Subscriber Discussion

Talk Down Surveillance System To Protect Food Truck

We are trying to help a client protect their expensive food cart/ trailer. The client has invested a significant amount of money in a custom trailer that allows them to take their restaurant mobile. They are very concerned about theft, vandalism, etc. The trailer needs to be kept at their location and there is not a structure that would allow it to be safely enclosed. They are considering a tall chain link fence as a first line of defense. We suggested integrating 2 or 3 cameras, outdoor motion detectors or photo beams, a simple alarm panel, good lighting either on timers or motion activated, and a talk down feature that would allow playing a recorded warning. The idea would be that based on an event, the warning would play and hopefully send the intruder on their way. We would also have the system monitored with instructions for the owner to be called based on an event. The owner would have the option of looking at the live video and either "talking" or whatever.

We have minimal experience using speakers and microphones on Axis cameras and I am not sure if it would be best to use the existing audio inputs/outputs on the camera or maybe there is a better way to implement this?

Any suggestions are appreciated.

For pre-recorded messages:

Elk voice message siren driver

Possible cheap car alarm solution: Maybe install it on the food truck?

For two way talk/listen:

Louroe AOPSP70 with TLO loudspeaker. I've used this at remote water plants and it works with an Axis P8221 I/O module. Might work with a camera that has audio inputs/outputs, heven't tried that yet.

Although if it were my truck I would want a fence around it...


I agree with the fence. Thanks for the recommendation on the Louroe gear. I have submitted a question to Axis support regarding the necessity of the P8221 if we already have an Axis camera with the audio I/O feature.

Ask the Louroe guys to be sure. Off the top of my head, I am 90% certain it will work, but I have never tried it.

You just need to make sure the VMS will support the two way audio remotely. A lag due to an internet connection might be an issue.

Joe - This new PoE interface/splitter with audio inputs & outputs from Louroe might be right up your alley for this application. See Fig. 4 on page 5 for wiring.

This is pretty much exactly the kind of scenario we (VideoIQ) specialize in.

I would caution you that in many (most) scenarios "beams and outdoor motion detectors" are going to lead to a TON of false alarms and nuisance events, to the point that it becomes too costly or too much of a headache to monitor this effectively.

If you want a specific recommendation on a speaker, I'd suggest the Valcom 1036-M. It's been very popular with our integrators for these kinds of purposes. Just be aware it runs off -24VDC (yeah, really), so make sure you buy their funky power supply to go with it.

There is some more notes I have here. While it's written specific to our products, the concepts are the same with most other cameras.

We also have an iPhone and Android app that lets a user receive an event push notification, view the alarm event and/or live video, and do a live audio talk-down direct from their phone. We don't support pre-recorded messages, because frankly they don't tend to work very well. When someone *really* wants to do that, I tend to recommend the same Elk equipment as John Grocke above.

You can get professional 24/7 monitoring of something like for probably around $150/mo. (the price is going to mostly be a factor of the number of total events, a person walking their dog near the truck is still an "event", even though it's really not a direct threat against the truck itself). You can certainly set the truck owner up to do self-monitoring, but my prediction is that after a month or two he'll end up seeing the value in professional monitoring.

If you want to test one of our cameras, let me know and I can set you up with a 30-day eval unit. I think I even have one of the Valcom speakers kicking around that I can send you with it.


Thanks for your detailed reply. This client currently has 3 axis cameras utilizing ACC. I was leaning towards just adding 2 or 3 additional outdoor cameras in order to stay consistent with what they are used to. I like the idea of an iPhone and Android app that would make it very simple to initiate a talk down from their phone. I am not sure that we can easily do that with ACC? I believe that providing a solid solution is the priority and if the solution is not within the budget then it is probably best to not get involved. In most of these scenarios, I don't think that there is a budget or if there is, it is likely not based on a realistic expectation. I will spend some time educating myself on VideoIQ. I am always interested in anything that we can offer that might be a better fit for the application.

Joe -

I'm not very familiar with ACC in detail, but I don't recall seeing much in the way of audio when I've looked at a few demo setups. Don't trust my advice there though.

Regarding budget and solutions, you're probably looking at a minimum of $2000 (your cost) to get something that would provide adequate coverage *and* reliability. That could be from a variety of different options, but generally speaking you're not going to connect a couple of $100 outdoor motions and get something that is going to work well in this situation, especially if audio, and accuracy, are key factors.

If you let me know where you're located I could have one of my sales people or manufacturers reps give you a demo. Or, if you don't want to be pestered by traditional sales people, you can contact me directly.

This Axis demo video shows a recorded message being played from an M10 indoor camera with integral speaker and intruder alarm capabilities. Not sure if this is via Axis Camera Companion or if two-way communication is available.

The new Axis Camera Companion (2.0) supports audio but only "one-way audio to easily listen in on an area"

I just spoke to a tech support person at Louroe. They said that a camera with audio I/O and a TLO "talk back horn" would be all that is needed. There must be a significant quality difference between the Valcom speaker and the Louroe speaker because the Valcom is approx $65 and the Louroe is approx $350. I think that I should get one of these and try it here at our shop(probably the Valcom as Brian suggested, due to price). Axis tech support suggested that an app "IP Camera Viewer" might work on a smart phone. I appreciate everyone's input on this and am just trying to get my arms around the whole setup prior to implementing it for the client. We really try to provide solid solutions for each specific application.

Louroe makes really good stuff to be sure, and I know most of the guys over there. Valcom also makes nice equipment, and probably gets the benefit of much higher volumes (hah! a pun!).

$65 seems low for the 1036-M, they're usually closer to $100, so if you found that price, get it! Make sure it's the 15W unit, they also make a 5W and 10W version in the same line, but different P/N's. Like I said, also get their funky power supply to go with it (another $20 or so).


If you DO decide to use a prerecorded audio clip I can attest to deterrence of an audio message. I once used a recording we made at Forbes Field AFB of a huge capacitor-esque device spinning up to a piercing whine overlaid with a voice stating "intrusion detected, systems arming" and loaded on a voice message insert for the intrusion panel. It protected an equipment barn on my very rural property for 4 years. If well done, you can just follow the urine trail to the suspect.

This is proabably overkill for a food truck, but I ran across this article where a similar tactic is being employed at an auto dealership in South Florida. It uses analytics that trigger a live (or could be pre-recorded) message so that if someone trespasses on the lot after hours, it tells them that the facility is closed and to come back during normal hours.

Remote Video Monitoring Pays Off

It's a uses a VideoIQ product for analytics, so it may be using the integration that Brian Karas linked to in his post above.