Best use for a security camera

OK, so my new toy from Ebay, a miniature security camera, works a treat. IE,, when connected to the AV channel of a TV it gives a very clear image.
How is it best put to use? I am thinking maybe of a system to record any movement outside my front door (maybe back door too, with a second cam - they are cheap enough), at night or when I am away. What equipment would I need for
this?
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IE,,
they
need for

You could use a 4 channel capture card (available cheaply from ebay - usually from Hongkong (watch-out for import duty&vat though)). They usually come with some surveillance software (pico2000) - but it is not much good (it's an unstable beta rip-off of an old version) You can download some good software - eg. http://www.supervisioncam.com / (shareware) or if you want to use Linux OS then http://www.zoneminder.com/home.html (free). If you only use one camera, then an old PC will do, (eg. a 400Mhz CPU, 256MB ram, 10Gb drive) but adding more cameras requires more disk space, faster CPU etc. for them to work well.
The image quality from the cheap capture cards would not be fantastic - but would be enough for the cheaper cameras as sold on ebay. With the software, it is even possible to upload the pictures to your web space (if you have broadband) for remote monitoring.
Dave
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On 14 Aug 2004 07:21:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Paper2002AD) wrote:

A cheep PC, and a video capture card on the PC, then write some appropriate software.
Rick
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(Paper2002AD) wrote:

IE,,
they
need for

My Logitech webcam was bundled with software which included a module intended to do precisely the above; ie a standard USB webcam (maybe pointing outside through the window?) connected to an unmodified PC will do what you want without need for further kit, and might be a cheaper option than buying more equipiment and software to interface with your new camera
David
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Lobster wrote:

I get the impression that webcams are designed for indoor use (i.e. fairly constant light levels). Can you get webcams that can handle bright sunshine and low light levels, perhaps even night time?
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SNIPPED STUFF

The webcams I've tried can handle sunshine or indoor light levels, but not both at the same time. They even have trouble handling grass and sunlit clouds at the same time, but fitting some kind graduated filter in front of the webcam may help - see http://www.setters.demon.co.uk/lundycam/tech.html for an example. CCD-based webcams tend to be better at night than CMOS-based ones. The Philips Toucam Pro has a particularly good low-light reputation.
Simon
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of
http://www.setters.demon.co.uk/lundycam/tech.html
CMOS-based
Whilst USB webcams can be a cheap solution, they are limited in the length of cable that can be used - 5M unless you add a USB hub to act as a repeater for another 5M and so on. Most webcams are colour with a very small lens - so would not be sensitive enough to be used at night compared to a good B&W CCD type.
Dave
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logized wrote:

Oh no, its got me started again. Every now and then I go and drool over the 1000+ pan/tilt/zoom night/day network cams. <drooooolllll>
Why do all the fun things have to be so expensive :-(
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<snip>

Combined with PIR lights, they can do fine, if setup right. The nice way of course is a microstar (?) that'll give you decent pictures in starlight, but that's not an option for most. Also, hubs can be chained, for not much money.
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On Sat, 14 Aug 2004 15:05:44 +0100, Ben wrote:

The cheap ones (ie <150) certainly, though generally they will handle daylight as well. What all electronic cameras have trouble with is the range of light level from the darkest to the brightest in an outdoor, daylight, scene.

There are cameras about that can produce full colour images by not much more than starlight. I think the Met Office use some for their webcams, have a dig?
Check out the Axis network cameras, particulary the recently introduced models (210 and 211 I think). One is designed for exterior viewing and has a DC iris lens. These new cameras where not about when I evaluated 3 network cameras back in May, the Axis 2100, Axis 2110 and Stardot Technologies Netcam.
I choose the Netcam, has some drawbacks compared to the Axis models but daylight image quality is much better. See the report and sample images linked from the bottom of my webcam page:
http://www.howhill.com/weather/webcam/index.html
I might use Axis's "Buy & Try" programme to get a 211 just to compare against the Netcam.
--
Cheers snipped-for-privacy@howhill.com
Dave. pam is missing e-mail
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Why bother when it's so cheaply available ?
cheep, cheep
--
geoff

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The normal way is a special VCR that records a series of still frames a few seconds apart. You can also get hardware that splits the frame into two or more pictures to record more than one camera simultaneously on the one VCR.
--
*Virtual reality is its own reward *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave, this is the 21st century - you record on the HD
You can also get s/w which only records when there is movement, so you don't waste megs with inactive pix
Grand-X that's the biz if you want cheap and nasty
http://www.grandtec.com/xguard.htm
CPC are doing them cheap atm
... and leave ukrm alone, you're upsetting them
--
geoff

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On a second PC? Sounds costly to me.

They are soooo easy to wind up...
--
*They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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I built one recently out of the bits left over from an upgrade. It's specifically for AV stuff, it drives the projector and interfaces with the TV, satellite, audio etc. I did go a bit mad on HDs though, 800 gigs of storage

You are not wrong there (see my atkins diet thread)
--
geoff

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On 14 Aug 2004 07:21:06 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Paper2002AD) strung together this:

Depends what you want to do. My spare miniature camera is in use as a reversing camera on the van.
--

SJW
A.C.S. Ltd
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Considering you can buy new ones for less than 20...
get a load of them so you can follow yourself around the house to make sure you know where you are
CPC sell a system called grand-X which will give you 4 channels for <50 or 16 for < 100.
You can even view it remotely over the internet so you could watch nothing going on at home from work for example
--
geoff

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together this:

That would be plus VAT and delivery from memory? (Unless non-account customers get free delivery too).
--

SJW
A.C.S. Ltd
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+ VAT, delivery is free over 30
--
geoff

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Paper2002AD) wrote in message

When I find time to do something about the 5m problem, I intend to set one up to show me who's at the door so that I don't answer it to cowboy builders, JWs, people with clipboards, etc, etc, but _do_ catch the postman leaving things on my doorstep without knocking so that I can retrieve them before the local tealeaves do or the rain starts.
I haven't tried it yet, but you might look at VASCAM which is a free, albeit simple, motion-sensitive recorder. Its originators' website seems to have gone away, but Google reveals some extant download sources, e.g. http://yippee.i4free.co.nz/html/win/internet/title13061.htm
Chris
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