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Thread: Day/night camera settings problem

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    Premium Member vk3rx's Avatar
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    Default Day/night camera settings problem

    Back in 2011 I bought a Unimo DVR with a number of CVBS KCE brand cameras with inbuilt IR (from a forum member actually). Over the last year or so some of the cameras have failed and have been replaced with later models of the same cameras. Those replacement cameras have worked well, both night and day operation, and no adjustments made in the OSD menu.

    Of late CVBS cameras seem to be getting a tad difficult to get hold of, and recently I bought 2 x dome cameras Altronics part # S9121E and 2 x bullet cameras part # S9134E, two to put in service and the others as spares. They seem to be quite good quality cameras, and I have set them to CVBS mode.

    However I'm having trouble with their night operation, in that after dark they are cycling from colour to BW every few seconds. Via the OSD I pushed their D-N (DELAY) & N-D (DELAY) figures out to 60 seconds to at least alleviate the thrashing somewhat while I figure out the solution.

    Their default DAY/NIGHT setting was "EXT" so I changed that to AUTO. I have since fiddled around with the D-N (AGC) & N-D (AGC) figures without success stopping this switching from colour to BW problem.

    I have tried low, mid-range and high AGC figures for both D-N and N-D with no effect on the problem. I did read somewhere that the N-D setting must be higher than the D-N setting (why I don't know), but in any case that hasn't been successful.

    The IR LEDs are on all the time at night, so it does not appear to be a lack of IR light that is causing the issue. I have checked the PSUs including swapping them with new and the problem remains with the cameras. The spare cameras exhibit the same issue, so I am convinced it is a setting problem. At night in the BW mode the video is outstanding, but in colour mode little is discernible. See pix

    There are no external light sources that could be triggering the issue, and the original KCE branded units worked out of the box fine in the locations.

    The main settings are in the attached document.

    Advice would be appreciated





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    Is it possible there is some light, either visible or IR reflecting off a surface (ie the brickwork) back into the photoelectric sensor that determines when it's low light (eg: dark).

    If the sensor sees reflected light, it may fool the device briefly into thinking it's day and switches to colour mode with less sensitivity, which would produce dark pictures.

    Try angling the camera away from any close surface. Sure, it then won't capture the area of view you want, but it may prove whether of not it's stray light causing the issue.

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    Senior Member secure's Avatar
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    As what MTV suggested.
    Or PSU's. You said you had changed them. What current rating is your psu output? Try powering said camera from it's own psu with min 1A output if not done already.

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    Thanks for the tips.

    The cameras were checked on two supplies, one 2.5A and the other a 9A unit. Nothing else was connected to those supplies when tested.

    There is no reflected light hitting either camera or IR sources. One (not the one used for the pix) is in the same location as a KCE brand one was till it failed. Unfortunately that KCE one no longer powers up otherwise I would check it's OSD for settings (which I never had need to touch). That camera points down a driveway with gravel base, which is lit by a streetlight. However the camera is under cover in a carport, so it only looks down at the carport and part of the driveway. The other camera is in quite a dark location.

    Rightly or wrongly I'm convinced it is related to the D-N AGC & N-D AGC settings, which I assume would cause a camera to cycle if they were too close in value. I also assume their values should take account of the remaining light after dark

    I did check with the supplier before posting here, and they say they haven't had reports of this problem, and speculated that adjusting the noise reduction may help.

    I will keep fiddling with settings, and report back -

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    I would say definitely related to AGC, hence my suggestion of reflected light.

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    Problem seems to be fixed, after a week of soak testing.

    After much fiddling I arrived at values for the Day/Night & Night/Day AGC and timing that work fine i.e. no flicking from colour to BW.

    Copied below for posterity if anyone has the same issue with these Altronics cameras. The values in red are the camera defaults as received. I don't know why the AGC values would be so different from default given the night ambient lighting does not seem an issue. I didn't find on the web an explanation as to what high vs. low AGC values would be appropriate in various circumstances.

    DAY/NIGHT changed from "EXT" to "AUTO"
    D-N (AGC) 48 (150)
    D-N (DELAY) 3 (3)
    N-D (AGC) 5 (116)
    N-D (DELAY) 60 (3)

    Thanks for the help and guidance

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