Posts Tagged ‘ electronic technology ’

Mini Security Cameras

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Tips and Tricks in the World of Mini Security Cameras


The world of mini security cameras continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Many individuals probably associated mini security cameras with espionage in the past, but there are numerous legitimate uses for these miniature wonders. In fact, they are probably quite useful in a variety of surveillance applications. While many designs won’t offer the same level of resolution that one would expect from a larger platform, the quality of small lenses continues to improve. It’s rather likely that all security cameras will see massive size reduction in the near future.

However, that shouldn’t discourage anyone from grabbing a new unit today. The Security Camera King offers low prices that many people will want to take advantage of immediately. This means that numerous mini security cameras will probably fly off the shelves based on price alone. That shouldn’t lead people to believe that quality is an issue, however. Poor quality cameras would never make it to the shelves of an eminent dealer. Anyone that purchases mini security cameras from the Security Camera King should have no fear in regards to the condition of the equipment. These devices are always top of the line.

There was actually a time when cameras were significantly larger than today. People probably have fond memories of the large surveillance devices that used to stand in the front of commercial properties. These are still used in many areas. Large installations are probably some of the easiest to replace with mini security cameras. Even if the goal were simple to save space, smaller cameras would be able to fit the bill. Wireless cameras can be easily hidden in plants. This also means that a bit of redecorating could accompany the installation. There are plenty of businesses that could do with a bit of sprucing up, and a new image can be a great way to kick off a promotion. Coupling this with quality surveillance is an excellent way to show that one cares about security.

Mini security cameras work perfectly for regular security surveillance, but they really shine when it comes to certain specialty uses. They are small and are easy to fit into hard to reach areas. Some people have used them to surreptitiously monitor a babysitter, and others have used them to watch over their children. While some ethicists might question such uses, most people would be able to find plenty of decent reasons to use mini security cameras. In fact, some people have even used them to pull off various types of pranks.

The process of installing mini security cameras is different in various situations. Some devices use wires while others are wireless Mini Security Camerasmodels. Most of the steps will be the same for both types of device, but those that want to set up a wired camera will have to figure out how to route the cables. While this might make wireless cameras appear to be extremely attractive, there are some situations where people would prefer to use more reliable wired designs. Strong electromagnetic fields can interfere with wireless connectivity, and this might make some people think twice about using them next to other types of radio transmitters.

That being said, most wireless cameras work on microwave frequencies. Therefore, this shouldn’t even be a concern in most cases. For instance, some people use VHF equipment for two-way communication. Organizations that do shouldn’t even realize that they’re operating close to an installation. This also means that people that install these devices shouldn’t have to worry about crooks that try to look for wireless connects through simple means. Some people try to find bugs by listening for interference on an AM radio, but this method may not be vigorous enough to find mini security cameras. Naturally, no one wants a hidden installation to be discovered. This makes microwave cameras especially popular for such uses.

Anyone that has problems should be able to clear them quickly enough, because of how robust mini security cameras really are. Keeping a few quick tips in mind should help prevent anything from happening, but it is important to remind that mini security cameras are robust. They might seem fragile, but they can stand up to a lot more punishment than most users even realize. If something seems wrong, it can usually be corrected in a manner of moments without too much trouble.

Anyone that notices a problem with image quality might just need to realign the camera’s antennas. Simply adjusting the height of the device or moving the antenna around is usually enough to correct scratchy images on wireless cameras. It is very similar to adjusting the antenna on a portable radio to get the best reception. Keeping the camera away from baby alarms is also usually a good idea. Once again, though, it might very well be able to work around these sorts of things if the wavelength is different. Considering the fact that many baby alarms function on the 49 MHz band, it might not be a problem at all.

Wifi networks could cause a bit of interference, but IP cameras actually use them to function. Naturally, an IP camera that uses Wifi shouldn’t mess with a Wifi connection. Microwave ovens might cause some scratches in a displayed image, but simply moving the camera can do this away with any visible glitches. The radio frequencies that mini security cameras utilize are usually sufficiently different from other devices.

While it might sound simple, users should always check to make sure that the connections on the receiver are tight and connected to the right jacks. This is really easy, and connecting the cables should only take a few moments. However, double-checking to ensure that they’re correct will save a minute or two later on. Some industry insiders like to customize their mini security cameras, and a hood is the perfect way to customize an installation.

Mini Security CamerasDo-it-yourselfers will probably want to make a hood out of black paper and affix it around the outside of the lens to block out extra sunlight. This can dramatically cut down on hazing effects in the image. Of course, there are plenty of commercial options for those that aren’t so artistically inclined. A commercial hood also has a much more professional appearance to it than construction paper. One might want to first mess around with their own design and install a professional sunshield once they are sure that they have it in the right place.

Shade also helps, and security camera gurus love to use the eaves of buildings as a place to set up very small cameras. After inspecting to ensure that bees haven’t called the eaves of a house their home, one can easily turn the area into their own security camera mount. This is one of the best uses of mini security cameras, since they can fit anywhere. A bit of adhesive or a tack should be more than enough to make sure that a particular camera is held into place. Many of these installations are also quite maintenance free. The overhang helps to keep out harmful UV rays from the sun, and rain is usually diverted out of the way.

Perhaps the best part about it is the fact that crooks can’t even see that they’re being taped. However, it should be remembered that some mini security cameras are actually designed to look like other objects. There are numerous models that are disguised as one thing or another. These can be left out in the relative open. After all, people would probably recognize them for what they really are. Naturally, the cameras are still supposed to be kept out of reach to some degree. No disguise is perfect, and one could easily discover that something is up by taking a closer look. However, a pair of sunglasses on top of a refrigerator or cabinet would never raise anyone’s suspicions. Only the individuals in charge of surveillance would ever have to know that a camera was actually in service.

With great power comes great responsibility, so no legitimate surveillance organization would ever actually condone usage that would break local laws. Individuals that want to set up a clandestine monitoring system should be sure to check out what is considered lawful in their local community. A sign altering people to the fact that video surveillance is active will prevent crime in some cases. On the other hand, there are plenty of justifiable reasons why one would want to keep their monitoring practices from the general public.

As well as sunglasses, the Security Camera King has offered mini security cameras in several other packages. A cigarette lighter camera can be useful on a table, and these wireless designs are great for those that don’t want to raise any suspicions. The miniature desk clock model is probably one of the best-known examples of this technology. Every business needs to know what time it is. In most situations, mini security cameras that are stuffed into clocks are also functional as timepieces. This means that people will feel comfortable around them, and they’re even useful outside of the closed circuit TV system.

In fact, there are probably numerous regular clocks strewn about countless businesses. Replacing one with a new model is an expected business practice. Even criminals that had been looking at an area for a long period of time wouldn’t notice that anything had changed. This means they might be in for a big surprise if they actually tried to do anything.

Perhaps one of the more interesting designs is in the head of a screw. A Phillips head screw camera has to be one of the most novel devices ever developed. The physical size of the device is enough to make even the shiftiest of characters ignore the camera. It could be mixed on a table with a bunch of other implements, or even placed on a shelf to make it appear that it was left there after the shelf was screwed into the wall.

For that matter, one could probably carefully screw mini security cameras into furniture itself. Care would have to be taken to ensure that the process didn’t damage the lens at all, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. These are very robust designs, and should be able to hold up to a bit of work. The same sort of do-it-yourself builders that would make their own sunshields might want to give this sort of project a try. Creative users might also want to use a screw camera in a hardware store or a workshop. A camera would never be out of place in that type of an environment.

This class of mini security camera can also be used in a temporary capacity. If someone wanted to monitor an area for only a short period of time, the camera could easily be dropped at the site and watched from a remote location. This lends itself to other uses outside of the surveillance world as well. Some model railroad enthusiasts have used mini security cameras mounted on miniature freight cars to record footage of their train layouts. Footage taken in this way would look as though a scale model person was filming it from their perspective. In fact, there is already a ready market for model train cameras. However, many makes of mini security cameras are actually superior to the model train designs. For this reason, discriminating model train buffs often take a closer look at mini security cameras.

Another interesting camera comes in the form of a button. This is again a great way to hide a camera in the clutter of everyday life. Few people could ever actually believe that a button was watching them, and this leads to plenty of opportunities

Due to the fact that mini security cameras are so small, one might want to experiment with their own enclosure. Wireless pinhole cameras can be stored anywhere. One might want to make a hole in a box and have a camera watching inside. A case of tissues can easily become a monitoring post. A needle is probably all that’s required to make a hole for many of these designs. Few people would ever notice something so obscure.

There are many areas where people would want to use mini security cameras. While these are usually hidden areas, some of them are far more creative than others. Mini security cameras can be stashed away in many other types of objects because of their size, and this means that they can often go undetected.



Remote CCTV System

Friday, May 6th, 2011

There was a time in the not-so-distant pass where a remote CCTV (Closed Circuit TeleVision) system would be unheard of.  Today, thanks to the leaps and bounds of electronic technology, all of Security Camera King’s featured packaged systems include remote control of the system as a standard feature.

Security Camera King offers several different complete system packages and very competitive prices.  These systems are based on the number of cameras and the type of Digital Video Recorder or DVR.  We offer 4, 8, 16, and 32 channel systems that should appropriately fit just about any application.

In addition, we offer 4 different DVRs.  Each DVR has slightly different features (usually on the plus side) that make them suitable for your specific situation.  We offer the Elite Mini Economy, the Elite Mini HD, the Elite Series, and the Ultimate Series DVR systems.  Each one of these systems can be a remote CCTV system.

Before we go any further, let’s create a definition for remote CCTV systems so we know just exactly what we are talking about.  Each one of the DVR systems previously mentioned above come with an InfraRed or IR remote control that can be used to operate the DVR.  By strict definition of remote, each one of these systems qualify as a remote CCTV system.  However, this is not what we are talking about, in this article at least, when we say remote CCTV system.

Our definition of a remote CCTV system is one that can be easily controlled by an individual who is no where near the system.  Here is a good example:

You’re vacationing in Rome and are standing in line waiting to enter the Sistine Chapel, when you suddenly get the feeling you should check back with home because of the escalated rates of vandalism that have been occurring in your neighborhood lately.

So you get out your iPhone and start the application for your digital video system and while you’re standing in line you view each one of your cameras.  In addition, one is a Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) camera that covers your entire driveway.  You can control this camera right where you are to get a good view of your entire home and drive way after manipulating the PTZ by just using your iPhone.  You find that everything looks ok, and you have a better peace of mind feeling, just before you are ushered into the chapel to view the beautiful art work.

To some, this may sound a little like science fiction but it’s not.  Furthermore, it’s very easy to achieve with this remote CCTV system.  No matter where you are located, as long as you can connect to broadband internet through your 3G or 4G telephone you’ll always have remote control access.

In fact, you don’t have to have a smartphone to operate your CCTV system remotely.  You can even use a personal computer or Mac with a Web browser to access your system remotely and it only takes a couple of minutes to set up the system to do so.

How is this possible?  First, all of our DVRs run on an embedded Linux operating system.  This also includes the technology for an embedded Web server.  Just connect the DVR to a broadband internet perform a little set up work and you’re ready to “Go Remote.”  For those that are techno-savvy, our DVRs also have Dynamic DNS support, another indication of the versatility of these systems.  Since it is not necessary to have a Static DNS this saves you money (normally, Internet Service Providers can provide you with a Static DNS but will do so for an additional monthly fee).

Another function of our DVRs that contribute to the remote CCTV system is email capability.  Instead of checking your system all the time when you are on the road, you can have your system send you an email based on your own criteria.  You can then use your smartphone to access y our system and “see what’s up.”

As you can see, remote CCTV systems are no longer science fiction and are a very dynamic feature for your digital video security and surveillance system.

If you have any additional questions about remote CCTV systems, please feel free to contact one of our security experts.  They can be reached on-line through the “Live Chat” feature or by telephone at 866-573-8878 Monday through Friday from 9AM to 6PM EST.


Hidden Camera In TV

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Ever need to watch those who are watching? That’s exactly what a hidden camera in TV can do. In fact the possibilities for different types of hidden cameras are nearly endless these days, thanks to 21st century electronic technology.

The current technology that abounds is so compact and efficient, that a hidden camera in TV is rather simple, especially considering the fact that we currently have hidden color cameras that are made to look like the head of a typical Phillips screw. (See Security Camera Kings product #HC-SCREW-WC or go to this page.)

Putting a hidden camera in TV is easy because there is usually lots of spare room inside the television set case to allow for the camera and accompanying electronics. Who would suspect that the television is actually watching them?

Perhaps the real question here is not how they put a hidden camera in TV, a screw, a stuffed animal, a clock, or just about any other object but what is it about the technology that makes such a thing possible? In the following article we’ll describe how a miniature hidden camera works and mention some the technological improvements that have occurred over the past few years to make this possible.

There are two types of digital video security and monitoring, overt and covert. Overt monitoring occurs when no attempts to conceal, disguise, or hide the activity to monitor or record images are made. Covert monitoring is just the opposite; the camera and other equipment is hidden, concealed, or disguised so as not to readily reveal its presence. In the world of security and surveillance, both overt and covert monitoring is needed. Thus, the demand has created the need for a device like a hidden camera in TV.

Covert monitoring devices may include just the camera or it may include an entire miniature digital video security camera system. A typical full-size digital video security system not only has cameras, but a Digital Video Recorder or DVR and an optional monitor as well. Hidden miniature digital video security camera systems also include the camera, but in addition, contain a miniature DVR as well. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about the technology that allows this to happen.

First a full-size standalone digital video system uses digital video cameras that send their digital video signals to the DVR unit. The DVR unit also contains a highly specialized computer processor called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP. The processor is like the processor in a personal computer but is designed to operate specifically to deal with digital video data. The DSP gathers the digital video data sent to it by the digital video camera and creates a digital video file that can be viewed live on a monitor and/or stored in a digital file format on a hard disk drive on the DVR.

Miniature systems, like a hidden camera in TV system, also have a camera and a DVR. However, the DVR circuitry is contained on a small Integrated Circuit (IC) chip and is either stored in on-board (another type of IC chip) memory or on an SD card or similar device. As technology improves, memory chips become smaller and smaller while their capacity for storage becomes greater. This is just one of the features that provides for making miniature digital video security systems possible.

As for the cameras, there are several technologies applied here to make the devices incredibly small while still yielding fluid, relatively high-quality video. First, many hidden, miniature digital cameras use a highly refined wide angle lens. This lens provides the camera with a significantly wide field of view even though the lens itself is often only 3.7 mm in diameter.

Next the electronic sensor chips used to convert the focused light reflected from the image through the lens can be incredibly small. Typical sizes for these sensors called Charged Coupled Devices or CCDs or Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductors or CMOSs is 1/4, 1/3, and 1/2 inch square – and that is for full sized cameras.

Finally, as already mentioned IC chip technology continues to get smaller and more sophisticated over time. This allows for an analog-to-digital converter circuit and transmitting circuits to exist in miniature IC chips. So when all of these technological improvements are packaged neatly and tightly together, many covert recording devices are possible, including a hidden camera in TV.


Security Alarm Systems Security Equipment

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

As electronic technology and microchip design advances, so too do security alarm systems security equipment. These systems can be purchased with features to accommodate a variety of different alarm and alert requirements for both residential and commercial applications, including auto dialing several different telephone numbers upon activation. Thanks to compact electronics and their simple design, these systems can easily be self-installed, set-up, and operated.

Most security alarms systems security equipment these days are component based systems. This means that each component can be made by a different manufacturer or differ in type and application yet work together as one unit to provide optimum security alarms and alert notifications.

Although alarms systems are designed to accommodate different situations based on each application, there are some common features for most systems. Two of the most common security alarms systems security equipment are the control panel and the sensor. Additional equipment may include keychain wireless transmitters, back-up batteries, and automatic dialers.

A security alarm system works by using sensors at various locations around the room, building, or property that is being protected. These sensors are connected in some manner to the master control panel, and are often referred to in the security alarm industry as “points” on the control panel. For example, an eight point master control panel has connections for up to eight different sensors. Depending on the system design, these sensors are connected to the control panel via a wire run from each sensor to the panel or wirelessly via a radio signal.

If the security alarm systems security equipment is the wireless type, each sensor will contain its own sensor, power supply, and transmitter. The power supply for these units is usually a small lithium ion battery (that may be rechargeable) with a long life (some units boast up to a two year battery longevity period). The transmitter is a small radio signal transmitter set to a specific frequency with a limited range.

Security alarm systems security equipment sensors are too numerous in type to list them all here, but there are two types that are used the most often. This includes a door/window magnetic switch sensor and a motion detector.

Door/window magnetic switch sensors are mounted on the edge of doors and window frames with a small, fixed magnet mounted on the edge of the door or window. As long as the magnet and magnetic switch remain within the magnetic field of each other, as when the door or window is in the closed position, the master control panel does not initiate an alarm response. However, if the magnet and magnetic switch are separated from each other outside the magnetic field, the sensor is “triggered” and the master control panel initiates whatever response it is capable of producing (alarm, alert, auto dialing or a combination of the three) based on the pre-programming conducted during the set-up of the system.

The motion detector is usually a Passive InfraRed or PIR sensor. This sensor can detect sudden changes in infrared radiation, such as when an object moves in front of another. When the PIR sensor detects this infrared radiation difference, it assumes that it was created by an object in motion (burglar, vandal, or some other object) and it triggers the master control panel to initiate a response.

Simple do-it-yourself alarm installations may contain as little as two window/door sensors and a motion detector. For example, an apartment with one door and one window could be configured with a sensor on each and a motion detector could be placed in a central location to the apartment rooms (such as a common hall). The window/door sensors provide protection from unauthorized entry and the motion detector would provide coverage from any other method of unauthorized entry.

In addition to these sensors security alarm systems security equipment sensors may also include:
• Water detectors (flooding);
• Temperature and/or humidity;
• Pool entry;
• Safe entry;
• Individual room or area (often called “zones”) encroachment;
• Gas detection (such as carbon monoxide); and,
• Smoke and fire detection.

Security Camera King offers a wide variety of security alarm systems security equipment and professional 24/7 monitoring. This includes digital video security cameras in addition to the alarm sensors so the system can not only alarm or notify for a programmed event, but can also document the event in progress and provide positive identification of the intruder(s). Contact our security experts for more information or to purchase yours today.