Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
By Bill McCarthy
Lambing time is just 5 weeks away and my hard wired CCTV cameras and their wiring are getting a bit clapped out after about 15 years use.
I’m looking to replace them with a single Pan, Tilt, Zoom one. I am not particular about a motion record system or anything fancy. Night vision is not essential as the lights are left on for the period. A wireless unit would be handy if I could connect it to a “Windows” laptop and control it from there (WI-fi ?)I am perhaps the least ‘punter savvy, but son could do the tech stuff.
Shed dimensions 140ft long, 30ft wide and 20ft high.

I am always wary of wireless stuff (line of sight) but I find that the building steel portals seem to wreck the signal.
However, I hear that this Wi-fi magic is the way to go.
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I'd stay clear of wifi cameras. I've had a few indoor ones (sprogwatch), I've never been impressed.

A dumb analog CCTV is simply a camera. A wifi camera is a dumb camera with a computer attached to do the the camera part + compression + wifi + other fancy stuff (like motion detection, recording, interface, manage PTZ etc). Like most computers, they get stuck from time to time.

That's making things complicated enough - adding Wifi....

You'll be asking yourself "is it the the wifi or the camera that's stuck" - and if you've got the camera up high somewhere, could be annoying.

My kitchen has metal panelling under the floor keeping it falling into the basement. My wifi router is 25ft straight line, but I struggle to get a decent signal in the kitchen.

You can certainly get a good PTZ camera for a few hundred quid, but stick to a wired connection back to your wifi router in the house (how far is that?) where possible, then you can watch the shed from iPad or whatever.

If not too far, and the shed is on the same electrical "loop" as the shed, you could get lucky and use some sort of "powerline" connection.

My advice would be shielded ethernet cabling from the house to the shed. From memory, a basic home router and decent cabling can easily do 200ft.

I'm making a lot of assumptions here obviously :)
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By stevelup
You pretty much never want shielded ethernet cables as no consumer gear has shielded connectors so all you will end up with is the shield floating around picking up all sorts of carp.

Standard unshielded Cat5e is good for 100M (330feet)

Bill, I'd recommend you look at Hikvision cameras. Something like this should be about £150 and you can power it with one of these

If you do want to go wireless, use this to link the shed back to the house.

I can pretty much guarantee that will work for you.
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By plus7g
I have several of these Bill. ... ess+camera

They havnt " frozen " on me yet - wireless - but they daisy chain to extend your wifi signal as you go... so one in your yard ( but reasonably close to your router) , for example, should boost the signal to the surrounding sheds/buildings.,
edited to add; you then can view as many as you like on smart phone ~( possibly android - dont know) or ipad by using the app
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re Ethernet - I did say making a lot of assumptions...I have shielded cat6 throughout my place attached to a rather inexpensive commercial router that also delivers PoE

If them building to building wireless things, like that Ubiquiti, are legal in the UK now, certainly worth a look.

Mate of mine used to run rural “broadband” on Med islands via satellite and devices like that.
Ofcom was a bit stricter.

That camera from Hikvision looks nice. I was a bit worried by the name, thinking banjos etc... :lol:
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By rikur_
+1 for Hikvision (x2, as they're also recommended by one of my syndicate members who installs them professionally for domestic jobs)
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By stevelup
Can confirm the Ubiquiti stuff is completely legal. I’ve got about a dozen pairs of those out in the field. We use them any time it’s not cost effective to run a cable. We also use them in awkward locations like listed buildings.

(Touches wood)

Yet to ever have a single failure. If you buy them from BroadbandBuyer as a ‘kit’ they pre-configure them for you making it plug and play.
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By UpThere
Most cheap network cameras which are accessible from the Internet via a router seem to have little or no defence against hacking, so bear that in mind when you choose where to site them. Online reviews rarely mention this issue. If they haven't got a way to upgrade their firmware in response to bug reports, or you don't realise it's necessary, they are vulnerable. It's also essential that you are able to change their default password.

Looking at the Hikvision website, I can't see any firmware downloads later than the initial release, so I can't tell if they ever provide updates. Ubiquiti do have updates, but without release notes, so don't know what they fix.

Read more about it here.
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By stevelup
You don't expose the Hikvision cameras directly to the internet. Normally they would be behind a NAS or DVR.

They wouldn't be vulnerable in the sense you're suggesting.

I understood Bill's requirement to be one for local monitoring on site.
By Bill McCarthy
Latest - it has been pointed out to me that a neighbour farmer is having nightmare problems with a wireless system that he tries to view on his smart phone - it’s into four figure sums now.
Going back, can I install a PTZ camera, hard wired analogue system without a DVR, but controlling the camera functions via a joystick, and then route directly to a TV. As I say, I don’t require a record facility, motion detection or anything like that.
I have looked at the HikVision but the reviews are horrible - probably written by the competition.
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By stevelup
I don't know what you've read, but the Hikvision stuff is as close to perfect as you can get, and is used by almost all professional installers now.

You didn't give enough information to offer you a full solution. How far is the camera location from your house?

Basically, with the Hikvision camera I suggested in the barn, and either a cable or P2P WiFi link back to your house, you then have two choices.

1) Access the camera directly from either your phone/iPad/computer if you have one

2) Get a Hikvision DVR but don't bother fitting a hard drive to it. You can then just plug it into your TV and use the remote to operate the pan/tilt/zoom

I can't help you with an analogue solution because it's not 1990 any more, sorry :(
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By PaulB
stevelup wrote:I can't help you with an analogue solution because it's not 1990 any more, sorry :(

Sorry this is a good discussion that I’m interested in, but that made me chuckle!
By Bill McCarthy
OK, scrub round what I said about analogue (just shows how much I don’t know about such things) . Existing cameras which are on the way out due to failing iris shuttering are hard wired - they are plugged direct into the back of two small TVs by two 80 metre extension cables. I don’t want anything that is connected to my router (it drops off several times a day and I have been trying to get BT to fix the main line to my house for over three years now but pleas about that and the slow speed - 0.3 Mbps are falling on deaf ears)
Lights are on 24/7 in the lambing shed so not fussy about night vision, no requirement to record, no requirement for motion detection, no requirement to use a smart phone to view what is going on, so does the PTZ camera have to be connected via a DVR ? Excuse my ignorance on such matters. All I need is a camera and a method of controlling it, extension cables and a monitor screen.
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By stevelup
The easiest and cheapest way of controlling a camera is via a DVR. Just because it’s common.

You can get external joystick controllers, but they are pro kit and expensive. Also, you’d then need a HDMI converter of some kind to get a picture on your screen. By the time you’ve bought both of those, you’re way over the cost of an entry level DVR.

There is no need to connect any of this to your network if you don’t want, but it’s worth pointing out that your BT issues have nothing to do with this - the connectivity is on the inside of your network, not outside.

Standby, there may even be some kit you can use that will make use of your existing coax cable to save you running a new one. Will get back to you later.