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  1. I looked into a few of the pay as you go plans like Tracfone and Net10, but they require a monthly fee to keep alive. A few years back I looked at a cell company that was true pay as you go, but I have lost the link to them. They are using the old cell electronics that no one uses anymore, so they can offer very cheap plans. I am going to try and find them again. I may try to put a map together, but it will have to wait until tomorrow because I am going to have to get to other business this evening. Thanks everyone for all your help and suggestions.
  2. Bean00: Yes there is cell service here, but I don't use it. The Videofied system looks really interesting but probably out of my price range. I have looked at a lot of the GSM alarm systems, but I would be stuck paying for a cell service that I wouldn't really use. A lot of the IP cameras these days will allow you to view what the camera sees in real time over an iPhone or Android type device, and some will send text messages to cell phones. If I didn't have to commit to a cell phone plan I would be more interested in a GSM alarm system.
  3. To All: Sorry I didn't explain the problem in detail, but I was just trying to keep the subject from straying to far off CCTV topics. I have been researching this problem for several months and have seen most of the security options. I think the cheapest way to do it would be to put a camera on my roof, assuming that I wouldn't get frequent false alarms from motion detection. Yes, I could put a system in the cabin and was considering putting in a wireless bridge to it so I could put the camera in there. But, I still need a system to wake me up and an email won't do. Maybe a very loud alarm would work, but I don't want to scare the burglars off. I want to be alerted so I can call the sheriff and have him catch them in the act. My neighbor who lives about a 1/4 mile away saw some head lights up there about 1:30 am a week ago and called the sheriff, who did come out. I have not talked with him to see what he found, but I have not seen any signs of trespass since. It will only be a matter of time though before the next gang comes along, so I am going to get something installed. I appreciate all the help you guys have given me and I have to say this forum is one of the best I have been on concerning these matters. I think I will probably start with a camera and see if it works. If it doesn't, I will just move it to my front door area and then try a system like Optex.
  4. Tom, this morning I got up and there was a deer 20 feet from the house eating my shrubs! So, they are not afraid of coming close to the house! The reason I want to detect intruders so far from my home is because my aunt has a cabin down our driveway and the damn criminals have been casing it all winter as told by their tracks in the snow. I want to catch them there. The cabin is only used for recreation so no one is home there. If they are stupid enough to try to break into my home while I am here then I hope they have made their amends with God. I have a big paranoid, angry dog that is a good watcher. I also have an old hard wired security system at home that I haven't used since I got the dog.
  5. I share the same concerns as you about camera motion detection. I agree I would have to use masking to achieve best results and as you say that capability isn't always cheap in a stand alone camera. But, I have seen some reasonably priced software that will do masking, but then I am stuck with a PC running at night. I am still in research mode on cameras and may not get one for motion detection, but I am so impressed with the IP camera capabilities I would like to have one to play with. Thanks for mentioning the Optex beam detector. I will look into it further. I was looking at the FCC photos for the Optex unit and I noticed they do have an innovative antenna in their transmitter, so their claim of 2000 feet may be achievable. Thanks for your help.
  6. Yes, I worry about false alarms, but when I say I live out in the country, I mean "out" in the country where there should be no lights on my private road at night, unless they are criminals. I am hoping that I could set the sensitivity of the cameras motion detection so that it won't be a problem. But, the worry of false alarms is one reason I haven't bought a camera yet. I have already been looking at the Optex wireless with interest, but I am not sure if it is 2000 feet line of sight, which may be a problem. I live on the side of a fairly steep mountain and the area I want to monitor is not in line of sight, unless I get on top of my roof (where I would put a camera). The criminals know that and routinely park there. But, there is another product that will probably work. Are you familiar with Dakota Alert? They have a sensor that reports to a base station using the public MURS frequency band which will transmit for miles: http://www.dakotaalert.com/catb2b1/index.php?cPath=36_37 The only problem with it is there are a lot of deer around here and they would be constantly setting off the sensor, so more lost sleep. This would also be a problem with the Optex system. That is why I have been looking into cameras.
  7. Yes, the selection would be driven by the application and cost. I am basically looking for something that will watch over my property at night and sound an alarm if it detects motion. Because I live out in the country with a very long driveway I can't rely on IR sensors because of wireless range problems. I am hoping a camera would be able to detect headlights in the night at much longer distances. I have been focusing on brands of IP cameras, mainly Panasonic, that have external IO to trigger an alarm when they detect motion. A lot of IP cameras have nice network features that send emails, ftp, etc., but I only want one to wake me. So, if I can find a cheaper analog solution I can live without the connectivity
  8. Yes, I think DVR is the way to go if I was serious about using analog. This system might make sense for someone who didn't want to upgrade an old VCR system. I am just interested in comparing the capabilities of analog versus IP camera systems before I jump into IP. IP systems are still relatively expensive but I see they are picking up market share rapidly and maybe prices will come down a bit for the home user. I am still not sure if analog cameras have any benefit over IP?
  9. Thanks, I may just try it. This morning I ran across this device that claims to make a standard VCR into a motion detection VCR: http://www.farco.co.nz/wachit.html Wachit VMD-19M Video Motion Detector "No Need for a Special Security VCR. Turns an ordinary home VCR or DVD recorder into an intelligent motion based real time security video event recorder." I wonder if anyone has any experience with this? Given how cheap you can get a VCR today, it might make sense if it performs as advertised.
  10. Time lapse VCR would be the way to go for sure, but I am just thinking about playing with VCR recording so I don't want to upgrade. I am curious what that low light Super Circuits camera will do at night, so I would probably only record for 8 hours or less. I have seen it used by amateur astronomers to record some interesting pictures. I eventually want to install an IP camera at my home for security and am researching them. Before I go the IP route I thought I would see what analog cameras offered. I was curious whether you can do motion detection with analog? I am looking for an IP camera that will operate without a PC 24/7 and do motion detection and activate external IO.
  11. Thanks, I assumed that might be the case but I spent a lot of time looking for some information on the internet and did not find much. Everyone has moved to DVR so the technology isn't described in much detail that I could find. My VCR will handle the RCA yellow input as well as HDMI, i.Link and USB, but the manual only discusses hooking camcorders and digital cameras.
  12. I have never owned any type of CCTV or IP camera, and was getting ready to buy an IP camera when I wondered whether I could just get an analog camera and use my Sony RDR-VX535 VCR to record its output? I realize the trend is now towards DVR recording, but I just wanted to play with VCR recording. I am interested in using this low light camera with my VCR, but I am not sure if I can just plug it in and record or will I need additional hardware?: [edit by mod - store link removed]