Cameras Perch On Power Lines, Steal Electricity

[Tim] let us know about a video outlining some covert camera devices the Air Force is developing (dead link, try the Internet Archive version). The video takes a lot of time to explain induction to those who’ve never heard of it but we liked to see the bird-like concept animations. They’ve already developed cameras that will clamp on to power lines in order to use induction as a power source. Shown in the video is an eight-rotor quadcopter they’re hoping to use to deliver the camera covertly. But the animations show a winged robot similar to a hawk that has a camera for a head. Having seen some of the other flying devices in development this may not actually be that far off.

74 thoughts on “Cameras Perch On Power Lines, Steal Electricity

  1. Good thing is that a redneck with a high powered rifle can disable these things, hopefully they won’t part the power line while doing so. I’m guessing for domestic use the power companies will be charging the government at least a 1M times the going rate for power used for the right to park the stuff on the power lines. These devices aren’t using any power generated by a powerplant just making use of a moving magnetic field that’s incidental to power transmission. The use of which doesn’t cost the power company at all. Regardless what they say in try to discourage others from using that magnetic field. Besides it’s doubtful a usable magnetic field extends beyond the power company right of way.

  2. Of course the taking away of the magnetic field causes a power loss in the line!

    That’s like saying that you are getting magic free power from the line – if you could, then the whole world could tap one power line and run everything off it for free, as long as they only took the “free” magnetic field.

    If you don’t believe me, then just send me £10000 for a guide to how to make 240V AC from a couple of magnets and a self-running waterwheel. ;-)

  3. thats pretty cool, but a little creepy. i wiould love to get my hands on one of them and use it to see who keeps taking my cigs off my front porch :) but when you think about it, it could be used as a total invasion of privacy. but fyi, in america we use mainly A.C. for our lines

  4. A month or two ago, I noticed this thing clamped onto a power line, practically directly over a road. It has a semi-spherical lens on the bottom, and looks EXACTLY like a surveillance camera. The first thing I thought was that it was a camera, and I figured the power line was supplying the power. Just tonight I finally remembered to do a search on it, and I found this article. AMAZING!

    I hate the surveillance, and plan to quiz the power company about it. I doubt they have anything to do with it, but hopefully they will take it off the line and resist somebody’s plan.

    I took pictures of it one day, and am finally posting them on the web. You can go to my flickr account to view the pictures for yourself:

    Want to learn more about why the world is becoming a surveillance police-state? Go to and, and learn it all.

  5. After reading some posts Im glad someone else knows about cameras on the powerlines/telephone lines.I had bought a wireless camera at Fry’s for $80 dollars nothing fancy to catch some thieves stealing radios. I installed the camera in the back parking lot and the receiver inside. well the camera didn’t work and while testing it by changing the channel’s on the receiver I picked up a crystal clear picture of the apartments across the street. Two people walked up to the front of an apartment door knocked and were asking about an individual. I asked a friend of mine to walk Imy office and to look up wards as he was walking..sure enough there are cameras disguised as transformers facing horizontally that were hollow with a camera inside of it!! Turns out the people were cops that explained the police activity across the street. take a look at power lines near your home and around your city you will be blown away as to what you find where you find them and where they are pointing. since i discovered this I have found them in many cities i have been to. One I will never forget was point almost straight down in to the back yard easily capable of looking in to peoples windows, having the audio video features with these cameras is even more disturbing.

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