Posts Tagged ‘ Hidden Cameras’



How to Avoid CCTV Camera Vandalism

Written By:
Thursday, May 15th, 2014

PROTECTING YOUR SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS

CCTV cameras are vulnerable to being destroyed by vandals if not properly protected. There are many different ways to deliberately destroy a security camera on someone’s business or personal property. In this article, we will discuss a few different ways that vandals will try to ruin or disable your camera and also go over the multiple ways that you can protect your security equipment from damage.

Vandal1

Types of Vandal Proof Cameras

There are many different types of security camera housings which will protect your camera from being destroyed by vandals. With enough research, you will find cameras which are listed as vandal proof security cameras (vandal domes), explosion proof, dust proof or dust-tight, bullet proof, and pressurized housing. Vandal domes are usually rated to have the ability to resist the most basic of vandal tactics. A lot of them can even withstand being run over by a car. Most of the other ones are pretty self explanatory, however, a lot of people mistake explosion-proof cameras for being able to resist an explosion. These camera housings are made so that they will avoid creating an explosion in places where there are gasses and other explosive elements around.

camera

Another thing you should be aware of is that certain lasers and laser pointer pens can damage the lens in the camera rendering it useless. Many lasers are monochromatic, so if you use color filters you will be able to reduce the effects of a vandal trying to ruin your camera with a laser pointer. A lot of filters will also affect the quality of the image on the camera and overall light sensitivity so be aware of this when using them. If you wanted complete protection from lasers, you could use black filters but this will make your camera pretty much useless.

Fake Security Cameras

fake-camera

Having visible cameras which are fake or non-functional can also help you avoid damage to your actual working surveillance cameras. Many people will purchase broken cameras and put them in plain sight, while other cameras are hidden somewhere pointed in the same general direction of the area they’d like to capture. This way if a vandal comes on the property with the intention of destroying your cameras, they will at lease be destroying a camera which in non-functional instead of breaking an expensive camera that can record them in great detail.

Another benefit of fake security cameras is that they can deter people from doing something wrong if they think they’re being watched. Some people don’t even go through the trouble of installing a real surveillance system. Just having the fake ones up can deter most people from doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Most criminals are looking for the easiest way to commit a crime and will certainly avoid places with cameras. However, if something does happen, those people are out of luck and will not have the evidence they need to prove the crime has occurred.

When choosing a fake surveillance cameras there are a few things you should know about. Criminals who know a thing or two about surveillance systems will be able to spot a cheap dummy camera with a quick glance. If you want to fool them, the best option is to purchase a camera which is a real surveillance camera that has malfunctioned from a CCTV distributor. A great place to find some deals is on CCTV auction websites. Be aware of cameras which have a red LED that remains on with the use of an internal battery. Many times this is used to fake people into believing that the camera is on and recording but in reality, surveillance cameras do not have any lights on them and only the IR led’s come on at night. You can also get a real surveillance camera which is broken but still has a functioning IR emitter and this can definitely deter the more educated criminals who may see them up on your wall or ceilings.

Hidden Security Cameras

Owning hidden security cameras is another great way to avoid having your cameras vandalized. If a criminal doesn’t know that there’s a camera there, then they won’t attempt to knock it out. As mentioned above though, there are some benefits to having visible security cameras since it can deter a lot of people but in the case that you have issues where you feel someone is going to vandalize your property or security cameras, the solution would be to purchase a camera that is not visible.

hidden camera

Hidden surveillance cameras can come in many different styles. There are cameras which are simply small enough that most people will miss them, then there are some cameras which are in shapes of other objects. Some of these items include smoke detectors, mirrors, motion detectors, clocks, and many more. Be careful when purchasing hidden surveillance systems. Often times they are limited by the amount of space they can record on, such as SD cards, and battery life. These type of hidden systems are best for when you know something is going to occur. I would suggest purchasing the camera first and testing how long it’ll last for and how long it’ll record for. Another downside to these is that they don’t always come with the best resolution and quality that you may be looking for.

Conclusion

In Conclusion, There are many ways and devices that can help to deter criminals from vandalizing your surveillance systems. Either way you choose to go, make sure you do the proper research so that you’re getting the right equipment for your needs. If you ever have any questions or concerns, you can always call us or contact us by email and we’ll help you choose something that works for you. Techpro Security Products and Security Camera King is operational Monday through Friday from 9AM-6PM eastern time. You can contact us at sales@securitycameraking.com or call us toll free at 866-573-8878. Our staff is trained to help you with these type of questions so please don’t be afraid to ask!

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Hunting and Game Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
Big Time Texas Hunts

The sport of hunting has been around since the beginning of time and is still practiced today for many reasons. Whether it’s to put food on the table or regulate the population of a species for future hunters, hunting will always be around generation through generation. Hunting is mostly a waiting game and requires a great amount of patience, so being in a good spot is the key. The traditional way of finding a good spot is by scouting an area for tracks, scat or asking a buddy, but that can take some time especially when there is none. You pretty much need to be everywhere at once and we know that’s not possible except with a device called a game camera. With a game camera you can easily be in multiple places at once, keep track of what is coming and going, and make sure you have the best spot for the hunt.

Game Trail Cameras

Game (trail) cameras are made to take pictures or video of the surrounding area without you being there or the device being noticed. It’s basically a DVR, Camera, and motions sensor put together in one. There are many kinds of systems these are the basic components of a game camera. The way it works is when an object walks by the unit the motion sensor picks up the movement and takes a snapshot of what it sees. Then it stores that image with all the others for you to review later. It does all that while being quiet and blending in with the surrounding Night Time Game Camera environment. Some unit’s give you the option to stamp the time, date, and moon phase onto the image so you can not only figure out when it happened but also how the moon affects the activity of the game. Most units have a 4th element which allows you to see at night; an IR sensor. This sensor sends out a light that is invisible to humans but to cameras it’s like a flood light allowing the camera to take a great shot without spooking the hunt. There are two types of IR sensors, one emits a red light while facing the LED’s and the other one shows no signs of light. They both work exceptionally well but the unit that emits no signs of light is ideal for hunting as long as it fits your budget.

game camera on treeGame cameras are made to be placed at a specific height to allow for the best picture. When placing a game camera it is best to mount it about 4-8 ft. off the ground to achieve the optimal view of your area. The camera usually comes with mounting brackets to place on a tree or pole of some sort for easy installation. The reason for the specific placement is because during the day you have a better chance of tripping the PIR sensors with the hunt rather than taking a tremendous of pictures of moving branches. At night if something walks by and trips the PIR sensor, the IR illuminating lights can reach the object. The closer you are to the ground or anything to allow the light to bounce off of will give you a better picture. Placement of a game camera can be crucial to how it performs at night and day. There are also different angles at which you should point the unit. When thinking about the suns position it can have a big effect on your picture if you face it to the north so that you have minimal sun glare and proper exposure. Also when you place your camera facing a trail you want to make sure that you face it at a 45 degree angle along the trail so you can increase your action time. Sometimes the PIR sensors take a little time to wake up the camera so if you have the camera facing directly at the path you can lose the shot. Where you place your game camera can have dramatic effect on its performance and quality.

where to setup game cams

Game CameraSome units can also send you pictures to your mobile device of what is happening real-time at that location. These units require a 3G cellular service and a good amount of signal for it to work. The way it works is when the unit flashes a picture of an object it packages it up in an email and sends it for you to view. Most units offer a service for the camera so that instead of receiving a vast amount of emails it stores them on a server for your viewing. This becomes useful for when you want to review all of your future and previous photos without having to look through all your emails. Game Camera Monitor If you’re on a budget but still want to be able to view your cameras, they have a system when it uses Wi-Fi so you can watch what’s happening in your stop with a remote monitor up to 200′ away. This is especially useful when you are hunting close to the camera for quick action towards the hunt. You can also have multiple game cameras set up in multiple locations for best coverage of your hunting area.
 

Game Camera on TreeWith hunting being around since the dawn of time, there are bound to be some advancement on how to track and capture what you’re looking for. The advancement like the game camera can help hunter track game to find better spots and get better results. Learning how a game camera works from the inside out can give better understanding on what features you need like IR or 3G cellular service. Having good placement on a tree or pole can give you a better shot during day and night. Lastly facing the camera in the right direction can help you get the entire shot you’re looking for. Applying all of these steps can help you make your hunting days’ worth hunting for.

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Where to Put Hidden Cameras

Written By:
Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Since most hidden cameras are already “hidden,” where to put hidden cameras seems rather redundant.  However, each security system has a unique situation and this could very well dictate that there is a “best” and a “worst” place to put the hidden camera(s).

Generally, hidden cameras are used for covert video recording.  They allow the owner the ability to capture digital video images without the individual(s) knowing the cameras presence.  Here are some typical places of where to put hidden cameras:

  • Anywhere that you need to monitor, but don’t want the subject(s) being monitored to know;
  • Cash Register/check-out areas;
  • Covering safes;
  • Areas suspected of high crime such as vandalism or theft;
  • Specific rooms of a home to monitor activity in that room (a baby monitor is a good example of this); and,
  • Entrances and exits to monitor who is coming in and who is going out.

There definitely is no single solution to the question “where to put hidden cameras” simply because every security and surveillance application is unique.  It’s important that you determine “why” you need to use a hidden camera, “how” you intend to use it, and where to put hidden cameras.

Modern technology has yielded such small components for a digital video camera that they can be put in almost anything and placed almost anywhere.  For example, most hidden cameras have a wide angle lens for maximum field of view that is only 3.7 mm in diameter.  The sensors used to convert the light from the lens into electrical impulses that are used to construct an electronic video image are usually only 1/4 inch or 1/3 inch square.

The camera does some initial primary processing of the digital video, including converting it from analog to digital format, but with Integrated Circuit (IC) chip technology this is all done on IC chips that are about 1/4″ square or smaller.  There are some cameras that even have a radio transmitter chip so they can send their captured video data back to the DVR wirelessly.

The point of this is that these cameras can be easily hidden or disguised; because they are so small they can be placed inside something else and this only makes the decision of where to put hidden cameras easier.  Security Camera King has a huge selection of hidden or disguised digital video cameras that range from a ballpoint pen to a radio alarm clock.  The following is a partial list of hidden cameras Security Camera King has to offer (please remember this is only a partial list):

  • Smoke Detector;
  • Inside corner mirror;
  • A pinhole device;
  • A fire alarm system sprinkler;
  • A button;
  • A Phillips head screw;
  • Wristwatch;
  • Desktop Speakers;
  • An “Exit” sign;
  • Various types of clocks;
  • Various types of telephones; and,
  • A heater/air conditioner thermostat just to name a few.

Since we’ve done a pretty good job of establishing that “where to put hidden cameras” varies for different situations, there are a few things that we can mention in general that would apply to all situations.

1.  Even though the camera is hidden within an object, it’s best if you can find a place to put the camera that is out of the “mainstream”–the more effort to hide the camera the better the chance of it not being found.

2.  Try to make sure that the background behind the camera is NOT too bright.  For example, a typical office may have a desk with a window behind it.  When the sun shines it produces an incredibly bright beam of light that comes through the window and right toward the center of the desk.  Without having a very Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) camera and by placing the camera so that it is aimed at the desk, there’s a good change the image you want will be “washed out” by the bright light.

3.  Always test the camera with a monitor after mounting to see if the camera is in the right position.

4.  If the camera uses batteries check them frequently and always be prepared to replace them with newly charged (if they a rechargeable) or fresh batteries.

If you have any additional questions about where to put hidden cameras, talk to one of our security experts.  You can reach them on the Internet through our “Live Chat” feature or by calling 1-866-573-8878 Monday through Friday 9AM to 6 PM EST.

 

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Best Hidden Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Many people often ask our security experts “What is the best hidden camera?”  The answer to this seemingly simple question is far more complicated than it might seem.  In the following article, we’ll take a look at some of the hidden cameras that Security Camera King has to offer and offer a short description of the camera according to type and output of the camera.   This should allow you to decide for yourself just exactly what the best hidden camera is for you.

Before we talk about specific cameras, let’s review how a digital video camera works.  This should provide you with the insight of how they are able to produce the tremendous variety of different hidden cameras.  The construction of the camera components between cameras is basically the same, it’s how they are designed to be used (either hidden or disguised) that requires some creative ingenuity.

First, digital video cameras need a lens to gather the reflective light from its field of vision.  The lens gathers this light (image) and projects it on a light sensitive electronic chip that is usually no larger than 1/4 inch square.

This electronic chip is sensitive to light.  In fact, when this chip is irradiated with light from the lens, the chip emits electronic impulses that can be measured and used to create an electronic video image replica of what the camera “sees” in its field of vision.  One of two different chips is used, but they both produce the same final end product.  The chips that are used are either a Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.

A series of Integrated Chips or IC’s, tiny electronic configurations, perform any additional manipulation of the impulses to produce digital data, correct color, balance, and clarity, and prepare the data for transmission to a Digital Video Recorder or DVR or monitor.  So from an “internal” standpoint, many of the best hidden cameras are the same or very similar.

Now let’s take a look at some of the best hidden cameras Security Camera King has to offer:

  • 2.4 GHz wireless color or black and white button cameras – these cameras can be worn with just about any button down garment.  They produce amazing video with good detail and clarity and with the need for very little light.
  • 2.4 GHz wireless color or black and white screw cameras - Talk about the ultimate in disguise!  These cameras look just like genuine Phillips head screws.  They utilize a wide angle lens the produce a video that requires very little ambient light.
  • Hidden pen color camera with audio – Everything including the camera and the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) are inside this pen.   In addition, the pen actually writes as well.
  • Hidden wrist watch color camera with audio – like our hidden pen camera, this device produces a good quality video with sound.  All you need to do is plug it into the USB port of your computer to download and watch the video created by this camera.
  • Perhaps the best hidden camera is the Wall Clock camera. This camera can be purchased to produce black and white or color video.  The wall clock is a working wall clock and looks like the typical wall clock you might see in any office or home.
  • Another one of the best hidden cameras is the smoke detector hidden camera.  On the outside this device appears to be just another ordinary smoke detector.  The inside however, includes a 420 TVL high resolution camera.  Excellent for use in homes, office, and just about anywhere.
  • If you’re the proud parent of a recently born child (or children), perhaps the best hidden camera for you would be the 2.4 GHz wireless dog baby monitor camera.  This camera is great for monitoring infants or children and the camera is ingeniously hidden within a stuffed dog animal.  While this product was not designed to transmit to a DVR (most baby monitors do not have the need to be recorded), it does come with an LCD wireless monitor that can work from just about any room in the house.

 

These are just some of the examples of the best hidden camera.  As you can see, what may be a best hidden camera for one individual may not be for another.  Check out our vast supply of hidden and hidden wireless cameras on our on-line catalog.

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Wireless Wall Clock Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Sometimes it’s necessary to keep a watchful eye covertly, and a wireless wall clock camera is just the device for the job. Security Camera King offers several different types of hidden cameras, including wireless wall clock cameras. These cameras are built in such a way that detection of surveillance is almost impossible.

Our security experts are often asked how these cameras actually work and how they can be concealed in an object like a clock. In the following article we’ll talk about how a wireless wall clock camera works an mention the types available for purchase through Security Camera King.

The key factor behind hidden or disguised digital video security cameras is advanced technology. In the no to distant past, security and surveillance cameras were analog based. Since they are now digital, that has allowed the security camera industry to share the benefits of technological advances found in the personal computer and electronic industries. This in turn has yielded incredibly small, high quality cameras that can capture video images in a variety of different conditions.

Creating a digital video image using a wireless wall clock camera begins with the camera’s lens. Objects have a natural tendency to reflect light. The light that is reflected is gathered by the lens and focused on an electronic sensor. Many hidden cameras use a highly accurate 3.7 mm wide angle lens. To get an appreciation for the size of this lens, hold two nickels together. The thickness of two stacked nickels is a little greater than the entire size of a 3.7 mm lens. The wide angle feature allows this small lens to have a proportionately larger field of view.

The lens focuses the light image on a small electronic sensor. One of two different sensors is used. A Charged Coupled Device or CCD or a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS converts the light energy into electrical impulses. The CCD and CMOS go about the process a little differently, but both yield the same end result; electrical impulses that can be measured and used to create a digital video image.

As a side note, CCDs have historically produced a higher quality image with a greater demand for electrical power while CMOSs have produced a slightly lesser quality image with a lesser demand for power. However, as technology advances, both CCDs and CMOSs are approaching an equal state of quality and power demand.

All of Security Camera King’s wireless wall clock cameras use CCDs. One would think that the electronic sensor would need to be rather large, especially when using a wide angle lens. However, our wireless wall clock cameras use a very small 1/4 or 1/3 inch CCD. Using a 3.7 mm lens and such a small CCD, it should become obvious how easy it is to disguise the camera with the clock face.

After the light images are created into measurable electrical impulses by the CCD, the camera then converts this analog data to binary or digital form by using an analog-to-digital converter. The analog-to-digital converter resides in a very small Integrated Circuit or IC chip that takes up very little space.

Now the video data is ready for transmitting. Once again a relatively small IC chip comprises the transmitter. The circuit converts the digital data into radio waves that can be sent by the transmitter to a corresponding wireless receiver.

Our wireless wall clock cameras use 2.4 GHz radio technology; the same technology used by many land-line based wireless phones. This technology offers a strong, clear signal with very little interference.

Normally the receiver is located near the Digital Video Recorder or DVR unit and is connected to it by a cable. Once the wireless wall clock camera video signal reaches the receiver, it is transferred to the DVR where it can be displayed on a monitor and viewed live and/or stored on the DVR’s hard disk drive for archiving or later use.

Security Camera King offers four different wireless wall clock cameras. We offer a “standard” looking wall clock that looks like any plain circular wall clock found in an office or home. We also offer a more sophisticated looking clock camera with humidity and temperature indicators. Each of the two designs offers either a black and white video image or a color video image. The black and white video images models will produce a high quality image in very low light conditions (0.003 lux for example). Check our “Wireless Hidden Cameras” web page.

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