Putting cameras in a place for temporary surveillance where power and communications are not readily available can be complicated and expensive. One growing niche is mobile surveillance trailers that allow users to quickly deploy a turn-key system to the specific sites and locations where and when they are needed.
In this post, we examine these trailers, including:
I just installed the LiveView Systems trailer at one of our substations for testing, and also have a semi-permanent unit set up at one of our base yards. So far, I'm extremely impressed. It's well built, and the software tools they provide for device/network/environmental monitoring are outstanding.
Hi Bryan, it was a positive experience all around. The technology on board is customizable, the output boards and all other connections are laid out well and are easy to work on, and they are very responsive during the sales process when it comes to custom things you want to do. It wasn't very difficult to have these report to our SOC just like the wired systems.
I ran in all as an external application embedded into CCURE 9000 for event management, so it looked like any other window on the surveillance screens. You'll need to do some custom stuff to receive alarms, but it's not very difficult to pull off and have it be consistent.
The device itself is sturdy, the outriggers are good, and you can stake it down and use guy wires for more stability. It's definitely built to last.
I'm in Hawaii, so obviously I have no experience or feedback in reference to cold weather performance, but it definitely stands up to wind and rain. They have been out there for around 2 years now, no maintenance other than the occasional power cycling for testing.
I have built and used my own trailers for oil pipelines and other off the grid sites. If power exists then this is not the best solution. If no power then solar is great, we have used in northern Canada with very low temperatures and with little day light hours. 6 panels using 10 batteries is sufficient to power a small 12 volt VMS, 4- cameras and cell modem. Using a generator to me offers no advantage nor does a fuel cell - used both and regretted the price and issues associated.
The guys who are sell these thing are way overpriced. And for the deterrent effect I think that there will be less costly alternatives available. For example using a tethered drone with a pre-programmed flight path would offer, in my opinion a bigger deterrent
These types of units are like fences, they keep honest people honest, and scare off people who wouldn't be considered determined attackers. If I had to put a number on it, in a retail setting they'd prevent a high percentage of incidents and would serve as evidence collection for the remainder.
As one of the companies who designs and makes these systems, I have to agree that when I see the sale price some of the trailer based systems go for I'm surprised at how high it is. (our design is not a trailer system). Knowing what it actually costs (us) those are some pretty attractive margins they're getting. That said, if a customer needs something temporary and mobile, many of us offer lease/rental/monthly service options and when you add up 12 months of those monthly's, it's far less costly in most cases than a drone, guard or permanent solution would be. On the tethered drone issue. we've been watching the FAA regs on this subject for about 2 years. They are getting closer to approving unmanned, tethered and programmed drones but not yet. Until they do, you have to have a licensed pilot within physical eye shot of the camera under Part 107 of FAA regs so it's not a cost effective full time security solution yet. I do agree with Mark that drones are the future of temporary security and look forward to the day FAA regs make that possible. In the meantime, from a cost standpoint, even with the high margins from some of the vendors, the mobile surveillance solutions are the way to go in most cases.
Hey UD #4, thank you for the direct contact info. I spoke with a member of the sales and marketing team and they said they would pass my request on to the appropriate party--I assume Jeremy. I didn't hear back from them. I had the initial phone call and then did two follow up emails.
They might be a little hesitant since they offshore all their monitoring to call centers in India. Reach out to Michael or Luke at Cameras Onsite. He is The Godfather of surveillance trailers and they monitor with Americans instead of Indians.
I have to comment on this as I love the IPVM site and regularly follow the articles, reviews and discussion as well as use the calculator on a regular basis but basically forcing paying pro members to upgrade to a group plan in order to download a pdf is very unfair in my opinion! I am a small business owner and the only one the needs access to or understands the technologies that are been reviewed and discussed. We have 2 other techs and I have a business partner that handles accounting etc but I am the Chief Technology Officer and conduct all the R & D and make all decisions regarding all technology related products etc. I absolutely don't need a group membership in the near future and I feel as if having a paid pro membership is not as important to IPVM as customers who have a group membership. Is this because we pay less? What other benefits are we missing out on by not being group members even though we don't only require access for a single person? Is the only difference between a pro membership and a group membership the number of users that can access IPVM and the ability to download a pdf of PRO topics? I may be missing something here but maybe you can explain the differences to me and the reasoning for this decision if I am misinformed. I would rather have the option to pay a small increase in my IPVM Pro membership to download PDF articles if I was interested and do not have the need to upgrade to a membership that doesn't suit my company requirements. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide me on this issue.
That is a great idea if possible to do an article on options for building a mobile surveillance trailer. I would be extremely interested as there are no options here on the Far East coast of Canada for purchasing trailers at a reasonable cost and definitely no options for renting a trailer.
Sean this is not rocket science you can easily make your at a much lower cost i would suggest speaking with someone local who understands your solar area. On pipelines in Alberta in winter we can get maybe 7 hours of sun which is at a low horizon so mounting the panels should be done almost 100% perpendicular and remember even though the sun is low and short because of the colder weather it is more efficient. Not sure where you are at but if it works here it will work there. A full build out including trailer should cost you no more than $15,000 CDN.
I agree with Mark. We don't use a trailer, we designed a mobile pole that basically becomes semi-permanent for stability and security for the system itself (it weighs 1200 lbs and with no wheels when installed it can't be stolen easily) when we remove the wheel and hitch assemblies at installation so I can't speak to the cost of a trailer. I can tell you that our systems end up costing us in the $15k to $25k range depending on what we include on it in terms of camera and audio technology. The issue for a lot of end users and integrators is that unless you want to get into this business with some volume behind it, the labor and engineering costs plus cost of parts to build your own probably isn't worth it in the long run. If you just need a couple of these systems, you'd be better off paying for a system already completed and tested to avoid the same growing pains each of us (who provide these systems) spent a few years losing money over. You need to know solar, battery, wifi, cellular and camera technology and how those things all integrate and how geography and weather impact you etc. Its the initial design/engineering that resembles rocket science. The actual systems are fairly straight forward once you get to the build.
I'd be interested in knowing what you feel would be a "reasonable cost" for one of these systems. We are getting ready to launch a purchase program making our systems available nationwide and at the moment our pricing is much lower than anything I've seen on the market but it would be helpful to know what others think these are worth. Like, is there even a market for us out there?
@UD #2 - FD I am Director of R&D at Pro-Vigil, and yes we utilize several global monitoring centers to accomplish the task of handling up to a million video alarms per day for our organic and indirect customers throughout the US and Canada. When it comes down to protecting your assets, does it really matter what human in what country decided something suspicious is going on at your property?
I would also be a little concerned with the language/accent barriers. It is often difficult for Americans to understand the heavy accents many Indian call center workers have and if its a customer service issue with your bank it can be frustrating but you can usually get through the call with a lot of "I'm sorry, I don't understand you, can you repeat that" but the last thing you need in the middle of a criminal or life safety event is a failure to communicate clearly.
A million alarms per day? Goodness I had no idea there were a million legit criminal incidents per day in the US and Canada. Or is that how many incidents your Outsourced, unlicensed Indian monitors determined were criminal? Someone who cannot legally enter the US should not be watching hard earned American assets. Please tell me government entities do not know you are “monitoring” facilities by a lowest cost overseas pair of eyeballs. Why not put those jobs back here in the US where they belong?
I appreciate the incredible amount of work you do and know it isn’t your decision to employ foreigners to do the job. Some VC or PE group is always looking for a way to save a dollar instead of delivering a quality service. From your name I assume you are here in the States. I’m glad they have kept your job and not outsourced it to your monitoring center folks.
(Point of fact - Ben didn't say those million alarms were legit criminal events.) I'm not aware of any agency that can provide actual statistics as to how many alarms video, burg and fire, are reported each day nationwide (I'd love to see that report if anyone has it) however, from experience I can understand how/why they might be getting so many alarms. It all boils down to sensitivity settings, detection zone set up etc. All programmable things but sometimes you have to sacrifice getting a lot of false alarms in the interest of not missing anything depending on the security level/threat of a particular site. Another big issue in outdoor for some areas of the country (Arizona is one of them) is bugs. They are attracted to the lights (IR, LED) so our false alarm rate increases at certain times of the year. We tried a number of things to solve it but in order to provide high level of security we can't adjust the sensitivity up enough to miss the bugs without missing important stuff so we just incorporate it as a cost of business.
We opted to use a 3rd party video monitoring center in Houston (yes, they monitor with Houston employees not India or Mexico). They specialize in video so its not an alarm station that added video verification later or an equipment supplier that also offers monitoring. They built from the bottom up centered only on video so the operators are very highly trained and not distracted by residential burg alarm management. We like the fact that Texas does have stringent regulations for security providers as well so their location was a positive. Getting your monitoring outside of a company that sells you a system gives you more control over quality on both sides. Your monitoring company has no vested interest in what kind of camera you use and your camera supplier isn't vested in what monitoring you use. We like that flexibility. We use Eyeforce.com
In this arena (trailer surveillance systems) most of the players are using some form of analytics whether its being monitored on or off shore. Granted some are using simple VMD but others are using much more sophisticated AI to limit FAR/NAR and determine what activity is real. That then sends alarms to the monitoring station (again, on or off shore is immaterial in this sense) that you want human observation and response on. That's the beauty of this kind of security. We're able to offer the best in both worlds of technology AND human analytics. It really gives a good argument for replacing on site physical guards saving customers thousands of dollars annually and giving them better coverage, faster response and a time/date stamped recording of the entire event.
Also check out Video Armed in Canada its done with analytics and priced in Canadian dollars - i have used them exclusively and have very happy customers. They really understand analytics and they have been at this since 2003 and are just now looking at expansion and as I understand that expansion will happen in Texas
I am wondering if anyone has made/used a pole mounted application where you just need solar, small hoffman box with battery and cellular connection to support one PTZ camera. Easy to move and use in substations or remote locations.
Mobile Pro Systems has trailers, pole mounted units, etc. that we have utilized with Axis hardware and done Genetec Stratocast for straight cloud or used with wireless bridge to record into Genetec Security Center. They also provide a laptop in the unit if you want to run the recording directly in the trailer. Very good team to work with and very good product.
I think the general answer is "all of them". Most, if not all, MSU's are using ONVIF cameras and a wireless router with cellular capability. You can program the cameras to any headend you want to as long as it is compatible to the cameras. As an example: we use Axis and have in the past used Mobotix, Hik and TKH - all of them worked fine with Sureview (our headend). Call me is you want to discuss it.