Spy cam info?
April 25, 2005 10:51 AM   Subscribe

How should I set up several small, wireless spy cams to monitor damage to my property?

Further to this post, I need several tiny, wireless video cams (could be B&W), likely with infrared (night) vision, to catch vandalism on my property. Should have motion/IR sensors to save only the incriminating moments. What products can you recommend? What are the computer hard drive/video card/software requirements?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium to Home & Garden (9 answers total)
Cheapest way to do it would be to get one of the packages from X10.
posted by mrbill at 10:54 AM on April 25, 2005

This product was evaluated positively.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:13 PM on April 25, 2005

Just FYI - CCD based cameras are already "night vision" in that they are sensitive to IR light. You can install IR Floods that will give you the night viewing that you want.
If you capture to a PC you can use Webcam32 which has a motion capture via % difference in the image, although I suspect it's not that great.
posted by plinth at 12:42 PM on April 25, 2005

Could you let us know how this works out for you, pandemonium , maybe with a MeTa post? And good luck.
posted by LarryC at 1:24 PM on April 25, 2005

I'll do that, LarryC. May take some time. Getting soil samples, also.
Thanks to all for the info.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:02 PM on April 25, 2005

I briefly played with webcamXP, it supported multiple cameras, the motion detection worked really well - you could set the sensitivity to whatever you wanted, and tell it to save the stuff where something has changed to a seperate directory. It has a downloadable trial too.

Are insects attracted to IR floodlights? If they are, that might add a complication to setting motion-detect on a hair-trigger.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:13 AM on April 26, 2005

Video card is irrelevant, just use USB webcams. A usb hub may be needed. Use cams that do 640x480 without interpolation though (most cheapies are 320x240 and interpolate to 640x480). Motion detection is irrelevant, the software will do that for you.

Software like webcamxp that I mentioned can also immediately email you the image taken when it's motion threshold is crossed, so you could probably use it with a multimedia cellphone to get alerts nomatter where you are.

If you need some way to positively ID the guy's face from footage to a sceptical audience, then you may need either a camera really close, or you'll have to buy a proper security cam with a hefty lens, which will be expensive, and probably not work with the rest of the system (ie require a VHS deck or something, motion detectors, etc). Perhaps buy a camera to try it out and get a feel for the detail level and lens. Webcams have a pretty low level of zoom - useful for showing someone whose face is 2 feet from the cam, but less useful if they're 20 yeards away.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:27 AM on April 26, 2005

I needed to know just that, so thanks for asking.
(We're calling the proposed project "The Floozy Cam", as the culprit is a neighbor's live-in.)
posted by unrepentanthippie at 5:21 AM on April 26, 2005

Great advice, thanks, -harlequin-.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:20 AM on April 26, 2005

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