Christmas in March

So, why have I been uncharacteristically silent?

It’s mainly been because over the last two days, it’s been Christmas in March for me.

A month ago, we had a few incidents in our (undisclosed location) company that led the Plant Manager to decide that some increased security measures were a good idea.

Specifically, he wanted a video surveillance security system to watch entrances and exits, and commonly traveled walkways and forklift paths. A system that would record over time, have good quality interior and exterior cameras, goo enough to readily identify anyone on camera, with 16 camera channels, and store a weeks worth of video at a time.

He’d talked to the Plant Manager of another facility, knew how much it cost them to do it and what they used, and so he asked if I could do it all. Oh, and could I do it for the $7500 they used.

I, of course, am the go to person for this kind of thing.

Can I design it? Yes I can!

A few hours later, and some thinking and research over exactly what I want and what I want it to do, and I present a plan to the management team that, by my estimates, will do everything asked for and then some… and came in under $5000.

Yesterday, I converted a section of the server room for the security station, and today. Well, today.


Today, all my presents came in the mail.

I love my job. I get to design, quote out and install a video surveillance system.

Okay, sure, I’ll have some of my technicians do a lot of cable running and mounting of cameras, and stuff. They like using lifts.

I still get the joy of uncrating tons of stuff, staging it all nice and neatly, doing hardware testing and installation, and then standing back and saying, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Oh, yeah, and let me tell you something… when you tell the Plant Manager you came in $2500 under budget, that’s not such a bad thing. 

Look at all those cameras!


Truthfully, a sizeable portion of my budget included 2000′ of Cat5e cable. I had to quote out everything required to install the system, after all.

6 thoughts on “Christmas in March

  1. A few years ago I did something similar in my house, with 4 all weather cameras that had surprisingly awesome night vision. (I live in a bad city and used to spend a lot of time with bad people.) The power thing is really what pissed me off at the time, the cameras power adapters were something like 2-3 feet long, I wanted to mount them in places that didn’t necessarily have power. Technicians to run power are not a luxury I’ve got. 😛

    The only other snafu was installing the PCI card in the spare PC I had…the software install was in Cantonese/Mandarin/some Asian language, and finding the language option wasn’t nearly as easy as digging through a Latin based language, at least then I can recognize some words. But it was so worth it for when I finally fired them up, and the first time I accessed them off site.

    I wish you had gotten your new job, had security issues, solved them, and posted this up a few years ago, then I wouldn’t feel so silly for missing the Cat5e with converters option. Oh well!

    You also make me wish I wasn’t at this unsatisfying and boring job I took just because I needed the good pay and benefits…I get paid well, but I just don’t like the position very much, no matter how good it’s gonna look on my resume. I’d love to find something that makes me feel as satisfied with my work as you seem to be. That is something to envy. 🙂
    .-= Redbowl´s last blog ..Customer good will and sales; a strategy for game companies =-.


  2. Actually, they’re not IP cameras. They are true old school cameras with coax and two wire DC power outputs. Those are pretty much the tested technology right now that has been refined to gain the greatest quality for the lowest price. However, 2000′ of coax line plus 2000′ of two wire for power is ridiculous. So, I went with getting BNC to cat5e converters that take the video BNC input, plus the DC power line, convert it into a cat5e configuration, and then run it through your standard cat5e to the termination… where you plug the cat5e into the other half of the pair, and voila! You’ve got your DC power supply plugged into a power strip in your server room, and you’ve got your BNC for plugging right into your stand alone 16 channel 500 gig DVR.

    Cat5e is a lot cheaper to run than tons of coax/2wire combo cord. LOTS cheaper. And, amusing enough, it’s easier to troubleshoot too.

    Anyway, if you are interested in looking into configuring your own video system, I would recommend Home Security Store based on my experience with them. They make look on the cheesy end with that logo, but I can tell you that their customer service, speed, pricing and quality is primo super good. They’re who I went through for the Balun BNC adapters and the Digital Watchdog DVR. I’ve seen how they packaged, shipped, and the quality of the final products, and yep… damn nice job.


  3. @sarabian three words… Power Over Ethernet, I thouroughly abuse.. err.. use POE applications wherever possible, placing a wireless AP in a location where power can’t go (easily), spreading a network of IP phones across 5 states.

    Those look to be good cameras, I might have to look into those for other uses. (a video over IP baby monitor? if only those came with sound…)

    The church I go to, asked me to draw them up a quote for a videotaping/recording/streaming system. They want monitors in the lobby and the nursery so that people don’t feel left out (if they happen to be walking a fussy baby in the lobby), and want to send recordings to the homebound.
    .-= Kattrinsaa´s last blog ..3.3.3 is live =-.


  4. I love playing with IP cameras. Can’t stand the old ones that require coax. Not sure why, but the IP jobs are easier.


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