The migration from tape to DVD has pushed a lot of good, working VCR recorders out of the A-V stack and onto a shelf in the garage. It seems a harsh fate but the reality is that people don’t watch tapes much anymore, even if they have extensive libraries. Society moves on. Unless a role is found for the VCR it is bound to follow the LP record turntable and several generations of mobile telephones to the tip.

Don’t junk that VCR yet! Connect it to a video camera via a video motion detection module and you have an inexpensive state-of-the-art security system that will start a tape rolling whenever the camera detects movement – stopping automatically when there is no longer any motion. You can also connect a security light or alarm to complete the setup.

Farco Technologies Limited manufacture video motion detection systems that are used in high-end Traffic Enforcement and Traffic Management applications – red light cameras and signals controllers. This same high speed image processing technology can bring new life to that VCR giving it a great new role in the home or on the ranch monitoring and recording events in the field of view of the camera. One of the benefits with these systems is you don’t have to scroll through endless tape footage to find activity. The tape only starts recording when there is activity and it shuts down when the activity stops. Of course, this makes a standard 180 or 240 minute VHS tape last a long time in most situations.

What is involved? The simplest solution is to connect Farco’s “Wachit” – the VMD-19M module – in the line between a camera and the VCR. The Wachit is a neat little metal box all ready to be plugged in to the cable. It will be positioned close to the VCR because it uses infra-red codes, the same as the remote control, to record, pause and stop the VCR. Farco cunningly designed it so it would learn the remote codes of most all standard VCRs so there is no need to program it for your particular model. The Wachit can be connected to a security system so it becomes armed when the security system is armed. There is a relay output on the back of the box that can be connected to activate an alarm system or security lights, both if you want – so you not only get the recording of activity, you get a warning as well. Another output is also available to trigger an alarm if the video signal is lost – which might mean the camera has been tampered with.

Whereas most other sensors have range limitations, Video Motion Detection has the advantage that any image in the field of view of the video camera can be analyzed for movement and alerts triggered.


A practically unlimited range of applications exists. The detection (or absence) of motion can be used to activate or de-activate many different types of devices such as alarms, lighting systems, cameras, audio or video recording devices…

* VCR/DVD-R – Record,Pause, Stop.
* Video Loss Detection –Alarm/Alert
* Security- Lights On, Lights Off;
* AlarmOn, Alarm Off;
* Gates Locked, GatesUnlocked;
* Door Up, Door Down.
* Lighting control- Storage and utility areas, stairwells, works of art, car. parks, freight holding areas

* Power Supply 7.5VDC to 24VDC at 100mA minimum
* Sensitivity Adjustment Via 2 way dip switch, for size and contrast
* Enclosure case Metal powder coated in silver
* Weight Approx. 200gr (1/2 lb) Dimensions 104mm x 52mm x 25mm (4″x2″x1″)