Project Profile

IP security keeps Iowa 80 truck stop secure

They say it's an ill wind that blows no good. When an EF5 multi-vortex tornado blew through Joplin, Missouri this summer the debris that remained and result of the storm caused extensive devastation to the community.

But out of the rubble came a new IP-based security system for Iowa 80 Group's Joplin 44 Petro truck stop, located off Highway 43. While the system was not necessarily built because of the destruction that hit Joplin nor did it face any potential challenges that needed to be addressed, the site knew it was the right time for a complete security solution that kept its staff, visitors and truck drivers safe.

"Joplin was an opportunity to design and engineer a large IP video system from the ground up," explained Rob Benson, project manager and systems engineer for Dakota Security Systems, the Sioux Falls, S.D.-based integrator who worked with the Iowa 80 Group before on similar IP jobs in Iowa and North Carolina. Joplin 44 Petro had an antiquated analog system in place that was showing its age and no longer gave the coverage necessary to protect the site. At the same time, the truck stop was going through a complete renovation of the existing facility, including a substantial expansion, upgrade and remodel.

"Joplin is one of multiple facilities under the Iowa 80 Group umbrella," said Burke Strand of the Iowa 80 Group's corporate IT department in Walcott, Iowa. The company runs large and sophisticated travel plazas for truckers and other travelers throughout the Midwest.

"Iowa 80 Group needed a solution to help manage and protect their business, their stores, their employees and their customers," explained Eric Yunag, president and CEO of Dakota Security Systems.

"With the Joplin facility we were able to start from scratch, walking the facility prior to the remodel and expansion and working off of the plans provided by the customer to develop the design around the IP system's strengths," said Benson. "We were able to design the entire system around the specific strengths and nuances that each IP camera brought to the table."

System specifics

There are 84 cameras at the Joplin 44 Petro truck stop, which required nearly 17,000 feet of Belden Category 6 cabling feeding those 84 cameras, explained Benson.

For starters, there are seven IQinVision IQEye IQA22SI-B2 fixed two-megapixel indoor dome cameras that provide indoor coverage of the cash registers and countertops. There are 12 MOBOTIX cameras, model MX-D12Di-SEC, that provide 180-degree, three-megapixel views. In addition, their MX-Q24M-SEC-D11 3-megapixel Hemispheric cameras provide general 360-degree coverage of open interior spaces.

"This includes 13 cameras hanging on poles from 35-foot interior ceilings located in the Super Truck Showroom area," said Strand. The remainder are scattered throughout the facility with some in 180-degree mode. The units' small size "made very little impact on the overall aesthetics of the area, unlike the large dome housings previously used by the customer," Benson continued.

There are three MOBOTIX MX-Q24-Basic VGA Hemispheric cameras for 360-degree coverage of smaller interior spaces.

A total of 19 Axis M3203 fixed SVGA indoor domes cover offices, hallways and similar areas. The five M3204 fixed one-megapixel indoor domes cover office areas where additional resolution was required.

"We used the various view options available from the MOBOTIX cameras to substantially reduce the number of cameras and licenses required while maintaining nearly blanket coverage of the customer's facility," said Benson.

There are five IQinVision IQEye IQ755V7NPNE fixed exterior megapixel cameras in outdoor housings that allowed them to maintain high resolution documentation of the pump island traffic including the ability to record vehicle and license plate information. The high-quality images sometimes even make it possible to identify occupants still in the vehicles.

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