surveillance

Many homeowners are now wanting surveillance equipment, so I want to work up a capability to install them. Does anyone here have experience with installing them and managing the data they collect?
In addition to being a handyman, I'm on the council st tims, where we've had problems with vagrants in the playground and courtyard:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxPm8FEtYVg&feature=related

What kind of camera and data-storing equipment would I use here?
--
Uno

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Uno wrote:

Your two most important tools are:
Liability insurance.
Copy of ALL the federal/state/local statutes that address privacy in your jurisdiction...and the ability to interpret them.
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Uno wrote:

Yes, I do. First thing, what state are you in? Many states like mine (TX) requires licensing to do CCTV work.
--
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October 19, 2011 - Ali Soufan (Colbert Report)
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"G. Morgan" wrote:

Actually, there does not appear to be any licenses in the US specifically for CCTV installation work.
According to this:
http://cctvtraining.org/do-you-need-a-license-to-install-cctv-systems-in-the-usa /
You might need some sort of general contracting license (at a minimum) to do any sort of contracted infrastructure work for a client (but this could be for any sort of service or work that requires the use of tools - even something as simple as a screw driver).
Some states might have a specific carve-out for alarm systems, but again I don't know if in that case a license is needed for installation vs performing the monitoring and response when the system is up and running.
CCTV installations would fall under low-voltage electrical work (at most it seems) and perhaps not if your given state does not include it in that catagory.
In the UK, you seem to need a license if you're providing a CCTV monitoring service (which you don't seem to be doing). Don't know about needing a license to install a CCTV system.
For the OP, your desire to want to learn how to install CCTV security or monitoring/recording systems is perhaps not the question you want to ask. If you want to make a career out of this, you will probably have to become a dealer or distributor of this equipment first, and become very knowledgable about what is available on the market and how it works, because home-owners will likely not know what to buy, or where to get it.
Installation is really the easy part. Knowing what's out there, and supplying it to people at a price they can afford will be the hard part.
Residential video surveillance and recording is a tricky business to establish if you ask me. The industry is really geared to selling end-users a "system in a box" that they can install themselves. And it's a very small market, and very price sensitive and if it's too complicated to use then people will not like it or use it. And it doesn't take much to make it too complicated.
--------------
From the above-posted link:
The short answer is probably. CCTV systems are low voltage and do not always require an electricians license, and with the prevalence of wireless CCTV systems nowadays, wiring may not even be necessary. There is no special license required for security systems, either. But depending on the nature of the systems themselves, they will most likely fall under the category of something that does require a license. A number of states require a contractors license to do any contracting work, and if youre caught doing so without one, you could face a hefty fine.
Take Washington, for example. If you were to be hired to install a CCTV system for a residence or company, youd technically require a low-voltage/limited-energy license, otherwise known as a Class B basic electrical work license. This type of license is only required by the employer of the individual(s) doing the work. If those two are one in the same, well, looks like youve got some paperwork ahead of you.
Its always better to be safe than sorry when dealing with fines. Always check with your local and state government before doing any sort of contracting work.
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Home Guy wrote:

I just said there *was* in Texas.
Are you going to believe me, a licence holder, or some article you found?
Do not give legal advice if you are not 100% sure. I am 100% sure that a license is required in Texas, and its issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/psb/docs/Chap1702OccCodeClean.pdf OCC 1702.002. DEFINITIONS. In this chapter: (1) "Alarm system" means:
(A) <snip> (B) <snip>
or..
(C) a television camera or still camera system that:
    (i) records or archives images of property or individuals in a public or private area of a residence or business;
or..     (ii) is monitored by security personnel or services.

Uh, how many years have you been installing?

You obviously don't have a clue about the CCTV business or the technical aspects involved. To even mention a "system in a box" other than to tell someone to steer clear from buying one, and thinking it could get "complicated" tells me you don't know what you're talking about.
Please don't advise folks on legal or CCTV matters, you don't know enough about either topic. People expect quality and accurate advice from the old pros' here, not speculation and opinion.
--
"I don't like to discriminate against terrorists based on nationality. If you declare war on the United States and you want to kill us, We're going to kill you first, period."
October 19, 2011 - Ali Soufan (Colbert Report)
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Home Guy wrote:

If the homeowner does it himself on his house, of course he doesn't need a license.
The OP said he wanted to start doing it for profit. In some states, including Texas, that is a licensed activity. Not a "crock of shit".
Its for the protection of consumers, as all licensed installers passed state and federal (FBI) background checks and the companies they work for maintain a minimum amount of liability insurance.
--
"I don't like to discriminate against terrorists based on nationality. If you declare war on the United States and you want to kill us, We're going to kill you first, period."
October 19, 2011 - Ali Soufan (Colbert Report)
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On 11/11/2011 10:13 AM, G. Morgan wrote:

Thanks all for advice. I'd also like that to be the end of the ad hominem stuff. I'm in New Mexico and won't be at all surprised to find that it at least requires a building permit to be pulled. It's about keeping the kids and their teachers safe, and we take it a lot more seriously than say Penn state, and I'm glad the Cornhuskers beat the nittany lions. Is it me, or did joe paterno and joseph ratzinger get pressed from the same caste?
When I look at cameras I don't usually see the way they're powered, which puzzles me. Does anyone see anything wrong/inappropriate about these:
http://www.123securityproducts.com/123-dvr674bkit.html
--
Uno






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Uno wrote:

You want to install cameras to keep kids safe? Is that the surveillance you want to do?

They are usually sold with long runs of pre-made cables (maybe 50 to 75 feet each, one per camera) and the cable is terminated on either end with video and power connectors that mate with matching connectors on the back of the camera or with a short cable that comes out of the back of the camera.
The power going to the camera is 12 VDC.
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On 11/12/2011 3:50 PM, Home Guy wrote:

Yeah. We run a pre-school where we've had vagrants sleeping in the enclosed playground. It happens in the colder months and lets just say they are not hygienic enough to tolerate, as christian organizations would like to do. Also a camera on the parking lot, where the teachers keep their cars parked and parents come to pick them up. The gal who runs it is requesting it; I'm just the guy who's gonna get it done, one of these days....

If we're going with the corded systems, is there one cable for data and another for power?

I guess I'm wondering whether you transform it once and send it out or whether you have a transformer for every camera.
I asked for a quote from the above people, so we'll see what they say.
--
Uno

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Uno wrote:

Do you really need a camera to tell you that you've got a vagrant in the playground when you can see him when you open the place up in the morning - or any other time you look out the window?

Ah, yes.
I've heard of many situations (both local, and on the news in other areas) where parents dropping their kids off at daycare are having their cars robbed by crooks sitting there (maybe in their own car) waiting for them. Seems that people let their guard down when they're only away from their car for a few minutes and don't lock it.
The daycare parking lot seems to be a particularly vulnerable place to have your car robbed.
I really don't think you're going to get any satisfaction from a camera setup in these situations.
For the parking lot scams, you'd better be able to read the plate clearly of every car that comes and goes, even get a clear picture of who's behind the wheel.

Those cameras that you see as being part of a system (usually minimum 4 cameras, sometimes up to 8 or 16) they are not transmitting digital data back to the base unit. It's all NTSC 480-line analog video. The cable is coax (something like RG-174 probably).
It's one single cable going to the camera, but inside of it is a small coax and a 2-wire pair for 12-volt power. At the very end of the cable, the 2-wire pair and the coax get split apart and are terminated with their own separate connectors.

The base unit is doing the frame-grabbing (digitizing) and converting it to a stream for TCP/IP network feeding. These base units also generate NTSC video output (to go to a conventional monitor) and they mutiplex the video feed (showing 4 camera images on one screen).

Those 4-camera systems are all over the place, and you can get them for under $300:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNoq32707&Sku=Q300-2792
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNor27847&Sku=P16-41438
Two-camera system for $200:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo 1693&Sku=N247-1114
If you're installing this at your own workplace (regardless whether you're the owner or just an employee) then you have absolutely no need to get a state license or permit to install it.
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Uno wrote:

The specs. for the cameras are awful. Don't buy a pre-boxed system like that, you'll be sorry. 420 TV lines is awful, I try to shoot for 600 TVL or mega-pixel cams.
Go to alt.security.alarms and ask, this NG is not the best to ask.
--
"I don't like to discriminate against terrorists based on nationality. If you declare war on the United States and you want to kill us, We're going to kill you first, period."
October 19, 2011 - Ali Soufan (Colbert Report)
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On 11/12/2011 8:35 PM, G. Morgan wrote:

Love you man. If you're heading down route 66, you'll see the culture. If you're half as smart as you sound, you'll find a reason to hang out on central, which is a very cool place, but alas, only one block away from where I have no sense of humor when it regards the homeless. I'm not proud of this sin, but I confess it.
Peace,
--
Uno

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Uno wrote:

Hmmm, As a hobbyist, I rigged up a WiFi camera and wireless router/repeater collect real time video frames to display on PC monitor screen and store it on NAS unit for future use. I think there is a commercial version available on the market. Nothing much to it.
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Tony Hwang wrote:

I've had a Trendnet TV-IP-100 IP-camera on my front porch for about 3 years:
http://www.networkcamerareviews.com/images/cameras/trendware/large/tv-ip100.jpg
I run a program on a spare PC at $DayJob that monitors the camera when I'm at work. It gets 1 frame per second continuously. The software has zones that I can set in the image to look for motion or some sort of change in the image in the zones. If any change is detected, the software sends an e-mail with the image as an attachment. I'm on a quiet street, so there's not a lot of activity (normally) during the day (10 am to 5 pm).
I get a snap-shot record of every vehicle that drives by, the mail man, anyone dropping anything into the mail box, cats, etc. Usually about 20 to 40 pictures a day.
Sometimes during the night I'll run a different program on my home PC to record a video stream from the camera when-ever it detects motion. Mainly to see what varmits come onto my front porch (racoons, possums, cats, skunks).
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