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Author Topic: security system for the home/shack?  (Read 19938 times)

Posts: 1486

« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2013, 04:06:17 AM »

You obviously have not had any dealings with insurance companies, at least in USA.  Here, one measures ones success in terms of minimizing ones loss; ...THEN they'll DROP YOUR COVERAGE without so much as a "have a nice day".

Tom, I've heard lots of horror stories like that, and it's obvious that some insurance companies really do stink.  But not all do:  I've been with USAA for all my insurance since I was a lad, and I've been extraordinarly pleased the few times I've needed their help.  They seem to go out of their way to be helpful.

A dozen years ago, my parents had some damage to their house, from a violent storm.  My father called USAA, and they said they'd get someone out to them as soon as possible--and to help with immediate needs, they sent an initial check by overnight express, so my parents could start the cleanup and repairs right away.

Just MHO, but USAA's customer service is as good as it gets!    --ken

Posts: 6251

« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2013, 05:19:38 AM »

...Unlike some hams, I have never been convicted of a felony, so I can legally own a firearm, and follow the laws of the state I live in, to protect myself, and my family.

I've never been convicted of a felony either, yet I had to do handstands and go through all sorts of rigamarole to get mine.  The problem?  When I got divorced, for reasons unknown--because I never bothered her, my ex put a restraining order on me.  She had me arrested because I made a phone call to a mutual acquaintance--and she happened to be there and picked up the phone.  The charge was dismissed after a six month period when there were no further complaints--because I actually did not want to bother with her, but the police chief in my community still claimed that was the reason I couldn't be trusted with a LTC!  It took a lawyer and several tries before I finally got him overruled, and now, after the fact, he and I are friends.  Figure that one out!!!

Posts: 2769


« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2013, 11:42:43 AM »

Get a dog, it's a great deterrent to thieves.

Posts: 100

« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2013, 05:03:39 PM »

Take a look at Sharx cameras. They work over wi-fi and each one is an individual little server.


Posts: 618

« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2013, 11:02:06 PM »

As for alarm systems, yes, I've used them.  I cancelled the service a couple years ago after an alarming (pun NOT intended) number of newspaper articles about police shooting the homeowner's dog/dogs because the wuss 'felt threatened"

I am afraid I owe a sincere apology to the public safety personnel in my county for the rather incomplete and misleading post that I made regarding this issue.
As a friend who read my post (not a public safety person) pointed out, the wording I used in this post does not properly explain that I have never encountered anyone in any official capacity in my county that I would consider to be a threat, or harm in any way any animal, even strays.  My reference pertained only to random (mostly newspaper) articles from sources throughout the country and to a video purporting to show such an event but the community or location where this was claimed to have happened was not described.
Yes, I am an "animal person" and I do dote over my dogs (probably) to an extreme.  I have no other family left and those dogs bring me more happiness that I could even begin to explain to someone who doesn't share my feelings for animals.  And, yes, I'll admit that I am overprotective of them so I do fear some of these unlikely possibilities but I had no intention for my comments to come across the way they apparently did.
For that I sincerely apologise and ask the moderator to remove my previous comment as it does not correctly reflect my opinion.

Posts: 1411

« Reply #35 on: April 11, 2013, 08:55:19 AM »

But what you describe does happen.  Not that long ago in Missouri, a police officer was looking for a suspect (not a felon) and surprised a dog who was in his own backyard, and not involved in any way with the guy they were looking for.  The dog was shot and died.  I've read several stories like this unfortunately.  I am not anti-law enforcement, but like any other occupation, they have their share of less than stellar employees...

Posts: 2243

« Reply #36 on: April 11, 2013, 12:04:50 PM »

Laws vary from state to state, but in most states
it is unlawful to use lethal force to protect property.
Sure, if the robber is carrying a weapon that changes things.

But %99 of residential burglaries:
Happen during the day when no one is home.
(The burglars check to see that no one is home).

Are of the "Smash & Grab" variety: get the high
value, easy to sell electronics: DVD players, stereo
components, jewelry,etc. I really don't think they will take the time
to figure out how to unhook your ham gear and take it.
They want to be in and out in under 2 minutes.
(Pretty hard to run fast and look inconspicuous while
carrying a 60-70 pound legal limit amp!)
It will be hard for them to sell *quickly*. Chances are their
"fence" will not want any ham radio gear.

The "Smash & Grab" burglars make it a point NOT
to carry weapons.
They know that this will increase their
charges tremendously when they are caught.

It's sad, and I DON'T agree with it, but the fact is that if you
shoot a kid in the back running out the door with your cable
box, and he ends up dead or a paraplegic, he or his family
will sue you and most likely win damages. (And the crook's attorney will
argue that your cute "Protected by Smith & Wesson" and
"Burglars: Nothing In This House Is Worth Your Life!" stickers
in your windows indicate a propensity for violence/ armed confrontation
on your part.) Like I said, I don't agree with it, but I read
the papers and have read about homeowners losing their homes
over shooting burglars.

Or, at best, your legal fees will put a significant
dent in your retirement savings.

I am not particularly liberal. I am not anti-gun, I am
a responsible gun owner and very cognizant of the legal and
moral repercussions of using them to protect property.
I am also cognizant of the FACT that having a firearm in
my home greatly increases the odds that someone in my home
will become a *victim* of that firearm rather than protecting
me from violence. That is a Constitutional choice I have made.
I do have good insurance and a very good and very expensive security system.
Property, THINGS, can be replaced. Lives cannot.
Just something to think about....

73 and God Bless, Ken  AD6KA
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 12:07:20 PM by AD6KA » Logged

Posts: 618

« Reply #37 on: April 11, 2013, 01:40:57 PM »

But what you describe does happen.

Oh yes!  My decision to cancel my security system was based on numerous articles and stories passed around animal welfare sites describing exactly that type of incident or worse.  My apology was intended to point out that I am not aware of anything like that taking place in MY COMMUNITY and my experience with our local emergency people has been nothing but positive.

The "Smash & Grab" burglars make it a point NOT to carry weapons.

The most recent article that I read in the newspaper and one that gave me the greatest distress about what to do described an apartment burglary (this was in an adjoining city to mine) where the intruder encountered a dog IN A CRATE (so it could be no threat to the burglar) YET HE FOUND IT NECESSARY TO STAB THE DOG WHICH WAS UNABLE TO DEFEND ITSELF.  Thankfully the poor dog survived that attack but why did the dog have to be harmed when it couldn't interfere with the burglar?
This is also one reason why I do not believe in keeping a gun in the house.
1.  If an intruder breaks in while I'm home, I don't need a gun.
2.  If an intruder breaks in while I'm away, he will find the gun and take it and, if I'm really unlucky, I'll return home while he's still there and he'll use the gun on ME.  Either way, a no win!
So, they may not carry weapons but they sure know where to get them when they want them.  Good thing for that dog that the resident didn't have a gun; the dog would have been dead from a gunshot, no doubt in my mind!

Posts: 6994

« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2013, 09:13:05 PM »

1.  If an intruder breaks in while I'm home, I don't need a gun.

Tom, no offense meant, but that is one hellova assumption!  One that you are betting your life on! 

Once again, no offense meant, but it's apparent that you're not very well up on the daily news from around the nation.


A Pessimist is Never Disappointed!

Posts: 618

« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2013, 09:54:40 PM »

Tom, no offense meant, but that is one hellova assumption!  One that you are betting your life on! 

I gotta admit, I had to laugh when I read my comment out of context.  Sounded kinda "rambo like", didn't it?  Actually nothing was further from my mind.  What I did mean was that an intruder would be outnumbered five to one when I'm home.  Four dogs and me!  One being an Akita with a bite that WILL break bones.  I'm sure that my role would be fairly minor but I will try to keep things fair by trying to keep the weapons out of the "other guy's" hands.  Duke can handle the rest with a little help from his "little buddies".
While there might have been a time when things were different, today, at 70, I'll leave the "heavy lifting" to my "bed partners".

Posts: 6251

« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2013, 04:58:31 AM »

Had to smile when I read your post, Tom.  I've got a Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix that surprised an invader one night in my yard.  He heard something and was out the doggie door before I could even look.  When I did get outside, all I heard was running feet, and my little friend was there at the edge of the driveway barking his head off!  (He weighs all of 12 pounds!)  I guess it was just a prowler looking for something quick and easy, but word got around, and now my little guy has a reputation of sorts!  (I don't, however, kid myself on his chances with a real determined burglar.)

Added--Oh, BTW, if someone has a gun at home and doesn't have it in a lockable quick access 'safe', they deserve what they may get.  That's the way I have mine.  I can get it in under a minute, while a burglar would have to know to look for the safe then get it open.

On another note, there have been quite a few alarm system monitoring cancellations in my area because of one thing.  The policy of the police department in my area.  They allow one false alarm now then they start billing the homeowner at $100 a pop.  If they find nothing with a cursory investigation by the patrol officer, they consider it a false alarm no matter if you have evidence it wasn't.  Of course, Massachusetts is regaining it's old title--Taxachusetts--simply because of things like that, namely the state and local government finding more ways to drain the citizen's wallet.  
« Last Edit: April 12, 2013, 05:05:42 AM by K1CJS » Logged

Posts: 2243

« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2013, 09:14:00 AM »

On another note, there have been quite a few alarm system monitoring cancellations in my area because of one thing.  The policy of the police department in my area.  They allow one false alarm now then they start billing the homeowner at $100 a pop.  If they find nothing with a cursory investigation by the patrol officer, they consider it a false alarm no matter if you have evidence it wasn't.

We have that here in L.A. too. Time was, you got two passes
a year, now you only get one.
They're $85 a pop and not
unreasonable if you think about it. We have a "Disarm system
while under duress" code, which sends out a silent alarm signal to
the Police Department. I have entered this by mistake after
coming home after working an 11 hour graveyard shift.
Really embarrassing, but quite impressive how quickly the cops
got here and how stealthily they got into a tactical position
to approach the residence.

I still think it's worth the $85.

Another feature I like about our system is the "Panic Button".
This is terrific, especially for my wife. All she has to do it hit
it once and all hell breaks loose. Police come, Fire Department comes,
everybody. Two VERY loud sirens inside and two outside.
Inside, it's so loud you can't even hear yourself think.

And it's all backed up by two sealed 7 amp/hr batteries in parallel,
which last for days, even with the sirens going. I know this
as fact. My XYL and I were on Grand Cayman during the 1994
Northridge Earthquake, epicenter 6 miles from our QTH.
Busted up the place pretty bad, and over 300 feet of cinder block wall came down.
We could not get a flight out for days, but my relatives got
to our home 36 hours after the quake and the sirens
were still going strong. My poor neighboors suffered for it, but were
nice enough to come over and turn off our gas and power.
(Power was out anyway, but still a very wise precaution).

One of my neighbors, a Vietnam Vet, put up a sign on the
entrance to our cul-de-sac which read "Looters Shot On Site"
and "No Lookie Loo's". He then sat on his front porch in a rocking
chair with his Ruger Mini 14. Sweet. Cheesy
Ken,  AD6KA

Posts: 3

« Reply #42 on: April 13, 2013, 07:57:24 PM »

You get what you pay for in cameras, recording devices, etc. The 8 camera systems for a few hundred may not be reliable when you need them. I installed Axis brand cameras for out side use and paid about $450 each for them. Power over Ethernet, great contrast, well built etc. Have been bullet proof for almost a year. So look at what the pro installers use if you really need a reliable system. I also have two Dropcams and they are fantastic for a cheap and easy to install units for inside use. They are my back up system. Got serious about all this after having my computer and several other things stolen from by car as it sat in my garage. Caught the thief with software on my computer that sent me photos of them and the location they were using my laptop. Police loved.

Posts: 6

« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2013, 04:20:00 PM »

CostCo seems to advertise multi-camera security systems fairly often and these seem decent,  usually including a hard disk recorder or similar.  They are also reasonably priced.

Posts: 92

« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2013, 08:32:54 PM »

I agree with KB5FLA; the way to go is with Axis especially if you are going to be away from the house for awhile.  Back in 2008 before moving to China I installed Axis in the front and in the rear.  Panasonic also makes a decent one, but I like the firmware on Axis better.

You are able to set a schedule when the motion detector is active.  Unfortunately, while I was in China, the pool guy came on the wrong day.  I got over 800 e-mails before Verizon shut me down for 24 hours thinking I was sending out spam.

The other thing I did was to put a dialer in parallel with my doorbell.  So if anyone rang my doorbell, it would call me on my cell phone and I could view them and talk to them just as if I was in the house.

Now it is a mute point because I'm retired and the only time I ever get out of the house is to go to the grocery store once a week.

Oh, the camera viewing and positioning on Android phones is much better than on the iPhones.  Back when I had an iPhone I could look at the camera output, but I couldn't reposition it.  They may have fixed it by now, but I doubt if I'll ever go back to Apple anything (other than the iPod because I need it for telemetry on my model car, which reminds me: I need to charge the batteries on it if I'm going to play in the backyard tomorrow).
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