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cheap way to make IR cameras!


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#1 jmander

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 02:32 PM

Hey Everyone,

sapiensquivigilat (PRI co-founder) just passed this link along to me, which shows you how to turn an ordinary webcam into a night vision camera. It could be a really cheap alternative for those of us who cannot yet afford a nice DVR system!! We'll both be trying it soon with our old webcams, and will let you know how it goes.

Enjoy!

http://www.instructa...QP6UTWEP287H1Z/
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#2 jmander

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:01 AM

Well, I attempted the mod tonight and had minor success...but for the trouble I went through and the resulting poor quality (the picture is faded and when an infrared light source is turned on, a black line moves up the picture), I think you'd be better off just buying a webcam with night vision. Other people seem to have had better luck modding their webcams though, so it the problem might have been my lack of skill!
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#3 jmander

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 07:12 PM

Just wanted to let everyone know, I tried this mod again with a new webcam and it WORKS wonderfully! I picked up a Microsoft Lifecam VX-1000 for $20 (CAN) at Futureshop today. The IR mod was much easier this time around--just took out the screw and separated the camera's casing, unscrewed the lens, and then simply cracked the IR filter off with a screw driver. The process took me about 4 minutes (at the most), and I now have a handy little $20 night-vision camera that can be set up to watch trigger objects etc on investigations!

You'll still need to use an IR illuminator, but you can make one easily yourself using a flashlight and about six red and four blue cellophane sheets placed over the lens.

Try it at your own risk (I don't want people getting angry with me if they break their webcam...I broke my old one the first time I tried it!), though if you use the VX-1000 there's really minimal risk involved..very simple!

Cheers.
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#4 Joven76

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 07:49 PM

Hey Jmander... Now that you know how to do it... Ever thought of making a few and trying to sell them???

Just a thought...

Joven
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#5 Tantric Kitten

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 09:05 PM

You know, I've been contemplating buying an IR lamp to use in conjunction with my still camera (and maybe, after experimentation with my video camera)... I'm glad to see these instructions because I wasn't aware that there WAS an IR filter included on cameras, generally -- I guess I'll have to shell out the couple extra bucks for an upgrade (webcam isn't an option because I don't have one) because I SURE ain't prying open my expensive SLR!

#6 jmander

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 09:10 PM

Hey Jmander... Now that you know how to do it... Ever thought of making a few and trying to sell them???

Just a thought...

Joven

I actually hadn't considered that! I may do that down the road for anybody who feels a bit uneasy performing surgery on their own webcam, but it really was so easy that anyone who knows how to use a screwdriver could do it (again, at their own risk!). It's also more fun when you dyi!
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#7 jmander

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 09:52 AM

Update:

Last night, I Macgyvered up two infrared illuminators out of two $8 flashlights from Canadian Tire, and some red and blue cellophane sheets. They work great with the modded infrared webcam. If anyone else is interested in trying this mod, here's what you do:

1) Remove the lens from the flashlight
2) Trace the lens on red and blue cellophane sheets, and cut the circles out. The number of circles you will require will depend on the thickness of the cellophane and the brightness of your flashlight. I lost count, and just kept adding them (see #3) until I could no longer see visible light coming through.
3) Place the red and blue circles in alternating colour against the back of the lens piece (but start with red and end with red). Periodically, place the lens back into the flashlight and turn it on to test the amount of light coming through it. Keep removing the lens and adding additional red and blue circles until you can no longer see light coming through (or the light coming through is minimal--it will still work).

Props to sapiensquivigilat for showing me this video, which sparked this project. It provides good visual instructions for making the illuminator. One thing to note: they suggest 6 pieces of red and 4 pieces of blue, but I found that I needed much more of each colour to filter out all visible light.

Again, try at your own "risk"!
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#8 DeadTrish

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 07:22 AM

We have done this and actually have been really successful. One of the tricks of removing the fliter is using a dremel. It's a great cheap way to acquire cameras that capture IR. All you need is some sort of spot light or illuminator and you are good to go.
TrishDirector/ConsultantAfterlife Investigations: A Paranormal Research SocietyMEMENTO MORI

#9 jmander

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Posted 21 December 2007 - 02:30 PM

We have done this and actually have been really successful. One of the tricks of removing the fliter is using a dremel. It's a great cheap way to acquire cameras that capture IR. All you need is some sort of spot light or illuminator and you are good to go.

Yeah, we just got the chance to try it out on our investigation on the 19th...they worked great! Unfortunately we didn't capture any anomalies, but the camera and homemade IR illuminators worked like a charm.
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#10 DeadTrish

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Posted 28 December 2007 - 01:46 PM

We have done this and actually have been really successful. One of the tricks of removing the fliter is using a dremel. It's a great cheap way to acquire cameras that capture IR. All you need is some sort of spot light or illuminator and you are good to go.

Yeah, we just got the chance to try it out on our investigation on the 19th...they worked great! Unfortunately we didn't capture any anomalies, but the camera and homemade IR illuminators worked like a charm.



It's how it always goes isn't it. Now you can record them....ummm where did they go. lol
TrishDirector/ConsultantAfterlife Investigations: A Paranormal Research SocietyMEMENTO MORI

#11 cedric

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:20 PM

We picked up four IR heatlamp bulbs at a flea market for $0.25 each and use them in standard clamp-on shoplights. The large ones (250-watt, the type used in older buffet tables) cause too much heat build-up for long-term use, but the 50-watt bulbs work very well. These are also available in most good pet stores in the "other pets" departments for lizards and such.




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