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FAQs

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+ System Configuration

How long does the camera system take to set up?

- The camera setup process is designed to be quick and simple. Setup will range between one to three hours, depending on the complexity of the network topology.

How many cameras can be associated with each hub?

- Up to four Helios cameras can be configured per Hub.

What type of cabling is required to connect the camera to the network?

- Because it is a totally wireless solar solution, the Helios system requires no power cables or wires. The Hub can be powered by AC or auxiliary solar panels  and an Ethernet cable, wireless backhaul or satellite transmission can connect the system to the network.


+ Helios Solar Wireless IP Camera

What is the temperature operating range for the camera and enclosure?

- By removing the power hungry components from the camera and moving them to the hub, the temperature range is dramatically expanded as compared to industry standard camera and enclosure requirements. The MicroPower enclosure does not require a heater/blower. Operating temperature is rated from -40°C to 50°C (-40°F to 122°F).

Is the camera enclosure rated for outdoor operation?

-In addition to the previous answer, the camera and enclosure meet the IEC IP66 standard requirements.

What is the frame rate of the camera?

- The frame rate is factory set for 5fps to maintain the lowest camera power consumption.

What is the camera’s resolution?

- The resolution of the IP-based Helios camera is VGA 640×480.

What is the Helios cameras low light performance?

- The low-light performance of the Helios camera is 0.5lux. The Helios IR Camera fully functions in complete darkness, illuminating objects up to 100ft away.

What type of lens does the camera use?

- The lens of the Helios camera is a variable focus lens that ranges from 2.8 to 11 mm. There is also a 10 to 40 mm option. The lens is a standard CCTV CS thread.

Can the camera lens be replaced with an alternative lens?

- Yes. The lens can be replaced with a variety of lens options. However, there are limitations for lens length due to the physical dimensions of the enclosure. A MicroPower representative can assist you in selecting an alternative lens if desired.

What is the lens field of view?

- The lens field of view is 67°.

What is the lens depth of focus?

- The Helios lens depth of focus is 20cm ~ infinity.

Can an alternative camera be placed in the enclosure?

- The fully integrated Helios system has been designed to optimize low power consumption that can take full advantage of renewable solar energy. The MicroPower enclosure contains a lens, RF radio, sensor, and Lithium-Ion batteries that provide 5 days of continuous operation of the camera. Off-the-shelf outdoor surveillance cameras that include IR and a heater/blower consume on average 25 Watts versus a MicroPower camera at 0.5 -0.6 Watts.

Can an alternative access point be used to control the Helios cameras?

- The MicroPower cameras communicate via our integrated RF radio (Line-of-Sight) using Trustlinx, our unique wireless transmission, to a receiving antenna connected to a Hub. From the Hub one can use Wireless Mesh or alternative wireless options such as backhaul, cellular dial up, or satellite transmission.

 

Can the Helios system be used indoors?

- The Helios system is designed for outdoor use and applications.

Does the camera offer any protection against lightning strikes?

- MicroPower has identified an off-the-shelf lightning protection device, which can be attached to the camera and hub antenna connectors to help reduce the impact of a lightning strike. This modification has virtually no impact on the performance of the system’s radio signals.


+ Wireless Video Hub

What is the the MicroPower Hub?

-The MicroPower Hub receives the wirelessly transmitted video streams and reassembles the packetized data. The Hub is the primary interface to the network, acts as a firewall and facilitates the interconnectivity to the Video Management System.

What is TrustLinx?

- TrustLinx is MicroPower’s patented technology that allows the Helios system to reduce wireless power requirements by as much as 10 times. It also enables video and data transmission in congested WiFi environments.

How far away can the Hub transmit to the Helios camera?

- The range of transmission for the Hub is 1000ft. to ½ mile RF line-of-sight. With additional equipment, the range can be increased to up to 2 miles,RF line of site. Design perimeters are subject to the Fresnel Zone concept.

What is the Fresnel Zone?

The Fresnel Zone is a concept that defines RF line of site as an ellipse from point to point. For a Fresnel Zone calculator, please click here.

Can the Hub be mounted outside?

- The Hub can be mounted outdoors but will require a NEMA rated enclosure; where power is not accessible, the hub can be powered by auxiliary solar panel and backup batteries. Additionally, the Hub can be placed indoors and the antenna range can be augmented with the use of an external antenna bracket configuration.

Does the Hub transmit 802.11?

- The Hub does not operate using the 802.11 standard, but does co-exist with it.

Is the camera image capable of being viewed on a handheld device?

- The system’s standard topology includes connection to a network video recorder (NVR) and depends on the video management system (VMS) software residing on the NVR. If the VMS can display the image on a handheld device, then the MicroPower solution will support that function. The VMS treats the MicroPower subsystem as it would any other IP camera.

Is the camera image capable of being viewed through a web browser?

- Our standard topology includes connection to a network video recorder (NVR) and depends on the video management system (VMS) software residing on the NVR. If the VMS can display the image through a web browser, then the MicroPower solution will support that function.


+ Compatibility

Which VMS systems are compatible with the MicroPower system?

- The MicroPower Helios system is compatible and integrated with most commercially available IP camera based VMS software packages.   Feature and functionality will vary by VMS provider.  If you have specific questions about VMS integration, or feature and functionality, a MicroPower representative would be happy to assist you.

Is the Helios camera compatible with other IP or analog cameras?

- The Helios cameras can be added to existing IP networks, just as any other IP camera would. The Helios System can also be apart of a hybrid system.

Can I take advantage of my VMS motion detection feature set?

-Yes, the VMS sees the Helios Subsystem as separate IP addresses for each camera and can be configured for motion detection individually. At this time, advanced analytics are not included in the camera chip set.


+ Battery

What kind of battery does the Helios camera use?

- The Helios camera is designed to operate with the included lithium-ion battery, which is enclosed within the camera housing.

What is the lifetime of the camera’s battery?

- The approximate lifetime of the system’s internal lithium-ion battery is approximately seven years. The camera system will require replacement of the battery after approximately seven years based on average utilization.


+ Deployments

How do I determine the potential use of solar powered cameras in my location?

- Two valuable tools used to determine your solar potential are an insolation map, and a solar irradiance calculator. These tools will allow you to determine if a particular location is optimized for solar use. For more information regarding insolation, please refer to MicroPower’s White Paper titled, “Is Solar Reliable?”

What is the lifetime of the Helios system in the field?

- The Helios system is warrantied for 3 years. The system’s internal lithium-ion battery will require replacement after approximately seven years based on average utilization.


+ Solar

Do the Helios camera solar panels require direct alignment with the sun?

- The optimum placement and angle of the solar panels can be determined by insolation guide and the white paper available here.

How much sunlight does the Helios camera require per day?

- To perform a complete recharge, the Helios camera requires between three and six hours a day of sunlight, depending on the location and the intensity of the sun. The Helios camera can also last up to five days without sunlight.

How long can the system operate in cloudy weather?

- The Helios system continues to draw solar power even in inclement weather conditions. A fully-charged camera can operate for up to five “dark days” without recharging.

How long do the solar panels last?

- The solar panels typically have a 10 year lifespan.


+ Warranty

What type of maintenance is required on the system?

- Minimal maintenance is required after the system has been installed. Routine debris removal is suggested, and replacement of the lithium ion battery should be scheduled after approximately seven years based on average utilization.

What is the product warranty period?

- MicroPower’s standard warranty is a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.