How I installed a Dahua IPC-HDBW4231F-AS wedge cam at the front door

Sybertiger

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I installed a wedge cam this weekend in the corner of my front porch next to the door bell. A lot of folks on here have installed the same cam in the same fashion so there's nothing new here. I've seen several inquiries on the forum asking members how they installed their camera so I thought I'd just add my installation to the mix; maybe it'll help someone out. And, this is PART II of my front porch camera install; PART I can be seen HERE. And click HERE to see a short video of a Amazon delivery using the cams installed at the front porch among other cams.

Luckily, the right side of my porch where I wanted the cam installed is the south side so it'll never get direct sunlight exposure. Depending on how your house is constructed a job like this could be more or less challenging than my experience. It could have been easier but it could have been harder; there wasn't a lot of cussing or loss of blood on this job...maybe a few bruises...LOL. Here are a few pics and commentary to go with the install.

This is where I wanted it to go. The exterior walls of my house are stucco over concrete block except for one place...the front porch (lucky me) :) which is wood framed. Note the power outlet below the doorbell.
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Walls have wall studs which make great obstacles when trying to run cable. On the opposite side of the doorbell wall is the dinning room so I went to that side to locate where the wall studs are using a stud finder (that I already own). The stud finder doesn't really work through stucco and steel lath which explains why I did it from the inside. It turns out my stud finder can also locate powerlines which really wasn't an issue but good to know where not to drill...there's that exterior outlet and one on the other side of the wall in the dinning room. I found a couple of wall studs and marked them with tape.
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Next I placed my template sticker that comes with the cam in the precise place I wanted the camera located. Don't put it all the way in the corner as you need a little clearance when the cover of the cam is installed. I ended up deciding to mount the camera lens at 4' 9" because aesthetically it would be mounted in the middle of where the intercom/doorbell is and I like it when things line up. :p
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Now that I had the stud locations from the inside I marked the outside based on my inside measurements; this let's you know where the camera will be relative to the studs. Studs can sometimes be in the way...uh oh, there's a stud directly behind where the camera's water proof cable/connector would feed through the wall! :facepalm: BTW, that doorbell/intercom is a crappy Nutone product I installed myself back when I built the house...the intercom portion of the system always had terrible audio quality...real chitty. But, I can see I was planning for the advent of some sort of future special tech by running two 4-conductor telco wires; one set was capped off awaiting the arrival of that new technology...LOL. Cat6 POE wasn't dreamed up yet back in the day but nice to know I was trying to be forward thinking.
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Now it's time to make holes in the exterior wall. Since there's a wall stud directly behind where the camera's cable/connector is supposed to go I moved the hole over to where I knew I wouldn't hit the wall stud...but that means I had to create a "channel" for the cam's wire to go leading it to the hole to be made for the cable connector. Using my Dewalt 18V drill fixed with a concrete drill bit and the drill in drill-hammer mode it was light work to drill into stucco. For the large hole I drilled a bunch of little holes in a circle pattern then drilled out the rest. Same method was used to create the channel for the wire and of course the holes for the mounting screws. I cleaned up the big hole and the channel with my Dremel tool using grinding drums. This all sounds like it was difficult but it was easy as pie. The stucco is 1/2" thick and under it is steel lath screen. I was able to get the remnants of the lath out with needle nose pliers and the Dremel finish off the rest of it. Under the steel lath is 1/2" plywood. I used an auger wood bit larger than the camera's waterproof connector to get through the plywood. Behind the plywood is just wall insulation and on the other side of that is the drywall of the dinning room wall. From the outside I took a long screwdriver and pushed through the drywall on the other side. That hole in the drywall will be a locator when it's time to run the cable.
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Now comes the messy/hard part...making the path for the wire from attic down the wall. Well, first I had to figure out how and where the wire was going to run. Depending on the height of your interior walls you might find something that deviates from my experience. I have vaulted ceilings throughout the house. Effectively, my interior ceiling drywall is nailed to the bottom of the roof trusses which are the scissor truss type. The wall that I want to run the cable is therefore higher than 8 feet because of the ceiling vault. There's always going to be a top plate on top of your wall studs. The top plate is two 2 x 4's stacked on top of each other and my top plate is on top of 8 foot studs. The top plate is what is blocking me from running cable from the attic down through the wall. That means I've got to drill holes in the top plate big enough for the ethernet cable. To drill through the top plate I needed to know where precisely it is. Using a stud finder I found the top plate and cut a hole in the drywall to see the top and bottom of it. It oftentimes helps to have various types of "fishing" tools to fish the cable from here to there. I find both the monofilament line and fiberglass rods most useful typically. In the pic below you can see the red monofilament type going from the outside hole I made then though the hole I punched though the drywall when I was outside. Above that, you can see the hole I cut in the drywall exposing the top plate. In this pic I've drilled a hole at an angle from a lower hole up though the top plate. Above the top plate is attic insulation that I'll poke the fiberglass rod though and hopefully see it from the attic side when I get up there. It's easier said than done because I have to go up into the attic and go on a fishing trip looking for the fiberglass rod.
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In my attic I can walk from truss to truss without stepping though the ceiling. I'm 6' 3" and there's enough room for me to walk from one end of the house to the other in a hunched down state. My camera system equipment is over on the far end of the attic in a closet of my home office.
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This PVC pipe is a passage from my office closet (where the equipment is) up to the attic. From my office closet I pushed my Cat6 cable up though the pipe so I can go up in the attic and pull a bunch more up before I make my trip across the attic to near the dinning room. When I get there I'll look for my fiberglass rod. Unfortunately, I could NOT find the fiberglass rod; I had to go back-and-forth between the attic and the dinning room several times and mess with the fiberglass rods and even tried the monofilament line to get it to be visible in the attic. I gave up then used a steel fish tape that's spooled on a reel. This is the third type of "fish tape" I have; all three types of fishing tools were bought from Harbor Freight. Each install I find it's useful to use one of the three types. I reallly dispensed a lot of the steel fish tape into the attic to make sure it was visible. With the steel fishing tape in view I used my long pole with a hook made of a coat hanger to grab and pull it to near the center of the attic where I was standing. I like to use electrical tape to fasten the end of the ethernet cable to the fish tape. Going back to the dinning room I simply pulled on my fish tape and pulled enough wire down from the attic through the top plate and into the dinning room. Then it was a matter of pulling the cable the rest of the way through the wall to to the outside hole.
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Now it just a matter of putting on the waterproof connector and wiring up the RJ45 which you can see below. Plastic wall anchors were inserted into the pre-drilled mounting hole and at this point I'm ready to install the camera.
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I put some foam insulation around the cable to plug the hole I had made in the stucco. This area of the front porch is safe from the elements including severe thunderstorm rains.
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While I'm at it making holes in the drywall I may as well run Cat6 to the intercom/doorbell box. I started off running the one cable for the wedge cam but I'm glad I decided to go ahead and run a cable to the intercom box. Maybe it'll be useful for something else.
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Viola...and there you have it.
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Horizontal for now but maybe I'll go vertical in corridor mode.
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NOAMattD

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Read with great interest since you appear to live in my house, complete with the ridiculously huge attic, vaulted ceilings, big flue, metal triangles at the end of the soffit boxes, etc :lmao: CFL area? You didn't have to deal with any fire breaks/firestops in between the studs?
 

Sybertiger

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Read with great interest since you appear to live in my house, complete with the ridiculously huge attic, vaulted ceilings, big flue, metal triangles at the end of the soffit boxes, etc :lmao: CFL area? You didn't have to deal with any fire breaks/firestops in between the studs?
Orlando...but I don't think I have "your" house as mine was designed by me as a custom build. There are only so many ways to build a house within a reasonable budget to there's going to be similarities for sure. There weren't any fire stops where I did the install because I was installing above the 4 foot threshold where the fire stops are. All my other cams are installed under the soffit and one under the front porch ceiling. This is the first one to have to mount on a wall.

I feel sorry for anyone that has an attic they have to crawl on their belly...awesome to be able to walk from one side of the house to the other. BTW, I've seen some forum comments about "those trusses appear to be 2x4's so you better be really careful" but I think those comments are from old-day thinking before engineered trusses. There are literally no interior bearing walls in my house...I could remove all the interior walls and the roof would be fine.
 
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Tom S

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A difficult wall fish for sure. Do you own some flex bits? They area damn handy for this stuff too, maybe save that top rectangular hole.
 

Sybertiger

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A difficult wall fish for sure. Do you own some flex bits? They area damn handy for this stuff too, maybe save that top rectangular hole.
I think if I had to do a lot of this I'd pick up a Dewalt 90 degree drill adapter for $20 and also get a set of stubby drill bits for about $8, both at Home Depot. A flex drill kit could come in handy especially for fire stops. Fortunately, I don't think I'll be doing many wall drops for the foreseeable future. :cool:
 
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tibimakai

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Great job.
For the low attic space and drilling down, at the edge of that low attic I did not install my wedge by the Ring doorbell.
I went with the birdhouse instead, and with a different camera(5442). The wedge is overlooking a back garden area, from a fully covered patio(no sunlight touches the dome).
 

Tom S

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So you could cut a single hole in the stucco that the camera can cover, drill up with a flex bet and then find that up in the attic and not do any cutting of interior drywall if there is enough room in the attic to reach where the flex bit penetrated the top plate. The flex bit them becomes the tool to pull wire or what ever you want to use to pull with back to the opening in the stucco.
 

Sybertiger

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So you could cut a single hole in the stucco that the camera can cover, drill up with a flex bet and then find that up in the attic and not do any cutting of interior drywall if there is enough room in the attic to reach where the flex bit penetrated the top plate. The flex bit them becomes the tool to pull wire or what ever you want to use to pull with back to the opening in the stucco.
Oh , if only it were that easy...it would not have worked with all the wall insulation of the exterior wall. A flex bit would work better in an interior wall. Depending on the house there could be electrical or other wire running along the top of the top plate.
 

bradner

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Thanks for posting the details of your install.
 

Tom S

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Oh , if only it were that easy...it would not have worked with all the wall insulation of the exterior wall. A flex bit would work better in an interior wall. Depending on the house there could be electrical or other wire running along the top of the top plate.

Try a small diameter flex bit like alarm installers use they push through insulation better. Wire does not normal run along top plate on exterior walls. There is always a some element of risk drilling into the unknown. That risk is cut down when you have been in the trades before and can visualize things better. This was a really good write up by the way and some great photos.
 
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Back in the day, and i still use it, my trick for exterior walls on the eave sides was to drill up with a 3/8 flex bit unit I felt it go through the top plate, a very noticeable event. Then I pulled the bit back out and used another flex bit, small end this time. There's usually a pull hole on both ends and I had a 10 foot piece of mason twine in the hole on the small end. In the attic, a simple pole, say six or eight feet long, with a hook made it pretty easy to snag the mason twin and pull it right up to allow pulling cable back down. The big trick is finding the hole in the top plate, but with experience, it got pretty easy to do and saved tons of time, crawling out to eaves in the attic full of insulation and save, probably, a lot of ceiling repairs when things go wrong.
 
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Tom S

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Back in the day, and i still use it, my trick for exterior walls on the eave sides was to drill up with a 3/8 flex bit unit I felt it go through the top plate, a very noticeable event. Then I pulled the bit back out and used another flex bit, small end this time. There's usually a pull hole on both ends and I had a 10 foot piece of mason twine in the hole on the small end. In the attic, a simple pole, say six or eight feet long, with a hook made it pretty easy to snag the mason twin and pull it right up to allow pulling cable back down. The big trick is finding the hole in the top plate, but with experience, it got pretty easy to do and saved tons of time, crawling out to eaves in the attic full of insulation and save, probably, a lot of ceiling repairs when things go wrong.
It would be great for you to share some pics of this if you end up doing this kind of a job.
 

litris

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What program do you use as a camera server? I use Dahua NVR I have to mount another and do not know whether to do it on the server or buy another nvr.

Here in Spain the law and the neighbours do not allow the outside use of cameras pointing outwards by the new European privacy law.

Good job!!!

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Sybertiger

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Here in Spain the law and the neighbours do not allow the outside use of cameras pointing outwards by the new European privacy law.
How the hell are you supposed to protect the outside of your house if you cannot have outside cams? I guess you have to have it mounted at some high up ridiculous location that looks straight down and then you can only see the tops of the heads of criminals.
 

litris

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How the hell are you supposed to protect the outside of your house if you cannot have outside cams? I guess you have to have it mounted at some high up ridiculous location that looks straight down and then you can only see the tops of the heads of criminals
It's complicated if it's not a business.

In a house must be inside without seeing the outside.

If for some reason they are outside and the neighbors do not denounce you should point to the facade of the house and only the entrance and if the house is own not in a community building.

It's complicated.
 
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