Why I Like Redundant Views/Multiple Cam Views

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driver said to the temp worker... "hey, do this one right... this place has cameras everywhere
Yeah, he does look back towards my house then, doesn't he. I know the driver as she has delivered to our house a lot. Many times I have been outside when she dropped things off. I give her a cold bottle of water during the summer when I see her. Actually if I am able to talk to a delivery person I always ask if they would like a cold Ozarka bottle of water. Keep several in the refrigerator.
 

nbstl68

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Nice write-up and camera setups.

I only have 2 views, one is a relatively far overview of my drive and front door but the other one is actually at ground level, a 3.6mm bullet cam pointing UP at the door. Cap, hoodie, I always get a good face shot. No one seems to notice it...kind of looks like a landscape light, I may paint it. At night the IRs always attract a glance directly at it when walking away.
I may have to raise it a bit though...the only weakness was once during a heavy rain it was flooded...but luckily it did not damage the camera.


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kolbasz

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For the cameras in the upstairs windows, how did you go about mounting them? Are those rooms or dormers as I am sure that changes the strategy/techniques
 
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For the cameras in the upstairs windows, how did you go about mounting them? Are those rooms or dormers as I am sure that changes the strategy/techniques
They are rooms. I mounted the cam on a 1x that I ripped to the proper width. Then I use plastic bookshelf pegs to hold up the plank. I hung black fabric from the plank down the full length of the window, which minimizes any reflections from the room on the glass. The wooden blinds are running down behind the black cloth all the way to the window sill.

The first photo shows how it looks when fully painted and the cabling is hidden. The second one needs to be painted and the cabling mounted through the plank.

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kolbasz

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I need to see if I have any similar option, thats not bad if the blinds can still close properly. I have similar wooden blinds.
 
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I need to see if I have any similar option, thats not bad if the blinds can still close properly. I have similar wooden blinds.
So here are shots from the inside. Two windows do not have curtains and one does. For the one with curtains, I have moved one side over so that you can see how they lay. I have yet to properly place the cables and need to change out the green one for a white one.

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kolbasz

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So here are shots from the inside. Two windows do not have curtains and one does. For the one with curtains, I have moved one side over so that you can see how they lay. I have yet to properly place the cables and need to change out the green one for a white one.

View attachment 83574View attachment 83575View attachment 83576
Excellent stuff, thank you. Any reason to be in the window like this and not in the eve with the wires in the attic? Or is that not accessible? Just looking to learn and get ideas from design decisions.
 
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Excellent stuff, thank you. Any reason to be in the window like this and not in the eve with the wires in the attic?
Yes, placing outside in the soffit would be better. But for two of the three views I would have to have crawled into quite tight, blown insulated, low angled roof areas. I am 66 and while I have done a lot of attic work for these cams, I was not willing to do that. Maybe if I was 10-20 years younger. Plus getting up on a ladder that high off the ground was not going to happen either. The third one, the driveway wide angle view, has no attic access and I was not going to cut holes in the sheetrock. These solutions were fine for me.
 

kolbasz

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Yes, placing outside in the soffit would be better. But for two of the three views I would have to have crawled into quite tight, blown insulated, low angled roof areas. I am 66 and while I have done a lot of attic work for these cams, I was not willing to do that. Maybe if I was 10-20 years younger. Plus getting up on a ladder that high off the ground was not going to happen either. The third one, the driveway wide angle view, has no attic access and I was not going to cut holes in the sheetrock. These solutions were fine for me.
makes good sense.
 

Cj500

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Do you have any photos showing roughly how far away the plates are for the LPRs?

A lot of newbies ask for help with their camera setups and most think that they can get by with a single cam to cover quite a bit of area. While that is possible if all you are interested in is a wide-angle overview, it usually will not give you a great chance of getting a face shot good enough for police to act upon. There are numerous threads here where people have an incident but their cams did not capture good enough footage to give to the police to get an arrest. They then ask what they should have done to get a better shot. Usually the answer is more cams, closer FOV, and more light.

So I thought about this issue from my own point of view that I really like having multiple cams covering a specific place/view. You can call them redundant, wasteful, or unnecessary, but I like that they give me several chances of getting a good face shot. Most everyone here will talk about the virtues of having two cams in crossing view for the driveway, and some even three. A few days ago, I had a delivery from UPS and the person did not come up my walkway to the front door, which would be the traditional way for a delivery person. This got me to thinking about how my cams captured the whole process and how having many views of the same area worked out for me. I also thought ‘What if this had been a perp instead of a delivery? What if it was a porch pirate or burglar? Could I get all of the information needed?’ So I thought I would write about this delivery from the point of view that the guy did not come in from the expected path and what could my cams tell me.

Planning and testing placement and views are critical in getting usable footage. I currently have 21 Dahua cameras spread out over 11 models covering my home, inside and out. Each camera was chosen for its fit to the requirements that I defined for that particular view. All of these cams were purchased from Andy at EMPIRETECH (@EMPIRETECANDY ) . They are connected to Blue Iris and are recording 24/7.

I live on a corner of a ‘T’ intersection in a subdivision north of Houston Texas. My front door faces more or less southeast, which brings with it whole sorts of lighting issues that change as the day goes by, with the seasons, and the weather. There are also trees in the front yard. There are a few street lights near my house and I have good lighting on the porch and at the garage.

View attachment 76227

I have cams at the front door, the driveway, a couple pointed across the porch, one pointed at the intersection and two LPR cams. I also have 3 high mounted cams (one fixed lens and two PTZ) in second story windows for overview cams.

Analysis of the ‘non-traditional’ delivery access.

Here is a video of the front door right cam. He rounds the corner from the right (driveway) side, drops package and turns around and walks down to the street and turns right. He did actually ring the bell and stated “UPS”.


It’s been a cloudy day and raining off and on, so the face shot from this particular cam was not great.
View attachment 76228

The stills from the cams on the left side of the door are a little bit better, but are still not great, the lighting being what it is that day. If he had come up the walkway, he would have been better illuminated prior to getting to the porch.
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A profile shot caught by the cam at the west end of the porch is better illuminated.
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The two driveway cams are really no help as he kept his head turned towards the street.
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But the cam facing back at the front door and the driveway gave a shot that was perfect.
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And the west facing LPR cam also had a good shot of him at the road.
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Here is the combined video of him going to the door and back to the truck.

So from these videos and stills we can work up a description. Male about 5’5” (based on his height relative to the bricks as he rounds the corner to the door) rather husky build, with a short bushy beard and mustache but thin on the sideburns with a hair bun and color of hair black. Medium complexion. Wearing a brown UPS ball cap (UPS on back), brown UPS Seasonal Helper vest with yellow and silver reflective markings, untucked blue short sleeve shirt with three buttons on the front but no collar. Black gloves with writing on the top. Loose fitting blue jeans. Tan tie shoes with black rubber over-the-toes coating. Black digital watch with a white band that has three rows of cut-out circles on the band. Note that you would not get this description from any one single view point.

So IF this was a perp, you would like to know where he came from, where he went, and info on any vehicle that he used. The overview cams provide that info here, including plate captures. See the video below.

Cams Used:

My cams at the front door are all behind glass. Three Dahua mini-wedge cams HDBW4231FP-AS which are 2MP on 1/2.8” Starivs sensors with 3.6mm fixed lens. IR is turned off since they are behind glass. Two are mounted at 5.5 feet on either side of the door and one is mounted at 1.5 feet on the east side of the door pointed up. These give me good views of the door area and the approach up the walkway from the street. They also give some views of the street for continuity.
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To get pics of people leaving the door area I have one T5442TM-AS mounted on the back of the post just east of the walkway at 5.5 feet. It is a 4MP turret on a 1/1.8” sensor and the view gets the door and down the porch to the west towards the driveway and garage.
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Another cross porch view is provided by a T2231T-ZS-S2 mounted on the west far end of the porch and looks back at the corner. This is a 2MP varifocal (2.7-13.5mm) turret on a 1/2.8” sensor. It is set at about 9mm.
View attachment 76239

To cover the intersection and provide information on the make, model, color, etc of vehicles that pass through the intersection supplementing the LPR cams, I have a B5442E-Z4E mounted on the east end of the porch. This is a 4MP varifocal bullet (8-32mm) on a 1/1.8” sensor set at 26mm.
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The two LPR cams are HFW5241E-Z12E 2MP varifocal (5-60mm) bullets on 1/2.8” sensors. The east facing cam is set to 52mm and the west facing cam is set to 45mm. They are contained in a box placed in the garden behind a tree.
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There are two SD12203T-GN dome cams in windows on the second floor. These are 2MP PTZ cams on 1/2.8” sensors with 2.7-8.1mm optical zoom lens. IR is tuned off. One is over the driveway and the other looks over the intersection.
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To cover the driveway there is a T5442TM-AS in 6mm which is a 4MP turret on a 1/1.8” sensor and a HDW5431R-ZE varifocal (2.7-13.5mm) turret 4MP on a 1/2.8” sensor that is set at about 7.5mm.
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Having multiple cams covering one area gives you more chances of getting a usable face shot. Having coverage around the area allows you to get other information besides the face information.

I hope you got something out of this post and do not consider it a waste of your time. I am sure that others would not entirely agree with me on the choice of cams, placement and number. The choices that I made were done over time as I gained more experience. My original plan is nothing like what this has evolved into. It has developed into a hobby, or as some say, an obsession.

Any constructive comments are welcome.
 

wittaj

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Here is a representative sample of plates I get at night of vehicles traveling about 45MPH.

This is 175 feet from my camera at about a 50 degree horizontal and vertical angle (30 feet higher than the road) with the 5241-Z12E:


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Do you have any photos showing roughly how far away the plates are for the LPRs?
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You may be interested in the case study thread:

 

bethzur

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Interesting. I'm considering putting a camera in my dormer. I may do that after seeing this.
 
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