Using CCTV microphones to capture audio
Perhaps counterintuitively, one of the things that often separates professional security cameras from lower quality CCTV equipment is that professional cameras almost never feature built-in microphones. Whilst the most basic wireless cameras have compact built-in microphones, even the most fully-specced commercial quality IP cameras will be notable for their lack of any ability to capture audio. But why is this? Basically, it comes down to weather-proofing. Professional cameras have to be designed to be installed on the outside of a building day in, day out for years, and boring a hole in their casing in order to stick a microphone through does not help this! So what options are there for those who need audio- is there a CCTV microphone they can add to a system?
The answer of course is yes. Our 12V high gain inline microphones are tiny devices designed to integrate into any standard CCTV system. They allow you to acheive audio recording with your security system, whilst not having to compromise it’s durability with lower quality cameras. The microphones themselves are tiny, measuring only a few centimtres long, but are surprisingly sensitive. They are actually small enough that they can fit under the rain guards of most bullet style CCTV cameras, helping keep them discreet. Whilst the microphone is contained in a weather resistant jacket, installing it under some cover will greatly improve it’s performance by adding a degree of shelter from blowing wind and rain, which would otherwise be loudly picked up.
LEGAL INTERRUPTION- We supply these CCTV microphones for our home users, where they can help you monitor what’s happening on your own property. Home CCTV is not covered by the data protection act, which governs CCTV use. Commercial CCTV is however, so more restrictions apply. Recording audio is specifically forbidden in many business security scenarios, as it can contravene wiretapping laws. For this reason we always recommend consulting with local law enforcement when adding audio recording to a security system.
Importantly, our CCTV microphones use in-line or “loop-through” power, meaning the mic has a power input and a power output. Simply put, this means you can can power this and the camera using one mains plug, as the power passes through the microphone and goes to the camera. Whilst this can be a tad confusing the first time you wire it up, it does help to reduce the number of power supplies you need to wire in to your system.
Our customers have found these microphones invaluable for a wide variety of uses. During Spring foaling and lambing season for example, as part of our farm breeding camera kits they allow farmers to monitor the animal’s cries as well as watching their behaviour, making it much simple to know when soemthing is imminent. They have also been used succesfully by residents at their wit’s end due to problem negihbours. In certain cases the police specfically requested capturing audio evidence of the verbal abuse they were enduring, which was then used to prosecute for a prosecution. Just remember that the same laws apply to the microphone as to your cameras- they have to be directed towards your own property.