Camera video surveillance

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A regular digital camera is easy to use to improve home security. Simply photograph all thievable items, along with close ups of any serial numbers or identifying marks. Including a ruler in the picture can sometimes be useful.

Upload the pics to an online storage site, and if items are ever stolen the pictures can help the police identify and return your items.

You can also put up a sign or 2 stating that all items are security marked & securely catalogued offsite.

Video Surveillance

Security camera basics.

Currently in 2021 a supply of cheap chinese security cameras is available for about £40. There are many options and the sales advice is confusing. Video cameras can be used over a wide range of applications, from fully-manned area security stations down to bird-watching in a remote forest. So first you must decide what you want to do with the camera.

Check List for choosing a camera.

*Is the internet or a mobile signal available? Will you need either, both or none. Some cameras can be operated by wireless, either wifi or mobile signal. If no sigal needed or possible, then some cameras can use internal storage on a solid-state disk, this then downloaded by a LAN cable plugged into a lap-top PC.

*which control method will you use? WiFi, mobile or LAN cable. Some manufacturers only give free application software for certain platforms, Is your 'phone or laptop operating system included?

*what power supply is in reach? You have battery cameras, 12v 1amp DC cameras that you can buy a mains adaptor for, 5v DC cameras that you can run from a power supply or a USB port, 40v PoE cameras that run fron dedicated consoles in the control room, probably other options too. Will you plug an adaptor into the mains for every camera, buy a control console, or clip wires to a car battery.

*indoors or outdoors? If outdoors, how wide a view do you need? Are you pin-pointing a drive entrance with a bullet camera or watching for movement over a zone area? How far away will you read a number-plate?

*day, night, illuminated or unobtrusive? Discrete infra-red vison to observe or a blinding spotlight to scare away. Sirens and voice-over challenges to intruders are also possible on some models. Not for baby or pet monitoring, those.

*how much storage do you need? A baby monitor is viewed often but not recorded. An empty office is only viewed if something happened but a record is vital.

Example - badger watch.

A bullet camera running from a 12v car battery, set for silent and night vision, fitted with a large storage memory chip. Visited once a week for a battery change and a download by cable onto a laptop. No wireless.

Example - car park in residential block

two wide-able dome cameras with low storage connected by a LAN cable to a 3-port router hub. Power is alog the same LAN cable using a PoE injector. The router has a wifi aerial so any resident can access the camera, live and stored history, by enetring the communal password. The cameras have silent night vision and monitor for illicit use of residen't bays or theft from cars.

Example - pet monitor.

A wide area internal camera with audio enabled, no storage, connected with its own internal mobile chip and telephone number. The owner can dial in and speak to his pet if it looks distressed.

Example - building site security.

A night vision bullet camera focused on the entrance gate. Small storage, only records if a vehicle enters. Sets off lights and alarms and send a text SMS message to the manager.

Example - warehouse monitor

A dome wide-area camera with a large storage memory. as it continuously records all activity throughout the day. Reports when the memory is full by SMS text message.Low quality recording just able to recognise types of vehicle or personal clothing, probably not the number plates or faces.

Remote viewing

Inspection cameras (endoscopes) are now available fairly affordably.

DIYers have attached cameras to poles and even remote control model helicopters to inspect roofing, guttering etc.


Take pics of your project and show us. The wiki can always do with walkthroughs of various jobs.

See also

ce :