The older I get, the more I am amazed at how time has sped up.
I thought it was around this time last year I stuck up my little security camera in the front garden, but on doing a simple piece of research [i.e. looking back on my older scribbles – this site is better than a diary] I discovered it was actually over fifteen months ago.
I originally bought it purely on a whim. I’m not that worried about burglars as I’m usually around the place myself, and the presence of a dog helps too. The camera was just a toy to idle away a few hours playing with it, but with hindsight it was a great purchase. I am delighted with it and it does give that extra feeling of security.
There have been a few break-ins in the neighbourhood – nothing serious, just gardening tools or in one strange case, a patio umbrella. Over the period I have caught a couple of suspicious characters who wandered in and wandered out again, usually after they have spotted the camera. Unfortunately I caught nothing at the time of the local break-ins.
I am having a few small problems with the system though. One simple one is that the camera isn’t mounted as securely as I would like and it can wobble a bit in a very strong wind. This of course is detected as movement and the camera then starts recording. On one strange occasion it wobbled [and recorded] on a dead-calm day. I checked for local seismic activity but there wasn’t anything so that was a mystery.
Another problem is rain. If it rains at night the rain drops trigger the motion sensor. There is fuck all I can do about that but it’s a great meteorological tool for measuring rain duration.
Then there is the local wildlife. I have caught foxes wandering around but cats are too small. Birds occasionally trigger the system if they fly too close, and moths are a regular feature. The latter always appear on screen as little white spirals [like pasta spirals] shooting around the garden. Weird.
The worst offenders though are the fucking spiders. I don’t know what it is about the camera but they insist on building webs across the lenses. The are a pain in the hole as they trigger the recording all night and render the system almost useless. Every morning I have to clean the front of the camera and every evening the little cunts build a new web.
It gives a whole new meaning to Webcam?
The spider wants a job as a software tester. After all it spends all day find bugs.
I had a different example of that yesterday. A friend has a DVR / Camera controller at his chicken farm – it allows him to monitor the egg collecting belts remotely. He managed to bugger up the controller by not covering it properly when cleaning the shed out, and bought a cheap (Chinese, naturally) replacement off Ebay, which I installed for him. It seemed to work O.K. to start with – it's primary function is to act as a Picture-In-Picture interface, and show 7 different camera views on one monitor simultaneously – UNTIL he started up the egg belts. Then as soon as the motors spun up the pictures all disappeared, and after a few moments I twigged that the new unit didn't like the High Frequency inverter drives that operate them! I tried powering it from a 12 volt battery (in case the interference was being fed through the PSU) but that didn't make any difference. I considered making up a Faraday cage, but it looks like an alternative will be needed – we've just got to hope it has better circuit design than the cheapo version, and at least as good as the old one.
A real spiders web would be a relatively minor drawback by comparison….
Do you want to swap systems? Two birds with one pebble? I'd probably still get the spiders though, so forget it…
Same things happen with our security cameras except the wobble. Spiders, like you said, are the worst offenders anytime it's above freezing (and sometimes below). I was under the impression that those 8 legged buggers were cold blooded but it was 25 degrees one morning and still one of them managed to start a web. Very slowly though.
By the way, does your camera use infrared LEDs for night time use? If so, that's what's attracting the spiders. Keeps the little buggers warm and attracts the bugs as well.
I have noticed a nice case of feedback all right. A moth flies near the camera which riggers the LEDs. The light attracts more moths and of course they are detected as motion so the LEDs remain lit. This only stops when the moths get bored and bugger off.
And yes – it does use infrared but there is little I can do about that apart from sticking tape over the LEDs.
There are lots of spider-repelling potions you can buy and/or make, including one here: https://commonsensehome.com/natural-spider-repellents/ which you can make up if you can bear to part with some of your pipe tobacco "for the cause!" Many, I guess, would wash away in heavy rain, but if you gave the camera and the surrounding wall a good spraying (not the lens, obviously!) you might find that enough finds its way into all the nooks and crannies to stick around long enough to keep the beastly eight-legged ones away for a while at least ….
Interesting. I might try a couple of those, except of course I'd have to keep dosing the camera every day. Maybe if I hung a clove of garlic near the lens?!