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10 replies created over 3 years ago
posted by lucygilk over 3 years ago

Has anyone installed cameras at your car wash. Where is the best place to put the cameras...


reply by asjaffa over 3 years ago

We install all of our own systems. If you hire a company to do this, you can expect to pay about $1000 per camera. If you DIY, you can do this for about $100 - $150 per camera.

We run all homeruns using RG59 Siamese cable that runs power and video. We don't use IP cameras anymore because the new digital cameras have the same quality for less than half the price. The most common cameras are F3.6 which are good for most applications. If you need to see a smaller area or a license plate, then you can go with a longer focal length.

The latest video camera systems are hybrids that allow either an analog or digital signal. Each of our locations has two 16 camera systems. We like to have 6 - 8 TB of storage for each one of these 16 camera DVRs.

We build our own entrance arch to see the vehicle from every conceivable angle when entering the wash. We do this right before the entrance photo eye. Then we have cameras throughout the tunnel so we can see taillights or if someone turns their wheels. We also have cameras above each autosentry, at the vending machine, in the office, above the safe, and all throughout the vacuum area. If you are in doubt, buy more cameras rather than fewer. We want to see every inch of the property.

It's very easy to do this yourself, but it is time consuming. Count on allocating several days to properly install these.

reply by lucygilk over 3 years ago

Thank you for your feedback. I am current looking at the SWANNDVR System. What about this system?

reply by asjaffa over 3 years ago

The Swann system appears to be IP using an NVR. We no longer use NVRs due to the cost of the cameras. In the car wash environment, it's inevitable that you will need to replace these every couple of years. We prefer the new HD cameras that are run using Siamese cable. The IP cameras are slightly easier to run using Cat-5 cable because they are PoE (power over ethernet). We have found, however, that the HD cameras are more cost effective at about $50/camera vs $200+ for IP cameras.

reply by Earl Weiss over 3 years ago

Since I had a system and available labor I got a local contractor to use our existing cables or let us run new ones where needed. Saved about half the cost and I let him do the setup. He can also monitor and trouble shoot remotely if needed. Initialy got 16 Channel DVRs but later spec'd out 32 channel and have DVD burners with all in case I need to permannetly save or give someone a big file, Cheaper than thumb drive. Typicaly I will video the video off the monitor and e-mail to myself and save t my computer. Or then e mail to someone else if needed. I now have Hikvison cameras & DVRs

reply by Garb over 2 years ago

Where is the best place to buy equipment? I currently have a 4 camera system that was put in 12 years ago. Thanks

reply by asjaffa over 2 years ago

There is no "best place". There are seemingly thousands of distributors out there. Our last camera systems were purchased from Watt Wire in California. We also have a camera system from Digicapture that we are happy with.

reply by FastLaneMinot over 2 years ago

We have 32 total cameras 16 per tunnel. 8 on each side, placed at the best position to see the sides of cars when the light is shining against them, Washed 45,000 cars this year, less than 5 insurance claims. Lots of "you did this" and " you did that" but cameras dont lie :)

reply by Earl Weiss over 2 years ago

Why did you have 5 insurance claims. I typically have 0-1 at each of 4 tunnels. A. If it's not our fault or it's less than $500.00 I don't give out insurance info. B. The few claims were something like a hose getting stuck in a brush and smacking the heck out of a car.

reply by FastLaneMinot over 2 years ago

5 claims, 3 of which got turned down, 2 of them we kinda had to take care of if we wanted any customer service credit at al,and thats my top biggest thing is repeat and fastpass members, those people we dont want to lose. 1 was because of a service tank in back of pickup, fullside ripped the hose out and beat up the next vehicle coming through, which still technically isn't our fault our wash never malfunctioned, the customer just didnt have his stuff properly secured like we asked., and the other one was a front bumper on a van, Bay man forgot to hit the hitch retract button and the fullside actually popped its breaker and was in the out position so the next vehicle that came had a huge grill guard on it, and it basically wouldn'et let the vehicle passed it because the pressure on the fullside was engaged, and it pushed the truck back a few feet which hit the front bumper of another car, other than that, we have had people come back saying we scratched their vehicle but every one we have had has been a hoax, our wash just doesnt damage a random car, it just doesnt work like that, but people really know that those scratches weren't there before we cleaned it, when there vehicle had 2 years of dust and dirt and mud caked up on the sides of it.

reply by Earl Weiss over 2 years ago

Had same issue with Pickup tank hose!

I do not give ins info to BS claims. Small legit ones I handle myself.

Random car BS scratches is a pox on the industry. Customers won't believe their own eyes!

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