Wireless CCTV…”Can You See Me Now?”
Filed under: CCTV Articles, General Technology, IP Cameras, Networking, Security Camera
In this day of technology we are searching for the next best thing that will allow us to be more efficient, more prepared and less connected physically to the restraints of a wired world. Our businesses and homes have their wireless networks. We are able to get connected from the local coffee shop or when we are on vacation at the beach. It is so convenient to be connected via this wonderful wireless technology.
Wireless is a wonderful technology in our suburban homes and offices, but it is not the most efficient and cost effective solution for a surveillance solution…especially in rural America.
Before I get too deep into this subject please understand that your basic use of wireless CCTV cameras in your home or office, working on your wireless network does work and is used in many homes. The use of a wireless bridge to connect two buildings together works effectively as long as the equipment is deployed correctly to include proper distances, line-of-site transmission and reception, operating in a wireless frequency (2.4 GHz or 5.8 GHz) that is not being interfered with by all the other wireless devices that may work and probably do work in the same frequency as your wireless CCTV solution works.
When planning your wireless CCTV solution there are so many considerations that must be made and a budget must also be prepared. There are limitations placed on this solution…not because it is CCTV, but because this solution must adhere to the technological limitations as your current network.
With that said…so many people want to deploy a wireless solution in a rural setting. This is going to be even more challenging than deploying in your home or office. You see, just because you get good reception on your cell phone out in the middle of your pasture does not automatically mean that a wireless CCTV solution will work as effectively or at all. I’ve had many people wanting to position a CCTV camera out in a field to monitor livestock or catch thieves making off with equipment. Unless they have a distance of less than 1.5 miles (some case up to 4 miles and more money) they are in for a surprise. These wireless bridges most of the time require line-of-site for the transceiver and receiver to be effective. When you deploy your system you probably don’t realize that the trees that are on the fence line will one day grow and obscure the line-of-site. The area you are covering is 20 feet lower than the receiver at the house. Therefore you need to raise the camera in order to get the line-of-site requirement handled. Power is also required to run the camera and the network equipment. There needs to be a self contained unit or small out building to hold the switch (remember the office network) to connect the cameras or video server.
So you say you are going to use a solar solution instead of running power to the site. That is great, but you need to service it because the birds are going to love it. And the batteries will need to be maintained. For those who think that they can install a wireless NIC card and gain access to the same wireless network your phone uses and have everything go to the cloud…again in a perfect world this would work. But reality says you still need to physically maintain the equipment. You are still going to have loss because of the wireless network. The life expectancy of this type of technology is limited and the updates you will be required to perform will be very cumbersome. Some people say they are going to use their trail camera with its wireless NIC card. I say…BUY BATTERIES because you will be changing them frequently.
For those of you who have barns or sheds that fall well within the distance limitations stated above and who have a power source…I say let’s do it. This is the perfect world I mentioned.
Being able to monitor your livestock or equipment is very important…I know because I live on a farm. But in order to effectively do so you will need to invest in a solution that takes the positioning of the cameras and elements into consideration. You will need the proper infrastructure in place and you must be willing to spend the money to make it work. Off-the-shelf wireless or the cloud is not the answer and neither is a trail cam.
Until the technology addresses the above more efficiently and effectively hard wiring the cameras is still going to be the most effective way to deploy a CCTV surveillance solution…be it in the city or out in a rural setting.