3 Must Have Testers for Security Installers
Today, the vast majority of new CCTV systems are IP, not analogue, due to benefits around image quality, facial recognition, upgrade path, and integration into other systems. However, to install, integrate, commission, or troubleshoot these devices, every security installer needs reliable test equipment in their kit bag.
Here are three testers from TREND Networks that every technician installing security cameras or testing IP CCTV can depend on.
1. SecuriTEST™ IP – a great all-rounder for installations
One of the biggest challenges facing CCTV contractors is the knowledge gap facing technicians who are transitioning to IP installations. Without the right tools, technicians who are not proficient with networking or Ethernet protocols need extensive training.
SecuriTEST® IP is an ideal choice for novice installers, as it automatically detects a connected IP camera without any prior knowledge of the camera’s network configuration using its Quick IP function. Then, once connected the camera can be configured, a screenshot or video taken, and a PDF test report created – all in just a few minutes. Even for installers that are clued-up on IP cameras, this delivers a reliable time saving on every job, boosting productivity and profitability.
The test report serves as proof that cameras are properly installed, so you can quickly settle any potential disputes about whether an installation met all requirements when the contractor finished the job. Repeat visits to site can become chargeable jobs, instead of unpaid callbacks.
The affordable SecuriTEST IP tester also includes an assortment of cable and network diagnostic functions that give installers an all-in-one installation and troubleshooting tool. It can be used to test any analogue, HD COAX, or IP digital camera so you can give all your customers the same confidence in the CCTV installation that a cable certifier provides with cabling.
SecuriTEST IP can replace an Ethernet cable tester, laptop, PoE injector, PoE tester, and reporting tool. And it’s handheld too, making it simple to use up a lift or ladder, especially compared to a laptop!
2. PoE Pro – perfect for planning and checks before installations and upgrades
In our own market research with security installers and integrators, the ability to test PoE (Power over Ethernet) was considered an important factor for a handheld network tester. It’s no wonder, when you consider that a great many digital security cameras are powered via Ethernet networks, and this number continues to grow.
When adding a new camera to an Ethernet network, or when troubleshooting an existing camera that isn’t working correctly, checking that the device has enough power to function is often a critical first step. With PoE Pro, you can easily check if you have enough power at the device location. It displays the maximum power available, including the maximum watts, Class (0-8), voltage, type (af/at/bt) and 2/4 pair operation. Plus, you can test and verify if PoE switches and injectors provide enough power by connecting the compact tester directly to them.
In the event of a fault, PoE Pro eliminates guesswork, supporting accurate troubleshooting that saves installers time and money. It can accurately measure cable length and provide distance to fault information, as well as identifying wiring errors instantly. A built-in tone generator with multiple tones can also be used with cable tracing probes to find faulty or mis-labelled cabling. The port blink function will also quickly identify the switch port to which a cable is connected.
Poor CCTV performance is not always down to the camera unit. So, all of these features on your PoE tester enable security installers to easily identify if the source of the issue is in fact with the Ethernet network.
3. SignalTEK 10G – made for maintenance and measuring bandwidth
LAN networks are at risk of expensive downtime and lost productivity due to the ever-increasing demand of bandwidth hungry services such as CCTV cameras. When adding IP security cameras to an existing network, it’s important to be sure that the available bandwidth can support them. Where networks are at (or close to) capacity, cameras may deliver poor image quality, drop off the network, or fail to work altogether.
With the SignalTEK 10G Ethernet troubleshooter, you can measure the maximum bandwidth available of the network to check if it can support the cameras. If it doesn’t, you can also test the alternatives – is there sufficient bandwidth if you reduce the number of cameras? How about if the cameras are configured at a lower megapixel quality? And importantly, will this reduce downtime?
If cameras are already in place but seem to be experiencing network-based issues, you can also use the 72-hour event log function of the SignalTEK 10G bandwidth tester to save time when looking for specific issues with devices that may need troubleshooting. Just plug it in on site, and leave it running, then return a few days later to collect and analyse your results. A range of network troubleshooting features are also included to help installers deal with any issues, without needing to bring a wide range of other equipment to site.
The handheld SignalTEK 10G network tester can also be used to verify whether using Multigig switch upgrades on the existing cable will support up to 10Gb/s speeds and increase bandwidth to run the IP security cameras sufficiently and without disruption and downtime for other devices on the network.
Depend On Us in Security
Above, we’ve just looked at a few of the applications for these three smart testers in security, there are many more benefits besides.
Get in touch with our team today to arrange a demo of these testers and find out more about full suite of solutions that can support security installers and integrators.