NC City Surveillance Challenges

Author: Ben Wood, Published on Jun 17, 2013

City surveillance systems can be challenging, even for a small city of one hundred thousand people with just a handful of cameras. In this note, we dig into the problems that Wilmington NC faces and the solutions that it is planning to fix them.

Problems

**** ****'* ****** ** ***** **** ******** ********:

  • **** ******* ******
  • *********** ********
  • *****************
  • ***** ******** **************
  • ********** ******

**** ******* ******

*********, *** ****’* ** **** *** ******** ** ******** ** four, ***** ******* ********** ******** ** ***** **** **** ** the ****** *******. *** **** ************** $***,*** *** *** ******** ***** *** ******** ******** ********, ** * *****-**-* ***** area. *** ***** *** * *******; ******* *** ******* ****** on **** ***** ** **** *** ****** ******, ** ****** in *** ****** ***** **** **** * ***** ** *** system.

*********** ********

*** ******* **** ********** **** *** *** ****** ** *******, says ********** ****** ********** ******* ******* **** *****. ** *** instance, * ***** *** *** ***** ******'* **** ******** *** cameras *******. ***** *** **** **** *** ***** ******** **** were *** ***** ****** **** ********* **** * **** ** sight. "** ****** **** ** *** ****** *********. [** *** given ****] ***** ** ****** ** ***** *** *** ** the ******* ****. *'** **** ******* **** *** ****** *** four *****, *** ** *** ***** ********** ****** ****," *** said. 

*****************

**** ** *** *****, *** ****, ***** ** *** ********. "It ** * ******** ******* *** ***** **** ***** ** four ******** ****** **** *** ****** **** *****'* ********.*** ******** *** **** **** *** ****, '** ***** ****** our ******* *** ** ***'** ***** ***** ***** *********, ** can't ********* *** *** ***** ******** **** **** **** *** system.' *** *** ******** **'** ****** *** ******* ******** *********." 

** ******* *** **** ***** ** *** '*****' ** '******'. That ****, *** **** ***** *******, ****** *** ******** **** equipment **** ********* ******* ****** **** ***** **** *******.

***** ********* **************

**** ***** *** *** ******** *********. "**** ** ***** *********** the ******** **** ******* ** ******** **** ********* ******** ... but *** ********* ***** ******. ** ***** **** **** ***** after *** ***** ****." 

********** ******

***** **** ***** ***** "**** ************" **** *** *********** ** the ****** *** *********** ******** **** *** ********** (**** ******* Schneider ********), *** ****** ********** ********* **** ***** ***** ****** installer **** **** ***** *** ******** *** ******* ***********.

The ******* *******

*** **** ***, *** **** ******* ******* **** **** ** the ********. "... *** ****** ** ***** *** ****** ******* lost ***** *** *** *** **** *** **** *** ******,” says * *** ******** ****. 

** * **** ******* ******* **** **** ***, ********** *********** ***** *. ********** ******** ** *** ******* ********* ******* ******* ** ******* *** *******. *** ******* ***** also *** *** **** ** * ******** ** ****** *** ****** and **** ****** *** ********** ** ****** ******* **** ***** ****, the ***** ****. *** ***** **** ********, *** *** ******* will ***** **** *****.

*** ******** ******* ******* **** ****** ** ***** ******.

***** ***

*** ****** **********’* ********** ****** ****** ** *** *** *** project **** **** ******** *** ***. *** ******* ******,**** **** ***** *** ********, ** ********* *** ********* *** ************ *** ****** $**,***. *** *** **** ******** *** ***** ***. *** ******* **** ** *** ***** *** *** new ******* ** ***** ***.

***** ***

*** ****** ********** **** **** **** *** ** *** **** *** install ***** ******* ** ****** **** **** **** * ****** FoV. **** **** ***** *** ******** ** * ********* ******** so **** **** ** ********* *******. 

***** *****

*** ****** ********** ***** ** ***** *** *** **** ***** *** fixed *******. *** ***** ******* **** ** ***** ********* *** the **** **** ** ********** ** ***** ** *** ******. One *********** ***** ** **** *** ****** ********** ***** ** use *** **** ********* **** ****'* **** ** *** *** system. ********* ****** *** ******* *** ***** *** *********. ** a ******* **** ********* ***** *** ******, ********* **** **** part ** *** ****** *** ********* *** *** **** *** because **** **** ***** ** **** **** ******* ** ***** cameras, ***** ****. *** ****** ********** **** **** **** **** *** analytics **** **** ****** **** **** ****** ***** ***** *******. 

IPVM ********

**** ******* **** ******** **** *** **** ** **** *** goals ** ****** *** **** ******* -- ***** *****-******* ******* -- *** **** **** ****** ******** ********** ** ***** ******* from ***** ****. *******, ******* *** ** *** ********* ** **** hall, ***** ***** ******** *** *** *** **** ***** **** the *** ******. ***** *** ********* * *********** ******* ** the ******** **** **** *** *** ****** ******* ***** *****. There *** * ******** ******* **** ***** *********. *** ** was * ******* *** * ***** ** ***** ** *** for ** ********* ****** **** *** ***** ****. ** ** strange **** **** *** ****** **** **** ** ********* ****** that *** *** ****, *** *** ** **** ***** *** same ****** ***** ******* ** ** ********* ******* ***. * asked ***** ***** ****, *** *** **** ** ** *****'* work **** ****, **** **** "**** ** **** **** ** does." 

Comments (11)

Has Wilmington defined what the analytics are/were (trying) to be used for?

Is the plan still the same (RE: analytics) going forward as it was when the deployment failed at the begining?

Claiming analytics 'never worked' is pretty vague. Why didn't they?

How much money did they waste over 4 years (annual licensing?) by shelving the analytics after a few days once they 'didn't work'?

Also, I think you nailed one of the main system failure points. It's the familiar 'grants pay for equipment/installation while completely ignoring on-going maintenance needs' syndrome that is endemic in US cities.

Note, there's typically no 'annual licensing'. As the VMS manufacturers are at pains to tell us, those 'annual' charges are optional. In this case, I bet they did not pay any more for licensing to ActiveEye/Honywell.

Marty, here's what I can answer of those now. The others I can ask.

Has Wilmington defined what the analytics are/were (trying) to be used for?

I don't know what the analytics were being used for.

Claiming analytics 'never worked' is pretty vague. Why didn't they?

They weren't alerting them to the activity they were looking for. I'll have to find out what that activity was.

Can you clarify what you're asking on this one:

Is the plan still the same (RE: analytics) going forward as it was when the deployment failed at the beginning?

If they turned them off after the first couple of days, it is most likely that they got barraged with false alerts. If they got no alerts, there would be no reason to turn it off, right? Only when you get hammered with false alerts are you motivated to shut the system down.

I'm curious about the intended future placement of those legacy PTZs. Do the analytics need both a PTZ and a fixed camera to perform whatever the analytics were intended for?

<queue dream sequence> Long, long ago in a land far, far away (analog era) when I was with an integrator, we had a customer who was a preacher. He wanted to have a surveillance camera auto-track him as he walked back and forth and brought thunder as he preached the word during his sermons of salvation.

Since this was a customer who was refilled weekly with OPM (other peoples money) we didn't mention that having a person pan a camera back and forth physically might've saved his flock thousands.

At the time (~2006) we went with the only solution we could find: Pelco Spectra II (III?) PTZ to track movements of identified object... but this required a fixed camera placed right under the PTZ for orientation (fixed focal 'home' point) required by the Spectra to do the auto-tracking.

If tracking objects was part of Wilmington's original plan, maybe not having the fixed cameras with the PTZs was the fail? And if so, that also answers Johns last comment about how the intended result not happening can also be a reason to shelve them - not just too many false alerts... :)

For about the same money they could have fiber optics with no downtime. They could run each camera to a fiber MUX and run 10 or more on one fiber cable.

Hello, Undisclosed:

That approach still would have resulted in longer lengths of <new> fiber run to a MUX, no?

The big question is: how difficult would it be to get fiber to those points?

On the plus side, the area appears to be fairly small (e.g., an 8 block by 3 block area). Also, given how much money they have already spent and are going to spend, it might have been cheaper to use fiber.

How true is the Incompatibility statment by firetide? Do you think this is valid or the intend to sell more firetide products?

I would think the non-firetide radios has to be hardwired to Firetide for it to work. If that is the case, I would understand that they will not be part of the firetide mesh but I dont see how they would cause issues since the firetide system will see them as devices on the network.

Hello, Undisclosed:

That approach still would have resulted in longer lengths of <new> fiber run to a MUX, no?

Yes. IFS and Fiber Options are very good at video and RS 485 PTZ controls. I have personally installed large projects with fiber MUXes to the head end and was very pleased with the result. The main reason was cost and the one beneift the customer liked was insulation from lightning strikes hitting a camera and taking out the head end matrix. Of course wireless technology was in it's infancy.

How true is the Incompatibility statment by firetide? Do you think this is valid or the intend to sell more firetide products?

Personally I do not blame them because their technical support personnel are trained on their products. Why should they attempt to support a mixture of technologies with different specifications? They probably would be guessing their responses to the installer then if it didn't work would get the blame. I have been in a three manufacturer mix of products when a new install didn't work. Fingers were pointing everywhere until I took two products out of the loop by running a direct cable to the camera. The cure was to change the bias setting on the code converter into the wireless transciever contrary to the instructions.

I did once have a Chevy that I kept spending money on, hoping that it would work. Never did.

This description has me completely baffled. To remedy the issue they are going to throw in more Firetide nodes and use directional antennas (hence, this is not a mesh but a daisy chain design, which is what they were straying from). Honeywell Cameras (do they still make cameras??) on a Schneider (I am sorry...Pelco) camera platform. Are they even supported?

So I guess the answer is: Add more Firetide Nodes (8K each?? ). Oh, I forgot, you are also getting some specially calibrated Firetide 23 dbi 5 Ghz antennas replaced (which are directional, which gives you the equivalent of a $100 a radio Ubiquiti network). Firetide does not hold any magic patent over 23 dbi 5.8 GHz panel antennas (not sure why high gain would be used anyway on an $8,000 mesh radio in an 8 x 3 block area).

They really should contact someone that knows what they are doing.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Belgium Bans Private Facial Surveillance on Jul 06, 2018
Belgium has effectively banned the use of facial recognition and other biometrics-based video analytics in surveillance cameras for private,...
China Public Video Surveillance Guide: From Skynet to Sharp Eyes on Jun 14, 2018
China is expanding its video surveillance network to achieve “100%” nationwide coverage by 2020, including facial recognition capabilities and a...
French National Police Buy 10,400 Hikvision Body Cameras on May 31, 2018
France’s national police forces bought 10,400 Hikvision body cameras earlier this year, in a high-profile deal that’s coming into effect as the...
Last Chance - May 2018 Camera Course on May 03, 2018
This is the last chance to register as the course starts next week. This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth...
Amazon Enters Home Security Services on Apr 26, 2018
Move over ADT? It is certainly what investors have feared for ADT, especially since Amazon acquired Ring. [Update: We spoke with Amazon and have...
Hikvision DarkfighterX Vs Darkfighter PTZ Tested on Apr 26, 2018
Hikvision has focused on improving low-light performance for PTZs, an area that has traditionally been a problem, even more so than fixed cameras,...
Axis Launches Mini Concealed IR PTZ on Apr 11, 2018
Axis has been a laggard in releasing IR PTZs. While the company released a laser focus PTZ (the Q6155-E tested) until now Axis has had no PTZs with...
ISC West 2018 Access Control Rundown on Apr 06, 2018
For ISC West 2018, what is new and interesting in access control?  This rundown will bring you up to speed on the exhibitors, what they are...
30+ Emerging Tech Companies Examined on Mar 28, 2018
ISC West has a new segment for 2018: the 'Emerging Technology Zone', which they boast: Featuring 50 of the latest and greatest startup...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Axis ~$100 Camera Tested on Jul 17, 2018
Axis has released their lowest cost camera ever, the Companion Eye Mini L, setting their sights on a market dominated by Hikvision and Dahua. Can...
Amazon Ring Alarm System Tested on Jul 16, 2018
Amazon Ring is going to hurt traditional dealers, and especially ADT, new IPVM test results of Ring's Alarm system underscore. IPVM found that...
Hikvision Wins Chinese Government Forced Facial Recognition Project Across 967 Mosques on Jul 16, 2018
Hikvision has won a Chinese government tender which requires that facial recognition cameras be set up at the entrance of every single mosque...
Installing Dome Cameras Indoors Guide on Jul 16, 2018
IPVM is producing the definitive series on installing surveillance cameras. This entry covers one of the most common scenarios - installing dome...
Security Sales Course Summer 2018 on Jul 13, 2018
Based on member's interest, IPVM is offering a security sales course this summer. Register Now - IPVM Security Sales Course Summer 2018 This...
US Tariffs Hit China Video Surveillance on Jul 13, 2018
Chinese video surveillance products avoided tariffs for the first two rounds. Now, in the third round, many video surveillance products will be...
Last Chance - July 2018 IP Networking Course on Jul 12, 2018
Registration ends today, Thursday. Register now. This is the only networking course designed specifically for video surveillance...
4 Most Difficult Camera Installs (Statistics) on Jul 12, 2018
Heavy housings, cumbersome brackets, heavy ladders required, and tricky field of view requirements will cause difficulties no matter the camera...
Axis Perimeter Defender Video Analytics Tested on Jul 12, 2018
Axis 'high security' video analytics offering is Perimeter Defender, OEMed / developed with Digital Barriers. But how good is Perimeter Defender?...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact