Product Reviews

Clearfix
Tue
18
Nov
JohnA's picture

Ness SmartLiving Automation and Security

Smart Living 10-50/10-100 controller
Smart Living 10-50/10-100 controller

SmartLiving from Ness is a range of bus-based control panels offering between 10-200 zones (with zone doubling) and incorporating automation features as well as access control and voice-over-bus transmissions. 

TO my mind the most interesting aspects of Ness SmartLiving is the I-BUS backbone, a high speed bus which increases robustness, resists interference and carries voice as well as alarm signals on a single cable. Bus solutions are great when it comes to expansion because they can be grown organically without any need to cable back to a control panel – you just build a drop cable off an existing loop. In the case of SmartLiving, the bus is universal – you can hang a whole bunch of things off it, including proximity readers, graphical keypads, remote I/O expanders, RF transceivers, GSM communicators and siren/strobes. 

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Thu
13
Nov
JohnA's picture

Prince of Darkness: Hikvision Darkfighter Review

Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD6020FHWD(-A) ultra low light WDR 2MP IP camera
Hikvision Darkfighter DS-2CD6020FHWD(-A) ultra low light WDR 2MP IP camera

Hikvision’s Darkfighter DS-2CD6020FHWD(-A), distributed locally by Central Security Distribution, is an ultra low light WDR 2MP IP camera with a ½-inch progressive scan CMOS sensor. The camera offers 60fps, 120dB WDR, a region of interest codec and 3D DNR digital noise reduction.

I’VE been keen to test Hikvision’s DarkFighter DS-2CD6020FHWD(-A) full body camera for a while now so it was a thrill when Hikvision’s Michael Bates and Tony Lagan turned up at the office one morning door laden with boxes containing the Darkfighter, a couple of lenses and Hikvision’s DS-7600 Linux embedded NVR. 

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Tue
11
Nov
JohnA's picture

AVL-2: God of Small Things

AVL-2 is distributed locally by Conceptual Technology Solutions
AVL-2 is distributed locally by Conceptual Technology Solutions

Infodraw’s tiny AVL-2 is a mobile low-power cellular media relay that allows live streaming, recording and monitoring of video, audio, alarm inputs and GPS location. 

AVL-2 from Infodraw, distributed locally by Conceptual Technology Solutions, is an interesting animal. The unit is a palm-sized, portable multimedia streaming and monitoring system that comprises embedded hardware and software combined with built-in cellular network interfaces. At a surprisingly low cost you get a professional grade video, audio and alarm input monitoring solution with GPS, that is highly mobile yet leaves nothing out. 

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Tue
21
Oct
JohnA's picture

Installing Ness Lux Wireless PIR

Ness Lux PIR
Ness Lux PIR

Ness Corporation's Lux wireless PIR with integrated LED nightlight is designed to support Ness wireless panels and combines the company's well-designed PIR capability with a surprisingly capable movement activated nightlight.

LUX from Ness Corporation is a wireless PIR that combines solid performance with something extra. Ness, which builds its equipment at its own factory in Australia, has long manufactured capable PIR sensors and Lux is no exception. Lux features a pyro sensor with 20 dual-element zones, a solid 15m x 15m detection area, a downward-looking creep zone, and strong white light, ESD and RF immunity.

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Mon
29
Sep
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Vivotek IP8355EH WDR PRO Review

Vivotek 1.3MP (720p) WDR Pro II IP67-rated IP8355EH network bullet camera
Vivotek 1.3MP (720p) WDR Pro II IP67-rated IP8355EH network bullet camera

I SAW acres of new products at Security 2014 Exhibition and one of the standouts was Vivotek’s new WDR PRO camera range, which includes bullet, box and dome cameras in 1.3MP and 3MP variations. In this review we look at the IP8355EH outdoor bullet camera. 

WHAT struck me about the new Vivotek WDR PRO when I first saw images was that the camera was very strong in backlight, as well as being very strong with absolutely no light whatever. This particular combination of characteristics is unusual. Engineers typically give up some low light performance to enhance backlight performance and vice versa. 

I stumbled on the Vivotek WDR PRO cameras almost by accident. Venturing onto the stand, Ray Lee, Vivotek’s regional manager, demurred when I asked if much was new with Vivotek in 2014. Then he led me over to a new camera with the highest WDR rating in the world. 

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Mon
22
Sep
JohnA's picture

Inner Range SIFER Reader

Inner Range SIFER Reader
Inner Range SIFER Reader

The SIFER card reader is a new smart card reader designed and manufactured by Inner Range. It is a multi-drop RS-485 based reader that employs 128-bit AES encryption from the card through to the door module. SIFER readers utilise the Mifare DESfire EV1 card format.

ONE of the access control solutions that caught my eye at Security 2014 in Melbourne was Inner Range’s new SIFER RS-485 reader. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen SIFER – I got a look at the prototype a couple of months before the exhibition. It’s an important step from Inner Range, in my opinion, positioning the company as a true Tier 1 access control solutions manufacturer. 

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Tue
19
Aug
JohnA's picture

BENS BlueHub IP Review

BENS BlueHub IP
BENS BlueHub IP

BENS BlueHub from Mod2 is a plug and play communications module that carries most dialler-based alarm panels into a networked environment. 

BENS has released its new BlueHub, which is designed and manufactured by Ki-Ren Chua’s Mod2. The device turns any ContactID dialler-based alarm panel into a network solution. Advanced versions also allow remote management of legacy alarm panels using smart device apps. 

I got a demo of BlueHub at Security 2014 in Melbourne with BENS’ Dallas Whittaker. In form it’s a compact solution with a simple double housing. The smaller module on the left of these images is an analogue-to-digital encoder, with ContactID coming in at the top. This module is bonded to the main comms unit, which incorporates power and a network port.  

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Fri
15
Aug
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Mobotix MxActivity Sensor Review

MxActivity Sensor - note the 24-hour comparison of alarm events
MxActivity Sensor - note the 24-hour comparison of alarm events

Mobotix’ MxActivity Sensor scored SEN’s Best Product CCTV at Security 2014 in Melbourne. Given the prevalence of analytics at the show this is not surprising but it wasn’t only MxActivity sensor functions that grabbed my attention. 

IN fact, when I walked onto the Mobotix stand, the first thing the boys showed me was the M15-D, which I’d seen already at Mobotix’ conference earlier in the year. It was only later on when I started thinking about it, that I realised Mobotix was really onto something with its optical and thermal-powered MxActivity sensor.

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Fri
15
Aug
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Honeywell V-Plex Bus Review

Honeywell Vista 250
Honeywell Vista 250

Honeywell’s V-Plex bus is a polling loop designed to support Vista 120 and 250 alarm panels as well as Tuxedo, that scoops up zone inputs and distributes zone outputs across any site where it’s installed. 

ONE of the neat new things I saw at Security 2014 was Honeywell’s V-Plex bus, a patented polling loop in the form of a 2-wire cable system that works with Vista 120, 250 and Tuxedo 12/48. Bus solutions have always had great advantages and V-Plex is no exception. 

Fundamentally, V-Plex bus is a 2-wire cable that is installed around a facility. Zone inputs and relay outputs are then ported into the bus. The control panel that you select determines the number of devices that you can connect to the V-Plex bus. 

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Thu
17
Jul
JohnA's picture

Hikvision 4-Line Smart IP Camera Review

Hikvision 4-Line Smart IP
Hikvision 4-Line Smart IP

Hikvision’s new 4-Line Smart IP is a solid range of cameras that combines high performance in key areas like wide dynamic range, colour rendition, and pointy prices. In key ways, the 4-Line represents Hikvision’s coming of age. 

I got a look at a swag of new stuff at the Hikvision demo room in North Ryde late last month. Hikvision’s is one of the better set up demo spaces I’ve seen but best of all, the boys have taken the opportunity to install a broad spread of Hikvision cameras on the roof of the large building housing their office. The building holds a commanding position looking over serious distances with major infrastructure assets in all directions. These include nearby roadways, intersections, and multiple industrial and retail complexes. 

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