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Getting the Best RF Coverage – Tech Talk #6 by Jim Flick

The nominal RF range that I have experienced for the vast majority of Videofied system deployments is 400 to 800 feet but as we all know actual RF range varies due to influences such as conflicting radio frequencies, terrain, man made obstructions, metal objects, trees, and the list goes on. My best was 1,300 feet line of site and my worst was 200 feet due to extreme RF interference at that site. The Videofied system communicates bi-directional with all devices on a 900 MHz frequency using a 25-channel spread spectrum, AES encrypted military grade radio.

To get the best RF coverage start by erecting a mounting mast for the Videofied head-end system. The mast should project five feet above the job trailer roof with the Videofied control/communicator head-end mounted at the top. This can be constructed easily using Unistrut, 1 ½” EMT conduit straps and a 10 foot stick of 1 ½”  EMT conduit fastened to the side of the job trailer. The Videofied panel comes with a double U bolt polycarbonate mount that bolts solidly to the EMT conduit in a matter of minutes.

Since most job trailers are located out of the way on the peripheral edge of a project, you may need to consider placing the head-end out into the project area for the best overall RF coverage in situations where your farthest camera is over 800 feet from the job trailer.

The good news with Videofied is you’re not left wondering if it’s going to work. With the system being 100% wireless, take a camera along with the keypad out to the proposed camera location and Range Test it. If it tests 9/9 then you’re good. Mount it and move on to the next camera. If it hovers at 8/9 or lower move it a few feet one way or the other, sometimes that’s all it takes to find the “sweet spot” or you might have to rotate the head-end panel so the large flat side faces the camera for the best antenna exposure. We need 9/9 for flawless performance.

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Mounting the Siren/Strobe – Tech Talk #5 by Jim Flick

For those of you who have the outdoor siren/strobe I would like to pass along a mounting tip that could save you from having to purchase a replacement siren/strobe.

Of the four screw holes located on the mounting base, the lower left hole has a dual function that you need to be aware of. Placing a screw in this hole also anchors the anti-pry tamper function which triggers a tamper alarm if the siren/strobe is forcefully pried from the surface on which it is mounted. If that happens, the tab breaks free from the base activating the tamper, triggering an alarm resulting in a police dispatch to a “Siren/Strobe Tamper”. Once this tab is broken the entire siren/strobe will need to be replaced.

When installing the anchor screw in this hole, do not over-tighten the screw! If the surface behind this screw is uneven you can pre-fracture the break-away tab or sever it completely causing a permanent tamper which can’t be repaired. My advice is to set the screw slightly loose or barely snug so the break-away tab is not under any stress.

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Functional Test Devices – Tech Talk #4 by Jim Flick

You can place your system into a “Walk Test” mode to see the detection coverage of each camera. By going into Maintenance Mode then using the right arrow key, stop at Functional Test Devices and press OK. This sends a signal to ALL cameras turning on the walk test feature of the PIR detector. Walking in front of each camera, the red LED in each camera will turn on indicating detection of your movement and the recording of a video clip if the system were really armed. This gives you assurance that each camera is properly covering and detecting your movement in the areas you are trying to protect. When finished walk testing all cameras, press OK to exit that test. To exit all the way out, press and hold the ESC/No key. Note: the red LED in the camera will not turn on for detected motion unless it is in the walk test mode.

This test should be run any time you set up or move a camera to ensure you have the area you are intending properly covered. Remember, each camera covers a 90-degree area and can detect a single human moving target up to 50 feet away.

Have a technical Videofied question?
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