Low Voltage Projects in the Last Month
Here, at Las Vegas Low Voltage, we do more than our fair share of standard low voltage work. Everything from checking a data cable drop that is not getting a link light, to running new cabling, to installing and maintaining surveillance cameras. However, we also seem to get more than our fair share of custom work requests, and I wanted to highlight some of them that may be of interest to a business user.
Our first interesting project came from a client that had gate access to their clients on a regular schedule. They noticed they were having break-ins to their facility but nothing was registering to their gate access system showing an exit or entry. They reviewed their surveillance footage and definitely confirmed a vehicle was entering without activating the gate system via normal operation. We determined with them that the offender was using an emergency responder gate entry “puck” to get the gate to open even after scheduled hours.
To solve the problem we installed a stand-alone unmonitored alarm system to the gate, that could be armed and disarmed remotely. The alarm notifies the manager’s phone when the gate has been opened with a simple text message. The manager can then check the access system to see if that was an authorized gate entry. If it was not authorized we set the manager up to lockdown the gates remotely so they could then call the police.
Our second interesting project/problem came to us from a Self-Storage Unit, here in the Las Vegas Valley. They initially called us to do some basic maintenance on their surveillance cameras and repair some cameras that were offline. Once we performed maintenance on the cameras and made them viewable, the client informed us that they were constantly having issues on a part of their property where someone was climbing a wall and vandalizing the facility. The offender was always accessing the facility from the same point and it was always at night.
The client had two problems to solve coming in to this. The first problem was that the point of coverage that the offender was accessing thru was only viewable from one existing camera and that camera had not been well placed. It was directly across from a security light, and the security light was in effect blinding the camera and almost making it useless. To install a camera to a new location covering that area would have been cost prohibitive, as there was no access. Additionally to capture footage after the fact would not have done a lot of good as identifying the offender would have proven difficult.
Our very elegant solution was to first change out the camera to a proper outdoor camera with True WDR (Wide Dynamic Range). WDR is a function on a surveillance camera that helps the camera adjust to different lighting conditions within the same picture. A good example of using this technology is when you have a standard surveillance camera on a warehouse roll-up door. With the door up, the light from the outside is far brighter than inside the warehouse. This will always cause the area outside the door to wash out or white out. This solved the problem of the camera seeing properly.
We then went to the DVR and set that camera on a motion alert schedule targeting the area where the offender gained access. The DVR was set to email pictures of any motion over a certain threshold on that one specific area, only during certain times. This eliminated false alarms and gave the manager confidence in the system.