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JoWhee

Home surveillance cameras.

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TL;DR any suggestions for a home camera setup?

 

So with the whole lockdown and people losing their minds, someone has been knocking on doors randomly in my hood, egging houses cars etc. I know it's mostly kids/teens and harmless but annoying. 

I'm thinking about getting a 4-6 camera setup, I was looking at the lorax brand in costco, it's got 6 cameras, and a 1TB HD for storage. I didn't get it because it gets bad reviews. 

I'd prefer local storage rather than cloud, because I'm a cheap fuck and I don't want to pay a subscription. A doorbell camera wouldn't work for me due to placement. I've got 120V at one corner of the house to catch the driveway and the side door, 120V in the garage for duh the garage. I'd have to get up into the attic to wire a camera up for the front door, not a big deal. Wireless transmitting would be best for me. Probably 4k cameras as opposed to 1080.  

My budget is around $500 ($350 USD). 

I haven't made up my mind about anything yet, just looking for opinions on brand, technology, etc...  

And because I'm a little obsessive, here's a drawing the orange box is my router, and where I'd put the camera NVR/hub the green camera would be in the garage the others would be outside, under a soffit.

image.png.86148bd7bd2dbd50f1d3253691a5b68e.png

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My neighbor has 2 of the ring brand camera's that work amazingly well and have proved out to be worthwhile. Twice the local police have utilized video from his camera's to help solve a crime. They are fully customizable as far as alarms, voice over, night vision, and notifications but do utilize the cloud for most storage. Cheap annual cost.
I am looking to add a pair on my house as soon as the $500 budget allows.

I have no prior experience with security cameras so take my opinion with a grain of salt. They are rated well.

Here is the one that I am looking at 
https://shop.ring.com/products/floodlight-cam?variant=56549562891

 

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I went with the $20 Wyze cameras.  They have SD card memory (not required) and save things on the cloud.  Events in your motion detection range will save for 2 weeks I think, plenty long enough for you to know if something happened.  I go through them daily and have them set up very sensitive so it picks up birds, rain drops, even wasps that fly by.  I put one in the laundry room window that covers the front yard and driveway entrance and one in the back yard on the gate side that covers the shop and vehicles.  No monthly fee, I just use the free service with the app.  They pick up audio or motion but I have the audio off since they are in the house.  Supposedly you can buy housings to mount them outside but I just don't know that I trust that with the amount of rainfall and humidity we have down here.  I caught Tinkerbell/ghost/flying spaghetti monster/creature from the black lagoon/insert whatever you think it is here.  This was early AM so the reality is the sun rising through the double panes of glass caused it and also kinda washes out the image some.  Hope it loads...

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I would avoid the major brands like Netgear, Ring, Nest, and the like.  Overpriced, and geared around milking you for their extra services.  Wyze is fucking cheap, with cheap and free cloud storage options, plus the ability to store on a local card.  So you can buy a $20 Wyze camera, $8 SD card, and you're recording.  Done.  The cameras take 5v USB power and come with a 120v to USB adapter, so you have options.  There is no central storage server, which is both good and bad, depending on specific circumstances.  I think it's fine for what you want.

 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, SwampNut said:

So you can buy a $20 Wyze camera, $8 SD card, and you're recording.  Done.

Is it truly that simple?  No configuring stuff, no need to plug it into a hard drive or internet or anything?  How much video time will the card hold and does it automatically over-write if it fills up?  Will it be easy to extract the video/audio from the card to see it on my computer?

Edited by superhawk996

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Is the Wyze camera available for outdoor use mounted under an eve?
Not finding anything about outdoor use.

Also need direct wired, not interested in replacing or recharging batteries.

 

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I just looked I to the wyze, is 1080 good enough resolution? 
John, it looks like you can use them outdoors with the outdoor mount, it looks like it’s a shell that shields the unit from the elements. 

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Yea, I saw that outdoor option. Also their site says they are currently working on a dedicated outdoor model.
I am still researching, not liking the 12 second recording time after motion is detected  followed by a 5 minute cool down. 
Still looking and learning trying to avoid a $250 model that I like but can not justify the cost for right now.

 

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4 hours ago, John01XX said:

12 second recording time after motion is detected  followed by a 5 minute cool down. 

So it just stops for 5 minutes each time it records?!?  I think that would be a deal breaker for me.

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Posted (edited)

I put in Reolink system from Amazon. Love it! It came with a 8 Channel Network Video Recorder with a 2TB drive. It's a PoE system so the cameras are powered through the network cables. I ran CAT 6 to 6 cameras that look at every door, my workshop and my driveway. The cameras are 5MP Super HD 2560x1920. I can view them through the NVR, my desktop computer or my phone. All local storage, no cloud, no monthly fees.

 

The NVR with four cameras was on sale for $349 and I bought two more at about $49 each. I think the regular price for the NVR with 4 cameras was about $399. Spent another $100 or so on the CAT 6 cable (I put my own RJ45 connectors on). It actually comes with the network cables but they are only about 50 ft long and some of my runs were closer to 100-120 feet.

 

Here's a shot of the night vision mode I just took. Except for the landscape lights out front it is pitch dark here right now. In the daytime the color and clarity is very good to excellent.

 

I think they have a 4K system now and they also have quite a few different cameras to choose from.

 

Edit: Added a daytime shot and a digital zoom of my mailbox from the driveway cam.

 

 

Reolink.JPG

Reolink Day.JPG

Reolink Zoom.JPG

Edited by Biometrix
Added photos

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12 hours ago, superhawk996 said:

Is it truly that simple?  No configuring stuff, no need to plug it into a hard drive or internet or anything?  How much video time will the card hold and does it automatically over-write if it fills up?  Will it be easy to extract the video/audio from the card to see it on my computer?

 

Almost that simple.  Load the Wyze app on your phone, fire up the camera.  Press the setup buttons.  When the voice says "scan code" point the camera at the QR code on the phone screen.  It will ask for your wifi password, then connect the camera to wifi.  Then you can use the Wyze app to view the camera.  You do need to go into the app and tell it to record to the card.  From then on it just sits there doing it.

 

I hacked mine to run open-source software, and to connect to my NVR.  That was actually super easy too.  So I don't record locally and can't tell you an exact amount you can record locally, but it will be somewhere upwards of 20-30 hours of recordings.

 

12 hours ago, John01XX said:

Is the Wyze camera available for outdoor use mounted under an eve?
Not finding anything about outdoor use.

Also need direct wired, not interested in replacing or recharging batteries.

 

 

I've had two mounted on the back patio for several years.  Eaves could be less coverage.  There are some case options that do make them weather tight, and they are cheap.  I have a couple, but haven't used them yet.  I think it was like $10 for two.

7 hours ago, superhawk996 said:

So it just stops for 5 minutes each time it records?!?  I think that would be a deal breaker for me.

 

There is local recording, and cloud recording of short clips.  Local recording is as long as you need.  Cloud is 7 seconds on a free account, and longer on a paid account.

 

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My son has been using the Harbor Freight security system for some years now.  He likes it.

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I considered the HF one way back and was talked out of it by people who know better.  "you can put together something much better for less $".  Problem is knowing what to ged and how to put them together.  People who know this stuff will say similar about Ring and all the other commercially available stuff, but even those in the know have troubles with their 'custom' systems and the people I know with Ring and other similar stuff seem to have no issues.  One of my friends is a contractor specializing in wiring/installing computer and camera shit, his system has been dead for months, but I haven't asked why.

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WTF!  Ok, let me come up with a rational explanation of how these systems work, that will make sense for everyone, and that I can type in two paragraphs.  I'll do that later today.

 

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+1 on the h.f. systems.  i have the wired one with 6 cameras.  i installed the wireless one at my dad's place.  pretty easy to setup and use, although i haven't yet connected either to the web, i'm ok with just local storage.  with the 6 cameras on motion only recording, i can store about a month.

 

resolution could be better, 1080p isn't always enough to read plates.

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Alright, let's see if I can help with some sense here.  Cameras need a power source, and a connection to transmit video, unless they will only record locally.  The connection was a coax cable with the older camera systems (analog video) and is now ethernet or wifi for new digital (IP) cameras.  You can have an Network Video Recorder (NVR) recording your IP cameras, or your analog cameras if it has analog inputs.  Those are pretty outdated though.  The NVR can be just software (I run it on my desktop), a physical box with NVR software, or internet ("cloud") based.

 

Wired IP cameras can be fed with Power over Ethernet (PoE), or with local power.  Wireless cameras obviously must have local power.  PoE power comes from a network switch, which you need anyway to connect wired IP cameras.  Not all switches support PoE, so you have to buy one that does.  Cameras come in a wide variety of resolutions and aspect ratios.  They also have a wide variety of lenses so you need to consider that.  I love a wide lens with wide aspect ratio for the stairs over my one massive room as it covers something like 130 degrees across, but I don't need as much vertical.  It's a 5k camera so you can do virtual zoom if needed, and have enough resolution.  But at the front door I need good vertical coverage to see the whole space and a whole human.  Both are wide-ish angle.  For the front hallway, I don't need much for wide angle or even high resolution.

 

A lot of the "systems" that you see are just a PoE switch, cameras, and the NVR software loaded on a little box.  All stuff you *could* do yourself, but if you're not already technically proficient you probably don't want to.  If you have any use for a NAS, then you can get something like a Synology and it comes with NVR built in.  So you can store your own files there, and also have it be the NVR.  No tech knowledge needed.

 

The Wyze camera are super cheap and limited, but most people seem to be happy with them.

 

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The Wyze battery powered outdoor cameras are shipping now.  Since wifi is too battery-heavy, they use a proprietary gateway, which can support multiple cameras.  Prices are still cheap.  The supplied rechargeable batteries will need to be recharged every 3-6 months.

 

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I bought 3 of their regular cameras, 2 are all setup, the other requires me to get into the attic to wire up power, and I’m not doing that until it’s under 100 degrees in there. 02DEC31C-6BE1-4BFA-B04E-825EA0DCDC42.thumb.png.0471a3b4f546158ba309ba50943003b7.png3C5D607E-801A-4A3E-8886-1B8F4DE7974C.thumb.png.c45a04e003c766b56337f47fe0f7b041.png 

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Interesting thread, my brother just picked up some hunting land about an hour from my house and I am thinking about getting internet trail cams pick up what Bambi is doing, and also to see if we can catch people doing nefarious acts on his property.

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21 hours ago, XXitanium said:

also to see if we can catch people doing nefarious acts on his property.

 

Any nefarious acts must be posted here by the full weight of Swampy law.

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1 hour ago, blackhawkxx said:

 

Any nefarious acts must be posted here by the full weight of Swampy law.

I thought the law was S.S.S.

Shoot

Shovel

Shut-up

I guess we need to add another S

Suppress the camera footage. 

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1 hour ago, JoWhee said:

I thought the law was S.S.S.

Shoot

Shovel

Shut-up

I guess we need to add another S

Suppress the camera footage. 

...at least no film of burning their house dowwn.

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