Industrial Covert Unlimited is in its 25rd year of operation. CU1.COM has been up and running since mid 1997 and was one of the original security equipment buying sites on the internet. Great security & CCTV products and people who still answer the phone!


Building A Surveillance System - January 14, 2011

Building A Surveillance System - January 14, 2011
Having a surveillance system for your home or business can help provide someone with piece of mind that their valuables are being watched over when they aren't around. It can help a parent keep an eye on any babysitter they may hire to watch their children. Ultimately a security system can help to provide the asset protection that may be desired in ones home or business, but before that can be achieved some serious thought into the type of security system needed must take place.

When building a CCTV surveillance system a lot of factors can determine the choices you need to make. From things such as the amount you may need to spend to whether or not you may be able to install the system yourself. Some key factors we will explore that need to be thought of before purchasing a surveillance system are: the number of cameras needed, will you need to be able to record your footage, a wired vs wireless system, DIY (Do It Yourself) vs professional installation, size of area needing to be covered, budget, and many sub categories of each of these main variables.

Lets first cover the security camera aspect of your surveillance system. Your security cameras are the first key component to consider because they are the device that will be physically capturing the video you watch later on. Now a good place to start is the number of rooms, angles, and locations you want to have covered. By knowing this you can determine the number of cameras you will need, the area each of them needs to be able to view, and the conditions in which they will be operating. This can help lead into what type of lenses you will also need, whether or not the cameras need to be indoor or outdoor capable, or the type of mounting system they will need.

Since there are so many features available on a wide variety of security cameras lets take a look at a few of them. This will make understanding the types of cameras you may be looking for a bit easier. First of all when deciding to cover a certain area with a camera you should note whether the location is indoors or outdoors. If the location is outside you will also want to consider the type of weather that will be present. Say for example the location your placing the camera is outside and during half the year its hot and Sunny while during the other half its cold and snowy. You then may want to consider a camera in a secure housing with a heater and blower present to help keep the camera safe and operating throughout these conditions. Furthermore if the camera is outside constantly you may also want to consider a vandal proof option to make sure no one can break your security camera.

Now another option for your camera choice to keep in mind is the type of lens you might require. Do you need it to have a large zoom capable of seeing things both far away and close up when necessary. If this is the case then you may need to look at getting a varifocal lens with a large focal length. If you simply want a static area covered without any change to the view; then a simple fixed focal length lens will be perfect for your camera. Furthermore there are options to consider like manual iris vs auto iris which is mainly a user preference as to whether you want more control over your settings or rather have the lens handle the operation itself; or a big feature is whether or not your want or need wired vs wireless cameras and this is a topic that has quite a few of its own possibilities. In fact we have another great article covering the issue of wired vs wireless systems.

These variables are only a few to consider when purchasing the surveillance cameras for your security system; and even if you don't fully understand each of these options you can find help in determining your needs from surveillance professionals.

Moving on to another key component of building the perfect surveillance system for your needs is whether or not you need to be able to record your video footage or if you will have someone monitoring it. This can help you decide whether or not you will want a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) for your system and if so this then leads into what kind of DVR will you need. We won't discuss this topic too much because it is covered in more detail in another one of our articles that you can take a look at; however it is important to remember that the number of cameras that you choose for your system will relate directly into the size of DVR you may need.

Other items that will be included in your list to add into your surveillance system will include items such as monitors, wiring, power supplies, mounts, and potentially more. Each of these items will take consideration depending once more on your needs; however they are a little more easily decided upon then the other factors presented in this article.

After you get your equipment together it comes to the decision of whether or not you want to install the system yourself or rather a professional CCTV installer do it; this decision is not one to take lightly. If you are a very technical person and have a small 4 camera wireless system to install in your home; then most likely installing the system yourself wont be a problem. If the system consists of 64 to 128 cameras and multiple DVR'S with long cable runs; then it would probably be a good idea to hire some professionals to get the job done. Somewhere in the middle of these installation scenarios it is up to you the customer to decide whether your technical skill, your time, and your budget allow you to install it yourself or should yield to someone with more experience.

Finally after you get all your equipment picked out, you've decided upon whether or not you want to install it yourself, and you have finally seen the receipt estimate roll in; this is when you must decide upon your budgetary constraints and then adjust your system accordingly. At this point it may seem slightly painful to have to restrict your system and tone it down to fit your budget; however keep in mind that if you designed it right and have the ability you can always upgrade it later on, but at least this way you have laid a solid surveillance foundation.

A great place to begin building your surveillance system is at our Pre-Made Surveillance Systems section.