Mobile Security Camera Needed

sev24sev

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Hello!

I live in an apartment and have a shed in the furthest spot from the building that houses two motorcycles. In the last few months, it has been broken into at least three times a week and urinated on/in almost daily. The first time a motorcycle ramp was stolen but the bikes were not touched. Since then, I've reinforced the doors but they still get yanked partially open at least once a week. Someone has also been urinating on the doors, through the doors and placing random junk in front of the doors (tree stump, muffler, etc.). I need a camera that I can mount in a vehicle that will be parked across from the shed and will record with the vehicle off, preferably only when something is happening. I believe that I am looking for something with a low current draw, maybe no lights in standby mode (or I'll cover them with electrical tape), no screen or a screen that shuts off, motion detection and a long recording time. There is a parking lot light right above the space that the vehicle will be parked in so there will be some night time lighting although the times of the events seem to be both day/night anyway.

This is really the only use I will have for the camera, and hopefully won't need it after I catch the people involved (other than as a novelty dash cam since I'll own it) so I don't want to spend too much. But it is getting frustrating quickly so I'm ready to do whatever I need to get the job done within reason.

Am I in the right place? Any shared knowledge or recommendations would be appreciated.
 

No1up

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I'd like to know as well..
 

GJHS

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I think the Mobius could work because it's small enough to be hidden and cheap. It is the size of a tic tac box so maybe concealed near the shed. Unless the lighting is good, any low price dash cam would be less effective than a security cam with infared.

@Dashmellow is the security expert and he would be the best on this topic.
 

spytec

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Try these two:

1. http://www.spytecinc.com/zetta-z16-wide-angle-720p-hd-intelligent-security-camcorder.html
2. http://www.spytecinc.com/brinno-mac200-outdoor-security-camera-w-14-month-battery.html
Mobius wide angle would work also but the battery life is quite short so it would need to be hardwired.

Hello!

I live in an apartment and have a shed in the furthest spot from the building that houses two motorcycles. In the last few months, it has been broken into at least three times a week and urinated on/in almost daily. The first time a motorcycle ramp was stolen but the bikes were not touched. Since then, I've reinforced the doors but they still get yanked partially open at least once a week. Someone has also been urinating on the doors, through the doors and placing random junk in front of the doors (tree stump, muffler, etc.). I need a camera that I can mount in a vehicle that will be parked across from the shed and will record with the vehicle off, preferably only when something is happening. I believe that I am looking for something with a low current draw, maybe no lights in standby mode (or I'll cover them with electrical tape), no screen or a screen that shuts off, motion detection and a long recording time. There is a parking lot light right above the space that the vehicle will be parked in so there will be some night time lighting although the times of the events seem to be both day/night anyway.

This is really the only use I will have for the camera, and hopefully won't need it after I catch the people involved (other than as a novelty dash cam since I'll own it) so I don't want to spend too much. But it is getting frustrating quickly so I'm ready to do whatever I need to get the job done within reason.

Am I in the right place? Any shared knowledge or recommendations would be appreciated.
 

Dashmellow

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As @GJHS mentioned a fixed surveillance type CCTV camera with infra-red illuminators would be the best thing you could use but that would require sustained 12V power to operate a typical camera and you would need a recording device to go with the camera. Also, for the IR camera to function properly, it would need to be outside your vehicle.

I think for this purpose, considering that it appears that you can park your car directly across from the shed, a dash cam with decent low light performance may well capture what you need. The photo you've provided shows a street light directly across from the shed, which would be behind your parked vehicle. This may be all the light you need and I think a Mobius could be a good solution for several reasons. Although, I would avoid using any kind of motion detection as it is not reliable in any outdoor setting from my experience, the new firmware for the Mobius can do great time-lapse video and it is highly adjustable. This could provide many, many hours of capture onto a 32GB card and ultimately give you freeze frames of the perp. On the other hand you could also do straight 720p or 1080p video and many people have had good success using 64GB microSD cards in the camera for extended capture. A Mobius with the standard "A" (narrower FOV) lens would probably be best for this purpose since you want details of the center part of your image. Another thing about the Mobius is that you can fit it with a super-capacitor in place of the internal battery for only around 6 dollars and this would be important and even necessary if you want to run the camera for many hours at a time to avoid overheating.

Another feature of the Mobius is that unlike most any other camera available, you can adjust various exposure parameters using the camera's GUI interface (on your computer). While many cameras allow you to adjust the EV and some other settings, the Mobius can finely adjust exposure, sharpness, contrast, saturation, color options and white balance and this would allow you to tweak the settings to work optimally under these particular fixed lighting conditions, especially if you need to optimize the settings for night time. The camera has switchable Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) as well as a dedicated low light setting.

Finally, there is the question of powering the camera for extended periods.

One option is to hardwire it to the 12V system in your car and there are several options available that will monitor your battery and cut power to the camera at the appropriate time so you don't come back to find a dead vehicle battery.

Another option, which is the one I would actually recommend is to buy an inexpensive high capacity external USB battery bank. There are numerous similar choices on the market in a wide range of prices but the one I've been using costs only around 20 dollars at the moment with free shipping from Amazon. It "claims" to have a 50,000 mAh capacity running a lithium-polymer pack. While the actual capacity is probably far less, I have been able to run a dash cam (not a Mobius) for just under 20 hours on a single charge. Although I have yet to test it, my hunch is a Mobius would run far longer on this battery. While this battery is a generic Chinese product sold under different names I've been delighted with the quality and performance of the battery bank for the price and I use it to run two cameras simultaneously in "parking mode" for many hours when I am out and about in my vehicle. This should give you more than enough running time for your needs in a simple to set-up, low cost package. All you would need is an inexpensive USB-A to mini-B 5 pin cable in your choice of length, such as this one.

One final thought. I see that the shed has windows in the door. Assuming the perp can no longer actually gain entry to the shed it might be an interesting option to mount a camera inside the shed facing out the window running on an external battery like I suggest for your car. In theory, this could capture a close-up of the guy's face and other important details that you may not capture from across the way.

Also, if there is one piece of advice I can offer from personal experience trying to catch a vandal on a surveillance system, Be Patient! It could take quite a few tries before you actually get the guy on camera, or get good enough footage to be legally actionable. Keep trying, adjust your technique if necessary, bide your time but eventually you'll get him.
 
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petepete

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I am really curious to know why people say it is necessary to fit a battery voltage protector or suggest an external power pack..

The simple fact is the average camera doesnt use more than 300ma an hour and if you multiply that by a 24 hour day you get 72000 mah which is 7.5 AH ..... A car battery is usually above 50Ah and judging by monitored power use on my RV, you would nt see the voltage below 12V with a mere 7.5AH "missing"....

I doubt many leave their dashcams on longer than 24 hours so it seems a bit of an urban mith to go to the trouble and expenditure of a power pack and a voltage cut off device.


I am also curious to know to what extent these dashcams are sensative to infra red light having tested mine and successfully tested it "seeing" the infra red of my tv remote... ( just wondering if a good infra red source would light the area enough to enhance the use of the dashcam in his car, especially having noted there are ones available that cannot be seen by the naked eye )
 

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The CMOS sensors in dash cameras are highly sensitive to near-infrared light (from 700 nanometers (nm) up to about 1000 nm). Therefore all dash cams use full time permanent IR Cut filters to block IR due to this sensitivity so that it does not distort the colors of images as the human eye sees them. These filters typically have a blue hue to them as they also sometimes block some of the light from the longer red wavelengths. Many fixed position CCTV cameras have similar IR cut filters but they are mechanically operated by a solenoid and photoelectric cell and are removed from the lens path during nighttime hours to enhance IR sensitivity.

I've wondered the same thing about whether you can just use the car battery to run dash cams. Often it's a matter of hardwiring the cam anyway as many cars cut power to the cigarette lighter when the ignition is off, so why not have a protection circuit? Maybe it seems unnecessary to some but the consensus seems to be that it is wise to protect your car battery from excess unexpected drain. Many cameras use more than 300mA and modern cars also have various systems that are draining the battery anyway while they are parked. I know where I live, in a cold climate I always want my vehicle battery to be at its optimal and wouldn't want cameras or any extraneous devices draining it even a little when it is well below freezing out. Recently, I've been driving a rental GMC Yukon full sized SUV which has four separate 12V outlets in the cabin along with a USB port. All of them are live full time even when the ignition is off. As this is a big honkin' vehicle with a huge 12v high capacity battery in it I do use it to power my cameras instead of the external USB battery but I doubt I would do this in the wintertime.
 
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petepete

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I run a webasto heater that uses 30amps to start it and 4 amps to run it for a half hour pre heating/defrosting in winter and now the cameras overnight ( cabrio diesel )- you will be fine !!!!
 

Dashmellow

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According to the Webasto specs for their parking heater it states that "A low voltage protection circuit ensures that there is always enough battery power available to start the vehicle." Imagine that!
 

petepete

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you are well read...

but i can tell you this much... it is useless !!!!

The low voltage protection is set at 10.6v purely to save damage to the battery and if it does kick in there is no way there will be enough power to start the car !!!

( i think its primary purpose is for boats and RVs that use it for heating and run their leisure batteries low )

"every car should have one ! "

( i tested my dash cam with the infra red off my rv reverse camera - it makes no differance )
 

petepete

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My 2 g1wh dashcams have now been running constantly for 28 hours, testing the loop on a new 32g kingston sd card having had to return 2 medion 32g cards I tested the 24 hours before that dropped files and didnt loop and left playback crashing.

I ve driven no more than 7 miles in that time period and my car starts fine which is the equivalent to over 100 hours for one camera... ( I mistakenly measured the consumption of the cameras with the screen on, but that is totaly irrelevant as I have the screens set to turn off after 3 minutes otherwise they would be a target for theft at night ! )

I am at a complete loss as to why a forum that represents uk dashcam users going some years still perpetuates the myth that the tiny current a dashcam takes if powered constantly will flatten a car battery ...

In a few days parked up and car not used , maybe ... but not overnight and certainly not if used to keep an eye out while parked and shopping and lets face it - what is the point of buying a dashcam and only using it for only half its capabilities when your car is just as likely to be bumped in a car park or on the street and you might just catch a good shot of a vandal approaching your car with a 140 degree lens front and rear - even recognise the +++++

( its impossible to approach a car with front and rear dashcams parked up on a road without being in the frame ! Techmoan has a lot to answer for and was wrong!!!! )

ONLY RAIN, FROST AND SNOW render constant recording pretty pointless !
 
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Dashmellow

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My 2 g1wh dashcams have now been running constantly for 28 hours, testing the loop on a new 32g kingston sd card having had to return 2 medion 32g cards I tested the 24 hours before that dropped files and didnt loop and left playback crashing.

I ve driven no more than 7 miles in that time period and my car starts fine which is the equivalent to over 100 hours for one camera... ( I mistakenly measured the consumption of the cameras with the screen on, but that is totaly irrelevant as I have the screens set to turn off after 3 minutes otherwise they would be a target for theft at night ! )

I am at a complete loss as to why a forum that represents uk dashcam users going some years still perpetuates the myth that the tiny current a dashcam takes if powered constantly will flatten a car battery ...

In a few days parked up and car not used , maybe ... but not overnight and certainly not if used to keep an eye out while parked and shopping and lets face it - what is the point of buying a dashcam and only using it for only half its capabilities when your car is just as likely to be bumped in a car park or on the street and you might just catch a good shot of a vandal approaching your car with a 140 degree lens front and rear - even recognise the +++++

( its impossible to approach a car with front and rear dashcams parked up on a road without being in the frame ! Techmoan has a lot to answer for and was wrong!!!! )

ONLY RAIN, FROST AND SNOW render constant recording pretty pointless !
My friend, since you became a member here at DCT two weeks ago, so many of your posts seem to come across as if you have some sort of an axe to grind. You accuse others of being "wrong", emphasizing your viewpoint about this and other subjects with numerous exclamation marks. While all opinions are welcome here at DCT this is a thread where another new member simply asked for help with a specific security issue he's dealing with and a request for a camera recommendation. While powering any camera he might buy may be a related issue, it is really another subject unto itself. If you want to keep rehashing the same points you've made previously here and elsewhere how about starting another thread about it rather than hijacking this one with your agenda? Respectfully.......
 
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petepete

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Point taken..

But in my defence - yes i have accused twice and in both cases i can demostrate it is a fact they are wrong and I cannot see the point in using the word "accused" when something is proven to the contrary.

And lets not forget, members have had years to try their dashcams out wired up to a constant switched power supply as well as the ignition and have propper parking footage and all that has stopped them

is a constant perpetuation of the non fact it will flatten your battery that is not helpful to anyone - especially newbies like myself , but thankfully I couldnt follow the reasoning for the conclusion on the forum.

The fact remains the op can power his dashcam from the car overnight and the only problem he needs to resolve is making sure there is enough light to film the culprit.

(my battery reads 12.29v after 100 hours of one camera)

And that, I hope, is more helpful to him than words to the contrary
 

Dashmellow

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You know, I basically agreed with you back in post #8 and even mentioned that I am currently running dash cams in parking mode from a vehicle's 12V system but even now you are still at it trying to make the same points over and over.
 
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Dashmellow

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As to the rest of it, just because you have a strong opinion about something doesn't mean everyone else is wrong. Where I live in northern New England it would be foolhardy to tax your vehicle's battery for any reason in the wintertime. It regularly hovers around zero degrees fahrenheit or well below and people wake up to dead batteries all the time without running dash cams or other gadgets during the night. Also, not every car battery is always at it's peak or in the prime of its life. The notion that a low volatage cutoff is of no practical value seems shortsighted and for many it is a simple common sense thing to install,if they so chose. If you don't want one, don't use one but don't castigate everyone who doesn't agree with you. It is interesting that even when it was pointed out to you that your beloved Webasto heater has one built-in you dance around the revelation by saying it is somehow useless.
 

GJHS

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If you have ever woken up in below zero temps, had to chisel your way into you car and then heard that engine slowly work to turn over you will understand the need for a full battery power.
 

petepete

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Its not about agreeing with me..for me,

its about fact.

you seem incapable of comprehending the difference.

And i stated clearly the webasto is designed to cut the voltage at 10.6 to save damage to leisure batteries that are able to run that low although not advisably. Its a fact fitted to a car and only able to cut voltage at 10.6, in most likelyhood you will not be able to start your car if the voltage drops that low rendering the cut off useless.

As for people who dont keep their battery and car in tip top condition in very low temperatures - i will push you once to start it , but if you dont replace your battery i will not push you the next morning ...

Strong opinion ? , na , fact is fact and thats all that interests me.
 

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A car battery may power a dash cam for a good long time but ultimately your "facts" are not necessarily everyone's "facts" concerning the conditions they need to operate their vehicles in or how they wish to manage their battery maintanence, despite your strong convictions. Apparently, everyone who may not subscribe to your version of the "facts" is "incapable of comprehending". That has been a strong theme in your posts on DCT since your arrival. And now, you're castigating people whose car batteries are not up to your standards to bolster those convictions. You should do what makes you happy and leave it go at that.
 
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