Door Monitoring and Control with Internet CCTV, Part 2

January 5th, 2021

In part one of this series, we looked at how your wireless internet CCTV camera can monitor the area in front of an external door, and raise an alert when someone approaches the door.  In this final part of the series, we are going to look at the next step in the process; how to use your camera to unlock the door.

You may remember from part one that most good quality internet CCTV cameras have a digital input/output port, or I/O port.  This is simply a series of connectors that allow the camera to be attached to electrical circuits.  We have shown you in part one how the two input connectors on the port can be used for monitoring an alarm circuit and raising an alert.  In a similar way, the two output connectors can be used to switch electrical equipment.  Your camera can be configured so that a current is sent to the output connectors under certain circumstances.  This gets very interesting because unbelievably you can use the camera to actually open the door! So how can a wireless CCTV camera actually open a front door?  We will explain how in the next few sections.

The first piece of equipment you will need is an electronic door release, which you fit the door frame.  This is a common piece of equipment in the home and business security systems and can be obtained inexpensively through your local provider in Billings, MT.  The door release is fitted to the door frame so that the catch on the door lock fits into it.  The door lock is untouched and the door can be unlocked with a key as usual, but the electronic door release can also open the door.  It does this by freeing the catch from the door frame without unlocking the lock when a current is sent along the attached wires.

The next step is simply to run the wires from the door release mechanism to the output connectors on the internet CCTV camera’s I/O port. The camera has to be programmed so that it will accept an “open door” text message from your mobile phone or from a web page, and send a current to release the door.  Of course, you may be happy enough to fit the door release mechanism, but programming the camera to work with it is a specialist task.  We always recommend getting in touch with an “internet CCTV” provider for a ready-programmed camera that you simply plugin, so you get this great feature without needing any technical knowledge.

Once you have everything connected, here is how it all works in practice.  Let’s say you get a text message alert from the camera to tell you that someone is at the door, and you know it’s about the time your son gets home from school.  You log in using your mobile phone or PC and see a live picture of your son standing outside the front door, unable to get in because he’s forgotten his key.  You can simply send a text message from your phone to a central number, with your password, user name, and a simple command such as “open front door”.  A central computer program gets your text message and processes it, checking your credentials.  Then, the system sends a message across the internet to your internet CCTV camera, and the camera then sends a current to the door release mechanism, which opens the door for your son, all within a few seconds!

New applications for wireless internet CCTV such as door monitoring and control bring the technology to a different level when compared to traditional CCTV.  This is yet another reason why these intelligent digital cameras replacing dumb analog cameras the world over. These digital cameras is also what your local provider in Billings, MT specializes in if you want to learn more.