Another new member seeking advice :)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by taz420nj, Oct 14, 2018.

Share This Page

  1. taz420nj

    taz420nj Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    KS
    Hi everyone, I am new to this community but not to IP technology.. However I have been out of the loop for a few years and I know things have progressed without me haha!

    I live in an apartment building, and ever since I moved in I've wanted to install SOME sort of camera to see who's at my door - since the design of the building requires that I either go downstairs and open the door to see (private entrances but no peephole) or go out on my deck and look over. There is no wired doorbell so the Ring cam is out. I had the idea of mounting a bullet cam to my deck railing, which would give a good view. Was originally looking at Alexa compatible cams since I have FireTVs in the living room and bedroom and it would be nice to just tell it to "show me the front door", but it seems they aren't ONVIF compatible and rely heavily on the cloud (not a fan of that, been burned by more than one service shutdown after buying dependent hardware).

    So now I realize I shouldn't have procrastinated so long to get this done.. Last month my bicycle was stolen right off the porch, and two weeks ago my motorcycle was among several vehicles that were vandalized in the parking lot. I've also heard told that someone also attempted to break into one of the units in the next building. Now this is a nice place and we are all pretty pissed about the fact that not only did it happen, but nobody saw anything to report to the police. So now I am thinking of putting several cameras up on my deck that would be able to see my front door/porch, both ways down the alley (I am on the back side of the building), and at least part of the parking lot where I have my vehicles.

    I have worked primarily with Hikvision cams in the past, but the whole recent phoning home to china and backdoor debacles put me off to installing them at my home. I understand that Dahua also had a couple vulnerabilities but from what I understand they have actually done something about it unlike government owned Hikvision.

    I don't have a big budget, so I was considering 4x Dahua IPC-HFW1320S, with Blue Iris. Is this a decent cam for the money or would you recommend something different? I know to avoid -Z models because they are hacked firmware. I do not need wireless, and IR range isn't all that important because the parking lot and alley are decently lit. Because of where the building lighting and street lights are though, only the porch itself is in sort of a dark spot, but that camera would only be about 12 feet diagonally away from the door.

    Now as far as the software side, I already have in service an actual server that I can install it on (dual Xeon e5450/64GB RAM/16TB RAID storage). For starting out I just want it to archive video (a few weeks to a month), but I would like to have it so that I can integrate it with my media system. I currently have FireTVs with Plex, but have used Kodi/XBMC in the past and am considering switching back, I know Kodi is a lot easier to make play nice with cams than Plex or FireTV are. Also have a few old Galaxy tablets laying around that would make good tabletop monitors. I know Blue Iris already has an app for mobile viewing, and I have unlimited data so that's one less thing I have to cobble together..

    So what do you think?

    Thanks!
    Matt
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  2. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
    Study this: cliff notes.
    I don't think you would be happy with the night vision from that cam.
     
    mat200 likes this.
  3. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    4,416
    Likes Received:
    2,342
    Hi Matt,

    I have the Amcrest version of that camera, I would suggest instead to go for the IPC-HDW42xx 2MP starlight turrent - I think it will be a better value for you as often thieves come at night.

    -Z models, I think you're thinking -C ( Z = stronger lens for a varifocal ).
     
  4. taz420nj

    taz420nj Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    KS
    Those starlights are way too expensive for me. I have heard a lot of good things about them and I know the whole "buy once cry once" mantra but I can't justify spending that much for this. I need to keep it under $100 per cam, preferably under $80. Is the difference really going to be that big (as in more than double the price big)? Like are we talking the difference between "that's a 15-20 year old white male with dark clothing" and "that's Tyler Smith from down the street" at 75 feet away (that's how far a camera would be from my parking spot)? As I said between the floodlights on the building, the street lights in the alley, and the parking lot lights, it's relatively well lit at night. The only "dark" spot is actually my porch, which would be closest to a camera... I'm not arguing, as you all know better than me which is why I'm asking for advice.. But at the end of the day since I'm on the second floor and only have one vulnerable point of entry that would require either picking/bumping the locks or kicking in the door from a pretty conspicuous position (as opposed to 1st floor neighbors who have several windows low to the ground/easy access), it's more of a "neighborhood watch" thing on my dime. If the complex would hire me to install a system though (the thought has crossed my mind to pitch it to the manager) you bet your ass I'd use the best.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  5. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
    Big difference. You can get a fixed lens starlight turret for approximately $100 shipped the slow way from @EMPIRETECANDY .
    Choose either a 3.6mm or a 6mm lens version.
    You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
    Study the cliff notes.
     
    EMPIRETECANDY likes this.
  6. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Messages:
    4,416
    Likes Received:
    2,342
    Hi @taz420nj

    If your requirement is to see what is happening at 75 feet away, you will need a better quality camera than what $80-100 typically buys.

    Considering your budget constraints, perhaps just getting one or 2 good cameras to start with would be a good approach.
     
  7. taz420nj

    taz420nj Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    KS
    Where can I find that? I looked at all the starlights in his store and the cheapest one was $130...
     
  8. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
    Email him and ask. He normally uses Dhl for shipping which costs more. If he ships via epacket it's cheaper but takes longer.
     
  9. EMPIRETECANDY

    EMPIRETECANDY IPCT Vendor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,671
    Likes Received:
    4,859
    Location:
    HONGKONG
    Yes, that is right, dahua increase their prices from Oct, all the cost increase 3-5%, i will try to keep the same as before. That seller i know, use flashed hacked camera. Better not choose, i will make some links for cheap and slow way. Slow way, sometimes can't do anything till they show up at PO Box. 3-4 WEEKS. Remote countries like Chile, Brazil need 5--8 weeks. Lol.
     
    taz420nj and looney2ns like this.
  10. taz420nj

    taz420nj Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    KS
    @EMPIRETECANDY Thanks for getting back to me, it's at the top of my budget even slow way but not as bad as I thought. I'll probably order them later this week. Let me ask you (or anyone else who has ordered from him) this though, would ePacket take roughly the same time to get to the US from Hong Kong as it does from like Shenzhen or Guangzhou? Because I've ordered things off ebay that came from there and I had them in about a week.
     
  11. EMPIRETECANDY

    EMPIRETECANDY IPCT Vendor

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Messages:
    2,671
    Likes Received:
    4,859
    Location:
    HONGKONG
    From BEIJING to US, sometimes the shipping speed is fine, but sometimes very slow. Shipment via slow way, within 2kg, bulk order can't use this way.
     
  12. taz420nj

    taz420nj Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    KS
    So bumping this back to the top.. I sorta got pulled away from this project by other crap, but with another recent incident at the complex I'm back into "do this" mode lol.. So I just want to give you a few pics to show you what I'm dealing with.. I want to mount 3 cams on the top beam of my balcony. It is approximately 21ft above the alley. These pics were taken with my phone, which according to Samsung has a 1/2.55" sensor and 4.2mm f/1.8 lens. I did not crop them at all but I would like the FOV to be a little tighter on all of them. I do not know how to do that math comparing different sizes and lenses lol, so I'm thinking just go with varifocals all around so I don't have to worry about getting specific. They were taken at 3.9MP, the lowest the software would allow. They appear a bit brighter than it really is (figure about 1 f/stop) with the street lights, building lights, and lot lights due to the wide aperture and the low light capabilities of this phone, but it is decently lit.

    Front door: This needs to be a bullet cam because I have to mount it at a tight right angle on the bottom of my railing (9 ft above the porch, 12ft away from the door). I think a turret on a wall mount would stick out too far and be painfully obvious and might get me yelled at by the landlady. I'm not really supposed to have anything outside the railing but as long as it doesn't stick out beyond the deck planks I could make an argument. Unless the turrets have software provisions for weird mounting angles?

    [​IMG]

    Alley/parking lot: This will mainly be to look at my parking spot but from that vantage I can get pretty much all the way down the alley. Whether a plate will be readable or not I have no idea. I can't read any on these pics.

    [​IMG]

    Alley: Opposite direction, plus I have made an agreement with the guy who owns this pad to park my motorcycle next to the boat when it's not in my storage unit.

    [​IMG]

    Parking pad: Dedicated cam for my motorcycle. Also fills the gap in the alley between the other three cams.

    [​IMG]

    So given the available lighting, are you all still thinking Starlights are the way to go? Or would I benefit more from higher megapixels here?

    Thanks again?
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
    mat200 likes this.
  13. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    5,323
    Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
    Stick with the 2mp Starlights, you can mount a turret in any orientation you need.
    Any decent bullet will stick out much more than a turret.