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Thread: Ambitious Video Security System

  1. #11
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    Conclusion, ideas, and request for ideas:

    The system is meant to be standalone when away from my house and remote controlled when parked out front.

    Some ideas:

    1. I am looking at going with the boost mobile phone for internet in the car. It would be neat to somehow interface this with my system to call me, the police, or both on 3-way (of course, calling me first.) Perhaps also providing a description and the location of the car (I am less worried about someone stealing the CAR, but it would 1000% times worse than just stealing my system if it happened.)

    2. The dome camera in the car ceiling is probably overkill. It most came about because I had the fourth video channel and wanted to use it. Though it would come in handy if the thief entered through the passenger side, or as it was in my case before, there is more than one thief in the vehicle.

    3. I am still up in the air what to do with the second audio channel on the wireless sender. I really like the idea of using it to relay the alarm, decoding that tone, etc.. Or I could actually use it as a modem and send data modulated to audio and then demodulated on the receiver side. This could make everything much more intelligent.

    4. Continuing with above. I initially plan to just use the IR remote features of the devices as is and just locate them so that the IR extender in the video sender can control them. However, I could just as easily send serial data over this for more advanced control. With this and the audio channel, I would have a bidirectional serial connection with the system.

    5. The in-car computer I have has a CD burner. I am planning to connect the USB from the DVR up to a switch that I can activate to copy the videos off the DVR. If the computer is still in the car (hopefully) I can then just burn a CD of the video for the police. I could also use the internet phone thing to act (temporarily) as server to get the video. The USB would of course also allow me to perform file management on the DVR without having to remove it. And finally, it could (and will) be used as a backup HDD. The reason it needs to be on a switch, though is because USB mode turns off the DVR function.

    6. Given the above, I may work out a way to make the DVR removeable (hard) or at least the drive (easy) and having that face the easiest to get to location of the difficult to get to location. At least then I would not need to remove the whole system and open it all up to get to the DVR.

    7. I may also feed the video from the cameras (either all four or just the final stream) into the car computer for some unforseen reason or project. A 4 channel USB video capture device is around $65. Cheap enough for 'just because I can.'

    In the end, I have insurance for my system, car, and any vandalism that may occur. So be it. They may get my system anyway, but there is no reason for me to make it easy for them. Also, it is my hope that this system will help them get caught if they do somehow succeed.

    It isn't the money. This system will probably cost me nearly as much as the computer system itself. It is the principle. It is the inconvenience of dealing with the police, the inconvenience of coming out to my car in the morning to discover what happened, and the ****ed of factor that somebody stole my hard earned money and they got away with it. I am an electrical engineer, therefore I make pretty decent money (nothing to brag about) and would find building something like this to be fun and rewarding. It is also just the geek factor.

    Since this is so early in the design phase, given the components I have, and the controller I plan, I am interested in some ideas for the functionality of the system either on the remote side or the vehicle side. I am mostly looking for things I should monitor, offense devices I can activate, modes, and convenience features I could use it for when it is not acting as a security system. If I can manage to keep the entire system self contained, the possibilities should be limitless. Since it will be located in a place very difficult to get to, full control will be a neccessity.

    Thanks for reading.

  2. #12
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    Questions:
    Did you already have the car alarm when your system was stolen or did you get that after?

    Why go thru all of this?

    What do you plan on doing when you hear your alarm go off in the middle of the night?

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to just bolt down/weld the **** out of your carpc to make it virtually impossible for them to remove from the vehicle without heavy tools?

    Wouldn't a better option be to not spend/put more money into the car just so it can get jacked again?

    Better yet, is there somewhere else you can park your car that is more secure?

    Thoughts:
    I think your best bet is to not tell ANYONE of your carpc install. I told a bunch of my friends about mine years ago when i worked at a Sears. I drove a crappy car that no one would suspect at the time, and WOW my **** was jacked.

    No one knew about it but my friends, my car was the only one broken into, and it was obvious that someone was tipped off....

    I think it would be easier/cheaper to buy one of those car alarms that pages you when there's a problem and buy a hand gun to go with it.

    If you live in that bad of an area, you may just want to consider a different alternative. Perhaps a removable laptop that you can just pop out of the car and bring in at night

    Most people can tell you have a nice system even when you're hiding it with a fake faceplate. All they have to do is see you driving down the street at night. Your screen shines bright and can be seen at night thru the tinted windows. They follow you to your home, cha ching.

    Issues:
    What happens if/when they steal your car?

    Have you thought about your alarm scanner attracting more attention? Some car burglars are more attracted to the cars with scanners. I'm guessing they think "Hmmm, now why what is inside this Hyundai that makes them want to keep me out?"

    As already pointed out, I think they'll just break your windows, have trouble getting your stuff and leave. You'll still be inconvenienced by the broken windows which probably isn't covered by the deductible. Not to mention having to get the new window re-tinted


    Now don't get me wrong, I always root for projects like this, but I still have yet to see anyone actually follow thru with anything like this. If you can carry out what you say, I think you will have a formidable defense for sure. I'm sure you've already checked out the other security threads with similar ideas. I think the strobes and possibly some sort of smoke inside would be sweet. Good luck and keep us posted!
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  3. #13
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by DIGItonium View Post
    Sweet idea, but why 3 separate posts?

    Also, if the thieves really want it they'll do whatever they can within their abilities to steal from you. If not, they'll vandalize. The more difficult you make it, the more damages your vehicle will receive.

    Flashing LED won't work. They'll ignore it.

    Heck, I'm bold enough to leave my car parked without an aftermarket security system. The worst my car has received other than door dings was getting egged.
    I did several posts because it was going to be so long. And because people may be interested in one part but not another. This allows them to read the parts that they want and skip the rest. Of course, I wasn't expecting a reply before I finished!

    Different folks, different strokes, but what is the point of making it easy for them?

    Other than the car computer getting stolen, the worst that has happened is that someone threw a half eaten candy bar on my moon roof under the scoop. It was positioned, I can only assume, so that when I opened my moon roof, the bar would fall into my car. Ha ha... Well, that didn't happen, but it did melt and was a pain to remove without damaging my paint. It did succeed in annoying me if that was part of the intent.

    Anyways, I answered the rest of your questions in the succeeding posts, so I won't do it again here. Thanks for the feedback!

    Scott McDonnell

  4. #14
    Newbie MRVJ245's Avatar
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    why not devise a installation way that means you can only pull it out with taking out the dash...like welding brackets to everything and having them needing to take out the WHOLE DASH and wiring harness out to unbolt it?

    I welded the screen housing to my firewall
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Questions:
    Did you already have the car alarm when your system was stolen or did you get that after?
    I had the alarm before. I had forgotten to arm the car. Unfortunately, this meant the doors were also unlocked. Talk about making it too easy! I was a dumbass and admitted it then. But, I was distracted with my nephew and carrying in groceries. This is the main reason I would like the system to determine if I had forgotten to arm it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Why go thru all of this?
    Eh? Why not? First, this is fun. It is more about that then anything else.



    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    What do you plan on doing when you hear your alarm go off in the middle of the night?
    Good question. While I would like the answer to be that I would run outside with only my boxers and a .44, it really wouldn't be worth THAT. I would call the police. The system will record the incident all on its own. When the police arrive, I will give them the video, all serial numbers, etc.. I had planned a video system (simpler) before the theft and mentioned it to the police when they were taking my report. He said he would have loved that since he couldn't chase the car because he hadn't caught them in the act and hadn't talked to any witnesses. He said he wanted to, and he was sure it was them, but he couldn't. With the video, I hope to get plates and descriptions (the cameras will all be color.)

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Wouldn't it be cheaper to just bolt down/weld the **** out of your carpc to make it virtually impossible for them to remove from the vehicle without heavy tools?
    Yes. It would be cheaper. And they would probably bust the **** out of my car before they gave up or the police started coming (they had a lookout last time.) And finally, if the carpc couldn't be removed without heavy tools, it would also mean it would extremely difficult for me to remove to work on it.

    However, part of the security will be a bracket system that will be easy to remove, but not very obvious how. By that time, though, the whole system will be triggered and recording, flashing, and battering thier eardrums.

    As I mentioned, I picked up a junk center dash bracket and facia to plan the carpc install better. This will help me tremendously when coming up with that security bracket, trigger switches, 'garage door', and offense devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Wouldn't a better option be to not spend/put more money into the car just so it can get jacked again?
    What? And let the terrorists win? No way! I want all these things in my car because I want them there. I will not let someone terrorize me into not having what I want. Screw that! I have insurance on everything as a backup, but I want to get the SOBs busted.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Better yet, is there somewhere else you can park your car that is more secure?
    That would be the best option, but no, not right now. On the street in front of my house is the best I have at the moment. We are planning to build a new, bigger garage hopefully sometime this year, but there are 4 vehicles (as well as ATVs, scooters, dirt bikes, street bikes) already here. Best we can do is 2 stall.

    I have been looking at a locking car cover, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Thoughts:
    I think your best bet is to not tell ANYONE of your carpc install. I told a bunch of my friends about mine years ago when i worked at a Sears. I drove a crappy car that no one would suspect at the time, and WOW my **** was jacked.
    No one knew about it but my friends, my car was the only one broken into, and it was obvious that someone was tipped off....[/QUOTE]

    Definitely. I think in my case, though, it was because I was doing the install outside my house, right where my car is always parked. I probably looked right into the face of the person that jacked me the next day. In fact, I know I did, but I can't prove it because I have no video.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    I think it would be easier/cheaper to buy one of those car alarms that pages you when there's a problem and buy a hand gun to go with it.
    Supposedly, the 563T is a two-way system, but I didn't get a two-way remote. Maybe I need to buy one? But, while the gun is great in fantasy, think about the reality of that.

    First, there were two people IN my car. And two people in a 'getaway car' watching out for police. My neighbors were out on thier front porch while these thugs were stealing my system. They called the police for me (remember alarm was not armed.) If I would've came out with a gun and approached the two in the car, who knows if the other two in the getaway car were not armed. I wouldn't know the situation walking into it, and wouldn't have been able to keep my eye on both.

    Besides, if it came down to shooting someone, I would likely go to prison for murder. And if they were a gang (highly likely) what makes you think they wouldn't come back shooting up my home or firebombing it and loosing my entire family. It's obvious where I live when I come running out with a gun. A $1500 carpc is definitely NOT worth it. I have insurance and it is only a car/pc. It can be replaced.

    If you have convinced yourself that this is what you would do, I am strongly advising you to reconsider. Real life is not like the movies or music videos. I would only brandish my gun when I fully intend to use it and a life is threatened.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    If you live in that bad of an area, you may just want to consider a different alternative. Perhaps a removable laptop that you can just pop out of the car and bring in at night
    Yeah. Good alternative, but it looks ghetto. My car is very luxurious looking. I do not want to add anything ghetto to it. If it came down to that, I would just skip the PC altogether. But, again, I am not going to let some punks terrorize me into not having the system I want.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Most people can tell you have a nice system even when you're hiding it with a fake faceplate. All they have to do is see you driving down the street at night. Your screen shines bright and can be seen at night thru the tinted windows. They follow you to your home, cha ching.
    Well, then, so be it. No system is perfect, but at least it would help. When all else fails, a claim to my insurance company will take care of everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Issues:
    What happens if/when they steal your car?

    Have you thought about your alarm scanner attracting more attention? Some car burglars are more attracted to the cars with scanners. I'm guessing they think "Hmmm, now why what is inside this Hyundai that makes them want to keep me out?"

    As already pointed out, I think they'll just break your windows, have trouble getting your stuff and leave. You'll still be inconvenienced by the broken windows which probably isn't covered by the deductible. Not to mention having to get the new window re-tinted
    Yeah. I thought of that. I mentioned somewhere in one of the posts. I am on the fence about this. One benefit is that I could see from my house whether the car is armed or not (as in I forgot.)

    Windows (and the tint) are covered by my insurance. Fully for vandalism. Deductable is $200. But, yeah, it would be a huge inconvenience. I took comfort in that my car was not at all busted up with the previous theft.

    If I can make them take longer to do all this, and get the trigger sooner, there is a (small) chance the police might get there in time to catch them in the act. That is an additional area of the system I am working on (stalling them.)

    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob View Post
    Now don't get me wrong, I always root for projects like this, but I still have yet to see anyone actually follow thru with anything like this. If you can carry out what you say, I think you will have a formidable defense for sure. I'm sure you've already checked out the other security threads with similar ideas. I think the strobes and possibly some sort of smoke inside would be sweet. Good luck and keep us posted!
    Nah. I didn't figure that you were arguing against it. Just kicking ideas around.
    And I have probably already went further than most in that I have already purchased the DVR, quad, wireless video sender, 7" LCD (for inside), one camera, and several of the components I will need for my contoller (including latching relays.)

    The controller will be the big issue. But I have a fair amount of experience with the AVR series of micros and I am an electrical engineer in my day job. I also design and build custom interactive exhibits for a museum exhibit company. I have a full electronics lab here at home where I can do everything from prototyping to final build (including plastic molding and custom metal work.)

    The only real things that could hold me back are interest and time. If I loose interest, it may delay the build. If I can't find enough time it may delay the build.

    I am sweetening the pot, though, by refusing to allow myself to install the carpc until I have the security system in place. Kind of a carrot dangling in front of me.

    Anyways, any ideas on how to make the whole thing more useful 'in-flight' (meaning while driving and not being a security system?)

    Thanks for the feedback!!
    Scott McDonnell

  6. #16
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    I just don't see incorporating a ucontroller into something like this. That means you'll not only have your existing car alarm, but your own system as well.

    You'll have to cut into the car to place your own sensors, you'll have to splice into the car's wires to monitor things, and you'll have to design it to be standalone. The amount of time and hours it would take to fully complete this is really high.

    I'm assuming by the time you could develop this, you'll either have moved to a better part of town, built a garage to park your car in, or gotten a different car altogether.

    I guess the only advice I can give is to try and design it to work with any car. In case you end up switching vehicles down the line, you don't want to spend all this time designing something that only works with that car.

    I understand the fun of tackling a project like this (I'm a computer/electrical engineer as well), but I think it's easier to find a solution that's already out there and adapt it to your needs.

    Check this out and let me know what you think:
    http://www.bladox.com/prod_motion.php?lang=en
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  7. #17
    Newbie MRVJ245's Avatar
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    ive actually have a design in mind which uses TWO Complete Central Locking Kits but with the wiring of some of the servo's reversed, so if they try to jimmy the lock with a peice of coat hanger or what ever, they unlock one but the second engage and re lock the doors, so the only way to disarm them will be via Remote
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  8. #18
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    How exactly is all of this going to tie together? Is the ucontroller going to 'power' the entire system.

    ie...the ucontroller uses sensors to detect/determine what is going on. Then it activates the cameras and wireless video transmitter and kicks off the transmission?

    I think you mentioned it before, but when the video is transmitting, have it pass thru the DVR to record inside the car in case you're away from home?
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnyperBob;985965
    [U
    Issues:[/U]
    What happens if/when they steal your car?
    I forgot to address that. Well, the best answer I can give is that hopefully, when/if the car is recovered, they will have not figured out the video security system and I will have the evidence. Although, actually stealing my car would be difficult at best. I have 2 levels of immobilizers, and a chip in my key.

    Another layer of security would be to also record the video remotely since it will be streamed inside anyway. This of course would be of no help if it happened away from home.

    The boost mobile phone/internet idea may help out with that somehow and may even qualify me for an insurance discount!

    Also, my insurance company would replace the car. And I am sure there isn't a huge market for a 2002 Hyundai Sonata. The car is worth maybe $8.5K legit. It looks and feels expensive with a lot of luxury features, but it is definitely not. It is also the reason I fell in love with the car on the lot.

    Combine everything above and you can see why I am the least worried about the car being stolen. It is a 1000% more likely they will want what I have in it.

    Scott McDonnell

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRVJ245 View Post
    ive actually have a design in mind which uses TWO Complete Central Locking Kits but with the wiring of some of the servo's reversed, so if they try to jimmy the lock with a peice of coat hanger or what ever, they unlock one but the second engage and re lock the doors, so the only way to disarm them will be via Remote
    The days of jimmying doors (at least in Chicago) are gone. It's much faster to break the window and grab. I don't know anyone that has had their car stolen or broken into that the doors were jimmied.

    Actually, my old 84 Grand Prix was probably jimmied when it was stolen years ago, but most likely just by prying back the window and unlocking the door from the inside with a coat hanger thru the frame. I had to do this when I locked the keys in the car accidentally

    Common on most cars without frames completely around the windows.
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