If you're keen to watch over the kids while they're in the pool/backyard or even monitor your office or home - whether you're there or not - this kit from Swann is an easy way to get started.
The Night Hawk package consists of a wall- or ceiling-mountable outdoor camera that transmits wirelessly (using the 2.4GHz frequency) to its receiver that connects to your television or VCR via a supplied composite video cable.
You could also send the camera signal into your PC if it's equipped with a TV tuner or graphics card with video input. This could be a compelling road to go down when you consider that there's plenty of third-party software available that can e-mail you stills or even video when movement is detected from a video signal or Web cam.
The full-colour camera has a resolution of 628x582 and is stated to transmit to the receiver from up to 100m away. It works best with direct line-of-sight, but we still managed respectable image quality even through walls.
To avoid wireless interference, the receiver can switch to any of four frequencies - also allowing the receiver to switch between just as many separately purchased cameras.
The camera will transmit any audio it manages to pick up and best of all, also features 12 infrared LEDs for black-and-white night vision.
The receiver uses a supplied 9-12V power adaptor and although the camera can use its 9V power plug, the included 9V battery attachment cable is much welcomed, even though there's no waterproof battery enclosure.
Verdict The Night Hawk package would be a great introduction to basic DIY security surveillance and comes with all the cables and screws you need to get up and running in minutes.
Swann Night Hawk Wireless Outdoor Camera
Vendor: Swann Phone: (03) 8412 4600
Specifications: 2.4GHz wireless colour camera; night vision; 8.5mm CMOS sensor; 628x582 resolution; 100m stated wireless range; receiver can switch between up to four cameras
Features: 8 Value: 8 Overall: 8