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Author Topic: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?  (Read 17310 times)

essp2003

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Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« on: April 22, 2007, 04:23:22 PM »

This has to be a wide topic and ideas would be helpful to newbies.
I'd thought a section may be deditcated to this subject.

Vandals and effectiveness for residents make the camera system great, or just a waste of time and money.
Unfortunately the vandals and crooks already know all the secrets.

Maybe there is no way to outfox professional crooks, other than redundant cameras.
But then, a $2 knit mask and he will destroy both of your cameras and then steal you blind.
It seems risky to enter odds that great without any discussion about ways to effectively camouflage you cameras.
I hope I'm not the first one with this concern?


Thanks!!
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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2007, 09:13:43 PM »

A great topic!

I like bird houses to hide cameras! My wife and I feed the birds and have attracted quite a few. And we have erected several bird houses, so the ones with the cameras blend in real well.

But I have one (non-X10) rather large camera I keep exposed. Anyone with a sharp eye will spot it... and another one.... and a hundred other places where cameras could be hidden. And thats just outside! The X10 wired camera is tiny enough to hide nearly anywhere. But if no one sees a camera.... it's not an effective deterrent.

I also position my cameras so they watch each other. Messing with a camera... will likely get you caught on tape. I use AHP (Active Home Pro) and have created a "switching" macro. So (after a period of time) after a cameras motion sensor has tripped a record action, the macro scans through all the cameras.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 02:42:02 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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essp2003

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2007, 04:23:31 PM »

Dave,

My Stepdad really liked watching birds, but 4 miles from the Gulf in Florida, I'd have 10,000 birds in my yard in a heart beat. Yours looks real nice though.

The tampering with/adjusting cameras is also an unknown concern of disquised cameras (changing bird feed?), which means more automation, higher level cameras(adjust by focus/tilt/rotate,...), and software which all have to be compatible. By the time I get it initially dialed in, the cat is out of the bag where its at.

AHP advertises turning on/off house lights predominantly but anything can do anything if you know how and got the money/time. I would rather not start off that complicated, or it would have reduced chances of success in the long run if can't start out simple.

Plus wireless have the batteries changed which is another bird feed change I guess. Wired sounds the best initially since all kinds of 2.4Ghz gadgets and gadgets made to disrupt wave ranges; and I'd want looking outward in a criss cross pattern in front and back with maybe a dummy camera for my visible's front and back (not having as many cameras as you evidently).

Locations on a single level house adjacent to the wall are limited on these plane concrete wall houses with a 8.5' roof eave all the way around the house. Maybe look for some kind of  outside wall trim at Home Depot. Home Depot does have a 20' flag pole for $135, but that is not without concerns, other than lifting and lowering flag every day, ha-ha. Maybe a bird house that high with a stuffed cat inside would do the trick, but they are supposed to have food put in every now and then.

The bird house facing outward with no pedestal might be noticable. So bird houses and flood lamps are the main ideas on houses facing outward?


Thanks Dave!
Have you ever been robbed yet?  :-)

« Last Edit: April 23, 2007, 04:26:01 PM by essp2003 »
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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2007, 09:46:08 PM »


The tampering with/adjusting cameras is also an unknown concern of disquised cameras (changing bird feed?), which means more automation, higher level cameras(adjust by focus/tilt/rotate,...), and software which all have to be compatible. By the time I get it initially dialed in, the cat is out of the bag where its at.


Since I set up my cameras, they have ran pretty much trouble free.... no adjustments, tilting, refocusing. (I did have to replace a wire a chipmonk chewed up)

If letting the punks that live in the neighborhood know that I am not going to be an easy target.... is "letting the cat out of the bag". Then... yes my cat is out of her bag.


AHP advertises turning on/off house lights predominantly but anything can do anything if you know how and got the money/time. I would rather not start off that complicated, or it would have reduced chances of success in the long run if can't start out simple.


I missed that advertisement about predominantly using AHP for turn house lights ON/OFF.

Do start small and simple with X10! A one (wired) camera package is a great way to get your feet wet. Learn about advantages, and limitations before you design your system.



Plus wireless have the batteries changed which is another bird feed change I guess. Wired sounds the best initially since all kinds of 2.4Ghz gadgets and gadgets made to disrupt wave ranges; and I'd want looking outward in a criss cross pattern in front and back with maybe a dummy camera for my visible's front and back (not having as many cameras as you evidently).


Well even wireless cameras are generally wired. Instead of batteries most people wire to the AC outlet where they plug in the wall-wart transformer. I use BOTH wired and wireless.

Real looking dummy cameras cost as much as real ones... why not just use a real camera.



The bird house facing outward with no pedestal might be noticable. So bird houses and flood lamps are the main ideas on houses facing outward?


You can also mount the camera INSIDE looking out the window. You might hide a camera behind an outside shutter. You can point a camera lens through a tiny hole drilled in a wall, a fence, or fence post. You can attach cameras to your plumbing vent on the roof. Attach a camera directly to a tree... or stick one in a flower pot WITH the plant in it.



Have you ever been robbed yet?  :-)


No (Thank God) not yet.
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essp2003

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2007, 05:25:33 AM »

Dave,

Wow, thanks!

1. Saw dummy domes w/flashing red light for $15 somewhere - ?
But mine are especially for terrorist neighbors, so don't want to advertise with camera:
I just want logistical vision on corner lot and audio visual evidence. There are many of them with a shotgun microphone, junk trucks, and cell phones: and one of me.

2. Thinking now about 2 IR w/audio cameras front and back w/internet storage (but I don't have 160GB storage on my scsi hard drives), and
I don't know how sound would be recorded per photos: although I realize its a different card to support, or if sound would be per realtime vcr storage and realtime exclusively. I would like to alarm and record movement of designated areas.

3. Great suggestions! As well, does hiding IR cameras behind flood lamps overshadow image with bright blotches when lamps are one, or does it switch modes back to color in brighter lights? Flood lamps seemed to be a way to get the proper angles for cross camerasupport without having items that can be tossed around with strong winds; and would turn on for physical encroachment at night time, where as camera alarms would be 24/7 and pointed to other places than physical encroachment.

4. How do you disquise the red light in IR camera? Some IR's are good for 50 to 75' and it must be like a weak red laser almost - ?

5. And is there problems with IR behind windows looking outside, or is that just within a dome plastic curved bubble I've heard they would mirror the lens back if placed behind a dome lens? Even with flood lamps, the red light and exposed bulb would be a reason I'd like to build the cameras looking through my Industrial acoustic window particians (lots of D-class amp 1000W subwoofer 'pain' machine $200 cars around here). I really like the IR technology and it would seem to solve a lot of complaints with X10 owners not specing the right camera for nightime when outside cameras can be good detectives :-) Light bulbs go out by random error or design, but IR should always provide realtime and historical evidence from my newbie perspective.

6. And just saw my 'high' camera position position today, from one of your earlier suggestions. Thanks again and again Friend! Almost have a plan started once I get my privacy fence up for starters. But this stuff like you illuded to is infinite in possibilities, so the applications can always get better with more thought into it (or with assistance from nice guru's like your self).


Thanks Kindly Dave!!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2007, 08:00:31 PM by essp2003 »
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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2007, 09:10:11 PM »


Thinking now about 2 IR w/audio cameras front and back w/internet storage (but I don't have 160GB storage on my scsi hard drives), and
I don't know how sound would be recorded per photos: although I realize its a different card to support, or if sound would be per realtime vcr storage and realtime exclusively. I would like to alarm and record movement of designated areas.


I also have two IR cameras. However one is true IR (non-visible) light (to humans) much like the "light" that shines from a TV remote control. The other is an Infra RED sorta visible reddish light, far dimmer than a laser (to humans). [although apparently bright enough to keep snakes from breeding.... but thats another post]

Distance will vary greatly depending on brands, specs, depth of pockets....

In the state where I live it's not legal to tape record a person's voice without their knowledge. Although it is legal for me to video record a person (without sound) in a place where they would normally expect to be seen. You should be aware of the laws in your state.

I don't record voices... though I can "hear them live" on my TV. You can easily email video to yourself using X10.... a cheap and secure solution (as well as the reliable VCR).


...... does hiding IR cameras behind flood lamps overshadow image with bright blotches when lamps are one, or does it switch modes back to color in brighter lights? Flood lamps seemed to be a way to get the proper angles for cross camerasupport without having items that can be tossed around with strong winds; and would turn on for physical encroachment at night time, where as camera alarms would be 24/7 and pointed to other places than physical encroachment.

...... is there problems with IR behind windows looking outside,



The floodlights INCREASE the range of my IR cams. Glass (windows) WILL reflect back and "blind" an IR camera.


How do you disquise the red light in IR camera?



I don't. If someone approaches my home at night... the perimeter alarm lights the place up like a Christmas tree... inside and outside. Plus a chime sounds in the bedroom... and a voice announces where the activity is detected.

The wind hasn't been a problem, as far as any "false alarms". Although from time-to-time a ratcoon will trigger a sensor.


And just saw my 'high' camera position position today, from one of your earlier suggestions.
Thanks Kindly Dave!!


Glad you found it helpful.
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essp2003

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 05:18:12 AM »

Dave,

Is there a centralized surveillance camera updated law data base anywhere, like what you can record visually and/or soundwise? Mainly I wanted to catch Nuisance sounds, and all talk would be Spanish mostly, which I don't know for the most part any way. I am in Florida which doesn't seem to have many laws comparable to other states in SE USA where I've lived most my life.

The exposed exterior IR camera lense seems to be a problem still, but not an unmanageable one since you have helped me come a long way in understanding camera system alternatives.

Your house sounds magical. It would be a good ad for X10 to have a video of your house systems, to show what is possible.


Thank You Sir!
« Last Edit: April 25, 2007, 05:24:00 AM by essp2003 »
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TakeTheActive

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2007, 12:41:11 PM »


...Your house sounds magical...

THAT is an understatement!  CLICK HERE (but first, place a large pail under your chin to catch the drool... 8) ).
« Last Edit: October 16, 2009, 01:39:28 AM by -Bill- (of wgjohns.com) »
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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2007, 05:36:14 PM »


first, place a large pail under your chin to catch the drool... 8) ).


Thanks TTA! It was the Theater that got me into X10 (I wanted to dim lights with a remote).



Is there a centralized surveillance camera updated law data base anywhere, like what you can record visually and/or soundwise? Mainly I wanted to catch Nuisance sounds, and all talk would be Spanish mostly, which I don't know for the most part any way. I am in Florida which doesn't seem to have many laws comparable to other states in SE USA where I've lived most my life.


I did a quick search and found this.....  http://www.rtnda.org/resources/hiddencamera/allstates.html   I don't know if that will be any help to you, but a little searching should give you all the info you want.


Your house sounds magical. It would be a good ad for X10 to have a video of your house systems, to show what is possible.


Thanks! I really have gotten a lot of convenience, security and FUN from X10 products..... AND from the X10 community. But many (MANY) here at the forum have done much more with X10 than I have.

You can view the video ad I made for X10 at the X10 videos Page. Mine is called "using X10". I won a prize from X10 for that!
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essp2003

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 07:42:18 PM »

Thanks for the information Guys!

Dave that was a good site on laws and appreciate your time looking it up. Thought that would be pinned on one of these boards since 3rd degree felonies are nothing to sneeze at.

This stuff is entertaining. All you would need is a Thermal Imager for $12.5K to see through walls, and you would never need to watch tv again, ha-ha.

I'm still working on camouflaging IR cameras outside, but am anxious to get my control screen with motion activated alerts and flood lamps. I can't wait until my first clean bust, lol.
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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2007, 08:29:30 PM »


I'm still working on camouflaging IR cameras outside, but am anxious to get my control screen with motion activated alerts and flood lamps. I can't wait until my first clean bust, lol.


Here is a site that has a little info about IR light.... and maybe an idea or two you might find helpful: http://www.maxmax.com/pro_ir_illuminators.htm

Of course I am refering to a 940nm IR (human invisible) camera and additional IR illuminator(s).
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essp2003

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2007, 05:37:19 PM »

OK Dave, I think understand better now. The IR that look like lots of clear spikes are the human invisible IR cameras.
The Red lights are more short distance I would imagine.

Any additional IR information or actual camaouflaged IR cameras outside in the field would be beneficial.

>>  Some ideas on borders around lens through wall may be helpful as well, to make look like conservative trim, and even looks like IR lens for body of wall trim.
i.e. eyes of an antimated animal charater molding, lol, but that's a little obvious. If mine are seen in the city and outside, they will be gone within a week, cross view or not.


Thanks!!

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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2007, 06:55:54 PM »

I don't know of anyway of "looking" at an IR LED (or IR camera), and knowing it's "Wavelength" of light output. IR cameras (and illuminators) generate IR light in the wavelength(s) between 850nm - 940nm.

The cameras are more sensitive to the lower 850nm... which is also HUMAN VISIBLE. The HIGHER wavelength (940nm) is NOT visible to humans.

The only way to know what your getting is to check the specs.
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essp2003

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2007, 02:04:31 AM »

I don't know of anyway of "looking" at an IR LED (or IR camera), and knowing it's "Wavelength" of light output. IR cameras (and illuminators) generate IR light in the wavelength(s) between 850nm - 940nm.

The cameras are more sensitive to the lower 850nm... which is also HUMAN VISIBLE. The HIGHER wavelength (940nm) is NOT visible to humans.

The only way to know what your getting is to check the specs.

So the 940nm seem to be the win-win alternative: less sensitive and not detectable. Now if they were only cheaper too, lol.
That's good information!

Now lenses thickness effects the span of vision vertically and horizontally for cctv's. Does increased span mean you lose depth accuracy like reading tag numbers?
And is this directly related to IR cameras, except the IR depth is another constraint that limits depth (except if you get IR aids like you posted earlier.
It would cost more, but may could use only one versus two cameras since will be sheltered behind wall anyway. Or at least can get lowest cost camera for cross vision redundancy.
One angle or view is usually paramount anyway.


Thanks Greatly!
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HA Dave

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Re: Any Resources for Outside Surveillance Camera Camouflaging?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2007, 06:51:49 PM »


It would cost more, but may could use only one versus two cameras since will be sheltered behind wall anyway. Or at least can get lowest cost camera for cross vision redundancy.
One angle or view is usually paramount anyway.


X10 has a ninja, PAN AND TILT (CR14A) camera stand, that others have mounted a wired IR camera on. X10 also makes the Vanguard 44X Zoom Video Camera System with 1/2 mile ZOOM and NightVision. The Vanguard is (I believe) not intended for outside use, however because it doesn't use IR lights it can be used through a window.

Another way to increase your cameras nightvision effectiveness is to use decorative or security lighting around your home.

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