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Making Spontaneous Video

Surveillance Easy
AV1XXX and AV7XXX

Users Guide

AgileMesh, Inc.
1130 E. Arapaho, Suite 565
Richardson, TX
2006 AgileMesh, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Contents
Section I

FCC Statement
Safety Information
Introduction
System Overview
Unpacking
Glossary

Section II

Tactical Nodes
Physical Configurations
Types of Nodes
AV1500, AV1510, AV1520
AV7500, AV7510, AV7520

Section III

Standard Batteries
Charging Batteries
Battery Life
Auxiliary Power
Powering Up the Node(s)
The Boot Process
Channel Selection
Changing Channels
The Node Knob
Deployment
Connecting Cameras
Nonnative Video Sources

Section IV

Viewing Network Video Using i-PRO Viewer


Alternative Viewing of Active Video Feeds (Internet Explorer)
AgileMesh CamUtility
Firetide Hotview Manager

Section V

What Is a Mesh Network?


Why Is It Useful?
Deployment Strategies

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Section VI

Antennas
Antenna Terms
Tips for Antenna Placement
Radio Frequency Basics

Section VII

Troubleshooting
Recommended Tools

Appendix A

AV1XXX Specifications

Appendix B

Antenna Connections and Specifications

Appendix C

Fuses

Appendix D

Factory-Set Video Server IP Addresses

Warranty
Contact AgileMesh

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Section I
FCC Statement
This device complies with part 15 of the FCC rules. Operation is subject to the
following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful interference; and
(2) This device must accept any interference received, including interference that
may cause undesired operation.
Changes or modifications not expressly approved by the party responsible for
compliance could void the user's authority to operate the equipment.

Safety Information
Caution

Do not open the AgileMesh AV1XXX enclosure. This may damage the
components inside and affect proper operation. Opening your AgileMesh node or
peeling the tamper-evident labeling will invalidate your warranty.
There are no serviceable parts inside.
Refer to qualified service personnel.
Unit must be disconnected from power prior to servicing.
Unit has tamper-evident labeling that indicates when cover has been removed.
The minimum separation distances shown in Appendix B (see page x) must be
maintained to ensure compliance with FCC rules for RF (radio frequency)
exposure.

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Introduction
Congratulations! You have acquired the finest and most versatile, rapidly
deployable tactical video network available. The components were designed to
be rugged and durable for the tactical environment and the rigors of actual
tactical operations. The functionality of the AgileMesh system components was
designed by operators for operators. Robust cases, shock-isolated electronics,
redundant fusing, one-touch channel selection, flexible power options, and
unique locking connectors are but a few examples of the tactically-minded
design. Additionally, our products and technology are under constant review. We
are always looking to improve the functionality of our system, so please dont
hesitate to contact us to offer suggestions.

System Overview
The AgileMesh system creates a self-healing, redundantly connected network,
designed to deliver video and manipulation commands to and from one or many
video cameras. At least two active nodes are required to create a wireless mesh
network. One or many cameras may be viewed at the same time. When more
nodes are connected, the mesh becomes stronger. Using proprietary technology,
each node functions as a video access point, transmitter, receiver, and repeater.
Transmitter, receiver, and repeater functions operate even if a video signal is not
supplied to a particular node.
Your AgileMesh system is comprised of several components. If you have
acquired an AgileMesh dedicated PTZ (pan, tilt, zoom) camera, a tripod will
accompany it. The tripod is designed to provide a rugged, stable platform for the
camera and the radio node. The tripods provide many flexible deployment
options for your AgileMesh system. They may be equipped with a single camera
head or a double camera head.
Powering on the radio node, attaching an antenna, and providing a video source
allows the system to broadcast your video signal across the AgileMesh network.
Robust encryption algorithms and processes protect your transmission. To view
the video stream wirelessly, simply activate another radio node (in range of the
first, which will be indicated by a 1 in the Neighbor display), and connect a
computer with the viewing software or utilize a remote viewing station. To
increase the size or strength of your network, deploy additional cameras and
radio nodes. All connected cameras then become accessible on your network.
Any analog or digital video source can be integrated into your network.
Deployment capabilities are limited only by the number of radio nodes and
cameras you are using and your own ingenuity.

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Unpacking
As you unpack your system components, please identify each part and be sure
that the items you received match what you ordered. Also, be sure to save at
least one complete set of packing materials for each component. We ask you to
do this so that in the unlikely event that it is necessary to return a part of your
system for service, you will be able to provide maximum protection during
shipping. While the AgileMesh video system components are designed to be
durable, shipping them without proper preparation and protection could cause
further damage. Therefore, if you find that a component is malfunctioning and
requires repair or return, please contact us so that we can provide packing
instructions and expedite the return process.

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Glossary
Some of the terminology used in this manual may be unfamiliar to you or may be
used in an unusual context. The following is an alphabetical listing of many of the
technical terms that you will encounter:
AC Power: AC refers to alternating current, the type of power that is
provided when a cord is plugged into a standard household outlet.
Amphenol Connector: Amphenol is a manufacturer of connectors.
However, your AgileMesh AV7XXX uses a 2-pin and a 10-pin version.
These are Mil-Spec connectors, which are locking and very robust and are
used in male and female pairs. The 2-pin Amphenol connector is used to
provide an external source of DC power to the radio node. The 10-pin
version combines power, PTZ control, and video delivery in one
connector.
Antenna: The antenna provides wireless connectivity from a radio node to
other wireless radios on the AgileMesh network. The antenna must match
the frequency band that your radio(s) is tuned to. These bands are 2.4
GHz, 4.9 GHz, or 5.X GHz. Currently, changing the operation band may
require an antenna change.
2.4 GHz antenna

5 GHz antenna with cable

Band (RF): The parameters of specific radio frequencies are called a


band. AgileMesh radios are capable of operating in three separate bands,
the 2.4 GHz band, the 4.9 GHz band, and the 5.X GHz band. Each band
consists of multiple frequencies. Note: Use of the 4.9 GHz public safety
band requires a PS model and an FCC license to operate it.

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BNC Connector: One of several standard connectors used for the


transmission of an analog video signal. The BNC connector is a preferred
connector because it is readily available, locks into place, is very robust,
and is easy to use. There are male and female versions.
Cable with female BNC
connectors

BNC-RCA
(male) adapter
DC Power: Direct Current, the type of power that is provided by a battery.
BNC-RCA (female)
DC Power: DC refers to direct current, the type of power that is provided
by a battery.
Ethernet Connector: Also known as an RJ-45 connector. Ethernet refers
to the high level of bandwidth available through its use (10 base T/100).
The Ethernet connector is also configured in male and female versions,
and looks very similar to a phone-jack connector (RJ-11); however, the
RJ-11 has 4 pins while the RJ-45 has 8 pins. In the AgileMesh system, the
RJ-45 connections are used to interface digital video feeds, for physical
connections between radio nodes, and to connect computers to the LAN
for monitoring of video signals or to conduct software upgrades.

Female Ethernet connection

LAN: An abbreviation for local area network; in this case, probably the
devices that connect to the mesh network.
LCC: An abbreviation for last covered or concealed, a position where
cover or concealment exists. It is usually used when discussing routes to
an entry or breach point; however, it also applies to the act of placing
equipment in a hostile environment.

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Node: Refers to the combination of a radio enclosed in a Pelican case


(AV7XXX), a tripod that has been modified to allow the radio to be
mounted onto it, and an antenna with a platform to mount the antenna and
a dedicated video camera.
Phantom Power: This occurs when one device powers another. In this
case, the radio node provides power to the camera.
Polarity: Refers to the positive and negative sides of a circuit in a DC
application. Polarity must be correct for a device to function properly. In
the AgileMesh system, polarity is applicable mainly to the cameras. For
instance, many of the cameras use a barrel plug, which might contain a
center pin and an external barrel. Many times the center pin is positive
while the barrel is negative. If polarity is reversed, a condition known as
reverse polarity is created. This may cause the camera to malfunction and
may cause damage. Some devices have reverse-polarity protection; some
are even smart enough to sense polarity and convert the polarity to the
required type.
PTZ: An abbreviation for pan, tilt, zoom, which are camera capabilities.
Pan allows the camera to be moved left or right; tilt allows the camera to
be moved along an up-and-down axis; and zoom allows the magnification
of the camera to be increased and decreased. Cameras equipped with
these functions also have automatic and manual focus capabilities; many
allow for the adjustment of the iris to compensate for a change in lighting
conditions. Many newer PTZ-enabled cameras are also able to move on
the oblique, meaning that they can move at angles as well.
Radio Node: The radio interface, which accepts analog or digital video
feeds and retransmits the video signal to the AgileMesh local area network
(LAN). The radio node (AV1XXX) also provides functionality to manipulate
the PTZ functions of the camera and other network settings. The radio
may be packaged in a Pelican case for durability. If your radio is not in a
Pelican case, your application does not require such an enclosure.

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AV7500 with display in Pelican case

Reverse Polarity: See Polarity.

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Section II
This section identifies the components of your system, explains how they are
mounted and physically configured, and describes each connector and its
functionality.

Tactical Nodes (AV7XXX)


At the heart of the system is the radio node. The radio node contains several
components, including video servers, integrated computer processors, radio
frequency modulators, a 7-amp-hour battery, battery-charging circuitry, frontpanel controls, and fuse protections. These components are housed in a
specially modified Pelican case for protection. Normally there will be no need for
the user to remove the top panel of the radio node. However, unscrewing the
knurled nuts in the lower corners of the panel and hinging the panel toward the
lid achieves access to this area. This procedure is used in the event that the onboard battery needs replacement or to replace fuses.

Physical Configurations
The basic radio nodes come in three configurations. The major difference
between the three is the number of analog video inputs that the node is equipped
with.
The AV1510 allows the connection of one analog video signal.
The AV1520 allows the connection of two analog video signals.
The AV1500 has no BNC or 4-pin connectors, and is used as a remote
viewing station or dedicated repeater.
The tactical radio nodes also come in three configurations. As with the 1500
product line, the difference between the three is the number of available analog
video inputs.
The AV7510 allows the connection of one analog video signal.
The AV7520 allows the connection of two analog video signals.
The AV7500 has no analog video connections or PTZ-control functionality,
and is used as a remote viewing station or dedicated repeater.

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All variations operate in the 2.4 and 5.X GHz range and are capable of operation
at 4.9 GHz as well; however, 4.9 GHz capability requires AgileMesh PS versions
and an FCC license.

Types of Nodes
AV1500, AV1510, AV1520
Each analog video input requires a panel mount BNC connector to accept the
video signal. A 4-pin locking connector provides power to the camera and PTZ
control over the network. Every radio node is equipped with a standard Ethernet
connection. This connection allows for software and firmware upgrades,
connectivity to a LAN or WAN, and the ability to monitor network-based video by
connecting any properly equipped and/or configured computer to the node.
Each radio node is supplied with a flexible power supply, which allows power to
be supplied to the radio via AC or a variety of 12-volt DC sources. The options
include alligator-clip adapters that can by used to provide 12-volt DC power to
the radio from auxiliary batteries or cigarette lighters.
Each radio node must have an antenna installed to allow the radio to work at
maximum efficiency. The two basic types of antennas available for this system
are remote antennas, which are connected to the radio node through a coaxial
cable, and direct antennas, which attach directly to the radio node and have no
cabling between the antenna and the node connection. Antennas must be
compatible to the selected frequency band.
The AV1500 has no analog video inputs but can be used to transmit IP-based
video through the Ethernet port. The AV1500 is most commonly used as the
interface to the remote viewer and as a repeater unit to extend the range and
strength of the mesh.

AV 7500, AV7510, AV7520


The AV7500, AV7510, and AV7520 are similar in functionality to the AV1500,
AV1510, and AV1520, respectively. The AV7500, AV7510, and AV7520 are
contained in ruggedized, weather-resistant cases and feature Mil-Spec
connections and an integrated battery and charging system.

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Charger Fuse
Battery Fuse

AV1500 front panel


AV7500 with display

Each tactical radio node is also equipped with a standard female 3-pronged AC
plug. This is used to charge the internal battery and can also be used to provide
power to the node for unlimited run time. In addition, each radio node is equipped
with a 2-pin locking Mil-Spec Amphenol connector. This connector, along with the
provided alligator-clip adapters, can by used to provide 12-volt DC power to the
node from auxiliary batteries, cigarette lighters, or car batteries. These features
allow the units to be powered from a variety of sources.
The AV7510 and AV7520 units allow analog video sources to be connected so
that these video streams can be visible on the network. These connections are
accomplished through a 10-pin Amphenol connector. This connector provides
video, power, and PTZ control in one locking Mil-Spec connector when using
native AgileMesh cameras. If a nonnative analog camera needs to be connected,
an adapter is provided to translate the 10-pin connection to discrete BNC, power,
and PTZ connectors.

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Section III
Standard Batteries
Each AV75XX radio node is equipped with a sealed 7-amp-hour lead acid
battery. This battery is used to temporarily power the radio node during setup
and short-term operations. Each radio node is also equipped with an integrated
charger/AC transformer.

Charging Batteries
To charge the battery or operate the node on AC power, simply plug the male 3pronged cord into the corresponding receptacle on the radio node. Then plug the
node into an AC outlet, which will charge the on-board battery and run the unit.
The integrated charger/AC transformer is also a smart charger, which allows the
node to remain plugged in while on standby. Once the battery is fully charged,
the charger will switch to a trickle charge mode to avoid overcharging the
battery.
Before using for the first time, the on-board battery of each node should be
charged for a minimum of 24 hours. With the Pelican case lid open, look for a slot
milled into the aluminum inner lid in the upper-right-hand corner of the plate.
With the node plugged into AC power, look into the slot. A red light should be
visible. This indicates that AC power has been successfully applied to the unit
and it is charging. When the integrated battery is fully charged, a green light will
be visible in the slot.

Battery Life
It is impossible to estimate precisely how long the on-board battery will last
during a live operation, since there are many factors that contribute to battery life.
However, with moderate manipulation of the PTZ camera, the on-board battery
can be expected to last at least 2 to 3 hours. Therefore, it is suggested that soon
after deploying the system on internal battery, arrangements be made to provide
AC or auxiliary battery power.

Auxiliary Power
Auxiliary battery power can be obtained from any 12-volt battery. A dual (one
positive + and one negative -) alligator clip, 2-pin locking connector cable is
provided with each radio node to allow flexibility in providing auxiliary power.
With an average power draw of 2 amps per hour (for an AV7510 and camera), a
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conservative estimate of the lifespan of your battery can be determined by


dividing 2 into the amp-hour capacity of the battery. For example, a 12-volt car
battery might have a capacity of 60 amp hours when fully charged. By dividing 60
by 2, it can be estimated that your battery will power the node for approximately
30 hours. However, you should plan to replace the battery or provide AC power
when 80 percent of your estimated battery life has been consumed. By doing so,
you can avoid degradation in system performance caused by low power
availability.

Powering Up the Node(s)


Turning a node on is very simple. Provide a 12-volt DC (internal or external) or
110-volt AC power source and flip the power toggle switch to the on position.
The LED on the node will indicate that power is available to operate the node.

The Boot Process


The node is comprised of several sophisticated computer processors. These
components must complete a sequential boot cycle before they can operate
properly. As a result, the node will not operate immediately when power is
applied; generally the boot cycle will take approximately 90 seconds to complete.
The Channel and Neighbor displays flash during this period, and the channel
or node inputs are disabled until the unit has completed initialization. To avoid
delaying a nodes appearance on the network, simply power the node as you are
moving it into position; by the time the node is deployed, the boot cycle will have
been completed. Do not leave a node powered up indefinitely without an antenna
attached. Doing so may damage the front end of the radio transmitter, causing a
reduction in efficiency, and could permanently damage the radio.

Channel Selection
The left knob on the AgileMesh node is labeled Channel. Changing the value of
this knob affects the operation of that particular node and potentially the entire
network. When a value is changed on one node, it must be applied to all nodes
intended to be a part of the network by changing their channel settings as well.
For example, if a nodes LED channel indicator reads 4, all nodes currently
being used on the system should also read 4. If one node was changed to read
12, all nodes should be changed to 12.

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Changing Channels
The manipulation of the channel knob to change channels is a shortcut, allowing
multiple node parameters to be reconfigured quickly and easily. These
parameters include SSID, radio frequency, and encryption (both WEP and AES).
In a traditionally configured network, changing these parameters would require a
computer interface and several minutes per node. All of these changes are made
quickly and easily with the AgileMesh node through one knob. Each radio node is
capable of operating in the 2.4 Ghz and 5.X GHz bands. If public safety (PS)
versions have been purchased, your nodes may operate in the 4.9 GHz band as
well. Look for the laminated cards that detail your channels. They are packaged
with your systems software disks.
There could be several reasons to change channels. Perhaps there is significant
interference in your current area of operation in a particular band. If so, select a
channel in a different band to avoid the interference. Possibly you need to
integrate AgileMesh equipment from another agency into your operation; simply
tune all nodes to the same interoperability channel. Perhaps your problem is
large, or the mesh (signal) needs to penetrate a building. Generally, a channel in
the 2.4 GHz band will perform better in these types of situations. It might be
necessary to create more than one discrete network in the same geographical
area. This could be accomplished by configuring two nodes on one channel and
other nodes on a different channel.

The Node Knob


This knob changes the number of the node. Changing the value with this knob
changes the number visible in the LED display, and also changes the IP
addressing of the integrated video servers inside the node. Each node that is
active on the network at a particular time must be set to display a different
number. If more than one node is displaying the same number, the duplication
will result in those nodes attempting to negotiate data on the network using the
same sets of IP addresses, which will cause conflict and prevent proper system
performance. Further, the node number determines the IP address of the video
server that must be used at the viewing computer to access that video system.
See Appendix D (page XX) for a list of factory-set video server IP addresses for a
corresponding node number.

Deployment
When a radio node and camera/tripod arrive at a final location, the combination
of these components is deployed as a unit. The radio node is stowed on the
mounting pegs on the tripod. To be operational, the node must be powered up
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and have completed the boot cycle. The remote antenna should be attached to
the mounting plate with the antenna cable attached to both the antenna and the
node, or a blade antenna should be connected directly to the node. Be sure
these connections are locked in place or finger tight, depending on the type of
connector.
A video source is then connected to the node. If a dedicated AgileMesh dome
camera is being used (AV7001 or AV7002), connection is accomplished through
the 10-pin Amphenol connector. This connection also provides power to the
camera and allows remote PTZ control of the camera as well as other video
manipulation functions. Power (phantom) for nonnative video cameras is
available from the node via a 12-volt out connector. The maximum power that
can be provided for a camera is 1.0 amp. The PTZ controls are factory-set to
RS-485, Pelco-D, and 2400 baud 8 data bits, 1 stop, and no parity. Please
consult AgileMesh for other protocols.
The video node should be assembled behind cover prior to leaving an LCC, or
behind a shield and then moved into a final position.
It is common to forget that the integrated native AgileMesh dome cameras
(AV7001 and AV7002) possess considerable zoom capabilities (23X optical and
10X digital). Getting the node closer is not always the best option, nor is it
required. Consideration must also be given to the location and relationship that
any one node has with another node, as well as to the location of any fixed or
mobile viewing stations and to any obstructions that may be present in the
operational environment. Line of sight to another node or viewing station is not
always required, but it is preferred. To ensure connectivity, each nodes
Neighbor display should read at least 1. Optimally, the number in this display
will represent the total number of displayed nodes minus 1. Even in dense urban
environments, through careful placement, line-of-sight installations can usually
be achieved.

Connecting Cameras
There are three basic camera options that can be used to provide a video source
to an AgileMesh node:
A digital (IP) video source
A dedicated AgileMesh dome camera(s)
Any analog video camera source
IP camera sources may require advanced configuration and specific viewing
software, depending on the make and model of IP camera you are using.
Consult AgileMesh tech support for assistance before making these connections.

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Dedicated AgileMesh dome cameras come in two varieties, a single camera


head and a double camera head. Single camera heads are compatible with any
AgileMesh node that has at least one 10-pin Amphenol connection. To utilize
both cameras of a double-head camera platform, an AgileMesh node with two
10-pin Amphenol connections is required (AV7520). Of course, a double camera
head can be used with a single video AgileMesh node, but only one of the two
cameras can be connected. To use a double video node with a single-camerahead tripod, simply attach the video source to either input. The remaining input
may then be used to add an additional video source to the network.
Any analog video camera may be connected to your AgileMesh node. Simply
provide appropriate power to the camera and adapt, if necessary, the video feed
to a BNC connection. The provided 10-pin Amphenol adapter is used to break
out the video feed to a BNC connection, phantom camera power is available
through a 5.5-mm male barrel plug (center pin positive), and PTZ control, if
applicable, is provided at the 2-pin connector. This adapter is necessary only if a
nonnative camera is being attached to the node. Please be aware that not all
cameras accept 12 volts DC for power, so be sure to provide the proper type of
power (AC or DC) and correct voltage for your particular camera. Any analog
video source, if independently powered, can be directly connected to the node
through the adapted BNC connection. Even though many newer cameras are
protected from reverse polarity, be sure to check the polarity requirements of
your camera and make proper adjustments as needed.

Nonnative Video Sources


Remember that many non-AgileMesh tactical video systems or components are
equipped with their own viewing components. These viewers usually have video
out available, which can normally be adapted in the field to allow the signal to be
placed on the AgileMesh network. Examples include negotiator throw phones,
the Remington Eye Ball, and many of the various pole cameras, through-thewall, under-the-door video cameras, and tactical robots. It may also be possible
to make operator-worn video available on the network, as well as other nonnative
video sources.

Section IV
Viewing Network Video Using i-PRO Viewer
Viewing the video network is accomplished through software installed on your
wireless remote viewing station or another computer connected to the network
via an Ethernet cable. The PC connected to the AgileMesh node must be on the

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same subnet as the AgileMesh nodes (192.168.224.X). The PC in this case


should be set to 192.168.224.15, as an example.
If using a wireless remote viewing station, the companion node must be powered
up, with the boot cycle completed, and have an antenna attached. Ensure that
the Ethernet cable from the node is plugged into the RJ-45 jack on the computer.
This node must be within range of at least one other node and established as a
part of the network.
Transmitted video is viewed, manipulated, and recorded by using i-PRO Viewer,
which is proprietary software that is provided with your system. If you have
purchased a remote viewing station with a laptop computer provided by
AgileMesh, this software has already been installed for you. Otherwise, install
i-PRO Viewer and place it on the computer where it can be found easily.
When i-PRO Viewer is launched, a password logon screen appears. The default
password is 1234. Enter the password and press OK.

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Click in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen, as seen above. This will ensure
that the first video stream that is added will appear in the first box.
Next, select the connect button at the far left of the bottom tool bar (see below).
This will launch the Server Manager.

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Highlight the camera that you want to populate the upper left section of the
screen and click connect.. The video captured from that camera will then be
displayed. Additional cameras that are active on the network can be viewed
by completing the same process for each desired camera.
The right panel of i-PRO Viewer contains multiple functions. The 1-to-16 key
pad can be used to quickly select any camera view based upon its assigned
number.
Below the keypad is a series of 8 buttons arranged in a square. Clicking the
upper left button (the square) will expand the selected view to fill the i-PRO
Viewer screen while leaving the tool bars visible and accessible (see below).

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The next button to the right will display 4 video feeds in a quad-split fashion
(see below).

The third button will display 9 cameras. The left-hand button in the middle row
will display 16 cameras.
The right-hand button in the middle row will expand the selected camera view
to full screen; no function buttons will be viewable. Click the right mouse
button to return to the normal view, shown above.
The buttons in the bottom row are used when single camera views are
displayed in the active window. The back and forward arrows will change the
camera view in the direction selected, based upon the numerical values
assigned to the cameras.
The bottom row, center button, which looks like two arrows in a circle,
provides automated, single view switching capability. Clicking this button
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enables all viewable cameras to cycle through the active window and be
visible for the time period (in seconds) that has been selected.
The next function is the pan and tilt controller. Zoom is controlled by a
different function, which is explained later.

To move a pan-and-tilt-capable camera, simply click the triangle on the wheel


that corresponds to the direction you want the camera to move. Make sure
the center button (with the joystick icon) is depressed. This enables PTZ
control for the selected camera. A single click will move the camera a
predetermined distance; clicking and holding will move the camera until you
let go. Keep in mind that the commands you are generating are being coded,
transmitted, decoded, and then translated into physical movement.
Sometimes there is a delay, so be patient.
Below the pan/tilt wheel is a sliding control labeled speed. This manipulates
the speed at which the pan/tilt controls operate, making it easier to manage
the pan/tilt functions. To slow the rate of pan and tilt, click and drag the slider
bar to the left; to increase the rate, drag the bar to the right.
Below the speed controller is a series of digital displays. These provide

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information such as date, time, amount of hard-drive space available, and the
software version number.
Along the bottom of the screen are several tabs. These open various
functions along the lower toolbar. The tab selected below is the General tab.
In this tab, the functions, from left to right, are connect, connect all,
disconnect all, on-screen display, sensor alarm list, i-PRO player, recording
setup utility, and program shutdown.

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The next tab is the Recording tab. This menu provides recording
functionality within the program; an alternate recording source is
unnecessary. However, recording duration is limited by the size of the
computers hard drive.

The first button records the active video feed that is visible. The second
button records all live camera feeds. The third button stops all recording.
The fourth button allows programmed scheduled recordings to be made.
The last button in the recording tab is labeled with the picture of a camera and
provides snapshot functionality. For tactical applications, this is a handy
feature that provides the ability to gather specific photographic intelligence
and then easily share it. On-screen commands direct the user.

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The Image tab provides a number of useful and important functions that
relate to the quality of the images and enable the human eye to distinguish
pertinent details.

In the image tab are controls for resolution, quality, brightness, contrast, and
color. As seen above, all of these functions are controlled with slide-bar-type
functionality. Simply click and drag a bar to the desired location.
Both resolution and quality should be adjusted with caution. While normally it
might be desirable to have the highest resolution and quality available, if a
network contains many cameras and they are all set to high, that might
negatively impact bandwidth and avoidable image latency. Frame-rate selection
must also be carefully selected. To maximize available bandwidth, set the frame
rate to the lowest possible setting that allows usable video to be obtained for your
particular deployment requirements. Remember that each cameras video-stream
capture rate may be configured individually. This allows critical camera views to
have higher frame-rate selections while secondary camera rates may be
reduced. When camera views are critical or contain significant motion, frame
capture rates should be set to at least 15 frames per second. However, in
relatively static scenes, acceptable video is often obtained at 5 frames per
second. If video is going to be recorded to the hard drive of a computer, frame
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capture rates will also impact the speed at which available hard-disk space is
consumed. The bottom line is if you do not need the highest resolution, quality,
and frame rates on a particular camera, back the setting down a bit to leave
some bandwidth room for more critical streams and conserve disk space when
recording. The default settings for the cameras are 5 frames per second with CIF
resolution. This is roughly equivalent to the resolution provided by a VHS tape.
Full VGA resolution (640 x 480) requires four times the bandwidth and storage.

In the PTZ tab are three sets of very important functions: the zoom, focus,
and iris controls. It should be noted that the speed at which these functions
operate is controlled by the speed slider under the pan controller.
There are other controls found in the PTZ tab; however, they are not
commonly used in AgileMesh deployments. The iris control is used to adjust
the exposure of the picture. In low-light environments, the iris, brightness,
contrast, and frame rate can be manipulated to improve the exposure.

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These functions are active for AgileMesh-supplied cameras that are PTZ
capable. Nonnative cameras that have PTZ functionality may be controlled
thru i-PRO Viewer if they are set up to accept Pelco-D format commands at
2400 band.

Alternative Viewing of Active Video Feeds (Internet Explorer)


The video feed(s) produced by the AgileMesh system may also be viewed
using Internet Explorer. This is a convenient way to view video on a
computer that does not have i-PRO Viewer installed in it. Currently several
AgileMesh functions are configured from Internet Explorer as well. ActiveX
controls must have been installed on the computer before attempting to view
video using Internet Explorer. Other than Internet Explorer and ActiveX, there
are no other software requirements to view network video in this fashion.
To view video using Internet Explorer, begin by opening Internet Explorer.
Once open, type the IP address of the video server you wish to access or
view in the address window. It is helpful to have a name with which to
associate each camera node, but it is essential to know the IP address of
each nodes servers. Once the IP address is entered in the address window,
click the go button. If the IP address is correct and the camera server you
have selected is active on the network and broadcasting a video signal, a
screen will appear that will show that cameras picture. Unlike i-PRO Viewer,
only one camera (server) will be displayed in a particular browser window.
However, multiple copies of Internet Explorer may be opened; enter a
different IP address in each copy in order to facilitate the viewing of multiple
camera feeds. See Appendix D (page xx) for a list of factory-set video server
IP addresses for a corresponding node number.

AgileMesh CamUtility
This software provides shortcut accessibility to three important video server
functions--the frame-capture rate, image orientation, and the syncing of onscreen-display (OSD) time--overlaid on the video screen to be adjusted and
managed by the utility.
To use, simply launch the utility; for maximum efficiency, it should be located
on the desktop. A login screen will appear. The default setting utilizes user
name admin and password admin; then simply press the login button.
The login and password MUST match the login and password for the video
servers. Changes to this setting can be adjusted to your preference by
clicking the application configuration button. This window also allows the
automatic refresh rate of the utility to be set.

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Once logged on, the utility will load and four option buttons will be visible at
the bottom of the window. Additionally, a list of all active networked video
servers will be displayed in the active window.
Be sure that the Cameras tab is selected at the top of the window..

The F.Rate button allows the rate of video capture in frames per second to
be adjusted for each active video server. The Set Time button syncs the onscreen-display time setting of all active networked video servers to the
computers system clock.
The Invert button flips the video image in the active i-PRO Viewer window.
This is useful when a native AgileMesh video camera has been mechanically
inverted to maximize the tilt function due to the relationship of the elevation of
the camera with the location to be viewed. Consequently, the viewed image
will appear upside down. This function is also of value when a nonnative
video stream must be deployed upside down; the image can then be flipped
to make viewing easier. The fourth button, Quit, closes the utility.
In the event that network conditions have recently changed, the button with
the two yellow arrows in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen acts to
refresh the display with the most recent information regarding the
configuration and IP addresses of active networked video servers.

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Firetide Hotview Manager


This software is used to configure, diagnose, and adjust the parameters of the
foundational mesh network radio. Most of the functions of this software will be
used by AgileMesh technicians to perform advanced configuration and to
upgrade your network. However, there is one particular function in Hotview
Manager that allows you to see which nodes are on your network as well as
which nodes have established relationships.
This is a very helpful tool to assist with deployments. It allows visualization of
the health and participation of each positioned node and helps to determine if
there are any nodes that are isolated or missing from the network. The health
of the network can also be examined. Remember that each node has the
capability to make multiple connections to other nodes. Creating relationships
with other nodes is the process of building the mesh. Therefore, the more
connections each node has to other nodes, the healthier the mesh network is.
Hotview Manager allows these connections to be seen. As a result,
adjustments can be made to strengthen the network.
When looking at the network in Hotview Manager, remember that the
graphics are a representation of the network only. The graph is not to scale.
However, if the nodes have been named appropriately and the location of
each deployed node is known, it is fairly easy to build a diagram of the instant
network. This creates a more accurate representation of the current network
and allows enhancement or repairs to be completed more easily.
However, do not allow Hotview Manager to run indefinitely in the background
while monitoring is conducted with i-PRO Viewer. Hotview Manager is an
active program on the network and consumes bandwidth. This will result in
reduced system performance.
To use Hotview Manager, open the program. The default AgileMesh IP
address of the mesh is 192.168.224.150. The password screen will appear.
The user name is admin; the password is Firetide.

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Click the Login button. DO NOT press enter.


The program will now load and begin to diagnose the network. After 10 to 15
seconds (depending on network conditions and computer speed), a diagram
will appear showing relationships and connections. A graph will be visible at
the bottom showing the current status of each node that has been active on
the network historically.

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It is now important to be able to identify each active node and know its
location relative to other nodes and landmarks.
Locate a node on the screen that is identified and whose location is known.
Highlight that node with a single left mouse click. While highlighted, move the
cursor to the tool bar and locate a button with four arrows pointed in opposite
directions. Once this button is clicked, the node that was highlighted will be
mobile; wherever the mouse moves the cursor, the node will also go. Move
the node to a position on the screen that best represents its true position, and
left click again. Repeat the procedure for each node until a scaled diagram of
your network has been achieved.
Once completed, it is now possible to better understand the status of the
network: which nodes are connected to each other, the impact of obstructions
on network performance, the locations of vulnerabilities, and how to improve
network stability and performance.

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Section V
What Is a Mesh Network?
Mesh networks are the wireless equivalent of the Internet. Data (in this case,
video) finds its own way through the network to its destination node, rather
than requiring a predetermined path.
Mesh uses a many to many concept. This means that any one radio or node
wants to link to, communicate with, and establish a relationship with any and
all other nodes it can see. As a result, each node can serve as a transmitter
of its own data, a receiver of data from other nodes, and a repeater of other
nodes data onto the network.

Why Is It Useful?
As a video delivery system, this informational redundancy presents several
advantages over more traditional methods of transmitting video signals.
Traditional wireless video transmission is accomplished using a point-to-point
protocol. To increase the distance of the link or to strengthen the robustness
of the link, focused gain antennas are often used. Usually there is one
camera, one transmitter, one receiver, and one monitor in such a system.
Certainly, a system can be made more functional (and more complicated);
however, each video signal requires separate hardware for processing.
Mesh networks allow the video signals from multiple cameras to be
negotiated on the network simultaneously, without the need for discrete
hardware for each separate signal.
Since each node is also a repeater, hops are automatically achieved by
placing nodes in areas where connectivity is weak. This is accomplished
without having to use separate frequencies, antennas, or conversion
hardware.

Deployment Strategies
To build a tactical video network, place the first node in a location that
provides visualization of the most critical area of the problem. Terrain
permitting, place the node in such a way that less than half of the zoom
capability is being used to generate a usable image. Elevate the antenna as
much as physically and tactically possible. If the entire node is placed on high
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ground, remember to invert the camera image by using CamUtility. Later the
image will be software-flipped. Place the second node in a location where it
can visualize the next most critical area. Subsequent nodes are placed in the
same manner.
After the second node is placed, powered up, and allowed to complete the
boot process, it is possible to check connectivity to and from the first node.
Either launch i-PRO Viewer and check for pictures, launch Hotview Manager
and look for connections, or plug in an Ethernet cable to the second node,
open Internet Explorer, and input the IP address of the first node. If a picture
from the first node is visible, connectivity has been established.
Once some experience with the network has been acquired, it will become
less necessary to confirm connectivity; you will know when it will work and
when there might be connectivity issues. If a situation arises where one node
is unable to see its neighbor, the problem can be solved in one of two ways,
assuming that other factors have been eliminated (see Troubleshooting, page
xx). One possible solution is to move one or both nodes so that there are
fewer obstructions between them (elevation may also improve connectivity);
the other solution is to add a node so that it can act as a relay or repeater
between the first two nodes.

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For instance, lets place one node on the north side and another node on the
south side of a building. The receiver is located on the north side as well, and
is able to see only the signal from the north camera.
North
camera
node

Target

South
camera
node

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Remote viewer

It is not a certainty that if there is a building in the way, the signal will fail to
penetrate; however, it is possible. The following is one way to solve such a
problem, if it were to arise.

North
camera
node

Target
Relay
node,
with or
without a
camera

South camera
node

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Remote
viewer

In the above example, placing a relay node, with or without a camera, and
moving the remote viewing station to the east creates pathways that allow all
nodes to communicate. Often, once the initial pathways are established, even if
the building blocked the signal at first, less robust secondary connections can
appear.
Another possible solution to the same type of problem follows.
Problem:
Node
#1

Target

Node
#2

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Remote
viewing
station

Solution:

Node
#1

Remote
viewing
station

Target

Node
#2

An added bonus to this type of solution is that by moving nodes wide, the ends of
the building become visible to the cameras.

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Most connectivity problems between nodes can be solved by moving nodes or


adding nodes, either to avoid obstacles or to extend range. Remember that if
nodes are being added for either of these purposes, activate cameras only if the
video is valuable and necessary. By eliminating useless video signals from the
network, system bandwidth is maximized.

Section VI
Antennas
A list of FCC-approved antennas for AgileMesh products can be found in
Appendix B (see page xx). The use of antennas other than those listed is
possible but not recommended.

Antenna Terms
Antennas come in many sizes and varieties and have different characteristics.
For the purposes of this discussion, there are several topics relating to antennas
that should be covered.
Gain: Antennas come in two basic varieties, omni directional and
directional. Gain is measured in dB, or decibels. A fairly accurate formula
states that when the dB in a transmission path is increased by 8, distance
is doubled. Antennas with no gain are referred to as unity gain and work
equally well (or poorly) in all directions. However, omni antennas are
also available with gain. The standard AgileMesh 5.X GHz antenna
features 5.5 dB of gain. When possible, use antennas that have the least
gain possible within the correct matching frequency range. The lower-gain
antennas are much more tolerant of elevation differences between
antennas.
Directionality: Again, antennas come in two basic varieties with regard to
directionality. Omni antennas transmit in all directions (within the polarity),
and directional antennas transmit better in a particular direction. A good
analogy to these concepts is light. A bare lightbulb hanging from a wire
emitting light is very similar to an omni antenna, while a floodlight pointing
in a particular direction is similar to a directional antenna.
Beam Width: This pertains primarily to directional antennas; however, it
applies to omni antennas as well. Every directional antenna will have
beam-width specifications. To make use of this data properly, antenna
polarity must first be considered. Most antennas are designed to be
oriented either vertically or horizontally. There are some specialty
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antennas, which are circularly polarized, either right-handed or lefthanded, but these are fairly uncommon for all but long-range links.
Determine the orientation, or polarization, of the antenna being used.
Refer to the literature to determine what the vertical and horizontal beamwidth parameters are. Once determined, the companion device with which
this antenna is trying to communicate must reside within the pattern
defined by the beam width.

Tips for Antenna Placement


Unity gain antennas will have a circular radiation pattern perpendicular to
the designed polarity, but will usually have little or no radiation in the
parallel axis.
Directional antennas will have enhanced radiation in the direction that they
are designed to project, with severely reduced radiation in the opposite
direction. In the event that one of the antennas in the link is significantly
elevated or depressed, it is important to realize that adjustments to the
orientation may need to be made to allow the antennas to be able to
communicate.
Finally, avoid locating antennas near, and particularly behind, objects that
are RF dense or nontransparent. Failure to do so will result in immediate
degradation of antenna performance.

Radio Frequency Basics


The ability to transmit data without wires is commonly known as radio.
Radio is energy that is modulated in a certain way that can be demodulated, returning the energy to a form that can be viewed, heard, read,
or deciphered. Radio frequency refers to the cycling of the waves in peaks
and valleys, known as a waveform. The farther apart the peaks are, the
lower the frequency; the closer the peaks are together, or the more quickly
they are generated, the higher the frequency.
Analog radio waveforms are generated using either amplitude or
frequency modulation. Amplitude modulation is susceptible to
environmental energy interference. (Consider listening to an AM radio
station while driving under a high-voltage power line.) Frequency
modulation requires higher power outputs to achieve the same distance as
amplitude modulation.
Digital radio transmissions convert transmitted data to 1s and 0s, which
are then reassembled at the receiving end.
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Applicable to the deployment of AgileMesh products is the understanding


of the performance differences between the 2.4 GHz bands and 5.X GHz
bands. Transmissions in the 2.4 GHz band will penetrate barriers and
obstacles better than transmissions in the 5.X GHz band. However, 5.X
GHz transmissions will generally offer better performance in open-air
situations where maximizing distance between nodes is important.
Due to increased penetration qualities, 2.4 GHz transmissions are less
prone to multipath problems and should be considered in dense urban
environments.
Each of these frequency bands can be enhanced with the use of
directional antennas. In a mesh deployment, directional antennas are
most appropriately used when nodes are being used to create a linear
array. In this case, directional antennas could be used at both ends of the
array, but not in the middle. This is due to the fact that each node
functions as a transmitter, receiver, and repeater. If a directional antenna
is used in the middle of a linear array, it is not be able to retransmit data
efficiently.

Section VII
Troubleshooting
The hallmark of AgileMesh tactical video products is reliability. Our overriding
design principle is simplicity. Notwithstanding, there is an old saying in law
enforcement that anything that requires a battery will fail at the time you need
it most. Unfortunately, electronics are not foolproof and sometimes
malfunction. The good news is that most of the problems that you might
encounter with our products are easily remedied.
Most troubleshooting of AgileMesh products will involve four basic
considerations. These are known as the ABCCs of troubleshooting. This
methodology assumes that proper initial configuration has been completed
and that nothing has occurred to corrupt the configuration.
A=Antenna(s): Ensure that antennas are attached, that they are in good
condition, that the antenna matches the selected transmission band, and
that all connectors are tight.
B=Battery: Ensure that the node(s) are plugged into AC power or a DC
power supply that provides at least 12 volts. Voltages below 12 will result
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volt battery, voltages below 12 indicate that operating time will be reduced
unless new batteries are used or AC power is supplied
C=Connectors: Ensure that all applicable connections are in place, and
that the connector is completely attached and seated. Be sure that the
connectors are patent, and free of defects, abrasions, and short circuits.
RCA connectors are notorious for becoming disconnected. BNC
connections will not always functions properly unless locked in place. The
locking 2-, 4-, and 10-pin Amphenol connectors will function if not locked
in place, but may suffer spontaneous disconnection problems.
C=Connectivity: Using the Neighbor display of the node front panel,
ensure that all nodes see at least one other node, but remember that more
is better. Even when the node is on and configured properly, power has
been applied, and the boot cycle is complete, occasionally a message will
be displayed in the active i-PRO Viewer camera window indicating that a
connection exists but there is no signal. This indicates that the radio
portion of the node is operating properly but no video stream is present.
Several things could cause this. Make sure that all applicable connections
have been made and are patent and tight. If you are using a nonnative
video camera, be sure that it is powered properly, operating, and the video
connection has been made to the node. Be sure that each node displays a
unique node number. If there are duplicate node numbers in the network,
the system will be trying to process duplicate IP addresses. This will cause
conflict and result in the conflicted cameras/video servers to not be
displayed. If all of these measures fail to result in seeing a video stream,
disconnect that particular camera in i-PRO Viewer and reconnect it. If
doing that is unsuccessful, contact AgileMesh technical support.

Recommended Tools
Even though AgileMesh gear has been designed to reduce the number of
tools required for support, there are some items that can be helpful to
have around when conducting troubleshooting. Most in-the-field
troubleshooting (problems you can fix quickly) can be accomplished with
the following:
medium needle-nose pliers
multitip screwdriver
basic voltmeter
fuse kit
duct tape
cable ties in various sizes
The last two assist in unusual situations where it might be necessary to rig
or secure a node, tripod, or antenna to another object.
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Appendix A
AV1XXX Specifications

Control Panel
Virtual Channel Selection
Video Node Address Selection
Node Placement Aid
Display On/Off
Power On/Off
Wireless Interface
2.400 to 2.497 GHz
5.150 to 5.250 GHz
5.250 to 5.350 GHz
5.725 to 5.850 GHz
Security
64, 128 Bit WEP Encryption
128, 256 Bit AES Encryption
Password
Firetide FMRP Mesh Auto-Discovery Protocol
Class of Service Traffic Prioritization
Network Interface
RJ-45 Connector
10 /100 802.3 Ethernet
Video Interface
BNC Connector
NTSC/PAL
MJPEG encoding
Resolutions 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 160 x 120
Up to 30 fps
Pan-Tilt-Zoom Control
RS-485, Multiple protocols
Power: 12 VDC, 3 amps max
Antenna Connectors: RP-TNC
Dimensions 6.8 x 9.76 x 3.31
Weight 3.8 pounds

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Appendix B
Antenna Connection and Specifications
The antenna connection marked Ant T/R is the transmit-and-receive antenna
connection. The antenna connection marked Ant R is a receive-only diversity
antenna and is optional. The following antennas have been tested and certified
by the FCC for use with the AgileMesh AV1XXX products.
Model No.

Gain
(dBi)

Frequency
(GHz)

Type

5.5

5.X

Omni

3 @ 2.4
4 @ 5.X
7

2.4, 5.X
2.4

SF-D53N
C068-510330A
AM2407

Comments

Minimum
distance from
user (cm)

20

Omni

For tripod
mount
Paddle

Omni

Mag mount

20

20

Appendix C
Fuses
Fuses for the AV1XXX and AV7XXX models are listed below:
Fuse Type
3 amp 3AG slo-blo
1 amp 3AG slo-blo
6 amp 3AG slo-blo
3 amp 20mm slo-blo
6.3 amp 20 mm slo-blo
1 amp 20mm slo-blo

Use
AV1XXX Input power
AV1XXX Camera 1 power
AV1XXX Camera 2 power
AV7XXX Battery and charger
AV7XXX A/C input
AV7XXX DC in (in-line fuse)
AV7XXX Fan (in-line fuse)

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Appendix D
Factory-Set Video Server IP Addresses

Node #
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16

For AV1510 or AV7510 For AV1520 or AV7520


or AV 1520 or AV7520
ONLY
Camera 1
Camera 2
Video Server IP Address Video Server IP Address
192.168.224.49
192.168.224.50
192.168.224.52
192.168.224.53
192.168.224.55
192.168.224.56
192.168.224.58
192.168.224.59
192.168.224.61
192.168.224.62
192.168.224.64
192.168.224.65
192.168.224.67
192.168.224.68
192.168.224.70
192.168.224.71
192.168.224.73
192.168.224.74
192.168.224.76
192.168.224.77
192.168.224.79
192.168.224.80
192.168.224.82
192.168.224.83
192.168.224.85
192.168.224.86
192.168.224.88
192.168.224.89
192.168.224.91
192.168.224.92
192.168.224.94
192.168.224.95
192.168.224.97
192.168.224.98

Warranty
One-year limited warranty

Contact AgileMesh
By phone: (972) 231-2122 (Monday through Friday, from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M.
Central Time)
By e-mail: support@agilemesh.com (Need a 24 hr tech contact number)

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