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Author Topic: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.  (Read 9250 times)

jbeece

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newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
« on: March 05, 2007, 09:18:23 PM »

Hi, im hoping someone who was in a situation similiar to mine can point me in the right direction. The insane amount of packages, specials, deals, options, etc on this site is enough to drive a person mad. I have a pretty simple straightforward security setup need (at least i think its simple). I have an apartment with 2 entry doors (its a weird setup, dont ask, also im on the 3rd floor so windows arent an entry point), they are both fairly close to each other. What im looking for is that if someone opens either door a camera pointed at each one will detect the motion and take a few snapshots in rapid succession, say about 20 of them spaced split seconds apart so i raise my chances of getting a complete face shot. I also would like something that can take pics at night with the lights off, but not a major need since the perp will probably turn them on. A major point i need though is almost instantaneous notification to my cell phone that a breakin is happening. As a bonus i would love a way to view the pics if im at a internet enabled computer, but im on a budget so ill live with just a call or a text message sent to my phone so i can rush home and beat the bastid  ;D

Ive heard some horror stories about the wireless cameras so im already leaning towards wired, although if i go wired ill only be able to point it at one door thats next to the computer. This is sorta ok because the perp will have to pass in front of the camera set up at the 1 door to get to anything worthwhile, it just might be a profile pic instead of a head on full face shot. Can anyone give feedback on a setup of 1 wired and 1 wireless camera? The wireless will be partially blocked by a wall, but if the cord for the wireless reciever is long enough i think i can get a clear line of sight to the camera through an opening, total distance would be between 10-16ft depending how far i can place the reciever from the computer.

Ive included a crude drawing in mspaint to show my basic layout. Camera 2 is pointed at the mostly likely point of entry and would have to be wireless, camera 1 being right next to the computer will be wired.

Any and all help is appreciated, please include exact items you used so i can wade through the endless amount of combos and specials. Thanks!


click the pic to open full sized version


[TTA Edit: Combined 2 posts.]
« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 11:15:37 PM by TakeTheActive »
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HA Dave

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Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2007, 10:24:42 PM »

if someone opens either door a camera pointed at each one will detect the motion and take a few snapshots in rapid succession, say about 20 of them spaced split seconds apart so i raise my chances of getting a complete face shot. I also would like something that can take pics at night with the lights off, but not a major need since the perp will probably turn them on.

 i need though is almost instantaneous notification to my cell phone that a breakin is happening.

Can anyone give feedback on a setup of 1 wired and 1 wireless camera? The wireless will be partially blocked by a wall, but if the cord for the wireless reciever is long enough i think i can get a clear line of sight to the camera through an opening, total distance would be between 10-16ft depending how far i can place the reciever from the computer.


X10 makes Americas best selling alarm system! A basic system (deal) will have more than enough to set you up, for about a hundred bucks. Thats good for the budget...and it will call you when the alarm goes off and with no fee's. The power horns are loud enough to wake the dead! The keychain remote will allow you to arm and disarm the security/alarm system from outside the apartment.

A couple lamp modules or socket rockets and a motion sensor or two and you can be sure the lights come on when you (or anyone else) enters your apartment. Add a palmpad remote and you also have some nice home automation too.

Cameras are a great deterrent when placed outside! I have several myself... but in an apartment (half my adult life I lived in apartments) A radio and small light left on would work better.

If you feel compelled to have a camera, and you have a broadband connection, most IP cameras can be set to email you a short video. Emailed video is hard for a thief to steal, and can be viewed from anywhere. Police-bar the door it can't see and use the other. You can also use the IP cam to make videos for YouTube or MySpace and to video chat.



« Last Edit: March 05, 2007, 10:27:54 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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jbeece

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Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2007, 11:26:13 PM »

X10 makes Americas best selling alarm system! A basic system (deal) will have more than enough to set you up, for about a hundred bucks. Thats good for the budget...and it will call you when the alarm goes off and with no fee's. The power horns are loud enough to wake the dead! The keychain remote will allow you to arm and disarm the security/alarm system from outside the apartment.

A couple lamp modules or socket rockets and a motion sensor or two and you can be sure the lights come on when you (or anyone else) enters your apartment. Add a palmpad remote and you also have some nice home automation too.

Cameras are a great deterrent when placed outside! I have several myself... but in an apartment (half my adult life I lived in apartments) A radio and small light left on would work better.

If you feel compelled to have a camera, and you have a broadband connection, most IP cameras can be set to email you a short video. Emailed video is hard for a thief to steal, and can be viewed from anywhere. Police-bar the door it can't see and use the other. You can also use the IP cam to make videos for YouTube or MySpace and to video chat.

The camera is most definitely the way to go for me, i want a photo and or video, and i dont want to set off an alarm in case the cameras screw up or a family member comes by when im not (they all have copies of my keys). Can you recommend good software/cameras to use? A package perhaps? Im a bit confused and not sure which to get.

edit: my phone is email enabled, so the computer can text my phone by using a email account, im guessing emailing after movement is a pretty common option.
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HA Dave

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Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2007, 07:00:40 PM »

I bought a Linksys IP (network) wireless camera ("B" speed) when the then new wireless "G" speed was introduced. It is the only IP camera I have ever seen "in action", so I can't really say it is better or worse, than any other similar video camera. Mine like many others has it's own built-in server, so it video records and emails all on it's own. It can be viewed remotely from any internet connected computer. No computer is required at the cameras end, just the wireless broadband connection.

Web and IP cameras use a pixel change measurement, to detect motion (as opposed warm body, heat sensing motion detectors). And actually in you plan on leaving your computer ON you may even be able to capture and email video with a normal Web Cam. Some come with such options.... or you can search for a free software download at ZDnet or Cnet.< click the links.

But I would still look at the X10 Site for a motion sensor, light, and transceiver setup (you always need light with cameras).
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LW

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Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2007, 11:52:51 PM »

Hi JBeece,

I've been researching the best way to do the same kind of thing recently.

I don't have experience with X10 cameras or the iWatchOut software that integrates them into the ActiveHomePro suite. I think it will do at least some of what you're wanting, especially if you add in 3rd party programs like X10Dispatcher and the AlertDialer for X10. I recommend looking into it, and I hope that others here can tell us more about it, but at the same time, do compare it to BlueIris software ($39 for the full version), which works with up to 16 webcams. It will do everything that you said that you wanted and more. When motion is detected via a webcam, networked IP camera or other video input (and you have lots of flexibility about what constitutes motion - lighting and color change levels, how many changes, image de-noising, selecting which part of the webcam view to detect motion in), it will run a webserver and dynamic webpage with streaming video and viewable clips and snapshots (integrating sound from a microphone if you want), e-mail you snapshots and alerts, phone you using a computer modem, MSN-message you, upload clips to your FTP site, run external Windows commands, send you screen shots if an intruder starts trying to mess around with your computer, and I forget what else. It has a number of its own security features, and can be set to run invisibly and/or automatically whenever Windows loads up, before you even log into it. You can get it to automatically add time-date stamps and watermarks to each clip and snapshot, which I highly recommend, so it should be possible to use the clips as evidence in court. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it and all its configuration options. I think I need a day just to learn it all. You can try it out for free for 15 days; it's at www.blueirissoftware.com. One thing I'm pretty sure that BlueIris probably has over X10 solutions is that you have a wider range of webcams to choose from, and you can often pick up a webcam at a local store on a sale for $10. I recently got two Creative Webcam Live! webcams this way. Probably the X10 camera with iWatchOut and MyHouseOnline solution has the advantage of giving you more home automation options over the internet.

I'm hoping to be able to integrate my BlueIris setup with ActiveHomePro/OnAlert and my X10 security stuff, also just recently bought. X10 motion detectors, door/windows, and lamp modules provide the "Lights," BlueIris the "camera," and X10 ProtectorPlus and mini-powerhorn the "action." Both ActiveHomePro with SDK components or (X10Dispatcher) and BlueIris can be made to run external Windows commands, so that should be one way of getting them to send commands to each other. I'm not sure that I'll need to go that far, though, because when X10 turns on and flashes the lights, that will normally constitute motion in the webcam picture and activate the BlueIris activites. Or when X10 sounds the siren(s), BlueIris can be configured to detect the loud noise with your computer microphone, which is another way to trigger its features. I would like to be able to have my X10 keyfob remotes be able to arm and disarm not only the X10 security setup, but also BlueIris; probably that's where being able to run external Windows commands will come in handy.

About where you're aiming your security cameras, does your apartment have a balcony/patio door? If so, you might want to get another camera aimed at it. Good luck there.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2007, 11:58:35 PM by LW »
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Tuicemen

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Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2007, 06:30:12 PM »

Don't know how I missed this onefirst time around!
JBeece,
Your situation is perfect for X10dispatcher and AlertDialer(Both are free)
Although both should work with a CM19A but I can't confirm it!
So Ill suggest
 
    [li]ActiveHome pro (CM15A) with the Plug-ins or atleast the Iwitness (iwatchout Plug-in)!
    .[/li]
    [li]1 motion sensor
    .[/li]
    [li] 1 appliance module to turn the cam on/off
    .[/li]
    [li]A wired cam probably the Astak available from Walmart (has night vision & 100ft of wire)
    .[/li]
    [li]X10dispatcher
    .[/li]
    [li]AlertDialer[/li]

    [/list]
    This will provide you with a cell call stating you have an intruder take the pick send it e-mail upload it to a server or send it via MSN ;) :D ;D
    Plus you can control AHP from your cell phone or MSN! ;) :D ;D
    « Last Edit: March 07, 2007, 06:34:13 PM by Tuicemen »
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    jbeece

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    Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
    « Reply #6 on: March 07, 2007, 07:50:17 PM »

    Thanks Dave, LW, Tuicemen for responding. Definitely know more than when i came in and ive got an approximate reason where to start and ill build on it as needed. Thanks again.  ;D
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    HA Dave

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    Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
    « Reply #7 on: March 07, 2007, 08:10:46 PM »

    jbeece

    Be sure to return and post your decisions and results, so future forum users with similar requests, can get helpful information more quickly. It will also help responders like myself to make better judgements, in the advice I offer.
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    jbeece

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    Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
    « Reply #8 on: March 07, 2007, 08:29:38 PM »

    Will do, right now im gonna start on the cheap with a webcam im getting from a friend (probably low quality but gotta start somewhere) and gonna try the blueiris 15day software trial for the basic security i want right now which is 1 camera that can sense motion. Im also now interested in the home automation part of it as well beyond just security so im planning on getting the base part from X10, the $99 Automation Pro package for the base transciever, software, and it seems like a grab bag of different modules it connects to. Do a little tinkering with each one and see where it goes from there. Ill report back in about a week or so if i dont run into too much trouble setting it up  :D
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    HA Dave

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    Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
    « Reply #9 on: March 07, 2007, 08:55:33 PM »


     Ill report back in about a week or so if i dont run into too much trouble setting it up  :D

    If you have trouble...... we'll be here.
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    Tuicemen

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    Re: newbie here hoping to get a recommendation.
    « Reply #10 on: March 08, 2007, 03:10:22 PM »

    One thing to check is that you have a voice modem for your Pc Although Alertdialer will dial out from a fax/data modem thats where it stops! With a voice modem the possibilities are endless. Also you don't need X10dispatcher to trigger it but X10dispatcher gives you so many more options! ;)
    As Dave Pointed out, if you run into a problem we're here! ;) :D ;D the $99 deal is good but if you haven't ordered yet dig deeper you may find a better deal! ;) :D(some realy good Deals can be found if you dig deep) ;)
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