Cable Runs Were a ‘Nightmare’
While the Endura system and other security component installations went off without a hitch, the primary cable runs from the head-end were a diabolically different experience. In short, conduit pathways were not installed in the parking structure during the development’s construction. SmartWatch was shouldered with having to design the infrastructure after the property was built.
The parking structure was designed with three elevator risers; the cameras are stationed primarily around elevator lobbies and in all corners of the parking garage. But the security control room was built on the ground floor, smack in the middle of the structure and at a significant distance from the risers. Therefore, there was no way to connect from riser to riser.
“None of the risers are above the head-end. It was a nightmare. We really had to get creative to get the project cabled and still keep our encoders centrally located,” Farrell says.
Nine 8-channel network encoders could have been placed in remote closets, which would have afforded SmartWatch to pull substantially less cable to each area. But for security purposes the system design called for placing the equipment in a single IT room.
“That was definitely one of our biggest struggles on this project,” says Farrell. The solution was taking raceways from other divisions of the project. “It wasn’t as simple as ‘here are 4-inch conduits, pull your cable through there.’ We had to reroute them, then go back to another area. It was a much harder undertaking to coordinate getting cable from one end to the other to get it to the head-end,” he says.
Another answer to the predicament was to rely on the qualities of RG-6 coax. “That was a big part of the coordination. Anyone could’ve found a way to get a cable home, but keeping in mind the potential for latency and video loss on an extended run was a big part of the challenge,” Farrell says.
Future Growth Plans on Hold
SmartWatch concluded its work at Veranda Park in January, having committed about 700 hours of installation time. The current price tag for the project — which included a distributed audio system for background/foreground music and paging — stands at $696,000.
SmartWatch is signed on to take part in Veranda Park’s ambitious expansion plans; however, the development company’s owner has been forced to put the project on hold because of financing issues and litigation. Despite the setbacks, the town center’s state-of-the-art security package is fully functional and is providing the intended peace of mind for its occupants and affluent shoppers.
“The development is very well secured,” says Farrell.
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