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Discussion Starter #1
Seeing as most people could use them, I thought I would post up my experience.

I used to live in Surrey and would have appreciated something like this when I was there. I lived in the Clayton Heights area, about a 5 minute drive from Holeshot. During the 5.5 yrs there, I was broken into once, had things stolen from the property twice and had 5 different instances where I found that people had tried to steal things in the yard. I have since moved to a far better neighborhood. Despite that, there have been 2 circumstances in 4 yrs where people on the cul-de-sac have found their cars tossed after leaving the doors unlocked overnight.

Our house came with a 4 camera set-up going to a hard drive and is fully alarmed. However the video set-up is now 4 yrs old, video quality is poor and it's a major pain to review footage on.

We looked into monitored alarms but I can't stomach the monthly cost. They also wanted to install all new equipment but wouldn't use the existing hidden wiring. That meant all new wires that would have been visible, something I wasn't willing to put up with. Once the monitoring company gets an alarm, they send it to the local police, where is prioritized. That means if they have more important calls coming in, those get attended first. Rightly so, but the alarm companies sell it that a SWAT team, dog guys and helicopters will be over your house in 30 seconds.

I had gone to look at the various do-it-yourself set-ups available. Each time I went I would quickly become overwhelmed by the choices. After combing through them and talking with users, I settled on the Arlo Pro2. My neighbor has it on his house here and his lakehouse in Summerland. A co-worker has the same. Reviewing their systems, the quality of the footage, the speed that which it responds to inputs and ease of installation sold me.

The cameras come with rechargeable battery packs. According to my neighbor, his have lasted up to 4 months before requiring recharging. He has them set on a schedule instead of 24/7 which lets them last longer. His lakehouse ones which are always on last about 2 months. Since I didn't want to muck about with them once installed, I opted to buy the solar panels to keep them charged. An extra few bucks but since the cameras will be between 10 and 12 ft off the ground, I won't have to drag the ladder out every couple of months.



Pros:
- stupidly easy to hook up to the wi-fi. Literally within 10 minutes of opening the box they were sync'ed in to the system.
- wide-angle lenses give a great view with no distortion and are 1080P.
- weatherproof.
with microphones and speakers allowing 2 way communication.
- rechargeable batteries that can last up to 4 months.
- easily installed.
- can handle 5 camera inputs.
- 7 days of free cloud storage and a USB can be plugged into the base unit as well.
- very easy to use software. Zoom, photo grabs and recording all simply done though the app.
- real time alerts through the phone.

Cons:
- the 2 way communication has a confusing lag, up to 3 seconds which makes things difficult.
- not cheap. The basic system was about $900 before tax. The solar panels used to keep the batteries charged added another $500.


https://www.arlo.com/en-us/landing/arlo-pro-2/
 

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Good writeup. Regarding monitoring: some of the smaller operators may consider connecting their own hardware to existing wiring. You'll have to look around but if memory serves I have seen it happen. FYI there are only a few monitoring centres in the lower mainland, shared by most operators.

For anyone in COV, there is a bylaw requiring monitoring. The infraction isn't that high but once they note that your system is not monitored VPD reserve the right to not respond to anything that sounds alarm-related and that is not hyperbole I have definitely seen it happen.
 

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Thanks for the review. I went really cheap with wyze cams. 38 bucks each. Tied with IFTTT, I'm able to get email and sms notifiations to my smartphone. The app is not perfect but overall I'm pleased with performance so far.
 

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For anyone in COV, there is a bylaw requiring monitoring. The infraction isn't that high but once they note that your system is not monitored VPD reserve the right to not respond to anything that sounds alarm-related and that is not hyperbole I have definitely seen it happen.
I'm in the process of getting quotes to improve the security system at work, one of the estimators told me that even if you're watching someone break into your building (from remote access at home) the police don't prioritize your call. Only when it's a monitored service. Too many false alarms or pranks.*

Of course he was offering a monitoring service at the time....

One of the things that always comes up is the question of what you're trying to achieve with security cameras. You want to ID people? License plates? Verify false alarms? Or just visual deterrent? Seems like cameras are getting good enough now to get some decent info, not that many years ago security footage didn't seem too useful. *
 

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if you pay there are very good cameras... was looking at cameras on an amacon property.. can be brought up on a cell phone.. ipad pc etc anywhere, and crystal clear.. i was looking at myself like a 1/4 mile away.. 2-3 second lag on the whole system.. see my face and read a plate easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
For me, it's to ID the property crime scum. Grab screen shots, call in to get a file, send the photos via email to the officer in charge. My experience shows that the people doing this are frequent fliers and easily identified.

Since these ones also have the speaker and alarm function, I can tell them to start moving and tag the alarm. And since I live in my work area, I can also swing by and say hello in person. Not something I would recommend many people to do.
 

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Good information. My alarm causes ears, outside, and inside, to bleed within 60'.

I live in Surrey. Surrey has many "levels" of area family conduciveness. i've been ok, good area, last 21 years, no break-ins, only 1 in neighbourhood, that being an unalarmed home where the people went on a holiday for 2 weeks, and displayed their fun on Facebook.

10 years ago, I caught a guy breaking into my garden shed, trying to take my old B&D electric weed eater. Beat the fuck out of him with my old Sherwood hockey stick. He ran away. I've since been correctly informed that this kind of "retribution" is not conducive to future world travel where a passport is needed.

Last month, I spotted 2 guys hovering around the area behind me, which is a lovely little unused, lit, open municipal park. Phoned RCMP, told them my intentions, and the intentions of my adult male and female neighbours, to protect my neighbour's 5-7 year old kids bicycling around my area should they not consider it a priority. Within 3 minutes there were 3 Crown Vics hustling to the end of my cul-de-sac. They know my name. First, and last of course. I'm a regular caller. OCD I guess. They grabbed the guys. All was good. Turns out they were Telus contractors in the area installing fibre-optics for internet. They told them not to hang out in the park. The RCMP thanked me for watching things. they said they will increase patrols of the area. They want me to be a block watch guy. I told them I've got my Austrian widow neighbour, who is my bulldog. Patrols my place at 3am. All is good.
 

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Id love to have a camera setup. I've got a game camera I've set up before when I'm feeling paranoid. But I've looked at these exact arlo cameras before too. I also have four legged deterrents. *Most people that haven't been to my place honk for service and ask if they should get out of their vehicle before just traipsing about. *

IMG_0711.jpg
 

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I have the older Arlo pro (720p vs 1080p for the Arlo2). I’d say Sikorsky pretty much nailed the review.
The key for me over nest cams was obviously the total wireless design, but also the free cloud storage. I did the math at the time, and I think the 5 year subscription cost on the nest would basically double the system cost. Having had the system for almost 2 years, I can add a few pros and cons

Pros:
-Geofencing and scheduling work very well. I have it set to record/alert only when we are not home and between 11pm and 6am when we are. Hands off and no annoying alerts. Once in a while the system spazzes out and you have to open the app to tell it you are home. It seems to only fail armed though, which is much better than failing disarmed as you rush away for a holiday.
-the default motion sensitivity is well suited to most applications. I have 3 cameras set up with very different angles/ranges and I haven’t needed to futz with the settings at all.

Cons:
-these are not enterprise worthy cameras. You will be disappointed if you buy these for your business.
-these were rushed to market full of bugs. Sell now, fix later very much in effect. That said, they have fixed many of the issues, but I’m sure the corporate philosophy has not changed
-customer support is non-existant. However, the user base is huge and the Arlo support forums are very helpful. Maybe fixed now, but geofencing was absolutely borked by the default apostrophe in an iphone’s name and no one in support knew about it. What the actual fuck Arlo? Fuck you.
-dat lag. It’s up to 10 seconds at its worst. Holy Jesus. Priority alpha for new Arlo feature needs to be routing live feed direct over wifi when user is home so these can be a viable front door or gate cam as was advertised. Right now all traffic flows through their servers in PA or wherever.
-dat range. I knew it would be dicey, but I have a pole with power 70ft from my front door through a brick wall and a steel door LOS to the Arlo base station. No go. Now I would have to get into repeaters and directional antennas and all the shit I wanted to avoid with expensive, supported(lol), plug and play.
-no real smart features like human and behaviour detection, lost article time stamping, or even motion exclusion zones.
Since they are battery, they cannot be always-on recording like the nest so they cannot do the fancy stuff. It would be cool if people who had them on mains power could turn on that cool stuff but since most users picked Arlo for the wire free design, I doubt they will develop those features. To be fair, I knew this going in.
-rare false alarms as a result of the above. Stupid raccoons and cats at 3am. Most annoying though are wasps. I read they like cameras because Wasps were made by Satan, and cameras look like eyeballs.

Sikorsky, how are the solar panels working? I think I’m gonna step it up, and set up the repeater, pole cam, and an Arlo smart motion light at the gate to trigger the pole cam, but I have no power to the gate area. Solar panel would be brilliant there.

Edit: just saw on their site that they kind of have the smart features now but it is a subscription service.
Edit again: they are releasing an audio only doorbell. I assume this is a revenue positive way to "fix" the unusably laggy 2 way voice on the cameras. like a sucker ass consumer, I will probably buy one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The solar panels are doing good, but honestly......after 2 days if sunshine they should be. Two if them are in pretty poor areas to get direct sunshine but seem to be keeping the charge above 90%. They come with a 6' cable so you can have some wiggle room.

I haven't set up any scheduled times. Because u work a 4 on/4 off shift and the wife is a 5 on/3 off it would be difficult. We also both work shifts which would make it worse. I may do a night time sched to minimize the alerts but with the solar panels it isn't a priority.

I have ordered some skins off of Amazon. My house is browns and greys, the stark white of the cameras really stick out.

Now answer me a question ....... WTH is geofencing? I can't wrap my head around that.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's something no one wants to see.
 

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Now answer me a question ....... WTH is geofencing? I can't wrap my head around that.
Sounds like exactly what you need with your schedules. **

Go to mode, select geofencing. You will need to add your wife’s phone.

You can set the cameras to disarm when the system senses that either of your phones is within a radius of your home.*
 

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Discussion Starter #15
you'd be surprised what there's a market for on the internet. it could easily fund your retirement.
Hard pass, LOLOLOL.

Sounds like exactly what you need with your schedules. **

Go to mode, select geofencing. You will need to add your wife’s phone.

You can set the cameras to disarm when the system senses that either of your phones is within a radius of your home.*
Mind is now blown!
 

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would it not be cheaper if we just let the cops start shooting thieves ? I mean all they do is cost society money and really they do not contribute to society so why should we keep them ? AND those that complain about this idea need to send me monthly checks to offset the cost of their belief in the religion of political correctness :)
 

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It would be easiest to just shoot them ourselves if going that route. But, for the record of the internets, I never would!

Now if a beast of a dog chewed on their ass some. I may not lose any sleep over that.

I believe in prevention of opportunity.
*
My last home which I may be moving back to has a six foot commercial grade chainlink fence all the way around the 3/4acre lot with a matching sliding gate for the driveway. Top notch security. My neighbour razzed me when I was building it to not fool myself, the old 'if they want in they're getting in'. I told him not to fool himself, 'if they want in .....they were going to his house'. He didn't like that much. I love that fence, total feeling of security with a couple dogs behind it. No one accidentally falls/climbs over a six foot chainlink fence. *
 

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I feel the same way. A mastiff Dane cross and a mastiff rottie cross. But you'd be surprised the respect people have for them just by their presence. They are both unfixed males too. *I've had many dogs over my life and I firmly believe that the mastiff is the best guardian breed there is. Very intuitive dogs.*

The rottie cross is pretty damn big really. But as always it's the little guys you really should be worried about. * *
* IMG_0716.jpg IMG_1103.jpg
 

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See, I didn’t even know what they are. *They sure look happy and healthy though.
It is amazing how dogs can sense your confidence level about whether you belong in a place or not.*
 
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