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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:35 PM   #1
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student/theft-proof camera?

hey gang-- i have a thread in the Vegas forum going re: my efforts to get a university department set up with new edit stations. I thought i'd post this cam question in the catch-all DV forum for better coverage, more input etc

The situation: we will be using a fleet of inexpensive DV cameras as our capture decks-- must be a top-loader, as will be obvious in a minute:

The issue: how do you fasten the cam to the edit bench so the camera can't "walk away" (or flat out get stolen)??? I can envision a 1/4" threaded bracket, plate etc screwed/bolted to the bench and threaded into the cam's tripod socket, but unless we used Loc-tite (!) there would'nt be anything really keeping it there except good morals.

What have you folks done? How do they do it at the trade shows?? There must be several diff solutions to this-- chains, cables etc. Maybe i'll run down to Best Buy and see how they secure their demos

Thanks y'all

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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:12 PM   #2
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What about hiding those little security tags in them and having a detector at the door? University libraries and stores use systems like that to prevent theft.

Or, secure them from below the table with a 1/4" screw, as you suggested. Use bolts with one-way slotted screwdriver heads or less-common Torqx drivers. There are also tamper-resistant fasteners that look like standard Allen heads, but have a raised dimple in the center which then requires an Allen wrench with a hollowed-out core to fit the fastener.

And set up the camera so that it can't be twisted off from above.

Another way is to have a student sign out the camera and sign it back in. With the understanding that if it disappears he or she will be responsible for getting a replacement.
Dean Sensui
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Old June 26th, 2006, 03:21 AM   #3
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We use lighting safety cables, threaded through the handle, and the handle anchor on the camera - padlocked to the table.. Also, we had a flange built, that covers a Bogen quick receiver plate but allows the quick release plate to lock onto the plate, and then the flange cover is put on and locked down. And writing your organization name on the LCD and body everywhere, with permanant (REALLY permanant, builder's spec) grease/oil markers (not just Sharpie) will help. We had serial numbers and the org. name inscribed on the lens section of out ENG lenses (the part that is exposed when the lens entends while focusing - no IF lenses).

If you know for sure the camera will never be used to record from the lens, carve the org. name into the lens.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 06:41 PM   #4
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You must have cages.

You put all of your cameras in specific and seperate metal cages, and then you make sure that there is a student or receptionist that is available to check them out. The student leaves their ID in the box. Otherwise, they don't get the camera.

They get their ID when they give back the camera. PERIOD. They cannot check a camera out without an ID, PERIOD.

All editing equipment, including monitors, must be corded to the furniture, which is corded to the floor.

It's not a bad idea to restrict the lab to those that have done some prerequisites as well, keeps the kids honest that they want to do this.

If you think I am joking about making this a prison environment, I remember in school that someone walked off with a hard drive one week, and because I was the last person that actually followed the rules and signed in, they damn near expelled me. I had a hell of a time telling them that people that steal things usually don't SIGN IN TO SHOW THAT THEY WERE WORKING AT THE LAB WITH PEOPLE WATCHING THEM BUT INSTEAD THEY USUALLY COME IN TO STEAL IN THE THE OPEN UNLOCKED FREAKING DOOR THAT THEY LEFT OUT ALL NIGHT.

Lets just say that they looked like a bunch of idiots when they told me I stole their equipment, and I said, "Yeah, I did it. I schemed for four years over that hard drive. And at the last two weeks before graduation, I decided to do it, never thought I would get caught. I decided to blow years worth of academic work and literally tens of thousands of dollars over a couple of hundred bucks worth of proprietary equipment that only works with non-consumer machines, that I don't own and couldn't easily get a hold of. It's going to the porno industry right now. The porno industry loves student projects with jump cuts, they asked me to steal it for them, they like cheesy reverse negative effects."

I'll just say that my old department never gets a freakin' check from the alumni society over this one.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 08:30 PM   #5
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thanks guys for the recent replies-- Daniel, if you have the time would you mind taking a quick snap of the flange/Bogen plate arrangement you described?? Contact me offlist if you have time.

Alex, i like your spirit. Get yr diploma and blow that Tool shed.

we're too low-end here to pay anyone (ie me, students etc) to be lab monitors checkers. I do plan on locking everything down fallout shelter doomsday-style, but you've reminded me of some potential vulnerabilities we still have.

Thanks again, mangs

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Old June 26th, 2006, 08:40 PM   #6
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my school uses these. They are very secure.
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Old June 26th, 2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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At my school, we use these as a theft prevention device...
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Old June 27th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Pete Tews
At my school, we use these as a theft prevention device...
"The only thing we have to fear is armed editors."-- Franklin Delano Roosevelt
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