DIY home security system

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Old 08-01-17, 03:29 PM
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DIY home security system

Hello All,
I am interested in installing my own home security. For the most part, I understand the basic concepts. I do not want a wireless system, nor do I want a pre-packaged system that comes with cameras/wires/recorder.

I am shopping for POE cameras, which is where I need some guidance and assistance, in terms of reliable brand for after-sale support, as well as firmware upgrades, etc.

My basic question is: when selecting a camera, what will render a clean picture at night, should I get something that will do 4 or 5 MP at 30fps, or can I get a decent picture with something that is less in MP and records at 15, or 20fps.

thank you.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 04:35 PM
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Your definition of megapixels at a certain distance at night is odd. I would suggest looking at image samples to see what cameras are capable of. The first thing to keep in mind is the resolution of your screen to view the images. About 1 megapixel is about what a screen can display with the menu bar and controls consuming part of the screen. So, any camera with higher megapixel will sorta be reduced by your screen's resolution. Where higher megapixels help is if you want to digitally zoom on an area. Personally I find 720 to be the bottom end of acceptable resolution and 1080 is pretty good.

As far as seeing at night. IR illumination is only good if you don't want to light the area. It allows only a black and white picture and with the illumination coming from the camera there can be shadow and reflection issues. If these cameras will be outdoors consider installing flood lights. You will be able to see when you walk around after dark and the cameras will be able to record in color.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 04:37 PM
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Why don't you want a prepackaged deal? It would save you work & updates would be there for you.
 
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Old 08-01-17, 06:35 PM
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Ok, just to be clear, you aren't after an intrusion alarm system; you are after a wired IP camera system. These things are very modular, and there are a lot of choices. CCTV is one area where price really is a pretty good indicator of quality. Cheap cameras and lenses give cheap images.

Here's a link to a vendor that has a bunch of useful calculators for figuring out the appropriate lenses for the field of view that you want, and how much bandwidth and storage it takes to accommodate your desired settings:

https://www.supercircuits.com/resources/tools
 
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Old 08-02-17, 05:04 AM
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I have purchased from Super Circuits many times. They are one of the few companies that actually provides service and support for the products they sell. Cameras & DVR's are available almost everywhere but with most retailers you're on you own to make it work.
 
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Old 08-03-17, 11:15 AM
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While DIY-ing your home security sounds like a great way to save money, you might want to consider how useful a camera system will be if it isn't being monitored.

If you just want the cameras as a safety net if something happens? Great! Doing it yourself should work just fine.

But! If you want the cameras and the rest of your security systems to be a little more preemptive, you might want to consider going with an actual security company that will monitor your system. That way you will be alerted whenever something happens, and you could even check in on your cameras from your phone.

This article does a pretty good job explaining why you might want to go with a monitored system instead https://www.valleyalarm.com/security...-be-monitored/
 
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Old 08-03-17, 05:08 PM
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Monitoring is not really applicable in this case. The discussion is clearly for a CCTV system; and most DVRs and IP camera systems have remote access features (assuming that you have broadband internet available).
 
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Old 08-03-17, 05:09 PM
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First and foremost, thank you ALL for the great feedback and the different perspectives. I'll try to provide feedback to the posts.

Why not a package that is already put together ? I suppose I wanted to build from scratch to get the 'best of breed'. I am in the I.T. industry, and always had built my own desktop, rather than buying one already pre-made by dell, or HP, or similar.

I wanted a way to monitor my property, to see if the exterminator does really spray for bugs like he says he does :0), and the gardner is showing and spending the time and doing the necessary tasks. Most importantly, no one is taking the UPS delivered packages. I have a retired neighbor with too much time on his hands so making sure he is staying on his own property :-D, etc. I don't have a need to get an alarm company (yet) so thought getting cameras and doing my own surveillance installation. I have a NAS system that is camera ready so felt that if I put a system together by piece by piece, I would save some money and have fun installing it along the way.

About monitoring, well, I would like the ability to monitor on my cellphone as needed if I was away from house. I also would like if I could just speed scan the day time hours it recorded to ensure no one walked on my property would be good enough (to start). If something more needed for the surveillance, I would add as I went along.

Thank you for the link, I would research super circuits to see what they have to offer.

I was at costco and saw a prepackaged system that recoreded at 4K. It sounded impressive but I read the specs and didn't like what it had to offer.

The biggest hurdle for me is to determine what camera (brand) or specs I need to get. I understand the toplogy, in terms of needing a POE switch, and a recorder. Many cameras boast all sorts of numbers/specs but at practical side, do they stand up to them and can produce a decent picture? I read that if a camera can't clearly read a license plate or can clearly define a face, i need to look at something better. I realize the picture quality will be vastly different during day time versus night time.
Lastly, I plan to use a 40" 4K monitor that will be dedicated to this surveillance system.

thanks again for your continued feedback. This website forum is amazing
 
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Old 08-04-17, 05:18 AM
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Camera brands is a difficult one as most/all are imported and the same camera can be sold under numerous brand names. Price can be a very crude indicator of quality. Generally a $200 camera will have better lenses and better performing IR illumination versus a $30 camera.

You can also look at the specs and see if they make sense. Some cameras claim unrealistic IR illumination range when you look at their power consumption. And just read the specs for numbers that just don't make sense compared to other cameras. Then there is always the comforting poor translation that lets you know someone hastily translated to offer to the English speaking market
 
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