The iVision+ Connect (IVPC) is the latest offering of OPTEX's iVision series of wireless video doorbell intercoms. The biggest change has been the switch to using Wi-Fi as the backbone of the communication. Adopting Wi-Fi has enabled the company’s customers to adjust their coverage area to their needs using readily available networking devices.

The tradeoff is an increase in complexity as the system must now integrate or co-exist with existing networks in a crowded 2.4GHz world. This article will go over some information on how to assess a site for installation. The first step is knowing what kind of environment an installer is dealing with. The 2.4GHz band is crowded by both Wi-Fi and non-Wi-Fi devices such as BlueTooth.

Wi-Fi analyzer tool

As such, everyone should always assume a fairly high ambient noise level in any office environment. It is safe to assume a noise floor of about -85dBm for most cases. What this means can be explored later. If the installation location includes offices or apartments sharing common walls it is likely that there will be conflicting networks at some point. Although it is possible to share the airspace it isn't always feasible to coordinate with neighbors.

Even with these obstacles, knowing how to read the situation will lead to a solution

Even with these obstacles, knowing how to read the situation will lead to a solution. Take a look at a general Wi-Fi analyzer tool. WiFi Analyzer (open source) by VREM Software Development is freely available on the Google Play Store and similar apps are also available on the Apple Store (though Apple limits the information the apps can provide).

Slightly different frequency

There are options for computers such as Netspot if a laptop can be brought to the site. The target information is the signal strength, channel, and MAC addresses (XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX). The signal strength will be in negative dBm's, meaning a larger value is actually weaker. For example, -55dBm is stronger than -85dBm. The channel information is best shown as a graph. Each channel, 1-11, represents a slightly different frequency in the 2.4GHz band.

This would seem to indicate that there are 11 channels that networks can use; however, it should be noted that each network spans 5 channels. For example, Channel 6 extends between 4 and 8. So it is highly recommended to only use the 1, 6, and 11 channels.

Same transmitting power

It is better to stack networks (co-channel) instead of overlapping (adjacent) due to how routers treat co-channel interference as a line while adjacent interference is seen as noise. The MAC addresses can be very important if there is network security or if trying to figure out if a mesh network is causing roaming issues.

By the end of the assessment, it should be clear where there may be deficiencies in the network

Using these tools, a site assessment can be done. By the end of the assessment, it should be clear where there may be deficiencies in the network. The IVPC MS and DS have about the same transmitting power which can be measured using the WiFi analysers. By placing the MS into its hotspot mode, through the connectivity menu, and placing the DS into its pairing mode, through factory reset, it is possible to see their respective SSID's, "AndroidAP" and "RVDP-XXXX".

Streaming uncompressed audio

Since the IVPC has a low transmitting power compared to the typical consumer router it is necessary to check its reach back to the router. The IVPC is live streaming uncompressed audio and video so the best performance is achieved when the router has little difficulty receiving the signals. This is typically at the -55dBm average reading. It has enough difference from the noise floor; good being 25-40 difference.

If there are other networks present, try to find a channel where the installer can at least get 20dBm difference from a co-channel network. The DS has a switch located on the back of the unit near the power terminals. This switch is meant to be used with the antenna port, meaning switching between the internal and external antennas.

Allows wireless connection

If not using the IVPC-ANT, the switch should be kept on INT. The external antenna should not be altered, as it is matched to work with the DS and any changes may result in worse performance. It may help to utilize the 5GHz band between the router and access points to act as an additional path for traffic if the network devices have that option.

It is common to have a repeater or range extender for the DS and in the area where the MS will be deployed

Although the DS only allows for a wireless connection, the connection between the router, access points, and even the IVPC-MS can be hardwired. For the network, either standard Ethernet or powerline Ethernet adapters can be used. For the MS, an OTG connection is available above its power connection. It is common to have a repeater or range extender for the DS and in the area where the MS will be deployed.

Resolving channel conflicts

Resolving channel conflicts and checking that there is adequate signal strength will resolve many issues with performance. If there are problems getting the IVPC to connect even after addressing these concerns, then there may be something else at play. Network settings such as security filters and guest time limits can be a factor

The IVPC uses UDP ports 10000-30000. If a smartphone is having difficulty connecting to the network, that may indicate a security filter. To speed up the troubleshooting process, it would help to have IT support join a call to OPTEX technical support.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version

In case you missed it

Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco For $110 Million
Motorola Solutions Acquires Pelco For $110 Million

Motorola Solutions, Inc. today announced it has completed the acquisition of Pelco, Inc., a global provider of video security solutions based in Fresno, California. Pelco designs, develops and distributes end-to-end video technology, including video security cameras and video management system software. The company’s scalable solutions and commitment to service delivery enables customers of all sizes to mitigate risk, increase operational efficiencies and enhance safety.  “Video continues to play a more powerful role in enabling safer cities and securing businesses around the world,” said Greg Brown, chairman and CEO, Motorola Solutions. “Pelco’s track record of innovation, internationally recognized brand, global channel and customer installed base enable us to further expand our global footprint with enterprise and public safety customers.”

What are the Security Challenges of Protecting the Cannabis Industry?
What are the Security Challenges of Protecting the Cannabis Industry?

The advent of a truly new market for the physical security industry is a rare occurrence. Particularly rare is a new market that is both fast-growing and provides an environment that is not just conducive to application of physical security technologies but that actually demands it. Such is the case with the market for legalized marijuana. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the security challenges of protecting the cannabis industry?

Wireless Technology Is Transforming Motion Detection
Wireless Technology Is Transforming Motion Detection

Motion detection is a key feature of security systems in residential and commercial environments. Until recently, systems have relied heavily on closed circuit television (CCTV) and passive infrared (PIR) sensors, which both require significant investment and infrastructure to install and monitor. Developments in wireless technology are increasing home security possibilities. Few years ago, these developments led Cognitive Systems to discover that the wireless signals surrounding oneself can be used to detect motion. Known in the wireless industry as WiFi sensing, this technology brings many benefits that other motion detection solutions have not been able to provide. The working of WiFi sensing At Cognitive Systems, the company has used WiFi sensing technology to develop a motion detection solution called WiFi Motion™, which measures and interprets disruptions in RF signals transmitted between WiFi devices. When movement occurs in a space, ripples in the wireless signals are created. WiFi Motion interprets these ripples and determines if an action, such as sending a notification, is needed. Enabling this functionality in a space is incredibly simple. With a software upgrade to only one’s WiFi access point (or mesh router), motion sensing capabilities are layered into one’s WiFi network. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors without detracting from their original functions or slowing down the network. Using artificial intelligence (AI), WiFi Motion establishes a benchmark of the motionless environment and learns movement patterns over time, which could be used to predict trends. This allows unusual movement patterns to be detected with greater accuracy while decreasing the potential for costly false alerts. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation WiFi sensing and other home monitoring solutions All of these capabilities are made possible by WiFi sensing and together create a motion detection system that provides unparalleled accuracy, coverage, privacy and affordability compared to other solutions on the market. PIR integration is far more complex and imposes electronic and physical design restrictions compared to WiFi sensing. In terms of placement, PIR systems are difficult to install, requiring line-of-sight and a device in every room for localization. WiFi Motion requires no line-of-sight or installation and is also a scalable solution compared to PIR. Much like cameras, PIRs can only cover so much space, but WiFi Motion can cover the entire home and even detect motion in the dark and through walls, without adding additional devices to the home. WiFi Motion detects less distinguishing context than cameras and microphones, but more context than regular PIR sensors for the perfect balance of privacy and highly accurate motion detection. Privacy solution While cameras have been the security solution for years, WiFi Motion offers a more affordable solution that can rival the privacy and coverage capabilities of even the most high-end cameras. With such a wide coverage area, one might think that WiFi sensing infringes on privacy, but actually, the opposite is true. With WiFi Motion, the contextual information collected cannot be used to identify a specific individual, unlike cameras which can clearly identify a person’s face or microphones, which can identify a person’s voice. It is different from other smart home security options that use cameras and microphones because it only senses motion using WiFi signals - it doesn’t “see” or “listen” like a camera or microphone would. This provides opportunities for added security in spaces where privacy might be a concern and installing a camera may not be a comfortable solution, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. The data collected is also anonymized and highly encrypted according to stringent industry privacy standards. Existing connected WiFi devices then become motion detectors Additional WiFi sensing applications Since WiFi sensing technology requires no additional hardware or subscription fees, it is much more affordable than other motion detection solutions. It can be used as a standalone solution, or it can be easily layered into more complex systems. This ease of integration, scalability and relatively low cost brings a lot of potential for various applications. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off In eldercare, for example, WiFi sensing can be used to help seniors live comfortably in their homes for as long as possible. With the increasing aging population and high costs associated with care homes, the market for this application is considerable. Caregivers can use an app to monitor movement in their loved one’s home and be alerted about unusual movement patterns that could indicate a concern. For smart homes and other environments that have a network of smart devices, the artificial intelligence (AI) component of the technology allows for improvements to automated features. Motion detection can trigger other smart devices in the network to turn lights on or off or make adjustments to the temperature in a room. Security for the commercial sector For office buildings and other commercial properties, it is easy to see how all of these features could be scaled up to offer a highly accurate and cost-effective motion sensing and smart device automation solution. Cognitive Systems is closely involved with the development of WiFi sensing technology, working with various industry groups to establish standards and help it reach its full potential. WiFi Motion is merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of motion sensing possibilities, but its applications in the world of security are undeniably compelling. It is an exciting time for the wireless industry, as one works with stakeholders in the security space to explore everything this technology can do.