Launching Digital Surveillance Into the Stratosphere

One of Las Vegas’ most unique hotel/casinos undergoes a $3 million hybrid surveillance overhaul. The project includes 1,792 channels of recording as well as POS, slot management, access control, and analytics/people counting integrations.

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Creating a Smaller Footprint
The project began in late May 2010 and was completed in just a little more than seven months, a very tight timeline for this size of installation.
Both the surveillance control room and main server room are being renovated to accommodate the new digital system and the property’s IT servers. The retrofit also included installation of a computer floor in the main server room, HVAC unit with chiller, UPS, new electrical panel and branch circuits, cage to segregate the surveillance system from IT, and a DuPont FM200 fire suppression system.

Information gathered during the RFP process gave TSI specifics about where the customer wanted to locate equipment, what space was being provided for the system, whether it was to be centralized or decentralized, etc. While mapping out the existing system, Swankosky found that IDF rooms in use with the existing matrix were scattered between five locations.

His original design called for the matrix to be concentrated in two locations. Once TSI was awarded the job, it reevaluated and decided it made more sense to centralize the new matrix in the main server room. McCawley agreed, and ACEP and TSI proceeded.

However, centralizing the matrix in the server room created a new set of issues. David Giannosa, project manager for the Stratosphere, was concerned about available floor space and additional heating and power requirements now that all the new equipment had to be located in one place. After reviewing calculations for the additional equipment, Swankosky realized some creativity would be required to solve the floor space issues.

“Originally we weren’t anticipating accommodating the new UPS and fire suppression system within our floor plan. With the size of the UPS and 36-inch clearances required for access to the UPS and front of our racks, the area available for the new recording system was significantly reduced. Adding to the space issue, the cage used to restrict access to the IT and surveillance areas was being compacted to make room for a handicap ramp,” says Swankosky.

As one solution to the space issue, TSI knew they were already using a system with a smaller footprint made possible by Synectics’ internal 16-channel PCI-e encoders. These units provide up to 32 channels of 4CIF, 30 frames per second (fps) recording per 2RU networked server. The internal encoders also eliminate the need for additional rack space that is normally required for separate encoder chassis, and they reduce HVAC use and power consumption for a “greener” solution.

When evaluating other ways to recapture space, the Pelco CM9780 matrix and Optelecom fiber-optic chassis didn’t offer any additional savings. “We were already using some of the most dense and efficient products available on the market today. If we wanted to fit the matrix into that space, we were going to have to figure out a way to make the room bigger,” says Swankosky.

Fortunately, the decision to move the matrix was made before anything was bolted down. The Stratosphere team had already oversized the electrical panel, HVAC and UPS, so the infrastructure for the two additional circuits was in place. After
playing with the layout a little bit, TSI discovered that moving the HVAC unit 12 inches down the wall and the cage only 3 inches out accommodated all the equipment and maintained the code clearances required.

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Down to the Wire
To keep the project on track amid the tight timeframe and unique challenges posed by the retrofit, TSI took a proactive approach and coordinated with the Stratosphere’s project manager on a regular basis.

“Communication is key with a project of this size,” says Swankosky. “I make it a point to check in with senior management to deliver updates on the project status regularly.” McCawley added, “The implementation process exceeded our expectations because we would see the integrator here actively working and he would check in with us daily to keep on top of the process.”

Even though through the years several companies had been contracted to install fiber throughout the property, the condition of the existing fiber was unknown. Therefore, the TSI team went through a rigorous process of mapping, identifying and testing each strand. After this process was complete, reports were submitted to the Stratosphere confirming that no additional fiber was required.

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