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CudaCam
CudaCam

CudaCam Camera Installation Tips

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This article includes tips for CudaCam installation.

Site Preparation

CudaCam cameras require the following network infrastructure:

  • Firewall – Is there a firewall at the site, and if yes, how is it programmed? CudaCam cameras connect automatically to servers at Barracuda Networks. All CudaCam connections are outbound, so there is no need for any port forwarding. The cameras will use the following ports, in the order listed, if they are open: 733, 443, 80. 
  • Internet Bandwidth – Check that there is sufficient Internet bandwidth at the site. 
    • For D1 resolution (720x480), you will need at least 512 kbps of upstream bandwidth and at least 100 kbps upstream per additional camera. Using this metric, a facility with less than 1 Mbps upstream bandwidth can handle fewer than ten cameras. 
    • For 720p HD resolution, the bandwidth requirement for video streaming and video/image file transfer to the cloud is about 2.5 times higher. Using this metric, ten cameras running 720p HD should have at least 3 Mbps upstream bandwidth. Use the CudaCam Bandwidth Calculator (download here) for quick minimum bandwidth calculations.  
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) – Is the local network Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled? PoE is requuired to power CudaCam cameras. 
    • PoE can be provided to multiple cameras with a PoE switch, or to individual cameras with a PoE injector. 
    • Some PoE switches only power half of their ports (many 8-port switches only power 4 ports) and some switches cannot supply full power to all ports (for example, an 8-port switch that supplies 15W on any of 8 ports but can only supply 60W total). 
    • Cameras running Wi-Fi need a Cat5 cable running PoE for power, even if the cable is not connected to the network.
  • Router and DHCP Server – Confirm there is a router and a DHCP server at the installation site. Some small businesses have just a DSL or cable modem with one or two ports. Some of these devices lock to the first MAC address that they acquire and must be reset from the access provider before they can work with a newly installed router.
    • By default, the DHCP server provides the IP addresses and gateway and DNS addresses. The DHCP server must have a sufficient range of free addresses to support all of the cameras you are installing, or you must manually assign IP addresses to each camera.
  • Wireless – For wireless installations, confirm there is an access point on site and within range. Determine if the cameras will share it. If so, get the security information for the access point so you can configure the cameras to connect to it. 
  • Make sure you have an account with Barracuda Networks. The registration process adds the first camera to the account. You can then use the Add Camera feature to input all of the other cameras into the account.

Registering New Cameras

  • Unpack the cameras and connect them to an Internet-connected PoE cable in your office, before you go to the installation site. You can plug in several cameras at once. The cameras will connect to servers at Barracuda Networks and download the latest firmware. This takes between 2-10 minutes, depending on the available bandwidth. 
  • The cameras run their initiation and updates independently.
  • Make a list of the camera MAC addresses for future reference.
  • If you will use the cameras with Wi-Fi, you must configure the camera Wi-Fi settings while they are connected to the service with an Ethernet cable

    Camera Wi-Fi settings must be configured while cameras have a wired connection to the Internet before they can connect with Wi-Fi. 
    See the Wi-Fi Configuration section toward the end of this document for detailed instructions.


  • Make sure you have all of the necessary mounting hardware, including the outdoor housings. Bullet cameras have versatile mounting kits included in each box. Dome cameras mount to any flat surface with three screws and rubber washers (included).
  • If your network is not PoE-enabled or does not have enough PoE ports to support the cameras, you need to use PoE injectors (one per camera) or a PoE switch.
  • Cable length is important. The maximum length of both Ethernet and PoE cables is 100 meters.

Installing Cameras

  • Hang the cameras securely and connect them all to the Internet. They take 2-3 minutes to boot and communicate with the servers at Barracuda Networks. You should have already let them load the latest firmware before reaching the installation site, as described above. 
  • If your camera is not connecting to Barracuda Networks, you might want to connect a laptop to the same cable that the camera is connected to and see if the laptop can access the Internet. This will sort out most cabling issues and some, but not all, DHCP issues. You can also try the following testing websites:
    • speedtest.net[1] to check your network connection speed
    • pingtest.net[2] to check your network connection speed and quality, especially the packet loss test
  • LED patterns – Each camera has LEDs that blink to represent specific conditions. The blinking patterns depend on the camera. 
    • The CudaCam Dome camera uses single, multi-color LEDs. Get the latest information about LED pattern indications by contacting Barracuda Networks Technical Support[3] at 408-342-5300.

    • The indicator lights on CudaCam Bullet cameras have the following patterns:

      Light Pattern Meaning
      Both lights blink together every 2-3 seconds Good connection
      Right light is on; left light blinks Unable to obtain DHCP address
      Both lights blink once per second DHCP address obtained, but camera cannot connect to the Barracuda Networks servers
  • Aim – Once the cameras are all connected, you can adjust the camera aim. Aim each camera so it captures your target areas, minimizing walls and sky. 
  • For all models: 
    • You can "flip" the image 180 degrees (upside down to right side up), in case you have to mount the camera upside down, using the CudaCam Settings page in the browser. 

If you adjust the zoom for framing, you must also adjust the focus.

  • CudaCam Bullet – Adjust the aim on the camera mount. Adjust the zoom using the lens (power zoom). 
  • CudaCam Bullet Dome – Rotate the entire lens bracket in the camera base to aim the unit. Gently twist the knurled ring behind the camera lens to achieve the best orientation.
    IMPORTANT: DO NOT attempt to rotate the lens by turning the lens itself. This can cause the lens to break loose from its mount.
Camera Focus Tips

The cameras ship with default settings that should be adjusted after installation to maximize performance. It is best to perform the adjustments after the cameras have been running for a few days. This allows some event and video history to build, which can be used for fine tuning. Barracuda Support staff can examine each camera's performance and help you refine the filters and motion detection settings.

Focusing CudaCam Bullet and Dome Cameras

Please be patient when adjusting the focus and zoom on the cameras. It takes several seconds for the commands to execute on the camera and for the results to appear in the browser window. 

To focus CudaCam Bullet and Dome cameras:

  1. Open CudaCam in your browser and navigate to the Settings page for the camera you want to focus. 
  2. On the Settings page, click Zoom/Focus
  3. If you are not already in Auto Mode, click Switch to Auto Mode
    1. In Auto Mode, adjust the zoom and then click Focus so the camera will focus itself. 
    2. In the browser window, you should see the frame come into focus and lock automatically. Click Done.
  4. Click Save & Exit to save your focus settings on the camera. Please be patient. This process may take 10-20 seconds.
  5. Optionally, when you return to the NOW Panel in the view for that camera, click Go Live to see that the scene is in focus and the zoom is optimized. 

In some environments, the camera may have difficulty focusing automatically. If the camera is unable to focus automatically, click Switch to Manual Mode. There, you can make small adjustments to the focus manually. Please be patient because the camera view you see is delayed 10-20 seconds, due to network and server latency. If the delay is too long, close the focus utility and check the camera focus in Go Live mode. Repeat the focus sequence if needed.

 

Installing an IR Illuminator
  • If you are installing an IR illuminator ring on the CudaCam Bullet camera, remove the sticker covering the contacts at the front of the camera. Find the contact pads in the camera, and then look where the spring pins in the IR ring will contact the pads. Line the pins up over the pads and snap the ring in place. Take care that you do not install the ring with both pins on one pad. The IR ring will not operate under those conditions. 
  • Test the IR ring. The ring only receives power when the camera is in Night Mode. To put the camera in Night Mode, hold your hand over the lens for about 2 minutes, the LEDs will blink, and then you will hear the click as the exchanger flips the IR filter out of the optical path and the camera switches to Night Mode. Look at the IR ring with your cell phone camera. If it is functioning, you will be able to see the LEDs glowing. The human eye cannot see the IR ring illumination, so using a cell phone camera is helpful.
Outdoor Installation

The CudaCam Dome camera is rated for both indoor and outdoor use. 

The CudaCam Bullet camera is not weatherproof. To install them outdoors, you will need housings. Contact CudaCam Sales for assistance in purchasing outdoor housings. For particularly cold or hot climates, CudaCam Sales can suggest housings with heaters and fans. 

  • Most of the housings come with a ¼-20 screw with a low profile head for attaching the camera to the sled. Be sure to use that screw; any other screw could prevent the sled from seating in the track.
  • Be sure to seal the conduit hole in the housing to prevent dust or insects from getting into it.
  • Put the lens very close to the glass, but not quite touching it. The lens will need a little room to move when zooming or focusing. This prevents insects from getting between the glass and the lens and seeing the reflection of the LEDs in the image. LEDs can be turned off in the camera settings tool to prevent reflection issues.
  • As described above, focus the camera outside the housing, then snap it in.
  • Refer to the following articles for details on this these types of installations:

Camera Configuration

Nearly all camera settings, except physical positioning, are done from the camera Settings page in the CudaCam web interface. In the NOW Panel, click the small gear icon in the upper left corner of the camera view. This opens the settings window for that camera.

Bandwidth Settings 

This table summarizes suggested bandwidth settings.

You can select for D1 or 720p HD. Choose the settings and bandwidth management that allow the cameras to operate optimally over the local network.

For a detailed description, continue reading the article after the table.

Default Bandwidth

D1 resolution cameras

720p HD cameras

100 - 200 kbps

250 - 600 kbps (about 2.5 times amount for D1 resolution)

Maximum

D1 resolution cameras

720p HD cameras

500 kbps

1250 kbps (1.25 Mbps)

Unlimited  

Do not use this setting.

When the SD card fills up, the camera might consume all of your network bandwidth when attempting to upload videos.

Details about Bandwidth

  • Choosing a default bandwidth. Cameras work well with a default bandwidth of 100 or 200 kbps. Cameras in the field typically have a duty cycle of less than 25% (recording less than 25% of the day), and are often under 15%. The camera records at 380 kbps (1 Mbps in 720p HD) when it detects motion. If it detects motion 25% of the time and it has 100 kbps of default bandwidth, it can smoothly upload images to Barracuda servers throughout the day and night. 720p HD cameras should be allocated about 2.5 times as much bandwidth as those running in D1 resolution. As a general rule, give the cameras as much bandwidth as you can afford, up to 500 kbps in standard resolution or 1 Mbps in 720p resolution.  This will extend the life of the SD cards.
  • Choosing a maximum bandwidth. In D1 resolution, set the max bandwidth to 500 kbps. 
    For 720p HD resolution, multiply the bandwidth requirements by 2.5 for live streaming and video file transfer to the cloud.
  • Busy scenarios. In some cases, you cannot set the camera's default bandwidth high enough to upload all of the video during the day. For example, in a busy restaurant or retail shop, the cameras might average 20% duty cycle (recording 20% of the day), so if you have 6 or 8 cameras running on a modest broadband connection, they might use nearly all the available bandwidth, leaving little for point-of-sale devices (e.g., credit card machines) and other essential networked equipment.
    In these busy situations, you can set camera bandwidth utilization to be very low during business hours and then throttle it up when the network is not needed by the customer, typically late at night. For example, to minimize use of the customer network during busy periods, you can set each camera's bandwidth to 50 kbps or 100 kbps during business hours. When the restaurant or retailer is closed, you can set the cameras to run at 500 kbps for several hours to empty their SD cards. Set this feature carefully to achieve the best performance for your needs.
  • Schedules.
    • When you set a schedule, remember to click Daily, so the schedule runs every day. Otherwise, it will run only once. 
    • Avoid setting rolling schedules, where one camera gets high bandwidth for an hour, then another camera gets the high bandwidth, then another camera, and so on. Give all of them the entire night, or off-peak period, and they will work through it.
  • Avoid cascading switches with a slow connection. If you have a slow Internet connection, do not cascade switches. If you have one switch plugged into another, the cameras on the downstream switch get a fraction of the bandwidth the cameras on the top switch receive.
  • Preview Mode. Put the cameras in Preview Mode to view them on the camera browser. Nearly all organizations want this "live view" capability for active monitoring. 
    • Set "dead zone" cameras (for example, storage, back door, basement, IT closet) to a slower preview rate. 
    • Set "active zone" cameras (for example, lobby, dining room, manufacturing, showroom) to one frame every two seconds or more for near-motion video monitoring.

      Check local laws before turning audio on because it may be illegal in some jurisdictions.

Camera Motion Detecting Settings

CudaCam Bullet and Dome Cameras

For CudaCam Bullet and Dome cameras, motion detection is set using Regions of Interest. On the Settings page of the web interface, scroll down to the Zone Editor section. Click Create Zones to open a tool to draw boxes around "Regions of Interest" where motion should be detected, and other motion in the image can be ignored. This is useful for a camera in a lobby with a busy street behind it. Using the tool, you would draw a box around the lobby area, the Region of Interest, but exclude the street. That way, activity in the lobby triggers the motion detection and video recording, but traffic on the street would not.

For all cameras, use the following tips for motion detection:

  • Tune out unwanted motion. If you have video clips that were created based on background motion, you can tune the settings to fix that. Play one of these clips from within the Images or Timeline panel. While the clip is playing, click player menu icon PlayerMenuIcon.png in the lower-right corner of the player and select Show Motion. Red boxes will appear in the video, showing where the camera picked up motion. It could be actual motion, or just things like lights, shadows, or outside traffic. You can make adjustments by creating zones to reduce unwanted recordings and alerts.
  • Tune the camera settings carefully. Maxing out the settings can reduce the system performance. The cameras have a high degree of adjustability that can be very effective if set systematically and thoughtfully. 
  • Set alerts to actively monitor camera, event, and recording activity. CudaCam can send you email notifications of events or if the camera goes offline. The system can also email you if it detects motion during a scheduled time period. In most conditions the motion detection is very accurate and these "off-hours motion alerts" may be very helpful. 

    CudaCam surveillance cameras are not intended to replace security alarm systems or intrusion detection devices.

Wi-Fi Configuration: CudaCam Bullet and Dome Cameras

If possible, configure the camera Wi-Fi settings using the Wi-Fi network the camera will use when it is operating normally. It is possible, but more challenging, to perform this configuration remotely. If you perform the configuration remotely, be sure you have the key information for the Wi-Fi network the camera will use, as described in Step 6 below. 

To configure Wi-Fi for the CudaCam Bullet and Dome cameras:

  1. Plug the camera into a wired Internet connection with power over Ethernet. Log into CudaCam using a web browser.
  2. Open the Settings page for the camera.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the camera Settings page. For Interface Preference, select Use Ethernet, Wi-Fi Backup.
  4. At the bottom of the Settings page, click Configure Wireless. A new window opens.
  5. If you are within range of the network the camera will use:
    1. Change the Mode to DHCP and click Scan. A list of available networks should appear.
    2. Select the correct network from the list. The Wireless Network Configuration window opens and you can enter the Network Name, Network Authentication, Data Encryption, and Network Key. You only need to enter a pass phrase if you are selecting a network from the list.
  6. If you are not within range of the Wi-Fi network the camera will use:
    • Click Configure Manually to manually enter the network and security settings (Network Name, Network Authentication, Data Encryption, Network Key). The camera cannot work without the exact Wi-Fi settings. When you are within range of the Wi-Fi network, this information will populate automatically, reducing the risk of error.
  7. After you have entered the network and security settings, click Apply. Click Test Wi-Fi to see if the connection works. Click Done to save the settings and close the window.
  8. If possible, check the list on the access point to verify that the camera is connected. If you do not have access to the list, reopen the CudaCam Wi-Fi configuration page you opened in Step 4, and see if it says connected and displays the selected network highlighted in green. 
  9. Near the bottom of the camera configuration page, under Interface Preference, change the setting to Use Wi-Fi, Ethernet Backup.
  10. At the top of the Settings page, click Apply to save the settings. After you have entered and saved the settings to the camera, you can install and power on the camera. It will connect to the Wi-Fi network.

    Please allow about a minute for the settings to save to our servers and in the camera before unplugging the camera from the wired Internet connection. If you disconnect the camera before the settings are applied, the camera will not have the correct Wi-Fi settings and you will have to connect the camera to a wired Internet connection for a couple of minutes until the settings are saved.

Contacting Technical Support

For assistance with CudaCam, contact Barracuda Networks Technical Support. 

 

 

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