Introduction: DIY Pan & Tilt Security Camera

Picture of DIY Pan & Tilt Security Camera

I recently made my own version of a pan & tilt dome security cam for the front of our house. It is mounted on the ceiling of our front porch and the battery cables run up through our bedroom window.
                                  Anyways.....I ordered an RC transmitter and reciever from ebay ($35.00) but it is a futaba which is the best make, and a 16 pack of micro servo's for an unbeatable price of $22.00 w S&H. The camera is also a wireless nanny-cam I had from ebay waiting for a project like this for a while so the cam and the reciever was $28.00 also free shipping. The last part was a decoy security camera dome I bought for $1.00 at the dollar store to encase everything in. All the parts are very small to keep the system the least bit noticable as possible. I will now show you what I did!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
  1. 2 Micro Servo's ($3.00)
  2. Mini Spy-Cam With Receiver ($24.00)
  3. RC Transmitter & Receiver ($32.00)
  4. Plastic Security Cam Dome ($1.00)
  5. Hot & Super Glue ($1.75)
  6. 25' Wire (Extend Existing Wires)
  7. Drill With .250" Bit & Screws
  8. 4 AA Batteries (Servo Receiver) ($3.00)

         (Please note that plastic security dome is excluded from the materials picture)

Step 2: Fitting the Servo's

Picture of Fitting the Servo's

The first step is to glue the servo's together. I started with the tilt motor and glued the pan to it! That left me with the pan servo tho glue the mini cam to.

Step 3: Making the Dome

Picture of Making the Dome

Next I had to hack the security dome to hold everything we need for the project. I had to drill a hole in the top to feed the battery cables for the servo receiver. The nanny cam has the option to have a 9v battery to run it but since the receiver for the servo's needed to have the on/off switch and the battery cable lead run up to the bedroom I just decided t make it all together and tape it in all one cable along the roof. One step I did not take a picture of is the part where I had to splice the cables together another 25ft long needed to run everything up to the bedroom.

Step 4: Installing Servo's

Picture of Installing Servo's

After dissasembling the security dome, the inside top is where we will glue the servo too. Make sure when this is done it is in a spot where it will have clearance when the actual dome goes back on! This set-up is very tiny and that is why we use micro servo's and micro spy cams. After it looks good and all glued down turn on the transmitter and test it out to see how it all works. Nothing worse than getting it all installed and having something go wrong and have to tear it all down for repairs! Trust me that sucks! You should have a fine tune on the transmitter to tune the channel (servo) into the center position, You want everything even and the cam to look in both directions equally so make sure you set your servo's accordingly before actually fastening them down.

Step 5: Closing It Up and Time to Install

Picture of Closing It Up and Time to Install

After the first initial test is done and everything works accordingly, close 'er all up and install it to where ever suits you in you home.

Step 6: Hooking Up the Reciever to the TV.

Picture of Hooking Up the Reciever to the TV.

The last step is to hook up the receiver for the nanny-can to the television and get the reception from where your cam is. I mounted my receiver on the wall just beside my T.V. so I have easy access for tuning in because I actually have 3 other spy cams hooked up around my house. These cams are ultra easy to tune and install, my 10 yr. old nephew hooked 1 up for me just to prove it so you  will not have any problems with the camera part of this project if you're not familiar with video/audio stuff.

Step 7: Final Test

Picture of Final Test

Now you should have an awesome DIY security system that will turn to almost any position to where you desire. Hope yours turns out as great as mine did.


amrodgers12 (author)2015-09-13

Also, is it possible to record so you can go back and look at the feed?

JosephC46 (author)amrodgers122015-11-16

You would need to have it set to record. If you were going to a PC you could have a capture card do it.

amrodgers12 (author)2015-09-12

Can you hook it up to your computer?

ajimmym (author)2015-07-19

that's awesome and not to expensive . The only thing I would recommend changing ,would be to have the pan motor first .so it turns the tilt motor .otherwise the left and right direction will not be consistent .

dagob (author)2014-05-04

I'm building a very complexer system, but this as simple as I really
need! I'll definitely redesign mine!!! Sometimes the simplest way is
the best way! thank you so much for sharing your project! Keep it up! THUMBS UP!

tinker234 (author)2011-06-01

wow nice could you add a tint to make it look nice

TXTCLA55 (author)2010-08-27

Well done, but if its too much to ask...could there be a materials page? just wondering...

cliffyd (author)TXTCLA552010-12-15

what do you mean buddy, I have everything shown and listed up top. Is there something else you were wondering about specifically? send me!

delokaver (author)2010-10-13


tzq33tdq (author)2010-09-27

this is awesome!!!

kingchristo (author)2010-09-22

This is a great poject and im going to give this one a go all i need to know is how to power the servos thanks chris

joeofloath (author)2010-08-31

You got burned on that radio gear, you can get a set for $10 with a different name on the side, as they're removed from ready to run RC cars when people put their own radio gear in. Nice project though, have thought about similar ideas myself. Might even get one of those little wireless cameras to go on my RC helicopter :D

cliffyd (author)joeofloath2010-08-31

dude this is a brand new set that is a 4 channel trans & reciever with 4 digital servo's, its not a bad deal. If you were to pay $10 for one of these i would love to see the reception on it, probley have a hard time controling it to the kitchen in your house.

joeofloath (author)cliffyd2010-08-31

Looks like my 2 channel set, which goes for peanuts on ebay. Fair enough if it's 4 channel, but I can't see the 2 other channel switches.

cliffyd (author)joeofloath2010-09-08

No I got mixed up, my other receiver I was going to use is 4 channel, this one is only 2! sorry.

cliffyd (author)cliffyd2010-09-08

Oh wait sorry this one only has 2 channels, my other one is 4.

Arirox (author)2010-08-29

i did this but i didnt run wires i used 2 vidio/audio boxs its easyer!

cliffyd (author)Arirox2010-09-08

yes I had that option but where it was going it didnt make much difference if it was wireless or not, not to mention the batteries you go through with these wireless projects!

teledog (author)2010-08-26

Cool project! Was thinking of something like this myself, but found that a "Foscam FI8908W" was only ~$90.00 on eBay ( & much less work). Bought 2 of them & I watch the dog at home from work ( or Paris or..) Be careful on eBay, there ARE clones out there - the Foscam website lists the legit cam dealers. Cheers!

cliffyd (author)teledog2010-08-26

I see so you have it on streaming video over the net? I do that to for my webcam, dont really need to but good idea to do it for my security cams so I can look at them from anywhere with internet access. Good Idea!

techman9 (author)cliffyd2010-08-29

can u please post a more descriptive instructions for the wiring of the servos the transmitter and the camera. thanks

cliffyd (author)techman92010-08-31

you just plug in the servos to the reciever that is incased in the dome. As for the cam, it just runs off either a battery or a power cord and the rest is all wireless. The only rerason the cam isnt wireless is it eats up sooo many 9v batteries.

techman9 (author)cliffyd2010-09-01

ok cool thanks that help alot

cliffyd (author)techman92010-09-08

If you still need more help with the connections let me know I will send you a drewn diagram if you need it!

glowingiunknwn (author)2010-09-08

Where did you get the servos and receiver?

cliffyd (author)glowingiunknwn2010-09-08

On ebay, came with servos, transmitter, receiver, batteries etc for about $40.00 thats shipping included so it wasnt bad, it was the best deal I could find on there at the time!

criggie (author)2010-08-29

Nice work. What do you do with the footage?

The major problem with security cameras is the 99.9% of the time when you're not interested because nothing is happening.

I've got cameras and they record only on motion, so there's about 0-30 minutes a day. And most of that is cats walking past or leaves waving in the breeze, and the odd shot of the family moving about.

Software monitoring a stationary camera can be told to mask out specific areas of non-interest, like the street. If the camera can move then its less useful.

If you want to use it as a web cam and view it from remote then that's a different matter.

cliffyd (author)criggie2010-08-31

Yes I would rather have the web cam hooked up to it cause i could have it record in 3 min at a time when the motion sensors go off and its streaming so i can view it anywhere!

criggie (author)cliffyd2010-08-31

There's a bunch of windows-based webcam apps - google will tell you all. You'll need to plug the receiver into a video capture card. I use and it works perfectly in linux. Assume it works in windows too. In Linux I use motion, and some people prefer zoneminder. Of course you need to run linux 24/7 for these.

NostalgicStone (author)2010-08-27

I really like this : ) Post a video of yourself using the remote to control the camera, and a proper materials list and you'll have my 5 star vote!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am a 35 yr. old licensed Iron worker/ Fabricator/ Welder/ Millwright but now in college currently in 2nd of 3rd year for Civil Engineering ... More »
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