Smart cottage: video surveillance

When I was just planning to talk about how my dacha is getting smarter, it seemed to me that this topic would be the simplest and most obvious. Probably, it was possible to write about video surveillance right away. But it turned out to be difficult to do this precisely because there are no secrets in it. There are so many cloud cameras on the market, they have so many possibilities that there are no difficulties in organizing video surveillance on your site.

In principle, it will not be difficult to build a system that will not yield even to a city one. The only question is why is it needed. And the main answer is for safety.


Again, I repeat in order to make the picture clear. My dacha is located in a lonely small snt (61 plots). The nearest village with a police station is 2 kilometers along a rolled primer. Patrols appear with us once a year, and then on occasion. Of all the village guards, there is only a barrier. Naturally, both my site and the sites of neighbors are at risk. True, in order to get to us, you need to be a very purposeful thief. Moreover, there are no luxury cottages in our village.

The first line of defense is the fence. The “front” part of the site, which faces the street, is fenced with a new metal picket fence. Why not a solid professional sheet? For the same security. Neighbors can see what is happening at my place, and I can see what is happening on the street. From the neighbors on the right, the plot is fenced off with a solid two-meter fence. This is not accidental: you want to see these least of all and there is no sense from them. On the border with the rest of the neighbors – an ordinary chain-link. It is pleasant to communicate with them, and besides, we help each other to keep track of what is happening at the sites in our absence.

camera effect

I am aware that the presence of a working camera is unlikely to stop serious robbers. But their appearance in our not the richest and most luxurious village is unlikely. But “a trifle in the pockets” can climb. And it seems to me that the cameras on the house of such thieves may well scare away. Especially those who live nearby and trade by stealing tools and equipment during the absence of the owners. Therefore, I do not hide the cameras, but, on the contrary, I tried to hang them so that they are clearly visible both day and night, thanks to working LEDs and turning on the backlight.

By the way, surveillance cameras have another “effect”

Their presence gives a good discount on insurance. I insure the dacha with the same agent that helps me with OSAGO – and I get a 30% discount on the price of the policy for cameras and a good new fence. This will not allow you to get rich, but at least it allows you to experience deep moral satisfaction.

Surveillance zones

Based on the anamnesis, I determined those areas of the site that needed to be monitored. The first is between the street and the house. The camera is installed on the facade of the house and looks towards the neighbors on the right. A small area “behind” the camera and between my house and the neighbor’s plot on the left remains uncovered. The problem is solved with the help of the “neighbors” system. The neighbor also has a camera, it is aimed at his entrance area and perfectly sees through the chain-link what is in my “blind zone”.

I directed the second camera to the courtyard and it observes almost its entire area.

Summer view from the camera aimed at the site
Summer view from the camera aimed at the site

Two small segments remained uncovered. The entrance area is partially blocked by my “facade” chamber and the chamber that my other neighbors use – from the back (there is also a chain-link between us). The space near the house that my yard camera does not see is viewed by my neighbor’s camera on the left side.

I will make a reservation right away: neither I nor my neighbors give each other access to their cameras. But there is an agreement that if problems are discovered, we immediately report them to each other.

Another important caveat: in winter, neither we nor our friendly neighbors almost ever visit their dachas. But right in front of us, a family of lovely and very vigilant old people constantly lives. What is noticeable from the street, they tell us regularly (even if nothing happens). The neighbor system works. True, its possibilities are limited.

Winter "open spaces" from a camera aimed at the site
Winter “open spaces” from the camera aimed at the site

What I originally planned

I thought that along with the cameras I would get a solid array of video data that needed to be stored somewhere. Therefore, I also looked in advance for a registrar with the ability to connect an external drive. Good thing I didn’t buy it right away. Experience has shown that it is not needed.

As a result, two cloud cameras remained …

I put a 64 GB memory card in each. This, as experience shows, is more than enough, especially in the mode of overwriting the new to the old. Moreover, the camera does not record in 24/7 mode – it captures the movement and starts recording. One such video takes me about 2.5 MB.


I used two identical cameras – HIPER Cam CX3 (read review here). I think that this is the most balanced offer among outdoor cameras in terms of “price-quality”. First, it has good IP65 protection and a wide operating temperature range. At the same time, despite the fact that -10 … +50 degrees are declared in the specifications, the camera works fine even in severe frosts. Today, for example, -17 (according to Yandex).

The second, important for me, dignity is a powerful and well-marked case. The camera is perfectly visible from the street and it scares off those petty thieves.

The third is a powerful spotlight. It, of course, is not enough to illuminate the entire area in pitch darkness. But on the other hand, the motion detector sees far, turns on the spotlight, and this can become an additional scare.

Night "landscapes"shot with HIPER Cam CX3
Night “landscapes” shot with HIPER Cam CX3

For aesthetes, there is also a speaker with a microphone (that is, the camera can be used for two-way voice communication), but I did not need these features in two years.

Memory cards up to 128 GB are supported, but 64 is enough for me. I think that 32 GB would be more than enough. The picture quality can be adjusted. I’m set to the highest possible 1080p.

The HIPER Cam CX3 connection is standard for all cloud cameras, using an application that allows you to access the image from four cameras and the clips that are recorded on the memory card. The videos, by the way, can be downloaded to the phone’s memory.

life hack

Unfortunately, HIPER smart home systems do not have a web interface or desktop application. I miss it, especially when I’m not in the country (and this applies to the use of all devices, not just the camera). But there is another difficult case when I am in the city, and my wife is in the country. For such situations, I allocated an old phone (I already talked about this), where I installed the HIPER IoT application and logged into it under my own account. In my absence, the spouse can access smart home devices at any time using this same smartphone. In the summer, by the way, I’m going to allocate an old 8-inch tablet for these purposes – it will be even more convenient.

Cameras, of course, eat up Internet traffic. For me, so little. Since October 15 (on this day we were at the dacha for the last time, and after that we visually check the situation at least once a day), it took about 3 GB to transfer data (checked according to the rest of the traffic in the operator’s application).

I can’t say that HIPER Cam CX3 is the ideal video surveillance solution. Of course, there are devices more powerful and with more features. But for my everyday needs, this camera is enough.

Among the obvious shortcomings that I do not like are only three levels of sensitivity of the motion sensor. If you set the maximum, then the camera will warn about each swing of the branch in the wind. At the minimum, the camera will hardly notice anything.

In summer and autumn, I have the minimum level set. On it, “false” positives are excluded, empirically, I specifically checked the responses for the appearance of a person in the visibility zone – the camera sees my not too massive figure well. With the onset of winter, I set the sensitivity of the motion detector to medium, and the camera did not bother me in vain. In fact, all the worries are warnings about the visits of an unknown cat to our site 😊.


Of course, the “density” of video surveillance varies depending on the time of year and where exactly my wife and I are. In accordance with these conditions, several scenarios are exposed in the application.

“We are in the city, summer” – both cameras are always on, at the minimum sensitivity of the motion sensor.

“We are in the city, winter” is the same, but the sensitivity of the motion sensor is average.

“We are in the country” – the camera that looks into the courtyard is turned off. And that’s what I use during my holidays to check the water level in the well. The camera that looks out onto the street is on from 22:00 to 07:00.


  • Video surveillance is the most obvious and easiest to implement function of a smart home.

  • At the same time, the video surveillance system is subject to the same principle of “reasonable sufficiency”, although, if desired, even video monitoring of extraneous insects can be provided.

  • The neighbors security system works, but its capabilities are limited by the neighbors themselves and your relationships. In any case, they should be used and not be shy to promote the benefits of video surveillance in the village.

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