11 Hours, 30 Monitors, An Entire Town


Jan 9, 2003
So our company was hired to replace/install security systems throughout an entire towns infrastructure (by that i mean an entire township, which concists of about 8 different towns)... at their main public safety office we installed 4 monitors but it was not enough... so today we installed 30 wall-mounted monitors... 26 of them are not connected to anything yet, we're waiting on 2 dell cabinets to arrive where we will install 30 computers. The computers will monitor security cameras throughout the district as well as alarm systems and other various devices... heres the install. Worked straight through with a few 10 minute breaks. Started at 1pm, ended at midnight:

The monitors (against the current cabinet which has 2 computers in it):

First row of 7 mounts done:

2nd Row in:

3rd row:

4th row plus 1 at the top (two total at the top):

Snaking/labeling/straightening the vga cables (50'):

Starting to run the wires:

Pulling the cables through:

Starting to mount the monitors (currently bottom/right 4 monitors are all that are on from current system):

More monitors installed:

Ta daaaaaa:

Me and my boss (im the one not smiling im exhausted):

So the next step will be to build 28 rack mount computers (3U each i believe we're doing) and install them in the 2 dell cabinets that are coming this week... that project will most likely happen within 2-4 weeks.
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pretty cool, cant wait to see more pics. i wanna come work for you LOL. you look like you have lots of fun doing what you do.
Wow, cool stuff.

Looks like you have several video feeds per monitor - Isn't that a bit too much for one person to be expected to keep an eye on?

And why is it going to take so many machines to run them?
No just one feed per monitor... we're sharing holes though for wires so it may look like that.

Some systems get 2 monitors so we actually have i believe 26 computers going in.

Each of the parks in the towns and other public places have a camera system. Its cheaper for the town to hire someone to sit at this office and watch the cameras, then to drive around and check each facility or to keep a guard at each facility (some places are in bad ares). So at this main facility they have multiple computers. One computer might monitor facility A, one might monitor facility A/B and 2 computers might monitor facility C because its so big and might have 32 cameras. Or one computer might monitor 4 facilites... really varies. We're still deploying systems throughout the town so its not done yet.

But they also have alarm monitoring that goes to a central station and then this place also acts as its own central station which monitors things like gates and other things with motion (soo for example they can tell if someone is walking around by the waterfront property after its closed, or maybe someone is on the field at night when the park is closed) and an alert will go off. Either over speakers/LED lights that we are installing, as well as on a map that will show a layout of the facility and where the alarm is.
Very nice. Like your other thread and this one. :D thanks for sharing. Love It!!!!
Now is the time to pester your boss to buy 5x 5970 (the 6 DisplayPort variant) and CF those for 30 monitors of Crysis goodness. :p
Yeah but they arnt all going to 1 pc, lol the pc's im building are in 2U cases, micro atx boards with 1 vga on board... for like $15 more we can have vga/dvi/hdmi which i might do, depends on what the needs will be...
What cameras are being use, and, what are their bandwidth requirements? What speed is the connection between everything?
We are not using IP cameras, as IP cameras are just big bandwidth hogs.

We use a system called GeoVision. we build the computers and we install their DVR cards. We can record up to 16 cameras per card (we can support dual cards for a total of 32 cameras per system). Whats nice about the system is that they offer many different software packages and options.

We can monitor alarm inputs, we can trigger alarms based on motion. We can automatically track (via ptz cameras) people walking. We can do license plate recognition and facial recognition. We can tie into an access control system.

What they will be using is their monitoring software. It allows us to have a map of the facility and it will indicate where a camera is and where motion is detected. We can also have it pop-up a camera on the screen when motion is detected.. from any system we have. Wether its a local system or a system across town over the internet.

We are only using cable modems at each facility, nothing else is needed. We're not monitiring 500 cameras or so at the main facility, they are mainly watching maybe anywhere from 30-50 cameras, which is fine for bandwidth purposes. Naturally the more cameras the slower the movement, but they are mainly concerned with a few cameras at some facilities, plus 32 of those cameras are local cameras, so you can see not many cameras over the internet.

It'll really be cool when its done.
Ugh Geovision. I had a customer's older PCI Analog card die on them. It took 3 months for an out-of-warranty repair by them, when they claimed they'd do it in 2 to 4 weeks. Half of the time they didn't return my phone calls when I called asking for a status update on the repair job and then when they did pick up the phone, either someone who didn't speak english answered or they didn't have a record of the RMA. Since getting the card back, the cameras now have crazy sensitivity that they didn't have before. Recording motion when a car drives by at night (light from headlights essentially) turning cameras on, even with sensitivity turned to lowest setting. Good luck with them.

Curious about the monitors, how's the heat output from them, with all of them stacked like that?
You can adjust the sensitivity in the software Replacing a card will not change your sensitivity, as its software based, unless you reinstalled the software, which by default, gets set to 9.5 which picks up any light movement (light meaning, LIGHT like a lightbulb)

You probably called their overseas place, and not the United States division, which is called USA Vision.

Also, you should go through your dealer for RMAs, not direct with GeoVision, as they kinda frown on clients contacting them direct I believe, and are very strict about buying through a proper "dealer". In my case, im a dealer, i buy through a distributor. If i have a problem with my card, my distributor handles the RMA. If my client has a problem, I handle the RMA.

What i do for my clients is i give them a loaner card while the cards being repaired, not all places do this, but we do.

Also, their newer cards are great. The older ones had issues with crappy software but the new software is amazing (8.3.1/8.3.2).

They also have PCI Express, which is the more popular option these days.

Heat... never had an issue with heat. I think they use less heat then a HD, in fact i know they do. Less then a video card too.

As for the monitors, dunno we havnt put them on yet, lol, theres no systems to hook them up to, as they are clearing out an entire room for 2-3 full size dell racks.
The card still isn't right after they repaired it. I looked at the card and the main chip was replaced (still a lot of flux on the board). Oh well. Customer didn't want to get a new card to replace it (card got fried when an el cheapo PSU died). I think the card was a GV600 if my memory holds true.

Nah I had called their USA division. Took forever to find a phone number since their site had no contact info, only live web chat which was useless.

I have no idea where the customer got the card. That was why I couldn't contact the dealer for repair work. Besides, wouldn't the dealer just sent it to USA Vision to get fixed?
Yeah but they prefer to work with dealers/distributors directly... especially distributors since they have a good relationship.

True their RMAs do take FOREVER. Two months usually, which is why we give out loaners from our own stock of old cards.

I dunno i like their cards. But thats me. They can do a LOT which is great, there really are a TON of options you can do/add-on. So many different software products/accessories they sell its amazing.
Update: We have to move the wires... the half rack we ran them too, was to be replaced by two full size racks, well with all the PC's we're installing, it'll be way too noisy. So we have to extend the wires about 25' to a room next to this one (well 2 rooms away). So now we have to extend 30 wires and then run those through a concrete wall and then up through the ceiling... ohh what fun. I had wiring nightmares after this install.
I tried to look, couldn't find it.

Basically some guy posted pictures of him working on a data center as a contractor for some government project. Someone at the top found the thread (I guess he was a genmay member?) and laid the guy off because the project was suppose to be a secret, or at least that is my impression.
He would have to be on genmay to find it. Genmay doesn't even get picked up by Google right?
Oh dont think this will be secret, once its done they are doing a press release on it..

i believe the towns and what not here got govnt grants for security
is that an actual wall? if so running the power cables through it like that is against NEC code...

also are those 22" acers? we have tons of those at work, have had a few fail (randomly turn off)
Uhh no. Its built up for us. There was a wall behind it and they just put some 2x4's up and then put plywood over that.

17" acers
Cool stuff,
I was going to ask what monitors they are but I see I got answered in the last couple posts.

All these threads really make me look forward to wiring our house up for Gbit!