Preliminary Layout Review Request

Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
It's difficult to put into words how much I've learned from this site. That said, I am happy to admit when I don't know what I don't know. So, that in mind, I'm hoping you'd be willing to give some feedback on my current plan. I've got a Blue Iris box ready to go, so I'm to the "buy some cameras" stage.

(Disclaimer: I am fully aware that this layout needs some adjustment, but I've run out of talent.)

The following numbers refer to the attached image. Also, green numbers are cameras mounted roughly 10'-0" AFF and red are mounted roughly 22'-0" AFF. Camera 1 is also mounted at 22'-0" AFF:

  1. Amcrest (or similar) PTZ, 12x optical zoom
  2. Dahua 8MP Varifocal (Spotter camera for camera #1)
  3. Annke turret mounted under front entrance ceiling.
  4. Annke turret
  5. Annke turret
  6. Dahua 8MP Varifocal
  7. Dahua 8MP Varifocal
  8. Annke turret mounted above back door.
  9. Dahua 8MP Varifocal
  10. Dahua 8MP Varifocal

Again, all bets are off. This is my first attempt at a layout and equipment planning so your advice is welcomed with open arms.

Thanks again,
Chappy

(P.S. I added some photos around the house to help with locations.
 

Attachments

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
7,343
Reaction score
7,164
Welcome @ChappyEight

Suggest picking up a varifocal camera and testing your locations before committing to them.

Remember to test with a friend acting as a prowler wearing a hoodie and cap.

See if your proposed locations make sense to what you plan to achieve.

Personally I think the proposed placements are too high. Feel fee to test and share images here.

Also I really like to have 2 cameras watching my driveway, one on each side of the garage.
 

samplenhold

Known around here
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
3,025
Reaction score
7,256
Location
Spring, Texas
Welcome to the forum.

As @mat200 stated, those heights are way too high, at least I think they are but have no idea what AFF is. Of course, if all you are interested in is nice overviews during daylight, then that would be OK.

Why are you going with 8MP cams? Did you read the Cliff Notes? It states do not chase MP. Also, why the Annke? That cam has a Sony IMX274 sensor, which is 1/2.5" size. With 8MP shoved into it you will not get good low-light performance. The Amcrest has a 1/2.8" sensor which will have the same issue as the Annke. At least the Dahua has the 1/1.8" sensor. But I would recommend that you reduce the MP count to 4MP and go for the Dahua 5442 series cams. They have the 1/1.8" sensor and have half the number of pixels, so the low-light performance is much better. Good low-light performance is the key to being happy with your design. Remember that perps do not stand still and look at your cam for the best possible shot. They move around, especially their head is constantly scanning. This causes motion blur in low-light. Almost all wear a ball cap or hoodie. So mounting height needs to be more towards face level.

It is recommended not to buy everything at once. Like @mat200 said, get a varifocal cam and test out your design before buying all of those cams. I think you will find that the heights are not going to give you good face shots, especially at night. And put two cams on your driveway, one on each side of the garage door pointing across each other.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
Suggest picking up a varifocal camera and testing your locations before committing to them.
Great idea. I will definitely do that.

Personally I think the proposed placements are too high.
I read (I think on the Wiki here) that cameras should, if at all possible, be mounted between 8-10'. The reason some of mine are so high is because that's where the soffit is located. I was thinking I had to mount the cameras in the soffits.

Also I really like to have 2 cameras watching my driveway, one on each side of the garage.
Great idea. I will definitely adjust for that.

As @mat200 stated, those heights are way too high, at least I think they are but have no idea what AFF is.
Sorry, AFF means above finished floor or, off the ground.

Why are you going with 8MP cams? Did you read the Cliff Notes?
I'm about halfway through the cliff notes (man, they're long). Honestly, I only chose 8MP because of the recommendation from a YouTube video, not because I need to do so. My apologies if I wasn't clear enough in my OP, but I'm completely open to all suggestions. Definitely not pretending to know what I'm talking about yet.

Also, why the Annke?
Solely because of this video:
It is recommended not to buy everything at once. Like @mat200 said, get a varifocal cam and test out your design before buying all of those cams. I think you will find that the heights are not going to give you good face shots, especially at night. And put two cams on your driveway, one on each side of the garage door pointing across each other.
I will definitely be incorporating both of these points of advice.

------------------
Sincerest thanks to you both for taking the time to respond. If you have a moment, I'd love to know if I'm off base regarding the soffit mounting thing. In the meantime, I'll be reading more cliff notes tonight.

- Chappy
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
5,381
Reaction score
10,832
Location
New Jersey
Don't believe every YouTube video you see. Many are posted by vendors trying to unload their products. Your best bet is to look around here and read the reviews made by members of this forum. They're good people and know what they're talking about and you get honest reviews from them. As has been stated, higher than 7 feet is not desirable unless you like video of the tops of heads and ball caps. The 5442 series, 4MP, from Dahua is the current "king of the hill" between price point and performance.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
7,343
Reaction score
7,164
...

Solely because of this video: ..
------------------
Sincerest thanks to you both for taking the time to respond. If you have a moment, I'd love to know if I'm off base regarding the soffit mounting thing. In the meantime, I'll be reading more cliff notes tonight.

- Chappy
HI Chappy,

I reviewed the youtube video, and noticed a number of details which he was off on. Overall he did a better review than most, still I would recommend holding off on purchasing cameras with the exception of one to get you started playing around with.

Basically there are 4 main OEMs of cameras I see sold on the market by various brands ( i.e. they rebrand the camera )

The 2 largest are Dahua and Hikvision

Amcrest -> Dahua OEM
Annke -> that camera you are looking at is a Hikvision OEM

RaySharp and Uniview are 2 others I often see.

Reolink - not certain who the OEM is for them, but they should be avoided as they use more affordable components which do very poorly in low light conditions ( and other reason we do not like them... just search the forum )

Each OEM makes a pile of cameras. Just like Ford / GM / Toyota / Nissan / .. make a pile of vehicles.

It's really hard to do a quick review video that really covers the deltas and differences well.

Here is the current thing most of us look for:
A new larger sensor ( example 1/1.8" ). This is critical for better results. a 4MP and 1/1.8" sensor camera does really well in low light.

Thus I recommend just picking one Dahua OEM starlight+ varifocal 4MP model and playing with it. When you are ready you can pick up another model and do a comparison and contrast.

Look for SouthernYankee's welcome to new members to find suggested models you can start with.

Even if you go with more affordable cameras for the rest, I always like to have at least one really nice low light performer to cover the most critical area(s) in low light. ( typically start of the driveway for most home setups )

update:
Also do check out the reviews members have been doing, there are some really top notch stuff they've been doing, for example ( @wopi82 recently did this one ):
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
7,343
Reaction score
7,164
Also, if that is Vinyl siding, you can often use a tool to separate the seams and slip a cat5e/6 under the siding...
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
Indeed, it is vinyl siding. I’m pretty certain I can move down the j-trim and over where needed, as you suggested.

So, you would suggest more around where I’ve marked in the attached pictures? Does this mean I would just “side mount” a turret-style camera?

As for the PTZ camera, my primary reason for that was being able to zoom into license plates in both directions. Maybe there’s a better way?

Thanks again.
 

Attachments

wittaj

Known around here
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
5,190
Reaction score
6,901
Location
USA
To demonstrate not to chase MP - look at your phone camera - mine is 12 MP - gives a nice image of someone a few feet in front of me. Stand at my front door and zoom in to street and it is a pixelated mess. Focal length is much more important than MP. My 2MP varifocal lens blows the water out of my neighbors 8MP 2.8mm fixed lens. He is still scratching his head because he chases MP.

To reliably get plates, you need dedicated cameras only for that purpose (cameras you set up simply for that). They cannot also serve as overview cams. You zoom in to just about all that is in the image is the size of the car.

The IPC-HFW5241E-Z12E is generally the preferred camera for that task. Take the savings from dropping from an 8MP to a 2 or 4 and buy these cams for plates.

The issue is mainly at night - you need to run a fast shutter (1/2,000) to get plates, so the image will be completely black except for a head or tail light and plate when they go past. You will not be able to make out the vehicle at all.

A member here has tried doing the PTZ for LPR duty and is going to a dedicated camera for it.

I have a PTZ that I tried that with and it can get them in the day time, but night time it cannot focus because it is so dark running a fast shutter it always hunts. There are some tricks you can do, but you will be much more satisfied with dedicated LPR cams. Most are disappointed trying to use a PTZ for plates unless you make it dedicated to plates and never use the PTZ functions and set it up and dial it up specifically for that and don't touch it. A lot of PTZs will always hunt for focus. So you have a good focus tight in to the area and then a car comes by and the stupid thing tries to autofocus and you get a blur car and plate. Some you can set the focus, but a dedicated camera is the way to go.
 
Last edited:

samplenhold

Known around here
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
3,025
Reaction score
7,256
Location
Spring, Texas
that cameras should, if at all possible, be mounted between 8-10'.
That is not quite right, at least in my book. I think it states no MORE that 8-10'. But I also remember that it states no MORE than 7'. But there is no hard an fast rule here. It is opinion and what works in one position may not work in another.

What you are trying to achieve is to get a low enough angle to get a good face shot. If you mount the cam higher than the perp's head, and he is close to the cam, your viewing angle is high and you get a great shot of the top of his head. Now they SAY that Male Pattern Baldness is almost as good as a fingerprint, but if he has a hat or hoodie on...you are SOL! Now if the guy is far away from the cam, the angle may be low enough that you get a good face shot, but you need to be zoomed into that distance to get enough pixels on face for an ID. So at my front door, I have four cams. Two on either side of the door frame. One on each side at 5' looking straight out, and one on each side at 2' looking up. See these cams are facing South, so depending on the time of day, the sun causes issues with one or two but the others are good. Plus it is kind of hard for someone to avoid all four at the same time.

Now on my driveway I have two cams, one on each side of the garage door. They are at about 7' from the ground. That was the best I could do given the circumstances. They are aimed across each other, pointed down and out and zoomed into a zone that gets good face shots of anyone in the drive at or near the Jeep. See below.

4-15-2020 4-13-02am.jpg

This guy was a door checker and was hiding from a car coming down the street. Never even tried my door, but he did get into several cars here. The police posted this pic on their FB page and someone ID him. They arrested him a few days later.

I would be concerned with your placement of the cam at your garage. Are the coach lights on at night? It is a good idea to have them on, but shooting down and over them may cause glare. Maybe placing them below the light might be better. But before you go mounting it, use a test rig (as described in the Cliff Notes) and see how the lights impact the image.

As for the PTZ camera, my primary reason for that was being able to zoom into license plates in both directions
I would hold off on trying LPR in the beginning. Get your feet wet with a cam or two and learn how position, distance, focus, zoom, lighting, etc impact cams before you try your hand at LPR. LPR is part science and part art. Every location is different with their own challenges. While it seems like a great idea to have a PTZ that can turn here and there to grab plates, in reality they do not respond that quickly.
 

SouthernYankee

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
4,856
Reaction score
4,424
Location
Houston Tx
Use 4MP cameras with large sensors. Look at the lens size for the area being covered.
Multiple cameras at the front door, cover the package drop area.
On the garage door mount two cameras no higher than the top of the door.
========================================

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) Use Dahua starlight cameras or Hikvision darkfighter cameras if you need good low light cameras.
3) use a VPN to access home network (openVPN)
4) Do not use wifi cameras.
5) Do not use cloud storage
6) Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
7) More megapixel is not necessarily better.
8) Avoid chinese hacked cameras (most ebay, amazon, aliexpress cameras(not all, but most))
9) Do not use reolink, ring, nest, Arlo cameras (they are junk), no cloud cameras
10) If possible use a turret camera , bullet collect spiders, dome collect dirt and reflect light (IR)
11) Use only solid copper, AWG 23 or 24 ethernet wire. , no CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum)
12) use a test mount to verify the camera mount location. My test rig: rev.2
13) (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.
14) Use a router that has openVPN built in (Most ASUS, Some NetGear....)
15) camera placement use the calculator... IPVM Camera Calculator V3
16) POE list PoE Switch Suggestion List
17) Camera Sensor size, bigger is general better Sensor Size Chart
18) Camera lens size, a bigger number give more range but less field of view. Which Security Camera Lens Size Should I Buy?


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-B5442E-ZE ...... Review - OEM IPC-B5442E-ZE 4MP AI Varifocal Bullet Camera With Starlight+

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
IPC-HFW4239T-ASE ... IPC-HFW4239T-ASE
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.
DS-2CD2325FWD-I
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
DS-2CD2442FWD-IW
IPC-K35A
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.. site:ipcamtalk.com ?????? ..where ?????? is the items/terms you are interested in.
Example site:ipcamtalk.com PALE MOON BROWSER

Read,study,plan before spending money ..... plan plan plan
Test do not guess
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
What you are trying to achieve is to get a low enough angle to get a good face shot. If you mount the cam higher than the perp's head, and he is close to the cam, your viewing angle is high and you get a great shot of the top of his head. I would be concerned with your placement of the cam at your garage. Are the coach lights on at night? It is a good idea to have them on, but shooting down and over them may cause glare. Maybe placing them below the light might be better. But before you go mounting it, use a test rig (as described in the Cliff Notes) and see how the lights impact the image.
This makes sense. Unfortunately the lights on my garage are wired into the house and come on automatically every night. So, as you mentioned, I'll just need to test to know for sure what glare problems I might have.

This guy was a door checker and was hiding from a car coming down the street. Never even tried my door, but he did get into several cars here. The police posted this pic on their FB page and someone ID him. They arrested him a few days later.
We get this ALL THE TIME in our neighborhood. I live in a nice area but we get lots of "door checkers" looking for unlocked cars. To this point, no one has been able to get a face shot of the guys doing it... including my neighbor who has both a turret and a bullet camera on on the soffit of his house (10'-0").



Regarding, for instance the Dahua 5442 that @SouthernYankee mentioned, how does one determine whether or not to get the 2mm, 3.6mm, or 6mm version? From what I can tell, field of view is the primary determining factor... which would make me think in my application middle of the road (3.6mm) would be just fine.

On the garage door mount two cameras no higher than the top of the door.
This makes sense to me, but I'm concerned about the two lights that come on automatically as they are at 6'-0" high. I suppose I just need to test the cameras to see if those lights cause too much glare?

-------------------------------
Again, sincerest thanks for helping me think through all this. Also, I'm working my way diligently through the Cliff notes.
 

samplenhold

Known around here
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
3,025
Reaction score
7,256
Location
Spring, Texas
how does one determine whether or not to get the 2mm, 3.6mm, or 6mm version
That is a good question. What most folks do is buy a single varifocal camera. The one that took the door checker photo is a Dahua IPC-HDW5231R-ZE (2MP 1/2.8" sensor) which was the top dog back in 2018 when I bought it. That was the first prosumer cam I bought and the only one I bought at that time. I used it in a test rig to decide what cams I needed. It is currently set at about 7mm, so I am replacing it with the 5442 turret in 6mm.

So you set up that varifocal cam in a test rig as described in the Cliff Notes at the location you think you want a cam. If your choices of cams for that position are fixed FOV, then you dial the varifocal in to those fixed lens settings and observe the FOV. Walk it at night and see which focal length gives you the best face shot.

As far as the garage coach lights, keep them on! Light at night is your friend. It allows you to keep your cams in color at night. As I said before, test locations BEFORE you mount them. So test below the light. What you will find is that if you aim the cam in a way that the light is in the cam's view path, then you will probably get glare.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
Okay, so I've got a varifocal on order to do exactly what you suggested, @samplenhold. I should be finished with cliff notes tonight. All that said, I'm feeling much better about what I'm doing now. So, if you look at the attached photo on this post, I've dimensioned the locations at my garage and, from what I've learned from you all and the cliff notes, the two red "boxes" on that image are where I should be looking to test, correct?

Now I just have to convince the wife to allow two cameras at, essentially, eye level on the front of her house. ha. Wish me luck.
 

Attachments

wittaj

Known around here
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
5,190
Reaction score
6,901
Location
USA
Paint them to match your brick. Install when she isn't there and don't tell her and see how long it takes to be noticed!

When I installed cams at my parent's house, mom was adamant she didn't want to see them. One day i quickly put one up not hooked up just to see how long it would take to notice - over two weeks lol. Cams then got installed where I said LOL.

FWIW - My driveway slopes up like yours and I have mine at the soffit level and have found most people by instinct for some reason look up when walking up a steep driveway LOL so you may get away with them a little higher. I have seen several instances where they get halfway up the driveway, notice my cams, and turn around...
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
I can't believe I never once considered painting them. Great idea.

When the camera arrives, I'll probably run some tests to see if soffit mounting will work for me and facial recognition. If not, I think painting will solve that dilemma.

If mounting on the brick, I'm assuming I should probably pick up a junction box, yes?
 

wittaj

Known around here
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
5,190
Reaction score
6,901
Location
USA
You would need a smaller hole thru the brick with a junction box, but the camera then sticks out another inch or so depending on the size of the junction box. Or drill a slightly bigger hole to minimize the camera footprint on the brick to keep the wife happy! I went with the bigger hole LOL.
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
11
Location
Indy
In doing a bit more research, these look nice...


Also, I can't believe I've only now thought of this, I'm wondering if I need some sort of surge protection on the POE cables that go to the outdoor cameras due to the danger from lightning strikes. Hmm...
 

SouthernYankee

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
4,856
Reaction score
4,424
Location
Houston Tx
the lighting strike, it will blow right past any surge protector, or cheap UPS. I lost 100% of my home equipment that had a any non electrical (120V) wire running into it. (Ethernet, coax. antenna,HDMI...) Surge protectors are for when the is a line surge when a grid switch changes state. All camera equipment needs to be on a UPS this will protect for those surges and outages, but not lighting.

There are a number of posts on lighting on the forum
 

samplenhold

Known around here
Joined
Aug 8, 2018
Messages
3,025
Reaction score
7,256
Location
Spring, Texas
Realize that the ability to get a goo face shot is a function of camera angle, zoom/focus, and lighting. The lower the angle, the better the chance of getting a usable face shot. The more pixels you get of the face, by getting the zoon/focus closer to that face, the more detail you can get. Light gives you the ability to see it in color.

So the higher you mount a cam, the higher the angle is as one gets closer to the cam. Your car is parked fairly close to the house. At the 10' spot, the angle would probably be too high for a good face shot for someone at your car door. Mounting at the 7' spot, the angle is lower and would give a better chance of getting a good shot. I don't know anyone who's eye level is at 7'.

Again, the only way to know for sure is to test those positions. Which varifocal cam did you get?


As far as using a water tight mounting box, water is NOT your friend here. All of my cams that are exposed to the weather have water tight mounting boxes and I use dielectric grease in the RJ45 socket plus the water tight connector and wrap it with tape.

As I was getting into this hobby, I thought I was the only person around with cams. I had never noticed anyone else having them. So one day I drove around and really looked for them on other people's homes. I was so surprised how many I found.
 
Top