Nosey neighbor cams

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by Bob Schulz, May 15, 2019.

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  1. Bob Schulz

    Bob Schulz n3wb

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    My next door neighbor has a cam or two pointing at my pool and yard. Legally there is nothing I can do since they are not pointed at a bedroom or bathroom
    At nighttime he has two bright floodlights pointed at his sheds for his cams. The light is bright enough to light up my yard with for his cams too.
    Is it possible to point an LED flood in the direction of his cams to blind them out? We are not on good terms.
     
  2. Walrus

    Walrus Pulling my weight

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    I would think an IR spotlight would blind them.
     
  3. adamg

    adamg Getting the hang of it

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    Walrus, I don't think it would, it would just create a little bright spot, and only if the emitter is located within the camera's field of view.
     
  4. Walrus

    Walrus Pulling my weight

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    Correct, it would have to be a high power focused spotlight cannon, right on the middle of the FOV.
     
  5. SkyLake

    SkyLake Pulling my weight

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    Would it still be legal, if little children are playing in the pool, and he records it??

    Maybe you could make a sort of fence, or plant trees near his cams. Or you could point a laser at his cams. The sensors really hate lasers.

    But that could damage his property on the other side.... Difficult question.
     
  6. Dramus

    Dramus Getting the hang of it

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    I would think pointing floods at his cams, which I assume are on his house, would prompt him to point floods at your house.

    A better solution, though it will take some time to mature, would be to plant a privacy hedge along your property line. Perhaps a row of Emerald Arborvitae:

    [​IMG]

    However: Be advised: Annual maintenance will be necessary. (I just went out and spent over $1,000 on gas-powered, commercial grade hedge and pole hedge trimmers last summer.)

    Those are small, btw. When we had them here for other work, we had a tree crew, yes: a tree crew, remove three of them we'd had that we'd let grow as they wanted. They were 15-20' high, 2-1/2' or more in diameter at the bottom, and impenetrable.
     
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  7. Bob Schulz

    Bob Schulz n3wb

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    The floods he has are not IR. We have mostly blocked pool. Its the principal more then anything.
     
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  8. Mike

    Mike Staff Member

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    What about installing regular flood lights pointed right at the cameras? Maybe add an IR spotlight in there too
     
  9. crw030

    crw030 Known around here

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    I see mostly battery powered IR adjustable lights on Amazon, that's too bad I think that would be the most direct way to deal with the problem (just blind his camera with a well aimed IR light). IR would be invisible, so he couldn't complain to authorities about you "shining a bright floodlight in his window", it deals with the specific problem of the camera aimed in your direction.

    Without finding a better option that can aim and focus I'd probably just install an IR flood light, same reasoning: you just want to disable the camera.

    Too bad you aren't on speaking terms, a privacy mask or confirming he has a narrow field of view so as not to be a creep would also work and cost nothing :D
     
  10. lifeatredline

    lifeatredline Getting the hang of it

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    I don't think IR would disable his view in daylight hours as the IR cut filter will be in place, though it would blast his night view if it didn't cause the camera to switch back to color. Are the offending cameras wifi? Are they clearly aimed to view just your property?
     
  11. Bob Schulz

    Bob Schulz n3wb

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    One of his cams is clearly aimed at my yard/pool. He even extended it down from soffit so it clears his roof line to view my property. The flood lights are very bright and shine directly on my Purple Martin houses. Those PM houses are pretty far away from his yard and lights.
     
  12. J Sigmo

    J Sigmo Known around here

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    Assuming you cannot work with the neighbor to arrive at a solution that lets them surveil their property while masking your property you may need a way to make it impractical for them to position a camera such that it can see your property.

    A privacy fence or hedge, etc., that blocks the lines of sight from their possible camera mounting positions to your property might be required.

    You could also use a light source bright enough to prevent the camera from working if your light source is within its field of view. And this light source needs to be positioned so that it will be in the camera's FOV if that camera is viewing your property.

    This means that in order for the camera to work, they will need to physically block the camera from viewing your property, or at least the areas of concern to you.

    This needs to be a visible light source so it will work even in daylight. But then you get into a legal question about what is OK to have shining from your property to theirs.

    You can buy a green laser pointer for around $15 that is quite dangerous, actually, and would disable or potentially damage a camera. But to use it would also place people or pets at risk on their property, so I can't think that would be legal. And intentionally damaging their camera would also most likely be illegal.

    A mirror set to reflect sunlight at the offending camera may be perfectly legal, but will only be effective at one time of day unless you equip it with an auto-tracking system.

    If your state or locale does not have a law protecting your privacy in your back yard, the options seem limited.

    It might be worthwhile speaking with the district attorney for your area to get legal clarification.
     
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  13. lifeatredline

    lifeatredline Getting the hang of it

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    His extending the camera mount down would not enhance the view of your property that I can see. The camera placement is pretty good to capture the deck and sliding patio doors. I'm betting the fov on that camera is 105-130 degrees so the right edge of his field of view would have his sliding patio doors, and the center of his image would be the deck, and unfortunately your property. If this was my neighbor I would conclude he placed the camera for best view of the deck on his house, and it just happens to include my yard. As a side note extending the camera down from the soffit would enhance the view of his deck and sliding doors. I wouldn't like knowing the neighbor "could" be abusing the view to creep on me or my family, but I don't see the placement as out and out malicious in this case.
     
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  14. Bob Schulz

    Bob Schulz n3wb

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    I think you're wrong. Why doesn't he use one of the two cameras at the far end of his house to catch the sliding door and stairs. Besides he turns it physically every so often towards pool or away.
     
  15. Walrus

    Walrus Pulling my weight

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    Question is.. what are you doing to him to cause him to point cameras at your house in retaliation?
     
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  16. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

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    Earlier this year I was on the other side of this argument (sort of). A neighbor I'd never met before came over one morning to ask why I had a camera looking in his bedroom window. This was a ridiculous claim which I denied straight away. I asked if he could show me what he was talking about, and he led me to a thermometer that I have taped to the back wall of my shed. :facepalm: This thermometer has been there for years, and its red blinking status LED must have drawn their attention the previous night. I tried to reassure him that this was a thermometer, not a camera, and that I would never spy on my neighbors like that.

    To be fair, I do have cameras that can incidentally see this neighbor's house and window, but those aren't what he was referring to, and they see that far about as well as an 80-year-old with cataracts.

    I can't speak for your neighbor, but unless you've done something to piss him off or make him distrustful of you (pointing spotlights or lasers at his camera would be a good start), then the camera and floodlight positioning is probably coincidental. Lights are just good sense for night-time cameras, and extending the camera down from the soffit is an effective way of distancing the camera from edges that would cause IR scattering to wash out the image. In the world we live in today, you can't point a camera or light in any useful direction without it seeing someone else's property.

    Of course none of that is likely to make you feel better. I'm just trying to point out that this guy probably doesn't deserve your ire, even if you find his lights annoying. Planting tall trees as recommended by @Dramus may be the best solution all around.
     
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  17. Bob Schulz

    Bob Schulz n3wb

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    He knows he is pointing the camera at me. I have confronted him about it and he denied it was pointing it at our pool. So he brought over a color print out of what it was pointing at. The guys is so stupid he hands me a color printout of just my yard and pool and just the edge of his yard. He is super paranoid and thinks my wife and I are always to something. There is more history here and it borders harassment.
     
  18. Walrus

    Walrus Pulling my weight

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    Yes, there is obviously history, which is why I asked. If he is nuts and is harassing you, doing things to blind his cameras is going to add fuel to the fire and make him worse.
     
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  19. J Sigmo

    J Sigmo Known around here

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    Man, I really hate bad neighbor issues. We've had almost entirely great neighbors, and do, fortunately now. But these "domestic disputes" can be a real source of ongoing stress. Hopefully, you can work all of this out somehow. But I know it's not always possible. Still, as others have said, escalating things is likely a bad idea.

    People can be nuts!
     
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  20. ThomasPI

    ThomasPI Getting the hang of it

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    Tit for tat put up a few aimed directly at his property.
     
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