Protecting Bullet Camera

Hello, yesterday a vandal moved two Hikvision bullet cameras. Is there some sort of guard that can be placed over them to prevent this in the future? I'm unsure of the right key words: Wire guard, protective enclosure?

Thank you!


It's a trade-off. If you make them immovable then the thieves might damage them by spray-painting the lens or something else.

Your best solution is to mount them out of reach, but I'm sure you've already thought of that and it's not a viable option (common in residential systems).

A better option might just be switching them for vandal-proof domes. Harder for vandals to mess with the camera, short of the spray-paint tactic.

I second the dome recommendation if knocking cameras out of position is a concern.

Related: Bullet Camera Usage Statistics that discusses these issues.

I may be able to move them higher, so they are more difficult to reach without a ladder or pole. This will probably make them more visible though, because of where I would have to position them.

Vandal-proof domes is a good idea. I decided on bullet cameras beforehand, but could swap out for the domes, and maybe even position them out of reach, too.

What do you think about placing a wire cage over the bullet cameras instead?

This is what I did. The pivot arm is torqued down with a large torx bolt, so it's much harder to move than the bullet gimbal.

Biggest drawback? It increases the footprint by a factor of 3. For me, this was welcome, since it is deployed in an area where no one should be except the property owner anyway, and I wanted it to be noticeable BEFORE someone would cross over the property threshold. But it is big and ugly. :)

I'm assuming that this is an integrated IR bullet; if it's not IR you can just mount it in a box housing without removing the enclosure glass and fitting an O-ring. You will lose a very small amount of light because of the transmittance loss of the added enclosure glass, but that's it.

Yes, they are integrated IR bullet cameras. I have seen wire cages that could be put over top of the cameras, but would have to find the correct size, the most important dimension being depth of the cage, I think. Could be pretty ugly, though.

When installing equipment in areas where they face regular impacts, such as indoor basketball courts, I always installed wire guards like these.

They're ugly and they increase the footprint of the camera and they're ugly and they can't protect against spray paint and they're ugly, but they're better than nothing.

In the bad old days, when crime was much higher and cameras where physically much larger and more expensive (so that replacing a destroyed camera ate up a lot of your security budget for the year), there was a welding guy in my neighborhood whose main business was making custom iron fences. He had a pretty good sideline building and installing custom cages for security cameras. You still see them around sometimes in recently gentrified neighborhoods.

Ari, this is great. Thanks for the lead.

You said in another thread that you were trying to prevent the bullet camera's FOV from being moved. Although the wire enclosure protects to a degree against a baseball bat attack, I'm wondering how well it could with stand a pool stick style repositioning?

The smaller the holes the more protection, but the more obscurity, and as Michael points out more IR glare.

I would think the IR reflection from the wire guards would cause issues at night time.

Didn't think about that. I mostly used these cages for box cameras, as that is what was on the market at the time. IR illuminators, if you could afford one, were mainly add-on units.

Based on the posts to date, it sounds like the best bet is to install dome cameras at a higher location if possible, so they cannot be easily reached. I understand the wire guards could cause different issues. One thing I might try is buy a single wire guard to try it out and see what the impact is on aesthetics and image quality. Most likely I would spray paint it with a flat color to reduce glare and make it a bit less noticeable.

I'd further agree with the dome idea. Even larger box camera housings are susceptible to baseball bats moving them, despite their larger fasteners. Wire guards seem like they'd get in the way, unless they were specifically made for cameras and had a larger opening to shoot through unobstructed.

+1 for replacing them with domes. This is one of the main reasons I tend to eschew bullets in favor of domes - bullets (and to some degree even housing with box cams) are too easily redirected with a stick or a well-thrown rock.

This is the singular reason why I never install bullets.

Video from anarchist group Camover showing two groups destroying a) high mounted bullets and b) low mounted domes. The 'a' team has a much easier time.*

*Warning, de-installations are graphically depicted, some footage may be uncomfortable to watch...

I ordered a pair of the newest Hikvision 3 MP dome cameras

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00VGUD3H0?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

to replace the Hikvision 3 MP bullets (I have the 6mm, but you can get the 4mm for $88!!)

http://www.amazon.com/Hikvision-DS-2CD2032-I-Waterproof-Security-Network/dp/B00PQKQ7GU/ref=sr_1_22?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1433528340&sr=1-22&keywords=DS-2CD2132+6mm

We moved the camera location a few feet higher to make them harder to reach, and the slant angle has not changed much.

Unfortunately, a neighbor who I suspect was working with the burglers saw me installing the new cameras.

A couple of things I noticed: The daytime image quality is significantly better on the latest dome versus the bullet. Very impressive. The dome reflects light so they are more visible than the bullets. I would like to 'dull' the surface of the bubble other than the area where the lens and IR emitters are located.

Any recommendations on how to do this? Or should I just wait for weathering to reduce the dome reflectance?

Unfortunately, a neighbor who I suspect was working with the burglers saw me installing the new cameras.

Do you believe that they are targeting you specifically for robbery? A larcenist neighbor who has a clear line of sight into your property presents many challenges, most notably your schedule and asset information.

I thought you identified the burglars/vandals and the police were satisfied with the video?

The burglars hit the house next to ours. I know at least one of the two thieves on camera has been identified. My wife and I believe a third person (a 18 year old neighbor) was also involved, based on a variety of circumstantial evidence. I informed the detective who was already looking into him. He lives with his parents, whom we know, and the police have alerted them to his possible involvement.

Our house would be considerably harder to break into than the house that was hit, and alarms would immediately sound. Once you are inside, there are few electronics and other valuables you could easily carry away because they are secured.

Even so, I am watching that neighbor and waiting for him to make a mistake.

The dome reflects light so they are more visible than the bullets. I would like to 'dull' the surface of the bubble other than the area where the lens and IR emitters are located.

Any recommendations on how to do this? Or should I just wait for weathering to reduce the dome reflectance?

You could always just mask the area where the lens is (once it's aimed, of course) and paint over the rest. Paint the entire enclosure the same color as whatever it's mounting to if you want to make it really inconspicuous.

On the other hand, isn't one of deterrents of a dome is that it's hard to tell what the area under view is?

Depends if you want the deterrent factor, in which case you'd really want the whole thing as visible and noticeable as possible.

Have you heard of smoked domes with IIR?

I noticed in the thread on smoked domes that a Hikvision Rep (Bob Germain) recommends against them