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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Urban Survival Planning - Intelligence Prep 301: Electronic Intelligence Collection Devices Part I is continuing on with Intelligence support for Survival. Previously I have talked about general Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield and how it applies to Urban Survival; debriefing your own patrols; interviewing refugees and other people for intelligence information; and developing Situation Maps to maintain your intelligence perspective and situational awareness.

This post is Part I on using electronic devices to augment your intelligence collection. In my mind the two most effective electronic devices that are easy to use and can bring good intelligence and information benefits to your Survival Group in order to develop your situational awareness are Radio Scanners and Game Cameras. In this post, Electronic Intelligence Devices Part I, we will focus on Game Cameras.

Game Cameras are simply a combination of motion detector and digital camera. Which detect motion and will snap a photograph, a series of photographs or even a short video of the movement that triggered the motion detector.

Game Cameras can send pictures to a cell phone via wireless connectvity, or send the image or video to a computer terminal with a wirless radio signal. However these models of game cameras are fairly expensive.

I'm going to focus on Game Cameras less than or around $100, within the budget of most Survival Planners and Preppers. With these economy Game Cameras you will get the same range, pixel resolution however the images have to be downloaded from the cameras either using a USB cable or swithcing out SD Cards.

Not necessarily useful for monitoring six lane roads as the extended range required would be near the outer limits of the game camera, unless you used one camera on each side of the road, still these game cameras would certainly work on natural lines of drift, county roads, suburban streets or anyplace else you need electronic intelligence and surveillance devices to determine ectent of traffic...especially the two legged kind.

The series of segments depicted in the strung together videos below were taken with a game camera set up along the Arizona Border showing illegal aliens and drug smugglers - notice the burlap wrapped bundles of marijuana fashioned into back packs. This will give you an idea of the auaity of video these game cametras are capable well as probable piss you off.

Moultrie D-40 Game Camera

With an infrared motion sensor with a range of 30 feet and 22 degrees, the camera delivers clear footage of moving game, day or night, with multiple operational modes. With an average battery life of 60 days, the Moultrie Game Spy D-40 gives you the ability to spy out the game even when you're away for days at a time. Adjustable elastic mounting cords make it easy to mount the camera in trees or other stationary locations. The camera responds rapidly with FDA Class 2 laser aiming and a passive infrared sensor that activates as soon as motion is detected. Pictures are clear and easy to read in full color day and night, with 4 megapixel images that can be shot in low, medium, or high resolution.

Auto mode activates the motion sensor, allowing you to leave the camera alone to capture images while you are not present. In automatic mode you have the ability to capture still images day and night with or without flash operation, 10-second AVI clips-video images during the daytime that will automatically switch to still photos with the flash in low light situations, and capture multi-shot images of up three shots. The camera is also equipped with a handheld-removable manual operation, and a setup mode that allows you to customize menu settings. The electronic flash can be set to automatic or in off-security mode. The flash range is from five to 45 feet.

Designed for multi-day, automatic use, the Game Spy D-40 has a built in memory of 16 MB of video and picture storage. Up to four GB of additional SD memory can be added. The camera images can be accessed via the 2-inch LCD display or output to a TV or a computer via USB. Imprints time, date and camera ID on every photo or video The camera imprints still and video images with date, time, and camera ID so that you always know exactly when the stand is active. Has an weather-resistant, airtight camera housing.

Moultrie D-55 Game Camera

Billed as high-end scouting equipment on a budget. Moultrie 's Game Spy D-55 flash scouting camera gives you a feature-rich game camera at an affordable price. Loaded with features including 5.0 megapixels, camouflage housing and much more. Possess rapid response time; a 50-ft flash; Infrared (IR) sensor for immediate game capture; Temperature, moon phase, time, date and camera ID on every photo; Color day and night pictures; Video clips during the day (5/15/30 seconds); Display showing battery life remaining, pictures taken and remaining, and delay timer; IR aim for quick and precise camera setup; Picture delay, set 1-60 minutes; Multi-shot pictures (up to 3 shots) with 5 seconds between multi-shots; Three picture resolutions to choose from; Two video resolutions; SD Memory Card Slot – up to 16GB; Includes weather-resistant casing, USB cable and mounting strap; External power port for optional Moultrie PowerPanel; Operates on 6 C-cell batteries.

Powering Game Cameras

You will have to have to ability to re-charge batteries or re-configure power supply to the game camera. Having the ability to recharge the larger D and C batteries wuld be important. Given the battery life on these Game Cameras, a modest supply of re-chargeable batteries would be needed. Please visit for rechargers and rechargeable batteries options.

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