“The system is
designed around 6 locations each comprising 1 Bosch Autodome 300 Series PTZ
camera and 2 fixed Autodome 100 Series domes cameras. Meanwhile, the library
has 2 Bosch Dinion IP fixed domes”

A BUSTLING
agricultural centre in NSW’s Murrumbidgee irrigation area, Griffith has a
population of 24,000 and is the heartland of Australia’s wine and vegetable
production. Designed by Sir Walter Burley Griffin and founded in 1916, the city
incorporates 10 hectares of parkland and lies near Lake Wyangan and the
beautiful Cocoparra National Park.

With a thriving
economy and a young and growing population Griffith has quickly expanded from a
quiet rural town to a vibrant city. Throughout this process, Griffith Council
and NSW Police have faced challenges common to all fast growing rural centres
in Australia – an increase in crime in public areas. 

According to local
integrator Eacom Technologies’ Tim Andrighetto, Council and the Griffith
Chamber of Commerce were the initial drivers of the project and they were
supported by residents who wanted to see measures in place to counter the crime
trend. In order to guarantee safety and security of the Griffith CBD it was
decided to employ an IP video surveillance system.

Importantly, this
was a green field site – there was no existing surveillance system in place. It
was a fundamental that made the installation easier and more difficult. On the
positive side, there was no legacy technology in place. On the negative side,
the community had no experience with surveillance technology.

Andrighetto
designed and oversaw the project in conjunction with Eacom’s project manager
and commissioning technician, Robert Favero.

“Council, in
conjunction with the NSW Police Department, identified an area of Banna Ave
that was particularly prone to assaults and other forms of violent crime,”
Andrighetto says.

“Armed with this
information and a clear understanding of required outcomes, Council began the
process of preparing for Federal funding and compiling a specification for
tender release,” he says.

“The tender was
released with suggested locations for cameras and areas of coverage required as
a minimum. The aspects of the system that were seen as critical to Council
were; reliability, quality, service and backup, operator acceptance,
compatibility and value for money.”

According to
Andrighetto, the opportunity was available for tenderers to design a solution
that both met and exceeded Council’s minimum requirements.

“Although Council
had specified frame rates of 25ips at a resolution of 4CIF and 31 days storage
the camera locations and their transmission medium was open for design,”
Andrighetto explains.

System design

Andrighetto says
the system is designed around 6 locations each comprising 1 Bosch Autodome 300
Series PTZ camera and 2 fixed Autodome 100 Series domes cameras. Meanwhile,
Griffith Library has 2 Bosch Dinion IP fixed domes.

“The methodology
behind this design was to reduce the likelihood of PTZs from missing incidents
in high traffic areas whilst in Tour modes,” Andrighetto says.

“All cameras are
from the Bosch IP range and each camera location comprises a 4-port Gigabit
Switch and Media Converter residing on a dedicated Gigabit Fibre LAN. The
camera power supply, switch and converter are all housed inside the pole itself
to avoid the need for a communications box on the pole.”

According to
Eacom’s Robert Favero, this system layout represented a challenge in terms of
design and installation but he says it has proven to be a secure, reliable and
aesthetically pleasing method of housing the infrastructure.

“The fibre
backbone was installed via horizontal boring and installed within 63mm conduits
with pits at each camera location and major junctions for future access,”
Favero says.

“Eacom also horizontal-bored
another 63mm conduit for 240V reticulation from a council-owned building. This
gave Council control over the power source without the need to rely on private
business owners or community power supplies to supply power to the camera
locations.

Favero explains
the 240V reticulation works is supported by a 5000VAUPS within the
communications rack protecting field devices from power surges or
interruptions.

“The Archiving
Infrastructure consists of a HP Server with 18TB of storage in a Raid 5 Array,”
he says. “Bosch BVMS was chosen as the Archiving Software and a dedicated HP
client installed within the same rack for footage retrieval.

“The Archiving
Infrastructure is supported by a 2nd dedicated 5000VA UPS. All equipment is
housed in a secure 45RU Cabinet within a newly constructed Disaster Recovery
Room.”

Installation
challenges

Same as every
installation there were challenges with the Griffith CCTV solution. And the
fact this was a public surveillance system made things more challenging still.
As Andrighetto explains, Griffith Council had no experience with CBD CCTV
systems and relied on town planners and engineers to manage the project from
concept to handover.

“This scenario
involved the development of Standard Operating Procedures, compliance with the
Code of Practice, Application for funding from the Federal Government and a
Community Consultation Process,” he says.

“Once each of
these had been addressed, the tender documents had to be compiled, advertised,
received and assessed. Post installation one of the greatest obstacles was the
coordination for the installation of signage.

“Individual
agreements had to be reached with private landowners to install signage and the
signage had to be installed in such a way that it did not detract from the
appeal of the city.”

There were also
major challenges for the installation team and these began well before the
system was installed.

“Once the initial
design was formulated meetings were held with Councillor’s to educate them on
the benefits of Fibre Optic Cabling and IP technology,” says Andrighetto. “This
education process was critical to the success and the quality of the system.

“Additionally,
the horizontal boring process required extensive planning and incident
reduction measures to ensure that no damage to existing services would be
realised and if they were that the impact of these were minimised.”

“Each camera
location comprises a 4-port Gigabit Switch and Media Converter residing on a
dedicated Gigabit Fibre LAN. The camera power supply, switch and converter are
all housed inside the pole itself to avoid the need for a communications box on
the pole”

And Favero says
cameras needed to be mounted on existing infrastructure in some cases. That
meant a neat and attractive solution was required for mounting the cameras to
poles.

“With the
assistance of a local engineering firm a 2-piece bracket was designed and
engineered to accommodate 3 cameras per pole with all cameras and brackets
colour-coded where appropriate,” he says.

“Another obstacle
to overcome from an installation point of view was how to fit the IP
infrastructure within the poles,” Favero explains. “Careful design, product
selection and consultation with the local Power Utility saw this realised.

“On top of all
this, the installation timeframe was 12 weeks from date of order to handover,
so this represented a challenge within itself,” he says.

According to
Andrighetto, post the 12-week installation period a 2-week window was available
to refine and rectify defects should they exist.

“We are happy to
say that the system was completed before handover and it has performed
perfectly since,” Andrighetto says. “Accurate planning and timely execution
meant the project was brought in on time.”

Integration
specialist

EACOM was
established in Griffith in December 1997 and the company specialises in
security, communication and information technology solutions.

Tim Andrighetto
says the complimentary nature of these technology sectors and Eacom’s ability
to design, install and commission systems across multiple platforms has allowed
the company to dominate these markets in its region.

“Eacom’s
strategic direction is to apply our expertise and services to security markets
that have a strong IP flavour and require high levels of integration,”
Andrighetto says.

“These services
include IP camera systems and integrated access solutions,” he says. 

“At the core of
Eacom’s success are the relationships we build not only with our customers but
also our suppliers. It’s the relationship with our suppliers that gives us the
access and the ability to provide our customers with tailored solutions.”

Bosch AutoDome

ACCORDING to
Bosch, the G4 Series 300 AutoDome used at Griffith represents a ground-up redesign
with a selection of excellent new functions. A very neat feature with the
AutoDome is its ability to be installed inverted for mobile, meeting room,
under-vehicle inspections and general observation duties. This saves on pole
mounting but more importantly allows a taller image – inverted installation
gives about 10 per cent more image by tilting 18 degrees above the horizon.
Other domes can’t tilt above the horizon. The camera can also look up rather
than only down – excellent for facial recognition.

According to
Bosch’s Sean Borg, development of the G4 AutoDome was based on what the market
wanted. Bosch developers asked installers what goes wrong in their
installations and what frustrates them most and used market opinions and ideas,
incorporating them into design.

“AutoDome is by
far the most light sensitive dome on the market,” says Borg. “The camera also
has great features like IR compensation – the green colour of foliage reflects
IR so you get flare – we use IR compensation to see through foliage.

“AutoDome has has
Autotrack II that can be used outside – takes it Bosch’s AutoTrack technology
one step further than the G3. This dome will follow motion in a scene – it
zooms in on motion and tracks the movement,” Borg says.

“AutoTrack works
hand-in-hand with tree masking. It’s great support for operators monitoring
multiple cameras or undertaking gatehouse or reception duties.

According to
Borg, AutoDome’s advanced image stablisation is DSP-based and incorporates an
algorithm that eliminates camera shake in the vertical and horizontal axis
without loss of sensitivity.

“It’s especially
good with fast moving objects. The camera uses buffer memory – automatic noise
reduction – samples the images, sees what’s the same and what’s different,”
Borg explains. “Because noise varies and the image stays the same, if you
eliminate the variations you eliminate the noise.”

A cross-section
of other great features include the fact there’s now a large spread of alarm
inputs and outputs with rules-based alarm management. Rules based actions for
inputs and outputs are far more capable than just actioning of an output if an
input is activated. There are also 24 masks per camera and 8 masks per preset
scene.

The AutoDome G4
has built-in diagnostics including LEDs, OSD and self-testing, there’s also
one-way audio support and a default shutter speed that adjusts at night. The
shutter will adjust up to 1/50 or 1/25 even if the auto iris lens is set to
1/500.

“Cable
compensation feature on the 100 series cameras is excellent – eliminates high
frequency roll-off,” says Borg. “The cable compensation module is in the camera
and it sorts out any issues related to cable runs that turn out to be longer
than expected.

“We also now have
an Auto Black feature grabs blackest part of the image and drags it down to
pedestal level – perfect for smoky environments which cause a milky image –
gives brilliant contrast.

“Last but not
least is Bosch’s 3-year warranty,” says Borg. “It’s based on establishing the
MTBF of all our products using high accelerated life testing, stress screening
multiple environment over-testing.

“Cameras are
subjected to vibrations, extreme heat – extreme conditions that are grossly
exaggerated to challenge our products to the limit.”

“The horizontal
boring process required extensive planning and incident eduction measures to
ensure that no damage to existing services would be realised and if they were
that the impact of these were minimised”