Small camera under the mailbox

Discussion in 'Camera Installation Questions' started by person0, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. person0

    person0 n3wb

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    As part of the setup at my new house, I was thinking that a simpler method to get quality license plate readings would be to mount a low profile camera upside down under my mailbox, and to use ground burial rated cable to link it up. In considering this there are three issues that come to mind.

    1) A camera that is small enough to mount low profile with minimum visibility.
    2) Such a camera that could work solely via POE.
    3) Even if 1 & 2 are met, a price-point that would make the possible theft of the camera less of an issue.

    One idea I have in regard to reducing the likelihood of #3 would be to install a metal casing )mounted directly to the mailbox pole) that would have a single hole through which the camera would 'see'. This would increase security, but also increase visibility. Also, in my research, I have not yet found a camera that would work via POE for this purpose.

    I initially considered that this could be an obvious license plate capture solution, but the intricacies are more complex than the initial consideration during the 'light bulb moment' of excitement. I think the mounting box would be the best option, with a secondary option being having an internal mounting box inside the wooden pole itself, but that would be much more complicated.

    If 2 and 3 can be met, then a bolted protective casing still makes this seem like an excellent idea. Anyone here tried something similar?
     
  2. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi @person0

    Why not a mini-bullet IP POE camera?
     
  3. person0

    person0 n3wb

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    I was thinking one of these would work better than a mini bullet, because it could be easily mounted to the underside of the mailbox, with a relatively low profile. Do you have any examples or specific recommendations you think would work better?

    Edit: Or perhaps one of these to capture both directions with a single device!
     
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  4. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    The
    IPC-HDBW4231F-AS

    or the 2 lens version are nice cameras ( look for @looney2ns review of the 2 lens version )

    Note there's a number of ways and options here to do this - so a lot will depend on your needs, budget, how narrow of a field of view you want,..
     
  5. smithb

    smithb Getting the hang of it

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    I’ve been considering doing something similar. My mini wedge should arrive in a few days. I’ll try to set it up as an LPR on my mailbox and get some pics and video before I install it at my front door. It’s a 3.6mm so it might not work too well, but it should be good enough to see if it’s at least feasible.
     
  6. smithb

    smithb Getting the hang of it

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    One possible problem with the IPC-HDBW4231F-AS is that it tops out at a 6mm lens. It might be ok being located so close to the road at a such a low viewing angle, but I think most folks prefer a higher focal length and optical zoom for LPRs.
     
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  7. person0

    person0 n3wb

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    As you suggested, I can't imagine there being a problem given the closeness to the road. In fact, the proximity to the street is the reason I would want it under the mailbox. That said, obviously I will have to test it to be sure. Unfortunately, that won't happen for a while.
     
  8. smithb

    smithb Getting the hang of it

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    I just received notification that my camera will be delivered on Monday so I should have something to look at by next weekend.
     
  9. MDanger81

    MDanger81 n3wb

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    Hey Person0,

    Yes keep us posted. I am designing something similar for my mailbox which will place 2 cameras at the street. One with 10 feet maximum of vehicles leaving the only way out of my neighborhood. One facing the other way will have 20 feet to capture them coming in but because there is only one way out I got em no matter what. Unless they go off road to get out but that would consist of driving on private property and pissing off some rather stonch 2nd ammendment neighbors. With posted warning signs. So I don't see that scenario playing out. My mailbox is an all metal decorative God'y thing standing 4 1/2 feet high with a good amount of mounting space under it so I will report back as well once up and what results we get. Can anyone recommend good but free LPR software? If not free reasonable? I have an idea what to use but it's based on Google results which may be more marketing hype than real life satisfaction. Also a friend across town says he is linked into the sheriffs system as a kind of partnership thing. His cameras provided LPR info to them so as to expand their reach and in return he gets to see the info on the vehicles that he captures. I am not going that route for several reasons. Some of my guest wouldn't like it very much to have big brother knowing where they are at all times. But any info would be appreciated, thanx, Myke
     
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  10. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    Read the LPR subject area of this board. This has been done by others.
     
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  11. MDanger81

    MDanger81 n3wb

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    Dont know why I didn't see that. Thank you.
     
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  12. pozzello

    pozzello Pulling my weight

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    "One possible problem with the IPC-HDBW4231F-AS is that it tops out at a 6mm lens"

    FWIW, I've successfully swapped up to 12mm lens into the mini-domes of the dual 4231.
    One must focus with the dome in place, which is bit of a pain, but doable with trial & error + patience...
     
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  13. smithb

    smithb Getting the hang of it

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    I just got my IPC-HDBW4231F-AS yesterday and started playing around with it. I don't have a patch cable long enough to make it to my mailbox, so no footage, but it's very discreet when mounted flat to the bottom of the mailbox. I think a 6mm lens would do the trick nicely. After fiddling around with it, though, I think I'd prefer to mount a more purpose oriented camera up at the house with a decent zoom rather than going through the effort of burying the cable and rigging up a custom setup down by the road. My mailbox is kind of a snowplow magnet and I'd imagine that the dome will need to be cleaned regularly. The dome may also have issues with headlight glare. Hope it works out for you, though. Good luck!
     
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