Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get cheap minute cctv cameras?
I need small concealable cctv cameras that I can monitor on the internet, where can I get cheap WIRELESS ones that I can afford to help me monitor around my compound?
Also which ones are better, big or small; cable or wireless type?
Firstly if you want to use a wireless kit they start from around £150 if you want a display so you can be in the other room viewing it. However if no display is needed then just the wireless camera and receiver will cost around £50.
Now, another option would be to use a Covert Camera (link 2 below). Most of the covert cameras have a built in power supply (Battery pack) so you can charge them up and then place it in a location you want to monitor. The Covert cameras use either Micro SD or standard SD cards as there Hard Drive to store the data on and hence you can get any size you want, usually up to around 30GB. This will store a week or two of video depending on the video quality and frame rate. A factor to take into account with covert cameras is that you will need to recharge them atleast every few hours depending on the battery life. Would you be able to go and charge them without people realising their location in the compound? Remember covert cameras can be viewed on displays if they have receivers but not over the internet.
If you want to view your CCTV cameras over the internet the only way will be to purchase a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) with the feature to stream onto the internet. This will require you to use cabling to connect the camera to the DVR unless you have a wireless transmitter (link 4 below). A transmitter connected to the camera and the reciever connected to the DVR.
The DVR will have to be connected to the internet using an ethernet cable. In the DVR setup you will then be able to create a web address and password. You can then access this on your iPhone or laptop anywhere in the world. The majority of cheaper DVRs around £150 have the internet feature and all the more expensive ones will have them as standard (link 5 below).
So you best bet is to get wired cameras if possible as they produce the best quality images and have a fixed power supply. You can purchase CCTV kits and install them yourself, but if its alittle over your head get a reputable CCTV installer to do it for you, this is key if you want them to not stand out. Wireless cameras should only be a last resort as image quality can be affected by the range between the DVR and the camera and interference.
Give West Midlands Electrics a call if you have any more problems or need any more advice and they would be more than happy to help.
Getting Videos into Windows Movie Maker off of my digital camera?
I have a Nikon Coolpix L1 digital camera. I imported all of the videos onto my computer, and they saved as quicktime videos? I tried to import them into windows movie maker but they wont import because 'Windows Movie Maker does not support the file type' . How can I make these video files able to import into Windows Movie Maker? Please help me 10points for best answer?? Please, I really need to figure this out.
If you want to use WMM then you will have to covert your files. http://www.handbrake.fr/ free video converter. Your camera shoots in mpeg4, mod.
WMM supports video files asf, avi, dvr-ms, m1v, mp2, mp2v, mpe, mpeg, mpg, mpv2, wm,and wmv
If you want to avoid converting files get some better editing software. I use pinnacle studio 11 ultimate, I paid 69.99 two years ago. I can add files from my minidv, flash drive and digital camera, they all shoot in different formats but can be added to 1 project and saved as 1 project without converting.
Where can I get a hidden camera to wear like they have on documentaries etc?
Here in London there are quite a few cyclists now wearing mini-spy cams on their helmets. The plan is to capture motorists on-cam who drive too close or who break the highway code in a dangerous manner. Not sure where they are buying their cams from but they'e really very small.
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what kind of audio/visual camera is good for use in a nursing home to monitor for possible abuse???
i need something thats can transmit quite the distance or even over the net over a secured connection.and yes it is legal in the nursing home.
It depends on if you want them to be covert. Bosch has some exceptional cameras. They have a dome, vandal proof camera, that has night vision, and day mode. Color in daylight black and white in dimly lit times. You also can get covert cameras, they have ones that are built into teddy bears and clocks. They also have ones that look like motion detectors, and smoke detectors. I also don't know what price range you are looking at. If you are on a tight budget, there are lower cost cameras, but they do not have great images. I have worked in security for years, and am prior military. Let me know if I can help, if it is serious. Good luck. Oh, and transmitting over the internet is very easy you need a DVR that has these capabilities. It is very common in most models, especially in the security field. Just make sure that you have a high-speed connection, otherwise it is almost useless.
does anyone knows anything about the BALLCAM DVR SPY CAM?
I need to buy an external battery for my BALLCAM SPY CAM. I notice the usb drive. on the camera is a mini usb.does any one who knows about this camera knows where I can get an external battery?
New Generation Revolutionary Video/Cam DVR Micro Eyes Home & Office Security Camera - High Res, Color Low Light, Motion Activated!
MicroEyes DVR BallCam is the world’s first DVR in the shape of a ball. Inside this Ping Pong size ball is a motion activated camera and DVR it captures images at 30 FPS at 320x240 resolutions. Comes with 128mb internal memory and supports up to a 2gig micro sd card. It can be used in various applications such as vehicle security, sports, personal security or whatever the user can dream up. You can place it anywhere and have instant video security whenever or wherever you want. But that's just the start of this amazing unit. It can also be used for fun and leisure with various forms of accessories. Just think about the amazing applications you can do with all of that!
Our MicroEyes DVR Cam is so small, you can hide it almost anywhere for covert video! You could stick it in a coffee mug, water bottle or coke can for walk around covert video. Since MicroEyes has motion activation, you could also Stick it inside things like flower pots, plants, clocks, desk accessories, lamps and lights - you name it. The possibilities are endless!
• Camera:<1 Lux low light rating, 55 Degree AOV
• 128 MB internal Flash Memory
• Micro SD Card slot up to 2GB
• 320X240 Resolution
• MPEG 4 Compression
• TV output port
• Continuous Recording 6 hours
• Recording on Motion Detection up to 24 hours on a single charge
• Rechargeable Li-Polymer Battery 3.7V DC 380mA
• USB Connector/Adaptor 5V DC, 2A
I need to set up surveillance that is undetectable by those being watched and able to view it from 100 miles?
Is there a site I can go to that would know of the equipment described above?
Use covert cameras such as a clock, smoke alarm or alarm sensor, this is easier than trying to conceal the camera in the first place.
The camera can be connected to a PC or a DVR that can connect to the Internet. You can then see the CCTV camera from any PC connected to the Internet anywhere in the world. You can even download recorded video or get e-mail alerts with picture when something moves. This is called remote CCTV.
For covert cameras, see http://www.securicorp.com/acatalog/CCTV_Security_Hidden_Covert_Spy_Cams_14.html
For watching the cameras from anywhere, see http://www.securicorp.com/acatalog/CCTV_Security_4ch_DVR_39.html
For a single camera that you can watch from any PC or some mobile phones.. see the Linksys Wireless cam at http://www.securicorp.com/acatalog/CCTV_Security_IP_Network_CCTV_Cameras_41.html
For a demo of wathching your camera from anywhere, see http://www.securicorp.com/remote-cctv-demo.html
How can i make my laptop a DVR for CCTV Purposes? (video Survellence)?
Ive got the camera and the reciever for the camera, but what else would i need to hook the reciever up to the laptop? It doesnt have any AVI slots? is there a AVI to USB converter?
you need a USB capture device that will convert your video output from the reciever to USB, in most cases the USB device would be supplied with software that can record but to turn it into a surveillance application you could use this IP surveillance / USB webcam CCTV recording software that also lets you watch the cameras from any PC anywhere in the world. You can try it for free at http://www.bikal.co.uk/network-surveillance/ip-software.html
See an example of a device that can covert your video to USB here http://www.ebuyer.com/product/8976
can i connect a phono out CCTV camera into a laptop/ digital recording device?
i would like to connect a camera like this - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/WIRELESS-CCTV-COLOUR-SPY-COVERT-CAMERA-4-SURVEILLANCE-/320535681396?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_CCTV&hash=item4aa16a5974
into either a computer or some form of digital storage device, perhaps even a psp or similar device?
i have several of these cameras and would like to have them record continuously, (or even motion activated if possible) while im away.
I use a multi-channel security DVR. The analog/composite (yellow RCA jack) connects to the video in of the security DVR. Some of these security DVRs are single channel... or 4 channel or 8 channel or 16 channel. Each channel can accept a single video input.
Using a computer client or the option menu selections on the security DVR, you can set motion detection areas and the sensitivity of the motion detection system. If you have a large enough hard drive (my small 4-channel systems use a 500 gig drive), there can be recording for over 30 days at a single frame each 5 seconds - but when motion is detected, the DVR switches to capturing live, real-time for up to 15 seconds after the motion is no longer detected.
If you want full motion all the time, then that reduces the amount of recording time on the hard drive. If you attach more than 1 camera, then there is less recording time. Many of the security DVRs can be assigned an IP address and connected to a computer network for remote video review...
You *could* install a security "quad splitter" capture card in a computer to do the same thing.
Where to locate a special webcam?
I am looking for a specific webcam. I have doubts as to how my nanny is treating my child, so I plan on doing a little covert spying to make sure she is honest.
The camera has to be small, can be hidden well, wireless, have night vision and connect to a computer not a TV
I have searched all over the internet and cant seem to find one. Can someone point me in the right direction?
That is a tall order for a camera. It will be almost impossible to get something exactly like that, but here is what you can do. You can get a wireless covert camera. You then take the receiver and connect the video to a webserver which then connects to the internet. You can view it that way. I would recommend getting a covert camera and mini DVR so the it will record everything and you can review it after you come back. Also if possible don't go with wireless they are subject to any kind of interferrance. Here is a link to Security Cameras Direct. They have all the items you will need to complete this task. They are about the lowest price I know.
Motion camera, how long will this ones battery last?
I'm going to buy this from Ebay. Does anyone here know how long it can record? and will the battery start draining the moment i switch the camera on or the moment it records a video of motion?
Does anybody know the battery life of this?
Since it charges while in the USB port, debatable to say the least, out of the USB, record time would run out before the battery died.
Remote camera systems?
Where can I find a camera system for my business that I can monitor from my at home computer? I have seen this kind of system before and I was just wondering how I would come across this and how much this may be.
If your business has a computer network - and it can access the internet, there are a couple of ways to go...
One way is to use analog cameras connected back to a surveillance multi-channel digital video recorder. The DVR is assigned an IP address like any other node (computer or printer) on the network. The DVR also has an internal hard drive to locally store the video captured by the cameras. You can access the video locally or remotely with a computer browser - though locally, you can also monitor the video using a TV with AV-inputs.
The other way is to use IP-based network cameras. Each camera is assigned an IP address and becomes part of the local network. Each camea has an embedded "web site" that allows secure connectivity for video monitoring. Video can be stored at a local file server and video retention becomes a "rule" on that server.
In either case, before you go down this path, you have some questions that need answering:
Is wireless video a requirement? While there are wireless cameras available, all cameras still need power. Is the camera location near power? Ironically, wireless cameras can use more wires than wired cameras.
Is night vision a requirement?
Will the camera be indoors or outdoors?
Is pan/tilt/zoom remote control required?
Do the cameras need to be "vandal proof"?
Will the cameras be obvious or do they need to be covert?
How many cameras?
Are stills every 4 seconds (or whatever settable interval) enough or is full-motion video required?
Will this be used to trigger an alarm?
Will an IT person be available to trouble-shoot/resolve network access issues?
A basic consumer-grade analog/digital system - that you install yourself - could be as simple as:
One 4-channel security DVR from Lorex or Swann. ~0 (may or may not include a hard drive - minimu 250 gig for ~20 days of video retention)
Four night-vision capable, 420 horizontal resolution lines, color, outdoor cameras ~0 each (Lorex, Swann, Q-See).
One 17-19 inch flat panel TV ~0 (for each monitoring position)
Cabling the cameras
Cabling the monitor
Connecting/cabling the DVR to the computer IP network.
This assumes you understand basic low-voltage wiring requirements, no additional power is required, cable runs are easy to do, and you know how to configure the secured computer network (router, DVR IP address setting) - including secure remote access, and other stuff...
What is your expectation during a power outage? If the surveillance system is to remain operational, then you need to get an appropriately sized UPS/battery backup to support the cameras, DVR and router (and network hub if one is used).
Fry's Electronics is a good source if you have a store in your area (or online, too).
Know a lot about Security Systems? Please read & tell me which you think is best for recording?
I basically need a "nanny cam" to record (motion activated) activity in my bedroom, when I'm not home. Things are getting stolen. It has to be not noticeable. I've been looking into it. Is it better (as far the recording of the action) to get a USB DVR (just plugs into PC), a portable DVR or a DVR PCI Card? I can't have one that plugs into my VCR for 1) I record shows while I'm @ work & 2), it would be noticeable if my VCR cut on when someone walked into the room. There are so many options. Is it better to get it separate or something that already has everything needed? I need a pinhole or covert camera that motion activated & can record on something other than my VCR. Color & audio would be a plus, but not necessary. I've reasearched till my head hurts, but I'm still no expert & want to make the right decision. Thanks!
I don't envy our predicament. I know the market is full of info and alot of it is biased crap.
In your situation, I would think this is a short term solution. The cheapest way is to hook a pinhole camera up to a VCR set to slow record. You could probably get up to 8 hours on a tape if it is set to slow speed (Typically this would be long enough to catch the a$$h0le.) Another inexpensive method would be a digital camcorder with an AV input.
As far as higher end solutions, I would not recommend a PC based system for anything ongoing. PC's, particularly those based in Billyware (AKA Windows) tend to crash. Mildly irritating when dealing with a word Doc but really irritating if it results in lost video footage. I would suggest sticking with an embedded Linux based unit. These look like a standard VCR except they have a harddrive.
You might also be able to find a company who rents surveillance systems out on a short term basis. If you were local I could help you out, but Tennessee is another story.
I have also written an article on video surveillance. It goes through some of the technical aspects of video surveillance and camera selection. It can be found on my website at http://www.keepsafesystems.ca
You might also consider just putting some bait out there. Put some money somewhere slightly obvious. Do this in the morning and check when you come back. If you have a child, make sure it is somewhere where the child cannot reach. If it is gone then find some reason to let the person go. Of course if you are dealing with more than one person this could be difficult
Discrete security equipment anyone help?
I was wondering does anyone know of any discrete equipment that can potentially detect if someone is at my door without it being obvious to the person. I live in a 4 block flat but someone keeps throwing unpleasant things at my front door.
I would probably put up two
one somewhat visible and larger... and therefore a distraction
and one (the one you really want to use), small, discrete and less noticeable.
There are various small cameras with small lenses, and even infra red LED's
so even in dark conditions no one will see the extra lighting provided - but the camera will..
There are ones you can put on fibre optic links /spy holes, but that is expensive and too much for this task.
one small black/hardly visible one will be enough.
The issue is how to keep it powered and the cable hidden away
(even using wireless, you need to keep it powered)
Maplins do various recording kits and large cameras
and you always replace them with smaller ones off ebay etc.
http://www.maplin.co.uk/search?criteria=cctv - CCTV
http://www.maplin.co.uk/cctv-and-security/complete-cctv-kits - kits
http://www.maplin.co.uk/500gb-4-ch-h.264-network-dvr-with-2-x-ccd-cameras--mobile-access-599989 eg recording kit
VERY small ones
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UK-Wireless-Tiny-Pinhole-Mini-CCTV-Colour-Security-Camera-Hidden-Spycam-SPY-Cam-/170850017310?pt=UK_CCTV&hash=item27c774601e#ht_2106wt_980 - with transmitter etc
There are also those small journey camera's for cyclists helmets/ cars dashboards
good ones record for several hours and in HD on a battery to a small memory card - now those would solve the battery problem, you would need 2 or 3, say one watching the approaches (so you would catch them approaching /leaving and their faces etc), and another to capture the damage - and it could be farther way/not noticeable as you have their detail from the other camera !
You would also need some clock / time record
Talk to the police, because although recording is not illegal, the use of it can be restricted. eg to be able to use it in court or for them to use it, may need specific features or authority (even if just that the police are aware of it).
which spy-cam/surveillance system do i need?
would some one please point me in the right direction to find the right spycam/survilance system? My problem is that i need it for a small office that has no tv to connect to the cam to. How can i record/view the footage i get? I am not very electronically smart, so i just need some help, pointers, & good info. for example, the spycams that are built into a wall clock or some other ordinary object, - how do you view/record what they capture? & if i get some sort of spycam can i view its footage about a 1/2mile away? or how does all that work? think e-bay would have what i need?thanx
It sounds like for your application you want a covert camera and a way to view or record it. I don't think an IP camera would be the way to go on this one. For starters it wouldn't be covert. Wireless will probably be out of the question at about 1/2 mile away. To many variables for interference. What I would suggest is getting a wall clock camera and have a micro DVR(Digital Video Recorder) installed in it. Most of the micro DVR record on a compact flash card or SD card. They will be easy to view on a computer or burn to a disc. I know a company that can do this for you. The company's name is Security Cameras Direct. Click on the link below and it will take you to their website. They have great customer service and the best prices I've seen. They can custom make you a spycam kit as well.
Help with buying a DVR and spy cam?
will this DVR work with this spy cam?
You should go with SC-NVA5 Wired Color CCTV Security Spy Camera with AC Adapter
AC Power Adapter Included Battery Power Adapter Included High sensitivity (0.5 Lux) Easily Build your own Security System
Connect the pinhole to any standard television or VCR with the RCA cable (cable not included)
Plug the AC-DC +8V 200mA Power Adapter into the power jack of the camera Adjust the lens of the camera to its best position
Dimensions: 0.875 oz. (Net Weight) 1.125 oz. (Gross Weight) 0.725 inches x 0.875 inches x 0.875 inches (W x L x H)
Retail Package Content: Color Camera Battery Power Adapter AC Power Adapter
My video camera uses a .MOD file, it's not compatible with Windows Movie Maker, HELP?
I have a panosonic SDR-S26 camera.
When I put my videos onto the computer, it is as a .mod file.
.MOD is not compatible with Windows Movie Maker (the software I want to use to edit my videos) when used in WMM it only plays audio.
I've tried several video convertors that claim to be compatible with .MOD, none of which have worked.
Does anyone know how to covert this file extension?
Does anyone have this camera?
Please help this camera was REAAAAAAALLY expensive and I can't even use it
You would not have this problem with better editing software. WMM does not support mod, moi, mpeg-4 and hd video. You will have to convert the video for WMM.
WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER
Files associated with Windows Movie Maker
Audio files: .aif, .aifc, .aiff .asf, .au, .mp2, .mp3, .mpa, .snd, .wav, and .wma
Picture files: .bmp, .dib, .emf, .gif, .jfif, .jpe, .jpeg, .jpg, .png, .tif, .tiff, and .wmf
Video files: .asf, .avi, .m1v, .mp2, .mp2v, .mpe, .mpeg, .mpg, .mpv2, .wm, and .wmv
you might have to convert your files using http://www.handbrake.fr/ or http://www.any-video-converter.com/download-avc-free.php this is a free video converter.
Vista WMM supports video files asf, avi, dvr-ms, m1v, mp2, mp2v, mpe, mpeg, mpg, mpv2, wm,and wmv
What are some good traps to set up for a bunch of thieves?
We've been having tons of theft problems around here, also lots of vandalism. It's getting worse- we have problems almost every night, and we have to put gas in the Blazer almost daily, even though it gets great gas mileage. They have stolen so much stuff, they've even came into the house while we were in it asleep. The gas tank flap on my old Jeep was open one day, and I got a chuckle since the stuff that was in that gas tank wasn't gas, anymore. It was stale gas, which is good for nothing. That meant they may as well have poured water into their tank. I expected to be able to find who it was after that, since whoever's car was running terribly just had to have been the one who took the nasty fuel. But that never happened. Some people (whether it's the same people or not, we don't know) always peek into the windows, and they take cigarette butts from Mom's ash tray. Their aunt called US criminals since we were *giving* the kids cigarettes. We're the ones getting robbed blind! Police around here suck like a Hoover vacuum. Some other people feed our cats to their dog, and there are those egregious people who can't stay out of my Jeep. I dread nights because, like I said, people come into our house while we're asleep. We can't do anything since they come through the windows with air conditioners, and they're like ninjas since they don't wake us up. Whenever the dogs bark at them and wake us up, we always go to the dog- in an empty room. I'm getting mad, and I hate not being able to sleep peacefully in my house. I want to make these people regret ever setting foot on this property. I want to scare them out of their wits. I want to capture them, so that they're hung up and unable to escape, so that we can do whatever we want to them before we kindly deliver them to police. I want them caught, and I don't really care how, so long as it's cheap, easy, and legal.
A good source of ideas are the Rogue Warrior series of "fiction" books written by Navy Seal, Richard Marcinco. I've applied his tactics to paintball and they work like a charm. He has tactics for covert operations and counter-covert operations. Great stuff.
You need to use photography liberally. Take pictures of them, their cars etc. You can even just leave them lying around the home for them to see. (It sort of shines a light on them and scares them.)
Be your own private investigator and dig up any info on them that you can find. If you find really juicy stuff you can use that as a threat that if they don't knock it off, you will expose them. So, you can't just expose it for no reason, otherwise you'll loose your leverage.
Standing rotating watches - meaning someone in the home is awake at all times. Two-hour stints overnight is pretty practical. Or set the alarm and get up randomly.
Sleep in either combat garb or at least black pajamas and rehearse with your family hitting the floors so that you can shoot free and clear. Also, know your house well in the dark and keep the lights off during combat as intruders are less likely to know your house.
Steak out your own property. You don't necessarily want to pounce if they just tresspass on your land - only if they intrude. If you don't have to betray your location, stay hidden and gather data as to how they're doing it. Who are their "eyes?" What vehicle? Where they're intruding & escaping to? They might even have a hiding place on your property such as your roof or attic.
Install a burglar system and give a differnt code to each family member. If a security breach occurs, some security companies offer code logging so that you can see which access codes were used at what times.
Install video cameras with infra red, and dummy cameras. And hide the DVR so they can't steal it.
Install montion activated lights and set the time to one-minute. Then, when you see the light on at night, you know that they are no more than one minute away.
Use sand fields or fishing line to track entry & exit points and direction of travel.
Use improvised noise makers such as flat black aluminum cans filled with pebbles, strung on fishing lines at choke points of travel.
To REALLY scare them, use old fashioned salt buckshot. (We had intruders and two rounds from semi-automatic firearms in the middle of the night got the word out to the entire neighborhood REAL quick.)
There are tons and tons of more tactics to research. But it's best to get the idea and you'll be able to invent the most ingenious alarms, traps & deterrents anyone could dream of.