How can a battery or Solar powered security camera help me?
Most security cameras of any description need 12V/240V power to function but not so our new Graffiti Solar Security Camera. No Power, No Cables, No Internet, No Lighting..........NO PROBLEM! Common CCTV & IP cameras need to be cabled to a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) all of which needs a constant power source. If remote access is required, then users also require on-site Internet plus a modem or router and so it goes. A somewhat costly exercise when taking into account the amount of hardware required, trenches, cable and conduit, not to mention installation plus ongoing maintenance.
For more permanent installations where multiple fixed cameras are needed such as homes, offices, buildings and factories etc then a DVR or NVR security system makes sense. Hidden Camera Surveillance supplies CCTV cameras as well. However, what if only one or a few cameras are needed in remote locations where NO POWER is available, what's the solution? Pictured below is our all new Graffiti Cam. It takes 12 x AA batteries such as Energizer or the more powerful Lithium Ion so without any external power, Graffiti Cam can function in motion detection mode for months, depending on the number of motion activations. Of course if longer duration is required, our mini solar panel can keep the camera functioning for up to 12 months with just one set of AA batteries. More about that later.
By day, when motion is detected (within approx 15m range) Graffiti Solar Security Camera captures very high resolution 2-12 megapixel colour time and date stamped pictures then auto saves those pictures to the built in SD HD memory card. Graffiti Cam accepts SD cards anywhere from 2-32GB so to put this into perspective, if the camera is set to 2MP quality, it would use about 1GB of memory per 1000 images. The higher the resolution set the more memory it uses. An 8GB SD card can store approx 8000 x 2 megapixel colour time & date stamped pictures. The LCD camera MENI set-up (No PC Required) offers two options, STOP recording then the SD card is full or RECYCLE recording meaning when the SD card is full, it will auto over write from the earliest recorded images. It doesn't mean that all recorded images are lost. Quite the contrary, if you are certain there have been no events worth looking at during the pasts few days or weeks, allow the camera to recycle recording over and over again until you stay stop. Depending on the recording speed, image quality and the number of images the Graffiti Security Cam takes per day, it could take weeks or months to actually fill the SD card. Still concerned, use a larger capacity SD card, even a 32GB.
Graffiti Cam with "No Glow" IR
Note the dark blue/black LED's pictured. This is commonly referred to as 940nm or invisible NO GLOW IR. 850nm is a dull red glow and a more visible IR. 850nm IR can illuminate further than 940nm and basically the only difference but from a covert point of view, No Glow IR is the most preferred within our Graffiti Cam range.
So who can benefit from our Solar & Battery Graffiti Camera?
How long is piece of string more to the point but a good question just the same? What about Construction Companies, Builders, new Home Construction, Logging Companies, Farms, identifying Ferral animals, Unattended Machinery vulnerable to vandalism, keeping a watch on your car at night, Trespassers, Property Owners, Driveway access, National Parks & Wildlife, Fuel Depots, Sheds, Storage areas, Vandalism and not forgetting of course discreetly identifying the common THIEF.
The list of applications is virtually endless and we haven't yet touched upon the problems faced by Federal, State and local Govt Councils. Identifying illegal "bush dumping" in remote or non patrolled areas is just one of many concerns for rate and taxpayers alike. We all know theft, graffiti and vandalism is out of control and in many instances, the same culprit is doing it over and over again. So how can you identify these vandals and thieves at minimal cost and without the need to attend upon the camera daily?
Our Graffiti Security Camera could be hidden in a garbage bin, pot plant, perhaps strapped to a tree trunk (belt provided) or mounted anywhere inconspicuous. It will silently and discreetly record pictures and/or high resolution video whenever any person or vehicle moves within the camera motion activation zone and that can be up 15- 20m away. The 80 degree wide angle lens will see any movement within that zone and save the recorded time and date stamped pictures to the internal SD memory card. A wide angle view is important and for that reason, motion detected beyond 20m would make identity quite difficult The camera needs to be discreetly placed in an area where you know there is likely to be activity. This is quite important when mounting or hiding the camera. Remember, Graffiti Cam can record at very high resolution up to 12 megapixel so the ability to enhance or zoom in on any recorded image is sensational.
Many of our customers need a security camera such as this to record high resolution colour images by day but also record at night. This is where our Graffiti Security Camera is an a field of its own. Not only can it record day and night but it can record in complete darkness using the built in IR (Infra red) Illumination. Graffiti Cam functions have been enhanced.
In some circumstances, customers have been concerned that IR illumination from the camera, could be a dead give-away. In other words a potential thief may see the dull red IR glow and either destroy and take the camera. The IR only illuminates for a split second allowing the camera to record. It's not on constantly thus conserving battery power. That's why Hidden Camera Surveillance offers two camera options visible and non visible IR. There is no camera cost difference just a personal preference. The main difference between the two cameras is visible IR "dull red glow" can see twice as far as non visible NO GLOW IR.
To put this into perspective, our NO GLOW IR camera would need to be no further that 10-12m from a person or object in order to ID someone in complete darkness. It's not an issue by day, only at night. Graffiti Cam auto switches to B/W mode at night as B/W can see much better than colour. A colour cannot see IR (Infra Red) but B/W can. A colour camera cannot use IR illumination to record at night it must be B/W. So the built in auto filter function mode switches the camera to B/W mode at night or in low light. It does that to see and record at night. 940nm is invisible IR whereas 850nm is visible but only if looking directly at the camera. IR s not like a camera flash. Peripheral vision will not see IR anyway. With our optional invisible No Glow IR feature, its less likely the camera will be detected or seen at night no matter where it is mounted or hidden.
Pictured are Visible IR Graffiti Cam (left) and NO GLOW Invisible IR (right)
What are some of the other features?
We now know that IR can be visible or invisible but one of the new surveillance camera functions is the MOTION DETECTION zone. Graffiti Solar Security Camera is now supplied standard with 3 motion detection sensors. Pictured above is the centre motion sensor and two side prep sensors. There is reason behind this new technology. If the Graffiti Cam senses movement on either side of camera (for instance someone walking across the path of the camera) the side prep sensors will sense motion BEFORE the person or vehicle has moved into the actual camera field of view. The sensors will waken the camera from power conserving "sleep mode" in preparation to expect activity.
In other words, if a person or animal were to move near the camera but not directly into the camera lens viewing zone, the camera will arm ready to take pictures and/or video. Pretty smart technology we think!
Older model Graffiti Cam mounted to a tree trunk but depicting the Mini Solar Panel
Pictured above is an older version of Solar Cam (Construction Cam) strapped to a tree trunk. The point of the picture is to demonstrate what the camera would look like with our optional mini solar panel attached. The mini solar panel looks much the same and as you can see, its quite small and rather thin. Supplied with a special swivel mounting bracket, the panel is weatherproof, has a rubber casing and supplied with a lead which plugs into the base of the actual camera. The solar panel contains non removable lithium Ion batteries so by day, the sun keeps the batteries inside the panel charged which in turn keeps the camera functioning.
The charge within the batteries is sufficient to keep the camera functioning day and night without using any of the power from the internal 12 x AA batteries. Consequently, the camera doesn't need to reply upon the standard batteries to function but when there are days of poor weather or limited sunshine, the internal AA batteries will simply auto take over the camera power needs. It is therefore possible to have the camera out in the field for 6-12 months with one set of standard good quality AA batteries.
Being an optional item, if interested in the mini Solar Panel and as optional accessory, please call our office to make arrangements for delivery.
Time Lapse Recording
Motion Detection recording is just one of many camera features although one of the latest functions is our new TIME LAPSE RECORDING feature. That's right time lapse recording! Many Construction companies have shown a keen interest in time lapse recording. The camera can be set to take high resolution pictures by the second/s, minute, hours or days. When playing back time lapse recordings, the construction of a building over a period of months or longer, can be viewed in a type of video fashion. Its simply a matter of removing the SD card at certain times, downloading the pictures to PC and from there, well users can do anything they like with any free player program.
Another function of this feature is Scheduled Recording. Once again if we look at a building site as an example, workers may be on site between 5.00am and 5.00pm so the Graffiti Camera can be pre-set to arm at 5am and disarm at 5pm and therefore only record during business hours. The same function could be used for a great deal of other applications. For instance, the camera could be mounted in a distant location or to far for the motion sensor to pick up motion (beyond 20m) Set the camera to time lapse recording (speed and image interval is adjustable) and allow the camera to record constantly over any given period.
Graffiti Solar Security Camera has been used successfully on farms and not necessarily as a security device but to keep a watch on a cattle water trough. Just to explain, farmers often need to check water levels in troughs on a daily basis but often that trough doesn't need any extra water. Graffiti Cam can be set to time lapse mode and as an example, the farmer coul simply mount the Graffiti Camera and aim it at the water trough. Remember the camera has a built in colour LCD TV monitor which is excellent for setting up the camera and playing back recordings.
With the camera aimed at the trough, it simply a matter of pre setting the camera with the supplied software to take a picture at say 9.00am and perhaps another at 4.00pm and with the modem installed, the camera will send those images direct to your mobile phone and/or email address. In fact it can send the same images to several mobile numbers and/or email addresses.
in doing so, there is no need to actually visit the water trough as its plain to see that water is not required. if on the other hand the water level is clearly low, well that's different but the point is, at least you or someone will know at the same nominated times every day by means of an MMS image to your mobile phone or an email to your allocated account. The camera must be within a mobile phone zone so test the area with any other mobile phone using Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin etc. If the mobile signal is reasonable then the Graffiti Cam will function well in the same area.
Animal time lapse recording is just another option and it all depends on your needs or imagination.
Steel Camera Lock-box
This is another optional item available with Graffiti Cam. Pictured is a side view of the actual lockbox with a swivel bracket at the back.
Any user but lets say a Construction Company or Builder could mount this camera basically anywhere (perhaps pole mount out of reach) take a nice wide view of the building site, view what the camera can see through the inbuilt 2.5" colour LCD monitor, maybe add the mini solar panel for long term recording and secure the camera against theft and vandalism under lock & key. Being an optional item, if interested in the lockbox and as optional accessory, please call our office to make arrangements as it's little heavy and may alter delivery cost.
Built in Colour Monitor
Pictured above is the colour LCD monitor built into the base of the camera. The LCD is lockable and concealed but is otherwise used to set the camera functions. When mounting the camera, switch the camera to TEST. In test mode the monitor will arm. The user will be able to see what the camera can see so it makes it really easy to aim and set. Move about in front of the camera in motion detection mode, allow the camera to take a few pictures then playback the recordings directly from the camera. The user will be instantly able to play back recorded still pictures and/or video movement triggered by the security camera. The colour LCD monitor is very handy during setup as the camera can be mounted and at the same time angled to see exactly what it is that needs to be seen within the field of view.
When satisfied, switch the camera to ON position, the LCD will no longer display so close and lock the base of the camera. Its that easy!!
At a later date, return to the camera, open the base, switch the camera to test mode, press the OK button and play back all still pictures and/or video recordings directly from the camera. The Solar Security Camera has added features including secure password access. If there is recording you particularly need to retain, simply remove the SD card (camera must be OFF) and backup the SD card images to PC via USB card reader (we stock them if interested) so again all very easy. All PC's can view JPEG images.
Remember Graffiti Security Cam can be programmed to take just still shots as fast as one per second but it can also be programmed to take high resolution 1080P H.264 Video and audio. In fact it can do both, first take pictures on motion and THEN take video from several seconds to minutes. To playback or view video recordings, this can be done directly from the camera or PC. Windows Media Player is a favourite although we prefer to use the free player available for PC and MAC called VLC. Download the free player here www.vlc.com
MMS and Email Function
This is perhaps one of the main reasons for needing a camera such as this. So how does it work and what do I need to pay?
This security surveillance camera will function with or without the GSM modem. Assuming that you like the idea of the camera motion detection feature (or time lapse function) auto sending those recorded pictures to your receiving mobile phone ad/or email account maybe just what you are looking for.
Graffiti Solar Security Camera is available with or without the GPRS modem. If you don't need the modem, the cost for the identical camera without the modem is $490.00. However, if at a later stage you would like the GPRS modem, we have the modem available as an optional extra. The modem basically slots into the camera to add the function if needed at a later date. Please call or email our office to order your modem.
What type of SIM card do I need? First of all you don't need to enter into a mobile phone plan. Call your preferred communications carrier and that could be Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and purchase a standard (not micro type) PRE PAID SIM CARD. We prefer to use Telstra for the wider coverage area but its important that you order a card with say a renewable $30.00 balance NO PASSWORD, NO PUK CODE, but MMS & DATA MUST BE ENABLED.
If the SIM card has a password or PIN code activated then the camera has no means of deactivating that code so its very important when ordering that all PINS, PASSWORDS AND/OR CODES are deactivated by default. When setting up the camera to send MMS pictures from the camera direct to your mobile phone (more than one receiving number can be added) users must be aware that MMS costs can be 50c/image.
If using a higher paid or pre paid plan, then the MMS costs could be much lower so always check with your preferred carrier as to the actual cost of MMS. In any event, the Solar Graffiti Cam can be programmed to send UNLIMITED PICTURES or set and limit the number of images from 1 to 99 per day. This keeps the SIM card carrier costs under control with no cost blow out. Remember, the camera SD card is saving the recording internally so no matter what, so you won't miss anything.
SIM cards are available with MMS and/or DATA. The data option is equally important in terms of remote access as well. It's not necessary to program the camera to use MMS ONLY. It can also be programmed to send motion activated or time lapse event images to your email address or multiple email addresses. Email uses data rather than MMS and in this regard it is is significantly cheaper and faster. Graffiti Cam will automatically reduce the image size and quality (still excellent) and therefore send motion or time lapse pictures in larger volume direct to one or more email accounts. This security camera can do both MMS & Email and to more than one account simultaneously, or users can simply choose one or the other. Data as mentioned is by far cheaper as data is measured in MB rather than MMS image numbers. Consequently, if using the email service rather than Mobile MMS pictures, potentially many hundreds of pictures can be received via email for a relatively very small cost. 1GB of data is equivalent to many thousands of remotely sent camera pictures. It is NOT possible to remotely communicate with the camera.
We provide software with each camera to enable remote access. There is no need to set up communications carrier APN, Gateway or Port forwarding etc. It has all been done for you. Simply select your preferred carrier from a drop down list and that's it. Provided your receiving mobile phone can accept MMS (good idea to have someone send a picture to your mobile phone first) you are good to go. Email is not really an issue. Don't forget, if you have one of the more modern mobile phones (Iphone or similar) access you email account from anywhere. If you can access your email account from your phone, no need for MMS in any event.
Software Screenshot of MMS and Email setup
Can this camera also take video?
Absolutely! As mentioned previously, this is another new feature where as you can see below, the camera can be programmed (via the supplied software or directly from the camera monitor) under the heading MODE. There are 3 camera mode options. Camera only, Video only or Camera & Video. So how does it work? If selecting the Camera and Video option, once motion is detected, the camera will record 1-3 pictures with an interval or several seconds apart. Once all 3 pictures are taken, the camera will automatically take 10-60 seconds (selectable) of video all of which is saved to the internal SD memory card. Video cannot be sent via GSM to your mobile phone or email address. The camera can only send still pictures however, the camera will retain the video recording to internal SD memory.
How do I playback recordings from the camera?
There are so many options from which to choose but just to explain, the camera has several methods
Using the built in LCD monitor or direct from the camera
Connecting the camera directly to any TV using the supplied RCA lead
Connecting the camera to your PC using the supplied USB cable interface
Removing the SD card from the camera and viewing on any Windows or MAC computer (USB SD card reader required) if the PC does not have an SD card reader.
How do I playback a video recording from Graffiti Cam and view it on my PC?
To playback and save an AVI or video file, simply drag the file from the SD card to your PC desktop. OPEN WITH choose VLC or your preferred media player. It's quite simple really and you can always call our office for support and advice if not clear. Don't forget you can always playback recordings directly from the camera as well.