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Author Topic: X-10 Quad System  (Read 7961 times)

HA Dave

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2009, 09:50:35 AM »

.... I hope i don't sound like I'm tryin to stick my nose in the air because I'm really not. I just believe that X-10 should supply a defect free product. Take it out of the box, plug it in and Walla! 

Just like if you go to the Building Supply Store and buy a... faucet... you will then need to install it. A camera system also needs installed. Nether install requires the home owner to become a professional. Just to read and follow the directions.

What did/have you decide do... instead of install your own?
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slabstick

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2009, 10:01:36 AM »

not sure...Radio shack has a system that has 2 cameras and motion sensor. when tripped, stores pictures on a card inside a box you hide in your home. Sounds simple and at about the same price. ??? Am checking internet for other systems too though.    slabstick
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slabstick

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2009, 10:51:32 AM »

I keep reading this forum and realize that you people are the "Real" tech support for X-10. I am really on the fence about keeping this system and giving it a try. I have some questions though. I live in a small house...aprox. 1000 Sq. ft. Small front and back yard, Carport. I do however have steel siding as this is an old house. I wonder about the included instructions with my system. Are they very detailed or, just vague? Another question is that i know you need to power each camera. In my house I think this will mean drilling holes through my outside walls to gain access to the outlets. I have an outlet below my backdoor and one on the front porch but, this will mean extention cords right? is that good? Extention cords i mean. This is the Operating System I am running on my computer:
Manufacturer:    Gateway
Model:              MT3707
Rating:             2.1 Windows Experience Index
Processor:        Genuine Intel (R) CPU T2060 @ 1.60 GHz 1.6 GHz
Memory: (RAM)  1.00 GB
System Type:    32 bit Operating System
I was concerned about reading some posts where peoples CPU was maxed out. Remember, all i need to do with this System is to monitor my property while i am away. If i can get motion sensor to work and take picture of intruder and send me an email of the picture , I'll be happy but, i still have to get software installed. So far there is no help from Tech Support. Still waiting on email to set a date to walk through. Will I get this email though? Will someone REALLY email me to set up a date to do this? I feel the X-10 camera system is probably a pretty good one only because of all of it's users. and this forum. If I decide to keep this, you all, I am sure will be hearing from me from time to time for Q&A.
slabstick
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slabstick

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2009, 11:00:53 AM »

I think i did make mention about my metal siding. Is this going to be a problem with motion sensors? Hawk1 posted  "And if you have metal siding you can almost give up on any kind of RF with motion sensors being outside".

These things concern me. I need to decide whether or not to keep. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks     slabstick
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hawk1

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2009, 11:08:29 AM »

Not only will you probably have problems with your motion sensors but with wireless cameras too.  IMHO you would probably be better off to purchace a wired system with cameras that have the motion sensor built in.  Having metal siding and trying to get the wireless RF to work is going to be a chore, not impossible but a chore.

There are several things you could try but would void your warranty. (like mods to the antennas of both the cameras and motion sensors) The way you talk, you would probably be better off with the above type of configuration.     ;)
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dave w

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2009, 12:13:27 PM »

Not only will you probably have problems with your motion sensors but with wireless cameras too.  IMHO you would probably be better off to purchace a wired system with cameras that have the motion sensor built in.  Having metal siding and trying to get the wireless RF to work is going to be a chore, not impossible but a chore.
$0.02 here.
Slapstick, We did not know about the steel siding until your last post. Although we want to help, I think hawk1's advice about wired cameras is the only way to go. X10 cameras rely on RF transmission for the image, pan & tilt control, triggering by motion. All depend on RF getting though outside walls to your computer. Steel siding (really, steel? not aluminum? not that aluminum would make it any easier) will present a huge headache. Also by going to a wired system you eliminate the problem of getting 120V to the X10 camera power supplies.
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slabstick

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2009, 01:02:46 PM »

thanks for your input guys. Do any of you have any suggestions on a "Brand" of camera around the same price range? I've been all over the Internet and see many but, which one?    Thanks       slabstick
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HA Dave

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2009, 01:36:52 PM »

...Another question is that i know you need to power each camera. In my house I think this will mean drilling holes through my outside walls to gain access to the outlets.

At one time... there was a truly wireless (solar powered) camera for sale. I haven't seen that lately. But with the "solar powered wireless camera" exception... all cameras require wire. Feeding and fishing wire through attics and crawl spaces... even for the wireless cameras can be part of the installation process.

There are little "tricks" that can make things easier. Windows/glass offers almost no resistance to RF. Placing the camera near a window not only allows for easy RF transmissions... it can eliminate the need to drill holes for wires.   

If i can get motion sensor to work and take picture of intruder and send me an email of the picture , I'll be happy

I just created such a setup using Knightriders doorbell cam macro idea (a motion sensor would work as well). Press the doorbell... I get your picture in an email. I am thinking of adding the same feature to the backyard gate. I also record video.

But... I would be VERY saddened by an email of an intruder. I hope my efforts never serve to catch anyone. I hope to merely deter any bad doers any from my home. The cameras and alarm stickers IMHO help to keep me and mine safe... and to deter any neighborhood kid with problems... from making a awful mistake.

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ITguy

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2009, 04:22:34 PM »

Hi Slapstick,

I'm voting "send it back"!  In addition to your installation issues, I don't think you will be very happy with the video quality of the X10 cameras.  Even the "low-light" versions need a lot of light to produce a good picture.  So now you're talking adding floodlights, etc.

I think Videonut had the right idea when he suggested you check into Blue Iris (http://www.blueirissoftware.com).  That single piece of software will meet all your wishes for recording, remote viewing, sending you an email or text-message when triggered, etc.  It even includes variable-sensitivity motion-detection as a software function, triggering email, etc. if it "sees" motion. It's available in a free trial version, so you can check it out before you buy.  If you couple this with a couple of good IR (infrared) wired cameras (something like this http://www.surveillance-video.com/sb-420hi.html), and a multi-camera video card for your PC, you'd have all you need.

Moving slightly higher in price, if you already have a home ethernet network, you could use I.P. (network) cameras.  This avoids the need for for the multi-camera video card in the PC, since the video just travels over the network to get to your PC.  This is by far the most flexible choice.  If you have a Wi-Fi network, you could even use the wireless I.P. cameras, though you'd have to find a camera with a detachable antenna so you could extend it through that metal siding and get it inside the house.

This doesn't have to cost you a fortune, either.  Example:

Blue Iris Software - full version - $49.95
I.R. cameras - $70 each (maybe cheaper if you shop around)
4-camera video-capture card - $75 or so

So if you can run some cable, you'll probably spend less than the X10 stuff would cost you!

By the way, I use Blue Iris with my four X10 RF cameras - because I've had the cameras so long I can't send them back.  It works much better than the video portion of Active Home Pro!

Best of luck with your project.  Don't give up!

ITguy
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HA Dave

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Re: X-10 Quad System
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2009, 05:30:30 PM »

..... Even the "low-light" versions need a lot of light to produce a good picture.  So now you're talking adding floodlights, etc.

One of the great things about the X10 cameras is they almost force the user to have plenty of outside lighting. Thieves tend to avoid well lighted areas... even more so than possible video monitoring. If Slapstick was worried about a break-in... I'd recommend lights, lights... and then a few more LIGHTS. Hiring them installed is likely less than the cost of the deductable... when an intruder kicks a door in.

However.... as I read back through the posts... Slapstick didn't mention any concerns for safety or security... just a desire to collect an image of the intruder. I thought that was odd when I read it... but to each their own [I know many people know their intruders]. So maybe a more covert camera setup is really what Slapstick would desire. Maybe indoor camera monitoring would be... more convenient to setup... and still get the desired results.
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