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Old 11th January 2013, 13:33   #1
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Default A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

Hi Everyone,

During the past few months, I have been concerned quite a lot about safety and security, especially since we live in Gurgaon, and the Delhi NCR region is really becoming notorious and no amount of security is enough. We live in an independent house, inside a gated colony with security guards, but I just don't feel safe enough with that.

So, I decided to secure my home on our own and with this thread, I am going to try to share my learning experience with everyone so that if they also wish to do so, they can implement the same techniques in their homes.

The scope of these security improvements covers:
1) Electronic surveillance
2) Intrusion alarms
3) Motion sensors and security lighting

These are the three main technologies that I have used to secure my home and I will try to explain the basics and the installation details for each of these!

1) Electronic surveillance
This basically means viewing (Through Cameras and screens) remotely the happenings in any given surroundings where the cameras are installed and also recording for future view, if the DVR has a HDD for storage.
These are available in many different video protocols and typically for home/ small office use H.264 is the most popular , while for commercial applications, like hotels , airports etc, MPEG is the standard, as it also allows still capture.
Electronic surveillance also can be done real-time (without recording), where you have security watching all the time all the areas, or could also have the added feature of Digital Video recording (DVR) with a HDD, which typically records continuously the feed from all the cameras and stores it (depending on the size of the HDD).

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(Pic Courtesy: homesecurity361.com)

Cameras are also available in different technologies, Analogue, Digital, IP Cameras, PTZ Cameras (Pan-Tilt-Zoom)
Analogue cameras are the cheapest and also available with Night vision capabilities and as Indoor and Outdoor versions. Indoor cameras are mostly Dome cameras and outdoor cameras come with a special weatherproof housing to protect them from rain and dust.
Indoor Analogue cameras are available ranging from 1000-3000 Rupees, depending on the quality (Generic Chinese makes), while outdoor cameras are available ranging from 1500-4000.

The heart of the system is the DVR unit, which takes the feeds from the cameras and displays it, and if it has a HDD, it records all the feeds. Typical 4 Channel DVRs come in the range of 5-10K. Add to this the cost of a 500GB HDD (SATA) which is normally available in the range of 4.5K. DVRs are typically available with 4/8/16/32 channels.
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Next comes the cabling and the connectors which are required for this setup. CCTV cameras need a special cable - which has one core Coaxial cable and three cores copper cable in the same jacket.
A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system-cabledet.jpg

The Video is sent over the coaxial cable and the power for the cameras comes from the single core copper cable. Also, special connectors called as BNC connectors are used for connecting the video cables to the cameras and the DVRs

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There is also a power supply required for the camera, which is typically 12V DC and power supply units can power 4/8/12 cameras depending on their power capacity.

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The typical BOQ that you will need to setup a 4 channel Home surveillance system will be (along with Typical cost of each I could get in Delhi)
1) 4 Ch DVR with Power supply -5500
2) 500 GB HDD (to be installed in the DVR) - 4400
3) 4 cameras - 1 Indoor + 2 Outdoor (or as per your requirements) - 8000
4) CCTV Cabling (Typically avl in 80m rolls) and should be enough for a home installation - 1200
5) BNC connectors (8#) + 2# extra (some DVRs also need a BNC for connection to TV monitors) + power connector for Camera - 200
6) A TV / Monitor to watch the feed and setup the DVR - I already had a small 7' monitor lying unused. Typical 14" LCD monitors are available for 5-8K.
7) Power supply for the cameras (capacity depending on the number of cameras) - available around 1K
8) UPS for the DVR - 2.2-3K

In all the total setup for the above should come for around 25K (including the Monitor). You may be able to get better rates for lower quality products, but it is better to buy mid-range products rather than the cheapest available.
(I am currently using only 3 channels as I needed only three cameras)

Now coming to the installation:
You will need some basic tools for the installation - An electric drill, Screwdriver set, Insulation tape, Cutting and crimping tools (or pliers) and plastic wire clips (6mm) - 100#

The first step is to identify the location where you would install your cameras. For indoor cameras - please install only in open circulation areas where privacy of anyone is not violated! I have installed my Indoor cam in the entrance lobby and it also has a view of my drawing and dining areas.
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Outdoor cameras have to be installed preferably in a place where there is an overhang above to shield them from direct rain and sunlight. Also one must be careful that direct sunlight must never enter the camera as it will spoil the sensor and render it useless.
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After you have selected the locations (in your mind!) , you need to think about the wire routing. You may need to drill holes through walls to route the cables. Basically each cable from the camera will go back to the DVR. This same cable will carry the power for the camera as well as the video signal to the DVR.

Once you have a good idea on the location on the cameras and the cable routing, you can get started with the installation of the cameras.
First fix the brackets of the cameras on the wall/ ceiling and then fix the cameras to the brackets. Also, fix the BNC connectors to the Coaxial part of the cable and the Red and Black cables to the power connector of the camera. There is also a white cable in CCTV cabling , which is used only for PTZ cameras. With fixed cameras, leave it free.

After you have finished installing the cameras and the cabling (running the cables till a common point where the DVR will be installed), it is now time to install the DVR.
For the DVR, if you are going to use with recording, you need to install the HDD in the DVR. This is a fairly simple job, but you need to do it carefully as the HDD is susceptible to damage from static electricity and shocks.
Open up the DVR (typically there will be 4-5 screws) and look for two connectors - one is for the Power to the HDD and the other is for the Data. The connecting cables come with the DVRs and the interface used is SATA (do reverify this when you buy your DVR).

A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system-image00001.jpg

Fix the HDD connector cables and then fix the HDD to the housing with 4 screws and close the DVR.

For HDD size requirements, you can calculate the size of the HDD required as below:

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Total Recording capacity =Used Space Per Hour (MB/h) × recording time (hour) ×channel numbers
For instance, if one sets resolution to CIF, video quality to Lower, frame rate to 12 fps and enabling total 4 channels and he wants the unit to record continuously in a month, Below is the calculation:
Total Recording capacity required =56.4 (mb/h) X 24(hours/day) X30(days) X 4(channels) = 162,432(MB)or ~ 160 GB HDD.

After this, connect the BNC connectors to the Incoming cables and the power supply to the power cables from the cameras. The power supply unit and the DVR need to be kept close to each other as the same camera cables will be split into two parts - coaxial part to the DVR and the power to the power supply unit. Then connect the LCD monitor to the DVR.
Then connect the power supply of the DVR, camera power supply unit and the LCD monitor to the UPS (It is important to have a UPS, as power failures can cause HDD failures).

Now the system is good to go and if all the connections have been done properly, you should be able to see the feed from all the cameras on the Monitor. Most DVRs also come with a Mouse to control their menu navigation which you can use to change the settings in the DVR. Most DVRs are also Internet capable, which means that you can also view the feed remotely over the internet from the cameras (I am still working on this part and will share the details once I set it up!)



2) Intrusion alarms
These are simple home security systems that rely on different sensors installed in different areas to check for intrusion and then raise an alarm.

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Home security systems typically use PIR sensors (passive Infrared sensors) for motion detection. These PIR sensors don't emit any waves and rely only on Infrared emission from our bodies on account of different temperatures from Surroundings. If it sees any movements in the infrared picture, it triggers the alarm.

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The other sensors used are Magnetic door and window contacts. When a door/ window is opened the contact is broken and the alarm is triggered.

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Some systems also come with a Gas leak sensor which can help in detecting Gas leaks (LPG) in the kitchen. LPG is a heavy gas and these should be installed near the floor level.

Most commonly available systems use RF communication for the sensors, so you don't need to run any cables from the sensors to the control panel and the sensors run on batteries which last upto two years.

How the system works is that it depends on the sensors to detect intrusion when the system is armed - which can be done with the remote arming/ disarming keys or via the panel.
Once the system is armed, it continuously monitors all the sensors and if an intrusion is detected, it raises an alarm.
This system can also be connected to the telephone line to inform you automatically that an intrusion has occurred. Most companies in India typically configure this to call their call centre after which they will call you and they tend to charge a hefty service fee for this.


3) Motion sensors and Security lighting
These are very simple and effective devices which act as deterrents to intrusion. Motions sensors are available based on different technologies - PIR , Microwave and Ultrasonic - the PIR ones are the simplest and cheapest. Microwave and Ultrasonic are used in more professional applications.
The motion sensors combine a PIR sensor with an electrical relay and when motion is detected, they trigger the relay, which will switch on the lights (if it is dark, as they also have an inbuilt photocell to detect ambient light levels)
The main application of these is in Garden areas and Driveways, where the lights will come on automatically when anyone enter the area. For homeowners, it adds to the convenience as lights will come on automatically when they enter and switch off automatically when they leave the area (after a settable time delay setting ranging from 10 sec- 15 Min).
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This serves as a deterrent to intruders as they take advantage of darkness and if the lights come on automatically, they can be seen and caught.
Motion sensors are available quite easily in electrical markets in the range of 800-2000, depending on their application area. They are available in both indoor versions and outdoor versions (Protected)
Security lighting also works on the same principle and combines a Floodlight with the sensor and whenever an intrusion is detected, the light will switch on automatically. Though I have not seen too many products available yet in this category, there are many products available in other countries available from Rs 1500-3500.

Hope that this information will be helpful for everyone!

Regards,
Behemoth

Last edited by Behemoth : 12th January 2013 at 10:24. Reason: Pictures Added
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Old 12th January 2013, 11:45   #2
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Gadgets, computers and software Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th January 2013, 11:56   #3
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

Excellent thread. I have a very similar system at my place but sadly mine was not DIY. It's kind of hard to do a DIY in a 3 storey 14 bedroom house.

Have you connected the cameras to the motion sensors in such a way that they trigger only when the motion sensor trips?
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Old 12th January 2013, 12:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Excellent thread. I have a very similar system at my place but sadly mine was not DIY. It's kind of hard to do a DIY in a 3 storey 14 bedroom house.

Have you connected the cameras to the motion sensors in such a way that they trigger only when the motion sensor trips?
Cameras can be set through DVR to start recording when they sense motion(motion detection area for each camera can be set through the DVR)

I used to have a 4 channel DVR that I upgraded to 8 channel with D1 resolution recording and 30fps per channel on all 8 channels! (with 1TB HDD)

Upgraded my cameras to weather and vandal proof 700TVL resolution cameras for better face detection!

All these cameras look over mine and my family's cars etc!

@Behemoth - Do you use any cooling for the HDD!?

My previous 4ch DVR was nearly the same size as yours and the HDD overheated in there and it ate 2 of my HDDs!!
Towards the end I started using it without the top panel

Last edited by sohail99 : 12th January 2013 at 12:12.
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Old 12th January 2013, 12:17   #5
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

I was just searching for this on Google when your thread showed up on the new topics section, Very well written and is just what I was looking for, thanks a lot.
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Old 12th January 2013, 17:49   #6
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
Excellent thread. I have a very similar system at my place but sadly mine was not DIY. It's kind of hard to do a DIY in a 3 storey 14 bedroom house.
Have you connected the cameras to the motion sensors in such a way that they trigger only when the motion sensor trips?
Thanks Vikram,
Yes, It's possible to do it on a small scale only (upto 4 cameras), beyond that it can become really challenging to route the cables and the to do the setup!
I enjoy such tech stuff and thought it would be a good way to learn if I did it on my own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sohail99 View Post
Upgraded my cameras to weather and vandal proof 700TVL resolution cameras for better face detection!
All these cameras look over mine and my family's cars etc!
@Behemoth - Do you use any cooling for the HDD!?
My previous 4ch DVR was nearly the same size as yours and the HDD overheated in there and it ate 2 of my HDDs!!
Towards the end I started using it without the top panel
Yes, there are very advanced systems available which one can gradually move to, and one can spend anything from thousands to Lakhs on this!

I checked with the person I got my DVR from and he said that no additional cooling is required for the HDD, but I should be careful not to cover any of the vents on the sides. Do you still recommend some other form of forced cooling like a CPU fan for this setup..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by richie4u View Post
I was just searching for this on Google when your thread showed up on the new topics section, Very well written and is just what I was looking for, thanks a lot.
Thanks Richie, happy to help. It is quite simple to setup and I tried to share the steps by which I set my own system up.

Regards,
Behemoth

Last edited by Behemoth : 12th January 2013 at 17:50.
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Old 12th January 2013, 18:04   #7
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post
Thanks Vikram,
Yes, It's possible to do it on a small scale only (upto 4 cameras), beyond that it can become really challenging to route the cables and the to do the setup!
I enjoy such tech stuff and thought it would be a good way to learn if I did it on my own!
Well I enjoy the tech stuff too, but in my case the planning and all wiring was done when my house was getting constructed. So it was kind of hard to make it a DIY. I had to get professionals involved due to the scale of the setup.

I would also recommend getting finger print reading biometric locks for your main doors. I have 3 such locks and each lock can hold up to 64 finger prints. These are really handy and you never need a key.

Edit: @Behemoth - I would recommend additional cooling as the HDD gets really hot. In my setup I have used a CPU fan as well. I'm recommending this as I do not see any cooling fans in the picture of HDD setup that you have posted.

Last edited by vikram_d : 12th January 2013 at 18:08.
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Old 12th January 2013, 18:39   #8
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

Great thread Behemoth.

I would certainly like to implement the camera part at least. What happens if I want audio also along with the image? Is that possible?
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Old 12th January 2013, 18:47   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile
Great thread Behemoth.

I would certainly like to implement the camera part at least. What happens if I want audio also along with the image? Is that possible?
Thanks Dhiraj!
Yes, audio recording is also very much possible but the audio mics are separate from the cameras. You can install these small mics in the areas where you want to record the sound. The Dvr has as many audio in jacks as the video channels. The mics will need separate 2 core cabling apart from the video cable. They don't need power and plug directly into the Dvr with Rca plugs.
Regards
Behemoth

Last edited by Behemoth : 12th January 2013 at 18:48.
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Old 12th January 2013, 22:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behemoth View Post

Thanks Vikram,
Yes, It's possible to do it on a small scale only (upto 4 cameras), beyond that it can become really challenging to route the cables and the to do the setup!
I enjoy such tech stuff and thought it would be a good way to learn if I did it on my own!

Yes, there are very advanced systems available which one can gradually move to, and one can spend anything from thousands to Lakhs on this!

I checked with the person I got my DVR from and he said that no additional cooling is required for the HDD, but I should be careful not to cover any of the vents on the sides. Do you still recommend some other form of forced cooling like a CPU fan for this setup..?


Regards,
Behemoth
I have a dedicated hdd cooler mounted on the 500gb hdd on the previous dvr(consists of a massive heatsink with fans) (but with that, the HDD won't fit inside the dvr)
But hdd now remains cool even on continuous recording

Cpu cooler will work great if you have one lying around!

Last edited by sohail99 : 12th January 2013 at 22:14.
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Old 13th January 2013, 07:46   #11
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Default Re: A step by Step guide to setting up a Home security system

So either one can have motion sensor or cameras, can one have both, or does it need two systems to be installed? Also the IP one does that one also needs cabling through the walls, Are there ones which work on wifi connectivity, as in this time and age running wires all around isnt the best thing to do.

Also, how does one monitor things remotely? While away from home? Is that possible at all?
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Old 13th January 2013, 08:41   #12
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Also, how does one monitor things remotely? While away from home? Is that possible at all?
There are a number of ways this can be achieved. The simplest being is to connect the DVR to a computer and then remotely login to that computer via the internet by using something like Teamviewer.
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Old 13th January 2013, 08:53   #13
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Great Thread, Thanks Behemoth, We have also installed intrusion sensors with alarm in our Gurgaon house in around 1998 after second attempt at our house which located just boundary line of Ambiance Island in DLF phase 3. At the time we installed this alarm system this place was like jungle. This is not DIY but its quite effective.
The sensors are fastened to all the windows and doors of the house, can be controlled by mobile phone.
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Old 13th January 2013, 09:10   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
So either one can have motion sensor or cameras, can one have both, or does it need two systems to be installed? Also the IP one does that one also needs cabling through the walls, Are there ones which work on wifi connectivity, as in this time and age running wires all around isnt the best thing to do.

Also, how does one monitor things remotely? While away from home? Is that possible at all?
Normally it is good to keep both the systems independent, as it gives you double reliability as if one system goes down, the other will still act. But even the CCTV cameras have motion detection (changes in the picture), but they are very sensitive and are normally configured to record when they detect motion. They can also be used to trigger alarms and can connect to a centralized monitoring system.
Wifi Cameras are also available but mostly they are standalone IP cameras which connect over Wifi to your router and from your network DVR you can record. It does simplify the wiring, but you will still need power for the cameras. Wifi cameras are not considered as robust or reliable and in most professional applications.

It is possible to remote view the DVR feeds over the internet with the help of a client software. I still haven't found the right software to work on my Android phone for my DVR!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vikram_d View Post
There are a number of ways this can be achieved. The simplest being is to connect the DVR to a computer and then remotely login to that computer via the internet by using something like Teamviewer.
Thanks Vikram.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jacksons View Post
Great Thread, Thanks Behemoth, We have also installed intrusion sensors with alarm in our Gurgaon house in around 1998 after second attempt at our house which located just boundary line of Ambiance Island in DLF phase 3. At the time we installed this alarm system this place was like jungle. This is not DIY but its quite effective.
The sensors are fastened to all the windows and doors of the house, can be controlled by mobile phone.
Yes, Gurgaon was really a Jungle at that time! These systems can give some peace of mind.

Regards,
Behemoth
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Old 13th January 2013, 09:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
So either one can have motion sensor or cameras, can one have both, or does it need two systems to be installed? Also the IP one does that one also needs cabling through the walls, Are there ones which work on wifi connectivity, as in this time and age running wires all around isnt the best thing to do.

Also, how does one monitor things remotely? While away from home? Is that possible at all?
The DVR can be set to detect motion within the field of view of each of the cameras and that motion detection trigger can be used to initiate recording on that particular channel for a user set time(10-30 secs after an event has occurred)

Regarding dedicated motion sensors, they are usually connected to home intrusion detection systems and they dont record anything but alert the user/owner of intrusion when triggered!

Foscam has an amazing IP pan-tilt camera controllable over wifi with 2 way audio!
I can easily control the pan and tilt using ipcam app on my android phone and can even listen to audio through it and talkback!
You can even set it to send you emails in case of an event!
Nightvision is amazing too!
I would recommend an acrylic dome for it if you're placing it outside to protect it from dust etc.
link - http://www.amazon.com/Foscam-FI8910W-Network-Camera-Two-Way/dp/B006ZP8UOW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358048628&sr=8-1&keywords=foscam

I have it placed near my car and can talk through it to ward off miscreants! lol
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