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  1. #1
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Talking Motion-Sensing Nightvision cameras for undercover work

    I just happened to see a battery-powered hunting camera like this advertised for $129 at Bass Pro Shop, but it flashes - Not a good thing for stealth...



    So I thought I'd look at StealthCam's web site to see if they have a infrared nightvision (non-flashing) version suitable for undercover and stakeout work - They do! Hmm... Seems like you could have all sorts of fun with this thing :-) I can't find a price on it though.

    Of course there's a lot of cheap wireless infrared nightvision cameras on the market, but they're just not self-contained with a recording device like this one, and they tend to eat through batteries because their light source stays on all the time. I have a wireless IR camera with motion sensing recording software watching my cars, but it needs a 115v power source & computer, unlike this one.

    Its emitters probably glow a very faint red (like my driveway camera does), but there may be a way to hide that, and I doubt that they stay on all the time.

    http://www.stealthcam.net/ir_prods.html

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  2. #2
    Sapper_132's Avatar
    Sapper_132 is offline Master Turd Cutter
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    Maybe they are free? Or you have to contact customer service?
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

  3. #3
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Could be - I just wonder if it would be useful for catching vandals, thieves, etc, if put in a high-crime area (for example where a lot of BMV's are occuring), or for baiting, so maybe you don't have to actually stake out the bait.

    Of course that assumes that the camera itself can be hidden so it doesn't get stolen

    What would REALLY be neat is if it were paired up with some cell phone electronics to email you an image when it catches someone

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  4. #4
    Sapper_132's Avatar
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    Theres a camera that you can watch via the internet. I don't recall the price on it but I can get yo the site if you would like it? If so send me a PM.
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

  5. #5
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Yeah, that would be neat. I'm not actually gonna buy one, because the Chief's mad at me enough already - I'm sure he'd just love it if I set up bait traps all over town

    But it's kinda fun thinking of ways to use it. sigh...

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  6. #6
    BEB
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    Got one like the first pictured for dad. Mostly it captures coyotes.
    Biggest problem with it is the delay time as its an older digicam design and takes a good while to "boot" when motion is detected. So if anyone is looking at buying one, for whatever reason, I'd suggest you try to find the delay time on it. Or try out a couple.

  7. #7
    Jackalope's Avatar
    Jackalope is offline Yell O
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    For security surveillance purposes, why use a still camera? You can use digital video cameras that record only when motion is detected, and you can actually set them to start recording just before the motion is detected, and stop recording just after it stops.
    "I'm not a coward,
    I've just never been tested
    I'd like to think that if I was,
    I would pass"
    ~Mighty Mighty Bosstones~

  8. #8
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Yeah, video would definitely be better but most IR nightvision video cameras require a computer, DVR, or video tape machine to record anything... (unless you graduate to a Camcorder that can record hours on SD cards or its own hard drive, but then it doesn't have the motion detection or IR night vision).

    I was thinking of a small portable self-contained battery-powered unit (smaller the better) with either a SD memory card video recorder built-in which could be deployed anywhere, or one that is wireless over Internet WiFi or cell phone systems so it could be monitored from anywhere.

    The hunting camera seemed to patrially fit the bill for a SD recording version... Too bad it's just still images. I did find a IR nightvision (flashless) model for $200 at Sportsman's guide.

    I guess I could build one if I could find a cheap portable WiFi transmitter that could connect to something like a WiFi hotspot or Sprint PowerVision cell phone Internet service, or a small SD memory module video recorder (maybe the guts from one of those cheap SD camcorders that you can get on eBay for like $50, married up with a motion detector & IR illuminator would work, since most silicon video sensors are sensitive to IR light).

    Also it seems like those little wireless IR bullet cameras would be GREAT for SWAT teams searching dark buildings, if they couldn't afford night goggles - The bullet camera could be mounted on a stick to look around corners (or even several cameras & infrared LED's in a ball that they could throw). the team could then have little miniature TV receivers to see the what the camera is seeing.

    May give me something to tinker with anyway - I guess if I got a prototype working, some PD somewhere might want to try it even if mine doesn't, but I would have to present them with a rugged WORKING prototype - I've found that they don't think it's even worth discussing the possibility if they don't see an actual working model.

    You know, this might be a business that's fairly untapped, making little things like that. But I'd need some input for cops on what would be useful, and what they would never use.

    Another idea I had a long time ago, and I think some companies are already producing, is a license plate reader, which reads license plates as you're driving down the road, and instantly compares those to a "wanted" & "stolen" license plate database - When it finds one, it alerts you & recites the license plate number so you can visually locate & verify it.

    It would basically just need a good camera, OCR software (readily obtainable), and some custom programing to build a user interface & an interface to look up the OCR results in the database and report matches (the database would have to be local, for speed). It would be a fairly complicated programming project, but less complicated than many I've worked on - And the whole thing could run on a laptop PC.

    Again, I suggested that to several people in the PD's I was involved in, and most of them were skeptical... However, I saw in the newspaper that the Chief of Plano saw one demonstrated at a Police convention, and he was very excited about it - So again, I think they're only gonna get excited about something if they see an actual working model. Otherwise they tend to brush it off.

    One thing that has the license plate scanner going for it: The false alarms are going to be very rare - If it makes a read error due to a bad image or whatever, the chances are very slim that the erroneous tag number would be in the "wanted" or "Stolen" database.

    But that brings up another issue: How would I EVER get access to a list of "wanted" or "Stolen" tags to download into my database??? It would have to be updated daily, at the very least. I assume there's a list on NCIC (or the Texas TCIC), but that's not exactly geared to provide lists in electronic format, from what I've seen of it - About all you seem to be able to do is print data on individual tags that you type in, not get a list of all of the wanted tags in a file.

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  9. #9
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    You are crazy as a shit house rat.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  10. #10
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Ok, maybe it's crazy to think the hunting camera is of any use, but what's so crazy about the license plate scanner & the IR camera for building searches?

    I must tell you though, our CPA Sgt's reaction was pretty much the same as yours to the license plate scanner. His complete reply to my email was "uhhhh- NO". He never offered an explaination, so I got discouraged & just dropped the idea.

    However the more I think about it, the more I think it's viable since their Chief saw something like it in a trade show and was excited about it - But even after that news story came out he didn't want to talk about it. So I'm not sure if the Sgt just didn't believe I could get something working, or for some reason didn't think they could or would ever use it. I don't want to even ask him again.

    I'm still not sure how I'd get the list of stolen/wanted plate numbers though. Maybe I'll ask my instructors when Academy resumes in August.

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  11. #11
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXCharlie View Post

    I'm still not sure how I'd get the list of stolen/wanted plate numbers though. Maybe I'll ask my instructors when Academy resumes in August.


    Chuck, I believe you are in dire need of a reality check. Let me assist you, my friend. 1) and this is a major point...you are not LEO. I know this is disheartening and may seem harsh, but, I say again, you are not LEO. Further more, you have never been LEO. Try to keep that in mind as you so wantonly judge people who are. Lately it seems that you really like to those who are in an authority position. Just a personal observation, but if that is so, may I suggest that doing so is a great way not to get any respect from a group of people that have people who do not respect authority figures disrespecting them everyday. 2) this is much more simple. All LE agencies are controlled by money. That money is controlled by a government body. The government body is normally very stingy with that money. Therefore, we struggle to maintain getting just the things we need. Every once in a while we get some new toy, but largely we do without until the toy becomes a need. License plate identifiers, while a great toy, are a great expenditure and really aren't a need. They are a want and a fun toy, but not even close to being a need. A major metropolis (say NYC, Dallas, Miami, for instance...) may need a few for highway units, just because of the vast numbers they deal with. The rest of us stiffs have to do with MDT's and calling plates one at a time using a fabulous LEO tactic called gut instinct.
    Hugs and kisses,
    conalabu
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  12. #12
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    I wasn't talking about getting the plate numbers for me personally, I was talking about getting them for the system I was talking about building.

    And I wasn't talking about asking them for a cent, but building a free prototype that they could try out so they could help me develop it.

    Ok, I'm discouraged again. Forget it.

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  13. #13
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    I do not mean to discourage your endeavors, Chuck, just trying to keep you grounded. Sometimes you tend to come off a bit strongly. Little steps, little bites, big reward. Over enthusiastic is sometimes a little scary.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  14. #14
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Thanks I understand, since you put it that way.

    I guess I've just been searching for something useful to do with myself for a few years now, and it's frustrating that I haven't really figured out exactly what that is yet, if you know what I mean.

    Plus I'm getting bored looking for a day job that I don't really want to go back to since I got a taste of Police Academy...

    Kinda like that old Garfield cartoon where he's hanging on the screen door saying "I'm bored bored bored bored bored bored", then in the next frame Jon runs out and smashes the screen door against the side of the house... And in the last frame Garfield is saying "I'm in pain pain pain pain pain pain".

    That's almost what I feel like thinking about going back to a business programming job - I'm bored now, but when I go back is when the pain of the meaningless rat race starts all over again. Hopefully I'll be able to find something a little more meaningful without getting in people's hair all the time.

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  15. #15
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    I had a fantastic professor (and former 20 yr. LEO) tell me once that no job that you ever do is something to be ashamed of or feel like is not worth while. No such job exists. There is always a benefit to someone, somewhere to what you do. I think you sell yourself short, Chuck. You have obviously had some affect on how safe and effective our military is by your vids. No matter how trivial or insignificant the job seems, nor how mundane and boring life is, the fact of the matter is, there is something that you were meant to do. Maybe you have done it, maybe you haven't. Hard to know until the last chapter is written. Regardless, giving up is never a good option. Personally, I applaud your zest and support for LE. Just keep grounded and be proud of who you are. Not who you dream you are.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  16. #16
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Yeah, the vids were from one of my several past lives.

    Good advice - thanks Conalabu

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  17. #17
    Virginian's Avatar
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    Conalabu for Life Coach of the year!

  18. #18
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian View Post
    Conalabu for Life Coach of the year!
    here, Corky, something for ya that I know you like...

    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  19. #19
    Virginian's Avatar
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    I always gag on those things

  20. #20
    TXCharlie's Avatar
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    Plus, see the warning I put in Term's thread about that sucker

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