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  • Nanny cams

    I'm putting this in the Off-Topic section because it is not work related, it is for home. I have suspicions about something going on when I am not home, and want to get a "nanny cam" to watch for this. Does anyone have suggestions where to look? I need to keep it at or under $100, B&W is fine. I've never used these before. What else will I need to get? I'd appreciate any guidance you may have.
    Last edited by officerchick; 11-13-2007, 10:17 AM. Reason: from the Department of Redundency Department
    That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

  • #2
    There are many options when it comes to this, I suggest a 'pinhole camera' of some type, maybe you can rent one in your area with an MP-4 recorder (also small) of some sort. The advantage is that this kind of setup is very easy to conceal to both the trained and untrained eye. A simple hole is all you need for the cam to look through, but colour is still the best way to go, the technology is amazing and with properly documented evidence a catch is easy. You can even set some of these to record upon sensing movement in a specified area.

    Units are not normally on the cheep side so consult a PI firm or security supply store and tell them your situation and hopefully they can throw you a deal.

    Another low tech but possible idea is setting up a camcorder that is well hidden, if recording time permits, check your cameras settings and look into that option. I have seen that done in hotel room busts where a couple off duty cops on vacation, suspected the housekeeping staff of going through there belongings, worked for them.

    Good luck.

    Regardless, I hope all is well with your child's safety.
    I'm the guy you don't want to be around when your doing something wrong, but you can't wait for me to get there when your down, to fix you up...

    If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.

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    • #3
      www.supercircuits.com Good hunting.
      Retail Security Consultant / Expert Witness
      Co-Author - Effective Security Management 6th Edition

      Contributor to Retail Crime, Security and Loss Prevention: An Encyclopedic Reference

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      • #4
        To my knowledge, nothing exists out there that will record video for that price.

        Wilife makes a kit that has a camera inside a clock. It transmits video over AC lines. All you have to do is plug the clock into an outlet and plug the receiver into another outlet. You plug the receiver into your computer and it'll record high quality video directly to your hard drive. It takes about fifteen minutes to set up, costs $329.95, and you can watch the cameras on any computer if you have Internet access at home or even on your cellphone (if you're dumb enough to own a Windows Mobile smartphone, that is).

        I don't know of anything cheaper out there, sorry.

        For further details, send me a private message.
        The CCTV Blog.

        "Expert" is something like "leader". It's not a title that you can ever claim for yourself no matter what you might know or might have done. It's a title that others bestow on you based on their assessment of what you know and what you have done.

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        • #5
          I paid about $700 US for the pin hole camera and recorder in a book cam I had found online and it works very well. Another option I used in a shop was a simple spy cam which was plugged into a DVR onto disc or HDD. It was not the best option but for their limited budget it dropped their insurance premiums down by 6%.
          "Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer" Sun Tzu

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          • #6
            If you look hard you may find a black & white camera, fairly small for $100. Or try renting one from a PI firm or maybe some security companies. If the location permits, you can run a wire to a standard vcr, on the aux or line input. Get a T160 tape and you can get 8 hours on extended play. 6 hours with a T120. Good luck.
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            • #7
              Thanks for the tips. I think this will be more difficult than I first expected. Someone told me I could get inexpensively, but didn't realize that this didn't include a recording device. I"m not sure how to wire the camera to the VCR and have it recording without it being obvious, and the computer at home is rather old, so I don't know that I can save it directly to the hard drive, or get it from the hard drive to another medium if needed.
              That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

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              • #8
                www.x10.com/cameras/xx11a_s_k_ps29.html

                Plugging it into a vcr is easy. Make sure there are no audible beeps when the tape is filled / or automatic rewind if noise is a concern.

                Look in the phone book for spy shops, they may have something to lease.
                Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                Groucho Marx

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                • #9
                  Another option you may look into. If you have an alarm system at your house. They sell motion detector cameras that take a picture and store it on a flash card. If you already have an alarm system, a motion detector will blend right in. It will be still pics but may work. I think they sell them at supercircuits as well.

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                  • #10
                    Not to be butting into your personal life, although I am that type of person , but if you could give out a little info on the reason you need the recording gear, I have a couple of ideas that may help you.

                    I don't ask because I'm a pervert (I think I beat that charge ) but because sometimes there are more than 1 way to get the job done.

                    If someone is messing with your stuff, there is a powder you can buy from a police suppy store that is invisible except under a black light or infrared light (don't remember which) that you could use to put on items, door knobs ect, and after you know something has been touched, you get the likely suspects together and have a YOU GONNA GET IT SUCKER party to find out who it is.

                    There is also another powder at most police supply stores that turns a bright red (I thinks its red, I have not used it for a long time) that you use very little of to put on things you believe will get touched, BUT THAT YOU DON"T WANT ANYMORE, because this powder has staying power once it gets wet from any means including sweat. It is almost impossible to get off you skin in the short term, so the guilty party will have it on them for some time. This powder is used to get finger prints off of the sticky side of tape.

                    These are a couple of cheaper ways to possibly get the results you are looking for. I used them many times when I was a police Inspecter, for repeated theft cases, and they worked pretty good.

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                    • #11
                      Not to be butting into your personal life, although I am that type of person , but if you could give out a little info on the reason you need the recording gear, I have a couple of ideas that may help you.
                      I have cause to be concerned that my partner is or has hit one or more of our animals. I know of a couple of incidents in the past, and the last time I told her if it happens again she's out. I don't know for sure though, and I need to find out. My source tells me she has made comments that stopped just short of hurting an animal. What we are not sure about is whether she stopped short in the telling of the thing, or whether she actually stopped herself from crossing a line.

                      If someone is messing with your stuff, there is a powder you can buy from a police suppy store that is invisible except under a black light or infrared light (don't remember which) that you could use to put on items, door knobs ect, and after you know something has been touched, you get the likely suspects together and have a YOU GONNA GET IT SUCKER party to find out who it is.
                      There's only one suspect, as it's just the two of us.

                      There is also another powder at most police supply stores that turns a bright red (I thinks its red, I have not used it for a long time) that you use very little of to put on things you believe will get touched, BUT THAT YOU DON"T WANT ANYMORE, because this powder has staying power once it gets wet from any means including sweat. It is almost impossible to get off you skin in the short term, so the guilty party will have it on them for some time. This powder is used to get finger prints off of the sticky side of tape.
                      Thanks, but I rather like the colors of my animals
                      That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

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                      • #12
                        Gotcha, 10-4, yo comprendo

                        Understood! You are best served with a camera in your circumstance. Although, I would like to say that an animal in bright red would have its advantages, like in an alaskan white out, so don't write it off so quickly.

                        And, after rereading the post I wrote, for the third time (I am one of my favorite writers you know ), I just noticed I spelled INSPECTOR wrong. My son's 4th grade teacher said I have to go write it correctly 100 times, so I'll be talking at ya later. BYEEEEE

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                        • #13
                          Yes, those Texas alaskan whiteouts can be brutal.

                          Camera's the only thing I can come up with, but like I said I'm not sure how to do it. We live in an apartment, the only place I could really put it is in the living room. But if I connect it to the VCR, she could see that the VCR is recording. Which would be unusual as we lack the cable to get it to record from the TV. As for recording to computer, there's no USB drive or CD R-W, so I couldn't transfer it to another medium, and I'm pretty sure the computer lacks a media player, so I don't think that'll work.
                          That's a direct quote. Not word for word, but the gist of it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by officerchick View Post
                            Yes, those Texas alaskan whiteouts can be brutal.

                            Camera's the only thing I can come up with, but like I said I'm not sure how to do it. We live in an apartment, the only place I could really put it is in the living room. But if I connect it to the VCR, she could see that the VCR is recording. Which would be unusual as we lack the cable to get it to record from the TV. As for recording to computer, there's no USB drive or CD R-W, so I couldn't transfer it to another medium, and I'm pretty sure the computer lacks a media player, so I don't think that'll work.
                            All versions after Windows 3.11 come with a media player application, called... Windows Media Player.

                            You can record it to the hard drive, then lock the PC. Unless she uses it also. Then, if you have XP you can use "user switch" (Start Menu -> Log Off -> Switch User) to start the program on a second User Account, switch back to the main account, and nobody'll know that the PC has two users running unless they try to turn it off or go to the welcome screen.

                            (Caveat: I know about 20 ways to know, but the average person doesn't look at any pane in Task Manager, let alone the User Pane.)
                            Some Kind of Commando Leader

                            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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                            • #15
                              Digital audio recorders are small, easy to hide, and will be under the 100.00 threshold. Voice activated gives longer recordable time as well.

                              If confronted with her own words, coupled with how the animals stay away, it could be enough.....
                              Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                              Groucho Marx

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