St Patricks Ballarat Installs Mobotix
by Security Electronics and Networks | @Articles Case Studies | October 19, 2011, 7:00am AEDT
ST PATRICK’S College is a Catholic day and boarding school for boys, conducted by the Christian Brothers in Ballarat. Since 1893 it has served the people of Ballarat, Western Victoria and beyond. St. Patrick’s College had an installation comprising 16 analogue security surveillance cameras from 2003 to 2009. This analogue system was recognised to be somewhat limited and required on-going maintenance, particularly for cameras which challenged the distance limitations for cabling analogue CCTV.
The sheer size of the College meant a better solution was required and the new solution needed to take into account the challenges of Ballarat’s climate. While Ballarat generally does not experience extremely harsh weather events, the temperature over the year does vary from a low of -4 degrees Celsius (overnight during winter months) and as high as 42 degrees Celsius during summer.
The College and its security partner have worked together to ensure that appropriate cameras have been selected along with appropriate mounting equipment and protection where required.
Selecting a solution
Graham Wheeler, business development director for Asia Pacific, said MOBOTIX cameras were the logical choice for a site such as St. Patrick’s College.
“Any site looking to have total coverage over wide areas will see immense benefits from MOBOTIX cameras and their Hi-Res, Hemispheric capabilities,” he says.
“By decentralising the processing and operating over IP networks, the MOBOTIX system is able to be installed cost-effectively across a large site, while maintaining the highest quality imagery, motion detection and day/night capabilities.”
The decentralised MOBOTIX system is ideal for simple and complex sites alike as it works seamlessly without placing unnecessary pressure on the network.
“Much of this project has contributed to a deterrence of theft, vandalism and general behaviour. Some of the areas in the school have benefited particularly from being monitored by MOBOTIX cameras to keep track of school-owned vehicles being borrowed from the premises”
The college initially rolled out the MOBOTIX Q22 to internal corridors for day time coverage of movement in these areas. The Q22 allowed for a good overview of the area, protection of student lockers and entrances to the corridors and adjoining offices.
The D22 was used in more specialised installs such as computer labs and the library. These were areas where the hemispheric viewing angle was necessary in certain classrooms. Meanwhile, the D12 series was used in very large open areas where the college required a wide area to be covered. This involved the use of two 90 degree lenses in the D12 allowing for a combined total of 180 degrees.
The quality of the footage from the D12 was superior to the previous analogue system and the ideal fit in very large areas. The D12 was also used as a dual day/night camera for external entrances to the college. A total of 45 cameras were initially rolled out in interior and exterior locations, protecting students and the school property.
Chris Maciejewski, director of ICT at St. Patrick’s College found the cost of the MOBOTIX system to be comparable to other vendors.
“This enabled our budget to also cover the upgrade of switches requiring PoE to power the MOBOTIX cameras,” he explains. “Fortunately, since the only cabling and infrastructure required to each camera is an Ethernet link, we are able to easily relocate cameras to areas which require surveillance. A couple of times we have reviewed the number of cameras in some areas and re-distributed a couple to areas not currently covered. This was made easy with the MOBOTIX system.”
Managing the system
St. Patrick’s College uses Mobotix MxControlCenter (MxCC) as the viewing software, as it is the most powerful way to manage the devices and provide access to other staff to view footage.
“We found that MxCC allows simple configuration and powerful management of the cameras, providing access to the required settings and management features,” Maciejewski says.
“MxCC has been provided to staff to view live and recorded footage, and the IT manager has configured the software to ensure that staff only have access to the MxCC features they require.”
As a result of the IT Manager recently attending a MOBOTIX training seminar, the College has also been implementing different maps into MxCC and providing access to cameras and footage when necessary in this easy-to-use manner.
According to Maciejewski, the MOBOTIX installation at St. Patrick’s College has been very successful and to date there are more than 70 cameras installed.
“Much of this project has contributed to a deterrence of theft, vandalism and general behaviour,” he explains. “Some of the areas in the school have benefited particularly from being monitored by MOBOTIX cameras to keep track of school-owned vehicles being borrowed from the premises.
“The MOBOTIX system has provided a manageable system which is not dependant on large server systems or high end technical equipment. This has assisted with us focusing more on coverage rather than major technical infrastructure. The products themselves are of very high quality, reliability and scalability, which is important for the College.”
Mobotix’ Graham Wheeler said the installation showed that MOBOTIX cameras and software were able to provide total coverage for a highly complex site.
“St. Patrick’s College has a number of unique requirements; both in size, varied use of the surveillance system, the need for day/night footage as well as full 180 degree views, and varying levels of access through control software.
“MOBOTIX cameras are now protecting the school, teachers, and pupils, in a diverse and powerful implementation of several models. The installation of MOBOTIX cameras at St. Patrick’s College has been very successful, with a further roll-out to over 70 cameras bringing direct and indirect benefits.”