In order to use IP cameras as sensors with Alarmhandler, you need to ensure your camera settings are tuned for this purpose.
If you get many unwanted alerts from Alarmhandler, this is a clear indication that your camera settings are not in order. If you get a warning in the app that you’re close or over the storage or upload quota, this is also an indication that your camera settings are not in order.
Before tuning the camera settings, you should start by placing the cameras at a location where they will not pick up sound or movement that should not cause an alarm.
Next up is to ensure, that the cameras only detect sound and motion when this is actually the case. It’s important to understand, that Alarmhandler does no interpretation on the received images, so it’s up to the camera to detect sound or motion correctly. Whenever we receive images we will trigger an alarm – so adjusting the camera is the only way to fix false alarms.
Proper camera settings depend on the camera producer and what is possible to adjust. But here are some generic instructions of normal, working camera settings:
- FTP upload should only happened upon motion or sound detection.
- FTP upload should happen at a frame rate of 1 image per second.
- Motion detection is normally tied to an active area a sensitivity parameter:
- Sensitivity reflects how big a difference there should be in two images before motion is detected. Try settings around 40% – if no motion is detected when walking in front of the camera using whilst having “Record everything” enabled under estate settings, then set sensitivity higher up.
- Active area lets you control if parts of the camera view should not be used for motion detection. En example could be disabling part of the view where a window is located to avoid birds or similar to create a false alarm.
- Day / night vision should be disabled as many cameras make a high noise when toggling between day and night vision mode – and some cameras detect a big difference between images captured before and after the switch. It might be better to just to run the camera in night vision mode as this avoids these two issues.
- You might want to disable sound detection in order to get motion detection working properly first, then later on try to get sound detection to work. Sound detection should normally be set as high as possible, e.g. 90dB. This in order not to pick up cars outside and other irrelevant noise. What you want to pick up is for instance your fire alarm which will be over 100dB.
If you’re still unable to avoid unwanted alerts with your camera after following the suggestions above, you may need a different camera. Be aware that some IP camera manufacturers focus on live streaming and motion / sound detection does not work very well. If this is the case, try to contact us so we can share your results and get our white / black list of cameras updated.
Also see Why do I get false alarms?