Infrared security camera


Reading [computerguru365]‘s infrared security camera build you may wonder “Why did he build it like that?” Well, he was working with what he had. He disassembled a webcam and removed the IR filter (sound familiar?). He mounted it in a stripped power supply case with the zoom assembly pulled from an old camcorder. The zoom control was wired to the back of the box. The final addition was an IR array to the front. You could probably buy a better product off the shelf, but if you’ve already got the parts, why not


  1. thrasher says:

    wow, that actually seems somewhat easy to do, compared to some others that have been up lately. I need to go rummage through my junk closet!

    on another note, to those certain people, (you know who you are…lol), who abhor leds, well… take a look at the right of the pic… roughly 40 ir leds… enjoy

  2. kURT says:


  3. david says:

    Sweet, Hackaday needs more LEDS. Seriously though, pretty cool use of what would otherwise be thrown away.

  4. steve says:

    why did he do this what was he thinking yes should have been thrown away waste of a power supplie shell and LEDS WELL JUST FOR THE KIDDS LOVE STEVE MENTOR WILL LOVE THIS BECAUSE HE IS A CHILD AT HEART

  5. werejag says:

    omg this has lots of leds steve will simply love this hack

  6. steve says:

    i dont love it! leds are for christmas trees and toys,this hack is not interesting at all, what a waste of a supply,i dont hate everything on here,but all i would like to see is something out the ordinary,a security camera in a big case is not discreet, whats the point in it?

  7. danger mouse says:


    Would be nice to see some pictures produced by the camera tho.

  8. fucter says:

    no pics, no care

  9. Computer_kid says:

    I like the added lens and the cluster of IR LEDS.

  10. colonel_panic414 says:

    steve… chill dude. look, the hack doesn’t revolve around those leds. the point is that it is a home made infrared camera. leds are useful for more than just toys, x-mas trees, and being bashed by the likes of you.

  11. Gary says:

    Steve – give the man a break, the ir leds are functional, not for asthetic decoration. Using the psu casing is a nice touch.

  12. steve says:

    but its supposed to be a security camera, not very discreet is it? waste of a casing i say,

  13. gaspode says:

    As a matter of fact most security cameras are not intended to be subtle, they are mostly about informing people that they are being watched.
    There are even mockup cameras, that only look like cameras, but don’t actually record.

  14. colonel_panic414 says:

    i’m sure if hiding it was a necessity, as cameras can discourage a criminal if he sees them, it would be a cinch to do so. now, what other uses can be had from a psu case? yeah, you could _not_ gut the psu and throw it in a computer, but thats not the point. he did also mention in his article that you _could_ use any other project box. obviously, he had a spare psu lying around, and gutted it.

    He might have even had a busted one that was just lying around collecting dust, and figured, why not just make something cool with it instead of toss it? so… stop trying to debunk, bash, and find something negative about every hack. no one likes it. the truth hurts, as you like to so often say…

  15. andrew says:

    neat. the only cost would be the leds for most people.

  16. steve says:

    gaspode by name and nature, u full of gas.tell me gaspode,so would you put this BIG camera on your outside wall?

  17. conor says:

    I like the hack! I tried coming up with something like this last year, but I didn’t quite have the knowledge (or the skill)…

    On a side note: I teach karate, and I find that the best way to keep the annoying students quiet is to ignore them…

  18. steve says:

    is that suposed to intimadate me karate for ur information iam not a studant and do not live in america / united kingdom a place calld sunderland norh/ east were we eat karate for breakfast i repeat USELESS HACK NEXT PLEAS

  19. Craig says:

    with something like this to do with security, i’d probably buy it rather than make ‘a hack’, just my two cents

  20. steve says:

    to computer guru 365 be carefull with that laptop did u no that intell duell core can over heat if fan fails and go critical in 3 seconds long way to go before duell core is up for it STEVE

  21. the reason i hadn’t included pictures was because the quality of the picture depends on the quality of camera. i used a logitech quick cam express, made for win98. poor quality pictures. i will post some pictures showing the difference between my other ir webcam and this one that has an optical zoom lens

  22. asdf says:

    to steve:
    you may eat karate for breakfast, but i eat your mom for breakfast…

    ok and on to the hack:
    perhaps instead of soldering all the leds, he couldve bought a led array. available from digikey, and wouldve made it easier to solder.

  23. bp says:

    conor probably has the right idea guys. Trolls are like lochness monsters… if you give them three-fity they keep on coming back.

    Anyway, this is very interesting. Good to see that an IR filter is included… otherwise you could blind it easily with high ambient light. If you wanted something optically a little cleaner you could always get a small IR photography filter and slap it on the front.

    One problem is going to be that you don’t really know how a CCD will respond to IR until you try it. Ideally I would want some kind of processing on the output… mostly contrast/sharpness enhancement. (At least if the webcame responds the way most digital cameras I’ve played around with in IR do). Should be simple enough to implement in the receiving system.

    Great hack though! I love the improvised enclosure.

  24. japroach says:

    Steve what is this crazy homeless man rambling about dual core? You have no clue what your talking about.

    btw nice hack, few things I would recommend:
    – stick with one 12V supply and a regulator if possible.
    – mention the danger of using mains voltage, and the importance of grounding the power supply case.

  25. anonymous says:

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure that steve is actualy multiple people who share an account. My reasoning behind this is that he writes with absolutely no punctuation, then suddenly decides to use tens of commas.

    This looks pretty cool though, it’s making me consider buying that 15.00 webcam I saw a week ago …

  26. kyle says:

    spare power supply cases are abundant if you use cheapish ones for 5 years :)

  27. koft says:

    People pay good money for enclosures, this dude got one for free. And its one less thing tossed into the landfill. Props

  28. trebuchet03 says:

    “i dont love it! leds are for christmas trees and toys…”

    Steve, you must have a very sad christmas tree… All that work just to have a tree that only lights up on hacked webcameras/nightvision cameras and goggles…

    “Yeah, I’m pretty sure that steve is actualy multiple people who share an account.”

    Yes, that is a recent thing… and I love it!! the original steve always had something negative to say for almost every project… but the new (and improved) steve is multipolar :P still flaming like a polish library in the early 40’s.

  29. rossheth says:

    Today I got a terrible shock. steve lives dangerously, DANGEROUSLY close to me. Please do not think that everyone from the north-east is like steve.

  30. Such a device can easily see through swimwear in broad daylight and no IR-LED’s neccessary, only a piece of floppy disk over the lens. Thats it.

  31. weirdguy0101 says:

    great hack, infact – this should kick off hack-a-day’s all LED week! come on! we demand more LEDS!

  32. pretorious says:

    ha, like the new bonus picture at the bottom of the article

    asdf: the array is from, they sell a fully assembled and tested version as well. I’ve built that kit and it’s worth the few extra $ instead of spending hours trying to figure out which joint is cold, only to find that one of the LEDs was defective.

  33. i posted some pictures from the camera. take a look at the zoom difference. if it can be setup with a decent webcam, an added zoom lens is better then the digital “enhancement” zoom.

  34. dennis says:

    THIS IS FUCKING DANGEROUS. computer”guru”, did you really wire both secondary circuits of both of those switching mode power supplies to each other? if so, you might want to put a disclaimer on your website.

    jesus christ.

  35. gary says:

    I think you did well on this ComputerGuru365 and never give up. Some people are just hack off because they never though of this ideal. Your smart and know your stuff. Tell my niece hi and love you all Your uncle.

  36. steve says:

    this hack has way too many LEDs and the box isn’t big enough how do you keep track of where your camera is without leds that are visible and a bigger case this camera will get lost

  37. Steve says:

    OMG I LOVE IR LEDS!!!1111oneoneone

    Dude check it out i’m so gay that the hacker decided to own me

    How cool am i?!

  38. rautiocination says:

    ugh, I also have a logitech quickcam express, and while I glued on a decent wide angle lens and did an ir mod, I am sorta meh on it due to the hoooorible quality and slow refresh rate . . . i’ve even passed on using it as a rearview for my carputer (though checkout a small program called video thumb 2, it can give you a nice desktop feed off the cam)

  39. CJ says:

    dude steve if u want to see something so outgoing and amazing why dont u make it ur self i personally thank it is an awesome hack

  40. qurio says:


    I think you should post your hack and out everybody to shame You Hack Dog you. two words for you Radio Shack my Brother.

  41. Eugena Vides says:

    Nice article. This is especially relevant in todays society given the increase in crime levels particulary related to home thefts and break ins.

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