General - Placing Devices
These docs are for iSpy - See Agent DVR Docs for our new platform
People generally use iSpy in one of two ways - covert surveillance or overt surveillance. Which way you choose will drastically affect where you will place your cameras and how you will use iSpy. Here are some top tips for each scenario:
- Place opaque tape (or some blu-tack) over the power and network lights that are on most cameras
- Reduce the number of wires running from your computer - use wireless if possible
- Remove domes and other covers from cameras that may glint in lit areas
- If your camera has PTZ controls then you may need to provide dampening to cut down on the noise the motors make - taping cotton wool around the camera can help with this.
- Create a spy camera: Strip down a standard inexpensive USB camera and extract the bare circuitry (take out the lights!). Superglue the camera part to the back of a framed photo with a small hole for the aperture. You can then easily put this on a desk or other innocuous looking vantage point.
- Setup iSpy to require a password to open up the main view. You can also change the name of the application to make iSpy appear less suspicious - you could call it "Launcher App" or something - see the Settings panel in iSpy to set this up.
- Place signs around your home or business warning about the video security system.
- Supplement your cameras with dummy housings which are cheaper yet still act as a good deterrent
- Place your cameras for maximum coverage - fish eye or wide angle lenses are good for this (yet can add a fair amount of distortion) The best positions are generally in the top corners of rooms facing doorways or specific items of interest (safes/ files/ workstations etc).
- Set iSpy to fullscreen and display it on a visible monitor in your shop/ business to remind people that they're being watched.
- Aim to get as much coverage with as few devices as possible. Use a floorplan in iSpy to gain a visual feeling of areas of weakness.
- Pair record microphones and cameras - if someone breaks in at night and the camera can't see them in the dark then the microphone will still pick up any sounds they make and trigger both alarms, alerts and recordings.