New House, outdoor rough wiring for security cameras

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by tufan123, Jan 12, 2018.

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  1. tufan123

    tufan123 n3wb

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    We are building a new house and have a meeting with the low voltage folks in a few days. Where/how many would be the ideal locations for the cameras? I was thinking 3 in the front (one would be for a Doorbird doorbell) 2 on the side of the garage, one for the other side and 3 in the back. Is that reasonable? Can you guys recommend locations for the cabling?

     
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  2. bigredfish

    bigredfish Known around here

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    Forget the Doorbird and get a real camera to cover the front door. Otherwise sounds about right.

    Make sure they are low enough to get good ID. Anything over about 7ft is great for capturing bald spots and the tops of hats.

    One of the Pros will be along to suggest placement......
     
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  3. tufan123

    tufan123 n3wb

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    Here is the front elevation:
     
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  4. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Welcome Tufan123

    Nice place!

    Bigredfish has a great point, definitely listen to that recommendation.


    Here's some of my notes on this topic:

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    Common mistakes:
    • Too few cameras installed. Plan for at least 6-8 cameras. Have 2+ cameras covering the approach to and including the front door area.
    • Cameras mounted too high. Mount cameras < 8 feet high to get a good angle for potential ID purposes.
    • Poor quality, resolution, and wide angle cameras resulting in short ID distances.
    • Over estimating the quality of motion detection and video snap shots and thus no recording full time ( 24/7 )
    • Over estimating the reliability of wire free and wifi cameras, as well as cloud connectivity.
    • Placing cameras indoors behind windows looking out. Window glass typically will reflect IR signals, thus rendering PIR motion detection and IR base night vision nearly useless.
    • Installing dome cameras outdoors. Dome cameras have more glare and IR reflection issues as well as over the long term direct UV exposure will decay the plastic dome. Turret / Eye ball form factor cameras are often better options.
    • Over valuing MP / Megapixels comparing systems. There is a lot more to a security camera in obtaining quality images than MPs. The sensor model and size matter, as does the f stop, lens quality, software / firmware. It gets complex.
    • Installing cameras without bench testing before.

    Think about using multiple products
    No one system or product is able to do multiple functions well. A security camera system is only one useful tool. Also look at an alarm system, as well as other protective measures. Furthermore, it is OK to actually purchase multiple products to augment each other. For example, doorbell camera / intercom technology is still rapidly developing - so perhaps purchasing a separate product and using that in conjunction with a good wired security camera system. You want to talk to those who have broken into your house? Well pick up the best product for that and use it to augment the best product for image / video captures ( typically a wired solution ). Remember none of the current products available do a great job with all features and thus it is OK to combine different products to get better results.

    What do you want to accomplish with a security camera system?
    • Is the day time more of a threat? or night time? If night time look at the starlight models referenced here, if day time the 4K cameras work well. If a combination get both starlights and consider good 4K cameras.
    • See what happened?
    • Potentially ID suspects? Locate cameras less than 8 feet high and close enough to get a potential ID'able facial image. ( please see the ID distance list )
    • Help deter criminal activities? Mount your cameras in obvious locations.
    • Keep an eye on your car parked in your drive way? in the street?
    • Potentially ID cars which suspects maybe using?
    • Watch of other activities, wild animals, your dogs, your cats, birds,..
    • License plate captures? For successful license plate captures you may need to dedicate a camera to it as it requires camera tuning adjustments which makes the overall picture darker.
    • While you are thinking about these issues, you will need to look at potential camera installation locations and measure the distance to the potential suspect and determine if you are within the ID distance. You may need a camera with a better "zoom".

    How many cameras do I need?
    That's a difficult question to give a good answer to as it varies depending on the quality of the camera and what you are attempting to accomplish. I have seen 32 cameras in just one pharmacy, so you should not be shy about installing more cameras than you initially imagined.
    For a modest house expect decent outdoor coverage with 6-8 good cameras. For better coverage and / or larger houses / buildings plan on getting a system which can support up to 16+ cameras.

    Recommended Locations for outside cameras:
    ( For modest sized houses cameras can cover multiple areas - example one of the front of the house cameras can cover parking area, expect to use 6-8 cameras for a modest size home. )
    2x for front of house
    1-2x covering car parking area if outside
    1-2x covering front entrance
    2x covering side of house ( one on each side )
    2x covering back of house
    1-2x covering each entrance
    1-2x covering sidewalk / street in an attempt to ID vehicles ( you may need a better "zoom" for this camera )
    0-1,2x dedicated to read license plates ( LPR ). Note you will need to adjust/tune this camera to be able to read license plates.

    Recommended - optional - locations for indoor cameras: ( If wiring a new house add cat5e/cat6 connections even if you decide not to include cameras )
    1x camera per each entrance
    1x camera in the garage
    1x cameras hidden facing out from the TV/media center area at face level

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  5. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

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    You've received some great info re: cam locations, brands & model specs. Although I don't recall you asking, I do have some suggestions regarding the cable.

    Purchase & install a good quality CAT-5e or 6. Buy solid copper, no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum), get CMP or CMR-rated cable. Pull it through, then terminate each end as T-568B as here ==>> post #12.
    Many forum members recommend monoprice, like the CAT-5e ==>> here.
     
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  6. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    As it is a larger house I would use the higher numbers from my notes.

    For the front door have 2 cameras covering it, one could be a video doorbell type product if you like. Mount one eye level.
     
  7. tufan123

    tufan123 n3wb

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    Would something like this work:

     
  8. tufan123

    tufan123 n3wb

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    I will have to check with the contractor on what type of cable they use (I can't wire anything myself but I might try to if I can get in after inspection)
     
  9. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    not very well. too many bald spot cameras. i'll annotate some images later.
    inside the wall :/
     
  10. tufan123

    tufan123 n3wb

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    The company also does security system wiring. Full blown setup costs something like this (my friend is also building in this development and has been through this) Rough wiring instead of having them install the window/door sensors cost 1200 (this is what I will take). Is there something specific that I should request for this?
     
  11. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi Tufan123,

    As Tangent notes, those locations will be significantly too high.

    UPDATE: All the mount points are too high, and the front door mount area should be on the other side as people will be more likely to look at the side of the door which would open to them.

    Can you visit the location this weekend? If so, take a selfie stick and try a few locations with your cell phone or other camera - granted it will not be perfect - but with a friend you can test some views.

    Please review the 2 most recent video image captures... it should give you a sobering pause of why you want your cameras low enough to have a better chance for a facial ID image which is not blocked by a cap or a hoodie.

    Camera Captures
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  12. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Also, if you will have a mailbox by the sidewalk, plan to bring cat6 cables up to the mail box area so you can place a camera or 2 to watch over your mailbox.
     
  13. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    take LOTS of pictures of the inside of the house with a real camera not a cell phone before the drywall goes up. They'll be very helpful long term.
     
  14. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi Tufan,

    Also

    I recommend steel electrical boxes - seen too many issues with the plastic ones... minor cost difference for better quality.
    Re-enforce entry ways ( lots of videos on youtube regarding this ) - home invaders like to kick in doors.
    Flood lights? IR lights? - plan to place some around the house now, even if you decide not to install - having the electrical pulled and a junction box in place is great.

    If you can, go to the building site each day to review the work. On a disaster recovery build I saw only ONE sub-contractor do a grade A job - the rest I had to step in an point out what should have been clearly obvious errors. ( like a wall with NO electrical outlets thanks to the busted plastic electrical boxes ... )

    Consider hiring an independent inspector.
     
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  15. tangent

    tangent IPCT Contributor

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    These images represent places you could put security cameras. That doesn't mean you should put a camera in every location I marked or in the exact location I marked. Clearly they haven't done the electrical yet or boxes for the porch lights would be visible. Light locations have an impact on camera locations.


    upload_2018-1-13_11-16-55.png
    Front of house:
    right by the front door you'll want 1 or 2 cameras. This could be a camera right above the transom on the wall or the 'roof'. You could also do a camera on the wall on the side of the door that opens at 4-6' above the porch. A video intercom is also an option, most would require a 2 gang junction box, you could do this instead of a doorbell. You could put a camera on the roof of the bay window pointed towards the path to the front door wherever that is, but this location isn't as good as the dark blue one. The camera in the dark blue on the garage is one of the best locations available in my opinion, it shouldn't be farther back than even with the front wall of the bay window. The locations in blue wouldn't be that hard to add cameras too after the house is built. The lighter blue cameras could be used to just watch the front of the house or you might be able to use cameras with more zoom to watch the street may even be good enough for license plates.

    I also would recommend a camera inside the garage, possibly by the door to the inside.


    upload_2018-1-13_11-28-25.png

    Garage. Lots of options, depends on where lights will be. Overlapping coverage is always nice. Blue location is fairly easy to access after the fact.


    upload_2018-1-13_11-17-40.png
    Hard to be too specific without knowing how big the deck will be or where lights will be. If you have young kids you may want to see more of the yard or even want a PTZ. On the upper door it would be pink or red not both A lower in your face location would be fine on the lower door too, but I think I'd do the location that has a little more protection from the weather.
     
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  16. tufan123

    tufan123 n3wb

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    WOW! Thanks alot for this! We plan on having a fairly large deck. From the sliding door on the first floor to pretty much the sliding door in the basement (right to the yellow/orage camera all the way on the left) I am not sure why they are having us meet with the low voltage guys before the electrical guys but we can keep modifying/adding until electrical inspection time. I was also planning on taking outdoor flood lights for the back/sides. Should I change that location based on the camera?
     
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  17. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi Tufan,

    Tangent did a great job, like the options.

    I would consider mounting the cameras even lower a bit on the wall and not soffit in the front and back of the house.

    Ideally I would try to have the cameras at 8 feet or lower ( 6-8 feet is often recommended here )

    Try this when you go to the site, take the great images that Tangent laid out - print it out, go there with a friend - have him / her wear a baseball cap and hoodie and bring a camera and selfie type stick or similar and TEST those locations and have your friend walk around and see if you can catch their face when they do not look up at the cameras.

    have your assistant walk around the house, have them walk to the door, windows, simulate breaking into your car, ...

    Also plan to place 1-2x cameras somewhere to cover the street - so you can help ID any car which maybe used.
     
  18. yakky

    yakky n3wb

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    My builder and his wiring contractor wanted $300 for security prewires. Only $45 for network prewires. Guess which I got...lol. Only regret is not getting them everywhere.
     
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  19. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi Yakky,

    $45 nice, as I have seen significantly higher numbers. I am guessing the $300 is for coax pre-wire.

    Which are the most critical areas you feel you over looked pre-wiring?
     
  20. yakky

    yakky n3wb

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    Correct, coax and power. I only did one camera prewire per entrance. Would have been nice to have multiple viewpoints. Also cams up in the eaves.
     
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