M-IPC-700A IPC Camera Tester Review
This M-IPC-700A IPC tester supports IP, CVBS and SDI cameras a huge range of testing functionalities. It’s compact and powerful, making it a great assistant to any CCTV installer.
DISTRIBUTED locally by Seadan, the VCT-IPCT880 IPC tester is a CCTV installer’s best friend. It combines a laundry list of testing functionalities in a lightweight and mobile package with a hearty 17-hour battery life.
The M-IPC-700A camera tester has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen with an 800 x 600 pixel resolution. The unit can display image streams from ONVIF IP cameras, ONVIF PTZ controllers, as well as supporting more than 40 customized IP cameras protocols along with analogue and SDI cameras. There are user-defined shortcut keys (F1 and F2) and LCD screen brightness/contrast/colour saturation are adjustable.
The unit supports video management software allowing all supported camera images to be zoomed in 1-4 times, there’s image snapshot, video recording (built in 4GB SD card) and playback. A PTZ address scan function allows installers to search for the ID of a PTZ camera during commissioning. Once they’ve found the camera they can deploy PTZ control and pan and tilt the PTZ unit, zoom the lens in and out, adjust the focus, aperture and set preset positions.
When it comes to testing there’s simultaneous testing of different LAN segments, network bandwidth testing, PoE voltage testing, video signal measurement, video level meter, cable tracer to find a cable in messy network cabinet or tray, PoE port finder, link monitoring, IP camera ping testing, IP address scan, UTP cable testing, PTZ data analyst, RS485 communication address scan, and audio input and output testing.
There’s a 10/100 RJ45 network port, built-in WiFi supporting wireless transmission of network image and data, FTP server, static IP address, DHCP, BNC input and output, HDMI signal output, 24W of PoE power supply to support IP cameras, DC12V 2A power output for analogue cameras and 5V 2A USB power output to charge mobile phones. There’s an LED lamp, and a 7.4V DC 6500mAh lithium polymer battery, giving a life of 17 hours.
There’s 1-channel BNC input and 1-channel output, NTSC/PAL auto detect, PEAK video signal level, SYNC signal level, COLOR BURST chroma level measurement, 1-channel HDMI output with support for 1920 x 1080p full HD. In terms of power, there’s DC 12V/2A power for camera, 5V power output 2A power output for mobile phone charging and 48V PoE power output, with a maximum unit power output of 24 watts.
There’s 1-channel audio signal input test and 1-channel audio signal to connect headphone. The PTZ control is supported by RS232/RS485-RS422 protocols with Baud rates of 600-115200bps adjustable. There’s network cable and telephone cable testing, along with display of the sequence of connection and the number of the LAN cable PTZ protocol analysis and control protocol command displays to check RS485 transmission.
The video signal generator has 1-channel PAL/NTSC colour bar video signal for testing monitor or video cable in red, green, blue, white and black colour. There’s also a network colour bar generator. You can use a local side PC can to login to the tester, send the signal by network, and test network connection communications. There’s a UTP cable tester, which shows UTP cable connection status and display on-screen.
The unit can capture and analyze command data from controlling device and send hexadecimal. There’s IP address scan, link scan, Ping test and quick search for IP camera or another device’s IP address. Cable scan searches the cable using an audio signal while PoE test facilitates measurement of POE switch or PSE power supply voltage and cable connection status.
A digital multimeter measures AC/DC voltage and AC/DC current, resistance, capacitance, data hold, relative measurement and does continuity testing. Testing speed is 3 times per second in a data range between -6600 and +6600. An optical power meter is calibrated for wavelengths of 850, 1300, 1310, 1490, 1550 and 1625nm. There’s also a fibre signal power range of -70 to +10dBm and a visual fault locator allows installers to test single and multimode fibres for bending and breakage.
There’s a TDR cable test for breakpoint (cable length) and short circuit measurement (BNC cable, telephone cable). The unit has a working temperature between -10 and 50C. A PoE voltage measurement allows installers to test the PoE switch’s voltage to IP cameras, wireless AP devices and other PD devices. There’s also device port flicker, which makes it easy to find the connected PoE switch port by sending special signals which cause the connected PoE port to flicker at a special frequency.
This is a nice unit in the hands. Dimensions are 231mm x 172mm x 52mm and though the unit weighs 1.26kg, its rubberised handgrips make holding it easy and there’s a carry handle on one end, as well as a shoulder strap that clips in and out so you can get it out of the way while climbing. The screen is a proper size for serious viewing, even if your eyesight is on the wrong side of 40.
The buttons are nicely laid out, smooth and rounded but still tactile and there are not so many you couldn’t operate by feel after attaining familiarity. An offset control wheel gives directional control with a central enter button. The unit is awash with ports. There are ports top and bottom for pretty much everything you might want to test.
When you power up the tester, it boots up in less than ten seconds and settles to a screen covered with icons, each denoting a function. These touch icons work well – they not too sensitive, or so insensitive they slow you down. Icons are a beautiful way to access tester functionality. It’s intuitive to a smart phone or tablet familiar brain. There multiple different camera viewers installed on the tester, you simply enter your camera’s IP address and get to tweaking.
Every installer needs a remote monitor that allows them to check out manual zoom and focus. To have a tester that combines this fundamental capability with the capacity for multifarious test procedures during troubleshooting and commissioning is something else again.
By John Adams
Features of the VCT-IPCT880 IPC tester include:
* 7-inch LCD touch supports 1920 x 1080, 1080 x 720 and 800 x 600
* Displays ONVIF IP camera image, ONVIF PTZ controller
* Supports more than 40 customized IP cameras protocols, analogue, SDI
* Support video management software to view IP camera image
* Network bandwidth testing, multimeter, fibre testing
* PING testing, test IP camera or network devices’ Ethernet port
* Video signal level test, Cable scan, IP address scan
* PoE 24W power supply to IP camera
* HDMI signal output, support 1080P
* DC 12V 2A power output for camera
* Micro SD card moveable.