Nightvision car heads up display

[alti] wants night vision for his car, so he picked up a nightmax night vision camera that has a built in LCD. The plan is to mount the display so that it will reflect off the windshield of his car to create a simple HUD. Unfortunately the image gets reflected from the inside and outside of the windshield. The discussion in the forum is getting pretty lengthy, but it’s an interesting project.


  1. Dok says:

    This reminds me of that drugrunner with the blacked out high performance sports car that drove to the coast and back with all of the lights off and he wore just a pair of nighvision goggles to see.

  2. Wolf says:

    “I do not want to use any tint or film on the glass that would noticeably diminish the opacity of the glass”

    shouldn’t that be increase?

  3. regomodo says:
  4. fartface says:

    crappy choice. the Nitemaxx is a simple B&W ccd camera with the IR filter removed and quite a few IR emitters, you cant get any decent images at a distance needed for a car. Best bet would be to find a crashed Caddilac with the thermal imaging camera system in it and retrofit it to your car.

    Also the nitemaxx would be washed out HARD in front of a car as you have 2 65 watt IR floodlights on the front of every car blasting everything with IR and visible light.

    Did any of these guys even TRY it without chopping up the car? Even a starlight scope is 100% useless aiming out the front of a car, you need a thermal imaging camera to do anything useful like that.

  5. mike dd says:

    my first thought was why doesn’t he get the parts from a caddy? they invested all that time and money already. just retro fit to your vehicle of choice.

  6. Martin H says:

    There are two problems:
    Windscreens for cars with HUD have a special interlayer (already mentioned in the forum) and the projection unit uses some kind of polarization. So the projected image is only visible to the driver. You could try to put a polarizer behind the suggested piece of Plexi.
    Installing the camera inside the car won’t give good results. The main problem you have mit modern cars is their infrared blocking windshield. They are designed to reflect or absorb the infrared portion (or a part of it) of the sunlight. Maybe you can compensate it by increasing amplification. But this increases the problem of scattered light. You have to enclose the room between camera and windscreen.

  7. Chris says:

    So, is anyone into this CarPC hobby? Seems like you can do some pretty cool things. Think I might get into it once I get a car this June.

  8. LeZandre says:

    @ fartface

    You seem to be neglecting the fact that Mercedes is using the same technology in it’s nightvision systems.
    They overcame the “washing out” by using visible- light filters. Have a look at the Oerlikon Optics NightVision™ filter.

    But I do like BMW’s solution (with the thermal camera) better. A way to implement this in your car would be to install a PathFindIR.

    By the way: NiteMax comes in a colour version as well.

  9. shotgunefx says:


    Actually, it’s a pretty decent b&w camera, the imager is used by a lot of backyard astronomers, but the main reason the Nitemax came up was there was a boatload of them cheap from someone who bought a lot of them when they were discontinued.

    $25 or whatever it was vs thousands. It was worth a shot. This is actually another large 17 page thread on it as well.

    There’s also several things going on here (or were) with the Nitemax.

    1. Decent & Cheap cameras for onboard CCTV
    2. Possible use as a visual supplement for driving.
    3. Using the LCD as a cheap tiny VGA monitor.
    4. Making a cheap HUD for a Car PC.

    There are also 4 variants of the Nitemax CCDs, 2 B&W and 2 Color.

  10. dan says:

    i suggest you tint your windshield to cancel out the reflections.

  11. dan says:

    or instead of trying to display it on the windshield, you could mount a monitor in your visor, or just wear the night vision goggles, hahaha

  12. shotgunefx says:


    So my IR fogs weren’t a bad idea? LOL, I missed this development.

    Doesnt’work that well, ghosting of the screen.

  13. Here’s an idea: project two infrared grids in front of the car, having two associated cameras, and then post-process them to create left and right images for IR goggles. The result would be a 3D mesh with depth perception.

    The reflective properties of the road guides may even be distinguishable enough that you could paint them a proper color in the display… which I think could be good enough to drive safely (apart from other people not seeing you) without headlights.

  14. Lucas says:

    Solemn article. It make me lost in thoughts.

  15. ronald says:

    the nitemax dont work as well as in real life and it dont atach to video camcorders, ts far bright like daylight but is not as near bright when used on tv with thelights all he way up its dim

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  17. Richard says:
  18. Net Success says:

    Mountign a monitor on the dash might be a good way to go, but being able to see it on the window would be the best.

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