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  • Covert Cameras

    Has anyone had any experience with newer pinhole cameras? I am looking at replacing our current pinhole cameras but am not sure of a reliable place to get them. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Do a Google search.
    I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
    Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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    • #3
      I've done that but most companies that come up seem like they are just gimmicks and would not be reliable. That's why I'm hoping someone actually has some experience with a company and can recommend them.

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      • #4
        Google search if you just want to find stuff marketed for home use by amateurs. If you're looking for professional quality stuff, you're going to need to look to pros. Northern Video Systems is one of the U.S.'s top distributors of video surveillance equipment http://www.northernvideo.com

        They tend to sell to dealers, not sure if they sell directly to users.

        I don't use the stuff, but also check Black Box http://www.blackbox.com/Catalog/Cate...=585,1454,1481 and SuperCircuits https://www.supercircuits.com/index....S&Category=475

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SIW Editor
          Google search if you just want to find stuff marketed for home use by amateurs. If you're looking for professional quality stuff, you're going to need to look to pros.]
          Oh so true.
          One of my clients bought the Radio Shack 1something gighz cam.
          Not too bad close up but anything past 20 feet from the camera was not very clear. (yes I refocused it)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SIW Editor
            Google search if you just want to find stuff marketed for home use by amateurs. If you're looking for professional quality stuff, you're going to need to look to pros. Northern Video Systems is one of the U.S.'s top distributors of video surveillance equipment http://www.northernvideo.com

            They tend to sell to dealers, not sure if they sell directly to users.

            I don't use the stuff, but also check Black Box http://www.blackbox.com/Catalog/Cate...=585,1454,1481 and SuperCircuits https://www.supercircuits.com/index....S&Category=475
            I have an account with BlackBox, they'll sell to any company, and SuperCircuits as well.

            I have a Northern Video equipment catalog, and it doesn't give any restrictions on who their customers are.
            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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            • #7
              Originally posted by ACP01
              Oh so true.
              One of my clients bought the Radio Shack 1something gighz cam.
              Not too bad close up but anything past 20 feet from the camera was not very clear. (yes I refocused it)
              Camera/lens selection, no matter what type, can be fairly involved because of all the variables that have to be taken into consideration - desired focal length, type of camera, light levels (low to high), temperatures, contrast correction, color versus B&W, indoor/outdoor, etc., etc. Take a course on the subject of CCTV and if it's any good it will involve hours of study, and probably give you a headache in the bargain as you try to figure out the right "balance" of all these factors for different situations. There's no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" camera.

              Point is...you can just about guarantee that anyone who doesn't know what they doing and waltzes into a Radio Shack, or even if they buy a high-quality camera from a specialty source, will stand a very good chance of getting the wrong camera for their specific application. Personally, I wouldn't pay a dime for a camera without running it past our CCTV people first.
              Last edited by SecTrainer; 12-08-2006, 07:59 AM.
              "Every betrayal begins with trust." - Brian Jacques

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              • #8
                Also keep in mind that most covert cameras use inexpensive "board" imagers. These are generally noisy and cause the DVR to see that noise as changing pixels, chewing up hard drive space. If you need a covert camera, you need it.

                But if you just need an unobtrusive camera you need to be creative. I just completed a project where we had the integrator mount a block camera in the crown moulding of a very high end corporate HQ. They have a great image and unless you are looking for it you will never see it.
                "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." G. Orwell

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                • #9
                  Covert Cameras

                  I recently did some installs for a local company and we used covert cameras from Security Cameras Direct. We installed an electrical box with a camera and a wall clock. Within the first week the local company called us. They caught their employee stealing from the Safe and the Teel. The images were extremely clear. Security Cameras Direct can customize anything the way you want it. The footage was great. They can put D/N cameras or even high resolution into covert items. You should look them up http://www.scdlink.com/Results.cfm?c...3&secondary=31 .
                  Last edited by dougiefreshness; 01-02-2007, 11:09 AM.

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                  • #10
                    I have their catalog somewhere around here. A person looking for those OEM cameras WILL spot them. Especially since they're all similarly designed, use pin-holes in the same place, and are easily recognizable.

                    If you are trying to develop a covert camera that isn't detectable, a good idea is to remove the innards of a product and use that instead with a board or box camera inside.
                    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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                    • #11
                      We buy 90% of our suff from Northern Video. They can be helpful in suppling info on what to buy if you know what you need.
                      I have used block cameras with pinhole lenses installed above ceilling tiles. Works verry well.
                      "Gun control, the theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists. " Author Unknown

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dougiefreshness
                        I recently did some installs for a local company and we used covert cameras from Security Cameras Direct. We installed an electrical box with a camera and a wall clock. Within the first week the local company called us. They caught their employee stealing from the Safe and the Teel. The images were extremely clear. Security Cameras Direct can customize anything the way you want it. The footage was great. They can put D/N cameras or even high resolution into covert items. You should look them up http://www.scdlink.com/Results.cfm?c...3&secondary=31 .
                        I buy my CCTV equipment from them. I like the prices and the technology. Some of those cameras are impossible to see unless you KNOW the business inside and out, something that your garden-variety thief isn't going to see.
                        Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                        • #13
                          Post to bury SPAM.
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

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                          • #14
                            A few years back I was asked to get some prices on a video camera set up. 16 cameras and monitors for one of the leading tech schools in the world. Bear in mind that it was only for one dept that had some very expensive and priceless antiques. I got the figures togeather and submitted them. At the time the system was way over the remaining budget.

                            As the internal loss prevention officer I was very concerned about employee theft. So at the next board meeting I suggested that we install a handful of the dummy realistic looking cameras until the next budget comes around. All agreed and thought that was a great idea and I got tons of brownie points for that idea.

                            Well like all good ideas we had to run it through the legal dept. I got back an E-Mail saying absolutely NO!! They informed me of some rule of law called (reasonable assumption) What that means is if a person is leary about entering an area and see the cameras then they have a reasonable assumption to belive that they are monitored or at least recorded. It seems that somewhere in the world a woman entered such a place and was raped. In court she claimed that she never would have gone there if she didn't see any security cameras. And assumed that the ones there were real.

                            She sued the business claiming she was intentionally misled and won big bucks under reasonable assumption rights. This was approx six to eight years ago and I don't know if it is a local thing or a national law. But either way it is worth knowing about before anyone thinks it's a good idea.
                            THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A 911 CALL IS FOUR MINUTES
                            THE AVERAGE RESPONSE TIME FOR A .357 MAGNUM ROUND IS 1400 FEET PER SECOND?
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                            • #15
                              Chucky -You're right. I never recommend the use of phoney camera equipment. There have been successful law suits where an injured party had the reasonable expectation of a response where cameras, fake or not, were used. Where a business chooses to use cameras to monitor activity a sign should be posted, in plain view, stating: WARNING: This facility employs video surveillance equipment for security purposes. This equipment may or may not be monitored at any time. This removes the reasonable expectation of response. If a business uses fake cameras or signs claiming the premises are video monitored and they are not - they are just inviting trouble.

                              In the retail setting, nothing beats good old customer service.
                              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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