Archive for the ‘ Other Security Articles’ Category



How To Benefit From An Auto-tracking PTZ

Written By:
Monday, June 4th, 2012

How To Benefit From An Auto-tracking PTZSurveillance cameras have been in use for decades to deter crime and to capture video evidence to be used in the prosecution of crimes. However, criminals are aware of surveillance cameras and continually attempt to circumvent them, by various means. Taking advantage of human behavior is one way criminals avoid being filmed in a criminal act. Security guards and even homeowners cannot be everywhere at once. Therefore, many surveillance systems are unattended, in other words, the cameras videotape without the benefit of human analysis. The crimes and actions of others are being recorded and preserved, but the acts in some cases are only detected after the fact. However, new technology has once again caught up with the demand. New technology shows us how to benefit from an auto-tracking PTZ. PTZ is an acronym used to describe cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom.

Auto tracking is simply a camera’s ability to detect and focus on a particular object. Typically, the camera will have firmware installed that can be programmed to eliminate unnecessary recordings. You as an operator can program the camera to focus on and track objects of a particular size and shape such as humans, cars or even animals. Subsequently, you can eliminate any object based on size or shape. This is ideal when you want surveillance of foot traffic in or out of a building that is situated along a street because, you can program the camera not to record vehicles driving by.

How to Benefit From an Auto-Tracking PTZ

Less real time, monitoring is required when utilizing an auto-tracking camera. You can be assured the camera is capturing everything in its view that is considered relevant to the surveillance operation. Endless hours of editing have been eliminated, thus reducing labor costs. The cameras can be manually operated, as well, if the situation becomes fluid and additional coverage is required. Human operators can take over if the focus of the surveillance changes abruptly. Once the situation is under control, the camera will automatically go back to its programmed surveillance parameters.

Auto-tracking cameras eliminate the need for multiple cameras. Typically, when positioning cameras, security specialists take into account the range and angle of each camera. The specialists realize that while one camera is panning in one direction a dead spot can be created if another camera is not positioned to cover that area. To cover a large area would require multiple cameras. One auto-tracking camera can take the place of multiple cameras, while still providing the same coverage.

Traditional PTZ cameras, while highly effective, do have several weak points. Criminals, in some cases, can trick a motion-activated camera by tossing a ball or waving a branch to move the camera to a different field of view. Although flush mounted PTZ cameras are hard to avoid it can be accomplished with some effort. Auto tracking cameras can be programmed to ignore, small objects placed in their view. In other words, the camera cannot be tricked in moving its lens view to follow a ball or branch. It will however, begin tracking a human sized object, and will automatically focus its lens for the sharpest view, when properly programmed. Once a target has been acquired and the object meets the programmed parameters the camera will record and follow that object. Once a target is locked on, the camera can be programmed to send an alert to the operator, as well. Multiple auto tracking cameras with an alert capability can be monitored very effectively by one operator.

Traditional PTZ cameras many times have an alert system that notifies the operator when movement is detected. Subsequently, this leads to false triggers because, the camera cannot be programmed to ignore certain objects, such as swaying branches or blown debris. An operator once alerted must then monitor the cameras for the intrusion. This forces the operator to search for the cause of the alarm, taking up valuable time. Auto tracking cameras with programmable firmware only alert the operator when an object meets the pre-established requirements.

Where to locate An Auto-Tracking PTZ

In addition to its other features, many auto-tracking cameras can be programmed to ignore certain areas in its field of view. This ensures that the surveillance operation does not inadvertently record certain activities. For example, homeowners and businesses alike need to be aware that recording certain people or actions may be in violation of privacy laws. The cameras can be pre-set to avoid certain areas such as a neighbor’s home or property. Homeowners can position cameras to track an individual or vehicle as it enters their property. The auto focus can also capture license plate numbers if the cameras are used to monitor access in and out of a gated community. Businesses can use the cameras to monitor choke points in and out of their facility as well as loading docks, and parking lots. Access to most industrial complexes is in two stages. The first stage is where employees enter in their vehicles to park, and then they may be required to enter a screening area on foot. Cameras can be positioned to detect anyone enter the parking lot on foot while ignoring the vehicle traffic.

Complexes with a higher degree of security may have what is called a sally port. A sally port allows access from one side while securing total access by another barrier typically a fence. Once entered from one-side vehicles and individuals can be screened for any anomalies, before complete access is granted. Programmable cameras can be positioned to screen for such things as more than one person or vehicle entering at the same time. Certain model cameras also allow the operator to program distance, speed of an object, shape, level of zoom and size of the object. These features allow an operator to identify anything out of the ordinary, very quickly, without having to monitor multiple cameras. Humans carrying backpacks and even objects in their hands can trigger an alarm.

Secure areas in some cases do not allow objects to be carried in or out of the facility. In the past, each individual entering or leaving would need to be inspected by a security guard. Once the human size and shape is programmed, a briefcase or duffle bag or any object that interrupts that shape will trigger an alarm. This greatly increases efficiency and enhances the facility’s security. One security guard can now monitor multiple points where in the past each area required its own.

Auto-tracking cameras can estimate the size and distance of any object, which can greatly benefit homeowners. Owners can program their cameras to ignore small objects such as pets and alert the owners to the movement of their children. Perimeter cameras can ignore animals that enter the camera’s view and only focus on individuals and even vehicles. Ranchers can keep track of livestock without getting false triggers caused by smaller animals, as well. Several camera models are standalone systems that can be left in place for extended periods. The camera systems can communicate using cellular service to send emails and status updates. The cameras can be programmed to cover 360 degrees or only cover pre-established viewing angles.

Law enforcement has used surveillance cameras since the early 1970′s. The cameras main purpose when first introduced was to deter crime in public areas. The cameras also recorded criminals in the act, which aided in their identification and subsequent prosecution. With today’s technology, law enforcement can now conduct surveillance operations on a wider scale, while reducing the number of personnel needed. Certain so-called smart cameras can also identify individuals based on the color of their clothes, body size and many systems can be used in conjunction with facial recognition software, as well. Several models of auto-tracking cameras can be programmed to identify individuals in a crowd, and once identified, the camera will focus on and track the subject. These types of cameras can identify individuals even if they have attempted to disguise themselves. Studies have concluded that a person’s gait or style of walking is unique to them. This allows the cameras to identify individuals even when facial recognition is not feasible or possible.

How to Benefit From an Auto-Tracking PTZ If You Are a School or Day Care Center

Cameras that can be programmed to identify and focus on objects based on size and shape, are ideal for any institution that cares for children. Camera systems can be positioned to identify adult sized humans when they enter the premises. In this type of environment, it is recommended that you employ multiple cameras. One camera would be used to identify larger persons as they move about and another to keep track of the children. The cameras can also be used to monitor play areas, in particular outdoors. The perimeter of any playground is particularly important and there should be cameras positioned and programmed to alert the staff of anyone in the area. Auto-tracking cameras can be programmed to provide the size of an individual and the distance away, to help law enforcement, in any future investigation.

Schools can employ auto-tracking cameras to alert the staff about anyone entering the grounds and to help determine their size and if they may have a backpack on or are carrying an object in their hands. The camera’s parameters must be carefully programmed to prevent false alarms however. The cameras can also be set to ignore certain areas to maintain privacy. Keep in mind that blocking certain views may leave the institution vulnerable if becomes common knowledge. Once again, the perimeter is important when positioning security cameras. The cameras can be placed inside the building and even in individual rooms. The cameras can be used to alert staff about children wandering the hallways or of persons in areas that would normally be unoccupied.

Auto-tracking cameras will enhance any security protocol. The cameras can be used at night, as well as, in rooms without any light source at all. The systems can be wireless, or hardwired, and the number of cameras is determined by the equipment and security needs. Auto-tracking cameras can be used to enhance a current camera system without upgrading monitors or digital video.

Do not hesitate to ask any questions and contact us.

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Varifocal Bullet Camera

Written By:
Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Security cameras are able to use two main types of lenses to focus on the parameters of their recording. It could be a fixed lens or a varifocal lens. The fixed lenses have a consistent and unchangeable length of focus, where the varifocal lenses have a length that can vary substantially. Some people have heard the varifocal lens referred to as a zoom lens, which is the purpose of the following information.

Beyond just the lens itself, you also have to consider what your lighting requirements are going to be. The iris is normally the brains behind the amount of light that is allowed to come through the lens and into the sensor chip. It could be a fixed, manual or automatic iris on the lens. This whole process controls how the iris is able to make the light flow, which controls how small or large the aperture is going to be. It is the equivalent of the pupil in the human eyeball. If you are in a low lighting situation, you will want the aperture to be wide open to help promote enough light in to be able to power up the sensor chip inside. However, in a bright lighting condition, the aperture is too minute to prevent ample lighting from flooding out the sensor chip.

If you are using the security camera inside with a consistent light source, a fixed iris lens will be able to serve the purpose you need it for. However, the actual viewing range may need to adjust the shot to tighten it up, which is where a varifocal camera can be the key to it all. Settings that have lighting conditions that vary will require an auto iris lens to help compensate for all of the differences in lighting levels. Lighting situations that remain constant for extended periods of time but change between dark and light can use a manual iris lens. These particular lenses are changed y hand to help provide you with the optimal lighting conditions.

A lens is developed using a combination of different varifocal and fixed parameters along with the help of a fixed, manual or automatic iris aperture. The vast majority of security cameras have a focal length of between 3.6 mm and 16 mm for a fixed lens, but a varifocal lens will have a length of greater than 70 mm. Shorter focal lengths will provide you with a larger viewing area; whereas, a longer length will provide you with a narrower field of view.

Varifocal cameras are extremely easy to use and versatile for all of your needs. There are multiple forms of varifocal cameras, just like there are a lot of different types of irises for the cameras. Some of these cameras are manual, which means that you are going to have to physically go out and change the length of the camera. Other types are automatic and they can be changed with a simple control that is connected with the digital video 650 tvl indoor-outdoor varifocal camerarecorder.

The key is determining whether or not you are going to need a varifocal camera or not. Cameras that are located at the end of a straight, long driveway are the perfect places for varifocal cameras. You can zoom in on the objects in the driveway, as well as those coming in and out of it and still keep everything in focus. On the other hand, consider a camera that is pointing in the direction of the doorway to help monitor movement around the door. You would not need to have a varifocal camera in place, but a fixed lens would serve the purpose just fine.

If you are searching for a digital security camera that will provide you with a tight shot, you might want to invest in a varifocal bullet camera. This particular type of camera is reasonably priced, yet it will still provide you with the high definition picture that you have been looking for. Unless you have purchased a camera that is vandal proof, you need to make sure that it is located out of sight. The nature of this type of camera makes it vulnerable to an attack from an intruder, so keeping them hidden out of view is critical.

Before you make any major purchases, you need to determine if a bullet camera is the right choice for your specific needs. Beyond just that, you need to decide if a varifocal bullet camera is going to handle your specific application. Understanding the camera lens and how it works will help provide you with the necessary knowledge to be able to make an intelligent decision when purchasing you camera.

To begin, let’s talk about the three different types of cameras. Based upon their shape, they are the dome, the box and the bullet type camera. Dome cameras tend to be used mainly inside or outside of the property. Typically, you will find them mounted to the wall or a ceiling. Their bubble design makes them less bulky than that of their box and bullet counterparts. The vandal proof dome cameras are constructed from steel with a Lexan sphere for the camera to be able to view everything in the room.

Box cameras tend to be the most popular of all the cameras on the market today. Unlike the bullet and dome cameras, the box camera is normally sold as a basic camera with no lenses, additional hardware and no weatherproofing to name a few of the features they are lacking. You will need to purchase all of the components that you need for your specific situation separately, which in the end helps to make these cameras very flexible in what they are able to do.

700tvl weatherproof varifocal IR bullet security cameraAs time goes by, the bullet cameras are becoming more and more popular. They come equipped with a variety of features right from the beginning that makes them versatile in nature. Normally, they come built with weatherproofing technology and nighttime infrared features to provide them with some of the best advantages around.

However, the varifocal bullet cameras come with their share of disadvantages. Due to the way they have to be mounted, it can be extremely difficult to make them resistant to vandalism. If this is not something that you are worried about, the bullet camera can be one of the best options for your new digital security system.

The responsibility of the camera lens lies within one main function. It is meant to gather the light that is reflected onto objects in the field of view. The sensor chips range of viewing is between ¼ to ½ inches. These lenses may be fixed or varifocal to avoid a lot of technical issues when it comes to the different types of lenses.

Fixed lenses have a specific viewing range, which may be broad or tight depending on what type of lens you are using. A lot of times the fixed lenses are not able to be replaced because they are a vital component in the way the bullet cameras work, hence the reason why they are referred to as board lenses. The only way you can change your viewing range is to use another type of lens with these cameras, if the bullet camera is compatible for that change to occur. However, since the vast majority of these cameras use board lenses, they are not able to be changed out.

One of the best solutions to a fixed lens is to use a varifocal one. While fixed lenses only offer one length, the varifocal cameras can provide you with a variety of focal lengths. The range can be as extensive as 3.8 mm all the way up to 100 mm. That is quite a large viewing range when it comes to one camera lens.

What exactly does all of this mean when you think about the range and length of the camera lens? Generally, the shorter the length of focus the wider shot you are going to receive. Essentially the 3.8 mm lens will produce the widest angle possible. When you think about the longer focal lengths, you will notice that their viewing angle is extremely small. Lenses with 100 mm focal lengths will produce the tightest camera shot available. Another way you could think about it is to imagine the varifocal bullet cameras as that of a zoom lens. The larger the maximum amount is on the lens, the higher the zoom capability will be.

If you take a bullet camera and add an adjustable lens onto it, you will be able to term it a varifocal bullet camera. This particular type of technology comes equipped with the infrared features built right into the camera. There is a lot of information when it comes to choosing the right camera for all of your needs, but we are here to help you along the way. Anytime you have questions that need answering we will we standing by to help you in any way possible. For your entire security camera needs let us be the ones to help make the decision that much easier for you.

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Cctv Home Security

Written By:
Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Cctv Home SecurityMany homeowners and businesses feel that not having a security system is akin to leaving their keys in a vehicle. Many believe it is an open invitation for criminals. The number of security cameras purchased over the past decade has dramatically increased. A Cctv home security system can deter crime and will provide evidence in the event of a break-in. In fact, many insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners that install a home security system. The next step is choosing a system and properly placing and setting up the system.

A closed circuit television system or CCTV system is a camera or a series of cameras that transmit a signal to a dedicated monitor or receiver. Typically, the system has the ability to record and store images, as well as, providing real time viewing. The number of cameras on the system depends on need and the system itself. Unlike television broadcast signals, a CCTV system is not open to public viewing; it is on a closed circuit. The cameras can be hardwired or wireless and you can use Internet protocol or IP cameras, as well. Generally, IP cameras are used when multiple individuals across a network need access to the images, or the number of cameras needed is significant.

You can have your system professionally installed, or as a homeowner do it yourself. For professional installation, contact a licensed and bonded security company. Many states require special licensing for security companies. You as a homeowner should perform your due diligence before choosing a company. The next step would be a security evaluation by a trained professional. Typically, the professional will be in the employ of the security company. The evaluation is conducted on site by one and possibly two specialists. The experts generally are not the ones that install the equipment, but provide a schematic for the installation technicians.

You should be present during the evaluation and do not be afraid to offer your input, after all, no one knows your property better than you do. Cctv home security systems like anything else have various models and price ranges. The experts will discuss camera options and pricing. The options and models needed depend in large part on the property size and your particular requirements. For example, you may have a security gate, gatehouse and outbuildings that require coverage. You may have small children and often have a babysitter come to the home. All these particulars must be discussed with the security expert. Keep in mind if you have wireless system installed, relocating any camera is simply a matter of unplugging it and moving it to the desired location. The camera, as long as it is within range of the receiver will transmit from anywhere on the property.

Options That You Can Consider

• Pan Tilt And Zoom
• Night Vision And Or Infrared
• Auto Tracking Motion Activated
• Record In Color
• Two Way Audio Or Simply Record Audio
• Hardwired
• Wireless
• IP

Cameras that pan tilt and zoom are popular because they provide the most coverage. By using these cameras, you can reduce the overall number needed. Panning is the horizontal movement and tilt is the vertical movement. Zooming is the camera’s ability to expand or shrink the coverage area. Auto tracking allows the camera to record and follow an object, while using zoom to keep the object within focus. You can control all camera options by using a control board and joystick, the digital video recorder or DVR or by using commands from your computer keyboard.

Any exterior cameras should have night vision technology. How well they record in low light is dependent on their lux rating. Lux is simply a measurement of light intensity and how well the human eye perceives it. A camera that can record in low light has a lower lux rate. The typical suburban street at night has a lux rate of 3.0 to 3.4. A dark night in a rural setting with just starlight and no moon has a 0.002 lux. Use these ratings to choose what camera would work best for your situation. Cameras being placed along the property’s perimeter would require a low lux. There would not be lighting from street lamps and any moon might possibly be blocked by trees for a portion of the night.

There are infrared or IR cameras that are available for use with a Cctv home security system. Infrared cameras can detect light that is invisible to the human eye. Objects to include humans and animals emit energy or heat that is detectable by the camera. The camera then converts the energy or radiation into a viewable thermal image. The IR cameras can record images in absolute darkness where the lux rating is near or at zero. Places where an IR camera would be used are a closed outbuilding without windows, or wooded areas where the overhead foliage blocks any moon or starlight.

Hardwired Or Wireless and What Are The Differences

Hardwired cameras need a dual cable that provides power and allows the camera to transmit its signal. Each camera needs its own cable and that cable must be connected to the receiver or DVR. This means in most cases, the cable will need to be fed through walls and even possibly buried under ground. Once mounted, relocating the cameras is more difficult. Exterior cables will need to be protected against tampering.

Large estates with security gates and gatehouses may benefit from hardwired systems. The cameras would be permanently mounted in specific locations. Cameras can be used at the gates to screen visitors. Having two-way audio capabilities allows someone in the house to communicate with guests or visitors, while viewing them in real time. The camera should be housed in such a manner to prevent tampering. Having a camera built into a brick pillar would be one way to ensure no one has access to the camera housing. Certain motion-activated cameras can detect when someone attempts to shroud the lens. An alert would be sounded indicating the lens has been covered. Cameras can also be located to monitor vehicle traffic before it arrives at the gate. Pan, tilt and zoom cameras would be ideal for this location.

Cameras can be pole mounted around the perimeter. The pole would contain the cables and then run underground using the proper conduit as protection. Pole mounted perimeter cameras should be all motion activated with pan, tilt and zoom. They should be able to record in low light and in some cases auto tracking cameras should be used. The cameras would be controlled from a monitoring room. Each camera can be operated independently by joysticks, the command panel on the DVR or by using a home computer. Wireless cameras can also be used. However, supplying each one with power along the perimeter can be problematic. In addition, the wireless signal is limited in range and over longer distances is more susceptible to interference. Hardwired cameras receive their power and transmit their signal through the audio video cable that is physically attached to the receiver.

A high quality wireless Cctv home security system can transmit up to 300 feet under ideal conditions. This range is more than adequate for most homes. One camera is typically located over the front door and one covers the backyard with one or more inside the home. One may act as a nanny cam. The camera monitoring the front door should be a dome-mounted camera with pan, tilt and zoom with night vision. The dome mount allows for 360 degrees of coverage and owners can control the tilt and zoom from inside the home to screen visitors. One camera should also be located to monitor vehicles or individuals walking up the driveway or sidewalk leading to the front door. Locate one camera so it is covering the backyard and it should be motion activated and have night vision capabilities. Ensure the backyard camera is located so it covers anyone jumping the fence or entering from an ally or wood line. In some cases, the backyard may require more than one camera. Position them at opposite corners of the house.

Each camera transmits a signal using radio frequencies. The signal is received by the wireless receiver. The receivers can have a built in monitor and DVR. The receiver can also be connected to a home computer. Typically, a video capture card is needed to use a computer to record and view real time camera images. The cameras can be connected to a control board and operated by a joystick. The control board can also be used in conjunction with your home computer. The camera functions would be controlled by keyboard commands.

The wireless systems use your home’s Wi-Fi technology. The receiver is normally compatible with most wireless routers and modems. Each camera must be configured and it is similar to how a wireless laptop computer is connected to a wireless modem or router. The system can be integrated with a home network. This allows anyone with access to your computer the ability to view the images and control the system. Your home computer can also be accessed from virtually anywhere, which would allow you to view images in real time. This is ideal for checking up on your child’s care, while with a babysitter, from your work computer or certain smart phones.

Keep in mind your home computer is the receiver, recorder and controls all camera options. The computer must be properly secured to prevent unauthorized access. IP cameras transmit their signal using Internet protocol. The signal is sent over a network usually a private or dedicated network. Individuals anywhere in the world that have access to the network can view any camera anywhere on the network. This system can be used for large estates that have a security team on location. Typically, the system has 16 or more cameras.

Large security operations would use an IP camera system to prevent individuals on location from tampering with the receiver or recorder. The security manager would be located off site while still monitoring all activities. The cameras usually would have two-way audio. The security manager could communicate with anyone within the camera’s range. The cameras would send all date to a centralized video recorder. This protects the data’s integrity and allows anyone with access to analyze it from archived recordings or in real time.

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Fake Security Cameras

Written By:
Monday, March 5th, 2012

Deception, as far as security is concerned, plays an important role. Militaries have been deceiving opposing armies for centuries. Pioneers making their way west would routinely place gun barrels out the sides of the Conestoga wagons. This gave the appearance of multiple armed pioneers, when in fact no one was behind the rifle barrels. Bands of marauders, not knowing for sure, would not attack for fear of losing the battle and their lives. Wooden cannons made to appear as if real would be placed on battlefields. The opposing army many times would hesitate, and make a graceful exit from the field of battle. Using fake security cameras employs the same principles of deception that has been used for years.

Creating Doubt

Simply giving a criminal a moment of hesitation can be enough to cause them to move on. The deception must be well staged however. Spotting a camera invokes a visceral reaction in criminals and others up to no good. People that have committed crimes, and ones thinking about it, many times suspect others may be aware of their transgressions. Many call it a guilty conscience. However, it is not guilt from doing wrong. It is fear of being caught. Criminals when they see a camera lens staring at them as they make their way to a window or back door will stop. They immediately wonder if they have been spotted. They also wonder if the camera is high quality enough to identify them in the dark. Most will make a quick exit from the property.

The Ideal Fake Security Camera Is Real Except For

High quality fake cameras are real cameras without the electronic components. The housing is real and the cables are in their proper places. Ideally, you want one that has a red recording light and motion activation. The camera will come equipped with a battery pack that operates the motion sensor and recording light. However, placing a motion activated fake camera in a high traffic area will quickly deplete the battery. For the most part, homes would not have this type of activity. Businesses employing decoys would need to consider this when placing the cameras.

Make It Look Real and People Will Assume It Is Real

Placement and having the correct camera in the right spot is important. The cameras located outside need to be obviously designated for outdoor use. Criminals paying attention might begin to wonder. Use dome cameras at the front door. Real dome cameras conceal where the lens is pointed. People expect to see this type of camera at entrances. They also provide 360 degrees of coverage, and are tamper proof. Cameras placed with no obvious target area will raise questions about their effectiveness. Also, ensure the camera lens is not pointed at the ground, the sides of the structure or pointed straight up.

Play Your Part Well and Others Will Play Theirs

You can call placing fake security cameras a process of elimination. Would be burglars that are serious about maintaining their freedom will make on the spot assessments. Simply by driving by a potential target, a burglar will eliminate that house as a target, if security measures are obvious. The potential payoff is calculated by assessing risk. Like any professional contractor, the cost of the job is estimated by the amount of effort that must be put forward. A plumber, for example, will lose profit if they misjudge the effort and materials needed. A criminal that does this loses their freedom. Your part as a homeowner is to ensure the cameras always have fully charged batteries to operate the motion sensors and lights. Use widow decals and yard signs to warn of video surveillance.

Many Crimes are Crimes of Opportunity

Fake cameras are not just for the exterior of the home or business. You may have simply assumed that an intruder will never see the inside of the home if they leave after spotting cameras around the exterior. As a homeowner, stop and calculate how many people beside family members have been inside your home over the course of days, weeks or even months.

The cable installer is all over the home, they are in the basement, attic and every room inside. They are not professional criminals however. The large screen television or the new laptop may be more appealing than their sense of right or wrong. They overhear a conversation and realize the home will be vacant at a certain time. They plan and they decide to supplement their wages. Then they spot the camera mounted high in the corner with blinking red lights. It is a motion activated one. You as a homeowner have just thwarted a crime.

This is a prime example of why the cameras must be installed as if real. The cable installer, an electrician or any contractor has more mechanical knowledge than the average person does. You may think well they can spot a fake. They can if the fake camera is not installed properly. Quality fake cameras have real cables attached and many even come with AC adapters for use with household current. Mount the cameras in logical places and plug them in if applicable. Make sure the cables are run into the wall if they need to be. Criminals are aware of wireless cameras so the fact that cables are not protruding everywhere does not raise any questions.

However, they may look for a receiver. Make a point to keep the office locked when workers are present, if they need access be there to keep them from looking to closely at things. Have a file cabinet and keep it locked even if it is empty. Locked doors and secured cabinets all maintain the illusion. Individuals see the cameras and then find doors and file drawers locked they soon put the pieces together. This is doing your part as a security conscience homeowner. They have no idea if the receiver is in there. Unless they have access to your computer, they cannot tell if it is the receiver either. This is not to say that professional contractors are dishonest. The truth is many break-ins are done by individuals that have been in the home before, in some cases, more than once.

By no means, is any statement meant to indicate, or give the impression cable installers or any professional contractor is dishonest. The statement is simply to illustrate how many people may have been in a home over a certain period.

You may be thinking that if all of this has to be done why not just go ahead and install real ones. The cost is the reason why. Budgetary constraints are a major factor. The steps you take to maintain the illusion cost you little in dollars. The payoff however, is well worth the effort. The material costs are just a small percentage when compared to having real cameras professionally installed and monitored.

To maintain the deception, it is wise to install the fake security cameras yourself. The local contractor unwittingly may tell their colleagues or partner. Security is about keeping secrets. For example, armored car drivers never use the same route twice in succession. Their manifest will never have an inventory of contents. It is all about maintaining a security profile. The unknown will make intruders move on to the next house.

Criminals Do Not Want To Work Hard So They Spend Time Looking For Easy Targets

Your home says a lot about you, how it is maintained, what the lawn looks like and so forth. Cameras tell intruders you are paying attention. Fake Security CamerasThieves look for people who appear unaware of their surroundings. Toys or tools strewn about the driveway and yard tell people you may not be paying attention. Lack of obvious security is an open invitation. You have heard the term keeping up appearances. It applies to your security profile, as well.

An expensive looking surveillance system loses some of its impact when someone sees a cheaply constructed hollow core front door. The lock is not effective and easily defeated. The home profile as a whole must indicate you are aware of things, and are pro-active when it comes to security.

You have worked hard for your possessions and your family’s safety is the number one priority. It requires some effort to install fake security cameras and you must apply all the window dressing to go along with it. However, by not doing so you have set yourself up for an intrusion. Do not install cameras in trees with no obvious means of power where leaves and branches block the lens. This tells everyone you have thought about security but have only put a half-hearted effort into it. Tinkering around the edges when it comes to security is obvious to criminals. The efforts send a signal you are not serious, and frankly may not have a clue.

Like a Good Lie Good Deception Mixes In the Truth

Professional bodyguards put tremendous effort into deception. They mix the real in with the fake. When driving their client to and from places they use several cars all the same make and model. No one knows which vehicle to target. Anyone with ill intent is confused, overwhelmed and the majority of the time will give up any attempt.

Unlike money, you can have too many cameras, in some instances. Large estates are expected to have cameras in specific locations. Cameras would be mounted at the gatehouse or covering an entrance gate. The cameras would be mounted to screen visitors or capture vehicle license plates. Anyone would expect a large number of cameras to be present. There would be several covering the perimeter, the backyard, pool area and driveway. The cameras even if fake will still give the correct impression. However, having a large number of expensive looking cameras located around a modest dwelling can send the wrong signal.

It is perfectly acceptable to mix fake security cameras in with real ones that capture and record images. Many homeowners want a real camera to be able to see who may be at the front door. However, they realize most burglars gain access from back doors, upstairs windows and so forth. Decoy cameras can be placed in among real ones to increase your home’s security. Once again, place them in logical locations. One must cover the backyard and any doors or windows where anyone could gain entry. Homes having security gates at the end of their driveway would want one there, as well. These are logical locations and no one would question their position.

Parents regardless of economics want a camera to be able to monitor their child’s care while with a babysitter. They have prioritized, and placed the camera where they foresee the highest risk. In this case, fake cameras can be used in other areas of the home for the babysitter’s benefit. The babysitter has in all likelihood, determined the nanny cam is real. Therefore, others mounted high in the corners of certain rooms will be real to them, as well. This goes back to keeping honest people honest. Let them know you are paying attention and aware.

Prevention is the motivation behind fake security cameras. Let people know up front you are watching. No one wants to take the chance of being recorded committing a criminal act or even a very dumb act. Workers in your home when you are away may decide to help themselves to leftovers in the refrigerator. Seeing cameras mounted will stop this type of activity. Nosy neighbors will not snoop while your back is turned. This brings up another point. Do not tell your friends and neighbors. Once you tell a secret, it of course, is no longer a secret.

Part of good deception is being mysterious about certain things. You must be closed mouthed about your security measures. When people are not sure they hesitate, and many times will not follow through with what they intended. You must maintain appearances to have the proper security profile that will protect your family and possessions.

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Outdoor Ir illuminator

Written By:
Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Light Up the Night with an Outdoor IR Illuminator

People who aren’t otherwise familiar with infrared technology might not have any idea what an outdoor IR illuminator is good for. It helps to have a good working knowledge of why infrared surveillance devices work they way they do. People who aren’t as knowledgeable about this area of surveillance might make a few mistakes when purchasing an outdoor IR illuminator device.

That’s nothing to be ashamed about. Infrared light is a very abstract concept. It is defined, essentially, as electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength longer than that of visible light but shorter than that of what conventional thinking would define as radio energy. Many individuals would think of infrared as heat, and this isn’t too far off. Most thermal radiation that objects near room temperature give off is essentially infrared energy. This sort of energy is exactly the type that IR CCTV camera systems are concerned with. For that matter, most of the sun’s light is infrared. At sea level when the sun is at its zenith, the sun’s energy is just around 1 kilowatt per square meter. 32 watts of this power is UV and 445 watts is visible sunlight. That leaves a whopping 527 watts of infrared radiation. This is precisely why it is often hazardous to use night vision equipment during the day.

At night, however, the infrared spectrum can be an excellent way to capture images or video when working with surveillance cameras. The human body, at a normal temperature, radiates wavelengths around 12 micrometers. This is bad news for anyone who is trying to commit a crime at a facility that is protected by infrared CCTV technology. However, this isn’t always enough to provide evidence. In some situations, the image might be seriously blurry. Depending on the ambient temperature outside, the surrounding energy emissions might be too dark or too bright to capture an adequate image. This is where an outdoor IR illuminator comes into play.

When working indoors, climate control systems usually keep the temperature within a healthy range. If not, buildings are naturally insulated. Even without extra insulation, a furnace or an air conditioner, indoor temperatures are a lot different than those outside. Exterior temperatures are extremely variable, and they’re also just as extremely difficult to predict. Think about weather forecasting, for instance. When was the last time that a forecast was entirely accurate? Most likely, it never has been. That’s largely because the climate is so difficult to predict. These minute changes and numerous variables are the reason that outdoor IR illuminator devices are installed as part of an IR setup. The outdoor IR illuminator can help to keep things within a more constant range, so that the images captured will be much better than usual.

Granted, that being said, there’s no reason that an outdoor IR illuminator couldn’t be used indoors if it’s designed for both climates. There are indoor situations in which the capture of infrared imagery is disappointing. The illuminator box might be thought of as a flash on a camera in this respect, since it helps the image to show up by providing an addition light source. However, unlike a flash bulb, it stays on constantly. To facilitate this, LED technology or some other solid-state lighting source is generally used. This also helps to keep the amount of electricity used down, considering that the lumens emitted for each watt of electricity is quite high from a solid-state source. The energy consumption can be as low as a few watts, and it seems to be usually around 6-18 watts. This shouldn’t be too much to handle for most businesses, and probably is much lower than most things currently plugged into the outlets of a facility that needs this type of surveillance. To give a bit of reference, many regular FM radio receivers are somewhere around 12-20 watts.

The technology in question isn’t like normal fluorescent, incandescent or halogen light bulbs. For that matter, the light emitted isn’t either, though most light sources give off a bit of incidental infrared energy, but it usually can’t be seen. That being said, people should never stare directly into an outdoor IR illuminator box. While infrared energy isn’t dangerous, it is still not advisable to expose the eyes to any excess radiation.

There might be some people who balk at the term radiation, but it is being used in the same sense that radio waves and visible light are radiation. The radiation from radioisotope materials, like atomic fuels, comprises ionizing radiation. This is something completely different than the place in the electromagnetic spectrum that these devices occupy. Infrared radiation is safe, and indeed, the human body gives it off. That’s how IR surveillance works in the first place. Keeping the safety guidelines about looking into the machine is a generally good idea, nevertheless.

Now, on the topic of infrared visibility, there are those that can see some forms of infrared energy. Under most conditions, people shouldn’t be able to see IR light. Moreover, using such technology shouldn’t ever interfere with normal day-to-day business practices. If one is using an outdoor IR illuminator that projects light at around 850 nM, then people might occasionally see a dull red glow if they stare directly at the box. No one should be doing this anyways, but it shouldn’t’ cause too much alarm. This device is still functioning normally, and it simply emits a bit of energy that is somewhere around the bottom of the visible spectrum for the human eye. Once again, though, anyone staring into these boxes should stop. It is not acceptable procedure to continue to look into one, even though the energy isn’t coherent for a very large distance around it.

Sometimes, there are applications that require complete invisibility. For those types of situations, a 940 nM outdoor IR illuminator should be sufficient to prevent anyone from seeing the same type of glow. This is ideal for applications where there is a serious concern that criminals could actually be able to tell that an illumination unit was being used. Not being able to see the outdoor IR illuminator means that they might be more inconspicuous to the fact that one’s video cameras are working so well.

Speaking of the outdoors, it is probably for the best that outdoor applications are weatherproofed. While these devices are extremely rugged, that doesn’t mean that they can simply be covered in rain and expected to work. Many of the devices are weatherproofed at the factory, and prospective buyers should make sure that they are before making a purchase. However, the device itself isn’t the only thing that needs to be weatherproofed.

Most of these illuminators use AC adapters, or some other power cord, to receive power. If this is compromised, the unit can die. When an outdoor IR illuminator is mounted, it’s generally done on a wall or under the eaves of a building. A hole should be drilled for the power cord, and it can usually be installed in such a way where the cord isn’t even seen. When it’s not seen, it’s not exposed to the elements. Hiding the cord in this way might also score some aesthetic points with designers. Few people want to see a black piece of plastic sitting around in the eaves of a building. It can also be seen as more secure, since some sophisticated criminals might try to go after the surveillance equipment when they’re trying to find a site. Any cord that was present could easily be cut, and this could severely compromise an infrared monitoring site that relied on the device to bring it up to speed.

Take a look at the case that the system comes equipped with. Plastic case that are included with some models makes them suitable only for indoor applications or protected uses outside, but there are more seriously robust options available for those who need them in rough climates. Remember to shield plastic cases from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light. It is perhaps ironic that light from the sun can damage something that’s supposed to be providing a type of light when the sun isn’t out and shining.

When mounting an outdoor IR illuminator unit, one should be sure to take a look at the weight. A very heavy unit that’s suspended from a ceiling or rooftop might eventually break free of its moorings. However, it really is quite fortunate that modern solid-state technology makes these devices so light. Nevertheless, the size and weight should be checked beforehand to ensure that disappointment doesn’t set in later on.

Beam spread is a bit of a more esoteric metric to judge different outdoor IR illuminator devices by, but it might be familiar to those that have worked with surveillance cameras previously. An arc defines the area around the unit that is covered by the infrared light it provides. This might sound a bit difficult to understand at first, but it really isn’t that hard. If one held up a light bulb, there would be a sphere of light that surrounded it. What’s being measured is essentially the area that this ball makes up.

If that’s still confusing, the effective illumination range should be a lot more concrete. This simply refers to how far one needs to go before they can no longer be painted with infrared light from the device. The larger this number, the more effective the device is at long ranges. Naturally, there are many variables the influence the actual range beyond simple manufacturer specifications. Weather conditions and such are one of the more understandable facets of this equation though. On a clear night, with proper mounting, the specified range should be a good guideline nevertheless. For those who are truly concerned, they might want to take a measurement of various distances around the point that they install the outdoor IR illuminator at. Points could be temporarily marked on the ground to show where the effective range of the camera starts to peter out. Granted, these marks shouldn’t be permanent, since that would give extra information to would-be criminals.

It is important to remember that illumination at the fringe isn’t as strong as the bright illumination that comes to objects that are directly in view of the device. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem however. Any suspicious activity would probably start in the fringe area, but more than likely move towards the area under direct surveillance. If a parking lot is being watched, for instance, it’s probably most important to capture video of the area closest to the building that the parking lot serves.

Of course, an outdoor IR illuminator’s effective range is only ever as good as the effective range of the infrared camera that it’s paired with. Anyone who is seriously concerned about range should probably look to the camera before the outdoor IR illuminator box. After the camera is fully checked out, then they can progress to the illuminator. However, people should probably shop for a camera with a good range in the first place while keeping the tradeoffs in sharpness and image quality in mind. Different types of security cameras are going to have different properties to begin with. It probably sounds very silly to say that potential consumers need to do research to ensure that their equipment choices are going to work together, but it really is true. It would be most unfortunate to buy an outdoor IR illuminator, and then find out that one has been working with a camera designed to capture visible light the entire time.

Infrared surveillance can work in scenarios that involve monitoring an area in almost total darkness, and in fact, well-designed systems can work without any visible light. This has made them quite popular for those hard to reach places, so to speak. With the appropriate application of an outdoor IR illuminator, these cameras can become even more useful. While there might be a few bugs to work out at first, once everything’s set, LED technology should ensure that the system is maintenance free for years to come.

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