Alarm -> Cameras
The only reason I haven't tried jumping on a couple cameras (would prefer 4, but the $130 recorders are only 2 channels each) is that if I want a good picture, I need a larger bullet camera. Smaller hidden cameras **** compared to them. Anyways, has anyone set something like this up? There really needs to be a decent camera thread here.
The AVR product available on eBay from products_deals4u and asianwolf takes care of the recording side with two camera inputs, an audio input, a standard 12v power feed, and 12v sent out (1A max) on another line to the cameras (of course, 12v regulator needed if alternator is running). A cheaper choice is the DVS products that run off of 5v, no audio input, and no camera power outputs. Both can be set with motion detection on different levels of sensitivity, or nearly round-the-clock with it turned up to max. Both will automatically turn on to the "record" state when power is applied, meaning an alarm could trigger a relay to the dvr system, turning it on and starting recording. Both record onto SD-media (no sdhc, so no official >2GB support), so there's plenty of reliable room for recordings either during vehicle motion or with an alarm trigger. AVR is rated at 220mA draw, the DVS is 350mA.
As for cameras, a 3.6mm or 2.8mm 1/3" ccd bullet camera with 480tv lines is generally the best you can get for the price ($60), but they're huge compared to penny-sized 1/4" ccd 3.6mm ones (70 degree viewing angle compared to 90 with a 1/3" ccd 3.6mm lens cam) with only 380 tv lines (there's a HUGE difference between 380tvl and 480tvl products, I used to install surveillance systems for a living), but they are only around $20/each. Lastly, black and white cameras generally have a lower lux rating (lower ratings mean better low-light quality) than their color counterparts, along with being smaller physically. Cameras with fewer than 10 Infrared LED's are useless for everything so don't ever consider them. It took a camera with ~60 IR led's to light up a small 5x5' closet that housed a safe at a job I had done in the past, and its always a blurred "spotlight" look when you get the actual video feed. If your dome light works in your car, then an IR camera is useless for anything car-related.
Ideally, I/you would want a setup that points back to the front seats/out front windows for an alarm-supplementing install, or a wide angle (90-110degrees) pair out the front and rear of your vehicle for everything else such as hit and runs or vehicle accidents (people's stories always change the second they realize its all been recorded. Its great to tell them once police arrive on scene, just watch as they start mumbling gibberish as they reformulate their side of the story in their head)
So what has everyone used in terms of in-car cameras. Preferably ones that can be recorded from when away from home. Certain wireless transmitters/receivers/frequencies work fair enough for the driveway, but what do you do when you're parked elsewhere? What about certain camera models and screenshots of their quality level? Perhaps a list of products and pictures could be rounded together here for public reference?
Finally, here's pictures of a 420tvl Sharp 1/3"ccd with a 3.6mm lens bullet camera.