blueiris

Blueiris uses its own motion detection system, therefore I do not need the motion detection of the cameras itself.

Problems I have encountered:

General:

When I used more than 2 wlan cams on one access point, one camera always seemed to give up working. I changed my setup so that only 2 cams are sharing one access point.

Aviptec Cameras:

The Aviptek NC4xxx cameras have a fixed wlan antenna, which you cannot remove that easily, there for you either have to open the camera to add your own antenna cable or use the antanna within the outdoor housing, which works if the access point is close by. The Aviptek cameras use a Mini PCI wlan card, which has a tiny anteanna plug, where you can easily attach an adapter for the usual antenna wiring cable to setup the antenna outside the housing.

The NC4xxx Series is supported by Blueiris if you have the latest firmware. One thing that is a bit strange is that the stream of the 4050 seems as slowmotion with blueiris for 4-6 secs, and then there is a jump. That problem I did not see with the 4000

The 4050 have a great night view, and you see a great picture with even low light support. The 4000 gets hard to watch at low light.

Siemens Gigaset Wlan camera

At the beginning I was a bit worried after the siemens cam didn't have any known standart, like mjpeg, or mpeg4, which I could use for blueiris, but then I found out that this cam deliveres an ASF stream which you can even watch with your windows media player.
BlueIris offers a version which supports WM streams. After updating I was able to use this stream. However if you set up blue iris to less than 15 frames/sec the stream kinda gets buffered, just as much 15minutes after a couple of hours, so a good surveillance wasn't guaranteed. But with setting up blueiris to a higher frame rate everything is fine.

Siemens also has a great night view, however not as good as the nc4050, but good enough to see whats happening.

NC1600


This camera has a really bad colour watching - brown containers look light light blue at daylight and the vision turns completly white at full sun. It gives you a great view at beginning darkness.
This will be replaced by a Siemens Cam

Aviosys 9060A

I wasn't able to get the stream working so I keep requesting single images by blueiris. The stream itself is only supporting 640 x 480 but by single image you can get the full resolution of 1600 x 1200 - however only one frame every 10 secs. This camera does not have any night view abilities at all.

Trendnet TV201W

This is the worst cam at all, although it has a good nightview (below the siemens though) but I wasn't able to get the stream working, so I also had to work with single request jpg. By whatever reasons the cam delivered sometimes incomplet images, grey stripes at the bottom of the picture. These of course triggered the motion detection of blueiris and I had to go through many recordings to find out if there really was happening something important or if it was just again a malfunction. This is the reason why I decided to remove it from my setups.

Blue Iris Surveillance Software

Blue Iris itself wasn't that stable in the beginning, so I wrote a small watchdog program, which checked if blueiris crashed or kept running, if it crashes it restarts it. That worked perfectly. Meanwhile there had beed a few updates on blueiris, but it still crashes now and then.

Upper left: Aviptek NC1600
Upper middle Aviptec NC4050W10
Upper right: Aviosys 9060A
Middle left: Siemens Gigaset Wlan camera
Middle middle: Aviptec NC4050W10
Middle right: Aviptec NC4000W10
Down legt: Aviptec NC4000W10

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ICUSecurity
Enthusiast


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem you are having with your APs and 1 camera is very common. However is only caused by a few problems, most likely is a fresnel zone issue. What you have to remember is how wireless waves travel through the air. Remember at 1 mile you need roughly a 25 foot "Window" of line of sight for the signal to work. at 1/5th of a mile you need a 5 foot window. This requires that there is no items, Trees, Buildings, roof, inside that 5 foot window.

If this isn't the problem, the next most common problem is just flat out bad AP. You need to have total control of the data passing through your network. With streaming video there is no "Second Chance" if you drop the stream and something happens, you lost it, you cant "find it" or "Re Transmit" So remember this when choosing a wireless AP.

I suggested in the past that everyone avoid "Off the shelf" APs. You want to run something that uses either RouterOS or StarOS. We use RouterOS for the very easy use of ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) this allows our installers to simply enter in the mac address off the camera and the software can determine what type of camera it is, and configure it to connect to the AP.

However, if RouterOS isn't for you, look to VOIP for the answers, much like streaming video VOIP has no second chance, if someone says something and you miss it, its lost forever.

-Chris
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Dwayne
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well the cameras are all within 20meters of the AP. And I consider netgear not to be an ap off the shelf Smile

there is only one camera at the end of the building with a low cost ap (was 15) which caused me no problems at all.

But I know your opinion - everything what is cheap must be crap Smile you told that many times before.
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user1
Assistant


Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course with any equipment it's a 'get what you pay for' scenario. There's a reason an Axis camera may be more than a Trendnet....and you see it in the quality.

However, since wireless has been around for a while the cheaper technologies have caught up. I have a lot of wireless video situations using either Linksys, D-link and Netgear (as well as Cisco). There are usually no problems, just like there are no problems using wireless for network access on my laptop.

This of course assumes all is configured correctly.
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Ryan
www.controlbynet.com
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ICUSecurity
Enthusiast


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dwayne wrote:
Well the cameras are all within 20meters of the AP. And I consider netgear not to be an ap off the shelf Smile

there is only one camera at the end of the building with a low cost ap (was 15) which caused me no problems at all.

But I know your opinion - everything what is cheap must be crap Smile you told that many times before.


Net Gear is certainly an "Off the shelf" AP. You can go to a store, say Wal-Mart and buy it off the shelf.

The difference between a router that you get for home use and a higher end router is QoS and Data control. I could write a book on how valuable it is when dealing with streaming video, however there are plenty of resources out there that are easily available.

I assume that you ran an external antenna? If that is the case that could very well be the problem, most SMA cable lose 3dB per 5 feet. So if you have a standard 9dB antenna ducky on the end of 20 feet of sma you have no power actually getting to the antenna.

-Chris
_________________
For Sale
32 Aimetis Standard Channel - $90 ea
OR buy with servers (Dell) and save!!

4 Channel Video-Insight Software - $350
8 Channel Video-Insight Capture Card - 1,000
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Dwayne
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICUSecurity wrote:
I could write a book on how valuable it is when dealing with streaming video, however there are plenty of resources out there that are easily available.


Oh well go ahead then, your valuable knowledge is for sure priceless, not talking of spreading it for free in a help forum Smile

besides - it is working at my place, and I am sure I got more than I payed for. And in Germany it is still computer stores selling computer hardware, I cannot think of anything comparable to wal mart selling APs here.
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Dwayne
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

user1 wrote:
Of course with any equipment it's a 'get what you pay for' scenario. There's a reason an Axis camera may be more than a Trendnet....and you see it in the quality.


On the other side this Trendnet camera has an open source OS. Anyone can do it better (of course based on the hardware) who feels up to it.

And talking of Axis - there had been sources giving me the advice not to spend my money on those.
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ICUSecurity
Enthusiast


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dwayne wrote:

Oh well go ahead then, your valuable knowledge is for sure priceless, not talking of spreading it for free in a help forum Smile


My point was there is no need for me to re-post 10 pages on wireless information when you can just wiki it yourself.

-Chris
_________________
For Sale
32 Aimetis Standard Channel - $90 ea
OR buy with servers (Dell) and save!!

4 Channel Video-Insight Software - $350
8 Channel Video-Insight Capture Card - 1,000
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user1
Assistant


Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 90

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Axis almost exclusively, not because of some partner committment but because of the quality and reliability. Anyone that's selling that many cameras and is the world leader in IP has to be doing something right.

However I understand if you or someone has had a bad experience. Keep in mind Axis pushed the warranty to 3 years, which is very good for these type cameras (IP).
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Ryan
www.controlbynet.com
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Dwayne
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Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well Ryan,

I would have tried axis, if I hadn't been told not to do so. I know that especially ICU considers my whole as setup crap because it is not state of the art however I get along with it.

I could have let done the whole job a security company and spent 10 times more on what it costed me the way I did it. for my purpose this is exactly what I needed and what I got.

I posted my experiance not to ask for help, but to give others an impression what to expect with a set up like this, and I am sure there are plenty of users who get along with a solution like this.

I made the experiance that there is extremly expensive hardware which is crap, and cheap hardware that does excellent work. I cannot stand the opinion "its cheap therefore its crap" as it has been posted so many times before. it depends on what you need it for, and if you can deal with some bugs or not.

If I encounter a problem I do not necessarily blame the manufator, I try to solve it. Like the problem that blue iris crashes now and then - the reason might also be my system setup, the hardware, or even a mean ghost. The point is, I found a solution which works.
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ICUSecurity
Enthusiast


Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Way to put words in my mouth?
-Chris
_________________
For Sale
32 Aimetis Standard Channel - $90 ea
OR buy with servers (Dell) and save!!

4 Channel Video-Insight Software - $350
8 Channel Video-Insight Capture Card - 1,000
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Mr Sots
Junky


Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 194
Location: UK Midlands

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICUSecurity wrote:
Remember at 1 mile you need roughly a 25 foot "Window" of line of sight for the signal to work. at 1/5th of a mile you need a 5 foot window. This requires that there is no items, Trees, Buildings, roof, inside that 5 foot window.


Wow, thanks. My 802.11a/b/g router must be quite special as it works through brick walls and everything Shocked

ICUSecurity wrote:
However, if RouterOS isn't for you, look to VOIP for the answers, much like streaming video VOIP has no second chance, if someone says something and you miss it, its lost forever.


VOIP relies on 802.1P/Q QoS to prioritise voice traffic over regular data and is (sadly) not something generally found natively in IP cameras nor cheaper routers and switches.

Looking at Dwaynes setup, he's not done too bad for his money and yes, I think I'd charge him about 10X what he's paid to design and install a solution but he's learned a lot doing it himself and more importantly shared this with other forum users. Given the budget wasn't there to pay a professional installer to implement a solution I seriously doubt it would be there to revamp the entire LAN active infrastructure too...
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Dwayne
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ICUSecurity wrote:
Way to put words in my mouth?
-Chris


Simply recalling several statements of yours when posting. But I am corious if there had been postings of yours where you were giving support without letting the questioner know that you consider his hardware as crap Smile (before editing that is)

Quote:
f this isn't the problem, the next most common problem is just flat out bad AP.


Quote:
So remember this when choosing a wireless AP.


Quote:
Net Gear is certainly an "Off the shelf" AP.


I have no problem if that is your opinion, I meanwhile know from who it is coming Smile
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Dwayne
Enthusiast


Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 335

PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Sots wrote:
Looking at Dwaynes setup, he's not done too bad for his money and yes, I think I'd charge him about 10X what he's paid to design and install a solution but he's learned a lot doing it himself and more importantly shared this with other forum users. Given the budget wasn't there to pay a professional installer to implement a solution I seriously doubt it would be there to revamp the entire LAN active infrastructure too...


Thank you, I appreciate that.
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y-cam
Regular Member


Joined: 02 Jul 2007
Posts: 45
Location: London

PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a neat setup here Dwayne..... Well done and thanks for sharing

If you're interested in testing the Y-cam in your scenario please let me know. Would love to see the performance results and read your opinion.
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