IP Camera Tech Support in Action

bug in the system

Bug, now that’s a word that covers a lot of ground.

  • Eeck, there’s a bug on the table.
  • I’m sick. I have some kind of bug.
  • Don’t bug me!
  • Bug off!
  • I love my Volkswagen bug.

And then there’s dreaded. There’s a bug in the system.  Our customers rarely find a bug in the IP cameras Kintronics sells, but in the rare instances one finds its way in,  they can rest assure we won’t rest until we’ve debugged the system.

The First Bug

Bug has been a buzzword in the world of computers since 1947 when a dead moth was found in a relay in the main frame of Harvard University’s Mark II electro-mechanical computer and programmer Grace Hopper and her staff started using bug to describe any issue that interfered with data input or writing/loading/running programs.

But recently, Bob Mesnik sent me an article in which I learned that the word, bug, has actually been floating around the technical world for over 140 years. Thomas Edison was the first to use it to describe a flaw in the design or operation of a system. His bug  resided in a quadriplex telegraph system he was working on that would allow his patron, Western Union to increase their message capacity by transmitting or receiving four separate telegrams on the same wire at the same time.

In perusing the article I came upon the following quote from one of the  many notebooks Edison kept:

“Awful lot of bugs still ….let [Dr Otto] Moses …..try…..to get rid of them.”

It gave me the idea for this blog. You see, historically Bob Mesnik has been our primary go-to guy in bug-riddance, and thus our “Dr Otto Moses “but for the past three years, more times than not, customers seeking help will be referred to our sales engineer Keaton Baker who also answers to The Tech Support Guy. 

Kintronics Tech Support

While IP camera systems are rarely bug-ridden, people sometimes encounter difficulties, and here at Kintronics we consider solving these difficulties part of our responsibility to our customers. Not only do we devote as much time as it takes  to understand  their intended application so we can make sure they select the right components to get the job done, but we place equal emphasis on supporting them should they encounter any problems either getting the system up and running,  as well as any difficulties  – or bugs – they may encounter with networks or hardware. Kintronics many repeat customers know thatcan count on Kintronics to debug the system whether its an IP surveillance camera system, and IP door access control system,  or PA over IP.

Meet the Exterminators

I decided to ask Bob and Keaton about the kinds of problems customers call about, and what they consider the easiest to solve…. as well as the hardest.

Let’s start with Bob. “The most common question is ‘what is the user name and password on my camera’. It is also the easiest.”

Keaton: ” I agree. The easiest tech support call might be something like this. ‘ I’m the new person in charge of the IP camera system for my organization but no one knows or remembers the user names and  passwords to access the cameras. Is there a way to retrieve this information? How do I reset all of the user names and passwords without physically touching the cameras?’

There is no way (I know of) to access an IP camera settings page if a user name and password is required but forgotten. Most of the time the camera must be set to factory default by manually pressing and holding the small reset button inside the enclosure. The user name and password can then be configured as if it were just purchased. This may affect any video management software that has been communicating with the camera i.e. viewing or recording video.”

Bob: The most difficult is when we can’t determine if the problem is in the camera firmware, the video recording system or the area between the keyboard and the chair.”

Keaton: The most challenging? Other than network problems and configuration/communication problems, I think the most challenging tech support calls would be hardware and software compatibility issues, audio/video integration for surveillance, software/firmware bugs, and data communication problems.”

Bob: “One of my  most challenging was ‘The two-way audio is not working.’ After a lot of investigating and experimenting, the audio in the camera settings had to be matched to the  settings in the video management software to get it to work correctly.

Super Tech-Support

Sometimes Keaton needs a little more information than he can get over the phone. Just this morning  when he was responding to an IP system intercom system call, I passed by his office to hear him say.”Can you email me a picture of that button so I can get a better idea?”

And sometimes he goes out of his way to make sure they never have to call in the first place. One morning this summer I looked out of my window to see

car for IP camera test

I  went out for a closer look. He’d placed a wireless radio on the roof of his car and hooked it up to a camera so the camera could communicate with our IP network inside. The camera was aimed at a line of parked cars in the parking lot across the road.

outdoor test of IP camera

I inquired and learned that he was making sure a particular camera would fit a customer’s specific application, or in his words “Testing a 14 megapixel camera and lens to make sure the horizontal pixels per foot  based on the horizontal field of view  would be enough  to identify a license plate number.”

He was also testing the camera’s compatibility with the VMS. And last but not least, having the customer’s bottom line in mind, wanted to make sure that using a 14 megapixel camera supplied sufficient benefit to justify the increased cost.

So should you be in the market for an IP surveillance camera,  IP door control, or IP paging system, be assured that at Kintronics we’ll be with you every step of the way from selection to installation, and for the rare bug that you most likely will never encounter. Give us a call at 914-944-3425 or just fill out an information request form.