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      04-07-2012, 02:29 AM   #1
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Video cameras for security & liability

In the past, I've been the victim of a hit & run (car was parked). I've also been side swiped, which I feel wasn't my fault but my insurance company wouldn't fight it. In both of these cases, decent video footage could have made all the difference, and could easily more than pay for itself.

What I need is a low power, multi-camera system. It needs good low-light sensitivity, prerecord buffering, manual activation and accelerometer-based activation. And it needs to draw low enough power not to drain my battery overnight (maybe I'd get second battery to run it from, just in case).

I know it sounds pretty high-end, but there are analog cameras that are small, relatively inexpensive, have good low-light performance, and draw relatively little power. The trick is then to pair them with some kind of Car PC, laptop, tablet, etc. for the recording. I've seen little USB analog capture devices, but those could end up being the most power-thirsty part of the whole system.

But before I get too far down the homebrew/DIY route, can anyone recommend a prepackaged system that meets my needs? I think 2 cameras would be enough for most cases (I'd ideally like 4) and I'd be willing to accept self-contained cameras as opposed to an integrated multi-camera system.

Last edited by Drifty//; 04-07-2012 at 05:07 AM.
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      04-07-2012, 03:34 AM   #2
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I know that car camera systems are popular in Russia to combat insurance scams that are a huge problem over there. So i know something like this exists. The units I have seen are little slim units that attach to the window under the mirror. They contain a memory card (Something like SD) and constiantly record while you are in motion. I imagine they have some sort of button to tell the device to flag the data "do not delete". dont know any names of this device but im sure you can find one searching around on google for in car camera security
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      04-07-2012, 04:58 AM   #3
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I've seen cameras like you describe. One concern I have about those is that some look very much like a radar detector.

The analog cameras I saw, on the other hand, are pretty small and a very different shape. Analog might sound crude, but this only needs to be good enough for court.
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      04-07-2012, 05:20 AM   #4
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I've also been wondering about just such a system. Starting with something akin to a dashcam system like the police have, 360* view plus some kind of security interface to start it if there is movement, like if your car gets hit in a parking lot. It seems like technology like this would have come down in price at this point that a system like this could be sold for a few hundred dollars. Considering the percentage of the population out there that are basically shards of human debri, floating around with no intention of taking responsibility for anything they do, I would pay that price for a system like that.
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      04-07-2012, 05:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue View Post
Considering the percentage of the population out there that are basically shards of human debri, floating around with no intention of taking responsibility for anything they do, I would pay that price for a system like that.
+10000000000000000

completely agree
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      04-07-2012, 07:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue View Post
Considering the percentage of the population out there that are basically shards of human debri, floating around with no intention of taking responsibility for anything they do, I would pay that price for a system like that.
Quote of the week.


I asked my installer this same question, and he said; Taxi's in Madrid and London are getting these systems installed, BUT, they're expensive and hook up to a recording system in the boot. The cameras are also pretty large. He said they were not supposed to be discreet, more like "Smile" in your face, you're being recorded, like.

I have the rear camera and front camera set up from Alexshop, and I thought maybe i could hook up the video feeds to a recorder. With the front camera if I press the menu button for more than 2 seconds AV1 displays the road in front when I'm driving. (I also have the DVD in motion set up)

Rear camera only displays when I hit reverse. (Split screen with parking sensors.)

I'd love to hook up a system like this to record everything, Hell, I'd get another battery if needed for power.

I'm speaking to him after Easter, but this sort of a system would be perfect.
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      04-07-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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maybe choose where you park a little more carefully and things will be okay. must be a DD?
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      04-07-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drifty// View Post
I've seen cameras like you describe. One concern I have about those is that some look very much like a radar detector.

The analog cameras I saw, on the other hand, are pretty small and a very different shape. Analog might sound crude, but this only needs to be good enough for court.
Let us know what you find. It's an interesting topic.......
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      04-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriszeh View Post
maybe choose where you park a little more carefully and things will be okay. must be a DD?
I am careful where I park. We've all seen those threads, and yes, I'm one of those guys that parks out in the middle of nowhere and will walk a couple hundred feet extra so no one parks next to me. 3 nice cars over the last 10 years and not a single ding in any of them. But I've still had idiots park right next to me. And no matter where you park, you can still get hit by someone not paying attention. And almost every day there is an accident somewhere in town where someone blew a stop sign or stop light. And I can't count how many people I've heard over the years that have been hit by someone who was completely at fault yet will not admit fault or take responsibility. Video evidence changes everything. It would pay for itself if it came into use one time. OP is absolutely right. I'm hoping some enterprising electronic company will come up with a system like this soon, if they haven't already. And yes, it's a daily drive.
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      04-07-2012, 03:23 PM   #10
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the only issue with a system like this is it also could be used against you in the event that you are at fault and practicing some hooliganism.
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      04-07-2012, 04:44 PM   #11
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Blackvue seems to have risen in popularity in some car forums.
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      04-07-2012, 05:03 PM   #12
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      04-07-2012, 05:05 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticBlue
I am careful where I park. We've all seen those threads, and yes, I'm one of those guys that parks out in the middle of nowhere and will walk a couple hundred feet extra so no one parks next to me. 3 nice cars over the last 10 years and not a single ding in any of them. But I've still had idiots park right next to me. And no matter where you park, you can still get hit by someone not paying attention. And almost every day there is an accident somewhere in town where someone blew a stop sign or stop light. And I can't count how many people I've heard over the years that have been hit by someone who was completely at fault yet will not admit fault or take responsibility. Video evidence changes everything. It would pay for itself if it came into use one time. OP is absolutely right. I'm hoping some enterprising electronic company will come up with a system like this soon, if they haven't already. And yes, it's a daily drive.
Parking far away flags you as a narcissistic d-bag that the world loves to hate. I used to be tempted to do that, but when out shopping I realized that the safest spot is right next to the cart return. You get protected on one side and NOBODY returns their cart. Of if a weirdo actually does, they will actually put it in the cart return if they have made the effort to push their cart close to it. I would park inside the cart return if it were possible. Think like someone who has a disposable car and you will see I'm right.

KP
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      04-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #14
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This thread below might help you out.

OP Says he installed but hasn't reported back

The install in the Mazda referenced in the thread above has some pics of install.

Last edited by TheDeliverator; 04-08-2012 at 01:17 AM.
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      04-07-2012, 08:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriszeh View Post
the only issue with a system like this is it also could be used against you in the event that you are at fault and practicing some hooliganism.
That's why I want recording to be operator-activated, when the ignition is turned on. When the vehicle is off, I want recording to be triggered by any sort of jolt, like how car alarms work.

In either case, you need a prerecord buffer of at least 10 or 20 seconds to catch whatever lead up to the incident, plus the next couple minutes following.
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      04-07-2012, 08:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylin032 View Post
Parking far away flags you as a narcissistic d-bag that the world loves to hate.
Always a dilemma - how far away to park. I want to park far enough away that no one is likely to park next to me, but not so far that I call attention to myself.

Quote:
the safest spot is right next to the cart return.
Eh, it's debatable (I've seen people shove carts in the general direction of the return), but that's not the point of the thread.

I'll just say this: don't forget to look at the slope of the parking lot, since stray carts will generally follow the gradient.
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      04-07-2012, 09:02 PM   #17
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One advantage of small cameras is that if someone does hit you & then sees your camera(s), they might go so far as to break into the car & steal them.

Of course, people probably wouldn't even think to look for security cameras in cars, in most cities. And if you live in a state where auto insurance is required, then the more likely outcome, if they notice a camera, is that they'll do the right thing & leave a note.
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      04-07-2012, 10:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylin032 View Post
Parking far away flags you as a narcissistic d-bag that the world loves to hate. I used to be tempted to do that, but when out shopping I realized that the safest spot is right next to the cart return. You get protected on one side and NOBODY returns their cart. Of if a weirdo actually does, they will actually put it in the cart return if they have made the effort to push their cart close to it. I would park inside the cart return if it were possible. Think like someone who has a disposable car and you will see I'm right.

KP
Personally what I think when I see a car parked off in the unused further away spots is someone didn't want their car dinged and have no grief whatsoever over it. It in no way effects or hurts anyone else and I'm not sure how or why someone would consider a person a douchebag over it. But then I'm old and as I grew up taking care of your things was considered common sense. BTW, I always return my cart. Again being old that used to be considered good manners and did not make one a weirdo.
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      04-08-2012, 02:05 AM   #19
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Interesting thread. I bought one of these. Here's a post I started about it. I've been playing with it in my truck for about 2 weeks now. I liked it so much I picked up one for the car, as well. I'm working w/the manufacturer to hammer out a couple of little kinks, and get 3 or 4 more cameras. Overall, I'm pretty pleased. Follow my thread, as I get everything situated, I'll update it. Fry's had class 10 32gb SD cards on sale for $25 yesterday, so I picked up two.

Major issue I'm trying to overcome is that the cameras shut down when the sun is beating down on them constantly. I'm going to experiment w/an eyebrow on the truck to see if that will alleviate it. Other than that, it's pretty awesome. Audio/video is great. I'll get some day/night video posted in a couple days.

As for the power draw, I leave it on all the time (hardwired, if you will) and I can park my truck for a couple days and when I come back, it still starts right up, so that really isn't an issue.

Last edited by whats77inaname; 04-08-2012 at 02:21 AM.
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      10-13-2013, 07:11 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whats77inaname View Post
Interesting thread. I bought one of these. Here's a post I started about it. I've been playing with it in my truck for about 2 weeks now. I liked it so much I picked up one for the car, as well. I'm working w/the manufacturer to hammer out a couple of little kinks, and get 3 or 4 more cameras. Overall, I'm pretty pleased. Follow my thread, as I get everything situated, I'll update it. Fry's had class 10 32gb SD cards on sale for $25 yesterday, so I picked up two.

Major issue I'm trying to overcome is that the cameras shut down when the sun is beating down on them constantly. I'm going to experiment w/an eyebrow on the truck to see if that will alleviate it. Other than that, it's pretty awesome. Audio/video is great. I'll get some day/night video posted in a couple days.

As for the power draw, I leave it on all the time (hardwired, if you will) and I can park my truck for a couple days and when I come back, it still starts right up, so that really isn't an issue.
The technical solution (and product idea) for the safety camera is to have a motion detector that runs continuously and can automatically trigger on the main camera when parked and leaving the camera running continuously while driving. No battery draining issue and the motion detector need not be separate hardware, a CCD cam can be programmed in a low current bias mode functionning as a motion sensor, same as a DSLR exposure detection.
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      10-13-2013, 07:55 PM   #21
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So for a month I've been using the HD720p from eBay seller estore009.

This is the camera that you see used in many of the Russian crashes.

Also, you can look at http://dashcamtalk.com/?s=DVR-207GS for a review.

It's not motion-activated, but runs good video constantly. It's already helped me with one non-vehicle theft incident.

The Dashcamtalk.com forum has information on this and other cameras, including more sophisticated versions.

- V

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      10-13-2013, 09:59 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsweet View Post
The technical solution (and product idea) for the safety camera is to have a motion detector that runs continuously and can automatically trigger on the main camera when parked and leaving the camera running continuously while driving. No battery draining issue and the motion detector need not be separate hardware, a CCD cam can be programmed in a low current bias mode functionning as a motion sensor, same as a DSLR exposure detection.
Back from the dead. This is about 18 months old, and I've moved on to other things after the Texas sun melted both units.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=806078
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