Choosing a home (outdoor) CCTV surveillance system

Can anyone offer ant tips on choosing a CCTV surveillance system for a typical house? My budget is tight, but hopefully I can afford something that will work well, and last.
I'm hoping I can save some money by using my PC as the recording device when I am away from the premises. I guess that is feasable, is it? I have zero past experience of these things.
I already have security floodlights fitted, so I'm not sure if I need night vision or not.
Many thanks,
JakeD
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JakeD wrote:

IP cameras are the most flexible. Indoor fixed are dirt cheap, indoor pannable not too bad, external pannable expensive.
I have also ben wondering about making a DIY dome for an internal grade camera - maybe a clear spherical food jar+lid+gasket with lid+camera fixed to bracket to house with jar dome hanging down and gland the wire in through the lid. Fix a packet of silica gel for good measure?

Yes it is. Lot's of software available, some for free (opensource).

--
Tim Watts

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if you want a ready made water proof housing to put a camera in.... gut a flood light, put camera inside, sorted,
of course for a 360 degree pan and tilt camera it wont work, but then again the jam jar method wont either, as the image will be distorted to hell if you try to look downwards,
BUT, i've seen the external empty domes on fleabay for not much, and the domes have the anti-reflective coating to stop the IR leds bouncing back into the lens.
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Gazz wrote:

That's an idea...

I was not thinking jam-jar - but a fully spherical glass "goldfish bowl" type jar. They'll be distortion, but it may not be too bad.

Ooh - that is interesting.
In my case, I'd be mounting under the eaves on a roof with a 18" overhang so they will be pretty protected from rain. Mostly blowing snow/drizzel and hosespray are all I have to worry about.
Cheers
Tim
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Tim Watts

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I have IP67 cameras - with a built in heater.
They do cost 110 ish so I slowly built up the collection after deciding where I wanted them and where to aim them.
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Adam



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Problems with a PC as DVR are the PC may be surplus and free but multichannel video capture cards aren`t cheap. Its then running a full OS as well as the DVR software, stability can be an issue. Then there is the power consumption of a PC running 24/7.
Dedicated network DVR`s start around the price of a 4 channel H264 capture card, plus a hard drive. DVR`s use AV drives that are rated for the constant thrashing of recording 24/7. I have an Avtech 674 that also dosen`t need a fan , another score over a P.C..

Cameras with IR rings are not really a great help. For outdoors look for the generic vari focus 4-9mm external camera haousing with 1/3" Sony sensor, CPC, ebay et al, vari focal is handy, should be around 50 quid a camera. Connection , big fan of CAT5 and baluns rather than `shotgun` cable , its cheaper and easier to run.
Cheers Adam

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[snip]

Which can be solved by using an Atom based mini-ITX system running Linux and DVR software and using networked cameras.
Cost of PC £240, OS free, DVR software free, cameras £40-100 each for 640x480 with PTZ.
You're thinking (very) old tech.
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Avtech KDP 674 with 500Gb drive fitted, 130GBP delivered, first one of many on ebay
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-ch-Input-CCTV-DVR-AVTECH-KPD-674-H-264-D1-2011-500GB-Iphone-Android-EagleEye-/290608796688?pt=UK_CCTV&hash=item43a9a25410
http://tinyurl.com/3cwynaa
Thats a dedicated 4 channel box with network and mobile access setup out the box.
Got the 540TVL version of this, the Sony sensor is better than the smaller Sharp sensors
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/600TVL-Camera-50m-Range-1-3-Sony-CCD-4-9mm-focal-lens-/230651926283?pt=UK_CCTV&hash=item35b3ed170b
http://tinyurl.com/3u9t7nm
Cat5 Baluns are cheaper from China, if you don`t use the audio line ,use it fro a remote PIR trigger near camera to alarm input on DVR
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Pairs-CCTV-Video-Power-Audio-Balun-BNC-UTP-Cat5e-/390345494566?pt=UK_CCTV&hash=item5ae2679026
http://tinyurl.com/3e5as7o
Outdoor cat5 cable is UV staballised, found Kenable good in the past
http://www.kenable.co.uk

Yup using an old P.C. dosen`t really work out , but dedicating a P.C. only really works if your after additional features or huge numbers of I.P. cams.
Cheers Adam
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Forgot to add decent 5A 12V. D.C power supply and a 1 to 4 d.c. spider
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CCTV-4-Way-Power-Splitter-DC-2-1mm-12V-High-Quality-/300565554503?pt=UK_CCTV&hash=item45fb1a6547
Cheers Adam

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But can only record a single channel at a time. A PC based DVR can record several and at the price that I quoted will have a terabyte of storage and gigbit LAN. If you really want cheap then it's possible to buy a decent server for a few quid, run ESXi and multiple instances of Linux.
If you want cheap then most IP cameras can be used without a DVR to stream to a smartphone.
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Are you sure?
--
Adam



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Unless you want to go in for quarter frame at 7fps, yes it seems so.
That or whoever wrote the spec seems to have made a mistake.
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Ponit noted.
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Adam



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And so is the spelling!
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Adam



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AV drives had nothing to do with the rating for continuous use and it doesn't really mean anything these days. It was because the recalibration routines run on the drive used to take a second or so and caused dropped frames. They invented a distributed (in time) method and sold AV drives that used this method at a premium. These days every drive i have seen uses the distributed method and all record AV fine.
Anyway you can get cards quite cheap from Canada http://www.securitycamera2000.com/categories/DVR-%28Digital-Video-Record%29-Cards /.
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Adam Aglionby presented the following explanation :

You can now get IP cameras which can post the images to a website, for instant remote viewing and additionally store any images of captured motion on the website.
That would only require the camera(s) to be powered and the broadband router.
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Regards,
Harry (M1BYT) (L)
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That sounds ideal. Where can I find info on how to set this up (storing the footage to a website)?
JakeD
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Tight budget here too. I've been acquiring NOS and used Vantage monochrome cameras. Now that everybody wants colour and higher def for commercial premises, the older mono 400line cams are dirt cheap and reliable enough. There's no shortage of camera housings on ebay too.

It's what I'm doing. My PC is on all the time anyway, so no skin off my nose to have it function as a CCTV device. I use ActiveWebcam (google it) in conjunction with a Chinese-made clone of a 4-input PCI card.
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On 23/09/2011 16:00, Grimly Curmudgeon wrote:

I've been playing with CCTV stuff also. In my case the always-on PC is an Asus EEEbox with an Atom CPU, so not that powerful, but low power consumption at least. It has a solid state drive fitted currently. I've been using Active Webcam for ~3 months, and can't say I'm very happy with it - it's unstable, buggy, and eats CPU when motion detection is on. I currently have just one IP camera connected. Motion detection is necessary to stop the system using loads of disk, and just give recordings to look through afterwards. The web interface is geared to windows (active x) and gives view-only on other platforms via Java (can't review recordings). As someone who has several Mac and Linux machines this is annoying.
As Active Webcam refuses to work with a Vivotek camera I've just bought (and support never respond to emails) I'm looking at other software.
I found 'Luxriot' recommended on a website somewhere, playing with it at the moment. So far pretty good, better on CPU, good support, but I've not had time to explore all features yet, will over the next week. It's a lot more complicated than AWC... I may have to RTFM for this one... It's fairly expensive though :(
If anyone can recommend any software (preferably Linux or Mac based) I'd be interested.
Alan.
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wrote:

I haven't had any problems with it, but it might be a driver clash. It wouldn't work properly until I'd installed the awkward card drivers (some hooky copy of a Pico2000) and then it was ok.
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