camera & install location recommendations needed

Discussion in 'Alarm & Security Systems' started by dougri, Oct 14, 2016.

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  1. dougri

    dougri n3wb

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    I'm in the planning stages of a camera system for my home and hoping to get some advice on cameras and location. I currently have an alarm system with available zones as well... not sure how people typically integrate cameras and rest of alarm/security system. I'm looking for advice on cameras for moderate climate (SF Bay Area). Two story home in nice neighborhood... main concerns are package and mail theft. The mailbox is on the street in front of our house (less than 30ft from the house), packages delivered to front porch... fenced side/back yard (typical redwood, lattice-topped fence) with a double gate entrance to the side/back yard on one side of the house. This house has a side patio with french doors and a sliding glass door in the back yard. Not worried about people hopping fences for access... just not gonna happen. So, I need coverage for the front yard to capture the mailbox, front porch for package delivery, side yard/patio to capture anyone entering the side/rear yard.

    Anyway, my thinking is: 1) vandal dome near the front door, 2) either a high MP fixed bullet or turret under the 2nd floor eave for front yard and mailbox, and 3) one to cover the side patio/entrance to back yard.

    Additional questions: Is an exterior camera in the back yard overkill? I'm thinking an interior webcam covering the back door would suffice since the side patio camera will capture anyone entering the back yard, and would allow us to check in on the dog during the day as well. I can capture the side entrance from a camera placed inside a living room window...ill advised? Likewise, I could capture the front porch/door with a camera placed inside as well (door has sidelights) and the glass is not exposed to the elements, so will stay relatively clean... better option, or worse? Lastly, broad-coverage for the front yard... better to have higher vantage point from set-back second story eave, or better to have camera closer to the action from the first story eave? The house faces East.

    Sorry for the long first post, and Thanks!
     
  2. tangent

    tangent Pulling my weight

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    The security and automation sub forums see a lot less action than the main IP Cam forum. You may want to flag your post and ask the mods to move it.

    Alarm integration:
    Varies widely many people do nothing others do about as as much as is possible. It's often easiest to interface sensors directly with your cameras (if you get cams with alarm io) or your NVR. For actual alarm integration you may want to do something like just not to record interior cams if the alarm isn't armed. Actual motion sensors are more reliable than image based detection. Some people out up a ton of exterior sensors that are tied into their alarm and then interface that with their nvr. Start by doing some reading.

    Camera Placement:
    Inside looking out doesn't work that well. You get shit night performance and even some reflection and lower quality images even during the day. That said it can be practical is some situations like apartments.

    Domes don't hold up well to the sun, but a mini-dome slightly below face height is an option especially if sun exposure is limited. Just don't expect a super long lifespan.

    You'll read this over and over, but the turrets have longer range ir and attract fewer bugs.

    Play with http://ipvm.com/calculator you should aim for > 100ppf. If your cams are too high all you get a are the tops of heads. If you've got a big lens and are focusing farther out somewhat higher works. Generally the most common 2.8mm lens isn't ideal. For something like the mailbox you'll need a varifocal or something in about the 6-12mm range.

    Wires are required for ethernet, wifi doesn't cut it and you still need power.

    Depending on what you want a PTZ can be worth considering.
     
  3. dougri

    dougri n3wb

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    Thanks for the tips. PoE will be the easiest for me, so it will be wired rather than wireless (that and we shut down wireless when we are not home and at night). I've been looking at PTZ a little bit, was also intrigued by the digital auto tracking axis advertised a few yrs ago, but their cameras seem overkill from a support standpoint for home use (and thus too expensive). The dahua IVS rules seem like a decent option for reducing recordings to just people entering the yard and people accessing the mailboxes... does it work well? Probably better to take specific questions like that to the ipcam sub forums though! Do interior cams work OK at night with exterior lights on PIR sensors?
     
  4. tangent

    tangent Pulling my weight

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    auto-tracking on anything short of military hardware is a gimmick. Interior cams looking out will have reflection issues a lot of the time. If there's any light inside they won't work well. Best bet is a turret style outdoor cam with longer range IR light.

    If you want an interior cam, use it to capture things that are inside.
     
  5. dougri

    dougri n3wb

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    So my expectations rooted in airborne tracking onboard drones are unrealistic for a $150 camera? ;)
    Thanks!
     
  6. tangent

    tangent Pulling my weight

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    If you search for autotracking you'll see it discussed many times. Drones have it easier because their movements aren't limited the way a ptz cam is.