Case Study: Hotel Security

We were recently contracted to repair the CCTV system at a local Hotel, what we found when we got there was not only a malfunctioning system but a disaster waiting to happen

Every business needs to take security seriously, not only to protect their employees and assets but their clients as well. The previous owners of this particular hotel had a CCTV system installed, presumably they performed the work themselves, but it never worked correctly according to employees who have been there for years, and it was easy to see why.

Once we pulled back the furniture the rats nest of broken, unlabeled, exposed wires that rolled out made us leap for the master power bar switch (there were 4 of them BTW!) before the whole project, and the hotel, went up in flames!

Several wire bundles ran down the walls and across the floors. Each wire was a hodgepodge of electrical tape, badly crimped pigtails, broken BNC adapters, and spliced together wires that often formed loop backs or simply went no where. The whole mess was taped and zip-tied at random.

The 14 installed cameras were powered by DC adapters, "Wall Warts" that were sometimes wired to nothing but exposed wires and other times 4 cameras to a single wall wart. There were 11 warts across 4 power bars. Again nothing was labeled.

Out of 14 cameras installed on the property there were 18 total lines running to the rats nest at the DVR. The extra's were not just spares, these were broken and exposed wires, some had live power running through them but connected to no devices! 4 of the cameras simply did not work, 1 showed no picture but it was detected, and the primary camera that was recording the front desk had a picture you could barely make out due to interference. Did we mention that the DVR attached to it had stopped recording video due to a failed hard disk MONTHS AGO?

As it was the system was useless.

Even if the cameras were all working, and even if the DVR was recording it wouldn't matter much to a determined criminal because the entire system was installed into a 1980's stereo cabinet with glass doors and zero locks. Simply moving the cabinet cause the system to short and reset.

Enjoy the slideshow below to see some pictures of what we had to work with!

Before

So, we went to work.

We cleaned up and repaired each cable before running them safely and securely along the ceiling. We replaced all the "Wall Warts" with a Power Distribution Unit and added a battery backup to keep things going in the event of power loss or sabotage. Everything was installed into a new secure lockable rack mounted to the wall.

Then we went to work fixing the camera feeds. Most of the issues were crossed wiring or other common installation issues. After properly wiring each camera and repositioning several poorly placed cameras, replaced one fried camera, and upgraded the very important front desk camera to HD.

Finally, the system was up to 100% for the very first time. All told the system just needed 6 hours of professional setup TLC.

After

Posted in Case Studies.