How to Compare your Video Camera System Bid from the Owner

  1. The equipment many companies quote is often not name brand equipment.
  2. Does the installing company have a low or high voltage license? In California a C7 or C10 license is required and you can search under CSLB, California State License Board.
  3. In my opinion, the better route to take is to use existing good analog wiring and upgrade cameras to current technology then to convert all system to digital IP. Or if even a new system, why?

    A. Digital IP equipment is specific to that system. When the camera or dvr need to be replaced down the road compatibility will be an issue. Even on brand new systems between manufacturers even if the components say they are compatible many sub features cannot be attained.

    B. Analog high definition video is provided with either one of four common standard technologies ( HD-TVI, HD-CVI, HD-AHD or HD-SDI).

    We use Hikvision which is the best name brand in the business and can handle all these technologies. This means this system will allow you to mix and match different technologies and manufacturers of product for a better full proof system for longevity.

    Its not uncommon in just a year to not find the same or compatible IP camera to work on same NVR even from same manufacturer no less a different manufacturer. In this case you don’t even know who the manufacturer is. It could even be Hikvision components inside since many no name manufacturers use their product and repackage it. Then why not buy the Hikvision name in the first place?

    C. Analog vs. Digital are just ways of sending the video data to the dvr or nvr which are essentially both computers. They just receive the information from the camera in different ways. Analog is sent as an actual video signal converted to a signal format to allow for high definition. Digital is sent as data one and zeros. Both are converted as data at the dvr or nvr since these dvr or nvr machines are computers stripped down for video recording and playback.

    Analog and Digital, digital meaning IP (internet protocol) can have the same resolution aspects meaning how many pixels in the picture. Example a 4k or 8 megapixel camera has 8 million total pixels (light dots) in the picture. Normally an IP digital camera will have a small jump on capabilities but this is not always the case and usually IP cameras are more expensive, usually twice or more the price. Unless video analytics is offered in the IP and not in analog would be only important reason to consider going digital.

    D. The wiring which is your base core structure to any system which is key. Why? Through technology advances the components like the cameras and dvr or nvr recording platform will get upgraded but rarely is the wiring changed. The wiring is usually the most expensive equation since very labor intensive.

    Both Analog or digital systems are best provided through hard wiring. Yes either system can use wireless technology but wireless has draw backs from distance and hacking issues and the cameras still require power from some type of source so inevitability even wireless still receive wiring (unless solar/battery operated but that brings up other issues in itself).

    Then the next question: What type of cable is used? Most companies skip this question again, why? cost.

    Common data wiring is Cat 5e and Cat6 for IP cameras while analog uses siamese cable made up of coax and power wiring with different grades of metal used. Example longer distance and less interference is achieved with more copper in the wire. Also cables that are made for exterior use to allow for U.V. and water should be considered. We use direct burial type wire or conduit or both when exposed to outside. We also use 95% copper siamese wire for longer or possible interference wire runs.

    While both analog and IP cameras can use either type of wiring with specialized converters (additional cost), what are you getting?

    E. No model numbers to reference. This is a common problem for companies who do not want you to know what you are purchasing. This allows them to gouge you on pricing and provide you with an inferior product.

    We believe in transparency and fairness, sure go ahead and Google our products. The make and model numbers are provided as well as specifications of each product you receive from us.

Why Install Home Security Systems in Los Angeles

security cameras in 2019It’s easy to find yourself wondering if a home security system really is worth it. Home security systems in Los Angeles are more common than ever, and you are right to think you may just be missing out on something.

The truth is, installing this important layer of security to your home can save you much more than its cost. See all the reasons why you should go for this installation for your home in Los Angeles.

  1. Keep intruders out

Protecting your home and family from intruders is the most important reason to install a home security system. The presence of an alarm system serves to deter intruders or give the occupants a timely warning against the intrusion. At the same time, the security system also alerts the authorities of the break-in. Homes without a security system are more likely (2.7 times more, to be precise) to get robbed or broken into.

  1. Protection from fires

A home security system is often a complete package that includes fire alarms system or smoke alarms. This helps to warn occupants of a fire outbreak. It’s important to note that it takes only thirty seconds for a small flame to become a full-blown fire. Within minutes the thick black smoke from the fire rids the air of oxygen to breathe creating a life-threatening situation for anyone inside. Heat detectors, smoke detectors, or fire alarms are vital for your home security system.

  1. Remote control

Surveillance systems give you remote control over your home which often comes in handy for any number of situations. You can manage your home’s electricity by using your surveillance system to shut off any appliances when you are not in the home. No matter where you are, your home security system in Los Angeles can help you monitor activities in your home. You can track any significant event and get emergency personnel to your home if needed.

  1. Peace of mind

The feeling you experience knowing that your home and everyone in it is safe is priceless. Having a home security system in Los Angeles gives you peace of mind. You feel safe and relaxed both in and outside of your home or in remote locations.

  1. Save on your home insurance

Most insurance companies provide a discount to homeowners with a home security system. The amount of the discount varies depending on the features of the home security system. For example, if you have a system with a central monitoring station, you can get a larger discount on your home insurance compared to having a security system without a central station.

  1. You can always be in the know

Regardless of if an intruder comes into your home or your kids throw a party in your absence, your Los Angeles home security system will give you a clear and complete look at what happened. You can monitor your home effortlessly and even get any clues needed to identify an intruder or their purpose.

How to find the Best Security Camera Installer near You

security cameras in 2019Security is of utmost importance for every homeowner, and one of the best ways to secure your home or building is to install security cameras.

Thanks to significant leaps in technology, the industry offers a wide range of options when it comes to security cameras and you can always find something that suits your needs. After figuring out what options you prefer for your home security and surveillance cameras, the next thing to decide is who would install the system.

Is DIY possible for installing security cameras?

Yes. Most security cameras are designed as an easy to install system with detailed instructions that help homeowners complete the task themselves. Some systems can be set up with nothing more than adhesive on the wall, while others may need screws. If you run into any problems, you can also call the company to get directions.

Why hire a pro?

Hiring a professional security camera installer is relevant for the same reasons you hire any other professional. They save you time, stress, and money in the long run. A professional installer will help you set up completely and help integrate a whole network of security cameras into your security system.

You can get an installer from the company you purchase the security cameras from or find one online. The cost of the installations depends on various factors such as your location, number of cameras, and so on.

Pick the best security camera installer near you.

In your search for a professional security camera installer, you are likely to meet countless options. There is a high probability of choosing the wrong installer and getting nothing but regrets if you don’t pick wisely.

Here are some tips to help you find the best installer near you;

  1. Ask around for recommendations

With security being a critical element for homes, you can find others who have installed surveillance cameras with the help of a professional installer. Friends, neighbors, and even colleagues in your area can help with recommendations to consider.

  1. Make a list and dig in

Gather your options from both online searches and recommendations and research more about the installers. See if they have websites or references you can look at to get a feel of their capabilities and professionalism.

  1. Ensure they possess the necessary qualities

After some research, your list should reduce to a few options. It’s important to clarify your expectations and the necessary qualities your ideal installer should have. Choose an installer that is;

Professional in their work. A pro should understand your needs and be ready to help you get the best from your security cameras. They might even provide suggestions on what works and what doesn’t.

Transparent. It’s vital for you as a homeowner to learn about your new security system. This empowers you to operate it efficiently and know how to handle minor issues that might occur. A good installer should have no problem explaining a few points.

Affordable. While choosing the cheapest installer is not advisable, be sure to look out for those with reasonable costs/fees.

What Causes Static On Intercom Systems?

gate intercom installationStatic is not an uncommon issue with intercom systems. It can be caused by almost anything but the good news is, some causes are easy to fix on your own. Read on to know the possible causes of static on your intercom system.

  • Interference

It’s almost strange that an intercom which is a closed system can have issues with interference. To know if interference is your culprit, check your environment for the electrical appliances around. Do some testing by disconnecting and reconnecting the appliance or appliances found to see if the static stops and starts. If the appliances are responsible for the interference, then check if your equipment is properly grounded.

Another source of interference can be a radio broadcasting near the system. The radio frequency may interfere with your intercom system, but this particular issue dissipates as soon as the radio moves away.

  • Equipment

Your intercom system may be its own problem. Sometimes as the intercom ages, its parts can develop wear. So the wiring may start to show the signs by causing static. Aside from age, moisture, pests, or damage in the intercom’s wiring can lead to static on the system.

In this way, an intercom can help you discover even bigger problems in your electrical connection. Problems with the connection where the intercom is plugged can manifest as static. If left unattended, the issue could damage the intercom. Fixing the circuit can help clear up the static.

Static is only one of the issues an intercom system can have. Others include humming noises and power supply failures.

While using some tips above to fix the static problem might be sufficient, others will require an intercom repair professional. You can contact a professional to explain the problem and get insight on if it can be fixed or if your system probably needs a replacement.

3 Common Intercom System Repair Issues

intercom power issuesIntercom systems in homes or any building for that matter have specific functions that make life easier. They improve security, save time, and are invaluable for when someone needs help in the home or building.

Despite their great functions, intercom systems are not without a few setbacks. There are common intercom system repair issues that owners sometimes have to deal with. Learn more about the 3 major culprits below and how to solve them.

  1. Static

On our list of 3 common intercom system repair issues, static is probably the most common of all. Static can be heard from the microphone or speaker and its causes include;

  • A bad connection developed due to old parts of the intercom system
  • Damage or faults in the intercom system such as a loose wire or bad switch.
  • Power overload or short circuit
  • Interference
  • Poor power connection

While it’s easy to handle static caused by a poor power connection or interference, others will require the expertise of an intercom repair professional. Trying to DIY the problem may only cause further damage. It’s also possible that some causes of static indicate a bigger problem with the system. Your intercom repair professional will inform you if a repair or replacement is the best option.

  1. Power supply failure

A power supply failure can easily translate to your intercom system not working at all. Power failures are part of the bigger problems other issues like static may indicate. Thankfully, power failures don’t just occur at once. They send warning signs at the beginning with either the static or a humming sound. Your intercom repair expert will be able to point this out when they take a look at the system.

  1. Humming noise

Humming sounds from your intercom system can be as annoying as static. Causes of a humming sound often include;

  • An underlying or bigger problem such as power failure
  • Faulty wiring or connection

Some owners try to live with the humming sound or ignore it and this is a wrong and dangerous approach. When the problem gets worse, repairing the intercom system might become impossible. Call an intercom repair professional if you observe these humming sounds.

What you can do

  • Although calling an expert is your best option, there are steps you can take to solve or reduce some of these common issues.
  • Check the troubleshooting guide in your intercom system’s manual for directions on the problem.
  • Check that the power indicator on the system is lit. If it’s not, check the plug. It’s possible the adapter unit may not be plugged in properly or the power socket being used is defective. Change the socket or plug in the adapter unit properly to fix this. If none of this works or the power unit seems okay, loose wiring may be the problem.
  • For dealing with a humming sound, interference from other appliances like dimmers and fluorescent light switches may be to blame. Try switching off the lights or other equipment to eliminate the hum and single out the source.

Secure Tech is your intercom troubleshoot expert! Give us a call if you are having issues with your intercom system.

Security System: Professional vs. DIY

security system repairStatistics say there are about 2 million burglaries in the United States each year. Shocking, but not quite when you know that only 17% of homes in the country have any type of security system. Burglars get into homes through various entry points and with no alarm or security systems to deter such activities in your home, it’s easy to become a statistic.

Knowing how critical the situation is, you have two major options for security systems. These are professional or DIY installations. The quickest thing most people think about these home security options is that DIY installations are cheaper and easier. While this isn’t wrong, it’s not advisable to choose between both options using price alone. Read on as we break down the pros and cons of each.

Professional Security System

A professional security system provides benefits that outweigh the initial costs. You can get more from the installation and home security systems installed. Here are the pros associated with a professional security system;

  • You can get indoor and outdoor security cameras and sensors for every door and window regardless of the size of your home.
  • There will be a scheduled appointment with a professional installer to explain your options.
  • There will be installation costs, but lower up-front equipment costs.
  • You won’t require a tool belt.
  • They include a security assessment in your service.
  • They provide system tutorial to walk you through how it all works.
  • You can rest and save your time while the professional installer installs the security cameras and all the security systems.
  • Many security companies offer same-day service and installation.
  • An experienced technician on site can troubleshoot problems and ensure the system is efficient.
  • The technician can walk you through everything, including more suggestions for home security and using the app.
  • The technician can conduct a security assessment.

As sweet as these pros sound there are cons that might stand out for you;

  • There are installation fees to be paid
  • You have to make the time to let a stranger into your home.
  • Professional security systems often require contracts.
  • This option may not work for renters or tenants.

DIY Security System

Going DIY is not without its perks. Here are the pros that make this an appealing option for many homes;

  • No installation fees but higher up-front equipment costs
  • No interruptions in your schedule and you control your time for the installation.
  • Wires are not involved, and this works better for most renters.
  • You don’t need to let strangers in your home.
  • No contracts required.
  • Easy to install and you can chat with a technician if there’s any confusion.
  • You save money and learn something new while at it.

The cons or disadvantages to this include;

  • You do the work.
  • If you have a bigger house, it will take some time.
  • Higher up-front equipment costs.
  • No professional expertise.
  • You can get maybe one indoor security camera.
  • The DIY security system is a simple system with a few windows and door sensors.

What you chose should be what’s most suitable for you and your home security.

Secure Tech is a licensed, bonded and insured full-service low-voltage Santa Clarita electrician. We have both residential and commercial customers in the Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita areas, as well as throughout LA and Ventura Counties.