Thursday, August 15, 2019



3 Tips for Selling Your Customers DIY Hidden Cameras

While hidden camera designers can be very inventive when hiding a video camera inside a household object, they may not be as imaginative as a DIYer! Read up on our tips for showing off a hidden camera to the DIY audience:

• Make sure the DIY customer knows about the battery life of the camera if applicable and how placement might affect that. High traffic areas will run down battery life causing disappointment for the uninformed DIY customer.

• Educate the DIY customer about the difference between a stand alone DVR and a wi-fi camera. When the customer buys a hidden camera kit to “reverse engineer” an object in their home they may NOT think about how easy it is to go back and retrieve the recorded footage. Explain that a DVR hidden camera captures hidden video on an onboard memory card. While there is no need to set up this stand-alone DVR camera onto a household wi-fi network the customer also will not be able to view the footage remotely or retrieve it without returning to where the camera is placed. A wi-fi enable hidden video camera will allow the user to view the footage remotely possibly making returning for the camera irrelevant.

• Encourage the DIY hidden camera customer to be creative! Think about objects peculiar to their office or home that would work as good hidden video decoys. Are they concerned about neglect at their doggie day spa? Then consider adding a pinhole hidden camera to a food bowl or dog treat container. Do they run a skating rink or arcade and suspect some skaters have figured out how to hack the change machine? Then a DIY project placing a hidden camera in an arcade prize might be the ticket to changing that bad behavior.


Understanding the limits and benefits of a hidden camera along with creating a camera unique to the space it is monitoring are key steps to a successful DIY undercover operation.  


Tuesday, June 04, 2019

5 Simple Steps to Protect Your Car from Theft or Vandalism



As the mercury in the thermometer climbs it seems like reports of petty crimes involving vehicles climb with it. It's also the time of year when the summer rush causes us to forget the most basic common sense approach to keeping our car and items inside safe. But all it takes is a few minutes to stop and think about these 5 ways to keep your car safe and not start your summer off with a police report:


1. Lock the doors. If you don’t have a keychain remote with a convenient button that locks all the doors just take the time to check. Also make sure your sun roof, moon roof, and windows are rolled up and closed. Don't make it easy to reach into an unlocked car and take a handful of CDS, a Bluetooth speaker or even a handful of change. Even if you run into a store for just two seconds, leaving the car running or unlocked is asking for trouble. Although keyless entry makes your car a little more secure, in the event you forget all of this lock-it-up advice, invest in a GPS tracker. In the worst case scenario, you can track your car in real time until the police get there.


2. Keep valuables out of sight. Your GPS navigation unit is great, you may want to hold on to it. If it's a portable navigation system, place it in the glove box, center console or the trunk. The same goes for any item that is not mounted to something. Let's be honest, your purse is not safe tucked under the seat. It's safe in the locked trunk. 


3. Park in well-lit areas. Even if you have to walk a little farther you should park where your car is safe. Petty thieves are looking for an easy target and a car sitting in a well lit area is not it. Good lighting also makes it easier for criminal activity to be recorded by nearby security cameras.


4. Don't advertise the nice stuff you keep in the car. Don't give your neighbors a chance to talk about your new stereo system by playing it loudly. You never know who might be listening. The same goes for advertising the kind of phone you have by placing its logo on your back window. You might as well say, “yep, I have an expensive phone, want to take a look?”


5. Put a hidden camera in or near your car. This way even if someone does break in you will have a video record of it. Hidden cameras like the Cell Phone Holder Camera are less likely to be stolen. It looks like a typical, cheap, dash-mounted plastic phone holder but it will capture the the person who decides to root around in your unlocked car. Another possibility is the Car Charger Hidden Camera. It's not only great for catching criminals who stop by your driveway at night it's also an easy way to find out if your mechanic really did swipe the change out of your console.


Thursday, May 09, 2019

Is a Smart Phone App the same as a Detection Device?



Is a Smart Phone App the same as a Detection Device?
As the news cycle shows recent stories of spying threats in hotel rooms and rental houses many developers are touting smart phone apps as an option for scanning a space for hidden bugs or video cameras. But how effective are these apps? We took a look and discovered some key differences between common 'detection' apps and the average handheld detection device.

Magnetic Field Sensor
Most of the smart phone apps require your phone to have a magnetic field sensor or they will not work. The magnetic field sensor is similar to what is found in a stud finder or compass app and not all phones come equipped with it. Handheld detectors like a camera finder or an RF signal detector do not require any additional technology to work with the exception of batteries.

Detection from a distance
The smart phone apps did find hidden camera lens and RF signals but only when the user was really close to the hidden camera or hidden bug.  The camera lens detection option on the apps we tried caused the smart phone's light to flash slowly in order to reflect off of the hidden lens. The light from the phone managed to reflect on the lens when the distance between the hidden camera and the smart phone was closed to about 15 inches apart. Trying a basic handheld detection device like a Spy Finder or a Hidden Camera RF Detector the flashing LEDs on the detection devices picked up the hidden lens from about 15 feet away.

Sensitivity Adjustment
The smart phone apps did not offer much ability to change the sensitivity of detection. The magnetic field sensor did do a good job finding electronics but it found all of them. So a camera hidden in a picture was easy to locate. A camera hidden in a clock radio was masked by all the other electronics inside. Likewise, the apps that detected RF signals picked up signals for everything from a wireless mouse to the hidden video transmitter. Using a Wireless Camera Detector we were able to narrow the sensitivity and focus on areas that were most likely  to have a hidden camera or listening device.

Our Take Away
Smart phone apps are a viable solution for a one time scan of a very small, bare, space. But for even an average sized space, like a hotel room, it would take a fair amount of patience and time to scan the entire area. Even then a camera or hidden bug inside a clock or electronic device could be missed due to the interference from non spying electronics. For users traveling frequently or users concerned about spying outside of hidden camera or bugs such as GPS trackers, a handheld detection device could be a good investment.


Tuesday, April 09, 2019

5 Top Spots Spy Cameras Could be Hidden



5 Top Spots Spy Cameras Could be Hidden

How easy it is to forget that hidden surveillance is a constant threat. After checking your home and office, be sure to check these commonly forgotten areas for hidden spy camera dangers: 


1. Uncover Hidden Dorm Room Cameras 
You may not suspect a college campus but anyone – from a roommate with free time to a student with a cheating problem – might use a hidden camera to spy on you.  Use our DD3100, a simple rf detector device to find a camera that may be hidden dorm rooms, public rooms and even in the showers.

2. Save your future self from embarrassment in Hotel Rooms
The nightly news tells us horror stories about hidden cameras in hotels regularly. A quick check with our DD12031 can save you from an unexpected phone call. Can you imagine getting the call where a police officer awkwardly informs you that your entire hotel stay was caught on camera? With everything you pack that you don’t need, adding a wireless detector might be a good idea. 

3. Make sure your new boss doesn't have ideas outside the boardroom:
We all know what its like to start a new job. Everything is new and feels beyond your control. The restroom, the last vestige of your personal sanity, should be checked to be sure no unwanted eyes pry into your visit. The DD3150 is small and portable and will quickly deal with any covert spy cameras.

4. Check changing Rooms and Dressing rooms
Full length mirrors and poorly fitting doors are the earmark of changing and dressing rooms all over the world. Using our Spyfinder Pro you will instantly know where a spy camera is. Use a spy finder to cheek for unwanted watchers using pinhole cameras. You should be able to try on those new jeans without snooping eyes behind a pinhole camera. 

5. The Gym Should be a Safe Workout Place 
Hidden cameras in locker rooms are many times overlooked. It’s been a hard day at work and you need to work the stress of the day away at the gym. As you head into the locker room, you wonder, “How many places can a camera be hidden?” Well, the answer is in a locker, a ceiling vent, or even what appears to be a forgotten gym bag. Checking for a spy camera is quick and easy using our DD802 and a few minutes of time, makes your time at the gym much easier, well except for the workout.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

5 Tips to Get the Best Video From Your Hidden Camera Smoke Detector


Most actual smoke detectors are placed just above a doorway as you enter or exit a room. however this might not be the best place for a hidden camera smoke detector as the subject of interest could walk through the door so quickly that they do not trigger the camera's PIR sensor. Instead consider placing the smoke detector above a window or closet door in the back of the room. This will allow the PIR sensor time to fully activate the camera and the intruder will be walking toward the hidden camera instead of away from it. 

Bottom View Smoke Detector Camera
This model of hidden camera has a hidden camera pointed out the bottom of the detector body. If this unit is mounted on the ceiling it will capture what is directly below. This means that a subject walking through a doorway will have the top of their head in view but not their face. Consider mounting a bottom view smoke detector camera on a wall, opposite of the doorway you suspect the subject will use. In this position the camera will capture all of the doorway and most of the floor to ceiling space of an average room with 9 foot high ceilings.

Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling














Bottom view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on wall
















Side View Smoke Detector Camera
In this model of hidden camera the camera is mounted on the side of the detector body with the camera tilted slightly downward. Mount it on ceiling for an angle that will capture most of the floor space of a medium sized room as well as about 4-6 feet above the floor. When monitoring a long hallway consider having more than one hidden camera smoke detector mounted every 10-12 feet. This allows the subject to be captured on video in multiple positions and allows the PIR sensor on the additional camera to be triggered just as the subject is leaving the first camera's field of view.
Side view smoke detector hidden camera mounted on ceiling
















Pick the Best Camera for the Space While a smoke detector is a pretty ordinary object to have in most spaces, in some spaces it might draw attention. For example it would be unusual to see a smoke detector mounted in a carport, a better choice would be the Cable Box Camera or even the Birdhouse Camera.

Monitoring Busy PlacesNo matter how much life a hidden camera battery might have, if the camera is being constantly activated by ordinary coming and going in a busy spot the battery will wear down quickly, possibly in less than a day. While you can check video recorded when the camera was active, no more video will be recorded until the battery can be recharged. Our hidden cameras that plug into an AC outlet are the best choice for this kind of surveillance. Another option is to take advantage of the Scheduled Recording option in the SG Home app. If you know when the person you are monitoring will be in the area you can set the camera to only wake to the PIR during that time, thus saving battery life.

Channel Your Inner Wile E. CoyoteThat rascally coyote never gave up chasing the Roadrunner. While we don't suggest tying an anvil to your hidden camera we DO suggest not giving up the first time if it doesn't capture the problem. Surveillance is as much an art as a science. You may need to adjust your camera placement, be prepared to schedule its recording time or be ready to check the memory card multiple times during the day. If climbing up a ladder to retrieve video from an SD card would draw attention to the hidden camera itself then monitor your video from your smart phone. You can even subscribe to our Cloud Recording and have access to downloaded video for a longer period of time without having to return to the camera at all.

Finally, remember that hidden cameras sometimes tell us good news. If after choosing your camera, carefully selecting its placement, and diligently checking its recording you discover that the suspicious behavior you originally noticed is actually quite innocent then consider it a good day. Breathe a sigh of relief and store your camera in a safe place for the next time you suspect a Road Runner has been sneaking around your cave.

Camera Placement Dos and Don'ts Checklist:
• DON'T place a camera near a doorway or other area that the subject would quickly walk by without triggering the camera

• DO make sure the camera fits into the use of the room and will not draw attention to itself 

• DO make sure the camera is plugged in for monitoring busy areas just as a business' entry lobby

• DON'T mount a side view camera on a wall. 

• DO be prepared to adjust your cameras placement at the beginning of your surveillance


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