DIY: Stealth Swann Security System, Part 1

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Hello internetters. We've begun the installation of the cool SwannDVR4-Pro-Net 4-Channel Security System with 8.4" Monitor. We have a few neighbors around here who have decided that our property is part of their property so we decided to do something about it...

If we wanted some indoor security we might have tried installing some of these, but we have another issue that requires a different approach. A few months ago, one of our neighbors decided that the water overspray from our sprinkler system should never touch his car. So he stopped by and informed us that if ever his car should be parked in front of our house when we were going to water, that we should go over to his place and ask him to move the car.

So, of course, when we didn't fulfill that requirement, he decided that he would show us how inconsiderate we were by breaking our sprinklers. In the middle of the night. He naturally denied this later when confronted and claimed there was some vandalous young whippersnapper trapsing around the neighborhood and that he had been a victim as well. We were apparently all victims. Wow, did he get his own sprinklers fixed quickly, though.

Anyhoo, Swann was kind enough to send over one of their 4 camera systems to assist in preventing further damage.

The specs are as follows:

  • 8.4" LCD monitor included to view your recordings
  • Monitor and record up to 4 cameras simultaneously
  • Networkable 160GB DVR for connection to your LAN for remote viewing over the Internet
  • Motion detection recording conserves hard drive space
  • On-screen programming and alerts keep you informed
  • Cameras feature 420 TV lines for high CCD resolution; each supports up to 66' night vision
  • Includes 160GB DVR, 4 CCD cameras, 8.4" LCD monitor with stand, remote, four 60' BNC cables, 2 BNC-to-RCA adapters, power supply and adapters, 4 security stickers and yard stake sign.

We considered throwing up a couple of these fakes, but we work at home, wander around outside shirtless and have lots of packages that go in and out. We had a little concern in that we live in what looks like a nice neighborhood and didn't want to give off the "Meth Lab" vibe with a bunch of cameras pointing out from under the eaves of the house. We needed to apply a bit of stealth to the cameras to get them to blend in and maintain the status quo.

This week we will cloak camera number one. This camera will be pointed at a blind spot in front of our house where our other neighbors sometimes leave their trash if they dont want it to look bad in front of their own house. Do people actually do this stuff? Yes, they do.

We went out and bought a common scarecrow owl form our local Lowe's. Boo:

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Then we drilled holes in the side which allow the camera, sensor, and infrared LEDs to poke through. This will be placed in an area where there is always light, so the infrared isn't entirely necessary:

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Then we cut out the bottom to stick the camera inside:

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Then we cut out a piece of wood and mounted the camera to it. We also mounted a piece of metal to help screw it into the post it will sit on:

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It's barely visible, but here is the camera mounted inside the owl:

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And this is what it looks like, 12 feet up on a post:

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So there you have it; a little owl to keep an eye on the street to give us advanced warning of popo activity a little peek into what we can't normally see. At its current height, the camera is not visible to others.

It won't be hooked up until we get the whole system wired up, but we will see how the locals react while it sits idle. Tune in next time for some more invisible security.

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