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#1058704 12th Sep 2018 1:11am
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Night Vision Cameras

Can anyone explain how they work ? I've been thinking that one in the garden to survey the goings on in the wild and wonderful natural world of Thingwall at any time, but mainly night time, might be a rather pleasant pastime as opposed to BBC and ITV repeats.

I can probably figure out how to buy a camera, but I do not have a clue what sort, how it would link to either tele or computer. Would I have to have wires trailing all over the place ? Not having an IPhone or Smartphone, it would have to be laptop or tele.


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Do you just want cameras or do you want it to record?


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I think you can buy battery operated wildlife cameras designed for this. They usually detect movement and record onto an SD card.

Cameras are normally sensitive to Infrared light and there may be enough of this to see anyway. Otherwise, you will need infrared lights and that means power will have to be supplied.

Be prepared for it not to be very sharp in infrared, by the way. It has a longer wavelength than visible light and this means the edges will be blurred.

Good luck.

granny #1058715 12th Sep 2018 10:26am
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This looks a good one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQoSmtBJxT8

Make sure you have a look at video reviews showing day and night usage. Some cameras can be rubbish at night.

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I don't know what I want.

I thought we could get ones that just played away and could be watched at the same time on a tele. as it is happening. Maybe I've misunderstood.

The one Gibbo has posted looks fairly easy to follow, but I assume that has to be recoded on a SD card and retrieved before being able to watch it. Maybe that is what they are all like, I don't know.


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You want a Micromark camera. There are always some on ebay that just have a simple cheap camera that shows the pic on TV or a cheap monitor that you can leave on permanently. Only problem is I don't think they make them any more but all the ebay ones are new condition, just old stock. They are mostly wired but I can't find any wireless ones at the moment, they did make them.

granny #1058743 12th Sep 2018 10:13pm
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If you get a wifi camera, it still needs a power cable going to it plus the live streaming is often slowed down/hesitated by other wifi usage. It would be difficult to get it to appear on a TV but much easier to display on a computer or smartphone.

i would always go for wired, if its an IP camera you just plug the signal cable into your router (but to set it up you plug it straight into computer and do a bit of fiddling).

The inbuilt infrared lights are nearly always pretty lousy unless very close (10ft tops for a good picture, 15ft at a push, ignore claims of 30ft to 60ft if you actually want to see an animal as opposed to a dark blob with eyes), a separate infrared flood light makes the picture much better but I'm not sure which animals near-infrared upset, if any? Unless you have a lot of money, night pictures will always be in black and white.

Budget digital cameras are a lot better resolution and quality than budget analogue cameras.

Most of my experience is with CCTV with a recorder, I use 720p resolution cameras which are AHD, AHD is a way of using a digital camera over cheap coaxial cable but it won't plug into a router, TV or PC, it needs a proper recorder.

Your basic fist decisions are wifi or cabled then digital or analogue, IP cameras can use a single cable for power and signal which can be a bit tidier for the cabling.


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granny #1058753 13th Sep 2018 11:11am
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OK. It's all quite technical (for moi) , but helpful.. I spoke to someone else last night and he pointed out that to sit and watch and wait for something to appear on a live link, is like hours spent waiting for nothing to happen.
I will read through again and digest more of all your advice.
The distance thing is also quite important , regarding your '10ft tops' DD, it wouldn't be any good at all really unless focused on a very small area as it's a really large garden with creatures coming in and out from all directions.
I'm still quite keen, just a matter of deciding the best option , which is looking more like an SD card one, maybe I would need more than one, but will also have a look at your suggestion Muzzy.
Cost is also an important factor ! Thought my kids could chip in for Christmas.... ever hopeful !

Thanks for the advice and help everyone.

Also pretty annoyed, as having fed the hedgehogs for months through the summer, just spotted Mr Ratty enjoying the remains of their uneaten food. One has to wonder how much Mr Ratty has been scoffing all summer ? !

Same applied when feeding the birds last winter, so moved the bird table up the garden, I just don't like Mr Ratty so close to the house.

Last edited by granny; 13th Sep 2018 11:12am.

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I could lend you my spare recorder and a camera or two if you want, they are wired so you'd have to use them pointing through a window or drill holes for wires or have wires through a window on latch etc.

It would give you an idea/experience.

The recorder can talk to PCs, smartphones etc over your router/network and/or VGA monitor (which I could also lend) or HDMI TV. It can show live video or recorded.

Video motion sensing is notoriously bad, spider webs, insects, flies, moving branches, rain, mist, car headlights etc all set them off, I gave up on movement detection as I was getting over 100 detections a night most of the time. It is a pain and the recorder's fast forward is only 4X speed on my usual device (no idea on the spare) which makes searching difficult (and you daren't blink lol).

Multiple cameras covering the same area from different directions is good as you have more IR lighting. Better still can be an ordinary floodlights with a PIR sensor, animals often get used to them after a while and that way everything is in full technicolour. we have a 10W LED flood on one area that isn't very bright but adequate for the cameras to go into colour instead of nightmode.

On the other hand one area is covered by a streetlamp and its just enough for cameras to switch into colour but its very grainy, in most systems the nightview/daytime is automatic so you can't force it into nightview black and white mode which would be better quality than very grainy colour in low light.

Last edited by diggingdeeper; 13th Sep 2018 5:08pm.

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If I understand correctly, multiple cameras covering the same area would probably be the better option. ( I think).
For some reason, I thought there might be something that had a link to internet via blue tooth (don't even really understand that) Anyway, it's probably well understood by now that Granny is not very up to scratch with technology.

Very kind of you to offer your equipment, DD and I thank you for that, but from what you explain I don't think it would be so advantageous in my garden. To give an idea, most of the activity is at the end the picture is taken from, so it's a long way from the house.
I might get one to start with and see if there's any point in another. The best trial I think would be the foxes den which in the picture would be behind me. If there are any about next year they will be around March time bringing food for the cubs.

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Be aware of the sensor resolution, none of the cheap 12mp cameras have a 12mp sensor, some are as low as 1.2mp which will be rubbish even in black and white.

Looking around at the circa £25 ones the one that seems to have better reviews is this style https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1080P-HD...Game-Record-Wildlife-IR-Cam/263433938065 but that's no endorsement from me.

You will need batteries and SD card on top of that.


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granny #1058813 15th Sep 2018 12:28am
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Sorry, a bit late in the day.. Yes, thank you. I' going to write all of this down so I know what to look for when it happens. The one you link above, looks as if it might be ideal , at least for starters.

Very grateful for all contributions and advice. Thank you.


Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
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