Monthly archive for November 2010

When A Wireless Night Vision Camera Is A Good Idea

A wireless night vision camera is easily available to any home owner looking to beef up their home security. Since surveillance technology has advanced to the point where such equipment is affordable and reliable there is no reason why anyone should have to go without at least some kind of security camera for protection. It makes sense to purchase a camera with night vision capability since crime does not stop at night. In fact, we all know that criminals feel more secure about committing offenses under the cover of darkness which is why it is a good idea to have a camera that can capture video in both day and night lighting conditions.

Why Wireless

There are many reasons why a wireless security camera is a good idea. For starters, commercially available products are easy to install. Most models are as close to plug and play as it gets. Simply set up the camera and receiver to communicate with each other and then plug the receiver to a TV, VCR or other recording device. Then it is a matter of mounting the camera in a position that provides optimal view of the area to be monitored. Of course this is all easier said than done. There are some details that must be considered which we covered or will cover in more detail about selecting the type of wireless camera you need and determining where to install the camera.

But the point is that having a wireless security camera allows versatility in where the camera is installed. Basically anywhere within range of the wireless signal are candidate spots for installation and monitoring. Outdoor security cameras might require more specifications to ensure the camera can withstand weather conditions but other than that the only limit is the range of the wireless signal. This means the camera can be installed indoors or outdoors and does not have to be in the same room as the receiver. Also, there are no wires to run around the house so changing the location of the camera is a much simpler task.

Night Vision

Most night vision cameras should be able to record both during the day or well lit conditions as well as during low light to no light conditions. These cameras have built in sensors to detect the light levels and switch to utilize the appropriate technology for whatever the light levels may be. Night vision cameras use infrared light to record images in the dark. Infrared technology detects light waves at frequencies that are not visible to human eyes. Some cameras come with a motion sensor feature so it starts recording only when movement is detected. This is useful when monitoring places that are normally do not receive any traffic.

Of course there is the option of night vision cameras that only record during the night but there are many affordable day and night security cameras that provide good performance quality so most homeowners should opt for something that can be used 24 hours a day. The only consideration at that point is making the most of the camera by installing it in the right places. For small surveillance systems such as a single camera, the wireless night vision camera should be mounted so it can keep watch over the walkways leading into the property.

Frequencies of Wireless Outdoor Security Cameras

There must be many reasons why wireless outdoor security cameras are so popular and continue to be. Many people are drawn to the ease of use and installation since most wireless cameras are plug-and-play devices. One big drawback against most cameras is running cables and wires all over the place. Wireless security cameras are the solution to this wiring problem. Since the cameras themselves are small and easy to install or mount just about anywhere, it is great for home owners who might choose to move the camera from time to time before they find out what the most effective position is.

There are some problems, however, that still plague wireless cameras as with most wireless devices. That is the wireless signal that allows communication and transmission of video feed between the camera and the receiver. There are numerous ways to work around any signal problems but it takes planning to avoid money wasting trials.

There are three frequencies that commercially available wireless security cameras will use. The lower frequencies mean a stronger signal especially when it comes to passing through objects and obstacles. A wireless outdoor security camera will usually have to contend with at least some walls since the receiver is usually installed inside the building with the camera on the outside. The ideal set up is a clear line of sight between the transmitter and receiver but we know that is almost never the case. The best way is to first understand your options and figure out what your system is going to look like.

The lowest frequency available is 900MHz. This is best for penetrating concrete and metal walls which can really hinder a wireless signal. Not too many wireless devices use 900MHz frequency so there is little interference plus a strong signal making this a good frequency for small systems. The reason we mention that it is only good for a small system is that at 900MHz, there are only two channels available so a security system on this frequency is limited in size.

Next in line are 2.4GHz wireless security cameras. The higher frequency is very commonly used among wireless devices such as home phones, network routers, wireless printers, keyboard, mice and just about anything else you can think of. For this reason, it can be difficult to install a 2.4GHz camera without running into an interference problem. Even though there are 12 channels available at this frequency, in a densely populated area it is rare that there are not other devices clogging the channels.

A relatively new introduction is the 5.8GHz wireless camera. It offers up to eight channels so you can have a decent sized system. There is a huge problem with weak signal especially when there are objects obstructing the path between receiver and transmitter. Currently, manufacturers are working to improve the quality of their hardware with better antennas and transmitters using 5.8GHz technology.

Understand the wattage of each wireless camera system to get the most range out of your wireless outdoor security cameras. Do not always go for the cheapest camera since the transmitter output might be too weak for the range you require.

Swann Wireless Security Camera

Any Swann wireless security camera from their line of very popular outdoor security cameras would make a great additional to any home security system. For most basic security needs, a Swann wireless security camera is the best entry level wireless security camera that transmits at 2.4GHz and is easy enough for almost any to set up themselves. It offers good video quality with a 1/3 inch CMOS image sensor providing a resolution of 380 TV lines.

At night it switches into a night vision camera that is good for 26 feet or 8 meters of viewing range. The wireless transmission at 2.4GHz offers a range of about 165 feet or 50 meters of unobstructed wireless signal. The camera automatically switches from color to black and white for day/night use and the metal casing protects the camera from weather conditions. There is a microphone included to record audio with the video which most security cameras do not offer.

This product is truly as close to plug-and-play as you will get. Simply mount the camera at its desired location, connect the receiver to a TV or VCR, power everything on and it is ready to go. The entire system was built to be expandable up to four cameras so it is easy to add cameras in the future making it perfect for larger homes or businesses. Individual cameras are sold separately for those who already have a receiver unit and just to add more cameras into their system.

One of the greatest features of this camera is the compact design. It is small making it easily hidden in the corner of under an overhang of the roof at home. A hidden wireless outdoor security camera can be very effective since no one suspects they are being watched allowing you to catch them in the act. Currently the wireless outdoor camera operates on a single 9V battery which is not bad at all.

What makes this product truly versatile is the additional feature of being night vision capable. A night vision security camera can cost a lot of money but with the Swann wireless security camera, infrared LEDs are built in for recording at night. Mounting is a cinch with screws to connect the stand to whatever surface your decide works best.

One aspect to watch carefully for is interference with an existing Wi-Fi connection set up in your home. Most buyers will want a newer model that takes care of such problems since they are readily available now and most homes will have a Wi-Fi network setup sooner rather than later. For example, the Swann’s ADW-300 Digital Wireless Camera & Receiver will not interfere with existing Wi-Fi connections.

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