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Posted: 2/4/2006 3:16:17 PM EDT
I've got an area in front of my house that is about 30'X40' and sits about 20' from the garage. I need to mount a camera that will get a picture of a yard vandal. I've Googled but don't like what I'm seeing. This unit could be mounted on the eve of the house or even behind a garage window.

Those trail cameras are out because the vandal could destroy it too easily. All I need is a picture....low light and there are electrical outlets nearby. Anybody know what I'm looking for and where to get it?
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 3:18:44 PM EDT
http://www.smarthome.com/prodindex.asp?catid=202

better quality than the cheap X10 stuff.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 3:20:16 PM EDT
Don't want cheap stuff. I've got to protect something that is irreplaceable.
Link Posted: 2/4/2006 4:13:13 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:51:05 AM EDT
That bullet camera that sees 100' in total darkness is perfect. My problem is how to make it motion activated? I don't need 24 hour surveillance, just a picture when something enters the area. I don't want to have to reset, rewind tape or any of that crap everyday.

I need advice from a paranoid electronics geek.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 9:39:44 AM EDT
What you need is a trigger.... some way to set off the camera to start recording that would catch the person you're after not the neighbors dog, your kids, or whatever else happens to around. Think about what you're protecting, what the vandal would do, and see if you can come up witha trigger...then we can help w/the electronics...
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 9:47:21 AM EDT
I don't know the name of it, but there are computer programs that you can draw the area of where you want it to be motion-activated - so it would look on your computer like a red box around the area. Then, unless something goes inside that area, the camera will not record.

Basically, you will need to find a computer program that will do it. The camera is just the seeing eye, and the software is what will do the rest.

I know they arent that expensive. A guy used to have one aimed at his motorcycle and it would tape the cat that used to jump up on it.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:41:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By logic2:
What you need is a trigger.... some way to set off the camera to start recording that would catch the person you're after not the neighbors dog, your kids, or whatever else happens to around. Think about what you're protecting, what the vandal would do, and see if you can come up witha trigger...then we can help w/the electronics...



Most of the time-lapse video recorders that SuperCircuits and other companies sell can be turned on and off with an external set of switch contacts. Most security system passive infared (PIR) motion sensors have a suitable set of switch contacts. Ideally, you'd like your chosen PIR sensor to be weatherproof, and have roughly the same maximum range as your camera.

BTW, most video cameras will work in darkness, if you pair them up with an IR light source (another item that is sold by companies like SuperCircuits). The IR light is only visible on the camera, so the illuminated area still appears to be in complete darkness to intruders.

10mmFan, I might suggest that you send an e-mail description of your requirements to the sales department at SuperCircuits (or any other company that offers simiilar products), and let them suggest appropriate hardware. I'd bet that they field similar inquiries every day, and should have extensive experience with what does and doesn't work.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 12:51:21 PM EDT
What is your budget for this project? That will determine what kind of equipment you will get.

Link Posted: 2/5/2006 1:20:16 PM EDT
Thanks Ski, I'll do that. The budget is whatever it takes....within reason. I am protecting a 1,500 sq. feet putting green that cost $8,500 to build. It will be a target for vandals but only at night.

A bent grass green in this area is unrepairable during the summer. So protecting it is a priority. We have looked at a number of ways to keep a car off of it but it is not worth the aesthetic sacrifice and would make upkeep impossible. If the word spreads or if I catch just one vandal I doubt it will ever happen again.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 3:10:30 PM EDT
Multi camera commercial grade video surveillance runs approx $1000 per camer


installed including the recording equipment. If this is a business, it is tax deductable as an expense.

For home use, you can do about the same for about 1/6th the amount using a computer, a high grade camera, video input card, and motion detecting software (if you already have a computer).

Don't cheap out on the lense, otherwise you won't be able to ID the perp.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 5:42:38 PM EDT
It's for home. I think I've seen enough good stuff here that I can show it to the people that did my home theater, audio wiring and all that and get the surveillance I need. Punks can't pass up something that is really nice. I can't legally protect it the way I would like to so I've got to catch the first shitwad that vandalizes it.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 6:03:00 PM EDT
This unit has an output to activate a relay that could turn on your camera :

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=6970&productId=534844&R=534844#productinfo

rj
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 6:27:40 PM EDT
Thanks rjay, you any kin to Rayjay?. That little unit will complete the system PLUS it might serve as a deterrent. If I could just keep the little bastards away from it I would be happy.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 6:29:37 PM EDT
tag
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 6:38:01 PM EDT
I install and maintain CCTV equipment for a living. Camera-wise go with anything that gets the view you want in the light conditions desirable. Motion detection can be achieved in several ways. The way we do it now is at the end device (DVR), where I set up a zone for each camera based on the image it sees. this way I can set it to record continuous during working hours, and then only record motion "Events" after hours to save HD space. These "events" can easily be searched post-violation. Do you only want one camera? or do you want to go ahead and monitor all key areas on your property? This will affect what solution you choose and how much it costs. Set top DVRs have gone way down in price lately, but you are still looking at around $1000. Using an existing PC that you can leave on 24/7 will reduce cost signifficantly.

Do not get a gimmick camera like the "X10" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
IM me if you want some more speciffic and free advice.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 6:38:06 PM EDT
Dlink Internet cameras

Axis Internet Camers (better quality, higher price)
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 7:53:00 PM EDT
Stove_Pipe - the area I need to cover is 1,300 sq. feet and is 20' from the corner of my garage. It is surrounded by a circular driveway. A vandal will pull off the street and drive through it or maybe worse. One camera should cover it. I just have to be sure the vandals can't destroy the recording device. Also, anything that serves as a deterrent will be a big plus.
Link Posted: 2/5/2006 8:05:05 PM EDT
So, uh... Do you just plan on watching them on tape after they fuck up your grass? How are you expecting to either identify the subjects, or be alerted to their presence? Then, avoid false alarms if you intend to go with a motion activated audio alarm?

I'd go DVR card connected to a computer. I'd use fixed bullet cameras on specific areas. I don't know your property, but if you know of a place someone will go through your yard, I'd focus a narrow view camera on that so you can get a facial shot.

Do you believe the subjects will arrive by car? If so, I'd have a camera placed to get a decent description of the vehicle.

I'd make it very obvious that you have video surveillance equipment. That should deter most people, expecially simply vandal based crimes.

Motion detector lights can be used, but many cameras will white out if too much light is used.

-Steve
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 7:03:07 AM EDT
Steven - No, I absolutely don't want to monitor my front yard 24 hours a day. The area that needs to be covered is no more than 10'x10' and about 25' long. All I need is a fairly good picture of the car, tag number would, of course, be a big plus. As I said before, deterrence is preferred. Repairing the type of damage yard vandals will do will be next to impossible because of the short growing season for bent grass in this part of the country.

These punks always hit at night. If I can stop it, great. If not the guys that do it will serve to remind others not to even try. Of course, catching them in the act would be my first choice but that will be almost impossible as these things are hit and run. I'd have to be sitting on my roof with my .50BMG ready to fire.....now that would be fun!
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 9:24:10 AM EDT
So I understand they are driving a vehicle onto your property? In addition to cameras I would add a type of low visibility barrier system like stinger strips or borads with nails sticking out. You want at least two cameras, one wide shot and another that you can have a little tighter in the area you think you can get a vehicle ID from.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 9:32:54 AM EDT
Also search the Survival forum, TONS of good info on home defense in there
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 10:33:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Stormtrooper:
I don't know the name of it, but there are computer programs that you can draw the area of where you want it to be motion-activated




Take a look at Gotcha!



I know they arent that expensive. A guy used to have one aimed at his motorcycle and it would tape the cat that used to jump up on it.



I have a buddy whose motorcycle was getting vandalized in back of his apartment building at night, so we set up a camera and loaded Gotcha! on his PC. The next time someone slashed his seat we checked the pics and it turned out to be the old lady who lived above him. You should've seen the look on her face when this big, ugly and very angry biker cornered this little old lady in the hallway with a printed still of her fucking with his bike. She had to change her Depends on that one.
Link Posted: 2/6/2006 3:48:46 PM EDT
Nobody has driven on it yet because it won't be seeded until late March. It will be a magnet for destructive scum bags when it looks like a green carpet. One camera mounted on the corner of my garage will cover the area easily. Many of the cameras you guys linked to will take great pictures with very little ambient light.

It doesn't need to be active during the day.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:36:50 PM EDT
A good rule of thumb from the biz, if you have one camera covering an area, it will never be looking where you want it to be when you need it.
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