Designing A Residential Security Camera System

Okay. Let's do a walkthrough on a site survey. This is a rental property that the owner rents out on a contractual basis, but she wants to know the perimeter's secure. So she wants a solution on the perimeter, nothing on the interior. So let's take a look and see how we would design a system like this. You'll notice the walkthrough at most only takes 10 minutes. Most of the time, the rest of the walkthrough is building confidence with the customer, asking questions, showing interest in the home, showing interest in what they want, discussing their concerns, those kinds of things. But the actual design, maybe 10 minutes.

So let's get started. Now, the first thing we want to do is find a starting point. And so I usually start at the front of the home, and I usually start from my right side. So this over here is the obvious point for me to consider cameras and the coverage that they'll provide. So let's start over here at this corner. Now, one thing I noticed right off the bat from looking at the front of this home is, I have attic space up here in the garage. You can see the vent. We see the tall gables up here and the gables over here. And you can tell just by looking at the house, there's an attic from one side of the house over to the other. We might have to work through some things, but that's going to make the installation really easy. We're going to be able to wire this entire house right from the attic.

Okay. So the first location that pops out to me as really needing some coverage is right on the corner of the building. This is how we boresight or eyeball a camera. We go stand right below where the camera's going to go, and we hold our arms out at a 90-degree angle. My arms represent the left and the right maximum field of view of the camera. So I can see, if I put a camera right here, I'm going to see right down the garage, and I'm going to be able to see straight out to the street. And so this field of view is what I'm going to get with this camera. The camera's going to cover a lot of ground. The street's only about 35, 40 feet out, so I'm well within the 60-foot mark. So I know that I can use a wide-angle lens on the camera, and I don't have to go with any expensive cameras. If I want to adjust the field of view, I just do this.

What if I aim the camera this way? Well, now I'm going to see over here, I'm going to lose some area over here that's going to create a blind spot that you could walk right up to the side and disable the camera. So I would rotate the camera's field of view around till we eliminate that blind spot. I'm not worried about someone coming up behind me, because we're not done with the design.

The next location we want to consider is the porch area here. The client mentioned that they would want two-way communication to be able to communicate with people that come to the door. That idea replaces the Ring video doorbell. You don't have to mess with your doorbell. You put the camera up here in the corner, and we're going to use this corner here because it's going to cover this area here on the porch, but it's also going to give us a view into the front yard there, which will be at the far end of the field of view of the camera that we just looked at on the garage. So these two cameras will give you an effective view of your front yard area.

One thing I do is I carry a binder with me, and I did a quick design of the house, and you can see it's really technical. But the point is, I understand this design. There's the front door, here's the garage, and the rest of the house. Now, as I walk through and I select camera areas, I just do two things. I mark a location where the camera is, the area it's going to cover, and the maximum distance it needs to see. Same thing with the porch. I put a camera right there. It's going to view this way. I'm going to put a porch right here, so I know I use a porch-cam here, and the distance it's going to see. This helps me when I go back to the office to do the design, in my head, I'm the one that designed this so I understand it. You can also just take pictures of the areas that you're going to, with your phone, and take pictures as you go around the house. It does the same thing, it reminds you of the locations and the distances. But this is a really effective way for me just to collect information quickly so that I can get to the office and do the design.

Now we're on the other end of the home. The other natural place I would look to put a camera is right there. I got two things going on, though. That tree there is going to grow and eventually, it's going to be a problem. But I don't feel I need a camera here, because I've got the garage camera over there covering that area. I've got the porch camera covering this area. The porch camera, me standing right here, is going to see me. There's no real easy way in. There is no window well windows or anything that worries me for security purposes. So I'm going to eliminate this location as a camera, simply because I don't think it's needed.

Now we're on the west side of the home, and this is a good natural spot for another camera, mounting right under the soffit right here, we're going to get the field of view all the way down the home, and then 90 degrees out this way to the street. So we're going to get a lot of use out of this camera right here. The reason I'm doing it, you don't have windows here, but we have window wells. And I don't like window wells, because they give a place for an intruder to jump down. They're protected from normal view. When they break the window, because it's sub-ground, it has a tendency to suppress the sound. So this is definitely an area we want to put a camera. There's a really good chance the HOA is going to be using your camera on a weekly basis to identify cars that are coming up and then down this entry point as well.

Now we're at the back of the home, and real quickly, looking at the back of the home, it's not that big of an area, but it does require three cameras for 100% coverage. First, we've got this window well here, so I have a tendency to want to put a camera on this inside corner right here. So this inside corner is going to cover this area here. So I've got all of this opened up, and I like that because the main drive and the sidewalk that the public can come right over that little hill, and they're right into the backyard. So we want good coverage over here. But this camera here will cover all of this, watch the window well, and watch the back of the camera that's looking down the west side of the home.

Now as we come over here, we have a patio area that we'd like some coverage of. We have two entry points going into the home. So the easy thing to do here is to come up in the corner, place another camera right in the corner, just covering the patio area, the two entry doors, and again the mid of the lawn, and the small hill going out to the street is all covered here.

Now, one more camera for the back, and that's because again, here we have a window well right here. So on the other side, just like we did on the other side, I have a tendency to want to put a camera right at this location right here, with the field of view here. That takes care of the window well, takes care of anyone approaching from this area, and it takes care of anyone coming over this little hill directly down into your backyard. And we don't want them to have access to that without being detected. So this is the last camera for the backyard. All of the target points are under 60 feet, so I know I can use wide-angle cameras on the entire perimeter.

Now we're on the east side of the home, and again, we've got two window wells that are a concern, and this is really a blind spot in between the two homes. So we want to put a camera right on this corner, covering this entire alleyway between the two homes. It'll take care of the window wells here. Now we do have one window very close to the camera, right here. I mean, it could go into the bedroom for all I know. So what we want to do when we mount the camera, it's going to have a wide-angle lens, and that's fine, but what we're going to do is we're going to go into programming and we're going to mask that window out, so it's just a blank on the video. We'll even let the neighbor next door know that the camera cannot see into your windows. We physically made sure that that part is blanked out so that there are no privacy issues.

But by doing that, we've got this part covered, and now we have 100% of this home covered with wide-angle cameras, and cost-effective design. So now all we have to do that we've collected this information, go back to the office, pull up the system designer, type in the address, and start laying the right cameras in, based on our walkthrough here.

Now we're back at the office, and now we can start the design with our design tool. So the first thing you do is go to our website, Backstreet Surveillance, and you go to how to, and under design tools, you'll see DIY system designer. So we go to that. This takes you to this tool. Click get started, and we're going to do a new design. The first thing we do is we can import an image, but today we're just going to type in an address and have Google Maps pull up the image on Google Maps. It's much easier and it's a quick way to get things done.

Okay. Now we've got the overhead view of the property pulled up. This is the residence right here that we're doing the design for. And we're going to use the ProVue system on this design. It's a good residential system, and it's the best value for dollars spent. So we're going to start with a Pro90D, that's a 4K camera, and I'm going to put this on this front corner here as we discussed earlier. And I'm just going to indicate the field of view that the camera's going to provide. We know it's 90 degrees because it's a 3.6 millimeter, and we know that its effective range is up to 60 feet. Now we know that past 60 feet it's going to see just fine, but I'm just going to show the field of view in the areas where we know for sure we're going to get a facial ID. That's that area there.

Now we want to add a porch camera for the porch area. So we type it in over here, and we get it here. Now I'm going to change the color on this camera so that the fields of view don't overlap with the red and cause confusion. And I'm going to swing it around, and I'm going to flip the image, and I'm going to turn the image a little bit, and we're going to take that porch camera, and I'm going to put it right up under here under the porch. Now that camera's going to see right down the porch area. It's going to see the entire porch, and then it's going to come out to the edge, and then provide this field of view out in the yard, with the rest of the field of view. The house is blocking, there's a little jet right here that blocks this field of view, but the rest of this is accurate. So there's your porch camera, put it right underneath the porch. Let's move this down here.

Now the rest of the house, we're going around the back, the distances are pretty small. I'm going to use a 3K camera to save some money for the customer. So we type in 3K here, and we will go ahead and use... Let's see. Let's use a [inaudible 00:11:49] Pro6 DVW, and I'm going to change the color of that camera so that it doesn't mess with the other fields of view either. We talked about putting one camera right there. Now, this field of view for this camera is going to reach up to this area here, and it's going to shoot right down the west side of the residence, covering this area right here. Okay. That'll take care of that guy. Yes, we're asking it to go a long-range, but the camera will do just fine in 3K, and we'll have facial ID at 60 feet, no problem.

Now the next location is around the back, and the back is fairly vulnerable because of the main street that comes through, and anyone from the sidewalk can come right over the hill, right into their backyard, which is pretty private, and you can't be seen from the road. So we're going to go ahead and continue to use these 3K cameras. We're going to put one on the inside corner right here, and we're going to rotate that image, and we're going to make it a different color. And we know that it opens up at a 90-degree field of view, so it's going to cover this area, and it's going to come out this way. And the 60-foot pattern's going to view something to that effect right there.

Now we're going to continue on with the 3K camera, we're going to put another one right here, covering this area here. And if you'll recall, there's a window well right here. So that's a concern for us. So we're going to cover that area with that guy right there. And the field of view, 60 feet, should show something like that. And let's go ahead and turn that into a green as well. Okay. Now, the problem is we've got a porch area right here. Not a porch, but a deck area or a patio. And so we do want that covered. That is up under the eave, so that camera's going to be up under the overhang there, and it's going to cover this area, and it's going to reach out into the field of view that's kind of missing from the other two cameras. So it's going to see something similar to this area here.

I would try and do this with two cameras instead of three, but I just can't see it because of the way the backyard is designed, and the backyard is the most vulnerable with this system. So we're going to go ahead and change that. And so now we've got 100% coverage in the back. We have facial IDs all the way around here where anyone would move. The only blind spot left is on the east side of the home, the right side of the home. And again, we're going to use another 3K camera there. We're going to mount that bad boy right there. Its job is to cover down this area here, and it opens up at a 90-degree angle, and we know that it just comes straight down to this area, so we can just move these things over here. And that is an accurate field of view for that camera.

Now let's look at our design. If you walk up the front or anyone messes with the vehicles, you've got a 4K camera here to see what's going on. If someone's moving up or down the street, you're going to get the vehicles and the plates likely. Right about this point here is where you'll get the plates of the angle of this camera. When people walk up to the porch, you've got the porch camera that identifies them and sends you an alert to your phone, and you have two-way communication with them here. The porch camera's also going to reach out into the yard area and provide additional coverage for this area here. As you come around the house, we've got this camera in the back corner here covering all of this area here, and we have two window wells there of concern, and that's why we want that camera.

Now we put this camera on the inside corner looking out because first, we want to watch this camera's back. We don't want someone to be able to come up this way, disable this camera, and then go into the window wells. So having this camera here, you can't approach this camera and disable it, because this will document you. This opens up at a 90-degree angle. It covers this area here. So anyone coming in from the street over the hill is going to be identified, and it protects this window well here. As you come around the corner, there are a couple of pillars here and here that create blind spots. So this camera here is really just for the patio area, covers your grill, the two entry points into the home, and up the hill, and covers this area here so you don't have a blind spot.

Right next to that, we have a camera looking east. Again, we have a window well right here, the camera opens up at 90 degrees. We've got a 60-foot pattern out into here. In this small area here, again, we used a wide-angle lens. Its effective area is 60 feet, so we're more than comfortable identifying people that come in here. This camera will document anyone coming up from this angle and trying to disable this camera. And the focus will just be this sliver of the area in between the two homes. The neighbor has a window right here. When that camera's installed, that window will be blanked out so that the camera cannot see into the window, and we keep the neighbor's privacy, and everyone's happy.

So there you have 100% coverage of a residential design. Total of one, two, three, four, five, six, and seven cameras. I feel I might have been able to do it with six cameras, but this back area here is important not to have any dead spots, because you can come in straight from the street, and people can't see you once you come over this small hill. That is 100% coverage for this residence.

Now we're ready to move on and do the quote portion based on this design. So now we simply save the design, we can type in the address, the customer name, the equipment list, and let's just do the test, and let's do the test, and you can select the sales rep that's doing this design, and then you can save it. That packages everything, saves it, and now you have a PDF of this design with the cameras, the locations, and the fields of view. This is the visual that the customer's going to use to understand why and how we put cameras in certain locations. It's your visual to explain to them your recommendations. And then on top of that, you'll have your line item quote, which we'll move on to next.

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