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Topic: Security Systems
Some of the benefits of cameras are the ability for some semblance of omniscience.
As we get older, we become forgetful.
Having the ability to play back the day's video feed can aid in delaying an early elderly breakdown (in my opinion).
With a dizzying array of resolutions and features to choose from, invariably some of the best cameras will have undesirable higher voltage requisites.
If using a 12v battery bank, this means a step-up converter of some sort.
Other features such as PTZ, allowing a user to PAN, TILT, or ZOOM in/out with either a joystick or a mouse, can require additional wiring adding to possible unwanted future maintenance.
The PTZ camera shown below, one of three here presently, are all-steel construction with a thick tempered glass dome.
The unit runs on plates and can spin incessantly in one or the other direction, as opposed to the cheaper units which can only go so far, then must turn back due to being comprised of wire construction.
The unit also allows for 27x mechanical zoom (and an undefined software zoom resolution). A mechanical zoom is the preferred method when using these types of cameras as the software zoom results in depreciation of picture quality.
Seen in the photos below are two types of other cameras incorporated into the building in Springfield Ohio.
The first type of camera is a night-vision camera, indicated by the IR's (infra-red) which surround the actual lens.
However the camera to the right lacks any ir's but offers the ability to manually focus on a particular point.
Focusing and zooming to a spot, such as on a wall, allows for the increased fine-tuning of the alarm or other functions, when the field is tripped.
The cameras are also great for zooming to a point in the driveway where all that can be seen are stones and concrete up close and personal, until an automobile arrives, then it's 32 frames of a license plate!
One downside to cameras, microphones, and DVR's (digital video recorders) is the mess of wires one must loom.
Shown below is the backside of a DVR unit that will handle 24 cameras and 16 microphones.
Unfortunately, wireless is not a great option with audio and video recording. So despite the drudgery of looming the wires, it's still the best choice for picture quality and a reliable picture. Most wireless cameras operate at either 900Mhz or 2.4Ghz frequencies, so there's a number of ways to jam the signals rendering the security system useless (hint: try using a common peaked-out CB radio running a peaked JM2+U power microphone and voila, after keying the mic, down goes the security system!).
There are other less nefarious means to compromise a security system using just a common cellular phone!
But there's another downside to choosing wireless over wired cameras, that being what I refer to as "the crazy mouse syndrome".
Actually a couple of incidents that make for a humorous story behind this crazy mouse syndrome could be told, the short version of the story is that you will swear your laptop is needing an exorcist!
When in close proximity to a number of wireless cameras, a laptop's mouse will jump all over the place regardless of whether or not a wireless mouse is being utilized. Even data can be corrupted, especially if the laptop is also running at 2.4Ghz frequency to the router.