From behind the IT desk of the Population Services International Liberia (PSI), I can piece together some troubleshooting and resolution of their CCTV cameras being disconnect/shutdown.
We got an approval to install 8 D-Link CCTV cameras to strategy areas in the premises of PSI office, connecting through a battery bank for power/electrical backup. After a week of smooth access to the cameras both in and outside the network, the client started to notice a slow connectivity to their network even to the extent they couldn’t access the camera’s server (Synology NAS) remotely.
I got back from Buchanan on an ICT maintenance trip to one of our clients site only to check my mail with lots of email exchanges about the situation with my boss: the Head of Operations.
As I learned the CCTV technicians who set up these cameras didn’t understand the network layout of the client and also didn’t follow instructions from the ISP in my absence. They assigned any IP of their choice to the cameras as they could in other to complete their job. This was very embarrassing getting back to them as there was no answer on their phones. My boss then instructed me to accompany another tech who was recommended by a friend to assist us. We arrived at the client site and explained to him about the situation of the cameras switching OFF and ON.
The tech admitted to me that he had no idea about D-Links cameras and Synology NAS server; on HKVISION and told me that he would be back the next morning to figure out the problem. We scheduled the time for 10:00 AM prompt. I was on site before the time by the tech didn’t show up. I was left alone to solve this issue. I downloaded the D-Link DS cam and Synology catalogues. I first took out all of the cameras down and reset them to factory default and assigned a static IP addresses that are not in used and all fall behind the DHCP rang to avoid disruption of access as it used to be. The DHCP range of the core router was from 192.168.11.30-192.168.11.254 that means any number below 30 can be assign to a device. So I assigned 192.168.11.28 to the Synology NAS server and the rest of the eight cameras were from 20-27.
The port forwarding was configured both on the router and the NAS server for remote viewing with secure password protection enabled and shared with the client. After doing all this, I called the ISP to bypass the hotspot on the network from accessing internet which is one of the aspects in the MikroTik which I love. I really like working on these devices especially when it comes to networking. This was my very first time handling camera issue but because networking access was attached to it, I got a few clues and interested in understanding how it works. To be frank, the installation/setup was quite simple and easy; just the matter of understanding how the IP blocks were arranged before assigning them manually to those devices. At least I can say the cameras are now accessible with a 24hr battery backup system running to keep them on throughout the night. I was glad to be a part of this project and looking forward to more prospect development in the fresh start of 2018.