Digital Electronics Computers & Video Security

A forum for recording my findings and discussion of matters related to electronics, computers, security and other technical subjects.

My Photo
Location: Queensland, Australia

Automation and Integration Architect

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Upgrading the Home CCTV security

Well it's been a fair while since I posted on this blog as so much has been happening, but I thought it was time I did a short update.

At the start of the year we installed a 6kW solar system and that has been the topic of a fair few of my recent blog postings

As per my earlier posts on home security...;
... my el-cheapo system has been serving us well , apart from having to replace a  2TB hard drive which apparently 'wore out' from constant access.

As a quick recap, we have a central PC system which acts as the security server.
This has 2x 4port TE104 capture cards using the CONEXANT 878a chips
To these cards we have connected 5 hard-wired CCD cameras


These are all managed by the original version of the Pico2000 software

We also purchased our first PTZ IP camera

but sadly the Pico2000 software doesn't understand the concept of an IP camera so I've been using the supplied WANSCAN software separate from the Pico system but this is quite tedious and their recording compression isn't great so I've been on the lookout for a "budget" replacement for the Pico software and think I may have found it.
It looks like the

Argus DVR software

will provide management of hard-wired composite, IP and USB as well as control of PTZ cameras all for a fairly "reasonable" price of US$118 for 8 cameras, so as soon as I've saved my pennies, I plan on giving this a whirl.
Of course I'll also need at-least one PTZ controller interface as well 

but I'll post about that once I have it all bought and working

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Home Theater - Digital Content Streaming Using DLNA

Some time ago we bought a SONY® Blu-Ray® player

Among its many features it has the capability of playing DLNA® media content from any DLNA® server

Being a techo, I've been meaning to bypass the need to have various home-made videos and camera photos copied to USB every time we wanted to display them on the Home Theater's big screen so I eventually thought I'd quickly set up a DLNA® server on my home XP® system, which has for many years doubled as the "server" for our household.
I read up on DLNA® and figured I'd just enable Windows Media Player® to act as my DLNA® media server ... because it looked like the simplest and most straight forward option.


I won't bore with everything I tried, but suffice to say I wasted far too much time trying everything short of doing on-the-wire protocol analysis to see what was wrong.
Under XP® SP3 with Nortons Internet Security Suite™, I could NOT make the SONY® "see" the Media Server.

So I tried VLC®.
I had more success here, as I could get other devices in the house to "see" the http stream from the serving VLC®, but again, the SONY® wouldn't have a bar of it!

Eventually I decided to give the freeware version of Serviio® a go.
All I can say is that I wish I'd gone that route at the start!
Twenty minutes to download, instal, configure media sources and test and the SONY® immediately saw the server and all the published video and image streams and "just worked"  

Labels: , , , , , ,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

COMPLETELY Free Interenet TV on your PC

I thought I was going to sell this product until I discovered it's creator copyrighted it as Freeware

Give it a go.  I looks OK


Monday, January 25, 2010

xbox 360 repair quide

Found an excellent XBOX repair guide


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Premises Security (part 12) Summary

«Previous Post

Premises Security (part 12) Summary

So the sensors are chosen, the cameras are installed. The recording system has been chosen. Power has been assured for an acceptable length of time.
Let's do a final summary:

Part 1 discussed the different types of security systems.
Part 2 explained the differences between Local and Monitored alarms and Perimeter vs. State-change detection along with a look at some different video security surveillance cameras.
Part 3 looked at wireless vs. wired security systems.
Part 4 looked at setting up a video security installation.
Part 5 covered remote monitoring of the video installation and security risks associated with that. It also considered using Motion Detection.
Part 6 Began an overview of NON-video surveillance devices.
It covered;
The “closed loop”, Micro/Magnetic Reed/Thermatic & Pressure Mat switches
Part 7 Continued the overview of NON-video surveillance devices.
It covered detection of environment change rather than physical switch operation
It considered;
Pulsed Infra-red beams, Passive Infra-red (PIR) movement detectors, Proximity detection
Part 8 Completed the overview of NON-video surveillance devices.
We considered that security is more than just Intruder Detection so then looked at Temperature and Light/Darkness security sensors such as;
Thermal Fuses, Thermistor or semiconductor temperature monitors, LDR or Semiconductor light sensors.
Part 9 Considered the two points raised in Part #1 of this series.
The first point was the trade-off of cost & size vs functionality, risk and aesthetics. That led into the discussion in Parts #2 thru #8, of the various types of security system and the devices used.

The second point was the possibility of having the "best of both" in a small easily installed surveillance system AND
extended power coverage by use of a "UPS" as a power backup.
Parts #10 & #11 talked about battery life, working out run-time calculations and the different types of UPS. It also touched on power quality and preferred brands of UPS.

So that wraps up a very high-level view of premises security using digital video surveillance.
I will gladly discuss any specific questions which this series of articles may have either left untouched or perhaps stimulated.

In my next post, I'll start to look at some of the forgotten aspects of security of computer data, caused by corruption, theft or malicious intrusion by virus or hacking.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Premises Security (part 11) Power Protection and Security

«Previous Post

There are in-fact three major types of UPS.
  • Standby
  • Line Interactive
  • On-line
Standby UPS
While the first variety is by far the cheapest, very rarely these days, do you see standby UPS' on sale.
This is partly because of the way a standby unit works. This type of UPS does not participate in providing power for the load AT ALL unless the mains supply goes severely over or under voltage or frequency.
At that point the load is "cut-over" from the mains supply to power supplied by the UPS from it's batteries.

In today's high speed digital electronics world, equipment doesn't take kindly to severe over or under voltage conditions. Add to that the power spikes and short (millisecond) power loss which occurs at UPS cut-over, and you have a recipe for disaster !
In the digital electronic security world this also equates to lots of false alarms and damaged equipment.

Line Interactive UPS
Bring on the Line Interactive design.
The power for the load constantly passes through a transformer which is also constantly electronically adjusted so that the output voltage never gets excessively high nor low and if the frequency starts to deviate or the voltage is outside of what can be controlled by the transformer, the UPS starts supplying its own power to the load via that same transformer so there is no actual break in supply.

These are the lower priced of the two UPS types you will typically see available today, and are often about 52c per VA (so a 1000VA will cost approximately $520)

The more expensive of the two will most likely be an on-line or "full conversion" UPS.

On-Line UPS
On-line UPS' are sometimes referred to as "full conversion" UPS'

The reason for these names is that the UPS is always 'on-line'.
The 'load' (equipment) protected by the UPS is always supplied by power generated by the UPS' electronic "inverter" circuitry thus it is "fully converted."

The way these UPS' work is that the utility power runs what is essentially a high powered battery charger circuit to keep the UPS batteries charged at all times.
The inverter in the UPS gets it's power from the batteries and from that generates a constant, smooth, noise-free source of mains electricity.

This is similar to the way "switch-mode" power supplies in sensitive electronic equipment operate to protect data and video signals from becoming corrupted.

So, back to the topic.
Our rough calculations showed we would probably want about 900W and the nearest common-value UPS will probably be a 1000VA (1kVA)

From here on it's really a matter of preference of supplier, UPS features, and how much you want to spend, as to which make and model you choose.
Next Post »

Labels: , , , , , ,

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Premises Security (part 10) Power Protection and Security

«Previous Post

An Example CalculationFollowing on from my last entry, let's work through an example of estimating your UPS size..

* Your security panel is a wireless model.
* It does not support the addition of external batteries.
* It has an internal backup battery which is stated to support the system for 2 hours.

Note; unless otherwise advised, the battery spec is always based on new batteries.

Battery LifeAll rechargeable batteries loose their ability to support load as they age, regardless of whether they are kept "fully charged" or not.
Depending on the type* of battery, this decline will start to become apparent any time from about 2~3 years onward and accelerates each year thereafter.

For example, a Sealed Lead Acid (SLA) battery will be nearing end-of-life after about 4~6 years

* Your panel has an external power-pack which has a rated output of 12V 1.5A.
Volts x Amps = Watts so 12x1.5=18W

Now it is entirely unlikely that your system will actually draw this much power, but if you can't find the rating visible anywhere on the system and don't have a manual which lists those specs, then run with the above as a rough estimation.

Decide Your "Run-time"Now let's say you want to be assured that your system will operate for a full 24hrs without electricity.

Again using VERY rough calculations, 18W x24hrs = 432W required.
Build in a value for Power Factor of 0.04 and you'll need approx 450W.

Remember too that the batteries will start to loose their capacity after the first couple of years so build in some redundancy there too.
My rule-of-thumb is either double or at-least half as much again as your calculated requirements.

Given that we're talking about a very small UPS in this example, let's double our requirements so 450W x2 or 900W.

Now it's shopping time.

Preferred UPS Brands
Although there are many brands of UPS on the market, my experience of selling, installing, servicing and refurbishing power security devices such as these, has led me to favor three brands.
Powerware, APC, Emmerson.

Although you could now break-out the search-engine and do some research, searching for "UPS" can be somewhat frustrating, as that sequence of letters is used by a lot of NON-electronics related companies. (Eg. United Postal Service)
Probably the easier way to start your research is to select from some of the ads you'll find in this blog

Common RatingsAs you do your research, you'll find that UPS' come in "common ratings"
Typically these are;
100;150;300;500;1000;1500;1750~1800;2000~2200,3000;5000VA and upward.

Two Price Scales
You might also notice that there are two different price ranges for roughly the same VA ratings. For example one 2200VA may be $1600 yet another 2000VA may be $2500! Why?
Because there are different types of UPS.

Next Post »

Labels: , , , , ,