Detecting wildlife with Dahua cameras

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
78
Reaction score
51
Location
NJ
Yeah, I was just coming to post this too...Mine definitely didn't catch the clearly visible deer walking through the snow covered yard. The 5442TM-AS did...Sorry.

Now I'm looking to really guinea pig a camera and modify/force that .8 or .10 firmware onto a camera it wasn't designed for. YOLO lol
 

Iemand91

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Aug 12, 2016
Messages
199
Reaction score
81
Location
Netherlands
I finally got around to reading this topic. I have a 5442T-ZE (destined for family) above my own 5231R-ZE.
While I love the better image quality (both day and night) of the 5442; I was not able to get it trigger non-humans/vehicles and reading through this topic, now I know why.

So as of today, there's no way to get it working right? No older firmware usable for the 5442T-ZE?

I get why Dahua focusses on humans and vehicles but there's definitely a need for triggers for other "things".
Just last night we had a stone marten running on our driveway, climbing up the brick wall and in a tree. We even had them once run over our roof (just beneath my bedroom window :oops:).
While the 5231 detects it; it's image quality of not always sufficient (very dark image especially further away.
Meanwhile; the 5442 doesn't get triggered, but it's much better image quality is much more usable.
(and it covers part of the roof while lower 5231 does not; if the marten walks on the roof; it will not get detected...)

@EMPIRETECANDY Any ideas if Dahua will fix this issue in newer firmware?

If you want to simplify things and get great object detection, identification, and false detection elimination, try a Camect hub which is good for up to 25MB of total camera resolution input.
I've used one for 2 years.
Yeah cool stuff. It can even differentiate between a UPS, Amazon or FedEX van. :p
Another one is Frigate with a Coral TPU. With (paid) Frigate+ even custom models.
I don't have experience with either but CCTV with AI is definitely getting interesting.
 

Mike A.

Known around here
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
2,472
Reaction score
3,402
Did they add something specific to do that? I don't see anything saying animals only in my 2231 but my firmware is ancient. It does trigger on animals.

Someone needs to write a little utility that listens for and passes an ONVIF trigger from one Dahua cam to another using the API. Kind of like bp2008's day/night utility but with a received trigger on the front end. Then you could use 5231/2231/whatever to trigger the 5442s and better cams that don't pick up the animals well. Easy to do with BI and with some NVRs.
 
Last edited:

tigerwillow1

Known around here
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,826
Now I'm looking to really guinea pig a camera and modify/force that .8 or .10 firmware onto a camera it wasn't designed for.
That thought has crossed my mind, too. With the 5442TM-AS performing as well as it does I don't have a lot of motivation for a new project with unknown results. I also like the smaller size of the fixed-focal camera. If I could wave the proverbial magic wand I'd turn all of my cameras into 5442TM-AS and be done with it. Except for the 4k-x that continues to astound me. If the 4k-x would pick up animals it could cause a major conflict in my marriage over money priorities :)

I think the 2231 one is the best for low light animals watching.
Andy, you're so knowledgeable about these cameras that I'm insecure to disagree with you, but I'll stick my neck out and do it. After many hours of side by side testing of the 5442, 5231, and 2231, and comparing hundreds of images, I can't think of one good reason to use a 2231 over the 5442TM-AS, other than it doesn't cost quite as much. The 5442's image is so much better with low light, and with the older firmware its animal detection is just as good as the 2231's. Of the cameras I have, the 5231 and 4231 models have the best animal detection, but the 5442TM-AS with the .8.R firmware is very close with the detection, and so much better with the image.
 

wittaj

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
14,835
Reaction score
27,552
Location
USA
Did they add something specific to do that? I don't see anything saying animals only in my 2231 but my firmware is ancient. It does trigger on animals.

Someone needs to write a little utility that listens for and passes an ONVIF trigger from one Dahua cam to another using the API. Kind of like bp2008's day/night utility but with a received trigger on the front end. Then you could use 5231/2231/whatever to trigger the 5442s and better cams that don't pick up the animals well. Easy to do with BI and with some NVRs.
I think what he means is that this camera is the most recent non-AI camera and as such the algorithm doesn't have human encoded in it, so you can actually set a min size for it to trigger on regardless of what the item is. As we know, with the 5442 series, you cannot completely turn off human AI and setting a min target size still takes human into account.

And yes with a VMS it would be simple to trigger the camera as others have.


Andy, you're so knowledgeable about these cameras that I'm insecure to disagree with you, but I'll stick my neck out and do it. After many hours of side by side testing of the 5442, 5231, and 2231, and comparing hundreds of images, I can't think of one good reason to use a 2231 over the 5442TM-AS, other than it doesn't cost quite as much. The 5442's image is so much better with low light, and with the older firmware its animal detection is just as good as the 2231's. Of the cameras I have, the 5231 and 4231 models have the best animal detection, but the 5442TM-AS with the .8.R firmware is very close with the detection, and so much better with the image.
I think what he means that it is the best camera to select that will trigger for animals regardless of the firmware as it is a non-AI model.

As we have seen, we have DAILY posts of someone upgrading firmware on a camera and loses a feature that was working, and that would be what would happen if he made the suggestion to buy a 5442 and flash older firmware on it.

Even if Andy decided to take a batch of the 5442TM-AS and flash it with older firmware that triggers on animals and clearly labels it as do not upgrade or you will lose animal triggering, probably everyone buying it would upgrade it to the latest firmware and then wouldn't capture animals and the process starts over again of telling people not to update if the camera is working to meet your needs blah blah blah... People have some serious OCD about updating camera firmware LOL.

Look at all the posts we had with the 49225 PTZ where someone bought it and updated firmware and lost autotracking....despite everywhere being told DO NOT UPDATE if you want to keep autotracking.
 

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
78
Reaction score
51
Location
NJ
It's simple guys, we are NOT Dahua's target audience AT ALL.
Buy yourself some good PIR outdoor motion detectors and use them to trigger the cameras for animal captures.
I actually looked into that and searched on here a bunch, but couldn't find any good suggestions. Do you have any?
 

tigerwillow1

Known around here
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,826
I think what he means that it is the best camera to select that will trigger for animals regardless of the firmware as it is a non-AI model.
As we have seen, we have DAILY posts of someone upgrading firmware on a camera and loses a feature that was working, and that would be what would happen if he made the suggestion to buy a 5442 and flash older firmware on it.
Fair comment. In Andy's position he couldn't recommend changing to an older firmware and have to own the unintended side effects and support. I'm speaking as a user searching out the best solution at the risk of bricking the cameras. The 5442 line is SO much better image-wise that I have a hard time accepting less. I'm asking for trouble with every new camera, changing the firmware, painting it, and soldering over the diode on the 12 volt input to power an external IR light. It's surprising I haven't sent one to the landfill yet.

It's simple guys, we are NOT Dahua's target audience AT ALL.
Buy yourself some good PIR outdoor motion detectors and use them to trigger the cameras for animal captures.
A good suggestion for shorter distances. I'm picking up animals as far as 300' from the camera which PIR won't do. Before the vehicle detection came along I gave up having the camera catch cars on my driveway and went to magnetic sensors, which has worked out well.

Totally agree about the target audience. From my viewpoint it looks dumb. If I pretend I'm corporate Dahua, it makes perfect sense.
 

Mike A.

Known around here
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
2,472
Reaction score
3,402
I actually looked into that and searched on here a bunch, but couldn't find any good suggestions. Do you have any?
The Hue outdoor motion sensors I use work very well. BUT there's a bunch of integration involved between Hue and Home Assistant and BI (and a bunch of money) to make that work. Not that hard to do if you have the rest in place but not really worth it otherwise. If you have some other home automation system there's likely a way to do it.

As a stand-alone solution, I know that I've seen people talk about the Shelly motion sensors that have a web services, MQTT built in, and they also may have the ability to send actions/commands which could be used to trigger the Dahuas but I've not done anything with them myself. Possibly some others that use IFTTT or other cloud services but that tends to be a little too slow for motion sensors in my experience.
 

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
78
Reaction score
51
Location
NJ
The Hue outdoor motion sensors I use work very well. BUT there's a bunch of integration involved between Hue and Home Assistant and BI (and a bunch of money) to make that work. Not that hard to do if you have the rest in place but not really worth it otherwise. If you have some other home automation system there's likely a way to do it.

As a stand-alone solution, I know that I've seen people talk about the Shelly motion sensors that have a web services, MQTT built in, and they also may have the ability to send actions/commands which could be used to trigger the Dahuas but I've not done anything with them myself. Possibly some others that use IFTTT or other cloud services but that tends to be a little too slow for motion sensors in my experience.
Interesting, thanks I'll definitely look into this. I have Hue stuff but I don't think my parents do. I think I can set up a Hue emulator of some sort though that might work and keep the costs down. Of course the other issue will be powering them remotely lol. I actually was wondering if @tigerwillow1 would elaborate on his IR 12v modification in the OP? After bridging that point, then what? Is there somewhere else to read up on this mod?

Thanks
hanks
 

Mike A.

Known around here
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
2,472
Reaction score
3,402
The Hue are battery so that's easy. I run my IR emitters from splitters and POE+. Could do the same for motion detectors. Probably wouldn't even need POE+ for that. They don't use much power.
 

tigerwillow1

Known around here
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,826
On the modification for the camera to supply power, I've made some posts previously but it's easy to summarize here. I first tried this about 4 years ago and it has worked the same with every dahua model I've tried it on. The 12 volt input wire first goes to a surface mount diode, then parallels with the output of the camera's internal 12 volt supply that is powered by the POE on the RJ45. I first thought the diode was there to prevent pulling power from 12 volt input, which is probably correct, but later realized it might have the more important function of reverse polarity protection on the 12 volt input. So bridging that diode throws away the protection. Once the diode is bridged, the external IR light and/or powered microphone can just be plugged into the 12 volt jack, usually via a double-male adapter on the power connectors. My finding is that 4 watts is the most it can support, and you have to be sure to shut off the camera's built in IR lighting.

Every camera I've done this to conveniently has a white "+" screened on the circuit board next to the diode that needs to be bridged. I always confirm this by ohming it with the power input jack. An increasing challenge is that with every new camera generation the components are smaller and harder to solder to, while at the same time my hand has gotten older and shakier.

If a wireless link on sensors works, that's great. I tried wireless with my magnetic driveway sensors and it was horribly unreliable. I ended up digging a couple of ~300' trenches to wire them. Initially, I moved the wireless transmitters to about 20' from the house and they were still unreliable. Moved the transmitters into the house and the link became totally reliable.
 

Mike A.

Known around here
Joined
May 6, 2017
Messages
2,472
Reaction score
3,402
The Hue are Zigbee with mesh vs WiFi so it works well within limits. I have some that are probably ~100 feet from the bridge with whatever links involved relaying things. I have a bunch of outside lights that act as repeaters so works out OK in my case. 300' would be pushing the limits I think no matter what mesh you had. I'd be looking at something else too.
 

looney2ns

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Sep 25, 2016
Messages
13,745
Reaction score
18,528
Location
Evansville, In. USA

Spudz

Young grasshopper
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
50
Reaction score
16
If you want to simplify things and get great object detection, identification, and false detection elimination, try a Camect hub which is good for up to 25MB of total camera resolution input.
I've used one for 2 years.
I have been reading through this whole interesting thread and was also thinking about posting a link to the Camect hub/nvr as I heard it was the best out there for AI detection and especially with animals even detecting the types of animals. I was surprised that @tigerwillow1 didn’t comment on it as all this back and forth with so many Dahua cams on what ones work and what ones don’t seems like you would just pick your fav camera and it will just work great? @jack7 would know better as he owns one. I’d love to get more feedback on this camect hub and how you use it and what its pros and cons are.
 

tigerwillow1

Known around here
Joined
Jul 18, 2016
Messages
2,885
Reaction score
5,826
I didn't say anything about the Camect hub because I didn't know it exists :) I freely admit I'm doing a bunch of whining because the newer cameras have lost a capability that was in the older models. One of my idealistic principles is that a new-and-improved product shouldn't be worse than the one it replaces, which is really highlighted in the newer cars that are such a pain in the ass to operate. I'm happy to see these alternatives being posted. There's so much stuff out there that's hard to keep track of.
 

Don't Look Up

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Aug 18, 2022
Messages
111
Reaction score
57
Location
Ohio
I have been reading through this whole interesting thread and was also thinking about posting a link to the Camect hub/nvr as I heard it was the best out there for AI detection and especially with animals even detecting the types of animals. I was surprised that @tigerwillow1 didn’t comment on it as all this back and forth with so many Dahua cams on what ones work and what ones don’t seems like you would just pick your fav camera and it will just work great? @jack7 would know better as he owns one. I’d love to get more feedback on this camect hub and how you use it and what its pros and cons are.
I've used a Camect for 2 or 3 years now and it works very well. At the House here in the "sticks", the local road sees relatively light traffic, but includes cars, trucks, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, etc. Its usually ID's them well. Depends somewhat on speed and camera angle. I'm using a total of 6 cams, 4 Dahua's, 2 Hikvision's currently, might add a couple more in the next year. As far as the local Critters I've got are Deer, Dogs, Cats, Raccoons, and it will detect more. I put a link below for the list at Camect.
The Camect is LOCAL and not dependent on a Mac or PC running 24/7. You can use either Safari or Chrome to view the Camect's webpage. I also connect it to a couple of Google Nest speakers to announce alerts I've selected, which tells me what camera saw what... and on the web page interface you can review the various video clips over a specified period (24 hours for me..). Works fairly well at night too, dependent on the camera and any additional lighting. Unlike some cam reviews which have streetlights, etc., it is DARK here unless I have a small light on or in Moonlight. The ColorVu's in full moonlight look like broad daylight.

 

Don't Look Up

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Aug 18, 2022
Messages
111
Reaction score
57
Location
Ohio
I've used a Camect for 2 or 3 years now and it works very well. At the House here in the "sticks", the local road sees relatively light traffic, but includes cars, trucks, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, etc. Its usually ID's them well. Depends somewhat on speed and camera angle. I'm using a total of 6 cams, 4 Dahua's, 2 Hikvision's currently, might add a couple more in the next year. As far as the local Critters I've got are Deer, Dogs, Cats, Raccoons, and it will detect more. I put a link below for the list at Camect.
The Camect is LOCAL and not dependent on a Mac or PC running 24/7. You can use either Safari or Chrome to view the Camect's webpage. I also connect it to a couple of Google Nest speakers to announce alerts I've selected, which tells me what camera saw what... and on the web page interface you can review the various video clips over a specified period (24 hours for me..). Works fairly well at night too, dependent on the camera and any additional lighting. Unlike some cam reviews which have streetlights, etc., it is DARK here unless I have a small light on or in Moonlight. The ColorVu's in full moonlight look like broad daylight.

Pictures are worth a thousand words they say, so here's two or three alerts recently...
 

Attachments

EvanVanVan

Getting the hang of it
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
78
Reaction score
51
Location
NJ

Very cool, thank you. (Side note: I'm looking forward to watching Christmas Vacation a couple times next week/next month lol)

I've used a Camect for 2 or 3 years now and it works very well. At the House here in the "sticks", the local road sees relatively light traffic, but includes cars, trucks, Amazon, FedEx, UPS, etc. Its usually ID's them well. Depends somewhat on speed and camera angle. I'm using a total of 6 cams, 4 Dahua's, 2 Hikvision's currently, might add a couple more in the next year. As far as the local Critters I've got are Deer, Dogs, Cats, Raccoons, and it will detect more. I put a link below for the list at Camect.
The Camect is LOCAL and not dependent on a Mac or PC running 24/7. You can use either Safari or Chrome to view the Camect's webpage. I also connect it to a couple of Google Nest speakers to announce alerts I've selected, which tells me what camera saw what... and on the web page interface you can review the various video clips over a specified period (24 hours for me..). Works fairly well at night too, dependent on the camera and any additional lighting. Unlike some cam reviews which have streetlights, etc., it is DARK here unless I have a small light on or in Moonlight. The ColorVu's in full moonlight look like broad daylight.

I guess the thing that kind of initially turned me off of it browsing the website is because it's an NVR? I don't have any experience with NVR's but the UI reminds me of a Ring or Nest, I assumed it relied on corporate servers somewhere. It's comforting to hear it's all local though! Is it possible to use it with a PC and BI? I'd love it if it work just for AI detection with passthrough to BI.
 
Top