The Tech and Technique Behind Effective Home Surveillance

By Jackie Edwards

The video surveillance industry continues to develop and prosper as awareness for safety grows among citizens concerned for the security of their homes. According to a poll conducted in 2018 by SDM, in which both integrators and dealers were asked about their state of confidence with the current surveillance market, 75% said they believed the market’s state to be excellent. As video surveillance continues to grow in prominence and ubiquity, with more homeowners looking to secure their households, the more technical aspects of home surveillance should be made transparent and readily available. Placement technique and varying types of surveillance systems are being continually innovated and specialized towards fostering intuitive home security setups. Here’s an overview of the current standards for installing CCTV systems and their variant iterations.

Conventional surveillance setup 

A conventional surveillance setup is comprised of either mountable or stand-alone cameras, positioned independently in various areas which work in conjunction with each other to capture consistent video. The collective of cameras send footage to a monitor system; the signal being broadcast from the cameras to the monitors is closed circuit. Viewing of the camera’s feed is strictly observable from connected equipment. The majority of modern surveillance cameras capture high resolution video and are best situated in corner areas of an indoor space, since they are typically capable of wide range viewing. The system itself is conventionally connected by coaxial cables. Inconspicuous and out of reach, wired systems are still commonly used by homeowners to deter potential burglary and more generally maintain consistent observance of their property.

Wireless configuration 

As a means of eliminating the need for cumbersome wire installation, newer surveillance systems are entirely wireless. Composed of a camera, transmitter, receiver, visual monitor, and a supplemental data storage system, wireless setups allow for broader range in regards to placement and proximity from the central monitoring unit. Footage is captured and streamed from a radio transmitter to an antenna; the receivers can either be based within the camera and monitor or separate from one another. Being wireless, these units are able to be disguised as everyday items, or can be totally mobilized and mounted onto a tripod or other peripheral.

Flexibility of location for surveillance

Areas of the home that experience the most break-ins are the front door, backyard, and the ground floor parallel to the house. What should be considered when plotting effective surveillance locations is the camera’s proximity to a power supply and proximity to the home’s router – if wireless. Integration of IoT principles makes it possible to use a smart device for wireless monitoring of the surveillance feed. Some cameras are designed for communication with other smart and IoT outfitted devices. Homeowners are granted the flexibility to place camera’s base on their own concerns for which area of the home is considered a security risk.

Freedom for homeowner’s and how they arm their home is the priority for surveillance companies. As the industry continues to develop along with smart technology’s integration to domestic life, surveillance systems will persist in popularity and normalcy.

The Science Behind Welding

By Megan Ray Nichols

When you want to join two things together, you have a lot of options depending on the two materials. If you attach paper to cardboard, you can grab a bottle of glue. If you stick plastics together, epoxy is your go-to adhesive. If you try to attach two different pieces of metal, glue won’t cut it. That’s where welding comes in. Let’s take a look at the science of welding, as well as the different types of welding and how they work.

The Science of Welding

The science of welding depends on the type of metals you want to join, as well as the kind of filler material you use to attach the pieces. The most common type of welding is known as arc welding, which gets its name from using an electrical arc to melt both the metals and the filler to create a solid connection or joint between the two.

Start by attaching a grounding wire to the welding material. Then an electrode gets attached to the piece you weld and an electrical arc is generated between the two points, creating a high-temperature area that melts the metal and the filler, creating a uniform joint. Welding is tricky because you need to continuously feed the filler into the welding joint at an even rate to create a uniform weld.

Now that you understand the basics of welding, let’s take a closer look at the different types of welding, including the common less common options. There are 30 different types of welding, ranging from simple to complex.

MIG – Gas Metal Arc Welding

MIG welding is a type of arc welding that uses a shielding gas to reduce the combustibility of the materials. This type of welding reduces waste because it uses a high-efficiency electrode that creates cleaner welds. MIG welds are usually found in the automotive, industrial, robotics and maritime industry.

TIG – Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

TIG welding, also known as heliarc welding, uses a tungsten electrode that can be used with or without a filler rod to melt two metal pieces together. Like MIG welding, this style also uses an external gas supply — most commonly a mixture of helium and argon. You’ll usually find TIG welding in the aerospace industry, water pipe joints and motorcycle manufacturing.

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The History of 3D Printing

by Megan Ray Nichols 

3D printing has taken the world by storm in the last decade, but the technology isn’t as new as you might think. Believe it or not, the idea behind that desktop-sized 3D printer in your shop dates back to the 1980s. Let’s take a closer look at the history of 3D printing and where it might go in the future.

The 1980s — The Birth of 3D Printing

The first attempt at creating a 3D printer occurred in 1980. Dr. Hideo Kodama filed a patent in May of that year. This new 3D printer relied on photopolymer materials — liquids that could be printed, then exposed to light to harden into plastic. While this plan does sound like a viable one, Kodama never commercialized the design, and the 3D printing industry seemed dead on arrival.

In 1986, Chuck Hull invented the SLA-1 — the world’s first 3D printer that could build objects one layer at a time. In this case, the SLA-1 used lasers to cause selected chains of molecules to link together, forming plastics or polymers. The next year, Carl Deckard of the University of Texas came up with a different type of 3D printing — Selective Laser Sintering, or SLS. Deckard’s machine built an object out of layers of powder, then used lasers to melt the powder, hardening it into the finished plastic.

In 1989, S. Scott and Lisa Crump, a married pair of inventors, came up with the 3D printing technology that we know today — fused deposition modeling. The machine would melt a polymer filament and deposit it onto a substrate layer by layer until it finished the design.

3D printing had officially been born, but these early models lacked something — an easy and user-friendly way to design things for printing.

The 1990s — Computer-Aided Design

Designing something for a 3D printer might seem easy now, but imagine doing it without a CAD program at your fingertips. That’s what the early 3D designers had to do — create plans to build their objects without the assistance of a computer-aided design program. Commercial CAD programs became more readily available throughout the 1990s, though purchasing a 3D printer was still often too expensive for the home inventor.

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