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Installing CCTV - DIY Guide
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Old 29-01-2020, 15:47   #1
Halcyon
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Installing CCTV - DIY Guide

Having recently fitted my own CCTV cameras round my house, I thought I would do a quick write up for others who are thinking about doing the same thing.
Note that I am not a professional installer and have learnt as I went along.
Hopefully this is useful to others.


Hal.




_____________________________






I thought I would share my journey to installing CCTV on a house for anyone who is thinking of doing it yourself.

These days the best cameras are IP CCTV cameras with POE (Power over Ethernet).
These cameras are wired using Ethernet cable.
By using power over ethernet (POE) you can power the cameras and have the video going down the same cable.
This makes installation a lot easier as you only have one cable to deal with and dont need power sockets nearby.





NOTE: You will need to have access to a long ladder and be confident with power tools such as an SDS drill.



There are many camera manufacturers but they are often very similar.
Today I will be using Hikvision products.

Just like choosing a camera for photography, CCTV cameras have different amounts of Megapixels. The more megapixels, the more detail in the picture.

You should however not always go for the most megapixel camera as it will depend on what it will be used for and where you place your camera.

If considering Hikvision cameras I would make sure you get DarkFighter cameras which perform very well in low light.


So how does it all work?

Your cameras will be positioned around your house. Ethernet Cable will go from these cameras into the Network Video Recorder. (NVR).
The cameras will also get their power from the NVR.
The NVR has a Hard Drive inside it and this is where all your cameras record to.
You can buy NVR's with as many ports as you need for the number of cameras you have.
For a typical average house, a standard 4 port NVR will allow 4 cameras to be connected.
So a likely setup could be: 1 camera at the front, one at the back, one on the side gate, and maybe one at the door.



NOTE: The more cameras you have, the more storage you will need.
You will have to play around with the settings but obviously this can have an impact to how much footage you have stored before the NVR overwrites it.
You can buy NVR's with hard drives built in, or buy your own.

I recommend WD Purple hard drives. These are intended for 24/7 use and have good ratings.



The NVR is the brains of the whole setup and where you will setup and manage your cameras.
Just like a computer, your NVR is connected to your router via an Ethernet cable and you can login to the NVR from your web browser, mobile phone, or anywhere in the world.




So what do you need to buy?

- IP Cameras
- Network Video Recorder (NVR)
- Ethernet Cable
- Junction boxes

I would recommend CAT6 Ethernet cable. Although you can use Cat5E, use CAT6 to set you up for the future and it is better shielded too.


What cameras do I get?

The first thing you want to do is take a look at your house from the outside.
What is it that you want the cameras to see?

Always try to position cameras on the opposite side of where you want to record. So if your car is on the right hand side of your house driveway, position the camera on the left hand side looking accross to the right.

You should also consider that mounting cameras too high can result in only seeing the top of heads.
To help you work it out you can get an idea by positioning a phone camera in the direction you want to record to give you some idea of positioning.

Cameras come with different focal lengths so it is important that you pick the right ones for the area you want to point them at.

If for example, you want to see someone at a front door, then a 2.8mm camera will work well. The small focal length will capture a large area right in front of the door, ensuring you get the person in the shot.

Note: The smaller the focal length, the wider the area you will see.
The bigger the focal range, the more narrow the viewing angle will be. So you will see more detail but in less space.


In most cases a 2.8 or 4mm focal length will suit most areas such as a driveway, patio area, or small garden.

If you want to reach the bottom of a long garden then you will want to look at higher focal lengths.


What type of camera should you get?

Dome cameras are small and discreet with turret (small flat faced dome) cameras being
the most popular option. They can be mounted vertically or horizontally.
Other cameras include mini bullet cameras which are slightly larger and resemble the
classic CCTV camera design.
They all have their own advantages although the turret dome camera is one of the most
widely used at the moment.


For your Network Video Recorder, something like this will do nicely:
DS-7604NI-K1-4P Hikvision 4 Channel 4K NVR with 4 PoE ports


Make sure it has enough ports for the amount of cameras you intend to install.




INSTALLATION AND SETUP

By now you should have thought about what you want to see and how many cameras you will need.

You also need to think about where you will place the Network Video Recorder (NVR) and how you will get cables to it.
Remember that you will need to be able to connect the NVR to your Internet router too so one ethernet cable will go from the NVR to your router.

Having a cabled route straight from the router to the NVR is the best strategy.
Going through homeplugs or wifi ethernet extenders is not recommended.

I thoroughly recommend setting everything up beforehand in your home before you go installing your equipment on your house. You don’t want to install it if you have a dead camera.

Test it all out beforehand and you will have an easier time later on.
This also lets you setup the NVR, set the required settings, etc before its tucked away somewhere and all is cabled and screwed to the wall.




NOTE: Don’t throw the product boxes away. You will probably find they contain the serial numbers needed to activate the cameras.



In this example I am going to be placing the NVR in the loft where there is an ethernet cable going down to the router downstairs.
If you have any moisture or you know your loft gets very hot, then do not pick this location.
You ideally want a central location where all the cameras can be wired back to the NVR.


NOTE: Do make sure you purchase Ethernet cable intended for outdoor use.

NOTE: You should avoid bending Ethernet cable as much as possible and try not to have any 90 degree bends in the cable.


SECURITY NOTE:
Unless you have good cable management you may as well not have CCTV.
The amount of cables I see dangling down the side of a house or going down the wall right down to ground level without any sort of protection amazes me! Anyone could just snip those wires and boom, your CCTV is disabled.

For any wiring that goes down to ground level I would definitely put it in conduit.


Anywhere that it is unreachable (I'm talking atleast the height of a grown adult and someone standing on their shoulders) then it is harder to tamper with and cable attached straight on the wall should not be an issue.



SECURITY NOTE: It is worth noting at this point that everyone knows CCTV products require electricity. If there is no electricity, it won’t work, so unless you have a backup generator, take two seconds to make sure no one can access your electricity meter and disable your cameras.


FITTING THE CAMERAS.

NOTE: Fitting cameras will involve the use of ladders (working at height) and power tools so you should be confident with these before attempting any work.

Think about where you are positioning your cameras. Are they in direct sunlight which could cause glare? Is there a big security light nearby that would produce a “white out” image?

Are there any obstructions that get in the way such as trees?
Can anyone reach the cameras?




You should have worked out how you will be getting your Ethernet cables from the camera to the NVR so the first step is to get the holes drilled to pass the cables through.

NOTE: Make sure you have checked the wall for electrical cables and avoid placing Ethernet cables alongside electrical cables.

To drill through house walls to the outside you will need a drill and large drill bit.
If passing Ethernet cable with the RJ45 connector on it, your hole needs to be atleast 20mm.
You will most likely need to use an SDS drill. These drills make drilling through walls a lot easier. If you have never used one before, do practice first as they are a lot more powerful than normal drills.

Once you have your wires in the right places, mark out where you will place your cameras.

Some people like to pass their cables through the wall or soffit and secure the camera straight to the wall or soffit. This works well where you are attaching straight to the underside of the house.
If you are installing the camera to the wall or any rough surface then I would recommend a junction box.
The advantage of a junction box is that there is somewhere to hide the wires and it provides a water tight seal.

You then have just the one Ethernet cable coming out the junction box and off to the NVR.

NOTE: You should have a drip loop (where cable comes down before going up) to avoid any moisture dripping into the camera or junction box.


NOTE: If you are trying to get a cable through to the loft, it is worth using rods or a bent out coat hanger to help feed the cables through and then another coat hanger to help you to fish the cable out the other end. It is useful to have two people at this point, one to pass the cable through and the other in the loft to pull it inside.

One your connections are made, power everything up and see if you can access the NVR.
As long as you are connected to the same network as the NVR, you should be able to browse to it via it’s IP address.

I will not go into to the configuration details of the NVR as each setup will be different. There are plenty of guides for each particular manufacturer’s products available online.

SECURITY NOTE: Make sure you set a secure password on your NVR.






If anyone wants to add anything else, feel free.










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