prison systems
Why Use a CCTV Consultant? - part two

There were seven cameras installed with Make 'A' 8-way telemetry transmitter. However, camera 7 was connected by a long-range microwave link that, at the time, could not transmit reverse telemetry. Therefore, a radio transmitter was installed for this telemetry link. It was found during installation the Make 'A' telemetry could not be transmitted along a radio link. The installers solution to this was to fit a Make 'B' one-way telemetry controller which was compatible. So now there are six cameras controlled by one controller and one by another! To view camera 7 it was necessary to connect the video output from 'B' as an input to the 'A' controller. To view and control camera 7 means selecting it on control 'A' and controlling it from 'B'!

I won't expand upon the problems with a SIT camera viewing street lights at night with an f-360 lens fitted!!

At times it was like scenes from The Sorcerers Apprentice, these are some notes during observing the system over two days:

  • Camera 7, not working.
  • Camera 7, now working.
  • Camera 3, moved several times of its own accord.
  • Camera 7, not working.
  • Camera 2, washer operated of its own accord.
  • No telemetry control of camera 3.
  • Camera 7, now working.
  • No signal or sync pulse from camera 3.
  • No control over camera 7.

I felt that this customer had considerable cause for complaint, and they don´t come much larger than the company that installed the system at the time! The report was passed on to the installing company, and eventually most things were corrected including replacing all the poles for more substantial columns. The cost of remedial work was probably nearly as much as the original contract.

I have a CCTV system installed at a remote site with movement detection to transmit video when an intrusion is detected. I receive dozens of alarms but never a picture of an intruder.

This must one of the most common complaints and is always down to faulty design and selection of equipment. Sometimes it is down to bad selection and setting up of video motion detection systems. The other times it is down to utter stupidity in system design, this is where an incorrect passive infrared detector is used to trigger an alarm. I have visited three sites in the last two years where (for example) a PIR with a 50 Metre range and a beam angle of 70 is used in conjunction with a camera viewing 15 Metres with a 30 lens angle. No matter where an intruder arrives from, the PIR will trigger and transmit a frozen frame of nothing, every time. As in many other instances, the installing company had spent several months blaming equipment such as the telephone transmission. One argument put forward was that the transmission took too long to dial up and therefore lost the captured picture!

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