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Installing A Video Security System In Your Home

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Installing a cheap (or expensive) video surveillance system in your home isn’t as complicated or difficult as people tend to believe; it is, however, extremely time consuming. Pulling wires throughout your home (I do NOT recommend wireless systems due to reliability issues) is a pain in the rear-end, and that’s why homeowners tend to hire out to do it.

The following is an overview of the process. Variables include (but are not limited to):

  • What material your house is made out of (Block, wood, metal, etc.)

  • If you have attic space, and if so how much

  • How far away from the DVR your cameras have to be in order to cover the whole house

  • How you want (are are willing) to hide the wires

Step 1: Purchase Items

Purchase your home surveillance system. I have provided the following links to the system I have personally bought and installed on three separate occasions, and I have included three separate lists: Items that are absolutely critical, items that you may need, and items that are nice to have but not necessary.

Absolutely Critical Item(s)

The DVR itself and the associated cameras are the central components of any home surveillance system. The one I have listed here is an inexpensive Chinese knockoff brand, and is the same one I have installed in my home. I’d like to have a higher end system, but I can’t afford it and to be frank I really just don’t need it.

What do you get with a knockoff brand versus a name brand? Ease of use, image resolution, and video review quality. All of these aspects are reduced when purchasing a knockoff brand, but the good news is that this article may still apply to you even if you have the bankroll necessary to buy a nice expensive name-brand system.

At $130 for the DVR and 8 cameras, this is a fair deal.

At this price point, the ZOSI DVR does not come with a hard drive to record video. All this will do is show you what the cameras see, but it will not save what the cameras see. (see “May Need” section next)

May Need Item(s)

Recording the video for playback will require a hard drive ($50) to store the data. The hard drive is technically optional, but pretty important in case you have to playback video for the police or something similar.

Displaying the video on a screen will (obviously) require a monitor, but you can also use an old PC monitor you may have lying around, as long as it has a VGA port.

Depending on how far away the cameras are from the DVR, you may need to purchase BNC extensions. The DVR comes with 100 foot BNC cables, but in my experience there’s always at least one camera that’s too far away and will require a longer cable. You will also need one BNC coupler per extension.

If, and only if, you are using BNC cable extensions, you will also need to purchase BNC couplers, one for each extension.

If you will be securing the camera cable into wood, you will need nail clips.

Not Necessary (But nice to have) Item(s)

A TV wall mount will secure the monitor to the wall, and keep it out of the way.

Zip ties will help you keep your cables tidy.

A cable wall plate will keep your installation looking professional.

Step 2: Installation

Warning: You will be drilling a hole all the way through the wall. You MUST take care not to drill through power or data cables. Injury may occur if you don’t pay attention!

Drill a hole using a 1.5″ (ish) holesaw all the way through to the outside of the house. You may have to drill out from the inside, then move outside and then drill the other direction.

The hole should go cleanly through to the outside of the house to pull the cable bundle through.

Take all 4 or all 8 BNC cables, bundle them together and pull all of them through the hole.

Install the camera near the corner of your house with a good view of the area you want surveilled. The camera’s base MUST be installed on wood, or if it’s brick you’ll need to sink brick anchors.

From the camera’s location, tuck the wires under the vinyl siding. You may have to use a screwdriver to pry open a space between segments. If you have a brick or block home, you may have to secure the wires at the base of the house, at the soffit, or under the house.

Once all the cameras are installed, bundle the wires up inside the house to keep them tidy.

Step 3: Setup

Plug each of the cameras into the back of the DVR and attached the power connectors.

Attach the monitor, power cable and remaining cameras to the back of the DVR.

Complete the DVR software setup according this video.

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By | 2017-08-24T19:24:26+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Tech-Tips|0 Comments

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