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I Want A Quality 60 - 70 Camera System For An Indoor Climate Controlled Self Storage Facility - Any Guidance On Right Approach, Considerations And Best Cameras?

Hey guys. I realize this string is pretty old now. However... I am in the processing of redeveloping an old industrial building into an indoor climate controlled self storage facility in Buffalo, NY. I want a quality camera system (not just show for customers) that would also be appropriate in terms of the level of technology for this type of project. I will likely need around 60-70 cameras all together, of which maybe 6-7 will be outdoors. I have used Nest cams in the past, but other than that I am new to surveillance. I have been doing some reading on the important criteria to be aware of in selecting. Some views will be narrow angle for looking down corridors, and other areas will require a wider angle. I have a good amount of flexibility in terms of budget for the camera system, so I am able to afford a good system. However, i am just wrestling a bit in terms of ideal camera resultions for this application, frames per second, focal lengths, and other key criteria (there are so many) that maybe I haven't even yet considered. I am looking for good clean smooth images. The guidance that is available for the beginner looking to educate himself enough to make a reasonably sound decision is pretty limited. Any guidance of the "right" approach, right system, best cameras, other considerations, for an indoor self storage setting, would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance. Dan

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Cameras For Self Storage Facilities

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Daniel, thanks for posting this. I made this its own discussion so we can get more responses.

Some things that might make a difference. Maybe you can use repositionable multi-imagers? Do you think video analytics could help your system? What about integrating access control with video?

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I'm an end user that self-installs take it from me, hire a professional, you may end up wasting money on the wrong cameras and equipment.

Pay attention to VMS licensing too some will count multi-headed cameras as one some won't.

If you insist on doing it yourself, Axis Site Designer is a nifty tool

The Set up I'm building for our new retail store:

Fortigate 50E, I was going to go for the 30 (Because I'm cheap) but the 50E has lower latency and dual WAN so I can run a 4G backup.

2x Aruba 24 Port 2930F Switches (Stacked for redundancy, instead of one 48 port if one fails my whole system wont be down, also if you go this route always buy from an HPE authorized reseller they will not honor a gray market warranty. HPE has perpetual lifetime support)

Supermicro X11SCA Mobo w/ Xeon E3 in a 2U 8x Hot Swap Case running RAID 10 + Hot Spare (5 HSGT/WD Ultrastar Drives Total) on an LSI Mega Raid (I'm using Axis VMS because I bought it with the analog encoders a looooong time ago, I would most likely use a VMS that would run on Linux because for me Linux is easier to Admin)

Siemon Z-Max Patch Panel and Z-Plugs.

Eaton 9PX1500 for power quality and backup power

Windy City Shielded Cat5e Plenum (Because it is thinner), I based this on IPVM's test I was originally was going to got for Hitachi

5-6 Axis M2026-LE MkII (Because I'm a cheapskate, I remember paying 500-600 for M Series Cameras years ago for our other location)

Axis FA54 with 4x 1080p Dome Units for exit doors

Axis F34 with 4x 720p Bullet Sensors for Stock Area

Supermicro 1U Atom for PBX for phones and for the Intercom

Whatever Synology NAS I have lying around for backup, plus cloud backup to Backblaze.

For Going Outdoors:

Axis T8508 Switch mounted far away from the IT closet connected via fiber to isolate from stray power surges, Switch also has surge protection on each port

DIN Rail Mounted Siemon Patch Panel

L-Com Surge Protectors at each entrance, grounded.

Eaton 5S UPS

Outside Construction Keeps Changing So I just picked One Camera So far

Axis P-3228-LVE 4K for covering the front and street

2N IP Force Intercom

I recommend also lurking on Reddit Networking because the cameras are only 1 part of the puzzle.

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Thanks Johnathan for your reply. That is a lot of information you've provided. I may follow up with you on specific questions down the road. I've given the Axis Site Designer site an initial look at your recommendation. I will definitely spend some more time on there.

I agree hiring a professional is a good idea for me. Finding the right professional has been the challenge. I don't insist on doing it myself, and truth is I don't want to be become an expert, I just don't want to be a naïve consumer, since it will be sizable dollar amount, and a don't want to be smooth talked into a system that I might not have selected had I been a smarter buyer.

I'd like to be able to have a "back of envelope" understanding of the key moving parts of the entire system, and the key options for each of those moving parts, and cost / quality /technical trade offs, to inform my decision making. I'll get there... one way or another.

Thanks again for all the details on your system... it is really very helpful, and for pointing me to the Axis site.

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When looking for a company to sell and install a camera system you definitely need to find one that is open an honest about what they do and is willing to educate you on the subject at hand. I am always trying to educate my customers whenever I can, even if it's a product or service they don't buy from me.

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I’ll just toss a few notes here.

Your system isn’t that unique, unless it is. Hire a pro, get some estimates. Still concerned? Hire a specifying consultant.

We generally live in a rule of 4’s and 8’s. There can be an enormous difference between 60 and 70 cameras.

How high are the ceilings? Will fork lifts be used? (Those eat cameras mounted in the wrong place).

What are your concerns? Illegal dumping in the back? Theft from lockers of shrimp? Someone leaving a unit open by accident?

You can import a plan into the camera calculator and check Field of Views, you can standardize on 12MP or higher 4K or maybe use Avigilon for the “total solution” but that won’t answer those pesky questions.

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Thanks for your feedback. Agreed there is probably nothing particularly unique about my needs. I have received 8-10 quotes for systems, however I am not knowledgeable enough to assess and compare the quotes I've received. Some proposals are three sentences, others are three pages, jam packed full of terms, phrases, and acronyms that I am not familiar with. I'm trying to come up the curve a little bit, so that my decision making is at least somewhat informed.

You mentioned that I might "hire a specifying consultant." That is exactly what I would like to do! But that has been pretty difficult. All I can find are people that want to sell me their preferred system. I've not been able to find an independent person that is willing and able to provide me with knowledge / intelligence to help me interpret the proposals, and to set up the right system for my needs. I am happy to pay them for their time.

Do you know where I might find such a person? in the Western New York area?

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The challenge with a consultant is that you’re going to have to pay them thousands and you still have the risk that they won’t know much better than you when it comes to video surveillance. There may be a consultant in your area that has that specialty but it’s not widely available in independent consultants.

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They don’t have to be local. You might reach out to Michael Silva.

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Thank you. I will reach out to Michael Silva.

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"I have received 8-10 quotes for systems, however I am not knowledgeable enough to assess and compare the quotes I've received"

Looking at this from the intergrator side. Did any of the companies you received quotes from take the time to sit down with you to review their quote and answer questions or did they just send and run?

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Primarily they spent time with me before providing the quote... walking through the facility, reviewing drawings, answering my many questions, etc. I’m sure they would be willing to answer my questions now as well. What I’m trying to do at this point is figure out more precisely what I want, and the right questions to ask.

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Good morning Daniel,

Looking at your post I would start with the basics.

What is the function of the system and how will it be utilized?
Is it for live view for situational awareness, forensic review to understand an event, or for identification of individuals? The system could be a combination of the three.

Without knowledge of the environment I'll have to make the following assumptions.

Note: I do not support any one product manufacturer. The product references below are only examples to help you understand product type.

The site is restricted, meaning a fence surrounds the property or vehicle entrance is restricted to one or two location.
There are multiple customer entrances into the building.
There are multiple elevators for customers to use.
Site access is restricted to customers.

Suggestions:

Exterior:
Utilize a higher resolution imager (camera) at the vehicle/pedestrian entrances. If possible enough to capture a license plate to identify incoming/exiting traffic.
Use multisensor imagers (e.g. Axis Q3709-PVE or Hanwha PNM-9020V) for the exterior perimeter. I do not use single 180/360 imagers as to limited imaging quality and other issues.

Interior:
Entrances into the building. Here you should strive for identification or (60 to 100 Pixels per Foot). This will help with identification of individuals entering your building. I do say help as items such as sunglasses and baseball caps can decrease identifications. If these cameras are in a dark hallway with a FOV (field of view) pointing towards an exterior door with bright back light you will need a high quality WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) camera. Here is a Youtube video of a Sony SNC-XM632 with WDR.

A 1080p cameras with a 2.8mm lens at 11 feet from the target (entrance door) with provide about 70-75 PPF and 7-9 feet of view-able area in depth. A 1080p camera with a 10.5mm lens at 40 feet from the target (entrance door) will provide 65-70 PPF with 20 to 25 feet of view-able area in depth.

Image result for pixels on target

Depending on the interior hallways and the building design, striving for 30 to 40 PPF for most area is reasonable. I would suggest crossing FOVs (two cameras pointing at each other).

Visio example

I hope this helps you with a starting point.

Some useful tools are
Axis Designer tool. Only supports Axis products.
JVSG: CCTV Design Software - Free trial for 90 days.
IPVM Camera Design Tool with Google Maps Integration

Edouard Sonnenschein
https://www.linkedin.com/in/edouard-sonnenschein-192a798a/

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Edouard. Thanks very much. This is really useful information you’ve provided. Very helpful to advancing my understanding. Your assumptions are all pretty reasonable in terms of desired functionality and setting. I checked out your LinkedIn profile. Do you provide consulting services on the side to small business owners like myself?

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Did you ask any of the people who proposed for a demo of the video management software?

I would try to narrow down some of the bids and ask for a vendor/material list of what is provided so you can dial things in.

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Good question on the demo. I asked nearly all of them if they could provide a demo. Felt like i was pulling teeth. Most seemed to simply not have the ability to do so... or maybe just weren’t interested.

Eagle Eye cloud based surveillance did provide a nice demo.

I think what I need to do is define for myself what I want and then request quotes based on my criteria.

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That’s another reason to bring in a proper consultant. A friend who is a significant project consultant looks for the Holistic approach to security and the intangibles while leaving the spots and dots mostly to others.

Holistic you say? What are you trying to achieve? Can you use CPTED to improve security for property, employees and customers before electronics? Once you gain that perfect video shot, what liability is there in viewing / sharing / policies?

What are your policies overall, customer agreements?

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Hi Daniel.

I won't go into to much in the way of technical details and assumptions about your project as there's already some really good info shared here.

I am an independent consultant and I work with companies just like yourself for very similar needs. I can work with you for an hour consultation, or can design a system - put it to bid - review quotes - and help manage the project after the fact --- or anywhere in between. I'd be happy to have a 15-20 min call with you to discuss what could fit your need and see if there's something I can do to help.

Feel free to reach out directly if you have an interest

Thanks

Chris Wilson

CEO/Principal

MxV Consulting – Solution Experts

(p) 864.216.5555

(e) Chris@MxVConsulting.com

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Hi Daniel,

Garrett here, CEO of Rhombus Systems.

If you're still looking and evaluating different solutions, I'd love to help. Finding the right system and trying to make sense of it all is a big issue that many of our customers experienced when evaluating vendors. It's a difficult process, but I hope my team can make it much easier for you.

If you're interested in learning about our solution, please reach out! My team will provide a demo, answer any questions you may have, and set you up with one of our partners to handle the install.

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