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Quick Guide: Setting up your Lambing Camera Kit
It’s that time of year again- the trees are in blossom, the days are drawing out longer, and Spring is in the air. And for thousands of farmers across the country this can only mean it’s time for Lambing. Throughout this week, the BBC have been running the latest edition of Lambing Live, their third annual dip into the hectic lives of sheep farmers in this stressful time of year. Aside from the obligatory attempts by a hapless Kate Humble to try her hand at scanning Ewes and wrangling wayward animals, the show is a vital insight into the (often unappreciated) effort that our hard working farmers put into providing food for the nation’s dinner tables. Of course, the show also serves as an important reminder of the importance of setting up an effective Lambing camera kit in order to help you monitor your animals at all times of day.
Because of this, I thought it would provide an ideal opportunity to help address some of the questions we often get asked when our customers are setting up the kits. We provide full wiring diagrams as standard, but there are few people out there familiar with the ins and outs of CCTV wiring, so questions often arise.
Cameras & Microphones
Whilst the system is wireless, the cameras and transmitters will still need to be connected to a power supply in order to work, so bear this in mind when planning where you are going to install them. The camera itself connects to the transmitter with a 2 way “shotgun” cable, that takes the video signal and power. This means you can have all of the power supplies in one location next to the transmitter instead of spread out across your lambing shed. The video cable then simply plugs into the transmitter with a small adapter. The microphones can sometimes also cause confusion, as they work “in-line”. This means they have sockets for power in and power out, letting you plug them in between the camera and the 2 way cable, without needing a separate power supply.
Quad video processors are a great way to set up a multi camera system without spending a fortune on multiple transmitters. They take the video from up to 4 cameras, and displays them as one split screen. This image can then be transmitted using one transmitter instead of 4. One thing to note however, is that they do not handle audio. Because of this, if you have a microphone then the audio cable will have to plug directly in to the transmitter, bypassing the quad processor. If this is confusing, the diagram below should help. It shows a camera with a built-in mic, but the separate mic design should wire up in exactly the same way.
Most of our wireless lambing camera kits use high gain antennae in order to significantly boost their range. For the best possible signal, the antennae should be installed on the outside of your shed and home. This means that the signal will not have to penetrate any external walls in order to reach the receiver. They come with long leads attached in order to allow them to be connected through a wall. Remember that anything in the line of sight between the two antennae can impact the range, even if it’s just some tree branches.
Once you’ve connected everything inside your lambing shed, and set the receiver up with it’s antenna, it’s simply a matter of connecting it to your TV or recorder. The transmitter provides an RCA plug for video, so you can check our previous wiring guide for quick instructions on how to connect it to your TV or DVR.