Any tips on disassembling bullet camera and relocating the lens module?

Hello!  I've been reading instructables for a while and now it's time to join and post a question.

I've been finding nails in my driveway and want to catch who's doing this.  I've got a 4 channel security camera on it's way and have been thinking and researching ways to hide them.  Due to the 'clean' surfaces around my home, it's going to be tough to make the 2" diameter x 6" long bullet cameras blend in (so people don't vandalize/steal them).  I've spent hours searching how to camouflage cameras, so I know the 'typical' tricks.

I'm thinking about making a fake gutter extension and hiding the camera in there (so it blends into my one story house), possible installing a gable vent on my garage and pointing a camera through that, or trying to mount a camera about 20' up a nearby tree.  My favorite idea is to take apart a bullet camera and move the camera lens module, which is much smaller than the whole camera housing, to a more discreet location.

I've searched for a while but can't find anyone who has done this with an IP66 outdoor style camera.  I know I'm going to lose the IR LED's around the lens, and that's ok (I'll have 3 other cameras for night vision).  I think I can point the camera through a small knot hole in my privacy fence and be able to detect who has last walked by when the nails appear.  I might make a small weather proof enclosure to protect the lens module...I think I'm a good tinker-er so this isn't the problem.

Has anyone hacked apart a security camera and moved the lens module (by extending the wires) to a remote location?  I know there are small cameras for sale, I know I can hide a camera in a bird house, etc...but I like to make things.  I'm just looking for advice/tips from someone who has done this.  When I search for 'hack apart a security camera' I get a bunch of 'hacking into a security system', or 'spy on your neighbors'...I don't want to do either of those.  I have great neighbors, I live in a corner house where a lot of people/kids walk...I just want to catch them.  Once I know who's doing it, I'll move the cameras to more visible locations (to deter others from doing anything else).

Thanks for any help!

Downunder35m5 months ago

Why bother so much?
Simply mount the cameras out of reach and take their visibility as a deterrent.
Otherwise get another rubbish bin and mount a cam inside that.
Last but not least: Even the tiny spy cam modules use nothing more than a poer supply and video output, so basically a direct replacement for your big bullet cams - if you need to hide then go small ;)
But unless you go full HD there will be little chance to actually use the footage to identify someone.
For the old systems I installed back in the day expensive caera and even more expensive zoom lenses were used.
The "worst" we had to service was mounted on a 20m high mast for a flood light - on top of said light.
The actual viewing area was an entrance gate of 2m hieght and about 3.5m wide, from a distance of over 80m....
Still even the dead flies on the numberplates could be indentified.....

MountainBikeOutlaw (author)  Downunder35m5 months ago

Thanks for the reply. Why bother? Because I don't think it will stop unless someone gets caught; it seems like people behave badly because they can get away with it. For example, even when I saw the guy letting his dog cap in my yard and I confronted him, he looked me straight in the eye and told me 'no I didn't'. The nerve of some people! Since I didn't have evidence (except for a warm pile left by his dog), I didn't want to bother the police with a 'his word against mine' argument. If I have some kind of proof, at least I'll feel better about getting the authorities involved. Car tires cost a lot, over $300 for a set of four, and I don't want this person doing anything worse that will cost me anymore money (spray painting my fence, spraying lawn killer, etc).

I really do thank you for your experience as I have none in this area. I was impressed with the reviews of the Amcrest 960H systems; I know it's not a high grade system, but you don't think 800TVL cameras will provide enough resolution at 6'-20' of distance? I can always buy one more higher resolution camera (perhaps an IP camera?...possibly a PTZ camera mounted on my chimney, about 30' away?).

The system I ordered was less than $250, can you recommend a similar system for a similar price? Once the nail caper is solved, I do plan on mounting the cameras in a more visible (but still not-in-your-face) locations to deter future problems (without making my house look like it's in a high crime area...it really isn't that bad).

It's a shame that one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. :( I don't know why people continue to act poorly then turn around and complain about the conditions they live in. If we all do one thing every day to make our surroundings better, imagine how nice the world will be!

Thanks again for your suggestions and sharing your experiences...I appreciate all comments! :)