Posts Tagged ‘ Integrated Circuit’



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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Hidden Color Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Most covert security and surveillance monitoring systems use a hidden color camera. There are definitely useful times when covert digital video recording is necessary and thanks to 21st century technology, the equipment for this purpose is not only available, but reasonably priced as well.

What makes a hidden color camera possible? The extremely small but highly accurate and efficient parts including, not only the mechanical (lenses for example) but the electronic (sensors, digital-to-analog converter for example) components of the camera as well, have yielded a miniature but powerful product that is easily hidden or disguised.

Hidden color cameras can be a component as part of a larger digital video security and surveillance system or they can be a miniature system all contained in one object. A digital video security system may consist of several different devices, but generally a basic system has three components that include the camera or cameras, a Digital Videos Recorder or DVR unit that also contains the Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and one or more monitors.

The digital video hidden color camera captures video images that it passes on to the DVR unit. The DVR unit’s DSP compiles the digital data sent to it by the camera can creates a digital video file that can be viewed on a monitor or saved on the DVRs hard disk drive for later viewing or archiving.

If the hidden color camera is an all-in-one unit, it usually consists of the camera and some sort of DVR. Thanks to Integrated Circuit (IC) chip technology, the necessary electronic circuitry and be constructed small enough to create a stand-alone hidden color camera that can be placed inside a typical ball-point pen casing.

Standalone all-in-one miniature hidden color camera units do not contain all of the components or sophisticated circuitry of their typical full size standalone cousins. Therefore, there are certain limitations for these smaller units. For example, the DVR used in a ballpoint pen version of a hidden color camera will obviously not have the storage capacity of a full size DVR unit with a hard disk drive.

Often, objects as small as a pen have their own limited built in electronic memory chip. Since their normally is a limitation on space, the memory chip is often limited to a relatively small capacity. Another option if the hidden color camera device is large enough is to use various types of portable memory media such as SD cards or other types of flash memory media.

In addition, these all-in-one hidden color cameras usually have a reduced resolution to conserve on file size as well. Their power source may be as small as a watch battery or they may be connected to an external power source via a pair of small wires. Nonetheless, these miniature cameras still capture good quality video and our excellent choices for covert security and surveillance purposes.

Security Camera King offers a wide variety of miniature standalone hidden color cameras for purchase. If you are interested check our “Hidden Camera Systems” and “Hidden Security Cameras” section by clicking the on “Security Cameras” then “Hidden Camera Systems” and also “Hidden Security Cameras” on the our navigation bar on the left. Just some of the systems we offer in addition to the “Hidden Pen Color Camera With Audio” include the “Portable Lighter Hidden Camera With Built-IN DVR & Audio,” the “Sunglasses Hidden Camera with Built-in DVR & Audio,” and the “Portable Car Key Hidden Camera with Built-In DVR & Audio.”

As mentioned earlier, hidden color cameras can also be one of the components of a larger, full-size digital video security and surveillance system. These devices are just cameras; that is, they do not usually include a DVR or any other components of a digital video system. They normally connect to the system either by a video transmission cable or wirelessly.

Wireless hidden color cameras have the extra advantage of being placed just about anywhere. These cameras are also small enough that in addition to being disguised as other objects, they can be mounted alone in areas or positions that keep all but the lens of the camera hidden.

If you are interested in purchasing one of these hidden color cameras, in addition to the two on-line catalog pages mentioned above under the “Security Cameras” heading, also check out our “Wireless Hidden Cameras“.

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Wireless Security Solutions

Written By:
Thursday, December 9th, 2010

Wireless Security SolutionsTwenty first century electronic technical advances have created more reliable yet cost effective wireless security solutions than ever before. Most wireless security solutions are generally easy to install and simple to operate. In fact, they are often considered as do-it-yourself type projects and are specifically designed with that intention in mind.

There are basically two types of wireless security solutions, wireless security alarm systems and wireless digital video security camera systems. Each takes advantage of up-to-date wireless technology to enhance the features of their systems. Let’s take a look at each and see what is currently available.

As previously mentioned, one type of wireless security solution is the wireless security alarm system. There are two big advantages to using a wireless alarm system. First, the system itself is easy to install and operate. Second, aesthetically speaking, a wireless alarm is much more pleasing to the eye because it doesn’t require that a wire be run from each and every sensor to the master control panel.

Wireless alarm systems can be used for just about any application anywhere. A basic residential alarm system typically has door and window sensors on any readily accessible door or window (usually those above the second floor are not armed with sensors due to their inaccessibility). In addition, the system may utilize one or more motion detectors as well.

Each of these devices must communicate with the master control panel. They use this line of communication to tell the control panel that something has occurred (an event) and that their internal mechanism (usually some sort of switch) has been activated (triggered). Each sensor in an alarm system must have a separate transmitting wire that is run to the master control panel.

Wireless security solutions for alarm systems eliminate the need for this wire. Instead, each sensor usually has its own on-board power (a battery) and transmitter in addition to the switching device that is used to detect an event. When a trigger activates the sensors switch, the transmitter is turned on and sends a signal to the master control panel to initiate the alarm.

These sensors, including their batteries and transmitters can be quite small. The manufacturers take advantage of the latest electronic technology so the entire circuit to run the switching mechanism and transmit the signal can be created on an Integrated Circuit (IC) chip less than an inch in size.

The other major type of wireless security solution is a wireless digital video security system. Technological advances in these systems has taken leaps and bounds, compared to the original, bulky, analog parent cameras. In addition, the with the advent of digital video, the digital video security camera industry has been able to reap the constantly improving benefits produced by the computer and cell phone industries as well.

A typical digital video security camera system has three components. The camera or cameras capture video light images and transform them into electrical images. These images are part of a digital video file that is created by a Digital Signal Processor or DSP that accompanies the Digital Video Recorder unit or DVR. The digital file can be viewed live or at some later time on the monitor.

There are basically two different types of wireless digital video security systems. Both systems involve using radio waves to send their signals wirelessly but each type uses a different technology.

The first digital wireless security solution is the use of wireless digital video cameras. These cameras are no different than their “wired” counterparts accept they do not require a video transmission cable (usually RG-59 coaxial cable) to be run from each camera to the DVR unit. Instead, they send their data which is digital, in radio wave form either to a receiver that is connected to a DVR or to a wireless DVR that has a receiver built in.

The second digital wireless security solution is the use of wireless digital video cameras call Internet Protocol or IP ready cameras. These cameras contain on-board circuitry to not only capture and create digital data, but to transmit it in the form of a file that can be sent long distances using the Internet as the vehicle for networking. These cameras usually contain their own web server technology and transmit using WiFi technology.

So, as you can see there is a lot to talk about concerning wireless security solutions. If you are interested in a specific technology, check Security Camera King’s CCTV Learning Center for more information.

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Surveillance Spy Cameras

Written By:
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

If you need to keep an eye on someone without them getting an eye on you try using surveillance spy cameras. Actually, these cameras not only allow you to keep an eye on someone but also something like a pet, a house, a boat or some other type of property.

What exactly is a surveillance spy camera? Typically, a surveillance spy camera is a special type of digital video security and surveillance camera.

A digital video security camera usually has one of three different shapes. Box cameras look like rectangular box shapes and are typically mounted on walls, posts, and other areas. Bullet cameras resemble box cameras but have rounded ends, hence the name “bullet.” Dome cameras are normally flush mounted on a ceiling or wall and have a small protective bubble or dome that covers the camera. The presence of these cameras is somewhat obvious and their usually is no attempt to hide or disguise them.

Surveillance spy cameras on the other hand are digital video cameras that are much smaller, so small in fact that they are often hidden or disguised as other objects. They may contain their own Digital Video Recorder or DVR and power supply and be an entire standalone system, or they may require an external power supply and be incorporated into an entire digital video security system that has both hidden and visible cameras, a standalone DVR with a Digital Signal Processor or DSP, and a monitor.

How can surveillance spy cameras be so small? Let’s look at how a full-size digital video security camera works then will look take a look at a surveillance spy camera. Digital video cameras have three main components within the camera; the lens, a sensor chip, and the electronic circuitry used to operate the sensor chip and convert its information into digital data (a series of 1s and 0s).

The lens is a highly machined mechanically functioning glass (or plastic) that focuses the cameras field of view onto the sensor chip. Generally, the higher quality and type of lens, the higher quality of the video produced. Lenses determine how far, how wide, and how detailed the target area will appear.

There are two types of sensor chips, a Charged Coupled Device or CCD and a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS. These two chips work a little differently but accomplish the same objective, transferring light energy into electrical energy. These chips are usually square or at least rectangular in shape and usually range from 1/4 inch to 1 inch in size.

Electronic circuitry is used to interpret the chip, read its information, and convert it from an analog signal into digital data. The electronic circuitry may also provide other functions such as audio recording and movement of different camera parts.

Surveillance spy cameras contain the same components but the components are designed to be very, very small while still performing the needed task. For example, most of these cameras are extremely small. Their lens is not a full size variable lens but is a very small wide angle lens instead. This eliminates the need for a large lens attachment.

Secondly, surveillance spy cameras usually use one of two sizes for their CCDs or CMOSs, 1/4 inch or 1/3 inch. The incredibly small sizes of these sensor chips allows them to be used (hidden or disguised) in very small objects such as ink pens (see Security Camera King’s product # HC-PEN for example) or wristwatches (see our product # HC-Watch).

Finally, with the latest improvements in Integrated Circuit (IC) chip technology, incredibly complex circuits can be made in circuit chips that are only 1/4 inch in size also. For example, the electronic circuitry needed to activate and read the sensor, convert the information into digital data, and transmit it wirelessly to a corresponding receiver can be fit with a IC chip less than an inch in size.

In addition, surveillance spy cameras can also have their own miniature DVR in the form of a small memory chip. As computer memory technology advances, these chips become smaller yet hold more data. The data on the memory chip can be downloaded to a personal computer using a USB cord.

Security Camera King has a very wide assortment of surveillance spy cameras available for purchase. These cameras come in all sizes and types (view the products individually on-line by clicking on the left hand side of the page “Security Cameras” then “Hidden Security Cameras” or “Wireless Hidden Cameras” or “Hidden Camera Systems.”

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Digital Security System

Written By:
Friday, November 19th, 2010

A digital security system is any system that integrates digital data for the purpose of creating, sending, or recording information that can be used to protect something. That’s a pretty broad definition, but then again digital security system is a pretty broad phrase.

Since most security alarm systems primarily deal with on/off states (door open/door closed) we could consider them to be inherently digital, but that’s not really what we mean here. What we mean by digital security system is a video security system that operates on the basis of digital data transfer as opposed to an analog system.

For example VHS and Beta video tapes, cassette tape recorders and players, and record albums are all examples of analog devices or media. CDs, DVDs, hard disk drives, and LCD monitors are all examples of digital devices or media.

Older video security systems (often referred to today as “legacy systems”), were strictly analog in nature. The video camera, basically a smaller version of a television studio camera, transferred light energy into electrical energy that could be used to produce a video image. The electrical energy produced by the camera was sent to a Video Tape Recorder (VTR).

The VTR saves the video image as a magnetic recording on magnetic tape. The magnetic recording is in analog form meaning that the signal is recorded with weak spots and strong spots. The analog VTRs used for this purpose are either VHS or Beta format.

The greatest disadvantage of an analog security system is that the analog system is subject to distortion and degradation. Each time the recording is played a slight loss of the signal, especially in the weak spots, is experienced and over time the signal can also deteriorate.

A digital security system or digital video camera initially creates the video image in the same manner as its analog counterpart. However, a digital video camera contains an “analog to digital” converter circuit that transfers the analog signal into a digital signal.

The signals of digital security systems do not have strong and weak points like analog video. The data is only a continuous series of 1s and 0s. This data is sent via a video transmission cable just like the analog video; however instead of using a VTR to record the signal, a Digital Video Recorder or DVR is used. The DVR unit usually contains a highly specialized computer processor called a Digital Signal Processor or DSP the reads the cameras digital data and assembles it into a digital video file that is saved on the DVR.

There are two great advantages of a digital security system as compared to an analog system. First, since digital security systems use digital data, the recording typically doesn’t degrade on magnetic mediums as easy as analog signals do and, the data can be saved to media that doesn’t degrade at all (such as CDs or DVDs). Second, since digital security systems create digital data, the technology and equipment used with personal computers can be integrated for use with the digital security system.

Advances in technology with Integrated Circuit (IC) chips, digital memory storage, use of the Internet, increased speed of computer processors to name of few can all be used to the benefit of a digital security system. For example, miniature IC chips can be used with cameras the size of a pinhole to capture, digitize and transmit video. As computer hard disk drives vastly increase their storage capacity, digital video security systems reap the benefit of longer recording times without rewriting over old data. Faster and broader applications of the Internet allow a user to access their digital system from anywhere in the world there is broadband internet accessibility. And finally, as computer processor speeds and capabilities expand, video quality also gets higher and higher.

Current legacy (analog) security system users don’t despair. Although your systems are typically no longer available for purchase, it is possible to convert them to digital. Thankfully, as the digital revolution has occurred, several devices have been created that help merge some analog devices with digital equipment.

For example, analog security systems can use the internet to monitor their systems like security digital systems can. Users can purchase analog to digital capture cards and servers which transfer the signal from an analog to a digital state and incorporate into files that are computer compatible. For a nominal added expense of these devices, even analog systems can assume some of the advantages of digital security systems.

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