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Date:	Fri, 2 Mar 90 14:23:00 EST
Subject: Fire Sprinkler Cameras

I had never heard of these things before.  How can I tell the difference
between a regular fire sprinkler and one of these things?  I assume there
must be some kind of lens, where is it located?

For that matter, what are other common disguises for cameras or bugs?

[Moderator add-on: I saw some of these at Surveillance Expo last December.
They are built into regular sprinkler heads which have been slightly
modified to fit a small mirror assembly.  Basically it's a pinhole lens
looking straight down through where the water would normally emerge,
with a small mirror mounted in a holder at 45 degrees so the camera's
view is out sideways and slightly downward [adjustable].  You would
have to stare really hard at them, especially considering that sprinkler
heads are normally mounted on the ceiling.  The advantage besides
unobtrusiveness is that the mirror assembly can turn, allowing a 360
degree scan which a normal camera needs a fancy motorized bracket for.

The company there that was marketing the things is Visual Methods, in
Westwood NJ.    _H*]

Date:	Mon, 19 Mar 90 13:52:00 EST
Subject: Re: Fire Sprinkler Cameras

>They are built into regular sprinkler heads which have been slightly
>modified to fit a small mirror assembly....
>The company there that was marketing the things is Visual Methods, in
>Westwood NJ.    _H*]

 Yehah I checked on this one.... Friends those $500.00 sprinkler
fixture are overpriced PLASTIC(RIGHT 500.00 for plastic) JUNK...
out of 6 ordered 4 failed during installtion and setup....all were sent
back to the distributor... have to wait until a better one is available...
p.s. There are much better hidden cameras on the market just check
any issue of CCTV Magazine...

Date:	Thu, 22 Mar 90 01:23:00 EST
From:	David Hoelzer <CONSP12@bingvaxa.bitnet>
Subject: Cameras

   I've helped to design a number of camera boxes, including a converted slide
projector, emergency fire lights, and thermostats..   I'll tell you the truth
..  Dont bother trying to tell the difference..   We had a camera in full
view on top of a vending machine..  We set some other stuff up there too
(like boxes and wires..  just junk)...   The first two days, everyone just
looked at it..  The chairman of the company asked what it was doing there..
Well..  We told him, and later that night one of the security guards,
who had seen this camera sitting there, walked out of the building with
a few boxes of paper...  Needless to say, he was shocked when he saw the
footage..   He claimed, "How'd you get that!!!  That Camera is broken!!".
People assume what they like..  No one has yet realized what the thermostat
is, nor the fire box..   The slide projector has caught ten people...
One of them even tried to steal it, until they realized that it was hooked into
the wall...


From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: surveyllance cameras for restaurant
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 19:39:55 EDT

Tom Ray wrote:
>     I've been asked to find a good surveyllence system for a restaurant. The
> owner wants high resolution on the tape device. Does anyone know of a good
> system for this?

Is this to be a deterrent system or to be used to actually catch the
bad guys.  If it is to be used to catch the bad guys, then the
packaged systems are useless crap.  Good deterrents but functional
crap.  This is experience talking.  In the unlikely event that the
cops recognize the bad guy from a distinctive jacket or something in
the fuzzy black and white security cam images, they will NOT charge
based on that and no other evidence.  

A functional system will involve high quality color cameras (min 425
line resolution), high quality time lapse recorders and no more than
4 cameras multiplexed onto one VCR.  Wal-mart, who is as serious as
a heart attack about video surveillance, uses a VCR per camera! 
Yep, a whole room full.  For cash register fraud, you must capture
the cash drawer, the cashier's hands and the register data.  Devices
are available from the POS VARs that will superimpose the
transaction data onto the video.  

Most time-lapse recorders have an "alarm" input.  A contact closure
across these terminals pulls the recorder out of time-lapse and into
real time recording.  This should be hooked into a silent alarm
panic button at the cash registers (or hostess desk for self-banking
restaurants), in the manager's office and in the kitchen.  The idea
is to allow someone in a safe position to trip the alarm and put the
surveillance system in real time mode so that all the actions of the
bad guy in detail.

This should be obvious but I see it violated so often I gotta
mention it.  Put the #$%#%^ VCR in a secure area!  Do NOT hang it
off the wall behind the register.  Bad guys aren't completely dumb. 
Even a crook can figure out that the tape in the machine right
before his eyes contains incriminating evidence.

I'm not making brand name recommendations because any component that
meets these specs will do just fine.  For example, the time lapse
recorder that Sam's Club sells is adequate but their cameras suck.
To use a scientific term.

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