Help me catch THIEVES that are in this VIDEO



At the risk of sounding crass, atleast it was DIY cheap and not professional cheap. This way you aren't blaming a professional installer because the system you didn't spend much on didn't do much. There is no reason that DIY can't be good though. Personally I like NVR and DVR tied cameras. NVRs eliminate some of the issues you have had with cheap IP cameras because they carry the work load, and DVRs work with anaolg cameras. And of course hybrid recorders allow you to use analog and IP cameras in a mixed application to take advantage of economy analog and high res IP as is appropriate to each individual camera application location.
As to price... Look at Digital Wathdog's Starlight dome cameras. They have some neat features for a mid to high price analog camera. Things like headlight masking, modest IR range, and modest Starlight capability.
Most folks (even those that think they do) don't spend enough on their video surveillance to do much in a real situation. They try to cover too much with one camera. They believe the bullshit hype that manufacturers put on the box. They think you can do an NCIS style enhancement on crappy video not realizing that if the data isn't there the data just isn't there.
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Bob La Londe
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So how should we design a DIY security system?
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Every time you rationalize in your planning stage for price or convenience STOP.
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To be fair there are two main reasons people DIY.
Price. They think they can do it cheaper. Maybe they can, if their time isn't worth the difference between doing it themselves, and having it done.
Quality. They think they can do it better. Maybe they can if they don't rationalize about one camera with a wide angle lens covering an entire parking lot, or assume that when the box on an "affordable" camera says it has an IR range of 60 feet they meant a real world useable 60 feet.
I've found for video surveillance like people really want they need anywhere from 3 to 6 times as many cameras as they settle for, and usually 2-5 times better quality.
Example: An armored dome instead of a soda can or bullet camera costs more, but nobody is going to throw a rope around it and jerk it off the building. (There are cheap domes too.) A centralized system requires running some wire or doing better planning.
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The planning and the wiring are the reasons I want to do it myself, slowly and deliberately with testing before I drill holes and run conduit. I can design electronics of any required complexity. What I don't know is what works and what doesn't. -jsw
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I'm thinking of using an OR'd array of motion detectors to power up a DVR that records all cameras sequentially or continuously until some timeout after the detectors stop. Motion-sensing floodlights or remote wireless cameras with (separate?) PIR detectors would also turn it on.
An isolated sensor to detect floodlight current: (Amazon.com product link shortened)
It would likely run off 12V or an inverter to catch someone looking to steal a generator during an outage, but wouldn't drain the battery by running continuously. Camera placement is determined later, independent from the basic design.
Comments?
-jsw
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wrote:

Even with the game cam it takes quite a while to scan through the pix looking for anyone else but me nosing around out back. -jsw
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2014 12:43:34 -0500, Jim Wilkins wrote: [...]

[...]
An alternative to electrically OR'ing sensors is attaching several to an Uno or Mega Arduino and writing a program to detect and report which ones activate. You could put together an inexpensive system with some PIR sensors and try it out. Probably would be entertaining, might be useful. I've used Arduinos (including Pro Minis) in several projects and have always had adequate room for code.
(ATM, miniinthebox.com (which I have no info about) has $3 PIR sensors, $10 Uno Arduino, $15 Mega Arduino, $2 Pro Mini Arduino, $1 radio link. Eg: <http://www.miniinthebox.com/pyroelectric-infrared-pir-motion-sensor-detector-module_p903342.html <http://www.miniinthebox.com/arduino-pro-mini-module-atmega328-5v-16m_p685134.html )
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My thought is that OR'ing the sensors and recording everything removes the need to match their view areas to the cameras. The cameras themselves will provide the same movement information without any detection or turn-on delay. I still need to be able to isolate the detectors for setup and to troubleshoot false or small animal triggering, but that's hands-on and doesn't require automation.
I've played with an Arduino but not found any tasks for it I couldn't solve better some other way, for example I'm using these meters with a laptop for a data acquisition system with better resolution, signal conditioning and optical channel isolation. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
They have already shown me that my baseboard electric radiators still had enough rug fibers hidden inside the fins to make the internal overtemp sensor trip, which causes rapid cycling, after I had opened them up and vacuumed them "clean". Compressed air did the trick.
-jsw
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Explain how "those meters" (the implication being that you have several of them interfaced to your laptop at once) can challenge similar A/D resolution and _many_ A/D inputs at once on a $35 board.
"Arduino" has already (and far too soon) become a word that's used interchangably and incorrectly to mean "small ARM-based computer".
There are plenty of those out there that are NOT Arduinos, per se. Some have none, one, or only a few A/Ds. Some have quite a few. Some have 10-bit resolution; some have 14-bit. Some have many A/Ds at 14-bits. Your meter isn't 14 bits deep; and it's only ONE channel.
You'll accomplish with "those" meters what you can for 1/10th the cost and identical accuracy with a decent SBC.
But you know what? I'll bet you only have the one, and "these meters" was just a figure of speech.
Are you afraid of coding? Most of those boards offer a BASIC(like) language, and most of those offer pre-compilation almost as efficient as good, tight C++ code.
You're missing out on a lot of fun.
Lloyd
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote in message

How was my post such a personal affront to you?
The meters resolve +/-3999 counts, or about 13 bits. Their real advantage is their signal conditioning that can accept auto-ranged AC and DC volts or amps or a Type K thermocouple, and the optical isolation between channels that lets them measure battery voltage and current without errors from wiring drops.
Before I found the meters I had acquired some Hall-effect current sensors and thermocouple amplifiers to build my own data acquisition system around an 8 channel, 16 bit A/D board for a Mac that I designed and was presented with to take home after the project finished.

I have more experience with the PIC and TMS320 DSP families and with high-end dual slope and successive approximation A/D converters in custom test equipment, and flash converters in digital radios. I've had my fun.

You lose. I have three of them plus an older Radio Shack serial interface meter that can handle 20A. The limit is that they can be assigned only to COM1-4. All can run simultaneously, logging to separate files that I combine in Excel or Calc by aligning their time stamps. I have a faster 4-channel microcomputer DAQ if I need speed and synchronous readings, but for monitoring power and temperature and battery charge / discharge one reading per minute can be enough.
I did write a program that reads the meter's raw serial output and hashes the LCD display segment data in it into decimal numbers with a Select Case block, hoping to run all the meters from one program that could control outputs based on data comparisons. The problem is finding USB or CardBus COM port drivers I can tap into, since I have only one physical COM port the BIOS recognizes.

I wrote my first editor/assembler in machine language in the 1980's, for a computer I designed and wirewrapped. Overall I wrote around 10,000 bytes of code for it. Commercially I wrote self test code for a semiconductor industry automatic wafer tester and a lot of in-house developmental code for programming and testing new Unitrode and TI ICs, like Hot Swap and Power Over Ethernet.

I spent my career in electronic R&D.
-jsw
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2014 19:14:02 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"
What? Someone still has electric baseboard heat? When I moved into this house in FEB of 2002, it had 240v electric baseboard heaters. The first electric bill shocked me as much as the inefficiency of the EBHs did.
Within a month, a brand new 96% efficient, natural gas, Carrier Infinity system went in, complete with arid conditioning. I had aluminum-framed single-glazed windows, too. Those were replaced with vinyl dual-glazed windows immediately after the HVAC system.
My brief and bitter existence with baseboard heat left me cold. Cold ankles but a comfy body, while on the couch. When I stood up, the heat at the ceiling instantly brought sweat to my brow. I broke out the cooling fans just to get rid of the stratification of air, but that was too noisy and too breezy for my taste. I'm much, much happier with forced air heating, thankyouverymuch.
I don't see how you put up with EBH, Jim. Mega ICK!

Bueno, bwana.
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understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic . Someone
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wrote:

I don't, I installed wood heat after a few years and put up with it instead. Right now it's heating my laundry water in kettles. The readout above the computer monitor shows 145.1F so I should log off and get busy.
The electric heat is a pipe-protecting backup that shouldn't turn on unless I'm away longer than planned in the winter. I checked it last winter to satisfy the insurance company.
Electric heat is nice in the bathroom for showering, though.
-jsw
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On Sun, 14 Dec 2014 11:36:18 -0500, "Jim Wilkins"

Wood heat? Wood hot water? You little Luddite, you! You'll have it made after the grid goes down, though. I've been eyeing these and a 6gal bucket for doing wash then. http://tinyurl.com/c78qyat They might be more fun to make though, don't you think?

Yeah, that always feels good.
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wrote:

You should be able to find an old wood stove that will LAST for less, unless you need a lightweight collapsible one for field exercises. I paid $25 for mine at an auction in 1985 and flycut the pebbly textured top smooth for heating pots. The cast iron was still in excellent condition a few years ago when I "blueprinted" the joints and replaced the gaskets.
It did seem strange to spend the day building satellite communications gear and then step back 200 years to a cast iron stove with hand forged (by me) tools at home. I do have modern sensors on it so I can tell when it needs stoking or draft adjustment from the kitchen, and if the pots are boiling.
-jsw
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wrote:

Um, you don't really fire that where it is _sitting_, do you? If so, I'm utterly surprised that your fire department hasn't come to put out the fire that was your home. It's a wee bit too close to exposed OSB there, pard, both at the stove and flue outlet ends.
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I'm wearing a quilted shirt and flannel-lined jeans from Walmart that are soft and flexible enough to be comfortable and keep me warm in the upper 50's. A vest lowers it to 55F. Below that I put on hunting coveralls which are much less restrictive than work clothing. Pile-lined suede boots help a lot.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
-jsw
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wrote:

So that's how you survive running the wood stove.
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wrote:

Oh, OK. It appeared to be a couple inches away from the wall, with the ducting 6" or less from it.

WHAT? Um, for what specific purpose was the stove built? I've never heard of an insulated woodstove before.

Good!

Good draft is imperative for those bloody things. I hate wood stoves, due to the smoke they put out into the room by default (no matter how good you are at stirring/reloading) but they do put out a lot of heat, too.

Har! He probably used leaded wood. ;/

Craigslist and FreeCycle can be your friends.

Propane is 1.69/gal here right now. I'm thinking about getting another tank and filling it for backup. I have a little tabletop BBQ grill which sips gas, so it lasts a long while.

We've been in the low 40s lately, with high 40s during the day. A few inches of rain have helped our water shortages, but the snowpack is still many feet short.
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Mine needs draft of at least 0.08" of water and runs better around 0.12" to 0.16". It doesn't draw well unless the outdoor temperature is below 40F.
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