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Author Topic: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals  (Read 14313 times)

sphon721

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sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« on: August 09, 2008, 12:03:52 AM »

Hi,

   My name is Chris, I own and operate a computer company that mainly builds office/restaurant and gaming computers. We started getting into surveillance systems a few years ago and usually build systems as DVRs. In my home I use x10 products throughout and decided to incorporate them in our services since you can put together a nice system without spending a ton of money and use the same system to automate. While trying to figure out a problem with a recent install we decided to go wired to rule out any RF interference. Now here is where we ran into a problem that none of the manuals had information on. When AHP switches from one camera to another it sends the off signal to the other cameras so your wireless video receiver only gets on signal, the entire system can only use one camera at a time, which is a very big disadvantage. Based on this info we got a wired switching unit that automatically switches to which ever input is live. So when you select camera 1 the others turn off and the switching unit should switch the to that input and output the video to the va11a then to AHP. However the switching unit does not work because the cameras do not really turn off. We hooked up a wireless receiver to a monitor and on a second monitor ran the RCA cable from one of the sentinels, when we switched the camera to a different one or used the all off sequence on the remote the wired monitor did not change, it continued to show live video, the monitor with the wireless shut off. So the only thing that shuts off is the wireless transmission of the video. It would have been nice to know that going in. With this info and the fact that while recording, AHP uses about 75% of any PC’s processor resources we have installed it on, we decided its best to use AHP to view and move the cameras and use a second machine with a multi channel DVR card to record the video. This enables you to record all of your cameras at the same time for security. One may pose the question, “why wouldn’t you just use motion detection to switch to the camera where motion is?” well that’s fine but what if you have several areas of motion, you end up switching back and forth while what you really need is constant coverage. Also with a DVR card we were able to get higher quality recording that with any setting in AHP, even if you select no compression the images are still worse in AHP than using a codec on the DVR card. A 4 channel DVR card with 60 frames/sec can be had for under $50, if you want more fluid video you can get a 120 frame/sec card for about $140. On four cameras 60 fps is plenty, 60/4 is 15 fps per camera. Hope this helps someone.
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HA Dave

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2008, 11:29:48 AM »


However the switching unit does not work because the cameras do not really turn off. We hooked up a wireless receiver to a monitor and on a second monitor ran the RCA cable from one of the sentinels, when we switched the camera to a different one or used the all off sequence on the remote the wired monitor did not change, it continued to show live video...............


Interesting feature with the sentinel. The wired video is live 24/7 (even when OFF), however the wireless (RF) video does turn OFF when the camera is turned OFF. Another solution is to use a Universal Module (UM506) to control (switch) a modified video cord. I have tried this and the Universal Module works fine for "disconnecting the video feed" to a video auto-switcher.
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steven r

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2008, 03:43:26 PM »

While I haven't gotten around to doing it yet, I think Dave's solution is the best I've heard for this situation if one is using a switcher.

Dave: Will you add a link to that discussion?
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HA Dave

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2008, 04:48:49 PM »


Dave: Will you add a link to that discussion?


I'd be happy to (if I could find it). I had searched for the info when I originally posted and could not find it... and just searched again too.
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steven r

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2008, 06:02:11 PM »

Dave: I'm not famous for my search ability (Ask Bill) but I found your post with the advanced search!  :)% 

http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=15466.msg85581#msg85581
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BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

HA Dave

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2008, 08:00:59 PM »

Thank-You steven r.   #:)
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sphon721

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2008, 10:08:51 AM »

that is def a solution but your still limited to one camera at a time :-[
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HA Dave

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2008, 11:14:06 AM »

that is def a solution but your still limited to one camera at a time

You may be correct. I believe the software does capture video from one unit at a time. If your thinking of capturing 4 camera views at 15 fps each for Internet viewing.... you may be limited by bandwidth capabilities. But the technology is almost there.
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sphon721

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008, 09:09:39 AM »

no, just need to record at 15fps/cam, but viewing all four is surprisingly fluid via internet. I did a 9 camera setup at an apartment with a 240fps card and it was very fluid as well. For multi cams as a security solution you need to be able to record and view more than one at a time and this method addressed that problem, enabling the use of less expensive x10 hardware.
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sphon721

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2008, 09:11:33 AM »

heres one for ya, the remote that comes with the sentinel cam transmits farther that the unmodded cm15a, ha
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steven r

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2008, 09:52:19 AM »

...the remote that comes with the sentinel cam transmits farther that the unmodded cm15a...
I discovered this also. Fortunately I was able to solve my problem without modifying my CM15A by moving it about 6 ft over and 5 ft up and plugging it in a different place.

Note: The CM15A does not use the external antenna to transmit to the camera. Instead it uses an internal antenna for it's transmissions. i.e. Do not expect a modification of the external antenna to improve transmissions from the the CM15A.
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BVC let's me tell my camera where to go!
:) Murphy is my beta testing pal. He helps me find problems whether I like it or not. :)

sphon721

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2008, 02:09:57 PM »

correct, the antenna mods on the net only help receiving, the antenna for transmitting is overlooked by all except sentinel owners, its very frustrating, in my situation i cant move the box because its already in the center of the cameras, I move all around where it is but as soon as i go to far from one cam it looses comm with that cam. Crazy thing is the remote has a tiny antenna where as the cm15a has an 8 inch wire antenna. I cant figure it out and im getting very disgusted with the cm15a, my warranty on the sentinels is almost up so maybe ill try to do something with the antennas on them, like the video receiver mod, it uses the same square antenna and made a huge difference on my video receiver. I wish there was an alternative to the cm15a. every time i call tech support, the people dont seem to understand the sentinel, they think it gets its RF through the power line like the other x10 cameras, I even had a guy tell me that the remote sends the signal to the cm15a and then the cm15a sends the signal to the cameras, even after I asked why the sentinel only comes with the remote and not plug in receiver they still argued with me that the use power line commands. >*<
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dellzip@gmail.com

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2008, 05:37:40 PM »

Dont sound good!

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sphon721

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 01:20:50 AM »

finally....narrowed my interference problem down, all this time i thought that since i was getting interference my antennas were either to far away or just not getting reception, i modded all of my antennas even the 310mhz ones and added amps and repeaters only to find that one of the sentinels was putting out rouge RF that was messing everything up. i realized it when i was powering one one camera at a time to rule out other things. x10 replaced it no questions asked and now the system is up and running. and with the DVR card recording and displaying all four sentinels on one PC and AHP running on the other i can view the 4 cams on the x10 PC with the remote viewing software from my DVR card and control the PTZ in AHP all on the same screen.
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jammieredsor

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Re: sentinel multi camera solution, info not available in manuals
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2008, 05:43:20 AM »

Thanks for the review but I am really turned off by the details you wrote re: "...the entire system can only use one camera at a time, which is a very big disadvantage." There has to be a better option...

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