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Travel Much? Maybe you need a "FAKE TV" ? Answered

Afraid of burglars entering your house when you are away overnight?   This product looks like just the thing (I sincerely like what I am seeing, I don't sell them, I am not affiliated with them in any way).
I bet one could be made with an arduino and an LED array? 

Fool Burglars with FakeTV!

Most burglars will not risk prison by breaking into an occupied house.  So when a prowler sees that flickering glow that means someone is home watching television, he knows to move on to an easier target. But now you can outsmart him with a FakeTV.  FakeTV simulates...

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A lot better then leaving a TV on a timer. Most burglars assume that when a TV is on that someone is in the house watching TV, and they don't rob the house. Most TVS also don't have an option to leave them on a timer, and you can't put them on a timer like a lite because you have to press the button after plugging it in. Really enjoying my new faketv.

True, the timer would have to be rigged to the On/off button(s).

BTW:   this is a real product.   The product FAKES the flicker of a TV.   This shouldn't be too hard to emulate, do you think? 

.  Faking the flicker should be pretty easy with a few 555s (or similar) and a breeze with a µP.
.  Faking the sound¹ would probably be more difficult, but within the capabilities of most DIYers that could handle the flicker design/program.
¹ It would be very muffled sounds, not anything intelligible, which should make it a lot easier. Throw in some muffled applause and/or laughter every now and then.

One could get a fairly decent psuedorandom flicker from a LM556 or LM558, I suppose, but it might not be random enough to fool someone outside looking for it.  The Fake TV that I came across, does not use sound (that I know of).


fairly decent ought to be good enough. ;) Unless the burglar is very motivated, I don't think s/he is going to spend the time and/or brain-power to analyze the flicker. Of course, if the burglar is motivated enough, nothing will stop them.
.  I'll also bet a nickel that the color of the light is not very important, ie, the TV "tube" puts out a more-or-less white (gray) color on average (most of the time).

the TV "tube" puts out a more-or-less white (gray) color on average

>beats back pedantic responses with a really big stick<

.  hmmmmmm. How about:  At any point in time, the screen, as a whole, is probably putting out approximately equal amounts of Red, Green, and Blue light.

How non-specific!

At any specified location in the space-time continuum, the screen as a whole is likely emitting approximately equal numbers of photons at the wavelengths 650, ,510, and 475 nm.

actually, what she said, is what you said   LOL 

Haha!  You two are one the reasons I love this place!

Still, for the little extra work, it may be worth it (although I am more motivated towards building one the buying one ;-) 

maybe use flickering super bright LEDs, such a circuit is easy to find, then use a diffuser.

I wonder if it would be possible to bounce that light off the front of your real television set?

I also wonder if you can still tune in to a television broadcast, for sound only, and have that tuner combined with the LED unit.

Come to think of it, that could very well represent a projector television, and make you a even more attractive target.

or just leave a radio on for the sound....radio programs aren't that much different than TV

Maybe tuned to a PBS (or an AM) station where there is more talking and not all music.

in NZ, there is only 5 channels, with a TV guide, you soon know what you should hear.

But I forgot, we got Sky satalight now, plus extra free channels fropm the same satilight

189 channels and still most of the time, nothing worthwhile on tv anymore...

32 eoicides of Bonanza went out of copyright, are are free to download off the IA


And my current DVDs are the 1960s Thunderbirds.

Those were the days, before anybody had thought of reality shows, as they become boring along with games shows, we will see shows, where people risk their lives, for cash prizes, the more participants that lose (their lives) the higher the ratings.

My free view has one TV channel of Parliament's debating chamber most people think it a comedy, but we pay pour politicians big bucks to work, not horse play, and slanging each out out..

its got no advertising either

where people risk their lives, for cash prizes         

While the camera crew watches,  meh.

We have so many commercials on most channels (other then movie channels and PBS), that a 1 hour movie (from the theatre) takes over 2 hours to show on TV.

Other then Discovery channel, Science channel, the occassional show on the SyFy channel (yes they mutilated the name) like Eureka!  or Sanctuary, and lets see, I kind of like Numb3rs, and Bones, but little else (btw:  Myth Busters is on Discovery channel here).  

we get 15-20 minutes advertising  per hour.

the last year, i noted free to air has heaps less decent movies, I am told Sky does heaps of repeats. (reruns in the USA)

I am beginning to wonder if the movie distributors are holding back, even on old movies, as they can make more money by selling on DVD, and with blu-ray coming in, pirating is supposed to be impossible.

thus, everything is becoming pay for, no longer any free to air.with advertising

Free View off satalight consists of our terrestrial free to air channels.

The government set up a agency to put that stuff out over Free View. Within 3 years, all our terrestrial transmitters for free to air, will be giving up their channels.

I am seeing hints that then Free View might become coded, and everybody will have to pay a subscription for the decoder. But that will only pay for the satalight.

We will then STILL have advertising, but we will have HD.

You can not win.


thus, everything is becoming pay for, no longer any free to air.with advertising      

ain't that the truth.  I still remember when cable first came to my little area, and I said to my brothers (and laughed) who'd ever PAY for tv when we get all the channels for free?   Now I must pay just to have the converter box.....*sigh*   Still, at least PBS is virtually commercial free.  

That's if your pubic service channel can afford decent vids to broadcast

to be honest, repeats of Star Trek, are basicly the only reason for having a TV tuner.

Local Broadcasters have to cater for the ratings, I suppose what they do broadcast., is intended for the masses, the youngsters.

And then, nobody is making vids, just fort the old people.

you, me, are dinosaurs

PBS (public broadcast system) and the radio NPR (national public radio) are supported well by both the public and the corporations of each area, mainly because they provide the LEAST amount of bias in their news programs, and the widest variety of shows. 
MOST of the quality children's shows are on PBS.  And there is NOVA (science), the run of British Comedy they do every Sat. evening; and on the radio, I like the classical music they provide as well as shows like Sounds True, and their SUPER COOL RadioLab (science again),  PLUS I can listen WNYC and WQXR (as well as the local station) online, either live or from podcast.

They ARE surviving despite the severe cuts in funding from the government...it is my last media refuge of sanity, really.
I've heard that from some Brits also :-)    Our REGULAR tv though, is the pits....we have 8-13 minutes of ads in the beginning, and every 8-10 minutes, another 9 or so minutes......a 50 minute movie is stretched out into two hours.....

Well, there is a shortage of good movies.

is not adulterating illegal in the US of A?

that is adding junk video to pad out the good stuff so you make more profit.

They don't call it adulterating.  They are simply commercials during long commercial breaks between scenes of the movie.  

If you mean, product use IN a movie, they have altered the rules a bit, and some companies now pay to have a movie display their product.

  If you mean purposely adding TO a movie to make it longer, I have never seen that done over here. 

I was a bit late in thinking, until recently NZ only had 5 channels, with a TV Guide you would soon know.

I forgot we also got Sky now, and free view with extra channels out of the same satalight.

But I hire movies on DVD, and just get the concert program off free view, and feed that into my sound system.

Come to think of it, I could get audio only out of a stailight TV reciver.

maybe use flickering super bright LEDs, such a circuit is easy to find 

It would have to flicker in a psuedo-random pattern...

I wonder if it would be possible to bounce that light off the front of your real television set?

This probably would not be practicle, the darkness of an OFF screen would absorb some of the light. 

  Come to think of it, that could very well represent a projector television  

One of it's main selling points is that is doesn't use anywhere as nearly as much of the electricity that the TV would...
And why aren't you working on it then? hands on hips

LOL  I know, I know,  you are REALLY busy right now....really, I do understand.

OR what if the burglar is looking for an unsuspecting victim, relaxing in front of a TV?

That would be a rare or maybe a psychotic burglar.....most would rather have NO witnesses and therefor NO contact with the residents.

better than the lamp i saw that went on and off at random

"Most burglars will not risk prison by breaking into an occupied house"  LOL, apparently burglary of an unoccupied dwelling isn't a crime to these people.

This, I suppose, at worst serves as a false sense of security. Really, a two second google shows that the majority of burglaries occur during the DAY.

I think the point about risking prison by breaking into an occupied house is not that it's any more/less criminal but that the burglar would be more likely to be caught and identified/apprehended with a live witness in the house (or so the reasoning goes). Can't speak to the statistics, though.

If the statistics TUA posted are accurate, then they probably rely on the statistic that many homes are occupied by two people that both work.....thus, the old standard of the housewife at home is no longer the most common situation.   Just a guess though...


Thanks.  I didn't see if they speculated as to (or showed)  why they occurred during the day, or did I miss it? 

But what if the burglar was looking for a new TV? 


As a burglar, would you try to steal one that was currently being watched?  ;-) 
Although, now that you mention it, we have had a rash of thefts in the area in college dorms, where a person walks in on the college student while she (normally it's a she) is using a laptop, and they just grab it and run (they need to increase security in those dorms !).

 I kinda think we're overthinking this - why not just leave the TV on? :P

Because TVs draw up to a kilowatt of power.  That's equivalent to leaving ten 100 watt bulbs turned on, all the time.