“I am thinking of putting one in a tractor trailer truck to monitor my employees. which camera has the longest record time with the best mic”
“There have been a number of vehicles vandalized in my area and I would like to protect my new car”
I am looking for a system that
1. would capture the front and back of my vehicle from an internal camera system that uses infrared or very low light conditions
2. would be powered by the car battery or an internal power source which is easy to replenish
It is important that the cameras do not look like cameras but will still capture video in low light condition”
Car theft and vandalism is on the rise. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, car theft is a profitable business generating nearly $8 billion a year. It is vital that you protect your vehicle. Cameras can ensure the security of your property. In the article Will A Car Security Camera Prevent Auto theft? the website Auto.com points out that “The car security camera is not meant to be something that blocks access to a vehicle, but a theft deterrent device that gives thieves an incentive to bypass a vehicle. Not by preventing theft, but by giving thieves an incentive to bypass your vehicle.” And “Thieves that notice a car security camera is in a vehicle will often keep on moving. The chances of having their image wind up as evidence scares most potential car thieves. A car security camera can also be a powerful crime solver if a thief does choose to take the risk.” Auto.com also suggests that car security cameras can be used to do the following:
- Prevent Vandalism
- Help to assess liability claims when cars are involved in accidents.
“With today’s complicated fault systems, where a driver can be at fault for a specific percentage of accident damages, car security cameras often help drivers clear their own names and save themselves money when the facts of a crash are disputed. Images from a car security camera can often sway a judge or arbitration panel as part of a holistic illustration of what happened on the road, and who was at fault” (Auto.com).
- Obtain faster claim payments from insurance companies.
- Documenting other drivers of the vehicle such as teenage children.
Even though there is high demand for this type of camera security system, they are not readily available in most general electronic stores. At SpyCameras.com we can help you to select the product that best suits your needs. Not every camera system is suitable for every situation. Consider the following:
The Angle You Will View the Vehicle:
- There is no one camera can cover 360 degrees which means that you will need to mount multiple cameras to see every part of your vehicle.
- Even if there would be a 360 camera, it would need to be placed very high above the car in order to be effective.
- Also if you would mount it on the inside of a car it would create lighting issues that would prevent you from seeing outside the vehicle. The camera compensates for darkness with dim lighting that allows for viewing inside the car, but creates a ‘washed out’ bright look in the windows of the vehicle
How Will You Power The Camera?
- Battery powered cameras that are able to cover all areas of the car with multiple cameras require a very large battery. The typical 4 CCD camera and a DVR uses about 2-3 Amp per hour and will drain a 40 Amp battery in less than 15 hours.
- A camera that uses the vehicle’s internal power system only works if there is a permanent power connection even when the engine is turned off. Some cameras may be plugged into your cigarette lighter adapter for power; however that only works if the engine is engaged.
Do You Want Night Vision?
- The glass of most vehicles is not100% transparent and the IR lights used in some night vision cameras will bounce back into the camera creating vision problems.
- We recommend a super low light camera rather than vehicle cameras designed to mount on the front windshield with night vision capability.
Hiding the camera
- Though it is possible to watch someone inside the car while the vehicle is being driven, there is no such thing as an invisible camera.
- It takes effort to hide a camera that will go unnoticed.
- It is most likely that the driver will be aware of the camera unless extreme effort is taken to hide the camera.
Despite all the limitations that are mentioned above, the only way to catch a car vandal IS with a camera. Having a camera that really works is a lot better than having no camera at all. Make sure the camera you get will actually fulfill its purpose; otherwise you’ll be wasting time & money.
Choose one side of the car that vandalism is mostly likely to occur. It’s usually the passenger side of the car. If your windshield is tinted, use Black box 5. Mount the camera right against the windshield looking straight forward and locate the DVR somewhere in the car, connected to power. You can use a separate sealed lead acid battery as a power source. Black box 5 camera is equipped with 170deg lens that will cover the whole side of your car (Fig. #1).
Video sample of Fig. #1
If you do not have a tinted window and feel that the camera is too noticeable, you can use Black Box 4 which comes with a pinhole camera. However, there is no such thing as super wide pinhole lens, therefore, you will need to place the camera in an angle (Fig. #2). Black box 4 can also be used to watch inside of your car as well (Fig. #3).
Black box series cameras uses about 500mA at 6VDC. On a typical 40Amp car battery will last about 160 hours: 40,000mA / 500mA X (12V/6V). If you drive the car often enough, you can install up to 2 cameras without worrying about the battery dying.
Night vision cameras are suitable if you wish to monitor the car when it is dark out. If there is a street light located nearby we recommend using a super low light B/W camera option for the Black Box. Under low light condition this camera can see about 3X better than human eye. If there is no light and its pitch-black outside, you will need to use LED lamps along with the super low light B/W camera. Locate the LED lamp, right against the windshield, pointed along the same direction of the camera. To avoid any kind of reflection make sure that the lamp is not too close to the camera. We recommend total invisible 940nM led lamp instead of 850nM led lamp which glow red. Led lamp uses about 200mA – 500mA and comes with auto light sensor switch.
Camball camera is a ping pong ball sized, battery powered camera. This is the only camera on the market that actually saves power while working under motion detection recording mode. However we only recommend it if you are going to use it under the following conditions:
- During daytime only
- For under 8 hours surveillance per day
- The camera can be charged every day
- A 60 degree field of view or less needs to be covered
- For viewing low traffic areas, such as a home garage. (If the camera triggered too often, the battery life will be greatly shortened.)
The SpyCameras.com team will be happy to assist you to find the camera best suited to your situation. Please contact us at 845-369-1777.