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Old 27.01.2009, 17:54
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DIY Home Video Surveillance

So following a break in at our holiday home (luckily minor damage and loss), I've been investigating a home security system. We dont keep precious things there so there are no insurance type issues. Ive looked at the remote monitoring/alarm setup, but am tending towards the deterrent of a semi remote video system.

I'm not an IT specialist, although I've built PCs and home networks before... here's what I've come up with so far (attachment). It's not totally failsafe and redundant but should offer some degree of tamper protection and high stability thanks to the dedicated video server etc. It would be located in a hard to access loft. The power and phone lines into the house are overhead, albeit from a well lit road.

Comments much appreciated either on the setup or the overall concept vs alarm based security.

Daniel
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  #2  
Old 27.01.2009, 17:58
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

Actually I have no first hand information on surveillance camera usage in Switzerland but have heard from others that positioning of cameras can be very tricky here as neighbors can file a formal complaint that they are being spied on. You might want to check further before making any large investments in such a system.
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Old 27.01.2009, 18:08
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

@vwild. Luckily they wouldnt overlook anyone else (a rarity in Switzerland).

@mariezug. Indeed but if the power or phone line (adsl internet) are cut that's it.. plus we only have limited upload (1000/100 max available for now) which is way too low to stream all 4 cameras, so we need a combination of local storage and some internet access (eg email warnings of events, selected footage upload etc).

D
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Old 27.01.2009, 18:25
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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A simple way would be to use a handy to send MMS/MMS when the camera detects a change. Then no telephone lines involved.
Good thought... for sure your general question is do we really need gigs of video footage or just the trigger and a few images.

I will probably buy the camera first, explore the potential and limitations. Pan and tilt are good thoughts too. Might be better to get a small number of more flexible units... does it patrol and motion detect simultaneously.

The house is an old one, and has 7 doors on the ground floor and about 10 windows all single glazed with low security blinds... they had many choices.

Daniel
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Old 27.01.2009, 22:38
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

Hi,

I'm no security expert by any means, but I have messed around with some home surveillance stuff. I think your setup is pretty good, my only worry in such a scenario is that someone _will_ walk off with the incriminating evidence, ie your recordings.

For comparison, I've recently setup a Soekris net5501 (http://www.soekris.com) with a 100GB disk to run Linux, installed Motion (http://www.lavrsen.dk/twiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome) and pointed a USB camera at my living room. Motion can use both IP and USB cameras, and at a glance, can be configured to do all the things the QNAP 101 does(http://www.linux.com/feature/114118). For example, I've set mine up to only capture snapshots and movies of actual movement, then send me alerts. The better thing, though, is that you can also set it up in conjunction with a service like Amazon's S3 and have your snapshots and movies stored there (http://shapeshed.com/journal/automat...n_s3_on_linux/), thus avoiding the previously mentioned scenario. Unlike the QNAP, you also have no limit on how many cameras you can add to it, although a beefier machine than the Soekris would be needed for large numbers.

One last thing, your cameras should probably be infrared-capable, and should either incorporate an infrared light, or have a source close-by, because even if your lights go out, you want to still have an idea of what the perps looked like.

Hope this helps,

Stefan.
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Old 03.02.2009, 23:28
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

Thanks for all the input.

Ive been trialling an IR capable Vivotek dome camera and have been pretty impressed. The depth of field can a bit low, but that is the converse of having low light capability before the IR switches in. The camera itself has a pretty decent integrated server including the motion detection and event management (ie emailing, saving stills and video etc).

Hopefully tomorrow I'll receive a second external IP66 weatherproof IR camera and a QNAP 109 home NAS (which includes 2 camera recorder software). I will then be able to test the whole thing. Maybe the NAS server is superfluous, in which case I'll us it for, well, a home NAS.

Ive got it all running over an UPS, cameras powered via a Power over Ethernet enabled switch which should make wiring easy and eliminate short term mains dependence. It all talks to the internet access point via a wireless bridge. Once Ive got it all set up I'll see what the no mains power autonomy is.

I think I can get a decent amount of physical security by hiding it in a cluttered loft. The idea is really just to keep it running long enough that I get a warning and visual confirmation of unwanted guests before they "pull the plug" if they are that keen.

Daniel
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Old 03.02.2009, 23:42
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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Hopefully tomorrow I'll receive a second external IP66 weatherproof IR camera and a QNAP 109 home NAS
Ironically popular items in a home burglary..

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Old 03.02.2009, 23:46
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

A mini DVR for consideration:

Real Lighter DVR Lighter Camera Hidden Digital Video Recorder Micro Camera






Lighter DVR (AJ-LTDVR01)

Lighter DVR with built in Micro camera for your home or office surveillance when you are not there. it records everything what you missed while you are away. Built in Digital Audio Video recorder will give you all the evidence you need to prove in the court. In case some one came to your home or office for bad purpose. You don't have to worry about the battery as it can run for a minimum 6 hours with a full Charge and micro SD card can record up to 8 hours Very High quality of audio video on 8GB Micro SD Card. Built in lion lithium battery gives you the power of long hour in continues recording. Sure you need to charge it when built in battery is run out the power. A great product to perform personal investigation, conduct secret video surveillance or for any ideal covert operation where gathering evidence is important for you.


Date time stamping with 8Gb large memory Real Working Lighter with Built in DVR and Hidden Camera, Great for SPY operation or Evidence Collection and you can use it as normal Cigarette lighter to light cigarette so others never can think this is a Spycam.




Lighter DVR Lighter Camera Micro Recorder Spy Recorder Mini Video Recorder Spy DVR

Features
Dimension: 64.5mm (L) * 38.4mm (W) * 18.4mm (H) Normal Lighter look makes it ideal for a variety of surveillance uses. It’s great for use as a hidden camera, spy cam etc. Real time recording 30 F/S in AVI video format (640x480, QVGA) Color video with voice lets you clearly see who’s there & hear what they say. There’s no long cord for you to hide or Wireless frequency to detect. Use micro SD card from 128MB to 8GB ( Not included) Playback video on cell phone or PC Camera Technical Parameter Video Compression︰ AVI video format, 640x480 ,QVGA / 30fps Voice Recording: High quality digital voice recording. Internal Memory︰ No Micro SD card / T-Flash card support︰ 128MB to 8GB ( Not included) Recording Mode︰ Continuous recording until memory is full or manually turn off Video File Size︰ >500KB per minute Power Adaptor Type︰ USB adaptor ( Built In) Plus charging cable ( Computer USB Port Charging) Battery Type︰ Lithium-ion Record Time︰ Up to 6 hours battery life but can record 8 hours on a 8 GB micro SD card. Memory Parameters Micro SD / T-Flash card support: 128 MB to 8 GB Video file size : > 500 KB per minute Internal Memory : NO Charging Parameter Adaptor Type: USB adaptor ( Included) or charge with the USB cable on your computer. Battery Type: Lithium-Lion (Built In) Note This Lighter DVR has no internal memory, and does not come with a Micro SD/T-Flash card.
Please insert a Micro SD/T-Flash card before recording. Manufacturer and Origin: China / Hong Kong No Minimum Order Quantity. Package Main Unit: Lighter DVR (AJ-LTDVR01) Manual︰ User manual In different languages Accessories︰ 110-240 V USB wall Charger with 4 kinds of charging head for different country plus USB Cable. Box Dimension: 220*139*69 mm Box Weight: 1.0kg including shipping carton
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  #9  
Old 03.02.2009, 23:48
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

Thanks, but I actually want a visible deterrent, rather than an invisible one..
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Old 04.02.2009, 06:54
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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Ive got it all running over an UPS, cameras powered via a Power over Ethernet enabled switch which should make wiring easy and eliminate short term mains dependence. It all talks to the internet access point via a wireless bridge. Once Ive got it all set up I'll see what the no mains power autonomy is.

I think I can get a decent amount of physical security by hiding it in a cluttered loft. The idea is really just to keep it running long enough that I get a warning and visual confirmation of unwanted guests before they "pull the plug" if they are that keen.
Are you going to hide the UPS with it?

The alarm will be going off if they cut the power, I wonder if this would be a good deterrent.

In terms of off line storage, you could just email anything automatically to a gmail account.

cheers,
(Mr)Wibble
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  #11  
Old 04.02.2009, 09:38
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

UPS hidden... yes.

But your thought makes me think that the cameras have alarm input and outputs, so I could wire a high volume siren to the camera...

D
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Old 24.02.2009, 00:22
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

This thread has got me thinking...

I'm hopeless technically, but equally quite averse to being ripped off by so-called experts who want to exploit my ignorance

Does anyone know of a trustworthy company who would install the kind of system being discussed here?
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Old 27.05.2021, 09:07
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

Hello
do you need special approval when you mount a surveillance camera outside, like watching the entrance door or a hidden corner of the house?
I am asking this in the context of some vandalism we encounter recently.

Thank you
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Old 27.05.2021, 10:03
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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Hello
do you need special approval when you mount a surveillance camera outside, like watching the entrance door or a hidden corner of the house?
I am asking this in the context of some vandalism we encounter recently.

Thank you
The answer depends on many factors.
Do you own or rent?
Is it a single family house or an aprtment in a house with others?

If renting you need to talk to the landlord and he and all the other renters need to agree.

If owning and its a single family house then its easier.
If the neighbours would be recorded as well you need their approval.
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Old 27.05.2021, 10:23
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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The answer depends on many factors.
Do you own or rent?
Is it a single family house or an aprtment in a house with others?

If renting you need to talk to the landlord and he and all the other renters need to agree.

If owning and its a single family house then its easier.
If the neighbours would be recorded as well you need their approval.
It's also important what you might do with any recordings.

You would likely be the one in more trouble if you posted a video of an intruder on facebook .. Even if the camera only points to your own private door.

You don't need a fancy system .. You can set something up in a few minutes for under 100chf .. Look at Blink by Amazon for example.
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Old 27.05.2021, 10:25
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

The biggest deterrent would be a large sticker on your letter-box (or wherever) warning of Surveillance with off-site recording.

At inter-discount you can get 'fake' camera half-domes (some even with flashing lights)

You don't need to be secure, just to appear to be more secure than the neighbours.
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Old 27.05.2021, 10:38
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

Nobody has mentioned, but if even if you capture some masked burglars will the local police do anything about it?

I don't own property overseas, but I don't think the police in places like Italy, Spain or Portugal for that matter got so little on their plate that they give a monkey's uncle about your a burglar who breaks in and steals nothing, cause there is nothing to take. If someone breaks in, it will be a statistic.

That said as a deterrent go for it, just don't both to connect it up to the net. That way if the neighbours complain, your off the hook and you still keeping young kids off the lawn.

I would look insurance as well to make sure that vandalism is covered, I think pissed off burglars who smash the place up will be your biggest concern.

Should say that don't over do it too. Put too much security in and somebody will think there is something to take.

Last edited by markalex; 27.05.2021 at 10:45. Reason: added more stuff
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Old 27.05.2021, 10:41
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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The biggest deterrent would be a large sticker on your letter-box (or wherever) warning of Surveillance with off-site recording.

At inter-discount you can get 'fake' camera half-domes (some even with flashing lights)

You don't need to be secure, just to appear to be more secure than the neighbours.
Thank you for your idea.

Actually this is what i will do, buy a fake camera, no recordings and just put it there. More like a kind of warning similar to "Beware dangerous dog".
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Old 27.05.2021, 14:22
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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Thank you for your idea.

Actually this is what i will do, buy a fake camera, no recordings and just put it there. More like a kind of warning similar to "Beware dangerous dog".
If it's as a deterrent i.e. very visible then neighbours might complain and you then have to reassure them it's fake.
If you want to get pictures of the culprits then a hidden camera is probably better. If the neighbours can't see it, "who's gonna know?"

You might also consider a motion activated lamp in that area.
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Old 27.05.2021, 14:35
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Re: DIY Home Video Surveillance

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Hello
do you need special approval when you mount a surveillance camera outside, like watching the entrance door or a hidden corner of the house?
I am asking this in the context of some vandalism we encounter recently.

Thank you
Here you go. All the info you need.
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