Posts Tagged ‘ led’



Fake Security Cameras

Written By:
Monday, March 5th, 2012

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

Creating Doubt

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

The Ideal Fake Security Camera Is Real Except For

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

Make It Look Real and People Will Assume It Is Real

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

Play Your Part Well and Others Will Play Theirs

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

Many Crimes are Crimes of Opportunity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Like a Good Lie Good Deception Mixes In the Truth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Digital Color CCD Camera

Written By:
Friday, October 7th, 2011

Most video security cameras today are digital color CCD cameras or digital color CMOS cameras.  How do you know which to purchase?  Is one better than the other?  What does CCD and CMOS mean?   Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more.

First let’s describe a digital video security and surveillance system.  It normally consists of three components; the camera(s), the Digital Video Recorder, and a monitor(s).  The camera’s function in this system is to capture a video image created by light reflectance and transform it into an electronic image based on electrical impulses.  Both live and recorded material is played back by the DVR and may be seen by watching the monitor.

So now that we have a general idea of what each component does, let’s talk specifically about the camera and the security camera CCD.

A digital video camera works by using a combination of mechanical (lenses) and electronic (Integrated Circuit or IC chips and printed boards).  Whatever direction the camera may be pointed in, the area that you will see as a point of view from the camera is called the camera’s field of view.  The field of view is the specific area that will constitute the video image.

The field of view can be made larger or smaller depending on the focal length of the lens.  A standard lens has one focal length and therefore one field of view.  Varifocal lenses can vary their focal length (either manually or remotely).  The field of view contains objects that reflect light.  This reflected light is captured by the lens and when in focus, the lens focuses the reflected light on a sensor chip which is usually only 1/4 to 1/3 inch square.

This sensor chip, in our case, is the security camera CCD or Charged Coupled Device (There is another sensor that is used for the same purpose called a Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.  Although it works a little differently than the CCD it produces the same results).  As the focused light strikes the security camera CCD, tiny pixels on the sensor emit a very small but measurable electric impulse.  There may be more than one CCD and there maybe the use of one or more filters involved as well.

Once the light strikes the security camera CCD, the CCD gives off its electrical impulses and these are measured and interpreted by the analog to digital processor IC chip.  This is when the video image becomes digital.  As the processing continues in the camera, the camera’s Digital Signal Processor or DSP, in essence another IC chip makes adjustments to brightness, color intensity, contrast, etc. to make sure the video image is of the highest quality.

Once the video image information now binary or digital, is sent to the DVR the DVR stores it or plays it live.  Either the camera or the DVR compiles the binary data and creates a digital video file out of it.   These digital video files are the same type of digital video files that can be watched on a personal computer.

The digital color CCD camera (and the CMOS) have a unique feature about them that makes it even more versatile.  The CCD (and CMOS) is inherently able to see infrared light.  Infrared light is invisible to the human eye, so this makes for a very powerful, useful security device.  Most night time infrared cameras have an array of Infrared producing Light Emitting Diodes or IR LEDs that are arranged around the lens of the camera.   The human eye cannot see their light, but to the CCD, they work like using a floodlight.

In addition to the array of LED’s around the camera lens, IR LED illuminators may also be used.   Illuminators are just a group of more IR LEDs to add more light to the picture.  Some illuminators boast IR ranges of as much as 300 feet when using the illuminator along with the camera’s own lights.

Incidentally, since this type of video imagery is done with only IR light, the image will be in either black and white or monochromatic.  But very seldom will the detail or resolution degrade so the IR video image is as good of quality as the day time color versions.

Security Camera King has a large variety of digital color CCD cameras.  Check our on-line catalog to see all the digital color CCD cameras that we have to offer.

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CCTV Camera Systems

Written By:
Thursday, March 17th, 2011

These days there are more Closed Circuit TeleVision or CCTV camera systems than applications for their uses.  If you are interested in such a system, it will serve you well to do some research before venturing out to make your fist purchase.  At Security Camera King, we encourage you to shop around, because we know that we offer the highest quality systems and the best possible prices.  After you’ve looked at other offers, we’re sure you’ll come back to us to make your final purchase.

You may be asking what is meant by the term “CCTV Camera System.”  A CCTV camera system is simply a digital video camera system that normally includes a Digital Video Recorder and a display monitor.  Today’s systems are entirely digital and the systems are component systems, meaning that when putting together your system, you can choose different pieces of the system that have different functions to tailor fit the system to your needs.

First a little history.  Closed Circuit Television or CCTV got its name way back in the days of analog transmissions.  A typical video security system was referred to as a Closed Circuit system because the cameras did not broadcast their signals to the open public.  These cameras were basically smaller versions of the cameras used in television studios.  However, television studio broadcasts were amplified and distributed to the open public (i.e. anyone that had a receiver or television).

CCTV on the other hand, consisted of a circuit of one or more cameras, each connected to a video recorder by means of a video transmission cable.  Analog CCTV camera systems recorded their video on magnetic tape, usually VHS or Beta format.   The used tape had to be ejected and a new one put in place every few hours or a “loop” tape was used.  When a loop tape reached the end of the tape, it simply continued over again on the beginning of the tape, re-recording over the original.

Today, CCTV camera systems are digital.  Instead of sending their video transmissions in analog type signals, they are sent in binary or digital form, usually in the form of bits or bytes, the same sort of digital segments used by personal computers.  The camera data is compiled into a digital video file which can either be stored on a hard drive disk or other storage media and/or viewed on a digital monitor.

Since the data is digital, many of the individual electronic components of a modern CCTV camera system are the same things used in personal computing.  For example, the computer Hard Disk Drive or HDD is the major constituent of the DVR storage.  A computer processor, much like the Central Processing Unit or CPU of a personal computer compiles the digital video files, controls and coordinates camera activity as well as playback and other DVR functions.

Since the original video security systems were analog and were called CCTV camera systems, there may be some confusion or crossover that exists today when describing digital video systems.  For example, analog CCTV cameras displayed their video on older CRT (cathode ray tube) type television monitors.  The CRT monitor displays a picture by rapidly projecting horizontal lines across the screen; the more horizontal lines per fixed vertical area, the greater the detail or resolution of the video.

Digital video is not displayed in horizontal lines, but as a series of horizontal and vertical dots called pixels.  These pixels may be circular or square in shape.  Generally speaking, the more pixels in a video for a fixed area, the greater the detail of the video because the dots are much smaller.  This allows for finer detail in the image.

So where’s the confusion?  Today you may still see CCTV camera systems that describe their clarity or detail or resolution of the camera in terms of Televsion Lines or TVL.  Yet other cameras may describe their resolution in terms of pixels.  For more information on determining the equivalencies of resolution for these systems see the articles in our knowledge base.

Since most of our monitors that are manufactured today are no longer CRT type but are more commonly LCD (liquid Crystal Display) or LED (Light Emitting Diode), it would see logical that over time, the TVL descriptor will eventually lose out to the more familiar digital “pixel” resolution (for example 720 X 340 pixels), but for the time being, it is well enough that you are aware that the difference exists.

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Infrared Wireless Security Camera

Written By:
Sunday, January 30th, 2011

An infrared wireless security camera offers the ease of do-it-yourself installation and the versatility of total darkness digital video recording. Weather you choose and indoor or outdoor type camera, these cameras can be mounted just about anywhere provided you can provide them with a power source to operate. In addition, infrared wireless security cameras do not require any other special add-on equipment to function.

Infrared wireless security cameras are used for many different applications. The following is just a short, partial list of some of those uses:
• Residential Indoor Applications. In areas that are not always lit, such as storage areas, garages, or any room that is dark. These cameras are excellent for use as baby monitor cameras.
• Industrial (and/or Commercial) Indoor Applications. In any area that is not well lit especially storage facilities, chemical or hazmat storage and use areas, retail store “back” rooms, night time exits and entrances, etc.
• Residential Outdoor Applications. Anywhere outside the house that you want to cover a perimeter zone that surrounds the house: Drive ways, garages or shops not attached to the main home, entrance gates, boats, and barns.
• Industrial (and/or Commercial) Outdoor Applications. Outside store perimeters, no-trespassing areas that may be difficult to patrol in darkness, night-time (or no-light condition) equipment operation areas, rooms and offices that are vacant at night, areas where money and other valuables are stored.

These cameras have the added advantage of performing as a normal visible light digital video camera when sufficient light is available and as an infrared light digital video camera when there is an insufficient amount of light. When the cameras are operating under visible light conditions, they provide a high-quality color display; and when operating under infrared conditions they provide a high-quality black and white or monochromatic video image.

As the description indicates, an infrared wireless security camera does not require the use of a video transmission cable. Non-wireless cameras must have an RG-59 coaxial or similar cable run from each camera to the Digital Video Recorder or DVR. This cabling can complicate installation and some users may feel that, although the cable can be hidden most of the time, when it is visible it can be obtrusive.

Infrared wireless security cameras use one of many different types of wireless technologies to send their video data to a corresponding receiver, or directly to a DVR unit that has a built-in receiver. One of the most popular wireless technologies used for this purpose is the 2.4 or 5.8 GHz technology due to its crisp, clear mostly interference free transmission/reception. (This is the same technology used on many landline-based wireless telephones.)

If the signal is received by a corresponding wireless receiver, the receiver is usually located near the DVR unit and is connected to it by a cable. Some DVRs made specifically for wireless applications have on-board receivers that “catch” the cameras’ transmission and relay it directly to the DVR for further processing.

Most infrared wireless security cameras radio technologies are based on something called a Line Of Sight range or LOS. An LOS range means the camera’s maximum transmission range is based on LOS. This means the camera’s maximum transmission is specified based on a situation where there is an unobstructed view (or LOS) between the camera and the receiver. Although obstructions do not usually cancel the transmission, they do reduce the maximum range based on their material composition.

The interesting thing about infrared wireless security cameras is that they are intrinsically sensitive to infrared radiation. The digital video camera uses one of two sensors, a Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS or a Charge Coupled Device CCD, to convert light images into electrical signals that create digital video images. Both of these sensors can detect not only visible light, but infrared light of the near-infrared wavelength. Furthermore, the cameras’ sensors can “see” the infrared light, but the human eye cannot. There for the light used for infrared illumination is literally invisible to the human eye.

Infrared wireless security cameras normally used infrared Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs to create the illumination for the camera. These LEDs may be configured in an array surrounding the camera lens, off to the side, or entirely separate on an infrared “illuminator.” Generally, the more LEDS the longer the range of capturing in total darkness conditions. For that reason, always check the specifications before purchasing the camera to make sure it meets your required range.

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Camera Video Monitor

Written By:
Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

A camera video monitor is used to view either the field of vision being captured by one camera or by a series of cameras in a digital video security system. Digital video camera monitors have made great strides in technological improvements in the last several years producing a higher quality, lighter, and more adaptive piece of digital video security system equipment.

It’s important to understand a little about the history of camera video monitors in security camera systems and how they used to work compared to how they work today. Let’s take a closer look at a camera video monitor.

First, we should identify the three main components of a video security system. That includes one to several video cameras, a video recorder, and at least one camera video monitor. Note that the word “digital” did not appear in the previous two sentences because we are referring to the older analog video security camera systems.

The older analog video camera systems consisted of analog video cameras which were basically miniature version of cameras used in an average television studio. However, since television cameras “broadcasted” their signal to the general public, security video cameras were often (and still maybe today) referred to as Closed Circuit Television or CCTV. The circuit is closed because the security system camera sends its signal to the video recorder and monitor, a closed circuit, rather than broadcasting it for unrestricted access.

The recorders used in these older analog systems were usually analog video tape recorders such as a VHS or BETA recorder and the monitors were basically miniature televisions. In contrast we use digital video security cameras, Digital Video Recorders or DVRs and high resolution camera video monitors with LCD, Plasma, or LED displays today.

The older “tube” type television camera video monitor and the analog video camera, worked with video in terms of “lines of resolution.” Without getting overly technical, the quality of these displays was much lower than today’s typical Plasma, LCD, or LED camera video monitor since the tube projected the image in alternating “lines.” Today the image is made up of pixels, extremely small dots or squares that can provide a much greater (or finer) resolution, and therefore a much higher quality display image.

Often times, older analog cameras would require an individual camera video monitor for each camera. Today however, depending on the size and resolution of the display, all of the cameras within a system can be displayed on one monitor. In fact, the digital video security systems used today do not require a camera video monitor to operate. A monitor is used to set the system up initially, but may be removed after the initial settings have been made. Yet, the monitor is still the component with the highest use since it is used to view live or recorded video in one way or another.

Of the three types of camera video monitors used today, the LCD is the most prevalent. Since video security systems have become digital, they have gained access to many of the technological improvements of personal computers. Therefore, monitors that are currently used for personal computing may also be used for digital video security systems with one provision; the monitor must have the capability to display using the output connectors for the system.

Personal computer monitors typically have VGA (Video Graphics Array), DVI (Digital Video Interface), or HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connectors for video input. Security digital video cameras however still utilize RG-59 coaxial cable with a BNC (Bayonet Neill-Concelman) connector. Most computer display monitors do not have BNC inputs; most security camera video monitors DO have BNC inputs.

This is important because if you choose to place a monitor on a single or specific camera, chances are it will need a BNC input connector. While most DVRs have BNC connectors for the camera inputs, they usually have several different output types to the monitor (VGA, DVI, and HDMI for example). When you purchase a camera video monitor for your security system, just make sure the outputs of the cameras and/or DVR matches the input connections of the monitor.

Security Camera King offers a wide variety of camera video monitors available for purchase. What’s more is that we also have BNC to VGA Monitor Converters available which allows you to view your video security camera with a BNC connector on a VGA monitor. In addition we also have monitor mounts available. For more information, talk to one of our security experts.

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