Humbly, we think the best resource around is our own Security/Surveillance eBook (It's free!)
Installation, selection, DVR features and functions - everything you ever wanted to know about home security and surveillance...
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Why do we ask you to sign up? I'm still writing it and put out updates regularly We WILL NOT sell or give your contact information to anyone else for any reason.
So, what's in the book? A step by step walk through of a home security system, tradeoffs in choosing different features, as well as installation tips. There are also two in-depth reviews of popular systems as well as details on how to hook it all up to be viewed on your Android phone.
FREE Prewire your home eBook HERE... You might as well start with the home prewire book to get a sense of how to pull all the wires and get a "basement" media center set up.
Other Online Guides
The Cocoontech.com guide is one of the best out there. While it skips over a lot of details (covered in the BOCS prewire guide), it is an in credibly comprehensive overview of most home systems - split into three parts.
Cocoontech Wiring your new House 102 - checklists for each of the major subsystems for the automated home, and detailed descriptions of various ideas you can implement.
Aventura Comprehensive CCTV tutorial - This is the best camera tutorial out there - it covers camera types, lenses, sensors, day/night vision, and there is even a calculator to help you choose camera features. Start here and then search for low cost options on google. Camera quality is the #1 factor in getting a good picture - spend money here first.
Basics of home security camera systems - Brief overview of camera systems.
Products of Interest
Cameras and Systems: -
Security Cameras - This is a pay to advertise site where various manufacturers place ads for deals on security cameras and related products. Good source for seeing a variety of product.
Home Security Store - Good online source of reasonably priced cameras and DVRs
Google search - yep - there are so many manufacturers with good deals out there, this is one system type that is up for a good online search.
PartsExpress - They typicalls have an 8 channel/4 camera system of one brand or another on sale for about $399
Newegg - The leader in computer parts, they also typically have DVR systems on sale - I've repeatedly seen a $250 8 channel DVR for instance
Local Shopping - Frankly, if you have a FRY's in town, they are an excellent source of cameras and full security surveillance systems
If you happen to be in Hong Kong - head to the night market in Tsim-Tsa-Tsui - at the south end there is a vendor that sells a large variety of cameras for really great prices - I think the most expensive one is $15 with 50 IR LEDs including power supplies and cables.
Tutorials and Information Pages:
Find your system remotely - Even if you have a Comcast internet service with a dynamic IP address, you can get an easy to remember domain name so you can always access from outside. (Don't forget to port forward to your security DVR). Just choose the "Get free domain name" on the dyndns site and then you run a simple little tool on your home computer that updates the service once a month or when your ip address changes.
Access your system remotely - An excellent backup is to be able to access your home computer remotely. There are plenty of "pay per month" services that let you do this, but an excellent free alternative is teamviewer. As long as you are only using it for personal use it is free and works regardless of where your computer is.
Finding wires at the patch panel - toning - There are much cheaper tone tools than the one shown in this video, but if you are trying to trace out a wire, this is the way to do it.
Security-Surveillance for Dummies Intro.
Apex DVR system hookup tutorial
Apex CCTV powering options
Apex PC DVR installation - CCTV
Overview of setting up motion detection