Stealth cam 35 mm camera

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mbohuntr, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. mbohuntr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    Anyone try hacking into one? I took the four screws out, but the cover won't lift off!! I'm trying to change the trigger from PIR to light sensing to catch a mailbox thief...
     
  2. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,672
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    Just put a snake in your mailbox. Simple and effective. The thief won't be back.

    John
     
  3. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
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    The mailman may have some opinion about that...
     
  4. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Nor will the mail delivery.

    If you want to get sneaky be sure to file the form to have your mail help at the post office for a week or so, you can still go pick it up daily from there, they may also have ideas as to how to stop the thief.

    I (and a few others) had that problem occur during one of the times I lived in the country. Turned out the mail was being stolen at the post office itself by a worker and they were the ones that figured it out.
     
  5. mbohuntr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    I'd really rather the little miscreants enjoyed some state sponsored cookin. They rifled thru my elderly neighbors box,threw the contents on the ground and she is missing a check. They seem to get to ours between the time it is delivered, and we get home. A light triggered camera is just the ticket, as a motion camera will trigger at every car. I've built the photocell/transistor circuit, I need to get the case open and match the output of the PIR.
     
  6. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Depends on the camera, some have a remote shutter input that operates off a solenoid but what's to stop them from stealing the camera?

    Get one of those cheap webcams that will connect via PoE, (power over ethernet) hide it somewhere and use the time lapse software that usually comes with them to record everything over the suspected time period.

    Quite honestly you'll find that the Postmaster at your local office will be very inteersted in the situation, often to the point that he'll personally get a stake-out set up. They wouldn't hesitate to arrest someone immediately, you'd just have some pictures that aren't going to be of much use in stopping the situation.
     
  7. mbohuntr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    My box is several hundred feet from the house, but there is a tree near there that will hide the camera well. The cadcell will be in the back of the box out of view and will only trigger when the box is opened. Since it is daylight, the flash won't trigger, and they will never know they got they're picture taken. I see your point about the pics, i'm hoping to get a clear face or plate number. The neighbor reported it, but I'm hoping to help as well.
     
  8. GetDeviceInfo

    Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2009
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    or place a fake camera and a sign on the box indicating that they are being watched.
     
  9. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Most of the "fake" cameras I've seen are obviously fake even from a distance - besides nobody seems to read anything anymore. (or really can't read very well if at all) I'll swear I could probably put a sign up in warehouse that said FREE MONEY and it might be days before anyone noticed.

    If you do go the fake camera route be sure it has a flashing LED circuit in it with a very bright, tight angle red LED aimed in the vicinity of the mailbox. In that case it may be to your advantage not to put up any signs at all, let the light do the talking.

    Also be sure to run some sort of visible wire, or possibly even better an obvious antenna looking thingy that appears to be a beam type rather than a whip style.

    Cheapest, longest lasting would be 4 x AA in a Radio Shack holder feeding a 555 which pulses the LED at a high current / low duty cyle signal. Many LEDs will take 10x the continuous running current when pulsed with a 10% or less duty cycle, just consult the data sheet. There's a good one I used to use, you'll have to figure out the largest acceptable pulse current. Even running at steady state with 50 mA they're almost blinding:
    http://www.vishay.com/docs/83178/tlcr5800.pdf

    35000 mcd for 0.27 ain't bad.
     
  10. Markd77

    Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2009
    2,803
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    Here's a crazy idea that might work and not require hacking the camera:
    Make your sensor and hook the output up to a low power resistor. Totally mask off the PIR sensor on the camera and put the resistor inside the masking. Sensor triggers, resistor warms up quickly, sets off camera.
     
  11. BMorse

    Senior Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    2,675
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    Why not get one of those camouflage trail cams.... these have built in motion sensors and are very "stealthy" if hidden in the right place....

    B. Morse
     
  12. mbohuntr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
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    I never thought of it from that angle, Even a small amount of heat would trigger it! Perhaps an infared led... Now I got something to work with... THANKS!!! I was going to use motion, except every car going by would trigger it.
     
  13. retched

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 5, 2009
    5,201
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    Cars have hot exhaust.. That would likely trigger it too.

    Is the mailbox metal? If so, It can act like a capacitor and you can make a capacitive touch switch like the kind used for touch lamps. When the mailbox is touched, you can trigger the camera.
     
  14. mbohuntr

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    413
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    I think I'm going to try covering the fresnel lense with electrical tape and triggering it with a infared emitter on one side. See my new post. Thanks all for the advice.
     
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