Archive for the ‘ Spy and Surveillance’ Category



Portable Surveillance Camera

Written By:
Friday, October 14th, 2011

Portable Surveillance cameras are becoming more and more popular these days especially with technology advances yielding smaller and smaller cameras. Generally but not always, the smaller the camera device the easier it is to hide or disguise and the smaller it is the easier it is to make it portable.

Portable Surveillance camera systems differ from standard counterparts simply because they are portable. A typical digital surveillance camera is not portable, in fact it is usually securely mounted to some surface with screws.

However, if a system is portable, what does that mean for the “system.” It means that the camera and the DVR must be in the same “unit” in order to be entirely portable. In addition batteries or some sort of portable power pack are also required for a portable surveillance camera.

Portable surveillance cameras have many applications. “Helmet cams” are one such application that enables “hands free” portable video recording because the unit is attached to a helmet that is worn by the user. Some examples of helmet cam use include skydiving, the aerospace industry, medicine, mining, and down-hill skiing.

Another type of portable surveillance camera is often referred to as a “bumper cam.” Although the camera is usually not attached directly to the bumper, an on board high speed digital color video camera system is normally attached on a vehicle with the camera’s target area being somewhere behind or at the rear of the vehicle. This type of camera set up is often used to aid the driver when backing up or for monitoring the “rear view” when abnormally large payloads make this difficult using just mirrors.

Perhaps one of the most frequently used overt applications of a portable surveillance camera is in surveillance and security of mass transit vehicles.  School buses are now being equipped with on board high speed digital color video camera systems to monitor the students’ as well as the drivers’ activities.  The mere presence of a portable surveillance camera unit in school buses has drastically reduced the number of disorderly conduct cases among transporting students.  When incidences do arise, the system can provided a recorded audio/video account providing protection to both students and drivers.

Subways and mass transit buses are employing on board systems not only to provide security/surveillance but to deter and prevent false injury claims. Mass transit vehicles equipped with portable surveillance cameras systems have shown drastically reduced crime rates. In addition, these systems can provide monitoring of passengers in the event of an accident, helping to keep false injury claims at a minimum and insurance rates low.

Yet another popular application of portable surveillance cameras is legal work for police. FBI, DEA, etc.. In addition, police departments across the world are instituting the use of on portable surveillance cameras to provide evidence and monitor activity of potential law breakers. Highway pursuits, disorderly conduct cases during police stops, and an array of other activities are recorded and may be used as evidence if necessary. They also can protect officers from false claims of inappropriate behavior.

Portable surveillance cameras consist of a small, compact color digital camera, a self contained power supply if necessary, and a high speed video processor and recorder. Most systems also include a small liquid crystal display or LCD monitor.  Many on board systems record video to compact flash cards or other types of “flash” memory so that vibration that could interfere with hard drive use has no effect on recording.

There are several additional features available today for portable surveillance cameras. Systems can be purchased that include an optional Global Positioning System or GPS module. These systems can record the coordinates as well as the speed of a vehicle and display it on-screen superimposed over the video captured by the system’s camera.

Timer kits are also available. They are useful for racing applications where lap times, equipment changes, and over all race timing are required. This can be an invaluable tool for any race team.

As you can see there are a wide variety of applications for on board high speed digital color video camera systems and there is also a wide variety of accessories and features that are available to enhance their productivity. Speak with one of our digital security experts to determine which system and features are right for your application by contacting them via on-line Live Chat or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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Surveillance Camera Microphones

Written By:
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Capturing video footage with your digital video camera system is great, but there may be times when audio is also needed.  In this case you will more than likely want to have some good surveillance camera microphones.

Many of Security Camera King’s digital video security cameras come with an on-board surveillance camera microphone to record audio.  Some of the more frequent applications of audio are using the camera at entrances and exits as a door guard, gate keeper, or other special applications.

Two-way audio using the Internet or a network allows you to hear what is being said or done and react by being able to talk back where the subjects can hear you through the camera’s on-board speaker.

Not all units have surveillance camera microphones for this purpose.  However, Security Camera King does sell powered microphones specifically for this purpose.  Our product# MIC is rugged yet produces studio quality sound and the microphone can be mounted almost anywhere. It has both the power plug receptacle and the BNC plug-in for the audio cable.  The microphone is sturdy and small so as not to be obtrusive when it is installed along with a digital video camera.

WARNING:  There are state laws concerning the recording of conversations without all those participating in the conversation being aware of the recording.  Check with your own state laws to make sure you are complying with state, federal, and/or local laws if you are covertly recording conversations and video images as well.  Oddly enough, there doesn’t seem to be too many restrictions on video capture, but there are plenty that deal with audio recording.

For many states where a surveillance camera microphone (with audio) is used, a simple notice or sign posted in the area of the camera is sufficient enough. (For example, “These premises are protected by digital video cameras with audio.  Both video and audio is being recorded.)   Other states may have more elaborate requirements to be compliant.

Quite often you may wish to have a security camera audio hookup on one particular camera in your system:  A baby monitor.  Having audio for a baby monitor increases the ability to keep a safe watch on a child.  It can alert you immediately if anything is wrong.

External microphones like product# MIC above are normally connected to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR by two wires with a BNC connector on the end.   The standard power plug accepts from 6 to 12 VDC.  Again, check the specifications of your camera as the camera may already have an on-board microphone/speaker.

Sometimes it’s more advantageous to have a separate surveillance camera microphone even if one comes on-board with the camera.   Chances are that if you are covertly recording video, you won’t want the camera mounted somewhere that will make it easily seen.  The same situation for the microphone applies, however the camera may be mounted in such a remote or unusual place that you will want a separate surveillance camera microphone mounted closer to the origination of the sound.  This could mean that the camera could be in one wall of the room and the microphone is installed somewhere quite distant from the camera such as the opposing wall or on the ceiling.

If you are installing a new system or replacing an older DVR with a newer DVR and it is one of Security Camera King’s featured DVRs the DVR will be able to accept audio input and audio output.  Even our entry level 4 Channel Elite-Mini Economy DVR has to Audio In ports and one Audio Out.  However, other DVRS may not include the ability to support audio so it is best to check the specifications sheet for that DVR before purchasing.

If you have any additional questions concerning surveillance camera microphone or security cameras or DVRs with audio, please contact any one of our security experts either via on-line “Live Chat” or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6 PM EST.

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Internet Surveillance Cameras

Written By:
Thursday, September 15th, 2011

internet surveillance cameras Do you fear what is happening in your home when you are not there? For these homeowners, Internet security cameras offer much security. They are easy to install and offer great security. There are many options on the market today. New options are being developed each day. However, understanding the basics will allow you to make an informed decision on what is right for your home. Homeowners interested in installing an Internet security camera often become confused about the specifics that they need to look for. It really becomes an individual choice once the homeowner understands the basics.

Important Points to Remember When Purchasing an Internet Security Camera

Each Internet security camera system requires a network video recorder. This recorder acts as the brains of the Internet security camera system. It controls the configuration, it allows the user to playback the photos, it allows the user to expert the data for other users and it allows the Internet security cameras to connect with other Internet devices depending on the user’s direction.

Internet security cameras are a great asset in a home security system. It is, however, only as good as the monitoring that accompanies the system. Unless you are prepared to look at the feed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it may be wise to also hire a monitoring company. The monitoring company can alert emergency personnel when needed to your address.

Internet security cameras are either analog or PTZ. Users need to decide which is right for their individual circumstances. The main advantage of an analog camera is the cost. The main advantage of the PTZ system is that it can zoon in on user demand to get better photos. Whichever system is chosen, make sure that the camera will capture a 360 degree view and has the ability to track the main subject in a scene.

Look for an Internet security camera that will allow the user to install a large SD card. While the main recording is done in the network video recorder, the SD card can be an important back up system. The more memory the SD card has the more information that can be captured on it. If there is an interruption in the network, then the SD card will still capture the information should something occur. It is also important to also consider the amount of bandwidth the system will use and the cost of that bandwidth.

It is important to consider the power source when purchasing a camera. Internet security cameras require electricity. Think about this before you buy the camera as it may determine the type of camera that you ultimately purchase.
It is also important to consider the best color of camera to purchase. No one wants an ugly Internet security camera or cables. Both are available in a multitude of colors. Buying the right color will also help the camera and cables blend into the background.

Types of Internet Security Cameras

Internet security cameras come in several basic types. Each types has its own advantages and disadvantages.internet surveillance cameras
The first type of Internet security cameras are box cameras. These are the most popular option. They are used in many businesses and in some homes. They are usually rather large and may deter some crime by their mere presence. When purchasing a box Internet security camera it is very important to consider what type of lens is right in each circumstance. These cameras work best in circumstances where there is enough available light to take the photo. The box camera can be equipped with infrared lenses to take lights in low light circumstances. The box camera can also be installed in special housing to make it waterproof. Remember whatever type of box camera you choose that you install it so that it will cover the majority of the room. These cameras only take photos in one direction. It is important to keep this in mind when installing the camera and figuring out how to power the camera.

The second type of Internet security cameras are dome cameras. These cameras are more attractive to some homeowners because it is hard to tell exactly where the dome camera is taking the photos. These cameras are easy to install and waterproof dome cameras are available. Look for a dome camera with interchangeable lenses so that the homeowner can be assured of having the right lens should circumstances change. Like the box camera, these cameras are only capable of shooting in one direction. Expect to cover only about 25 percent of a room with a dome camera.

The third type of Internet security camera is the PTZ camera. These cameras are among the most flexible on the market today. PTZ cameras work best when mounted in open situations since PTZ cameras take 360 degree photos with a fisheye lens. These cameras take their name from the fact that they can be remotely panned, tilted and zoomed. This is a distinct advantage in monitored security systems where someone is actively watching the system all the time. These are the newest Internet security cameras and the quality continues to increase.

The fourth type of Internet security camera is the bullet camera. These cameras come in two different sizes. They are usually the least expensive option on the market. The homeowner gives up a clear photo in exchange for the cheaper price. These cameras are usually waterproof so they make a great option for outside use without modification. Most bullet cameras do not have interchangeable lenses so it is important to know where you are going to place the bullet camera before you buy it, so that you can buy a camera with the right focal length lens. It is nearly impossible to find support for these cameras. These cameras can only shoot in one direction, so make sure that you install the bullet camera in exactly the right place.

The fifth type of Internet security camera is the spy cameras. Basically, spy cameras rely on analog. It is possible to buy an Internet security camera that is hidden in a clock, pen or almost any other device. Make sure to check out the individual device as many manufacturers are trying to get too much technology into too small a package. The result is unclear photos or problems connecting to the Internet. Make sure to know the local laws where you intend to use these devices. Spy cameras can be hidden in clocks, pens and almost anything else. These cameras only take photos in one direction so strategic placement of the spy camera is mandatory. Look for a camera that will not make any noise and will work with the available light. These cameras are great for people who may need to move the camera around depending on different circumstances in the home. Most spy cameras are small enough to be carried with you on business trips or when someone else is using your car.

internet surveillance camerasBuying an Internet Security Camera by the Number

Regardless of the type of camera that one is considering purchasing, there are three factors that need to ultimately be considered.
The first of these considerations is the frame rate. It is often known as the FPS rate. This is the frames per second that the camera can be operated at. The top FPS is 30. The lower the FPS is the less fluid the pictures coming from the camera will be. A lower FPS will result in photos that are intermittent. If more than one camera is connected to the same network, the FPS for the entire system must be considered.

The second number that needs to be considered is the television line. This number is especially vital for analog cameras. The higher the number, the better the picture will be. The top television line number is 700. Look for numbers close to 700 to make sure to get crisp, clear photos.

The third number that needs to be considered is the megapixel number. Security cameras should have at least a 5 megapixel. Generally, the higher the megapixel, the lower the FPS number will be. It is a trade-off that must be carefully considered. Higher megapixels will allow the authorities to enlarge a single frame, while authorities can also learn much from watching the mannerisms in a moving film. Researchers are working at finding solutions that will allow cameras to have both higher megapixels and higher FPS.

Taking time to investigate all the options on the market is important before you buy. First, consider what you want the camera to accomplish. Consider how you will power the camera and associated equipment. Then, consider how the camera will blend into your existing décor. The next step is to consider the type of security camera that is right for your budget and your circumstances. Finally, look at the numbers. Consider the FPS, the television line and the megapixels. Understanding the basics will help you make the right decision to begin with. Each circumstance is different and there is no one right answer for everyone. Now that you are armed with the right information making an informed decision is easy. Visit Security Camera King’s inventory today to find the right Internet security camera for you.

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Mini CCTV Camera

Written By:
Thursday, September 15th, 2011

What is a mini CCTV camera?  Arbitrarily we can say that a mini CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision) camera is any camera that is smaller than the majority of CCTV cameras sold as “Standard” sized cameras.  But generally, when the term “mini CCTV camera” is used, reference is made to the small cameras normally used for covert recording.

Thanks to modern technology, anyone can own a mini CCTV camera.  Just a few years ago, these cameras were so expensive they were cost prohibitive for the individual to own, if they were even available at all.  Today, not only are they affordable but they come in a wide range of types, each designed to satisfy a specific purpose.

To understand how this is possible, let’s take a look at the technology behind a typical contemporary digital video camera.  Most of today’s video security systems consist of three basic components:  Camera(s); Digital Video Recorders or DVRs; and Monitors.

Here is how an average digital video security system works.  The camera captures the video image and sends it to the DVR where the data is saved as a digital video file.  Actually, this file can be viewed live on the monitor and/or saved on the DVR for later viewing or archiving.

The key behind the mini CCTV camera lies in how the camera captures the video images.  Digital video cameras use an integrated circuit sensor chip to transfer light energy into electrical energy.  There is usually one of two sensor chips used; either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

These sensor chips come in a range of sizes with the larger sizes usually producing a larger higher quality video picture.  Most miniature wireless security cameras use a 1/4 or 1/3 inch CCD or CMOS chip, so the camera can be incredibly small.  Of course, another contributor to their small size is the incredibly small, integrated circuits that prepare the video data and send it via an on-board transmitter (wireless) or via a video transmission cable such as RG59.

These 1/4 or 1/3 inch sensor chips usually provide a minimum 380 TVL high resolution black and white or color picture.  That’s a pretty good size video for a camera with a lens the size of a pin head.  In addition, these miniature cameras also employ the use of wide angle lenses that provide an extended field of view for the camera through the small opening.

The mini CCTV camera unit itself can be incredibly small as well.  Since the camera is so small and light, it can be mounted almost anywhere.  Better yet, for more truly covert recording needs, the camera can be imbedded within another object without anyone ever detecting the camera’s presence.

These cameras make great security cameras because you can monitor your surroundings without anyone realizing a camera is present.  This can be very useful when you suspect you may have an unauthorized individual tampering with or stealing your possessions.

Security Camera King offers a huge variety of different types of miniature wireless security cameras.  Here’s just a partial list of some of the models that we offer:

The Button Cam – It takes the place of a shirt button and it even includes five extra buttons so they will match up.
The Screw Cam – This camera looks like an ordinary Phillips head type screw.
The Wall Clock Camera – It looks like a typical office-type wall clock however in addition to the functioning clock, a camera is packed inside.
Desktop Speaker Cam – Functioning desktop speakers with a miniature wireless security camera hidden inside.
Exit Sign Camera – Appears to be a normal indoor “Exit” sign.  No one would suspect a camera is mounted inside.
Stuffed Toy Dog Baby Cam – This camera comes with a handheld LCD monitor and also monitors audio as well as video.  Although it does not record video or audio, it helps you keep a watchful eye on your baby without disturbing him or her.
Vanity Mirror Camera – A double sided vanity mirror with a camera inside.

Most miniature wireless security cameras come with power supplies or battery packs and Security Camera King includes a free 2.4 GHz receiver with most mini CCTV cameras.

 

 

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Mini Voice Recorders

Written By:
Thursday, September 8th, 2011

If you’re looking for a covert or overt recording mechanism, mini voice recorders are the way to go.  Mini voice recorders often have a good range, clear crisp digital recording, and many other features.  In this article will explore some of the potential uses for mini voice recorders and some of the features of the mini voice recorders that Security Camera King has to offer.

However, before going any further it’s important to read the warning that follows concerning audio recording that is performed without the consent of all individuals participating and their knowledge that they are being recorded.

WARNING:  There are state laws concerning the recording of conversations without all those participating in the conversation being aware of the recording.  Check with your own state laws to make sure you are complying with state, federal, and/or local laws if you are covertly recording conversations.  Oddly enough, there doesn’t seem to be too many restrictions on video capture, but there are plenty that deal with audio recording.

For many states where a security camera with audio is used, a simple notice or sign posted in the area of the camera is sufficient enough. (For example, “These premises are protected by digital video cameras with audio.  Both video and audio is being recorded.)   Other states may have more elaborate requirements to be compliant.

Mini voice recorders, especially today’s mini digital voice recorders have so many features and options that they are really quite versatile in use.  Security Camera King sells two 576 hour digital phone/room recorders; product# DPR-N88 and product# DPR-N308 (which comes with an aluminum case).  For example, the dimensions for product# DPR-N88 are 1.3 x 4.4 x.5 inches and the unit weighs approximately 3.20 ounces.

Some of the uses for these recorders may include:

  • Legal covert audio recording (for example, criminal investigations)
  • Recording birthday parties, anniversaries, retirement parties and other similar events
  • Recording school lectures
  • Recording telephone conversations (see Warning) especially if the calls are threatening, obnoxious, and/or unwanted
  • Recording children’s band concerts
  • For bird watcher enthusiasts, recording bird sounds
  • Dictation, especially for medical dictation
  • Leaving notes for family members
  • Listening to the FM radio
  • Use as an alarm clock
  • Music editing and playing

There are just as many features, if not more, than there are uses for these mini voice recorders.  Here’s an example of just some of the features of these small, light-weight mini voice recorders:

  • High capacity re-chargeable lithium battery that can be recharged using the USB port on your computer
  • Internal memory protection switch
  • Music playing in three different formats:  MP3, WMA, and OGG file types
  • Selectable recording rates:  SP, LP, HQ (Standard and Long Playing and High Quality)
  • Audio and Line-In inputs
  • High fidelity amplifier with high quality speaker
  • High speed USB 2.0 connection to your computer
  • Stereo recording with built in stereo microphone
  • Backlit LCD display
  • Ear protection function
  • Scrolling display
  • Includes built in tools such as a Calendar, Record Auto-timer, Stopwatch, and Alarm clock
  • 3 default folders for storage
  • Voice activated recording
  • A-B Segment repetition
  • External Microphone connection
  • Ear microphone included for telephone and mobile phone recording

In addition, both mini voice recorders include the following accessories:

  • Earphone
  • Ear microphone
  • USB cable
  • Audio cable
  • Battery charger
  • User’s manual

Product# DPR-N308 mini voice recorder has the same features and functions as product# DPR-N88 but also includes touch pad key layout and a rugged aluminum case.

You’ll never need to concern yourself with storage capacity as both units will record up to 576 hours of audio in the LP mode.  Both recorders are excellent professional quality recorders designed to do the job without being large and bulky.

If you have any additional questions about these mini voice recorders, contact one of our security experts today via “Live Chat” or telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.

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