Adventures In Wireless Video

Nov. 1, 2010
Tips on bidding and selecting components for a wireless video project with networked indoor and outdoor CCTV cameras and recorders. The project also included refitting the front doors with new exit devices, a door bell and a remote release system.

This month we will highlight a major wireless video project with the hope that by sharing this experience, it will help locksmiths gain perspective on the many markets and opportunities out there for them, if they are wishing to grow their businesses and learn new technologies.

We spend a fair amount of time bidding jobs and through this experience, we have managed to gain additional business. Whether we bid a project or not depends on the following critical issues.

Are we qualified to perform the project? If it is electronic, security or lock related, our answer is yes. If line voltage work is involved, we know we will either sub it out or tell the client to get an electrician.

Does the scope of work justify the investment in time participating in the bid will involve? This is especially true if the job is outside your normal service area. Also consider the expense you will have to absorb during the warranty period. Smart customers will sometimes recognize that allowing vendors out of their area to bid a project will invite warranty problems. They may disqualify you if they realize your distance and response time for service will not meet their requirements.

Can you afford to do the job? Besides having to commit time to calculating costs and designing the system and compiling the bid package, you still have to consider the unintended consequences if you win. You will lose the services of the employees required to do the job, installers and management, and their vehicles. You will possibly need to acquire additional insurance or licenses. Maybe you will have to send men to obtain factory certifications. And perhaps most importantly, you may have to push your credit limits beyond your comfort zone in order to buy the materials, and then may have to wait to get paid. It’s called taking a risk. It is the essence of capitalism, and is usually required for a business to grow. But it also has caused many companies to fail when the unexpected occurred.

This project included an exhaustive spec, identifying part numbers for every element of the system. But it also had those magic words “Or Equal.”

Sometimes end-users will get a specification and use it to solicit bids. Often the system is designed around proprietary brands, based on obsolete technology and/or the system design is flawed.

End-users are at a disadvantage in that they are likely to be first-time buyers of the type of system they are putting out to bid, but the bidders do it for a living. The end-user doesn’t know who to trust.

Being an established company with a roster of satisfied customers helps in this regard.

Due to a schedule conflict, I missed the first walk-through. Actually we weren’t sure we wanted to participate in the bid. But during an initial phone call to the client, I asked if they had a preferred electrical contractor. They did, so I called next and got them to agree to possibly partner and attending the walk-through.

I realized that an electrician would be needed, and some form of articulating boom would be required to set a lot of the equipment. I also knew it would be helpful to have a partner who was known to the client, and we might require assistance with warranty service.

The project was a two-plus hour drive from our shop. But for a mid $30K project, it was on the playing field.

I scheduled a site visit with the electrical contractor in order to get clarification of some of the details that the electrician failed to obtain during the initial walk-through.

Sometimes end-users are very sensitive about how pre-bids are conducted, wanting to be sure all bidders have the same information upon which to base their bid. They want to preserve the impression that they are fair and square. This client happened to be fair and square.

I wanted to get on site so I could let the customer know that I was an expert, and that our company would be able to do all of the work - the video, the electrical, and the lock work completely, perfectly and competitively priced.

The project included refitting the front doors with new exit devices, a door bell and a remote release system.

The video system involved six cameras: two interior cameras in the main building, two exterior pole cameras in the main building parking lot, and two exterior pole cameras at a remote storage yard located a short distance up the road from their main building. The spec called for IP cameras with wireless infrastructure for all exterior cameras.

We asked one of our prime vendors to analyze the spec and supply us with a component list and design. Their participation was essential, and they came through.

We came in as one of the low bidders, and after an extensive series of emails and sales engineering, we ultimately won and as I already told you, completed the project.

Following is a listing of the products installed.

Von Duprin E996L Lever Trim

Von Duprin E996L Lever Trim contains the unique patented breakaway lever design and combines it with an electrified lock/unlock function.

This type of product allows applications such as premises entry control where the electronic access control system or receptionist button permits momentary or extended unlocking of the trim.

For high-rise stairwells the E996L trim enables electrical control of the exit device lever trim on the stair well side of the opening. The innovative design allows for stairwell security during normal operational times, yet provides the option of connection to the central fire alarm system, which can simultaneously unlock all trims when the fire alarm is triggered. This action eliminates potential life-threatening situations during fire emergencies.

Von Duprin 9827/9927

The 9827/9927 surface mounted vertical rod device for all types of single or double doors is UL listed for Panic Exit Hardware. Devices are ANSI A156.3 – 2001 Grade 1 compliant. Covers stock hollow metal doors with 86 or 161 cutouts.

The 9827 device has a smooth mechanism case and the 9927 device has a grooved case.

The surface vertical rod device is non-handed except when the following device options are used: SD (Special Dogging), or SS (Signal Switch).

Keedex Door Loops

When electric /electronic hardware is installed on a door, a means to carry the circuits from the door to the fixed frame is required. For this project, we needed to carry the unlock voltage from the power supply over to the E996L lever trim. We used a Keedex door loop.

Keedex has a wide assortment of door loops, and also supplies parts so the installer can create door loops for custom installations. Options include diameter and material of the flex conduit, as well as color and size of the connector base.

STI-32500 Wireless Chime

The STI-32500 musical wireless doorbell chime is easy to install, with no electrical wiring and no expensive through-the-wall drilling. Installation is as easy as mounting the button on the exterior of the door and plugging the receiver unit into any indoor electrical outlet in range.

To extend coverage to more rooms, just purchase additional receiver units that can be plugged into any room within 250 feet of the transmitter.

BEA Transmitters & Receivers

BEA 433MHz Series Transmitters and Receivers are ideal for the wireless activation of electrically locked doors.

The Transmitters are available in hand-held or pushplate styles and they transmit a unique rolling code each time the transmitter is activated (thus providing a secure door opening signal).

The transmitter is powered by either a 3-volt or a standard 9-volt battery and illuminates a Red LED when activated.

Digital ID View Cameras

With a general purpose 3.3-12mm lens, the Digital ID View IV-FD141VK outdoor fixed dome network camera was easy to deploy and provided articulate outdoor images. With an IP66 rating, it was heavy duty throughout and kept our ladder time mercifully brief.

The Digital ID View IV-FD161VK network dome camera has a slightly wider angle lens, and a LED which indicates when the camera senses motion.

Both have IR illuminators, and can be powered over PoE (Power over Ethernet) which is how we configured our cameras.

Except for aiming and focusing, all other settings are performed through the NVR using software which is accessed from the desktop. The menus are rather straightforward, and tech support is always available if you need it.

Digital ID View’s scalable NVR solution is built to order and designed to provide extended reliable professional video surveillance. The system may be ordered in a variety of configurations (tower, rackmount) with whatever complement of hard drives you require.

The NVR, Model IV-4/16/24/32VK-NVR, can also be configured for hybrid operation, hosting both analog as well as IP cameras.

Middle Atlantic Wall Mount Rack

The Middle Atlantic Redesigned Sectional Wall Mount Rack with Enhanced Cable Management for Larger Systems is sturdy, attractive, easy to install and cost effective for making a home for video surveillance head-end equipment. When we realized that the room designated for our equipment was not air-conditioned, we installed Middle Atlantic’s fan kit to provide forced air ventilation. We also added a ventilated shelf to the enclosure.

The locked cover prevents unauthorized access to the equipment within.

Wireless Bridge Link

The Digital ID View IV-RD7184-1 long range outdoor wireless video link operates in the 2.4 and 5.8 GHz frequency bands. It provides high bandwidth up to 54Mbps and features high transmitted output power as well as superior sensitivity. It provides user-friendly interface including user friendly distance control ranges from 300 feet to up to 4 miles and RSSI LED indicator offering real time signal status.

A separate PoE injector is used to provide power to the wireless radios.

The wireless bridge enforces transmission security with full support of latest encryption mechanism including 64/128-bit WEP, WPA and WPA2 with 13dBi internal antenna and superior performance.

LuxRiot Software

LuxRiot is a digital video recording and remote surveillance software package for Windows. LuxRiot accepts video streams from all major network (IP) cameras and servers, frame grabbers and any direct show compatible devices including webcams and USB cameras. Along with the LuxRiot client-server architecture, you can build fully scalable solution sizing from a single camera up to thousands of cameras.

LuxRiot was designed to primarily be used to:

1. View live video streams from multiple sources locally and remotely, over the Internet.
2. Record video from multiple sources and play them back later locally or remotely
3. Export previously recorded video to preserve it and to present it as evidence.

LuxRiot offers a principally new concept for DVR solutions – “One Software/Choice of Hardware”. LuxRiot DVR software can be either integrated with supported hardware or acquired from a LuxRiot reseller as a part of a complete digital video recording and remote surveillance solution.

LuxRiot consists of two major components: DVRServer and DVRClient. DVR Server is a behind-the-scene application that captures, processes and records video and then serves it to a local or remote DVR Client software. DVR Client is the application that shows live and recorded video streams from a single DVR Server or multiple DVR Servers. It also allows users to configure and control DVR Server(s).

In order to better suit your customers’ needs and budget, LuxRiot has five editions ranging from Personal to Enterprise and each edition varies in the number of allowed cameras, the number of simultaneous remote DVR Client connections as well as other limitations, or lack thereof. However, all of the LuxRiot editions have the same user-friendly interface and functionality.

LuxRiot DVR Personal Edition is a shareware product, which means you can try it first, and then buy if you like it.