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Sometimes a project arises from a combination of structural and security-related issues, as was the case with a voluntary project I completed for a local home owners association.  This project is a good example of why ARYX likes to take a holistic approach to problem solving.

Recent vandalism and theft in the area had rattle residents enough to demand from their HOA the installation of a security camera system.  I volunteered for the task and offered my services at no cost, just materials.  I started with a survey of the area and quickly identified the property at the entryway (owned by the HOA) as the best location for a security system.  It had an ornamental structure to house some of the hardware, as well as shore power to provide the electricity.  I diagrammed the proposal in a series of poster-sized slides and presented my recommendations to the HOA president.

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As it turned out, there were several previously unknown issues involving the lighting, shore power circuitry and the entryway structure that all had to be addressed before the cameras were even installed.  I tallied them up and got to work.


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In the small building, 30 yrs of debris, rot and rodent infestation had taken its toll.  I cut an access door into the back and started removing the trash.  I was a contract archaeologist right out of college, so the collection of old soda and beer cans was interesting to see.

Outside, I had to contend with broken, corroded and poorly done wiring that illuminated the entryway sign and the exterior of the structure.  If any of those failed, it would lead to a power failure of the security system and that was not acceptable.

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The entryway structure was never intended to house electronics, but it was salvageable.  The bottom 12-16 inches of every support beam had rotted away.  I was surprised the structure was still standing!  I sistered-in all of the studs onto new pressure treated floor joists, redid the electrical wiring and weather proofed the structure from the rain.

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With all of the prep work done, the camera system was relatively easy.  This pic shows the access door on the back (temporarily secured with some old planking).  It has since been painted to match the rest of the structure and secured with a hasp.