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Focusing the MEGApix DWC-MB45iALPR Camera

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Focusing the MEGApix® DWC-MB45iALPR Camera

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Affected Roles:  Administrator, Owner

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  July 30, 2021

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Setting up the MEGApix® DWC-MB45iALPR

The DWC-MB45iALPR IP camera is designed with the sole intention of capturing and recording clear videos of license plates while they are affixed to passing vehicles.  While other cameras may use a type of directional toggle switch or a set of levers to zoom and focus the camera lens, the DWC-MB45iALPR uses a motorized varifocal p-iris lens that can only be sequentially adjusted by either manually pressing the T/W Zoom button (located on the underside of the camera) or through the camera’s Web Viewer.

This article will outline the recommended steps to zoom and focus a DWC-MB45iALPRT camera from its mounted position.

**NOTE:  If possible, when positioning and focusing an LPR camera, it is recommended to temporarily park a vehicle or to use a loose license plate (can be purchased at most major hardware stores) as a sample target for the camera.

**NOTE:  For general guidelines when mounting an LPR camera, check out LPR Camera Installation Guide.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • MEGApix® License Plate Recognition (LPR) Bullet Camera (DWC-MB45iALPRT)

Setting Up a DWC-MB45iALPR

When installing a DWC-MB45iALPR camera, it is important to zoom and focus the camera in on the area through which the target vehicles will pass.  Ideally, LPR cameras should be zoomed in to create a monitoring area that will be magnified enough to read the text on a license plate (slightly wider than the width of a car).

It is highly recommended to temporarily park a vehicle or to use a loose license plate (can be purchased at most major hardware stores) as a sample target for the camera.  This will make it easier to focus the camera and will give you a better idea of how the image will appear during regular operation.

**NOTE:  Once the camera has been set up and optimized, avoid using the PTZ controls when using the DW Spectrum® Client and the LPR camera.  This can cause the camera to lose focus.

**NOTE:  If the LPR camera loses power and is set to an Autofocus mode, the lens will refocus the target area on the current environment, once repowered.

Manually Focusing a DWC-MB45iALPRT:

  1. If you have not already done so, mount the LPR camera and connect the necessary cables to power and connect the camera to the local network.

Additionally, it is recommended to install VLC 32-bit on a supported DW Blackjack® unit or a workstation that is connected to the camera network.

**NOTE:  For recommended mounting guidelines, check out LPR Camera Installation Guide.

  1. From a DW Blackjack® unit or a workstation that is connected to the camera network, connect with the LPR camera’s Web Viewer.
    1. If you are connecting through the DW Spectrum® Client:
      1. In the software, right-click on the LPR camera and select “Camera Settings”.

      1. The Camera Settings window will display.  Click on the Web Page tab.

    1. If you are connecting through a web browser, open a web browser (Google Chrome is recommended) and enter the camera’s IP address to connect with the camera.
      • Default MEGApix® IP address:  192.168.1.80
      • Example URL: 

http://192.168.1.80

    1. After connecting, the camera login pop-up will display.

Enter the current Username and Password of the camera.

  • Default Username:  admin
  • Default Password:  admin

    1. If the MEGApix® IP camera is still using the default login credentials, users will be initially prompted to set up a new password before the camera can be use

Click the Change Password button if the camera is using the default login credentials and set up a new login.

  1. Once logged in, click the Setup button to adjust the Shutter Speed setting.

  1. Click on “Camera” and select “Exposure Settings”.

The Exposure Settings menu will display.  Change the Shutter Speed to 1/240~1/480, depending on the current lighting conditions.

Click the Save button to apply the change to the Shutter Speed. A confirmation will display.

  1. Next, to zoom and focus the LPR camera, change the Zoom Speed setting to “+1”.  Using a lower speed for the motorized lens will help if there is a video delay due to network speeds.

Make sure that the Focus Mode is set to “Manual”. 

  1. Press the Zoom (-/+) and Focus (-/+) buttons to configure the target area for the LPR camera.  Press-and-hold the (-/+) buttons to adjust the camera zoom and focus. 

The longer that the buttons are pressed-down, the further that the LPR camera will zoom or focus, so it is best to make adjustments in increments.

**NOTE:  If the LPR camera is struggling to focus after closing in on the target area and are using a license plate or vehicle as a dummy target, you can change the Focus Mode to the “Auto” setting to try to have the camera automatically focus on the dummy target.

  1. After zooming and focusing the LPR camera, leave the camera in the “ManualFocus Mode to prevent the camera from automatically adjusting the lens focus.

Next, change the Shutter Speed to 1/600~1/1000, depending on the lighting conditions.  Keep in mind that a higher Shutter Speed setting will allow the camera to capture quicker moving vehicles, but the image will appear darker.

Click the Save button to apply the settings. 

A confirmation will display and you may close the Camera Settings menu.

**NOTE:  Additional recommendations for use of the DWC-MB45iALPR camera is to use a Framerate setting of 30fps and a Medium~High video quality, depending on the storage availability for the video archive.

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  • 30-Jul-2021
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