New member looking for advice for my first IP Cam


Jun 8, 2020
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United Kingdom
Hi All,

I have a cheap YI camera and now looking to start building out something better and looking for some guidance and advice.

I am going to start with a single camera placed under the soffit of a detached double garage. I have attached a picture from the Yi showing where I plan to place the new camera and proposed direction. I would like to cover the drive and people to the house which would be down the drive. The path to the front door means people would come directly towards the camera then underneath it. I originally only put up the Yi as I kept leaving the garage door open and it allows me to check at night without getting out of bed. It wasn't really for security.

The garage has power but isn't networked. There isn't a straight forward route to run cat5 from the garage back into the house so the plan is to use a Powerline adapter and POE injector in the garage, then the other Powerline adaptor in the house to get the signal to the switch.

I already have an Unraid server so will run Blue Iris in a VM there.

The first question is which camera and which focal length. I have been looking at the Dahua turret cameras possibly with a focal length of 3.6mm. It is also important that it performs well at night.

Any advice would be gratefully received.


Dec 28, 2019
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New Jersey
First piece of advice is read the material in the Wiki, in the blue bar, at the top of the page.

Next is to use a dedicated RF link to connect your garage to the house rather than powerline adapters. Much more reliable. A Ubiquity Nano Station Loco will work very well, is encrypted and can handle at least four, or more, cameras in the 2 and 4MP ranges.

Next is to plan on two cameras, one on each side of the door. Also try to mount them no higher than the top of the door, not on the soffet. You want to know who did it, not just that something happened and was done by someone. I see you have brick, but a camera can be mounted to brick fairly easily.

One last piece of advice is to buy a varifocal camera for testing purposes, it can be used in a final system as well. The varifocal will allow you to determine the best focal length for each proposed camera location. There is a converter in the Wiki to make it very easy to arrive at the correct focal length. Use a test setup, bucket with an 8 foot ( 2m+) 2x4 and filled with sand. Mount the camera to the 2x4 at the top of the door height. View the video through the web interface of the camera and test, both day and night, wearing a cap or hoodie.
Last edited:


IPCT Contributor
Feb 15, 2018
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Houston Tx
^^^^^^ read previous post ^^^^^^

Read Study Plan before spending money

My standard welcome to the forum message.

Read Study Plan before spending money
Cameras are for surveillance to get information for after the fact.

Please read the IP Cam Talk Cliff Notes and other items in the IP Cam Talk Wiki. (read on a real computer, not a phone). The wiki is in the blue bar at the top of the page.

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

Quick start
1) If you do not have a wired monitored alarm system, get that first
2) your first camera should be a good variable focus camera to check camera placement and the correct lens.
3) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras if you need good low light cameras.
4) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
5) Do not use wifi cameras.
6) Do not use cloud storage
7) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
8) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
9) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
10) Do not use reolink, ring, nest, Arlo cameras (they are junk), no cloud cameras
11) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
12) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
13) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
14) (Looney2ns)If you want to be able to ID faces, don't mount cams higher than 7ft. You want to know who did it, not just what happened.
15) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
16) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3
17) POE list PoE Switch Suggestion List
18) Camera Sensor size, bigger is general better Sensor Size Chart
19) Camera lens size, a bigger number give more range but less field of view. Which Security Camera Lens Size Should I Buy?
20) verify your camera placement, have a friend wearing a hoodie, ball cap and sunglasses looking down approach the house, can you identify them ?

Cameras to look at
IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED . Review IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED (Full Color, Starlight+) - 4MP starlight
.................... Dahua IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED review
IPC-T5442TM-AS ..... Review-OEM 4mp AI Cam IPC-T5442TM-AS Starlight+ - 4MP starlight+
IPC-HDW5442-ZE ..... Dahua IPC-HDW5442T-ZE 4MP Varifocal Turret - Night Perfomance testing -- variable focus 4 MP Starlight
IPC-B5442E-ZE ...... Review - OEM IPC-B5442E-ZE 4MP AI Varifocal Bullet Camera With Starlight+
IPC-HFW7442H-Z ..... Review - Dahua IPC-HFW7442H-Z 4MP Ultra AI Varifocal Bullet Camera -- MP variable focus AI
IPC-T2347G-LU ...... Review of the Hikvision OEM model IPC-T2347G-LU 'ColorVu' IP CCTV camera. (DS-2CD2347G1-LU)
IPC-HDW2231R-ZS .... Review-Dahua IPC-HDW2231RP-ZS Starlight Camera-Varifocal
IPC-HDW2231T-ZS-S2 . Review-OEM IPC-T2231T-ZS 2mp Varifocal Starlight Camera
IPC-HDW5231R-ZE .... Review-Dahua Starlight IPC-HDW5231R-ZE 800 meter capable ePOE
IPCT-HDW5431RE-I ... Review - IP Cam Talk 4 MP IR Fixed Turret Network Camera
IPC-T5241H-AS-PV ... Review-OEM IPC-T5241H-AS-PV 2mp AI active deterrence cam
IPC-T3241-ZAS ...... Review-OEM IPC-T3241-ZAS 2mp AI Lite series Varifocal -- 2mp AI Lite series Varifocal
IPC-HFW2831T-ZS ... Review-Dahua IPC-HFW2831T-ZS 8MP WDR IR Bullet Network Camera -- 8MP Bullet 1/1.8” sensor variable focus.
N22AL12 ............ New Dahua N22AL12 Budget Cam w/Starlight -- low cost entry
IPC-T2347G-LU....... Review-Loryta OEM 4MP IPC-T2347G-LU ColorVu Fixed Turret Network 4mm lens & Junction Box -- 4MP ColorVu
.................... Review of the Hikvision OEM model IPC-T2347G-LU 'ColorVu' IP CCTV camera.

Other dahua 4MP starlight
My preferred indoor cameras
If interested in Blue Iris and other setup items see the following post

Before asking a question search the forum first...
The best way to search the forum is to use Google
In the google search window enter.. ?????? ..where ?????? is the items/terms you are interested in.

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


May 12, 2020
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I originally only put up the Yi as I kept leaving the garage door open and it allows me to check at night without getting out of bed.
I've left my garage open dozens of times, and fortunately never had anything stolen. That said, I finally purchased a Meross WiFi controller for my garage for like $30. Set a Google home routine to close it at midnight if I have forgotten...

also locked myself out with my phone inside once and yelled at the Google mini in my office to open the garage door.