What do I need, to watch a horse in a trailer?

  villageidiot 01:18 01 Nov 2009

I know very little about computers – I am a user, not an expert.

As the passenger in a car, I want to watch a horse in an enclosed trailer, as we travel along. I don't want to do this often, maybe only once or twice, so I don't want to spend a fortune on kit. There are camera+screen kits costing £200 or so on the market, but I have no idea of what different systems are possible, let alone their picture quality and their pros and cons, so I don't know whether my £200 would be wasted.

What is needed to watch a horse in a trailer?

It seems to me I could connect a camera to my laptop. Is this possible? My laptop has USB ports, and something called, I think, an ethernet port.

Is there an article anywhere that explains the possibilities, what is needed, and examples of what is available, in simple terms?

I have seen mention of webcams, but I have never seen one.
I have seen mention of IP cameras, but do not know what they are.
I have seen references to CCTV cameras, but again I know nothing about them, other than having the impression that they provide a very grainy picture that doesn't really show anything worthwhile. Will they work with a computer, or only with a TV, seeing that they are called CCTV?

Are webcams, IP cameras, and CCTV cameras really all the same thing?

What picture quality can I expect from a camera? No advertisements for cameras ever show a picture typical of what will be seen on a screen.

What is necessary to power the camera, (In a car, preferably from the cigar lighter.) and to connect it to a screen. Advertisements usually don't explain this.

A cable from the camera to the passenger seat might be 5 to 6 metres long. Is this OK for USB or IP, or would a “wireless” set-up be better?

Can the cameras focus and adjust to the light level, like an ordinary digital camcorder?
Will they work with the light level inside a trailer?

Can they be zoomed, again like an ordinary camera?

Can they be fastened to a vertical wall? Some cameras seem to have no fixing holes at all. It would be useful if the camera could be clipped outside the trailer and pointed at the ball hitch while coupling up, and then clipped inside the trailer for travelling.

Has anyone ever done this, or something similar, and could advise me what is necessary/best?

  rdave13 01:35 01 Nov 2009

"Has anyone ever done this, or something similar, and could advise me what is necessary/best?"
So long as the horse is secured in the horse box with the usual legal standards then Neddy should be alright surely?
Surveillance of a horse in a horse box shouldn't be necessary if all safety legislations are followed. Don't you think?

  villageidiot 02:09 01 Nov 2009

A bit off-topic, but my opinion -
Necessary - No, you could always let the horse suffer, and perhaps die.
Advisable - Yes

We are advised to tie a horse up in a horsebox, by its headcollar, on a short leadrope. Having had a horse go down in a horsebox, with colic, I would prefer to have a camera.

I have also had a horse badly injured by partially destroying a partition, another injured and panicked by hitting its head against the ceiling/wall, another injured by a semi-cast shoe, another horse on three legs transported twenty miles to a vet for life-saving surgery.

Should we need any more reasons?

  BT 08:25 01 Nov 2009

The obvious solution is a wireless CCTV setup, with a 12v mini tv that you can plug into the car Cig/lighter. Plenty of options if you Google for them.

  Pamy 10:01 01 Nov 2009

And you may nead some lighting

  peter99co 21:23 02 Nov 2009

I think Maplins may have what you need.

Even Mothercare can supply baby watchers which come with a miniscreen.

  peter99co 21:29 02 Nov 2009

click here

Around £119

E-thos 5.6" Family Video Baby Monitor with Internal Camera

  villageidiot 00:57 03 Nov 2009

Thanks for your replies.

However, I have already spent hours and hours googling. Unfortunately on things like this, Google has become just a shop window for hardware suppliers.

What I need is not to be pointed in the direction of hardware, but explanations of the technicalities, and relative pluses/minuses of CCTV/webcams/IP Cameras.

Where can I find an explanation of the difference between a webcam, a CCTV system, and an IP Camera system? Where can I find guidance, or better still, pictures, of the picture quality to be expected. How many pixals, or lines, am I likely to want?

What does IP stand for? How do IP cameras get the image from camera to computer screen? I have seen adverts for wireless IP Cameras. Are there such things as wired IP cameras.

Does a wireless CCTV always have a receiver? How do I get the video from the receiver to my laptop screen?

What is a "network", in hardware terms? Do I have to have one? Do I have to buy more hardware and connect it to my computer?

On the front of my Acer Aspire 7520 is written "802.11b/g WLAN", which I think is something to do with "networks". I think I have seen this, or something like it, on pages for some of the IP Cameras. Where can I find an explanation of what this is all about? If I wave a 802.11b/g camera about near my 802.11b/g WLAN computer, will a picture from the camera appear on the screen?

I am looking for referals to magazine articles, or forums, explaining the technology, at a very simple level, rather than to hardware suppliers.

Any ideas?

  peter99co 17:44 03 Nov 2009

Maplin are suppliers of good information and if emailed will send the information you need.

A lot of the goods they sell show question and answers from buyers and potential buyers

click here

  peter99co 17:50 03 Nov 2009

You can always use an inverter to supply 240 volt to the camera/s

  slimpickins 11:08 07 Nov 2009

There's lots reversing cameras on the market, some with two cameras, some are designed specifically for horseboxes. Just point one of the cameras into the box instead of out.

click here

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