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In Car Video System ???

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  • In Car Video System ???

    Considering putting a on board video recording system in a patrol car. I was considering just doing it is simpe and cheap as possible. Does this sound do-able:

    Mounting a good quality camera that can be connected to a laptop, then have it record/store video to an external hard drive capable of storing several hours of video. I am hoping this will allow me to be able to record on demand and then have the information available to be catalog'd and stored for later retrievalif need be.

    Is this even possible, ro by looking outside the box have I strayed to far into fantasy land?

    My chief concern is cost, thust not just going out and purchasing a high end unit like police have.
    ~Super Ninja Sniper~
    Corbier's Commandos

    Nemo me impune lacessit

    Grammical and Spelling errors may occur form time to time. Yoov bin worned

  • #2
    For some reason I remember a member of this board having a similar setup to this. basically just a webcam hooked to a laptop. Don't know why it wouldn't work but don't know how clear it would be

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    • #3
      I was thinking of something like this;

      Using a Bullet Cam I was thinking maybe attatching it to windshield up near the headliner and out of the way. Perhaps using something like that adhesive you use to reattatch RV mirrors.

      Of course I would need this little adapter.

      As far as the harddrive I was thinking in the neighborhood of a 400GB External Drive I was thinking that it could be kept in the truck for added security. Running the Firewire and power cables up underneath the carpets to the laptop and power source. At the end of the shift "simply" (hopefully simply ) take it out and bring it in the house, err OFFICE and make the necessary copies. As soon as I learn how to do some video editting that is LOL...
      ~Super Ninja Sniper~
      Corbier's Commandos

      Nemo me impune lacessit

      Grammical and Spelling errors may occur form time to time. Yoov bin worned

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      • #4
        Nathan may have some thoughts on this. He is the computer whiz.

        Valley let me know how it works for you I may be interested in the future.

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        • #5
          The problem with systems like this is chain of evidence.

          Other than that, its pretty easy to throw a camera up, run 12v(dc) to it, buy a USB video grabber dongle, plug the camera in via Coax->RCA. You'll need video management software, if you run Linux, MythTV has been used for CCTV before. If you use Windows, good luck finding some freeware thing.

          Since you cannot preserve chain of evidence in a system like this, I do not suggest going out and buying some expensive CCTV software. Its a waste of money when any claims you have can be supplanted easily by, "Its not a dedicated system, the defendant has complete access to the video, etc."

          If you're going all out, I would:

          1. Buy a lockable enclosure for the PC.
          2. Buy a Mini-ITX computer in "CarPC" mount, with a C3/Geode Processor and "a decent amount of RAM," from a store like Logic Supply.
          3. Buy a decent PCI-based video capture card, or a USB video capture device that can handle full motion video.
          4. Buy 1 or more cameras, make sure they have 12v(dc) and either RCA or coax out. I wouldn't bother with zoom features, but would look for color Near IR. Our installers and integrators know more about this than me...
          5. Either: Install a distro of Linux on the thing and install MythTV or Install Windows XP Professional and whatever commercial CCTV software you want on it.

          I would use either a "removable" internal hard drive (The lockable cage type), or a USB 2.0 external HD for saving my video to. The internal HD is for the operating system, do not slow video capture down by saving to the OS drive or partition.

          I would ensure that the device cannot be easily opened, and that chain of evidence can be maintained with the video onboard.

          You can access the device via remote desktop login via Windows, or through SSH or X Forwarding in Linux.

          Now, with all this done, there are simpler methods, such as Mobile DVRs that Supercircuits sell. They mount directly in the rack, and can handle audio and video up to 4 video/1 audio.

          If you're not concerned with chain of evidence preservation... Just buy a cheap bullet cam and a USB dongle for your laptop.

          I wouldn't bother with the webcam, their CCDs are not designed for dealing with rapidly changing conditions and you'll get typical webcam video. Crap.
          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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          • #6
            I have done quite a few in-car systems. There are 4 channel 12v DVR's for in-car use for around $400.00. Includes 1 audio channel. The cameras can be standard bullet style cameras that are fairly cheap. Just remember you would want cameras that have auto-iris and low light capability. The resolution on the DVR is up to 720x480 at 15 frames per second or you can change the resolution for up to 30 fps. The DVR comes with usb 2.0 for download to your laptop or you can use smart cards to record to. PM me and I'll send you the specifications if your interested. We haven't had any problems with any we have installed. Even down here in the desert where temperatures go from 0-120.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rooney
              I have done quite a few in-car systems. There are 4 channel 12v DVR's for in-car use for around $400.00. Includes 1 audio channel. The cameras can be standard bullet style cameras that are fairly cheap. Just remember you would want cameras that have auto-iris and low light capability. The resolution on the DVR is up to 720x480 at 15 frames per second or you can change the resolution for up to 30 fps. The DVR comes with usb 2.0 for download to your laptop or you can use smart cards to record to. PM me and I'll send you the specifications if your interested. We haven't had any problems with any we have installed. Even down here in the desert where temperatures go from 0-120.
              That's what I'm talking about. I've always wondered, is the OS in ROM? If so, the CF/MMC card is pure storage, correct?
              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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              • #8
                Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                That's what I'm talking about. I've always wondered, is the OS in ROM? If so, the CF/MMC card is pure storage, correct?
                Yes the card is for storage and also for transferring video. The operating system in MOST of the dvr's of this type are in ROM. If the firmware needs to be upgraded you download it from your computer onto the flash card then insert into the DVR and it will auto-update the firmware. It works well. I have only had to update the firmware in one machine. The vehicle got hit by lightning, which normaly would not be a problem but the person had a metal pole leaning against the car (actually he had the trunk open with the dvr and the pole was only an inch away from it. The rubber trunk seal was against the pole so it jumped through the dvr's frame to ground.). Freak accident, I have no idea why he had the pole there.
                After reloading the rom the system worked fine. Esxcept for bubbled paint and small hole where the lightning jumped. I thought for sure he would have to replace the dvr.

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                • #9
                  Not bad. For another question...

                  I know you can drop a 1 GB or 2 GB CF card in there. What's the video's file size per second?
                  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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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                    Not bad. For another question...

                    I know you can drop a 1 GB or 2 GB CF card in there. What's the video's file size per second?
                    Manufacturer says up to 138 hrs per gig (I'm sure that is at low resolution and probably 5 frames per second). Although recording time will vary. The system has alarm and motion recording as well to limit the amount of space taken up on the flash card.

                    I have not looked at the file sizes per second. I'll call one of our customers and find out what he is getting.

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