South African farmers thwart thieves using VIVOTEK Network Cameras
Farmers in South Africa are among the most vulnerable to crime, particularly to theft of livestock by poachers. For years, they have sought effective surveillance systems, but attempts with standard CCTV equipment have ended in failure.
Louis Viljoen, general manager of surveillance solutions provider Gramco IT relates the experience of one particular farmer, a recent client: "He had tried to use a wired CCTV setup, but gave up after about a year. During that time, they had to dig and re-dig trenches to lay and replace cables five or six times and it ended up being a huge waste of time and money."


As Viljoen explains, surveillance systems for farms pose particular difficulties. Such systems must cover large physical areas without suitable network infrastructure for connecting cameras to a control center. Another challenge is that surveillance cameras must provide adequate monitoring at night, when most thefts occur.
Viljoen explains that Gramco IT recommended a surveillance system based on VIVOTEK SD7151 speed dome IP cameras on a wireless network built using MikroTik routers and flat-panel antennas. Designed to preserve exceptionally crisp detail under a variety of lighting conditions, the SD7151 automatically detects ambient light levels, removing the IR cut filter as night falls to accept IR illumination and switching from color to black-and-white mode to ensure optimal picture quality.
In addition, the SD7151's powerful 18x optical zoom lens enables it to monitor even locations a considerable distance away from the camera. A progressive-scan CCD sensor ensures razor-sharp picture quality even with zoomed video, while to allow full coverage of the large expanses, the SD7151 provides continuous 360° pan and 90° tilt.

SD7151 cameras were placed at strategic locations, mounted on 30-meter towers. The farmer's house is used as a control center, and from there the farmer can view simultaneous real-time video feeds from all the cameras. Gramco IT also implemented a motion-triggered alarm solution so the farmer can be alerted to any suspicious activity even when away from the video monitors.
According to Viljoen, the farmer describes the surveillance system built around VIVOTEK´s cameras as "amazing". He is particularly impressed by being able to spot intruders from up to two kilometers away, and even read a license plate from a distance of 800 meters.
Besides deterring would-be intruders, the farmer counts simple peace of mind as the greatest benefit of the setup. He can go to sleep every night, no longer worried that he might wake to discover hundreds of heads of cattle stolen by poachers during the night.
In fact, the VIVOTEK SD7151-based surveillance system has been so successful at thwarting poachers that neighboring farmers are rushing to adopt a similar setup, and now an area of approximately 50 square kilometers is being effectively monitored day and night.
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