Archive for the Security Cameras Category

3 Tips to Improve Employee Productivity

3 Tips to Improve Employee Productivity

I have managed a large number of employees over the years for different companies, as well as with my own business. There’s definitely a fine line between micromanagement and under management. With the below tips, hopefully you can find a balance that makes your workplace a fun environment as well as ensuring that your employees are using their time and the company’s money wisely.

  1. Tip #1: Security Cameras: Installing security cameras in the workplace is a great way to improve employee productivity, because not only can you see what your employees are doing at all times, they never know when they are being watched. This, in turn, increases their productivity. Outside of improving their productivity, it can also help make them feel safe by adding a sense of security.

  2. Tip #2: 1-on-1 Meetings: I have found a large signifigance in 1-on-1 meetings. These meetings can track progress, answer questions, alleviate any problems, etc. With new employees, I would have a 1-on-1 meeting weekly. With more senior employees, I would have this meeting every 2 weeks or monthly. Not only do these meetings let you know how your employees are progressing, it also lets them know that you care and are there for them.

  3. Tip #3: Daily Tasks/Goals: I believe every employee should have a daily tasks/goals sheet. At the very least, I would train them on the 80/20 principle and to focus on the 20% of their tasks that will get them 80% of their results.
    For example, a salesperson may have 10 tasks for the day. 2 of these tasks are more important and will be a greater impact than the other 8. Maybe these 2 involve closing a sale, following up with an existing customer to get more business, etc. The other 8 tasks could include cleaning their desk, prospecting, ordering business cards, etc.

Hopefully, the above tips will help improve your employee’s productivity. Did I miss a tip that you feel is more important than the 3 above? Please share your comments below!

CCTV Security Camera Basics

CCTV Security Camera Basics

When purchasing analog security cameras, there are many options out there. You have cheap equipment that can be purchased from a store that also specializes in household products and food all the way to the security camera experts that focus only on quality security camera products.

With so many years in the industry, I felt it best to create a cheat sheet for newbies, so you make sure to avoid all the fluff that is out there and make sure you are getting the best analog camera for the money.

  1. Chipset – I am going to keep this one simple.  Stick with Sony chipsets.  Sony, Sony, Sony.  Don’t mess with Sharp chipsets, and if at all possible, stay with 1/3” and avoid 1/4” chipsets like the plague.  If the camera you are looking at doesn’t specify a Sony chipset, turn 180 degrees and visit someone else.  There are plenty of reputable companies out there offering analog cameras with a Sony chipset.
  2.        BONUS: Sony Effio chipsets are the latest and greatest-go for these if your budget allows!
  3. Manufacturer Location – I have looked at, tested and pulled apart THOUSANDS of cameras from manufacturers in China, Taiwan and Korea.  If your budget allows, stick with Korean made products.  Not only do you tend to get a better warranty, these cameras are usually the most durable.  Other popular products that come from Korea include LG and Samsung, both of which are made of the highest quality and very reliable.  Next after Korea, I would venture to products from mainland China, but definitely read product reviews on the products you are interested in before committing to anything.
  4. IR vs Non-IR Cameras – Unless you really just have something against night vision, go with IR (Infrared) cameras.  IR cameras allow you to see during the day time and at night time, whereas non-IR cameras just allow you to see when there is a sufficient amount of light.  IR cameras are produced as much (if not more) than non-IR cameras and can usually be purchased for the same price as a non-IR camera.
  5. IR Range (Night Vision) – If you are looking at a night vision camera, the IR range specified is always 40-60% of what is actually shown.  I really think the manufacturers test the IR range multiple times and just take the highest distance, rather than the average.
  6. TVL – TVL (TV Lines) represent the number of horizontal TV Lines an analog camera has.  Obviously, the more the better.  As of this writing, you should really try to get a camera with 500+ TVL, as these are produced as much (if not more) than 300-400 TVL cameras.  The highest you can go is 700 TVL, by the way.
  7. WDR – WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) cameras adjust light levels when a cameras view gets washed out from viewing a bright area, window facing the East or West, etc.  Basically, if you have a camera that is facing the East or West or facing an area with a lot of light coming in, go for the WDR.  Otherwise, this feature is not mandatory.

There you have it!  You’ve just saved yourself a lot of time, headaches and hassle. Stay tuned, my next cheat sheet will focus on IP Cameras.  You don’t want to miss it!


Night Vision Camera Have No Vision at Night?

Night Vision Camera Have No Vision at Night?

When investing in night vision cameras, many home and business owners are dissatisfied with the image they get at night time.  A lot of times this has to do with the camera manufacturer over promising on the night vision range, and in turn, under delivering once the camera has already been installed and first seen at night by the customer.  I have seen the range be up to 50% less than what is advertised.  This is not fair to the consumer or the company reselling the cameras.

There IS a solution: IR illuminator(s)

The image below shows the power an IR illuminator can have on the view of your home or business at night.

night vision cameras ir illuminators

IR illuminators are very inexpensive, require very little power and will make a huge difference in the view you experience at night time.  It is best to mount the IR illuminator near the camera (above, below or on either side).  You will have to angle the view of the IR illuminator at night time, until you get a satisfactory night vision view.

BONUS: Don’t have a night vision camera?  IR illuminators will work with non-night vision cameras, as long as they have an IR cut filter.

Did I miss an IR illuminator benefit or night vision tactic? Please write a comment below and share your night vision expertise.

Security Camera Installation Checklist

Security Camera Installation Checklist

security camera installation checklistInstallers, integrators and solution providers need a comprehensive checklist when performing a site walk for a security camera solution. Below, you will find a checklist made to help keep a site survey more structured and organized. If you would like to download the PDF version of this checklist, you can download it here: Security Camera Installation Checklist

Security Camera Installation Checklist

Customer Info

Company:	________________________
Name:		________________________
Address:	________________________
Phone #:	________________________
Email:		________________________

Camera Info

# of Indoor Cameras:		________________________
# of Outdoor Cameras:		________________________
# of Stories (Building):	________________________

Remote Viewing:			□ Yes  □ No
Type of Cable Needed:		□ Network  □ Coax
Conduit Required:		□ Yes  □ No
Existing CCTV Cabling?:		□ Yes  □ No


Composition of Building:

[ ] Brick
[ ] Stone
[ ] Wood
[ ] Concrete
[ ] Metal
[ ] Combination
[ ] Other ___________________

Man Lift Needed:

□ Yes □ No


Type of Ceiling:

[ ] Drop Ceiling
[ ] Open Ceiling
[ ] Sheetrock Ceiling
[ ] Other _______________

Height of Interior Ceilings:

[ ] 1-12 feet
[ ] 13-19 feet
[ ] 20-29 feet
[ ] 30+ feet


Cable Lengths:

Average Cable Length:	___________ feet
Longest Cable Length:	___________ feet

Length of Installation:

# of Days:		___________

Job Info

Installer: 	___________________
Job #:		___________________
Date Walked: 	___________________

Security Camera Mounting Tips

Security Camera Mounting Tips

security camera mounting tipsWhen investing in a security camera solution, there are many questions that can come up. One that I hear most often is, “Where should I put my cameras to get the best coverage?” Below, I will uncover some camera mounting tips that will save you time, money and headaches.

  • Entrance/Exit Areas – This is how people get in to your home or business and, more importantly, this is how they leave your home or business. Mounting a camera above an entrance/exit area that will give you a good clear visual on who is coming and going is highly recommended.
  • Areas of Importance – If you have a room or area that has valuables or is of high importance, it is highly recommended to put a camera viewing the area of importance.
  • High Traffic Areas – It is recommended to put a camera (or cameras) up in high traffic areas or areas that will have multiple people. This could include a lobby, sales floor, shipping/receiving dock, etc.
  • Parking Lot/Driveway – There is a lot that can happen in a parking lot (for a business) or a driveway (for a home). It is recommended to have cameras viewing these areas. If your budget allows, you might also consider putting up LPR (License Plate Recognition) cameras at the entrance/exit area of your parking lot to capture license plates of people who are coming onto and leaving your property. Technology is available now that will allow you to trigger an alert or set off an alarm if a license plate comes onto the property that you banned. This could be a shoplifter, ex-employee, etc.

BONUS: Megapixel IP cameras provide a higher resolution and more clarity than analog cameras. In many cases, you can use one megapixel IP camera in place of multiple analog cameras.

Mounting cameras correctly to get the right view of your home or business is critical to getting the desired footage, if something were to happen.

Did I miss a mounting tip? Please write a comment below and share your camera mounting tips.

Security Camera Lens Calculator

Security Camera Lens Calculator

security camera lens calculatorThe lens on a security camera is one of the most important things you need to look into.  Why?  Because, the lens determines how up close or far away your view is.  A camera lens providing a zoomed in view of the entrance/exit area to a parking lot is going to be much different a camera lens viewing a wide angle shot of a sales floor.  How do you know which lens is right for you?  You will need a lens calculator.

There are many lens calculators out there, but in the past 7 years, I keep going back to the same one.  It can be found at the following link:

Follow the steps below to make use of this easy to use lens calculator:

  1. Select the “Imager Format”.  This is the type of chipset your camera has.  Most cameras are either 1/3″ or 1/4″.
  2. Next, in the “Distance to Object” field, enter how far away the camera will be from your target area that you want to view.
  3. Next, in the “Lens Focal Length” field, enter the mm lens you are looking at.  For example, if you are looking at a 3.6mm lens, you would enter “3.6”.
  4. Next, under “Specify F.O.V. Perspective–>”, select the “Horz.” radio button.
  5. After you have done this, click “CALCULATE”.  The calculator has produced what your field of view will be, which can be seen in the “Horiz. Field-of-View” and “Vert. Field-of-View” fields.

You will also be able to see what the “Horz. FOV” is for the specified “Lens Focal Length” and “Imager Format” that you have used.  For instance, a 1/3″ chipset camera with a 3.6mm lens has a 68.47 degree field of view.

Hint:  All numbers populated in the calculator are the same unit (as far as feet, meters, yards, etc).  If you populated the “Distance to Object” in “feet”, then the horizontal and vertical field of views will be populated in “feet”, as well.