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What to Look for in a Wireless Foaling Camera Kit
Over the past few weeks we have already talked about the benefits of using a wireless CCTV camera system to help monitor your animals during foaling or lambing season, allowing you to keep a close eye on your animals without having to stay in the barn around the clock. But there are many CCTV kits on the market, with a large array of options- just what specific features should you look for when investing in a wireless Foaling camera kit?
Somewhat confusingly, the best wireless CCTV kits for this type of work don’t actually use wireless cameras, but instead feature traditional wired security cameras which are then connected to a separate transmitter. This is because standard wireless cameras tend to be smaller and of lower build quality, not designed for the heavy usage that they will encounter on a commercial environment like a farm. Wired cameras on the other hand feature much better weather sealing, more durable housings and higher grade sensors. By combining one of these with a separate wireless transmitter you get all of these benefits without having to run hundreds of metres of cabling.
It’s important to think about the size of the area you want to record, as it may impact the type of lens your camera needs. Wide angles allow you an (unsurprisingly) wide field of view, ideal for general monitoring in a large barn. If, on the other hand, you want to focus on one specific area, it might be worth getting a camera with a varifocal lens, letting you manually change the camera’s angle of view to zoom in on a subject. If you aren’t afraid of a more involved set up, then you could even opt for a Pan-tilt-Zoom (or “PTZ”) camera, which uses a motorised housing in order to let you remotely control camera movements.
There are two main types of wireless transmitters and receivers- Analogue and Digital. Digital are slightly more expensive, but have almost double the range, and are significantly less vulnerable to interference & picture breakdown. They do however have a slight signal delay when compared to analogue models. Another benefit is that Digital allows two way communication, letting you potentially send signals out to your cameras. On more advanced models this means you can send IR signals from a remote control out to the cameras, or even control commands for a PTZ camera (see above).
All wireless devices will have built in antennae, but for transmission over any serious distance you will need external high gain antennae. Not only does this boost the signal, but it allows you to mount the antenna on the outside of the building, preventing the massive drop in signal that occurs when it has to go through a wall. For the longest distances, you can opt for directional antennae, that can focus all of the signal’s strength in one location.
Please note- whilst our kits list approximate wireless ranges for direct line of sight, it is essentially impossible to provide exact distances, as obstructions as small as tree branches can potentially have an impact on your signal.
Most kits are designed to just plug straight into a TV for monitoring, but there are more advanced options if required. A quad processor, for example, can be used to combine the feeds from four cameras into one split-screen view. You could also add a DVR if you wanted to record footage from each camera to a hard drive. Most professional CCTV DVRs will also have the option to connect to the internet, letting you monitor your cameras whilst on the move via a smartphone. Don’t forget, our expert advisers have experience with all of these systems, so if you need some help you can just give us a call!