Jump to content
Light-O-Rama Forums
Sign in to follow this  
tyler9613

Board Vandalism

Recommended Posts

I am looking into buying a CTB16PC. How do you protect your boards from being stolen? I know you can put a padlock on the outdoor enclosure, but what is going to keep someone from just taking the whole thing?



Thanks,

Tyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tyler9613 wrote:

I am looking into buying a CTB16PC. How do you protect your boards from being stolen? I know you can put a padlock on the outdoor enclosure, but what is going to keep someone from just taking the whole thing?



Thanks,

Tyler

Honestly? Nothing. There are some things that some do like chain them to a anchor in the ground. Some keep all their controllers in the garage. Probably the best way to 'deter' someone from taking them. But, if they really want them they will get them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul Roberson wrote:


Honestly? Nothing. There are some things that some do like chain them to a anchor in the ground. Some keep all their controllers in the garage. Probably the best way to 'deter' someone from taking them. But, if they really want them they will get them.


Yah, putting them in the garage would create even more problems. I would have to find a way to run all of the cords out and still have room to drive in and park. Besides, my garage door is almost always open, so it wouldn't make a difference anyway... Anyone else have any suggestions? I live off of a busy street, and need protection.



Thanks,

Tyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what I did: (got a four IR camera system, four Lights, and UPS cost me about $900)
1: Four outdoor IR camera system with a DVR unit $650 (surveillance system)
4: cheap flood lights with motion sensors $25 each
1: UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) To power DVR, Cameras, and Lights $120

Note: Be Careful not to over light the area




I want to add a basic Closed loop security system (I think it would only cost $70)
(a latching relay, some switches, connectors, power supply, Alarm speaker, voltage comparator, and some missilaneous parts)


Then I was thinking of imbeding two RFID tags into each LOR so I could track them down if needed. ($200)
One RFID tag would be Read-Only and imbeded into a IC chip (camouflage) then soldered onto the LOR board
The other RFID tag would be Read/Write and would be epoxied onto the LOR board
It would only cost $7 per LOR and $150 for the Readers/writer
http://www.trossenrobotics.com
Read Only Tag http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store...poule-Tag.aspx
Read/Write Tag http://www.trossenrobotics.com/store...mm-Button.aspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I read on another fourm of a idea. this is what there idea was:



Hide the LORs and place Fake simi-hidden Controllers that looks real.

Then Have it where if one of the fake Controllers get stollen or vandalized it would Operate an Relay that would Kill all the power to the display and maybe some other basic lights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put them up high, screw them securely to a solid surface and put locks on the boxes to deter most casual thieves. You could then have an additional wood or metal bar across all of them which locks to the mount surface to provide additional security against most intermediate thieves.

You can also hide or camoflage them. If you have them out in the display, you need to fasten them to something very heavy or securely attached to the ground.

Lighting the area and cameras may help too.

Of course, if someone really wants them they will get them no matter what you do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all of you help this far. If anyone else on the forum has more suggestions, please post them.



Thanks,

Tyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seriously though.

Will a pown-shop take a LOR?
Because, a Pown-Shop is probably where the LOR would end-up.
This is why I am thinking about imbeding two RFID tags into each LOR, And maybe add a serial number onto the LOR board with an invisible ink (UV or IR)

To use a LOR, one needs software and a USB adaptor ($125)

----------------------------

I keep wanting to bring my LORs in-side when I get ready for bed.
So, I say Do what you think will help you sleep better at night, thats what I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BadSCR wrote:

seriously though.

Will a pown-shop take a LOR?
Because, a Pown-Shop is probably where the LOR would end-up.
This is why I am thinking about imbeding two RFID tags into each LOR

To use a LOR, one needs software and a USB adaptor ($125)

----------------------------

I keep wanting to bring my LORs in-side when I get ready for bed.
So, I say Do what you think will help you sleep better at night, thats what I did.


Never mind dumb question. I was thinking about GPS.

Looks like with RFID you have to find the controller first then "scan" or "read" for a chip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have thought about putting a Tracking transmitter onto the LOR board.
(the range would be like 500 feet and you would use a FM radio http://www.jbgizmo.com/page22.html )

The RFID is more for Proof to the Cops that the LOR is yours. It is what one can get for there pets.



Hey, one could go to the veterinarian and ask them for RFID tag but it is going into an electronic equipment.




The RFID, They are vary short range (like 4 inches), What you would do is find the LOR and use a Laptop to pull the Info off of the RFID tags to prove that the LOR is yours to the Cops.
(This is whay I want two RFID tags, one that is Read only and one that is Read/Write)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take the easy way out and don't do anything. I try to hide them behind cutouts, but that is more for making the display appear neater from the street. To me, it's hard to disguise or hide the controllers when there are about 20 cords running to each one. To be honest, I am more concerned about my extension cords being stolen than the controllers. It would cost more to replace the extension cords than a controller (for me, it is over two miles of wiring that lays on top of the ground).

Another thing I worry about, more than controllers being stolen, is the thunder storms we get in December. Living in the flat desert and high metal poles for mega trees, and other display elements, all connected by electrical wiring, definitely keeps me awake at night during the storms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did have 2 security cameras running and recording onto the PC.

I made the controllers as difficult to steal as possible. I honestly don't think most people have a clue how the show works, so most don't know how your doing it or what the components are. But assuming they do, then lets make it time consuming and a larger hassle.

I also had a rooftop controller that was totally safe, to feed all the rooftop items. That worked out great. Most of mine were mounted onto the side of the house, or a fence. I did have one sitting on the ground, but in a location I consider to be obscure and hard to find.

THe nice thing about snow is that it covers most things up and you can't tell where anything is, including the extension cords.

My yard mounted controller was on two short T-stakes in the yard (ever tried to pull those out?) ... and zip-tied those posts to the controller box and ran wire from the box to them as well. So essentially, if you want to steal them, its' going to be possible, buts it's going to take you awhile because of all the simple lock-down countermeasures employed. And then, how many would be willing to do that in the front yard while the cameras are rolling and my entire Cul De Sac can see you?

Some have suggested have a sign mentioning "smile, your on camera" ... or signs warning of "high voltage, danger". ANd then if you can't afford real cameras, just get some fake ones with blinking lights and you get 90% of the deterrent effect for 2% of the cost.

I also printed out some Dangerous looking "High Voltage, risk of death, with lightning bolts on them" signs ... and them used packing tape to laminate them onto the controller enclosure ... and nobody touched them. Everyone who saw my yard controller was like "dang, you don't want to get too close to that" ... and I thought to myself (yes, its working ... it looks too dangerous to tamper with ... I think even bad guys don't want to die and might not be smart enough to know if its safe to steal without getting zapped.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Prior years I had the controllers all on the front porch and ran extension cords. This year I located them all on trees close to the displays. One was right at the street and 2 feet off the ground, accessible to walkers but out of site of drivers.

My approach was to scare vandals with signs, Danger high voltage, of course. But also, [glow=red]Alarm will sound if opened[/glow]And [glow=red]Security cameras in use[/glow]Claims of a high tech security system are plausible next to all those wires. The controllers were screwed to the tree from inside. I had to drill holes in the case for this. So the padlocked cover had to be removed to remove the four inch deck screws. This took an extra long bit to reach the screw head.

Three phony cameras were mounted in the yard. $5 at Harbor freight. They are positionable and have a motion activated red led.

Every morning the first thing I did was look outside to see if anything was missing but never had a problem. My Halloween display lost a few items once but not Christmas so far.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

taybrynn wrote:

I did have 2 security cameras running and recording onto the PC.

I made the controllers as difficult to steal as possible. I honestly don't think most people have a clue how the show works, so most don't know how your doing it or what the components are. But assuming they do, then lets make it time consuming and a larger hassle.




I thought about having a link to LOR on our website, and a how it works page. BUT, this is the very reason I have decided not too.

I figured why point people to a website that would show them what to look for.:shock:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

taybrynn wrote:

I made the controllers as difficult to steal as possible. I honestly don't think most people have a clue how the show works, so most don't know how your doing it or what the components are. But assuming they do, then lets make it time consuming and a larger hassle.


I have to agree, most people don't have a clue as-to what the componets are.

I did not at first, I went online googleing for computer controlled lights, thinking that a 16Ch system would cost me about $600~$1000.

Something with 18+ wires running to it has to be expensive and possibly dangerous.



I do worry about my extension cords being stolen,
It would probably more likely that the extension cords would be stolen than the LORs.
I mean extension cords (Coper) VS a box that most people have no clue about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No no no, this idea of mine here wan't work.:(
The TRIACs in the LOR will Isolate everthing hooked to it,
unless one hooks 16 mini-switchs to bypass each LOR.
This idea here will not work. :(


Everything in the display has a resistance so.
By turning off the brackers and useing a relay for every braker to engage the custom alarm sensor.
one could have an alarm on everthing that is electrical in the display; cords, lights, LOR, ...

(note: I believe 6~12VDC will not bother the LORs and the other stuff)
We could use the resistance of the display and setup a Voltage devider.
Then using an Op-amp could amplify the change in voltage (resistance) and then use another two Op-amps to compare a the display voltage and when it gets too out of tolerance, the Op-amps could drive a Transistor that would control an latching relay to sound an alarm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a simple solution to stop worrying about extension cords, just buy the CTB16PC enclosure. Then, try to keep your extension cords together and wherever two cords meet (extension cord plugged into another, extension cords plugged into an item in the display), cut the plug ends off, pull the cord through the strain relief bracket , splice the plug ends back on inside of the controller, connect the cords and lock the box. Then mount the box on a stake driven deep into the ground. This may not deter every thief, (considering they could just snip the wires) but it would probably deter some who think that voltages are running through the extension cords at all times.

I have never seen the enclosure (except on the internet), so there might be a way to remove one end of the strain relief bracket and put it back on once you have all of the wires into the box. Let me know of any flaws in my plan.

Thanks,
Tyler

P.S.- I thought of this when I was wondering what I could do to conceal the cords at the top of my mega tree. I figured I could just put a box up there instead of there being excess cord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know the threat of LOR theft is out there, but I can't remember a single instance where a controller actually got stolen. If anyone is aware of a time when this happened to somebody, I'd like to hear the story of how it happened.

I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this. 99% of the people that screw with your display are going to be kids who are usually just out to knock over a couple of blowmolds and maybe kick over some mini trees. As long as you don't advertise where the controllers are at, you should be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BadSCR wrote:

I want to add a basic Closed loop security system (I think it would only cost $70)
(a latching relay, some switches, connectors, power supply, Alarm speaker, voltage comparator, and some missilaneous parts)

That would be fairly easy to achieve. The comms cable has four unused cores, which could be used as an alarm loop. The easiest method would be to break these cores out immediately before the PC, the fit a modified lead to the final controller that shorted the appropriate pins on the connector. This way, the alarm would sound if any of the comms cables were unplugged or cut. You would then still have the flexibility to connect the controllers up in any order you wished.

Regards,

Alan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan C wrote:

BadSCR wrote:
I want to add a basic Closed loop security system (I think it would only cost $70)
(a latching relay, some switches, connectors, power supply, Alarm speaker, voltage comparator, and some missilaneous parts)

That would be fairly easy to achieve. The comms cable has four unused cores, which could be used as an alarm loop. The easiest method would be to break these cores out immediately before the PC, the fit a modified lead to the final controller that shorted the appropriate pins on the connector. This way, the alarm would sound if any of the comms cables were unplugged or cut. You would then still have the flexibility to connect the controllers up in any order you wished.

Regards,

Alan.



I am currently doing this. When the CAT5 is cut/disconnected it activates an alarm bell and 5/500 watt halogen lights outside and an alarm inside. In case I don't hear it the outside bell cycles on and off in one minute intervals and after ten minutes all the outside stuff shuts off so not to annoy the neighbors.


Dan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PipefitterDan wrote:

Alan C wrote:
BadSCR wrote:
I want to add a basic Closed loop security system (I think it would only cost $70)
(a latching relay, some switches, connectors, power supply, Alarm speaker, voltage comparator, and some missilaneous parts)

That would be fairly easy to achieve. The comms cable has four unused cores, which could be used as an alarm loop. The easiest method would be to break these cores out immediately before the PC, the fit a modified lead to the final controller that shorted the appropriate pins on the connector. This way, the alarm would sound if any of the comms cables were unplugged or cut. You would then still have the flexibility to connect the controllers up in any order you wished.

Regards,

Alan.



I am currently doing this. When the CAT5 is cut/disconnected it activates an alarm bell and 5/500 watt halogen lights outside and an alarm inside. In case I don't hear it the outside bell cycles on and off in one minute intervals and after ten minutes all the outside stuff shuts off so not to annoy the neighbors.


Dan


Can you tell me excactly what to do to achieve this?



Thanks,

Tyler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alan C wrote:

...

That would be fairly easy to achieve. The comms cable has four unused cores, which could be used as an alarm loop. The easiest method would be to break these cores out immediately before the PC, the fit a modified lead to the final controller that shorted the appropriate pins on the connector. This way, the alarm would sound if any of the comms cables were unplugged or cut...

Regards,

Alan.


I would put a resistor at the end to terminate the alarm loop.
This way a voltage comparator could detect cuts, shorts, unplug-ings, and other tamperings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I have read about controllers being taken. Don't remember on what forum.

My late Dad was a "Master Locksmith" for 36 years - he was the guy who taught the teachers about locksmithing - seriously! He had a theory - "If they want it bad enough they will get it". The same as saying - "Locks are there to keep honest people honest - determined thieves will succeed in their dastardly deeds".

Sounds kind of negative, but it's the truth.

SO - deter the casual thief. Install the security cameras and the signs letting them know you have cameras - if your cameras work - evidence for the Police - and you will know if it's the neighbors kids. When you mount your controller boxes, go to the fastener store and spend a few extra bucks for security screws - and use them. Hide your controllers behind fences, in your mega tree, or what ever - be creative. I have timers on my exterior lighting that come on after the show - motion with spot lights, and normal yard lighting.

Having a web site is fun, but it just shows people where you are and where they can go to snag stuff when you aren't looking. I get enough traffic that I don't need to tell them through a web site, (just my personal thought).

Remember - your drawing lots of people to your home to view the fun. A certain percentage (small percentage) will be wishing some of your stuff was theirs, and there isn't much you can do about that. Do what you can and move on. Spending too much thought on "The Bad Guys" will only distract from the fun you are having. Expect it to happen sooner or later, and you won't be so disappointed when it does. If you have a fairly big display, you should have one or more spare controllers anyway. Hey- Poop Happens!

Carry on and have fun - And remember - some well placed motion sensors/lights with lots of bright spots will chase even the cats away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...