Yes, cameras placed and pointing directly at entrances can be placed in a “perimeter” group. Alarmhandler allows you to turn on perimeter sensors separately from the home screen. This makes it possible to monitor all entrances while you are at home.
If you’re using gmail, then you can specify the following when you configure your camera connection:
- Smtp server address: smtp.gmail.com
- Smtp server port: 465
- Sender email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sender username: email@example.com
- Sender password: your gmail password
- Encryption: Use SSL/TLS
- Receiver email address firstname.lastname@example.org (see address under Settings-Estate settings-Camera settings)
If you use 2 factor authentication, you will need to setup app specific passwords that you use on the cameras. To do so, login to your gmail account and select Security, then under Signing in to Google tap App Passwords. At the bottom of the screen, Select the app and device for which you want to generate the app password. You can select Other app and enter a free text description like “AH camera”. The tap Generate to get the app specific password.
You’re probably not interested in keeping the messages sent from the cameras to Alarmhandler. To auto delete them, just setup a rule in Gmail. In Gmail tap the settings “cog” icon a select Settings. Then select the tab “Filters and blocked addresses” and add a rule that matches from: email@example.com to: firstname.lastname@example.org (where xxxxxxxx is the camera address) and do this: Delete it.
You may also consider creating an extra mail account that you only use for your cameras to send mails to the Alarmhandler servers.
Some IP camera owners to not subscribe to cloud based camera recording service, but just set up cameras to send emails to themself. So here’s the different approach taken by Alarmhandler:
- Most camera control apps do not offer a simple and instant detection on/off button, meaning you will get lots of mails all the time as soon as there’s a detection. Alarmhandler never records anything or alerts you, unless you turn recording ON explicitly in the app – and then it only records when motion or sound is detected – meaning you don’t have to worry about getting lots of messages and missing our on the important ones.
- Alarmhandler cleans up recordings. The received mails are deleted within seconds after Alarmhandler receives them from your camera. If your alarm is ON, then the service will keep a copy of the received recording in a a database to allow you to play back the recording. This in turn is auto deleted after 30 days. So all in all, you don’t have to worry about images floating around, Alarmhandler takes care of cleaning this up.
- Mailing camera recordings to yourself does not mean any action is taken. Alarmhandler has a configurable workflow that kicks in when events occour. It first notifies all inhabitants (that you define) and in case none takes action, and you’ve turned it on, Alarmhandler will notify neighbours and friends (defined by you) to find the closest available helper.
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:
- Recording should only be mailed upon motion or sound detection.
- Recording should only be mailed with a few frames before and after the detection.
- Recordings 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?
First of all, you need to validate your e-mail address by activating the link in the mail you received just after signup. Once you’ve done that you can tap the + button on the Sharing screen (tap Menu-Sharing), and choose to send an invite code either via SMS or e-mail.
- Invited users get control over the alarm like you have, so they can turn monitoring ON or OFF and playback recordings
- You might not register a detection, especially if far away on holiday without Internet connectivity. If you need help through a holiday, you can temporarily share the estate to neighbour “helpers” and let them react to notifications and contact police if a breakin has occurred.
PS If you did not receive a user validation e-mail, please look in your junk mail folders for it, and if it’s not there then contact support to sort this out.