Spycam Scenario: Troubleshooting Wireless Farm CCTV
I run a medium sized sheep farm, and after struggling for years to stringently monitor my Ewes 24/7 during foaling season, I finally saw the light and purchased one of your wireless 4 camera farm CCTV kits to help me keep an eye on them. It has already been a massive help, letting me monitor one of my sheds from right in the farmhouse, however I appear to have a bad signal on two of the cameras. This is confusing, as the distance to each of the cameras is around the same, it’s just how they’re positioned around the barns that is different. Can you help me figure out what could be causing these wireless problems?
Whilst it allows CCTV systems with much more flexible installations, there are a few unique things that can cause Wireless CCTV issues that it’s important to be aware of before setting up a system. First things first, it’s important to go through this checklist to make sure the area you want to monitor is suitable.
- Power must be available at both the camera’s location, and where you will install the receiver
- The total distance in a direct line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver’s aerials must not be longer than 300m
- There must be a clear line of sight between the transmitter’s aerial and the receiver’s
- Neither device should be located underneath or in the vicinity of overhead power lines
In addition to this, there are a few common problems that can arise when choosing camera and aerial locations, but these can often be overcome by adjusting your set up slightly:
Problem- Camera and transmitter are placed inside of, or on the other side of a building, with no aerial visible
Solution- Aerial installed on top of, or on the ‘visible’ side the building, providing line of sight to the transmitter. The aerial’s cable can be run through the wall to the camera in order to achieve this.
Problem- Natural obstructions such as trees or bushes disrupt the line of sight to the camera or aerial. It can be easy to miss overhanging branches when evaluating a camera’s line of sight.
Solution- By making use of the aerial’s extension cable you can usually move it to a position not obstructed, and still have it connected to the camera.
Problem- Camera and transmitter are located out of range (typically 300m in optimum conditions)
Solution- Sorry, there is no fix for this, the transmitter has to be in range!
Problem- Line of sight to camera/transmitter blocked by large obstruction such as building
Solution- Again, the best option is to use the cable extension on the aerial to place the aerial somewhere in direct line of sight to the receiver. A common solution is to mount it as high up on the building as possible. Don’t forget you can also change the location of the receiver’s aerial in addition to the one connected to the transmitter.