Greenbelt Camera and IR Lighting Project

SAVideoman

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I have a greenbelt area behind my house that I wanted to get "eyes" on. I decided to install 2 Dahua starlight cameras on my privacy fence, one on each end, as well as 6 IR lights along the fence to light things up. It is pitch black at night so I wanted to have pretty good power to get wide and even coverage. I selected lights with about a 30 degree angle so that they would have deep penetration into the greenbelt. I mounted them under a small wooden slat to give them a little bit of weather protection as well as make them a little less conspicuous.

I mounted the cameras behind a hole in the fence plank to make them mush less obvious. I also painted the face of the cameras black. The cameras are mounted towards each other so that I can see two angles of my fence as well as anyone approaching. The IR's on the cameras are turned off so that I don't get much insect false alerts.

I ran Ethernet and electrical cable through PVC conduit attached to the fence railing. I installed junction boxes at each post along the fence to get access to the cables and wiring. I ran a third Ethernet cable all the way through for a spare just in case I screwed one up or just in case I decide to add a PTZ in the future. The labor to get those cables installed in the first place was just so high it was pretty easy to justify pulling an extra cable through along with the others.

This diagram shows the layout of the cameras and lights along the fence. Note the cameras at each end of the fence. This lines by the lights indicate the direction of the IR beam.
upload_2018-12-19_22-1-17.png

Here's a video of some teenagers walking past.

In this video you can see deer in the distant left approaching the cameras.

Here's a daytime view (a few months ago).

Some installation pics:
upload_2018-12-19_22-5-33.png

Junction box:
I ran 120v to the junction boxes and then attached waterproof 12v power supplies underneath to give power to each light. The boxes are positioned behind the fence posts so they can't be accessed from the greenbelt side.
upload_2018-12-19_22-7-49.png

Camera install:
upload_2018-12-19_22-12-28.png

Final camera install:
upload_2018-12-19_22-15-7.png


For the lights I picked this one that has a narrow beam for maximum penetration distance. There are other variations of this light that have diffused lens covers that throw a wider beam but not as far. Here is the link that I purchased from. Only $11 USD: US $10.89 44% OFF|AZISHN CCTV LEDS IR illuminator infrared lamp 6pcs Array Led IR Outdoor Waterproof Night Vision CCTV Fill Light for CCTV Camera-in CCTV Accessories from Security & Protection on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

upload_2018-12-19_22-20-19.png

The waterproof 12v power supplies: US $4.24 15% OFF|12V 2A 2000ma 100 240V AC/DC Power Supply Outdoor Waterproof EU/US Plug Power Adapter Charger for CCTV Camera LED strip light-in CCTV Accessories from Security & Protection on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

I've been running half of this setup for the last year with very good results. I just finished installing the 2nd camera and the rest of the lights for a total of 6. However there is one additional small light installed next to one of the cameras to use as a fill light. It does help fill in the lighting a bit but I haven't decided yet whether I'll do the same for the other camera. Since the camera IR is turned off I don't have hardly any false alerts from insects. Most of my problems now are deer. Please let me know if anyone has figured out how to get BlueIris to distinguish between humans and deer.
 
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SAVideoman

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Very nice!
I hope those 12VDC supplies continue to hold up OK.
Thanks Tony. I'm using one power supply for each light and they are rated at 2 amps which should be plenty for these lights and they are weatherproof. I've been using 3 of them for the past year with no problems so I think they'll be ok. And they're pretty cheap to replace if not.
 

SAVideoman

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Real good setup.
I would mount the power supplies and the camera connectors inside a gasket seal box. Having any connects out in the open is asking for failures. Seal all the wire going into the cameras and lights with silicone
seeTeletubbies Lunchbox Remediation Project
Thanks SouthernYankee. I was able to seal all the camera connectors within sealed junction boxes and they are powered by PoE so they don't require a separate power supply. See the finished photo below. I showed the junction box pics with the gasket lid off to be able to show the wiring inside.

Originally my plan was to put the lighting power supplies within the junction boxes but I was unable to find a box with large enough dimensions as well as being thin enough to fit between the fence posts and the pickets that cover them up. And I didn't want the junction boxes to be able to be accessed from the greenbelt side. So I decided to make a compromise and fit outdoor rated power supplies directly underneath the junction boxes to minimize direct exposure to the elements. These particular power supplies are a single piece of plastic on the top side with the wires coming in from underneath so it would be real difficult for rain to get inside. We've had a LOT of rain here this last year with no failures so my confidence is pretty high.

Below is a pic of one the junction boxes with it's gasket sealed cover attached. There are a couple of fence pickets attached over the box to cover it up after I take this picture. There is one junction box at each fence post.

upload_2018-12-20_11-32-7.png

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area651

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holy cow what a build! That's something to strive for! I can only hope that all mine turned out that good. Man....I got a lot to learn. :)
 

Mike

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WOW!! This is awesome, thanks for sharing. Really cool to see how you did everything, very well done. Which IR blasters did you use? How do faces look at night? Any wash at all?
 

tangent

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120VAC and Ethernet really shouldn't share the same conduit.
You could pump 12ish VDC out using romex, but you'd want to add fuses to the individual connections. You'd also need to do some voltage drop calculations.
 

SAVideoman

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WOW!! This is awesome, thanks for sharing. Really cool to see how you did everything, very well done. Which IR blasters did you use? How do faces look at night? Any wash at all?
Thanks Mike. I don't get a chance to see faces too often at night but just last night a couple of kids walked by close to the lights and they did look washed out. However when they were further away they looked ok.


Here's the link for the $11 lights I used. These in particular do NOT have the diffused lens so they project light further: US $10.89 44% OFF|AZISHN CCTV LEDS IR illuminator infrared lamp 6pcs Array Led IR Outdoor Waterproof Night Vision CCTV Fill Light for CCTV Camera-in CCTV Accessories from Security & Protection on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

The waterproof 12v power supplies $4.24: US $4.24 15% OFF|12V 2A 2000ma 100 240V AC/DC Power Supply Outdoor Waterproof EU/US Plug Power Adapter Charger for CCTV Camera LED strip light-in CCTV Accessories from Security & Protection on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group
 
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SAVideoman

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120VAC and Ethernet really shouldn't share the same conduit.
You could pump 12ish VDC out using romex, but you'd want to add fuses to the individual connections. You'd also need to do some voltage drop calculations.
Hey tangent, why is there a problem with 120VAC sharing the conduit? I am using romex inside the conduit.

My original plan for this project was to use 12VDC all the way until I did voltage drop calculations. It's been a year since I did those calculations so I don't recall the exact figures but there would have been a significant voltage drop all the way out to my back fence even with very thick wire. So I changed my plan to use 120VAC with a smaller guage.
 

tangent

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Hey tangent, why is there a problem with 120VAC sharing the conduit? I am using romex inside the conduit.

My original plan for this project was to use 12VDC all the way until I did voltage drop calculations. It's been a year since I did those calculations so I don't recall the exact figures but there would have been a significant voltage drop all the way out to my back fence even with very thick wire. So I changed my plan to use 120VAC with a smaller guage.
There are code requirements regarding separation between 120V+ and lower voltage wiring like Ethernet. They aren't supposed to share a conduit and are supposed to be kept some distance from each other (I don't remember, minimum may be 1 inch).

To make it a bit safer, make sure the power that feeds those illuminators is GFCI protected.
 
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mat200

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Hey tangent, why is there a problem with 120VAC sharing the conduit? I am using romex inside the conduit.

My original plan for this project was to use 12VDC all the way until I did voltage drop calculations. It's been a year since I did those calculations so I don't recall the exact figures but there would have been a significant voltage drop all the way out to my back fence even with very thick wire. So I changed my plan to use 120VAC with a smaller guage.
@SAVideoman

yes - sharing a conduit -

1) issue if a potential fault could put AC current on the low voltage.
2) Potential inductive current and EMI issues on the low voltage cable ( cat5e/6 )
 

SAVideoman

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Thanks tangent and mat200. In my research I didn't see that sharing a conduit wasn't code kosher. In fact originally I was just going to staple the romex and cat6 to the fence rails until I found out how cheap PVC conduit is. My main concern was preventing squirrels from getting at the wiring. Oh well, future project: convert 120VAC to 12VDC power for greenbelt wiring.
 
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