We are often asked about using in car cameras or security cameras inside a vehicle. This type of surveillance needs a fair bit of thought in advance as there are a few stumbling blocks to this kind of spy camera system.
Many people want to put a wireless spy camera inside their car to look out through the windows and so capture footage of possible vandals or vandalism to their vehicle – they then want this wireless camera to transmit from inside the car back into their home for recording the footage to a DVR or video recorder.
If this was do-able it would be great but 99% of the time it’s not! First of all a wireless camera signal will be all but wiped out by the metal exterior of the vehicle and so is extremely unlikely to make it back to the 2.4GHz receiver located inside your house or office.
However, even if the signal did make it back there is another major issue to think about. Most vandalism takes place at night, this means that it is likely to be dark or low light conditions around your car – so you’d need a wireless infrared camera. Unfortunately the infrared will will reflect back off the car window and into the camera lens meaning your footage will have a large circle of bright, white light slap bang in the centre, totally obscuring the image and making the whole security system pointless.
You could have everything inside the vehicle – camera & recorder – but remember that you will need to power the camera from inside and then power the recorder from inside too. This equipment would need substantial power to keep running over any decent period of time – you may come back to your vehicle and find that your battery is flat! On top of this if somebody did break into the vehicle it is highly probable (unless all of the equipment is very well hidden) that they would steal or damage the surveillance kit anyway.
OK, so how do I suggest that you monitor your car and so catch would be vandals on CCTV? My suggestion, and this is not always possible unfortunately, is to mount a surveillance camera on your building overlooking the parking area or driveway – you can then run a short cable back inside to pick up power for the camera and to connect it to a digital video recorder.
You can then choose a camera because it will give you the best possible CCTV footage rather than because you may be able to hide it somewhere. If the camera acts as a deterrent and so there isn’t any vandalism to your vehicle then great – surely that is the ultimate result.
You could also mention the camera to your neighbours (as it may help them too) and put up some signage or stickers inside your car to let possible crooks know that they are being watched.