Need a camera to watch my driveway.

Discussion in 'Equipment & Survival Kits' started by phideaux, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    I've done the search thingy here and have't come up with anything on Surveilance cameras.

    I live high on top of a hill, my driveway is 1/4 mile long and curvey.

    I want to put a camera, doesnt need to be fancy, or have tons of bells & whistles, on the corner of my front porch, overlooking the driveway .

    I do want it to have at least 100 ft of night vision.
    I would like to be able to pan with it.

    There are a bazillion out there , from $15 to $2000.

    Some of the cheap ones have really good reviews.


    I was wondering if someone here may have experience with one and have any advice.

    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017
  2. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    1. Are you looking for a wired/wireless camera? Wireless , don't want to run

    2. If wireless, what wifi spec do you require (801.11b, g, n, etc.)?Dont know

    3. Are you looking for something you can view/control with your existing computer, or are you looking for a standalone station? I have a 19" monitor I'd like to use

    4. If you're looking for your computer, is there any particular connection you want? For instance, do you want an ethernet connection, USB, etc.? No, cable connections...wifi to my laptop

    5. Do you have any requirements on sensor/image quality? Since this is really an open-ended question, here are a bunch of sub-questions. I would like 720p HD quality at least

    5a. What size image (pixels wide by pixels tall) are you looking for? 1200x680 , I guess that would do, not fussy here.

    5b. What horizontal field (in degrees) of view do you need? Related to this, what optical zoom do you need?Zoom not necessary, just a 120 deg field is plenty just to watch driveway.

    5c. What ground resolution do you need? If you don't know, another way to ask this question is "what things are you trying to see, and how far away are those things"? People and cars , 400 ft away at least in daylight.

    5d. Do you need the ability to record the imagery? Not necessary

    5e. Assuming 5d is yes, do you want it admissible in the "higher courts" (i.e., more than just common claims court)?

    5f. Assuming 5d is yes, are you looking for a series of still images or video?

    5g. What frame rate do you need?:dunno:

    5h. Do you need any particular file format?:dunno:

    5i. What compression rates can you tolerate?:dunno:

    6. Are you comfortable with computer technology (installing software, troubleshooting network issues, etc.)?Yes

    7. What climate conditions do you normally see? everything from 100+ to 10 deg temps, rain and snow.

    8. Do you want the camera to be obvious or discrete? I want 2 cameras , they will be under eve of prch and eve of barn...not very obvious

    9. How much money are you willing to spend?Not $2K but up to $500, but the least that will just let me watch my driveway, and notify me of major motion.

    10. How much setup time are you willing to invest? Whatever it takes.

    I would like night vision(blk and white) of at least 100ft distance,
    I would like to have alert when motion is detected.

    Thats about it.

    Pan capabilty would be nice but not a must.


  3. RedBeard

    RedBeard Guest

    Im gonna go ahead and follow this thread, it's good to know Admiral is a guru!
  4. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Well-Known Member

    I have two different systems, both purchased off of Amazon based on a very high number of positive reviews and installed myself. One is wireless and one is wired (POE), both operate off of a NVR/DVR system and both are web accessible and provide motion alerts. The two brands are Swann and Zmodo. I think I have about $800 total into the two systems. Both work well and do what I need them to do. While I do have a couple cameras outdoors I also have a few looking outside through windows. Both options work well for me.
  5. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    I have seen both of those on Amazon.

    Like I said , a lot of the lower priced (2-3 hundred) cameras have high reviews.

    All I want , is to watch my driveway for now.

    May add more cameras later.

  6. Tweto

    Tweto I love the smell of Argon in the morning

    I currently have a 720P system that's hard wired. It records all cameras all the time. It has motion detection and flagging for even just a programmed small areas of a cameras view.

    Excellent day time viewing, but for some reason the cameras have a better viewing at dusk. Night vision (pitch black) is limited to about 50 feet.

    This is a cheap system ($150) but so far I'm happy.

    But knowing what I know now I would have got a HD system with better night vision.

    In time I may get second system with all the bells a whistles.

    I would not get 720p, I would get the more expressive full HD system.
  7. Flight1630

    Flight1630 Junior Member

    Would putting a ir (infrared) light say in a strategic place say 75 feet away from camera help?
  8. bbqjoe

    bbqjoe Void where Prohibited

    Not that it really means anything, My Dad has a system in two houses, and can view everything, even talk to people at the front door of one house from another, all on his smart phone.
  9. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    A friend of mine, (the retired doctor I speak of often) has the Samsung Smart Cam system, and loves it. What he showed me was 1080 HD and very clear .

    He can pan thru his house , watch the dog, gets alerts to his phone, when theres motion, and can control the cameras from his phone.

    He did see his 120lb Doberman come out of the bathroom with the toilet seat one time.:D:rofl:

    He is expanding to more camera's.

    He is the one that got me started to look into these for my front porch.

    I can't see any reason to be looking at my driveway from my phone, when I go to the grocery store.:eek:

    We just do not travel anymore, but it seems they all have that capability.:eek::)

    I'm looking at "hunker down" time and having an alert to give me that sniper time for them Zombies.;):wave:

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
  10. Flight1630

    Flight1630 Junior Member

    Lol now your talking Chinese now.
  11. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Well-Known Member

    Meanwhile at AdmiralD7S's house...

  12. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    Just to give some perspective to where I want a camera for my driveway.

    These pics are from the far right end of my front porch,

    This is the part of my driveway , that I'd like to monitor, day and night.
    There is another 800 ft around that curve, to the hwy.


    2nd pic is the driveway coming up the hill and behind the house and to the shop.
    I'd like a camera on the shop to monitor the drivewy up the hill and to the shop and rear of house.


    Does that help?

    Never mind my shooting bench, for perspective, that bench is 3' x 10'.

    That little driveway going off to the right, goes up another hill to my rental property.

  13. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    Like I said , I dont really need bells and whistles, just something to monitor that area.

    Alert function would be nice.

  14. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    Probably an audible alert, as that would be real time happening.

    Text would also be real time, as I have a loud "I'm Your Huckleberry" alert when I get a text.

    Email would not benefit me ...too late.

    I guess I'm looking at this as a perimeter alarm system.
    Large obect motion detected , but not a leaf or squirrel.

  15. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    I been doing a little reading and research.

    I would like to know your opinion on this camera.

    Seems that this one will do everything I want , and is high quaulity.

  16. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    I am still trying to find out the distance that the motion detector will sense motion and send alerts.

    One guy said 100ft,

    I don't know that to be a fact.

    Thats a long way to sense motion, I think.

  17. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    Wow , Admiral...I'm not going to requote both of your replies here,
    I will just say...I just learned a ton ...from your replies, and great info, (some more than I understand , Raleigh and Nyquist):)

    I totally understand about "guessing" about some of their specs.

    I sure understand how the motion sensing works now.

    I agree that the imagery , reviews seem to be outstanding.

    The alerting system , hmmm, I can set all my devices for notification with audible alerts for emails,(which is delayed), and I do recall reading something about instant alerts, I'll reread for that.

    I am not too concerned about the pan feature, I guess if I wanted to follow a subject coyote , it would be nice, but I'm assuming you gotta bring up the app, and manually pan. Assuming its not auto pan.

    I'm even having second thoughts about how much I will actually , in my application, use the zoom function.

    I'm not too interested in recording all video in storage, I'm just wanting an eye watching my driveway and letting me know( always have my phone at arms reach)when something is on my driveway.

    I think this camera will do that...unless you have another one in mind that I should look at.

    I've looked at 100s. I keep going back to this Reolink , as it has the best reviews, and best info.

    Thanks so much for the info.

    I may order this ONE camera , just to experiment and try out.

    The one with zoom is $115, same camera without zoom is $90. I'm not too fussy about price , just want to try something and learn, then move forward .

  18. zombieresponder

    zombieresponder random gibberish

    Wireless is easily defeated with a cell phone app, and leaves your router vulnerable to attack as well.
  19. phideaux

    phideaux Dogs breath

    I would think that someone would need to be close enough to my router to affect my wifi.

    I don't have anyone within a mile of me.

    Is that what we are talking about.? Hacking my wifi router?

  20. Sentry18

    Sentry18 Well-Known Member

    The vast majority of "hacked" wireless camera feeds are actually people who never bothered to change the default username and password when they set up their boxed video surveillance system. Calling that hacking is like me lock picking a door that was never locked.