Technology – upcoming equipment reviews!

17th November 2012 Equipment 0 Comments

Many people involved in the security industry remain blissfully ignorant of the importance of technology. Not only must you be fully conversant with word processing and internet usage, you really must keep abreast of what is out there in terms of technical surveillance equipment. We have alway been firm advocates of having the right kit for the right task and testing it under relevant conditions prior to deployment and so we have several upcoming equipment reviews to help you guys on your way!

No matter if you are undertaking some Close Protection Training, Surveillance Training or have already undertaken such courses as part of your military resettlement training you should keep up to date with what you can use to your advantage and also what can be used against you. Maybe you are a Private Investigator and are looking for the next piece of the armoury?

So, in no particular order we are currently testing and will soon be reviewing the following items.

GoPro Hero 3

Much of the equipment that is used by operators within our industry was not necessarily  intended for the uses that we put it to but that is not a barrier to it being just what we need! What attracted me to this particular piece of kit?

Size does matter, no doubt about it but not everything has to be small to be effective and of course size can have a limiting effect on a piece of equipment in areas such as battery life but I am curious to see if the new Hero3 delivers where others have not!

The Hero3 comes complete with a waterproof case and that is an absolute must for the applications that I have in mind for this particular piece of equipment.

The White version of the Hero3 is the cheapest version (from 3) and retails at around £199.99 inc VAT coming it at £160 cheaper than the most expensive version (Black). Look at the spec and decide for yourself if you need the extra features of one over the over….I have and do not think that I do.

Standout features:
The ability to operate the Hero3 via an iPhone app or a bespoke bit of kit is a real plus for me, however whenever I read something like “works over a distance of 400m” the 1st thing I do is half it in order to manage expectations, that way if it matches or indeed exceeds what it states on the box then everyone is happy.

Intended Use:
I see this as being most useful as a “drop camera”, something that gathers intelligence and could ‘possibly’ act as technical standby

The wifi connectivity not doing as advertised is my main one closely followed by the limited battery power. An additional (extended) battery can be used

PV1000 (160GB) Portable DVR

I have mulled over purchasing this bit of kit for quite some time but have eventually purchased due to operational requirements so it is with great anticipation that I have undertaken the review of this particular piece of equipment……I really hope that it lives up to its billing!

The PV1000 is a good size with a good sized hard drive and with the edition of a 32GB SC card the storage is quite phenomenal.

The unit is not waterproof but due to the size it should be easy enough to conceal in an otter-box or similar making it potentially useful in an outdoor environment.

At £499.95 inc VAT this is not a cheap unit. Purchasing one is definitely an investment but that is very much how you must look at equipment such as this. Lawmate products are renowned within the industry as top notch and are dedicated law enforcement grade equipment. Not cheap but potentially great value for money once you get it working for you!

Standout features:
A good sized HD & an SD card make it extremely versatile

That it does not perform… is a fair amount of cash to spend so it has to work, it has to generate income OR provide results and therefore stability to a difficult contract or situation. Breaking it accidentally would not be good either!

Intended Use
This will be used as a recorder when attached to a covert camera. It does have other uses but regardless of the environment (office/car/factory) this will be its main use.

Covert Voice Recorder

A covert listening and recording device can have a multitude of uses in the commercial world and this particular recorder has up to 1152hrs worth of recording which equates to 28 days! PHENOMENAL.

This thing is around the size of a regular packet of chewing gum, the wrigley’s sort that you probably chewed as a kid!

It is not! 

Retailing at around £180 make this an expensive dictaphone! 

Standout features:
The size of the memory, the option for an extra external battery source and the ability to attach extra mics makes this a very attractive package. 

The only concern at this time is that it does not appear to have the ability to record the time/date stamp. Now, if you are just gathering intelligence then this may not be an issue but if you require the intelligence for evidential purposes then it may be a huge negative.

Intended Use:
Placing this in a covert capacity to record conversations from within a work environment.

The Test!

The testing of this equipment will be done in realistic and challenging environments over a period of time. It has to be tested as close to reality as possible or you just cannot deploy it with any confidence at all. The results will be rolled out over the coming weeks and possibly months as conditions allow……looking forward to this one!

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About the Author

Nick McCarthy

Nick McCarthy is a former Parachute Regiment soldier who has been operating in the commercial security environment since 2004. Nick has undertaken tasks in the UK and overseas both as part of a team and as a single operator. Having worked for some of the most significant risk management companies in the UK he has taken part in and led numerous complex and sensitive surveillance tasks. He has worked directly and indirectly for UK Police Forces, Councils, Housing Associations, Blue Chip companies and HNWI. In addition to his operational portfolio he has also been an integral part of Argus Europe, one of the leading Close Protection, Surveillance and Investigations training companies since 2005. He is fully understanding of the need for the operating and training cycle to be maintained. Nick is a blogger and author having penned the The Service Leavers' Guide with a friend and colleague.

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