How to Use the Site Survey Form

Had one of the property managers, that we do most of their buildings for, give us a call. They manage this small private office facility here and they wanted a quote for a perimeter camera system. So, it's a perfect application for us to talk about how to fill out the site survey without the customer being here, so we can talk a little more openly about things.

So, it's a small building. It's the green building here. It's attached to another facility, and we'll just start to walk the perimeter. Now, the first thing they did mention was that the parking area was pretty important to them, and they wanted to see who was pulling into the driveway there. Now, when I look at it, since this is their concerned area and that's their target point, the best location is the inside corner. So, as far as design goes, I'm going to use the inside corner to locate a camera right here.

Now, the field of view will be this area here. Now, we want to cover as much as we can in this area, but the target point is right out there by the entry point because we want to get plates and identify people. So, the question is, at that camera location, if we walk out here, this is the target location of where we would like to grab plates and identify people. So, if I'm standing here looking at where the camera location is, I can guesstimate what the distance would be.

But the easy way is to take out your laser distance finder that you get when you finish the Backstreet course, and we turn it on. And all we have to do is push the button once, and that ranges a little red dot where the laser's hitting. And if I hit it again, it beeps and it tells me my feet. And so, from here, we've got 66.5 feet. So, that means since it's past the 60-foot range, we're going to want to use a zoom lens.

So, we're going to use a 2.8 to 12-millimeter zoom lens for this particular camera, so that we can zoom it in so we've got the detail we need to get plates at this location. We won't zoom it in too much, but just enough so that we're capturing plates right here. Now, the key to it is once you mount the camera, since it has a zoom lens, you just park a car right here. And you're just sitting in front of the video recorder. You just adjust the field of view in or out.

So, now, that I've got my first camera figured out, with my binder I've got here, I start with a site survey form. And what we do, is we fill out the customer's information here. I'll do that in a minute. It's a commercial building. Want to check that out. It's a perimeter system. Their main concern is crime in the perimeter. The first camera is the parking entrance. It's outdoors. The target distance is 66 feet. We don't need audio. I'm going to use a vandal dome because it would look nice. And the camera's so low, you want to protect the camera. You can see that the soffit is only about eight feet up.

So, we're going to use a vandal dome. It's dark, so I want to use a black camera. I'm reading plates, so I want to use a 4K camera. The cable length to the video recorder, in this building, at most, is 50 feet long. So, anywhere, wherever the video recorder's located inside, it's going to be 50 feet maximum. And it looks like I'm going to need a back box to mount that camera because there's no soffit or area to fish the cables through. That's everything that I need to know about this particular camera.

Next camera location is right here. Now, there are no windows or anything along here, but they've been having a lot of problems with vandalism, of people tagging, and those kinds of things. So, they really want to see what's going along on this side of the facility. And it'll probably carry good deterrent value because if we put a vandal dome right here, it's going to be looking right here. If anyone's looking for a camera, they're going to clearly see that it's covering this area here.

So, we'll call this the west side, and we just want it to cover as much ground as we can. It's only 40 feet to the sidewalk down there. So, it's outdoors. The target distance is a maximum of 40 feet. We don't need audio. Again, we're going to go with a vandal dome. It needs to be black. We're going to use 4K. Again, inside, we're not sure where the video recorder's going, but that can't be more than 50 feet from the camera location to the video recorder. So, I'm going to estimate it at a maximum of 50 feet. And we're going to need a back box because we're mounting it onto stucco and there's no place to hide the connection. So, yes, we need a back box for this location. That's it right there.

Now, at the same time I'm doing this, if you printed out the map on Google Earth, you can just go around. Now, this isn't the map of this facility, but you can just go to camera one or camera two here pointing in this direction. Camera one's here pointing in this direction. So, it's nice if you grab from Google Maps, grab an overhead view so that you can mark on the map the same locations on your site survey where the cameras are. With that, you have no question about design. When you're back in your office, you'll have all the information you need. If you need help from your support rep, you'll be able to transmit this information to them and they can do the design for you.

Okay, let's move on to the front. Now, we're at the front area. We've got the main entry door here. It's a busy street, but again, we can take a vandal dome. Mount it right up here. We're going to get the entry door. We're going to have a facial ID on the entry door. It's only 30 feet down to the edge of the building down there. So, I know I can use a wide-angle lens that's going to open up like this. I could use my laser range finder, but I already know it's under 60 feet, so I know I need a wide-angle lens.

So, we're going to say front entry. It's outdoors. The target distance is really about 20 to 30 feet. We don't need audio. We're going to use a vandal dome again. It's going to be black like the others. We're going to use 4K. The cable length to the video recorder, again, can't be more than 50 feet, and we need a back box. So, there it is. That is the information that I need to go back and design a system for this facility. That's what the site survey form is for. It just helps you remember to collect all the information you need.

Now, down at the bottom, I've already spoken with a property manager. And the number of days of storage, they want two weeks. And the video recorder, they said is going into an electrical room. That's in the back somewhere. And again, since the building's only at the most 50 feet long, I'm just going to estimate 150 feet in the cable. And whoever the video recorder is inside, it's not going to matter because it's all going to be within 50 feet. So, we're okay there.

So, this form right here takes care of everything that I need. Now, there's a point where you've done this enough, you don't really need the form. The best is the drawing. Bring the drawing with you. Mark the locations of the cameras. Make some personal notes yourself. You have the same information as the site survey, but use the site survey until it's completely redundant, and you know to collect all that information every single time.

That way, you won't forget anything. You won't have to call the client back and go, "Hey, by the way, how many days of storage do you want? Hey, by the way, do you want white or black cameras?" Things like that. It's all right here in the form. So, use the site survey form until you're an expert.

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