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Webcam / Affordable home secuirty options?

HenslerHensler Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I have a small second apartment close to where I work, and I'm looking at security options for it. The area isn't too bad, but I don't trust some of my fellow tenants. Now that I'm keeping some more expensive things there, I'd like to put in some sort of security camera. And I keep a laptop with an internet connection there, so I'm wondering if there are any webcams that would be viable for this? I'm not there on the weekends at all. I don't really need to be able to access the images online, so it would be fine if it just saved them on the hard drive. Since I don't need it recording all the time, are there any webcams that have motion-sensing software or will just save the images when something changes? What would you reccomend?

Hensler on

Posts

  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hensler wrote: »
    I have a small second apartment close to where I work, and I'm looking at security options for it. The area isn't too bad, but I don't trust some of my fellow tenants. Now that I'm keeping some more expensive things there, I'd like to put in some sort of security camera. And I keep a laptop with an internet connection there, so I'm wondering if there are any webcams that would be viable for this? I'm not there on the weekends at all. I don't really need to be able to access the images online, so it would be fine if it just saved them on the hard drive. Since I don't need it recording all the time, are there any webcams that have motion-sensing software or will just save the images when something changes? What would you reccomend?

    There are network based cameras that will do that, but it sounds like you're just looking for a webcam and that just won't work. The lenses for them generally have a focal length set only a few few from the lens itself.

  • GrimmGrimm Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Hensler wrote: »
    I don't really need to be able to access the images online, so it would be fine if it just saved them on the hard drive.

    What exactly is going to stop them from stealing the laptop with all your saved images?

  • NovaRevNovaRev Registered User
    edited February 2008
    The webcam built into my laptop will do those fancy things like emailing you and recording for a set amount of time once it has detected motion, taking a picture every few minutes, remote monitoring (uploads the pictures to a website) etc. It is driven by Creative software so I assume that the standalone Creative webcams have similar feature sets. However, anyone who decides to steal from your apartment is most likely going to take the laptop with them, so a webcam attached to a laptop isn't really a good solution unless you plan to conceal the whole setup somehow.

  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Grimm wrote: »
    Hensler wrote: »
    I don't really need to be able to access the images online, so it would be fine if it just saved them on the hard drive.

    What exactly is going to stop them from stealing the laptop with all your saved images?

    I have a safe locker built into one wall - big enough for a laptop and a few other things, but not for things like my consoles, TV, speakers, etc.

  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hensler wrote: »
    Grimm wrote: »
    Hensler wrote: »
    I don't really need to be able to access the images online, so it would be fine if it just saved them on the hard drive.

    What exactly is going to stop them from stealing the laptop with all your saved images?

    I have a safe locker built into one wall - big enough for a laptop and a few other things, but not for things like my consoles, TV, speakers, etc.

    Maybe i'm just being dense, but how is the laptop going to protect the consoles, TV, speakers, etc. if it's inside the safe? Even if you kept the laptop in the safe but ran a cable from it out to a camera elsewhere, you'd have to hope it gets a decent picture before the burglar waltzes over to cut the cable and/or smash the camera to tiny bits - and what if they're wearing a ski mask or something? Are you still going to be able to ID them if you can't make out their face?

    About the only setup I could see working is maybe if you built a camera inside the door of the safe itself and connected to the laptop also in the safe somehow, assuming that's even possible.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that a homebrew solution just isn't going to cut it here - especially if all you have to work with is a laptop and a webcam.

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  • HenslerHensler Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The webcam was just the first idea that came to mind. And yes, I was planning on putting it into the door of the safe.

    Anyways, if someone has a better idea for an affordable monitoring or any simple, affordable system for the apartment, I'd love to hear it. I rent and can't put in an actual hard security system from someplace like Brinks; I've already checked into that.

  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Hensler wrote: »
    Grimm wrote: »
    Hensler wrote: »
    I don't really need to be able to access the images online, so it would be fine if it just saved them on the hard drive.

    What exactly is going to stop them from stealing the laptop with all your saved images?

    I have a safe locker built into one wall - big enough for a laptop and a few other things, but not for things like my consoles, TV, speakers, etc.

    And if you leave your laptop running in the safe, it will die a death of heat. Second. How are you going to get the information to the laptop from the camera if the walls of a safe?
    The webcam was just the first idea that came to mind. And yes, I was planning on putting it into the door of the safe.

    Anyways, if someone has a better idea for an affordable monitoring or any simple, affordable system for the apartment, I'd love to hear it. I rent and can't put in an actual hard security system from someplace like Brinks; I've already checked into that.

    What is your budget? There are some solutions that can work but it's not a $50 project.

  • DeathwingDeathwing Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Assuming you can get a camera with a good enough lens to see the area in question with decent clarity, and strong enough glass to protect the lens, that would probably do the trick then....You're likely going to need a camera more than a little above normal consumer-grade stuff though.

    Want to make sure the laptop has a source of power like a wall plug inside the safe or whatnot, but i'm sure you considered that already.

    EDIT: As someone mentioned above though, heat could very well be a problem - I don't imagine the safe has much ventilation?

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  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Also if you're running anything through the door of the safe (camera or cord) this can potentially compromise the security of anything in the safe. Now granted I doubt you have pro safecrackers breaking into your apartment, but if there's a hole in the door it becomes much easier to get the door open.

  • thisisntwallythisisntwally Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    i know that we favor the technologikal solutions, and indeed thats what you requested...but wouldn't a Doberman Pinscher/webcam do the trick? I have known even the most professional of safe-crackahs to throw in the towel when their throat is being ripped out. It also seems unlikely that they'll stop to grab your camera whilst they're all busy running and screaming.

    #someshit
  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Deathwing wrote: »
    Assuming you can get a camera with a good enough lens to see the area in question with decent clarity, and strong enough glass to protect the lens, that would probably do the trick then....You're likely going to need a camera more than a little above normal consumer-grade stuff though.

    Want to make sure the laptop has a source of power like a wall plug inside the safe or whatnot, but i'm sure you considered that already.

    EDIT: As someone mentioned above though, heat could very well be a problem - I don't imagine the safe has much ventilation?

    If you start considering Vandal-resistant domes in the IP world, the price goes up and goes up quite a bit.

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