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This is what better cameras do to night time. The 5442 2.8 mm is #5 looking out over the Sodium phosphorus amber lighting.
The 5442 6mm is Cam #14 (lower left)
I just discovered what selecting "index" delivers when emailing alerts out of BI. rather than .jpgs of triggers.
This is an email of my BI Machine running at Work 90% resolution.





index.jpg
 

looney2ns

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Pay attention to this: IPVM Camera Calculator V3 and spend time with it.

PTZ is nice, but more fixed cameras will always win out over a PTZ, as the PTZ has a probability of looking at the wrong direction when something happens.

Run ethernet cable, you'll be glad you did.

You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
 

muse_ee

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Thanks for all the helpful replies! I know I've been silent for about a week but I've really appreciated the responses and they have given me a lot to think about and a lot of different rabbit holes to plunge through and research. I'm pretty much settled on a 5442-ZE type camera, and am now mainly focused on how to get things wired up and trying to minimize both my time spent on the install as well as total cost, while also providing good performance and aesthetics in the final installation. To that point, I see 3 potential ways I can do it and am wondering if anyone can provide any advice on how to proceed. First a bit of context - I think I had mentioned before I intend to put the camera on my front porch, and would add that it's looking like the best place for the Blue Iris PC would be in the unfinished basement which runs roughly over the entire 1st floor of the house minus the crawlspace under the porch. I have an exterior power outlet that I could use the power the camera that runs through the siding from that same basement just along the side of the house. Beyond that there are no exterior runs of ethernet cable or other low voltage cabling that I'm aware of. Another thing I should mention - all of the houses interior walls are plaster not drywall and so I am really hoping to avoid installation procedures that call for creating then patching large holes in the interior walls. So here are my 3 options that I see listed in order of perceived difficulty (hardest at top).

  • Run PoE through ceiling of the front porch, through insulation to the interior of the wall, then fish the wire down the interior wall through the 1st floor...floor and into the basement. I've taken a couple of pictures of the situation that are below. I'm not too worried about running the cabling from the camera to the interior wall since the previous owner helpfully put in a pair of access points for this purpose, one just outside the house (shown in left and middle pictures) and one just inside the house (shown close up below on the right). There is insulation to pull through but that doesn't seem bad although I've never done any of this before so maybe I'm fooling myself. What really worries me and leads me to mark this as the hardest path is that I don't see any good way to actually get the cable down from the ceiling of the first floor into the basement. Seems like I would have to somehow fish the cable down the wall then make a hole in the floor within the wall to get to the basement. From the limited research I've done it seems like the standard way to do this is to make a big hole in the wall towards the floor and then use a flex drill bit to drill the floor, then run the cable and patch up the wall, which as I said above I would really like to avoid because the wall is plaster and not at all easy to patchIMG_5797.jpeg IMG_5795.jpeg IMG_5794.jpeg
  • Another all-PoE option that seems a lot easier (although not quite as nice looking when done) would be to run the PoE along the ceiling of the porch then along the side of the house where I would punch through the house into the basement to plug in. There's already a power outlet on the side of the house which I think I've traced to the basement (left picture shows the location of the power outlet in the context of the front porch, i.e. it's the gray box towards the lower right, right picture shows corresponding conduit run in the unfinished basement which presumably goes up and through the insulation before punching through the siding). Really the only thing that worries me here is the specifics of how to actually make the hole through the siding and materials beneath, and run the cable through the insulation. Specifically, I'm not sure:
    • What drill bit would I need to make the hole? How will I even know that I've punched all the way through to the basement and avoid going too far and starting to bore through floor joists or something else? Normally I would try to measure the depth in advance but I don't see any way to do this here
    • After the hole is made, I'm assuming the next step would be to fish the cable down into the basement through the insulation but haven't actually fished any cables before so wondering what tools people here prefer. Seems like there's steel fish tape which is the most rigid for a given thickness, vs. fiberglass which has the advantage of being non-conductive so not an issue if I accidentally poke into AC power
    • Also, I'm thinking of buying an inspection camera like this one here which would increase my installation cost a bit but would also be a really cool tool to have around in general. My thinking is that having this would make either this method or the one above a lot easier by allowing me to get a better sense of what is inside the walls after drilling a small hole
    • What would be a reasonable level of precautions to take when working with fiberglass insulation in the basement? I haven't actually done any work with it myself and researching online it seems like there's a full spectrum of opinions from "just do it, you'll itch for awhile but then be fine" to "fiberglass particles are scary because they can lodge themselves in your eyes and lungs and clothes and maybe cause cancer". My thinking is to wear eye protection and maybe a respirator (I already have asthma so wouldn't want to make those symptoms worse) and then use a lint roller to clean my clothes after the work is done before going back upstairs into the finished area of the house
IMG_5798.jpeg IMG_5799.jpeg
  • Finally, I do see one option that wouldn't require any new holes in the house which would be to run power from the side of the house to the porch ceiling, then use a wifi access point plus a PoE injector mounted to the ceiling to interface to the camera and bring the signal into the basement. That's actually what I was originally going to do before getting some responses here and doing more research. While I think this would work it also has by far the highest hardware cost, would take the most time to secure and adequately hide the various boxes that I would need, and would be the hardest and most expensive to expand should I want to install more IP cameras around the house (I think I would eventually want to do this if the front porch goes well)
Sorry for this very long post. I've been thinking on and off all week about what I need to do to move this along and this is the main area where I'm stuck, and I don't see any way to adequately convey the situation I'm dealing with without a lot of words and pictures. To that point, thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to take the time to read through and respond to this, and if there's any questions or requests for additional context or pictures to better understand the problem I'd be glad to provide.
 

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Swampledge

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With all that white trim, white downspouts, and all, I would just punch a hole from the basement through the wall just above the foundation, then use white coax nail clamps to secure white outdoor Ethernet cable along the downspout, etc, to the camera location. Your POE switch could be in the basement. This should be easy unless you’re dealing with a finished basement in that area.

This used to sound like a “hack” kind of install to me until I noticed how many houses have all variety of black coax installed in this fashion for satellite tv, etc.
 

mat200

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Hi @muse_ee

" .. I intend to put the camera on my front porch, and would add that it's looking like the best place for the Blue Iris PC would be in the unfinished basement which runs roughly over the entire 1st floor of the house minus the crawlspace under the porch .. "

Lath and Plaster - 100% possible to DIY work with it .. just takes more time and attention to details.

Considering the basement is unfinished, and that is the location you plan to put the PC / network switch - that is the place I would use to route the cables.

Seeing that the electrical is in armored / steel conduit, you can even run the cable next to the conduit imho. ( the conduit will protect the cat5e/6 form electrical induced EMF )

Is that vinyl or wood siding?

If vinyl, sometimes it it easy to open up and run cables behind the siding.

Otherwise, I do like the trim on the corners and the gutter downspouts.

In concur with @Swampledge that running a cable next to either up to your porch "ceiling height" is a good option for a cable or 2.

If you need more, then I would consider removing one gutter downspout, putting a flat conduit behind the gutter downspout ( and reinstalling the downspout over that ).

You can paint the cable, and even camera case to match the walls / trim as needed so that it blends in well.

Please do share pictures of what you end up doing to help others out.
( btw - forum section for installation pictures Installation Pics )
 

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looney2ns

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Consider hiring an experienced Electrician that is low voltage certified. They can surprisingly do a quick job of running cable, without causing visible damage.

That said, that appears to be vinyl siding, which offers lot's of opportunities for running cat 5e behind it and the corner trim pieces. You can purchase this Siding tool that will allow you to simply unlock a panel, without the need to remove it completely to run cable behind the siding.

If you get into working with fiberglass, good safety glass's, an n95 mask, and work gloves are your friends.
 

TVille

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Consider hiring an experienced Electrician that is low voltage certified. They can surprisingly do a quick job of running cable, without causing visible damage.

That said, that appears to be vinyl siding, which offers lot's of opportunities for running cat 5e behind it and the corner trim pieces. You can purchase this Siding tool that will allow you to simply unlock a panel, without the need to remove it completely to run cable behind the siding.

If you get into working with fiberglass, good safety glass's, an n95 mask, and work gloves are your friends.
Yeah, this is so true. They make this stuff look easy. You don't even need to pay them to terminate, just pull cable. I live in a 110 year old house, with some plaster walls remaining, and a good electrician has run wires all over the place. You can tell where I have run them, hack job compared to a good, experienced electrician.
 

looney2ns

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Yeah, this is so true. They make this stuff look easy. You don't even need to pay them to terminate, just pull cable. I live in a 110 year old house, with some plaster walls remaining, and a good electrician has run wires all over the place. You can tell where I have run them, hack job compared to a good, experienced electrician.
Yeah I would not want them to terminate, just pull the cable and do the grunt work.
 

Snapper30

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If you get into working with fiberglass, good safety glass's, an n95 mask, and work gloves are your friends.
^ This, especially the mask with your asthma. Also consider disposable coveralls made of Tyvek or similar material to reduce the amount of fibers tracked into the house or into the washing machine.
 

muse_ee

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Thanks for all the responses! First of all, thanks @mat200 for mentioning Installation Pics, hadn't been aware of that resource and I intend to dive (too?) deep into all the setups as I'm really lacking in practical knowledge of how to run cables through the house and the yard and it would be great to see what sort of challenges others have seen and how they overcame them. I'm also thinking more about where I might eventually want to run cameras to try to place this initial (upgraded) one in such a way that it can eventually feed into a more comprehensive update to my cameras.

Lots of good thoughts on how to run the cabling. I am leaning strongly towards running the cable along the rain gutters (nice tip from multiple people), then either drilling into the siding (yes it is indeed vinyl) or lifting with the siding tool and running the cable beneath. I like the idea of going under the siding a lot since I don't think I would at that point have to seal around the hole I punch through the material behind the siding (I'll eventually know what all that is called once I do more of this) since the vinyl would stay completely intact. I'll probably buy the Depstech boroscope because 1) it would be helpful, and 2) it looks like a really fun toy to add to the collection esp. for $70.

@mat200 good thought on drip loops. Hadn't known what those were until I looked them up but that's a nice trick to keep water away from the connectors. I'm thinking though that if I run the cable along the side of the house a bit lower than the area the cable enters the house though that the cable run itself would serve the same function as a drip loop, allowing water from both sides to run safely away from the vulnerable connector and house penetration and drip to the ground. Or am I missing something important?

I'm hoping that for getting the cable through the wall and into the basement I can follow the following procedure:
  • Lift or drill hole through vinyl siding to wood underneath
  • Drill through wood underneath siding, use boroscope camera to scope out the area. I'm hoping that it's just open space at that point where if I go down through the insulation I'll find myself in the basement where things will be easy from there and I might be able to use a steel fish tape to get to the basement but we'll see
 

Smilingreen

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Just a quick note: SouthWire makes an excellent CAT5E cable that is rated for outdoors and indoors. It's a tad bit more expensive, but it is resistant to UV breakdown of the outer jacket and it is a bit more flexible at low temps then standard CAT5E cable is. I have had some that have been exposed to the sun and elements for 4 years and still going strong.
 

muse_ee

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:welcome:
Welcome! What you are asking is very doable. From your picture it looks like you had fog, or the lens is dirty. Regardless, the current crop of affordable cameras can do much, much better than that. Since you have red up on DORI, you should start with a Google Earth or aerial view of the property, and layout coverage. We like to use more magnification than the DORI tables show, so if it says ID to 30', that is the maximum, don't push it. Cameras will be POE, so you will need to run ethernet.

The "go to" camera will be the 5442 series, I like the turret style. Here is the Amazon link to EmpireTech's Amazon store which is where I get mine. Amazon.com No, I don't have any affilitation with him, except he is on here and provides excellent service. The 5442 series provides excellent night vision with IR.Yes they are 4 MP, but that is currently the best combination of price and night vision.

Take a look at the aerial layout and the angels of the cameras along with DORI and see what you come up with. Come back and ask questions!
I just remembered this comment on there being fog or a dirty lens on my existing system. To close the loop unfortunately that's not the case. I cleaned the lens after this comment and didn't see any real improvement, and there was no fog that night. What I think is happening is that the streaming rate of the Eufy system tends to be really really low for these cameras. Despite having a strong wifi signal to the camera, it tends to fluctuate between as low as 5kbps (yes it's really that low) and maybe 120kbps on the high end throughout the clip. I've been digging around a bit since then to see if this is typical/expected for this type of camera and it seems like this is roughly the bit rate other users have seen as well. I should probably contact Eufy to get an "official" answer but I think that even if I could improve the performance of the Eufy system I have somewhat, I'd still be leaving a lot of performance on the table relative to what is available (and what my goals are)
 

wittaj

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That is the problem with any wifi camera - they have to cut the streaming rate or it will fail miserably. Each manufacturer algorithm is different, but in some form or fashion, a wifi camera is altering the image to allow it to "pass" thru wifi.

There are enough posts on this forum demonstrating why wifi cams should not be used.
 

muse_ee

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OK another update and a request for more experienced advice. After doing a lot more reading, plenty of "what if" studies in the IPVM camera calculator, and taking better measurements of my front yard, I've determined I have the following requirements:
  • I want to be able to IDENTIFY suspicious cars or people that are messing with our cars which are typically parked along the front curb (RED box in the IPVM screenshot below).
    • It is about 40' from the front edge of the porch to the closest part of the front curb (min distance I need clear image), and about 65' to the middle of the street where I'd like to still be able to get clear ID of people and cars
  • I'd like to be able to IDENTIFY people approaching and at the front door for package deliveries, doorbell ringing, etc. (green box for approach, green circle with approximate front door location)
    • Here I see this as primarily a wide field of view and close focus challenge. A very wide FOV camera mounted right in front of the front door would address this but as far as I can tell most/all doorbell cameras are vastly inferior in terms of reliability and performance relative to what else is available.
  • I want the cameras to be reasonably discrete, both from a WAF (wife approval factor I'm guessing?) perspective, and also from the point of view that while there is a rising level of crime in our neighborhood for the most part things are pretty quiet and tight knit in the neighborhood and I don't want to make people uncomfortable that all of a sudden I'm putting up a bunch of massive security cameras (i.e. I don't want to be "that house")
  • As mentioned in my initial post I want to have very clear picture both day and night, and at night I have a front yard pole light that may or may not be an asset depending on the camera's dynamic range
  • In other words, I'm placing a high priority on situational awareness both after the fact (recording with usable images for police if needed) as well as timely alerts etc.
  • LPR is interesting but seems like a distraction for the time being. I'm hoping to cover my core use case above and then see what my options would be to grow into LPR
    • Briefly, I'm thinking a pair of Z12E cameras mounted in opposing corners of the front porch. I would love to put something closer to the curb but street parking would blind anything mounted in the landscaping under most conditions
With that in mind, I've put together the simulation below which shows:
  • A pair of 5442-ZE cameras mounted to the front wall of the front porch tucked into the ornamental/historical things (don't know what they're called) along the front of the porch (these are the 2 cameras throwing out to the front curb in the top picture, and which I am hoping to mount in the approximate location marked w/ GREEN circle in the bottom picture below
  • A 2nd pair of 5442-ZEs mounted further back in the porch (BLUE circle in bottom picture) pointing inward towards the front door and the front walkway (intent be able to catch anyone approaching the door from any angle)

Does this seem fairly reasonable? Does anyone have any advice for how to mount the front-facing 5442-ZEs such that the ornamental wood things on the front porch hide the camera but so that the lens still has an unimpeded field of view zoomed in? It seems to me that what I need is a ceiling mount for the camera with an adjustable height. To me this would allow me to place the ceiling mount such that the camera drops to the right part of the ornament to see through the opening, then all that is required is to be able to fine tune the final mounted height from the ceiling so the lens pokes through just right. I'm thinking a wood block shim for this with a big hole drilled in the middle for wiring but I could just be fooling myself.

PS sorry for those who got a lot of notifications about this post. A safari update hosed my system pretty badly and then I had to figure out how to edit/delete history on the thread to clean things up. Wait, who am I kidding, no one is watching this thread :)

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 11.14.19 AM.png

IMG_5797 3.png
 
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looney2ns

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OK another update and a request for more experienced advice. After doing a lot more reading, plenty of "what if" studies in the IPVM camera calculator, and taking better measurements of my front yard, I've determined I have the following requirements:
  • I want to be able to IDENTIFY suspicious cars or people that are messing with our cars which are typically parked along the front curb (RED box in the IPVM screenshot below).
    • It is about 40' from the front edge of the porch to the closest part of the front curb (min distance I need clear image), and about 65' to the middle of the street where I'd like to still be able to get clear ID of people and cars
  • I'd like to be able to IDENTIFY people approaching and at the front door for package deliveries, doorbell ringing, etc. (green box for approach, green circle with approximate front door location)
    • Here I see this as primarily a wide field of view and close focus challenge. A very wide FOV camera mounted right in front of the front door would address this but as far as I can tell most/all doorbell cameras are vastly inferior in terms of reliability and performance relative to what else is available.
  • I want the cameras to be reasonably discrete, both from a WAF (wife approval factor I'm guessing?) perspective, and also from the point of view that while there is a rising level of crime in our neighborhood for the most part things are pretty quiet and tight knit in the neighborhood and I don't want to make people uncomfortable that all of a sudden I'm putting up a bunch of massive security cameras (i.e. I don't want to be "that house")
  • As mentioned in my initial post I want to have very clear picture both day and night, and at night I have a front yard pole light that may or may not be an asset depending on the camera's dynamic range
  • In other words, I'm placing a high priority on situational awareness both after the fact (recording with usable images for police if needed) as well as timely alerts etc.
  • LPR is interesting but seems like a distraction for the time being. I'm hoping to cover my core use case above and then see what my options would be to grow into LPR
    • Briefly, I'm thinking a pair of Z12E cameras mounted in opposing corners of the front porch. I would love to put something closer to the curb but street parking would blind anything mounted in the landscaping under most conditions
With that in mind, I've put together the simulation below which shows:
  • A pair of 5442-ZE cameras mounted to the front wall of the front porch tucked into the ornamental/historical things (don't know what they're called) along the front of the porch (these are the 2 cameras throwing out to the front curb in the top picture, and which I am hoping to mount in the approximate location marked w/ GREEN circle in the bottom picture below
  • A 2nd pair of 5442-ZEs mounted further back in the porch (BLUE circle in bottom picture) pointing inward towards the front door and the front walkway (intent be able to catch anyone approaching the door from any angle)

Does this seem fairly reasonable? Does anyone have any advice for how to mount the front-facing 5442-ZEs such that the ornamental wood things on the front porch hide the camera but so that the lens still has an unimpeded field of view zoomed in? It seems to me that what I need is a ceiling mount for the camera with an adjustable height. To me this would allow me to place the ceiling mount such that the camera drops to the right part of the ornament to see through the opening, then all that is required is to be able to fine tune the final mounted height from the ceiling so the lens pokes through just right. I'm thinking a wood block shim for this with a big hole drilled in the middle for wiring but I could just be fooling myself.

PS sorry for those who got a lot of notifications about this post. A safari update hosed my system pretty badly and then I had to figure out how to edit/delete history on the thread to clean things up. Wait, who am I kidding, no one is watching this thread :)

View attachment 103697

View attachment 103700
No pictures available.
In general, if you place a camera behind something to look through it, you will get IR reflection at night from whatever it is it's looking through, if you arn't careful. This is why we always recommend testing any location for at least 24hrs prior to permanent mounting to id any issue's.
 

muse_ee

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No pictures available.
In general, if you place a camera behind something to look through it, you will get IR reflection at night from whatever it is it's looking through, if you arn't careful. This is why we always recommend testing any location for at least 24hrs prior to permanent mounting to id any issue's.
Thanks are you saying you can’t see the pictures I attached? If so I’ll try to fix it soon


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