Living in the middle of nowhere does not mean you cannot keep an eye on everything.
In today’s South Africa, crime is always just around the corner. People who often suffer most in this climate are farmers and rural dwellers due to the expanse of land they need to keep an eye on. For years these farmers have been dreaming of implementing surveillance systems to combat crime, but the technology simply did not exist, and to try to do it with standard CCTV equipment was a nightmare. Luckily times are changing on the technology front. Implementing IP-based cameras along with wireless networks is giving farmers peace of mind, as Louis Viljoen from Gramco IT explains.
Gramco IT installs surveillance systems on farms with integrated IP phone connections. The company connects long distances and remote farms to each other and the outside world by applying CCTV surveillance solutions that address the ongoing problem of late night visits from unwanted stock thieves. “The solution,” says Viljoen, “required more than just a CCTV system in place. It required wireless, good quality technology and installation, reliability and most importantly, night vision.”
Gramco IT’s initial CCTV solution was weakened by the fact that it was a wired system that, according to Viljoen, caused endless problems. “Running cables underground for distances of 300 metres to 500 metres just was not clever. It lasted for approximately 12 months – after digging up trenches five to six times in a matter of months. In the end, we abandoned the whole project.”
The shift to wireless communication was brought on by necessity. Viljoen and his team had to prepare themselves for a journey that they knew was going to be difficult, yet not impossible. “I could find no one to do what I expected from a security system, so I set out to do the impossible myself,” claims Louis.
The solutions entailed placing IP-based Vivotek cameras on the far corners of a farm, with the signal transmitted to the main house. An important factor was the ability to be able to simultaneously view all the cameras.
The signal was transmitted with MikroTik router boards and flat panel antennas. The system grew at a pace of its own. Before long the company was connecting farmers together by running a farm network stretching over an area of approximately 50 km.
The benefits delivered by this new and improved solution were numerous. For one you could see an intruder a mile away, and in the dark. The Vivotek SD 7151 proved outstanding, offering endless possibilities. It could also transmit a video/audio signal over vast distances, which proved extremely helpful.
For Viljoen, the reward is in the farmer’s everyday life. “The system not only brings peace of mind, but it gives great satisfaction to be able to know and see that the farmer’s hard earning livestock remains on his property.”
Viljoen believes that attending Miro’s courses helped him in achieving what he needed to achieve. “We wanted to know more so we went on numerous Miro courses until we were satisfied that we could conquer the world. When we ran into problems we simply asked Miro for assistance. The company’s service was excellent. The staff were always helpful, and, no matter how much we struggled to get it perfect, they always gave us the right solution. Progress was, all in all, unbelievably fast, thanks to the back-up we had.”
Viljoen believes that the gap between the standard CCTV camera installer and the installer that combines CCTV with a reliable wireless solution are enormous. “The standard CCTV installer is going to try and convince you that a trench of 300 metres is nothing. Do not believe this. You will have to re-dig that trench in the year to come. It simply does not work.”
Gramco installed 10 Vivotek SD 7151 cameras, all connected to an integrated network, and about 27 PTZ 7122 Vivotek cameras. The company connected 70 farms in the area it was working in with camera systems, phone systems, laser beam systems and more.
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