21 Replies Latest reply: Jan 16, 2020 2:55 PM by 5boys RSS

    Blink XT2 Security Cameras

    bonesxxx Active Contributor

      Hi all,

       

      I think (based on the MASSIVE other thread on security camera use) that I am going to move forward with installing some.

       

      Please do not use this thread as a debating platform I have decided to take what I learned from the other post and 'split the baby' on this one... in other words, I am interested in protecting my investment when I am not there and when there are no guests there (from nosy hunters, thieves, worse).

       

      To that end, I have decided to purchase the Blink XT2 system that psphoto uses.  I intend to leave it active right up until the guest checks in and then disable it until the guest checks out.  Again, I am interested in securing my property when vacant -- I have no need to surveil my guests (tempting as that may be).

       

      So here is my actual question:

       

      For anyone who uses the Blink XT2, can I easily do this?  I was thinking of inviting the guests to unplug the Blink Synch module at check-in.  If I ask them to plug it back in when they depart, will it resume all functionality automatically or would I have to manually do something to get it to recognize all the cameras again?

       

      Thank you in advance,

       

      -BoNeS

        • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

          Bones, I know you didn’t want comments....but I love this! You are securing your home (sounds like it is remote) yet still thinking of your guests comfort.

          • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
            wildiris Senior Contributor

            Just some food for thought - I have a security system at my vacation rental that does not have cameras.  The system is the "old fashioned" traditional kind that sounds a loud alarm if someone breaks into the house and sends an alert to a central monitoring company.  A great feature is that the smoke detectors are also wired into the system and the central monitoring company also gets an alert if a smoke detector has been activated.  The central monitoring company will call the police or the fire department.  The system does not depend upon me seeing an alert and taking action.  The system is only turned on when guests aren't in residence.

              • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                bonesxxx Active Contributor

                Oddly, I hadn't even considered that with all the chat about cameras... hmmmmmm. I think a security system is good for running the bad actors off but cameras are what puts them behind bars.

                  • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                    wildiris Senior Contributor

                    You may have an overly-optimistic perception regarding the priority that police will give to catching someone who breaks into and robs a house.  In my limited experience, it's not high on their crime-fighting list.  For me, scaring the thief and having him run off before he actually takes anything is my goal. 

                    • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                      wildiris Senior Contributor

                      Before you reach a decision, I recommend that you contact your insurance agent.  We have quite a nice discount on the property insurance for our vacation rental because we have a security system with both burglary/fire alerts sent to a central monitoring station.  I can't remember how much we save, but I think it pays (or perhaps more than pays) for the annual monitoring cost.  I'd ask your agent what discounts you'll receive (if any) and price them out for each type of system.

                       

                      Please give my regards to Guinness the Wonder Dog.  (Woof!)

                  • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                    feibus Senior Contributor

                    I wouldn't expect the guests to either unplug or re-plug it in.  People aren't very reliable when they're on vacation.

                     

                    Instead, I'd put it the module a locked closet and use something like https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GYR2445 to remotely control when it goes on and off.  NOTE: I'm not recommending this particular product, I've never used it, but the concept might be the right one for what you're looking to do.  Also, I have no idea about the Blink system, I'm just trying to refine the basic idea, because it sounds like a good compromise.

                    • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                      green_mango Active Contributor

                      Our personal beach cottage which we rarely rented in the past (and only to friends or friends of friends) had an *interior* camera facing outwards out the window to monitor the backyard - something I would never do in a regular rental.  I always told my friends to turn off the power strip and sometimes they'd forget, and sometimes the one who would remember to turn it off would not remember to turn it back on - so I'd leave the turning it back on directions off and just have your cleaner do it as part of their cleaning.   Or, of course just make it totally optional since it's outside - I think you'll find most guests don't care, but the few that do will appreciate being able to turn it off. 

                       

                      As far as you remotely controlling and turning off & on, it's just easier to leave it be - one less thing to do.  If guests want it off, they can do it.

                       

                      I have Nest cam & Nest hello - both allow me to go in online and disable, but it's more work for me .

                      • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                        worst idea ever. Maybe ONE out of 3 renters will actually follow your instructions. You will be at their mercy and they have "vacation brain". They will 100% forget or "forget" to plug it back in. Not only renters should not be plugging/unplugging your camera (or any equipment for that matter), they should not be touching it and it should be mounted out of their reach as well as camera control equipment should be in a locked closet/storage/utility room NOT accessible to renters.  If you do not want to watch them, then just don't, turn it off remotely, whatever. But DO NOT have renters touch any equipment. else you will find your equipment messed up and having to pay someone to go there and have it working again, time after time.

                         

                        Mine are mounted high under the eaves that one would need a tall ladder to get to precisely for that reason. All the router / hub equipment is locked in the owner storage.

                        heck someone took Samsung "smart things" water leak detector that was under kitchen sink.. why? what for? and you want them to handle cameras? SMH.

                          • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                            bonesxxx Active Contributor

                            The Blink system is 100% wireless.  So the cameras can all be mounted high and inaccessible. 

                             

                            The only thing I need to figure out is the best way to turn this off.  I like the idea of letting the guests do it so they know they are not being watched.  Turning it back on can be done by me remotely (thanks to feibus's research).

                             

                            Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 12.20.30 PM.png

                              • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                                scowol Active Contributor

                                While I don't have cameras at my VRs, I do have the Blink XT2 at my personal residence.

                                 

                                The picture you posted is the sync module.  You should be aware (beware)  that a blink camera runs on battery when unplugged.  It has a two-year lithium battery to capture quick images and short videos (hence the name "blink" as in a blink of an eye).

                                  • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                                    bonesxxx Active Contributor

                                    Thanks Scott.  I think you missed my point.  If the synch module is off, then nothing the cameras 'see' is going anywhere, right (even though they may still be transmitting)? In that sense, they would be 'off'.

                                     

                                    Unless I misunderstand what the synch module does, unplugging that essentially renders the cameras useless.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

                                     

                                    scowol

                                      • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                                        scowol Active Contributor

                                        Gotcha- yes, the camera requires the "sync" to be on and connected to wifi.  I also have the module to have the camera constantly connected to plug-in power 24/7 because (like anything that runs on batteries) they die more frequently than actual usage. 

                                         

                                        I think what you are seeking will work.  However, a consideration is that you will need to ensure skeptical guests are convinced that the camera is not a standalone recording device that still works after unplugging it.  There's tons of mini-cams that are wireless and have built-in memory to store recordings. So I would just suggest spelling all this out to your guests. 

                                    • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                                      u0999 Premier Contributor

                                      confused. This shows indoor camera, and everyone is so concerned about privacy. I have explicitly outdoor cameras mounted under the eaves. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0725Z3WJM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                                       

                                        • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                                          bonesxxx Active Contributor

                                          Yes you are confused... that's not a camera in my post.  It's the device that links all the wireless cameras and sends their video feeds to the router.

                                           

                                          Nobody is touching the third rail topic of indoor cameras (I hope) in this thread.

                                    • Re: Blink XT2 Security Cameras
                                      5boys New Member

                                      Similar to what has already been described - we have a VERA system running on both of our rental properties.  I'm not advocating for that specific technology but any home automation with multiple devices offers a lot of collective support. We have the door codes controls, thermostats, outdoor lights and an indoor light during empty times.  I control them all with 'scenes' that run collectively based on arrival and departure dates.  'Heat Guest Arrival' scene turns on the heat at 8:00am, turns on the porch and driveway lights 8 hours later and put the house in 'home' mode so that I don't get notifications every time the door opens/closes.  I have another setting to turn off all outside lights at dawn every day - people leave them on constantly and they can turn them back on for the day if it's cloudy etc.

                                       

                                      Anyway - my point on that is you might find those simple collection of events to be helpful beyond the camera (and the technology worthwhile) if you don't already have them....then you could add the camera outlet to that same technology and let it go on/off with arrival and departure times as desired.

                                       

                                      Good luck!