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Anyone using LPR license plate readers?

Sequoia

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I see priced on LPR license plate reader systems have come down, although still in the "expensive" category.

Is anyone using them for fleet wash applications, or tracking habitual dumpers, repeat customers, or, ???
 

Randy

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A LPR license plate reader system won’t do us much good in Washington State. It’s almost impossible for someone who is not with law enforcement to get a name and address off a license plate. We used to have a private detective wont would get us that information, not anymore the state cut him off.
 

JustClean

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I am using it. As soon as someone comes in who is on my blacklist I will get an alarm so I can talk to the guy.
To check if everything works I put myself on the blacklist.
 

OurTown

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I am using it. As soon as someone comes in who is on my blacklist I will get an alarm so I can talk to the guy.
To check if everything works I put myself on the blacklist.

What system are you using?
 

Sequoia

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I'm curious about your use of Hikvision. First, I don't trust that they do not have a back door to China, so I don't ever enter any personal information or use any relevant password in my Hikvision cameras. But, they are also about half price versus name brands for similar performance. I recently bought two of their 4K cameras and the images are far beyond my old coax CCTV system.

Are you using the Hikvision software for an NVR, I think it is their VMS software (free?) Or a different NVR or VMS? I am looking at a Milestone Husky X2, but it's expensive ($3k without any cameras or HD) and the price about doubles to get up to a moderate level of functionality.

Finally what camera did you choose to capture plates? I was told a b&W camera at 2MP with an 8-30mm lens is a good choice. Do you use anything close to that? And did you download the LPR software into the camera, or have your camera vendor pre-config it?

Sorry for so many questions, but I have not yet done this but have researched it quite a bit.

If I bring my dumpster back, I am contemplating using a blacklist for known dumpers, alerting me when they pull in, so I can return their product to them! And a few other uses. Hard to spend that kind of money on just trash dumpers.
 

MEP001

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In just the last week I've gotten criminal trespass warrants against five people. The last pair were there for three hours blocking a bay and a vacuum and were soliciting my customers for hand wash, hand dry and quick detail. Now I can show police video of them having been on the property, and they'll issue a warrant for their arrest. Having notification via plate recognition if they've been on the property would be a good use.
 

JustClean

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I'm curious about your use of Hikvision. First, I don't trust that they do not have a back door to China, so I don't ever enter any personal information or use any relevant password in my Hikvision cameras. But, they are also about half price versus name brands for similar performance. I recently bought two of their 4K cameras and the images are far beyond my old coax CCTV system.

Are you using the Hikvision software for an NVR, I think it is their VMS software (free?) Or a different NVR or VMS? I am looking at a Milestone Husky X2, but it's expensive ($3k without any cameras or HD) and the price about doubles to get up to a moderate level of functionality.

Finally what camera did you choose to capture plates? I was told a b&W camera at 2MP with an 8-30mm lens is a good choice. Do you use anything close to that? And did you download the LPR software into the camera, or have your camera vendor pre-config it?

Sorry for so many questions, but I have not yet done this but have researched it quite a bit.

If I bring my dumpster back, I am contemplating using a blacklist for known dumpers, alerting me when they pull in, so I can return their product to them! And a few other uses. Hard to spend that kind of money on just trash dumpers.

Well, remember...Cisko also had a backdoor. If you are really concerned you should only buy American made cameras. If the Chinese want to see me at work I hope they don't get bored. Hahaha....

Hikvision cameras:
I don't know what cameras that were that you bought but mine are just excellent! Not even close to any old analog cameras. The Police often come in and ask if a car with number plate XYZ had driven past, as one of my LPR cameras is detecting the traffic on the main road. Maybe you bought a knock-off? There are many on the market.

Hikvision NVR:
I am running the Hikvision NVR with 26 cameras, 2 of them being numberplate cameras. The software has its hick-ups but overall okay. It does its job. Years ago I had a Geovision system their software was not great but much better.

LPR Cameras:
I bought their LPR 2MP cameras and they capture the licence plate absolutely about 99.9 of the time, day and night. It is color during the day and black & white at night. The LPR software comes with the camera.

Hope that helped. :)
 

Earl Weiss

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A LPR license plate reader system won’t do us much good in Washington State. It’s almost impossible for someone who is not with law enforcement to get a name and address off a license plate.
Randy - not sure if there is communication disconnect here. Monthly pass systems have been going from RFID to LPR. The customer's plate # is entered into the system which recognizes it and opens the gate and sets whatever wash for th plan they are on. It's not for getting info from plate #s.
 

Car_Wash_Guy

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I think there is some confusion between LPC ( License Plate Capture ) where the camera is specifically set up for capturing pics of license plates in any light condition.

LPR ( License Plate Recognition ) uses software to read and log/ID customers via their license plate. This relies on a fairly sophisticated software system.
 
Etowah

Sequoia

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Hope that helped. :)
Yes, it does, thanks.

I would like to implement a LPR solution but I have not yet found the right combination. Based on reputation, I am convinced a Milestone NVR running xProtect Professional software and cameras would give excellent service. But such a system with maybe 8 cameras and LPR functionality would be pushing up toward $10k. The base Milestone NVR is $3k, but then you need to add hard drives plus upgrade to "Professional" software to have LPR functionality, along with some other upgrade charges and costs. Too expensive.

On the other hand there is openalpr, which has a free version that is seemingly attractive but I would still need to buy the camera. And there is chatter on-line that if you buy a Hikvision LPR camera (with proper firmware), you can simply plug in a 128g micro SD drive and it will capture plates all on its own. So that solution would just be a single camera connected to an internet connection.

Further confusing, I read online that you cannot download the LPR firmware for a Hikvision camera. That can only be obtained through an authorized Hikvision dealer. Hikvision cameras are *everywhere* for sale, and I have no idea who is an authorized versus a non-authorized dealer. So it is quite confusing.

I will keep poking at this but at this point I am unsure of which way to go. One thing I know: I don't need another maintenance headache or a buggy piece of software to chew up large chunks of time.
 
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Randy

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Yes, it does, thanks.

I would like to implement a LPR solution but I have not yet found the right combination. Based on reputation, I am convinced a Milestone NVR running xProtect Professional software and cameras would give excellent service. But such a system with maybe 8 cameras and LPR functionality would be pushing up toward $10k. The base Milestone NVR is $3k, but then you need to add hard drives plus upgrade to "Professional" software to have LPR functionality, along with some other upgrade charges and costs. Too expensive.

On the other hand there is openalpr, which has a free version that is seemingly attractive but I would still need to buy the camera. And there is chatter on-line that if you buy a Hikvision LPR camera (with proper firmware), you can simply plug in a 128g micro SD drive and it will capture plates all on its own. So that solution would just be a single camera connected to an internet connection.

Further confusing, I read online that you cannot download the LPR firmware for a Hikvision camera. That can only be obtained through an authorized Hikvision dealer. Hikvision cameras are *everywhere* for sale, and I have no idea who is an authorized versus a non-authorized dealer. So it is quite confusing.

I will keep poking at this but at this point I am unsure of which way to go. One thing I know: I don't need another maintenance headache or a buggy piece of software to chew up large chunks of time.
Duane what do you plan on doing with this information once you get it? I can see little or no use in getting all this information at a small 3 bay car wash. If I had a large tunnel wash in the city then it might be useful but not at a small self serve. Just my opinion. We don't bother calling the police much anymore for garbage dumpers, the police don't do much of anything anyway.
 

JustClean

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Yes, it does, thanks.

I would like to implement a LPR solution but I have not yet found the right combination. Based on reputation, I am convinced a Milestone NVR running xProtect Professional software and cameras would give excellent service. But such a system with maybe 8 cameras and LPR functionality would be pushing up toward $10k. The base Milestone NVR is $3k, but then you need to add hard drives plus upgrade to "Professional" software to have LPR functionality, along with some other upgrade charges and costs. Too expensive.

On the other hand there is openalpr, which has a free version that is seemingly attractive but I would still need to buy the camera. And there is chatter on-line that if you buy a Hikvision LPR camera (with proper firmware), you can simply plug in a 128g micro SD drive and it will capture plates all on its own. So that solution would just be a single camera connected to an internet connection.

Further confusing, I read online that you cannot download the LPR firmware for a Hikvision camera. That can only be obtained through an authorized Hikvision dealer. Hikvision cameras are *everywhere* for sale, and I have no idea who is an authorized versus a non-authorized dealer. So it is quite confusing.

I will keep poking at this but at this point I am unsure of which way to go. One thing I know: I don't need another maintenance headache or a buggy piece of software to chew up large chunks of time.
I would contact the official Hikvision company and ask for a dealer in your area and go with them.
You cannot easily upgrade fake Hikvision cameras. And even then: You are concerned about the Chinese Government but then you buy from a hacker directly, giving him access to your network o_O
Next thing to consider: If you are on holidays and there is an issue: Who do you want to come in to fix it?
I had that before with a computer based system.

Yes, you can only get the firmware via a dealer and yes, I also have enough headache on my plate that's why I went with my local dealer
who also lives across the road from my carwash :)
 

JustClean

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Duane what do you plan on doing with this information once you get it? I can see little or no use in getting all this information at a small 3 bay car wash. If I had a large tunnel wash in the city then it might be useful but not at a small self serve. Just my opinion. We don't bother calling the police much anymore for garbage dumpers, the police don't do much of anything anyway.
Hi Randy,
In our case I find it very useful, especially when you have a blacklist.
If the guy comes back, I'll have a talk to him or just turn the power off and tell him to move on. :)
 

Car_Wash_Guy

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Sonny's system is $11K and $125/mo. Do you really have the problems to justify a cost like this?
 
Etowah

Sequoia

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You are concerned about the Chinese Government but then you buy from a hacker directly, giving him access to your network o_O

Next thing to consider: If you are on holidays and there is an issue: Who do you want to come in to fix it?
I presume Hikvision cameras are security compromised. But they are also about half the cost of name brand cameras I prefer. So when I use Hikvision, which I do, I always use a Hikvision-only password, I always enter Hikvision-only security questions and answers, and I only put them looking at areas or things which I don't care if a hacker can also see. In summary, to get the price benefit I raise the guard a lot on my side of the security issue.

At my SS, except for some local on-site help, I do everything possible without relying on others. So although I might install a NVR or device made by others, it is me that will config it, install cameras, and fine tune it. If it happens to crap out on a holiday, I will just have to "get there when I can" to correct it. Obviously a LRP is not mission critical, like a pump or air compressor.

I appreciate you sharing your experiences from having such a system up and running. It really helps when I am on the entry side of a DIY project. I had also looked at Geovision but after reading your post I don't think I will keep looking at that.

The openalpr capability is getting more interesting. It does push the plates to cloud storage, which I don't like. But have a "free" service with 2 days of storage of plates is pretty appealing, considering the alternatives.
 

mjwalsh

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I am thinking that the less than 30° Angled extremely low height required for mounting of the LRP camera can make it more vulnerable to vandalism. If the LRP is mounted indoors or protected behind a glass ... I am also considering that the LRP's special infrared illumination might not work as good.
 

Sequoia

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I am thinking that the less than 30° Angled extremely low height required for mounting of the LRP camera can make it more vulnerable to vandalism. If the LRP is mounted indoors or protected behind a glass ... I am also considering that the LRP's special infrared illumination might not work as good.
I agree. There are some recommendations about mounting height and angles that best not be violated. I have a protected camera housing at the entrance that would be perfect for LPR. But it does have a plexiglass window for the camera lens. I would likely get reflection off of that from the IR in the camera.

Most cameras can be set to "Day" mode, so the IR in the camera does not turn on. That would require a separate IR emitter, which is sometimes desirable. Otherwise bugs are attracted to the IR emitter in the camera, messing up the view of the lens.

All more to consider ... certainly not a trivial undertaking.
 

JustClean

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Sonny's system is $11K and $125/mo. Do you really have the problems to justify a cost like this?
Why would someone spend $125/mo?? For what?
I paid around $11,000 for 26 cameras fully installed incl. 2 LPR cameras and within a year I got my money back from a guy who killed my touchless. That idiot.
No monthly payments except for the Internet.
 
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