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Q: Protection While driving ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Protection While driving
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: smack-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 19 Jan 2004 07:23 PST
Expires: 18 Feb 2004 07:23 PST
Question ID: 297976
Hi! looking for automatic, self operating non conpicuios, attachable to auto,
camera which would record a situation in its entirety, sight and
sound. the smaller the better. Example-Received a ticket based on lies
highway workers [no sign] etc. They have witnesses [false] we have
none.We must pay ticket etc.
Please help ! Thanks,Smack

Request for Question Clarification by muhammad-ga on 19 Jan 2004 07:58 PST

Could you please elaborate more on exactly what you are looking for?
Are you looking for a Camera-based device which records events on
highways? Do you want this device to be integrated with any other
device. Please also let me know what is the application that this
device shall be employed at. Other factors like the budget, quality
(recording quality,time, frame-rate) etc shall help me research on the
relevant answer.

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by smack-ga on 20 Jan 2004 05:24 PST
Hi! In addition to variables I mentioned in my intial request in
answer to your question which I appreciate, Yes but only when pulled
over buy a law police officer or a road worker representing the law or
we are in harms way because of un forseen legal trouble while
operating a motor vechile while traveling and or being pulled over. My
discretion as to when to active it or simply turn on or off
Tranferable from one Vehicle to another as I own several and also rent
occasionaly. Simple to operate .Simple to install -no mechanic
involved , portable but easley attachable and removeable.Date & time
noted. Quality yes,
Time at least 30 minutes recorded time one event.I am unfamilar with
the term frame-rate term. Any other questions you have are welcome and
I will be willing to pay more money for your services when the process
is complete as it should be because of your input. Thank- You
Muhammad-ga from Smack

Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 21 Jan 2004 08:00 PST
Hello smack,

Just for your information, "frame rate" refers to how many frames per
second the particular video camera records.  Regular video that you
watch on your tv has a rate of 30 frames per second.  Many
surveillance-type video systems record at a significantly lower rate,
anywhere from 1 to 15 frames per second, sometimes even less, usually
in order to conserve tape.  Of course, the resulting video is likely
to be somewhat jerky and, if used with built-in audio, the audio may
not be intelligible at lower frame rates.  To answer your question
properly, it would be good to know how much quality you are prepared
to sacrifice for, say, a lower price, or concealability of a recording
device.  Often, the lower the price or the smaller the unit, the less
the overall quality of the recording.

Also, you should be aware that there are some legal considerations
involved, particularly with regard to the recording of audio.  In many
places federal and/or state law restricts how and where an audio
recording may be made.  In some cases only one party needs to give
consent to be recorded; in others both parties must consent. 
Therefore, to avoid any possibility of legal liability some vendors of
video recording equipment will not sell it with audio capabilities
unless ordered by verifiable law enforcement agencies or individuals. 
However, to get around that, they will mention that any standalone
microphone or audio transmitter will work with their cameras. 
However, I could provide you with some information about that if you

All that said, if you are still interested, I could provide you with
information a number of sources from which you could purchase either
complete car video surveillance systems, or the components separately
in order to create your own system, at a variety of configurations and
prices, along with a search strategy that would allow you to continue
to shop on your own if you wanted to.

So, please let me know
1) Are you still interested in locating a source(s)to purchase
video/audio surveillance equipment for your car?
2) Do you want information on privacy laws?
4) Are you interested in only complete systems, or do you also want
information on separate video and audio components?
4) Does the equipment need to be concealable? 
3) How many references would you consider to be a satisfactory answer?

Thank you for clarifying these points.


Request for Question Clarification by byrd-ga on 21 Jan 2004 08:02 PST
My finger hit the "post request" key before I was finished formatting
my question, so please forgive the peculiar numbering.  I'm sure it
looks very odd. The questions should actually read numbers 1 through
5.  Thank you.   --Byrd

Clarification of Question by smack-ga on 22 Jan 2004 18:32 PST
Hi! Car & Home  -Thanks Smack

Clarification of Question by smack-ga on 06 Feb 2004 05:09 PST
HI! Byrd-Gone South 10 days just returned -need your help Will answer
your questions #! Yes #2yes #3both ways-#4 preferable concealable#5
My problem want to protect myself from potentinal liars giving tickets
. Had an expierience recently out numbered by liars -if I had
equipment that would do its job I would have it made and the truth
involved  be known- I do business in small town where officer was a
participent and do not feel comfortable out numberd. Trying to defend
myself from twisters and make up artists. Simply put I am trying to
prevent this type of situation from occuring again. Thanks -Smack
Subject: Re: Protection While driving
Answered By: byrd-ga on 06 Feb 2004 17:38 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Smack,

Thank you for your clarification.  It allows me to better understand
specifically what you?re looking for.  I can provide you with at least
five resources for obtaining the type of equipment you want, but
before I do that, I?d like to address the privacy issues, and then I
will provide references for equipment.


First of all, do understand that this is general information only and
is not meant to take the place of legal or other professional advice. 
Please consider seeking the advice of an attorney in your town before
you purchase and/or use any surreptitious recording device of any

All right then, that said, you should understand that for the most
part, video surveillance, whether overt (open) or covert (hidden), is
allowed in all fifty states, with some exceptions having to do with
reasonable expectations of privacy.  For instance, it is illegal to
covertly videotape someone in a bathroom, or locker room, or their
bedroom ? places where a person would reasonably expect a high level
of privacy.  For your purpose, that shouldn?t be a problem, but do
keep it in mind.

Audio recording, however, is a different story.  First of all, many
vendors will not sell you a covert video system that includes audio
capabilities because that is specifically prohibited under Federal
law, except to law enforcement personnel and other specified parties.
One vendor states, ?Covert use of video and audio together is reserved
for law enforcement personnel only. We do not carry any hidden cameras
that have audio capability. Audio is only available to law enforcement
agencies due to federal law - Title 18, Section 2512.?  See here:

If you?d like to read the actual section of the law referred to for
yourself, you can find it here:

In addition, even if you buy the components separately and assemble
such a system yourself (and don?t plan to sell it ? an important point
in the law), you might still run into trouble if you use it to record
a conversation and you live in a state where that is prohibited. 
Basically, if you live in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,
Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, or the state of
Washington you may NOT secretly tape a conversation between you and
another person unless you have their permission to do so.  Other
states only require that you have the permission of one party to the
conversation, i.e. yourself.

You can read about that more in detail on this page (scroll down about halfway): 

Be careful is the watchword here, and again, it would be best for you
to get some legal advice to make sure you understand your rights and
obligations under the law where you live.  I?m sure you won?t want to
give any one any ammunition to come after you!


I?ll list for you the systems I located that appear to be the best
suited for your purpose.  There is quite a range of prices, so I have
tried to find a variety for you.


This company has a very nice, relatively inexpensive system, the
?JCS-552/27A Navigator by First Alert - Waterproof Camera and 5"
Mobile Monitor System, ? which includes built-in sound.  Since the
page is made with frames, I can?t paste the exact url, but look at the
menu on the side, click on ?Complete Systems,? then on ?Mobile
Systems? and scroll down the page to see the details.  One drawback to
this system is that it doesn?t have a VCR for recording, but it does
have A/V output, so you could plug it into a separate recording
device.  Click on ?Recording? to see a list of devices.

*Note: It?s also possible, given that this product is manufactured by
First Alert, that you might be able to buy a unit at a physical retail
location, which could be beneficial in allowing you to see it first. 
I don?t know if it is, but here is a page that lists stores that
commonly carry First Alert products (though not always all products): 

    2. SPY CHEST

Car Camera ? Mobile Car Surveillance Cam:

Features of this system include: 
--Photograph robbery with an emergency switch or remote control.
--Use the remote to activate the Mobile Cam.
--Use the motion sensor to automatically activate the Mobile Cam.
--Create photo documentation of vandalism, theft, and altercations.
--Ability to take and store up to 680 digital images.
--View playback on home TV and monitors.
--Record images on any VCR.
--Displays date and time.
--Ability to capture images at night or in very low light.
--Easy to adjust and install, plugs into cigarette lighter.

The drawback is that it?s not a true video system, but rather it takes
a series of still images at an adjustable rate of from 1-8 seconds. 
With a storage capacity of 680 images, for example, and a rate of one
frame every 5 seconds, you could record for just under an hour.  If
you went past that, the system is set up to start recording over the
top of the previously recorded images.  The other shortcoming is the
lack of audio, which means you?d have to buy a separate device for
that (if legal), such as this pen recorder:  

or this wireless microphone set:  

Other listening devices are also available, here: 

And here is another camera ? this one with a built-in VCR: 


This system is very expensive, but also appears to offer most
completely what you say you?re looking for.  However, it?s designed
for law enforcement personnel, and does include both video and audio
capabilities, so there might be a problem in ordering it. I did go as
far as I could in their checkout process without actually giving them
a credit card number, and was not stopped anywhere along the way and
asked for verification of law enforcement status, but it may be that
they would ask for verification before finalizing an order.  The 
parent company, Spook Tech,  states they are owned by former Federal
agents.  See the homepage, here:  However,
the above site is owned by an affiliate, and from the best I can
determine without going through on an actual purchase, it does seem as
though anyone can buy this unit.

But if not, or even if you just don?t like it, or it?s too expensive,
this company has a number of other less expensive possible solutions
you might want to take a look at, including:

A selection of covert cameras, both wireless and wired: 

Several models of video recorders (to be used with cameras): 

**One thing to keep in mind: there?s a difference between wireless
cameras that transmit video (and sometimes audio) to a remote device
such as a computer or television for just watching, and a camera that
is used for recording video onto a recording device.  That can also be
wireless, but just make sure that, for your purpose, you get a
RECORDING device (VCR) and a camera (with possibly a separate
microphone) or a complete video recording system.  Also, you appear to
want ?covert? vs. ?remote? video.  The terminology can be a little


--Here is a page with a selection of four car/home video recording devices:  These range in
price from relatively inexpensive to several thousand dollars, but
take a look at all of them, as they each have some different features.

Actually, I was impressed with the least expensive unit, i.e. the
?CyberEye Digital Camera Security System,? which can be used in both
your car and your home, is small, easy to use, and you can activate it
remotely with an included key fob.  The drawbacks are no audio, and
it?s not video, though you can set it to take still frames
automatically within 1 - 60 second intervals.  It will store 47

But do look them all over, and also see the menu on the left hand side
of the page for more choices.

For audio recording you?d need to have a separate device, and there
are a number of them listed here: 

    5. PALM VID

This company sells a wide variety of video cameras and VCRs (if you
need one) for many purposes.  Here?s their page of covert (hidden or
concealable) video cameras, some of which are very cleverly disguised: 

They state that all their cameras, wired or wireless, work with any
VCR, but you may still want to purchase a battery operated VCR if you
need to record video while you?re out in your car.  The transmitters
have a limited range and may not be able to transmit back to a VCR in
a location such as your home.  For example, here is a mobile VCR
designed to be installed in a vehicle: 

    6. 123 CCTV

This page describes a customizable complete system, including
everything you would need to set up a system to meet your specific
needs, except perhaps for a VCR, which is sold elsewhere on the site
under ?Accessories.?  Very flexible system, includes a monitor, 1 or 2
tiny bullet cameras, and includes audio.

One other thing to mention would be that, if you were interested in a
system that did not have either battery power, or a 12 volt adaptor
for using in a car, you might pick up a DC to AC power inverter that
would plug into your car?s cigarette lighter and then you plug the AC
plugs of the VCR and camera, etc. into it just like you?d plug them in
at home.  Here are a couple of places to buy such inverters.  Just
make sure you get one with enough power to do the job, probably not
less than 700 Watts continuous. 


And finally, if none of the products listed suit you, here?s a page
with links to a great many sources selling video and other
surveillance items, one of which would hopefully have what you need: 


I hope this information meets or exceeds your expectations.  If not,
or if you don?t understand something, please use the ?Request
Clarification? feature to ask before rating and closing your question,
so I can be sure you?re  happy with the information provided.  Best of
luck to you ? and I hope that no more unpleasant incidents are in your
future so you will never need to prove what happened!


Search terms used:

surveillance video car OR mobile
?mobile video surveillance?
car security ?video recording?
law ?covert audio? 
mobile power inverters video equipment
smack-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Hi! Byrd-Thanks for you help. smack

Subject: Re: Protection While driving
From: byrd-ga on 10 Feb 2004 08:05 PST
Hi Smack,

You're very welcome, and *thank you* for the five-star rating and
generous tip!  They are most appreciated and I'm so happy you were
pleased with the information.  Best of luck to you!

Kindest regards,

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