Named after a 16-year-old, who in the 1890s rode a horse from Durban to Maputo (Mozambique) to get help for the besieged British garrison, John Ross House features 32 floors of the best-equipped business and residential space in Durban.
An instantly recognisable structure, John Ross House occupies prime real estate overlooking the tranquil setting of the Durban Yacht Mole. Featuring a high-quality mix of business and residential apartments, the views from this unique building are considered to be some of the finest in South Africa. These panoramic vistas are best seen from the building's top floor, where there are two revolving restaurants and a nightclub; revealing great views of Durban and the tranquil setting of the Durban Yacht Mole.
In order to reassure its residents and secure the long-term future of the building, John Ross House's management recently initiated an electronic security scheme, which included access control and a comprehensive CCTV network. Installed by Camsec, the 32-fixed head camera system provides coverage of the building's entrances and exits, lifts, stairwells, car park and perimeter.
Because of the route the camera video transmission method would take, installer Camsec was reluctant to use a traditional coax transmission method, as Mark Horne, ADI's regional business development manager explains, "A number of on-site issues led Camsec to consult with the team at ADI in looking elsewhere for a camera video transmission method. Firstly, the route the cabling was to take would have proven to be a challenge for a large coax bundle. Covering the building's stairwells, corridors and lobby meant that the transmission method would need to pass between risers in the floors, and through interior and exterior ducting, space inside of which, was at a premium. Secondly, within this ducting, some cables were required to pass in close proximity to other services. The use of coax would have left the system open to interference problems from these services, adversely affecting the control room's picture quality, with the resultant spurious interference data soaking-up valuable storage capacity in the digital recorder. "
To facilitate the video transmission method for this complicated network of cameras, Horne, in conjunction with Camsec, decided to specify Network Video Technologies' (NVT) unshielded twisted pair (UTP), video transmission technology. Horne elaborates, "Using the award-winning NVT UTP solution enabled Camsec to complete the installation with minimal disruption to the daily running of John Ross House. Due to the compact nature of UTP bundles compared to coax, engineers were able install a comprehensive Cat5e cable network running between floor risers and in existing wall ducting with minimal civil works and disruption."
Using NVT's NV-208A-M passive (non-powered) video transceiver saved on installation time, with its male BNC allowing direct connection to the camera. Camera video signals are transmitted via Cat5 UTP cable to a NV-3262R 32-channel Active (powered) Receiver Hub, located in the on-site security office. "Using NVT's Active Receiver Hub meant we could be confident of the highest level of image quality being supplied to the DVR," explains Horne. "NVT's inherent interference rejection capabilities meant that we had no issues with the picture quality, and the NV-3262R's onboard adjustments allowed our team to tune-in the high and low frequency responses to achieve the optimum picture quality."
Billy Byerley of Camsec liaised with John Ross House management to achieve the best location for each camera, both from a security perspective and to allow maximum scene coverage from each camera; in order to provide a cost-effective installation. Byerley notes, "Using NVT UTP for camera video transmission meant that we did not need to compromise on the siting of cameras. With no restrictions on the physical routing of cables or local inference problems. The system is also 'future-proofed' using NVT UTP, as it can quite easily accommodate future camera additions, or resiting and reconnection to the UTP network - via easy punch-down block and new spur cable connectivity to the system's UTP backbone. This process would be vastly more complicated and disruptive if using traditional coax runs."
Deploying their own specialist system design, and technical support from NVT, Horne and Byerley have delivered a highly effective CCTV solution for John Ross House. One which will continue to protect its residents and visitors alike, ensuring the building's status as one of the most recognisable and safe landmarks on the Durban skyline.
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