IP Cam Talk

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Need help in Atlanta, GA

Fancy

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Hello everyone!

I am a little bit new to video surveillance technology, so I could really use some help setting up some security for my home.

I have had a prowler/stalker coming onto my property at night, sabotaging things and trying to scare me. I know who this is but I need more proof to obtain a restraining order. I set up some cameras with a Zmodo DVR. The prowler somehow discovered the cameras and came and cut the wires, several times. I think he may have likely seen the infrared lights glowing. When I checked the footage, he was not on it. I could not configure the Zmodo to not catch every bug, twig moving, etc. so that was part of the problem. I think the hard drive has quit working now, so I am considering a new system.

What I would like to do:

1. I want to obtain some low light cameras that work under ambient light without infrared. These would be hidden. I leave the porch light on all night so there is some low ambient light.

2. Then I want to set up some "bait" cameras with the glowing red lights. When he comes to cut the camera wires again, the hidden cameras will capture him cutting the bait cameras.

3. I would like to also have the cameras monitored by a company such as GeoArm, that would video verify the intruder and call the police.

Hello, restraining order!

Can you recommend some cameras/systems that could do this? Also, please recommend any alarm companies that are not too pricey that would monitor the cameras in the Atlanta, GA area.
 

TonyR

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Welcome to IPCT! :wave:

Please read the Cliff Notes above in the Wiki ; Read this: Review-OEM 4mp AI Cam IPC-T5442TM-AS Starlight+

Even thieves know the cams with flashing LEDs are fake. Get some use out of those otherwise useless Zmodo's; put them in plain sight, have them powered up so their IR LEDs glow at night.

Born & raised in ATL, but been gone since '72, can't suggest an alarm / monitoring company. @bababouy , your'e just next door, any suggestions?
 
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SouthernYankee

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:welcome:

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I would not waste my time with dummy cameras. Use multiple cameras with IR, for your situation, have each camera cover another camera. So if the bad guy goes near a camera then he is recorded on both that camera and another camera. Have the cameras recording to an NVR or a VMS (blue iris), plus you can use a monitoring service. There are forum member that run monitoring services.
-------------------------------------------------------

My standard welcome to the forum message.

Please read the cliff notes and other items in the wiki. The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

Read How to Secure Your Network (Don't Get Hacked!) | IP Cam Talk in the wiki also.

Quick start
1) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras or ICPT Night eye cameras (https://store.ipcamtalk.com/) if you need good low light cameras.
2) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
3) Do not use wifi cameras.
4) Do not use cloud storage
5) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
6) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
7) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
8) Do not use reolink, ring, nest cameras (they are junk)
9) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
10) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
11) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
12) (Looney2ns)If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 8ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened.

Cameras to look at
IPC-HDW2231R-ZS
IPC-HDW5231-ZE
IPC-T5442TM-AS
IPCT-HDW5431RE-I
DS-2CD2325FWD-I

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
Test do not guess
 

mat200

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Hello everyone!
..
I have had a prowler/stalker coming onto my property at night, sabotaging things and trying to scare me. I know who this is but I need more proof to obtain a restraining order. I set up some cameras with a Zmodo DVR. The prowler somehow discovered the cameras and came and cut the wires, several times. ...
Hi Fancy,

Zmodo - you really want to avoid the bottom of the barrel products if you need any sort of quality image.

Sounds like you need to take some time to better setup a security alarm and security camera system. You'll naturally want to cable it up in a way to reduce the chances of any further vandalism - so route the cables ( get good quality cat5e/6 cable w/solid copper wires ) within the attic and walls and / or use conduit and junction boxes.

You'll also want plenty of cameras to create good over lapping zones of coverage so that no one can approach a camera without getting their image captured.

Do take some time to review the cliff notes, and definitely pay attention to the recommendations of Tony R and Southern Yankee.

Good luck
 

Fancy

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Thank you everyone, for all the help. There is some very good advice here. I had been looking at the cameras with the Sony Starvis sensor, but it seems almost everything I find still has the infrared lights on it. How would it perform if I masked off the infrared and it was just viewing ambient light? Maybe I could set up a separate wide-array ifrared light and have it motion activated, so it is not visible from a distance. What are your thoughts?

I found this camera that was interesting. It does not look like it operates with IR. It has a usb plug; would I be able to use this with a SVR or Blue Iris on a computer? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CBSK1KX/?coliid=IMI7X20ZSLNWE&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Also, I was checking out the Blue Iris. Very cool. I am mac based here so I would have to purchase a PC for it to run on. Which would be better, and less expensive; to purchase a PC and Blue Iris software, or to purchase a better SVR? (GeoArm said they could work with SVR's).

Yes, the bait cameras would be real cameras. I could use my old Zmodo to fire them up.

This particular prowler is not tech-savvy. He is unlikely to hack networks. He is smart in other ways, such as avoiding being caught.

Thanks again!
 

SouthernYankee

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I have a number of those cameras marketed by different companies. It is most black at night, with ambient light. Pure JUNK.

Think of a BI PC as a standalone tool. just like a NVR.

Some cameras can be set to daylight full time and prevent the IR from coming on.

Bck_2.20190620_000001_2.jpg
 
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TonyR

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@Fancy, those cams themselves are available in a 12VDC IP version and are OK for a birdhouse, as they are not weatherproof. The TOP-201 has RTSP and is BI compatible.

The USB version will work with BI but would require active cable to extend the USB beyond its normal 15 foot data limit; even then not sure if the 5VDC will drop too much beyond the 15 ft.
The IR version doesn't have IR cut and you'd have to tolerate VERY bluish hues during the day.

Stick with proven and highly rated IP cams as mentioned (again) in the Cliff Notes, above.
 

Mike A.

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Thank you everyone, for all the help. There is some very good advice here. I had been looking at the cameras with the Sony Starvis sensor, but it seems almost everything I find still has the infrared lights on it. How would it perform if I masked off the infrared and it was just viewing ambient light? Maybe I could set up a separate wide-array ifrared light and have it motion activated, so it is not visible from a distance. What are your thoughts?
Or you could just turn off the IR. Which you can do with most any better cams. You'll need light in some form though if you do.

SouthernYankee gave you good advice above -- don't worry about stuff like dummy cams and hiding the IR so much. Set up good cams in the right way so that they capture what you want.
 

bababouy

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@Fancy If we monitored homes, I would offer you some help. Unfortunately, there are other liabilities when human safety that come into play, and it would not be worth the liability for us to take on residential properties. I am also not sure if I would waste my money on a burglar alarm company that is claiming to monitor cameras such as geoarm or some of the other companies. I sat in on a demo of their software that is popular with alarm based, video verification and did not see anything exciting or any urgency of actually catching the bad guy. The software would acknowledge the alert and put it in a que. The operator would have quite a few alarms that they would have to open, which were a 3 second video clip of the cameras analytics picking up motion. The operator would then decide if the alert needed further action like calling the cops or an emergency contact. The alert would then be pushed into a second operator's que where it would sit until it was opened. The second operator would then make a decision. By this time it's been 2 or 3 minutes, maybe more depending on the amount of alerts were coming in at the time.
 

TonyR

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Also, please recommend any alarm companies that are not too pricey that would monitor the cameras in the Atlanta, GA area.
Born & raised in ATL, but been gone since '72, can't suggest an alarm / monitoring company. @bababouy , your'e just next door, any suggestions?
@bababouy , my bad....I was too vague. Do you know of anyone in the ATL area that would monitor residential cameras for @Fancy ?
 

Fancy

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@Fancy, those cams themselves are available in a 12VDC IP version and are OK for a birdhouse, as they are not weatherproof. The TOP-201 has RTSP and is BI compatible.

The USB version will work with BI but would require active cable to extend the USB beyond its normal 15 foot data limit; even then not sure if the 5VDC will drop too much beyond the 15 ft.
The IR version doesn't have IR cut and you'd have to tolerate VERY bluish hues during the day.

Stick with proven and highly rated IP cams as mentioned (again) in the Cliff Notes, above.
Thanks for that, what does BI and RTSP stand for? I have one spot to set a camera indoors against a window (the room is usually dark) to monitor a bait camera, so the birdhouse one you mentioned could work in one spot.

Have any of you tested the Starlight cameras to see how they work with just ambient light (infrared turned off)? What were your results?

The TOP-201 camera looks awesome and just what I need. What type of devices would I need to connect that to a SVR, DVR or computer running Blue Iris?

Actually, my old cameras did pretty well in the dark with the IR, so I would like to still use some of those. It was just the Zmodo DVR that did not work well form my needs. I need something that has more video analytic capability.

The reason I was considering the monitoring company is because it was taking me hours and hours of time to review footage. My motion sensor was capturing every bug and leaf that moved. I just need to be alerted somehow that an event has occurred so I can then review footage. I even thought about setting up some type of wire that would release a cow bell or something. Looking for ideas!

Hugs!
 

SouthernYankee

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Bi is blue iris, it is software package for recording and processing most security IP and usb cameras.
RTSP is real time streaming protocol, used to move video between devices.

You need to look at quality cameras, the ones you are looking at a pure junk, nice for messing around with but should not be counted on for quality video.
 

TonyR

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Thanks for that, what does BI and RTSP stand for?
As @SouthernYankee stated.

I have one spot to set a camera indoors against a window (the room is usually dark) to monitor a bait camera, so the birdhouse one you mentioned could work in one spot.
Remember...the TOP-201 is nowhere near to being weatherproof.

The TOP-201 camera looks awesome and just what I need. What type of devices would I need to connect that to a SVR, DVR or computer running Blue Iris?
Computer with BI or VLC media player.

Actually, my old cameras did pretty well in the dark with the IR, so I would like to still use some of those.
If any of those Zmodo cams are called "sPOE" or "POE'".....they are NOT. Older ones are RJ-45 with a non-standard pinout and voltage; later ones are same non-standard electrical/electronic specs but with a mini-USB.
 

Fancy

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Hello peeps!

Ok, here are some recorders that look good to me. This would enable me to use my old analog cameras (they are not all Zmodo, some are nicer), add a more expensive night-vision camera ($200 budget) and the TOP-21. Video analytics are very important in this situation to reduce unwanted video of squirrels, bugs, etc. Feel free to give any and all feedback:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KX3CZVL/?coliid=I7B11G6VCWXV6&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUEQ93E/?coliid=IL54N9NBMUK14&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KX3CZVL/?coliid=I7B11G6VCWXV6&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Thanks!
 

mat200

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Hello peeps!

Ok, here are some recorders that look good to me. This would enable me to use my old analog cameras (they are not all Zmodo, some are nicer), add a more expensive night-vision camera ($200 budget) and the TOP-21. Video analytics are very important in this situation to reduce unwanted video of squirrels, bugs, etc. Feel free to give any and all feedback:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KX3CZVL/?coliid=I7B11G6VCWXV6&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUEQ93E/?coliid=IL54N9NBMUK14&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KX3CZVL/?coliid=I7B11G6VCWXV6&colid=1YXEO879J5JV0&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

Thanks!
Hi @Fancy

Did the prowler also cut the coax cables to the analog cameras?

Did you also get an affordable coax kit that you installed?
Do you know much about the conditions and quality of the coax cable? ( I ask because many affordable kits include very cheap cables which can be problematic if you want to upgrade )
 

Fancy

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Hi @Fancy

Did the prowler also cut the coax cables to the analog cameras?

Did you also get an affordable coax kit that you installed?
Do you know much about the conditions and quality of the coax cable? ( I ask because many affordable kits include very cheap cables which can be problematic if you want to upgrade )
He cut the wires to the camera, I would assume they were coax. I am attaching a photo... I do not know the quality of the wires, probably cheap, but even expensive wires can be cut...
 

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mat200

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He cut the wires to the camera, I would assume they were coax. I am attaching a photo... I do not know the quality of the wires, probably cheap, but even expensive wires can be cut...
Hi @Fancy

"I do not know the quality of the wires, probably cheap, but even expensive wires can be cut..."

It is not about if the wire can be cut, but about the quality of the wire as well as if the wire meets standards to support quality cameras which will push more data through the wires, and may even need more power through the wire for quality night imaging, IR leds, normal light leds, etc..

If you have poor quality wiring, getting a good quality NVR / DVR / XVR along with cameras may not work well with poor quality cables...

Think of it this way:

You want to make a quality cake.. if you use bad flower it just will not turn out as good.
 

bababouy

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@TonyR I would not recommend any burglar alarm company to monitor cameras on the outside of your house. I haven't seen a process for them that would actually get the cops out there fast enough to catch anyone. I think a company like ADT just wants to get into the market of video verification using the same processes as a burglar alarm. Cops are more than likely going to respond the same as if it was an alarm call from a burglar alarm and put it low on their priority. You will be in a 3 or 5 year contract also.
 

looney2ns

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He cut the wires to the camera, I would assume they were coax. I am attaching a photo... I do not know the quality of the wires, probably cheap, but even expensive wires can be cut...
You can't just install cams and leave the cables unprotected....no matter what cable it is.
You need to mount the cameras in such a way that the cables can be routed out of reach, or installed in good metal conduit.
Keep the cameras on the soffit, and the cables in the attic, and he won't cut them.
Mount cameras so there views overlap each other, so if he damages one, you have him on the other.
Don't leave anything outdoors that could be used as a ladder or step stool to reach the cams.
Toys, trashcans, cement blocks, pallets etc.
 
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TonyR

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@TonyR I would not recommend any burglar alarm company to monitor cameras on the outside of your house. I haven't seen a process for them that would actually get the cops out there fast enough to catch anyone. I think a company like ADT just wants to get into the market of video verification using the same processes as a burglar alarm. Cops are more than likely going to respond the same as if it was an alarm call from a burglar alarm and put it low on their priority. You will be in a 3 or 5 year contract also.
Thanks! I was asking on behalf of the OP.
@Fancy, did you copy?
 
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