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Author Topic: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!  (Read 43842 times)

SteveRF

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TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« on: August 09, 2005, 06:00:21 PM »

I am still thinking about getting iWitness
and a couple of cams to do yard area
security.  I would be interested in hearing
from those of you using X10 CAMS with or
without iWitness (any kind of X10 cam or
others).  I  am running AHP/Smart Macro's
with fairly good succes.  I am interested in
what I can do and how good the cams REALLY
ARE.  I want to be able to SEE the area with
some definition.  I want to be able to
identify people and not just a moving target.
I'd like to know about the cams... can they
handle a southern warm humid climate as long
as they are underneath protection ?   Is the
clarity really as good as the
advertisements... Let loose and tell me just
what you really think before I spend $$ and
have regrets.,..
Many Thanks !!
SteveRF
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kevin

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2005, 10:51:24 PM »

SteveRF, I just received the
AHP+iWitness+XCAM2 with Ninja. I have a few
problems with the AHP s/w and CM15A but
have managed to get the camera and ninja
working.  The ninja is pretty good.  The
camera pretty much sucks.  The resolution
is poor at best.  Really hard to do
recognition on a person.  If you are after
seeing what's been happening in the yard
the XCAM2 is not bad, but if you want to
identify a vandal forget it.  License
number forget it...you'll only be able to
identify the color of the car (color XCAM2)
and maybe the make/model.
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mark thieme

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2005, 12:41:27 PM »

Hi SteveRF, I cut and pasted from another
reply I made but must say I am very
dissatisfied with my purchase but this is my
second attempt. My first attempt was with a
Clover video capture device with an IR
camera. The capture device did not work so I
sent it back along with the camera that on
line it says OutDoor but there was no way it
could even handle Florida humidity.
The program was very easy to use.


$169 for system $1000 for installation and
setup.  Plane and simple I need the camera
to  RECORD not just turn on every time the
computer turns on. A lot of power outages
here in Florida so I need it to record when
the power comes back on.  Also it won't let
me update due to wrong  file size.  Also
picture quality with capture device on  TV
ok on Computer worthless past 15'.
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SteveRF

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2005, 03:32:57 PM »

Mark and Kevin,
Thanks for your comments...hopefully I can
get even more info before I decide waht to do.
I live on the Gulfcoast FL/AL area so
humidity and heat is a major concern.  I have
noted your unhappiness with resolution.  I
share teh same thoughts.  I want to be able
to recognize things not just a big area.
If you have more input as time goes on,
please share it... and MANY thanks to both of
you for your time !
SteveRF
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mark thieme

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2005, 03:48:20 PM »

SteveRF do you want to use this just for a
security camera as I did? I bought it for my
shop just to view vandals I have a computer
in my shop so I thought it would save money.
I should have bought the Clover system from
Sams with a DVR.
This stupid thing could jeopardize my job
spending so much time trying to get it to
work.
Still havn't figured how to auto record upon
startup also crashes or lockups ALL THE
TIME.
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SteveRF

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2005, 09:23:19 PM »

Mark,
Thanks for the hint about Sams...
Good idea, there is a Sams in Pensacola (just
over the bridge from me). I will go and take
a look at their wired systems.
SteveRF
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kevin

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2005, 03:59:43 AM »

Mark, do you have Smart Macros? If so, I
was wondering if you could create a macro
such as:

If camera ON
Then start recording

Would that possibly solve your auto record
dillema?
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kevin

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2005, 04:02:08 AM »

Mark, one more question. What is crashing
frequently, the AHP software, iWitness,
CM15A interface or all of the above?  I'm
still experimenting and haven't extended my
system to more than just one "crappy"
camera.  I've only done short recordings
and snapshots.
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mark thieme

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2005, 01:33:30 PM »

Hi Kevin, Have macros? who knows I know I've
been trying every thing that I see on the
program but it goes no where. And the
crashing happens when the program doesn't
like what I've done like look at media video
or download an update or when I pull down a
toolbar and ask it to do something it does
not like.
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kevin

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2005, 10:51:58 PM »

Mark, I have the AHP crashes too. None of
them 100% repeatable.

So, I dumped another $130 on a Q-See
wireless color camera and receiver. After
some not so technical testing, I found that
the Q-See receiver works the best with the
X10 XCam2 camera!! The combination is
barely good enough to read a license plate
at a distance of about 17 feet. Also found
the X10 USB video adapter introduces some
distortion. I compared it with a direct
feed into a TV.
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SteveRF

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2005, 03:53:46 PM »

All,
From what I am reading so far, the X10 Cams
are really priced ok but the delivered
picture quality is not that good ??
I am seeing some "throw away" 25 min
camcorders for $25.00 that seem to give a
better pic quality.... BUT I am still looking
at the X1o stuff....
appreciate all of your comments !

SteveRF
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kevin

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2005, 02:33:52 AM »

I performed a little more technical
assessment of the X10 XCam2 and q-see
camera. I used the iWitness software to
capture snapshots of identical objects. I
used all permutations of cameras, receivers
and channels. I found the best combination
turned out to be the X10 XCam2 and the X10
receiver set to channel C or D (both were
equal). The XCam2 camera is just plain
better than the q-see.  The q-see camera
did have IR capability which I didn't
really test but it seemed to produce better
quality pictures than color mode. The q-see
receiver produce more accurate contrast and
brightness than the X10 receiver, but the
resolution was better on the X10 receiver.

I could not find the video specs on the
XCam2 camera anywhere, so it's hard to use
it as a baseline.

I have been having USB problems connecting
my interface (CM15A) to the PC.  X10 gave
me an RMA, so I won't have anymore testing
information until I receive the replacement
interface. I'm planning on trying a $150-
$200 wired CCTV camera just to see if the
iWitness is a limiting factor.
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SteveRF

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2005, 12:19:43 PM »

Kevin,
Thanks for the info !
I'll watch for your cam testing and posts.
SteveRF
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JimC

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2005, 07:38:50 AM »

SteveRF,

I have several of the X10 cameras and pan
and tilts. The pan and tilt work great. The
camera resolution sucks especially if viewed
on a PC. The resolution is barely OK if
viewed on a monitor and people can be
identified if close to the camera. The
cameras are useless at night unless the area
is covered by bright flood lights.
I have the cameras, in my system,
triggered by  motion sensors that start
macros in AHP. The macros   turn on the
camera and start the pan and tilt in motion,
scanning the selected area. This all works
fine. I do not use the record function in
iwetness as it causes my computer to crash.
(Pentium 800mhz). I do all of the recording
with a VCR. I start the VCR with the VCR
recorder sold by X10 and I am very pleased
with this setup.

As far as the reliability of the units.....I
have had some of the camera for 3 years and
not a single one has failed. Some of the
cameras are mounted out in the open and are
exposed to the weather. I  live in PA.
Although we do not have the continuous high
humidity that you have we do have hot rainy
summers and cold winters.

Jim
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SteveRF

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Re: TELL ME ABOUT X10 CAMS and iWITNESS !!
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 09:21:20 PM »

Jim,
Thanks so much for the info....
I do not have any X10 Cams at present and
from what I am hearing, the resolution is not
very good.  Well, that is what I want the cam
for, to be able to "see" who and what out in
the yard area (20-300 feet).  I wonder if the
XCam2 is any better and do I have to use the
X10 cams with the iWitness or can I use
another cam ?  I'd rather spend another $100
or so and have a camera that I can count
on... BUT I am still looking... I really
appreciate all the candid advice.  I do not
have iWitness yet but my AHP system is
working pretty well.. Right now I am kind of
dissappointed that I may have to abandon the
iWitness idea because of the Cam resolution..
o well... Wish they had a "try a cam before
you buy" program !
Regards and THANKS !
SteveRF
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