Introduction: Motion Triggered Spy Cam

Picture of Motion Triggered Spy Cam
Now you can do secret surveillance with this "caught-in-motion" spy video cam that records covert video and audio.

See it in action and the test results!

Step 1: What You Need...

Picture of What You Need...

1. Motion Sensing Door Chime. Radio Shack Part #49-426
2. Mini Spy Cam DVR from Ebay
3. 200uF Capacitor
4. Any Reed Relay
5. Diode 1N4001, 1N4007, etc.
6. Momentary Switch

Step 2: Prepare the Motion Sensor

Picture of Prepare the Motion Sensor

Disasemble the Motion Sensor. There is opnly one screw under the battery compartment. Remove it and then pry apart the case. Cut or desolder the speaker leads and the external output cable and connector. This should leave you with just the circuit board and the 9V power connector.

Step 3: Assemble the Components

Picture of Assemble the Components

Time to assemble the components that link the motion sensor and the DVR.

Follow the included schematic.

1. Solder the diode to the reed relay paying attention to the cathode (-) position. The purpose of the diode is to prevent voltage flow back into the circuit when the relay is triggered.

2. Solder the capacitor to the diode. Again, pay attention to the striped (-) marking on the capacitor.
The purpose of the capacitor is to turn the relay into a temporary switch by limiting the voltage pulses to a single pulse rather than the continual pulses the alarm gives out.

3. Make your connection from the (+) side of the cap to J2 on the circuit board. J2 is the trigger point for the motion sensor.

4. Make your connection from the anode (+) side of the diode to ground located where the 9V wires are at J5 on the circuit board.

5. Run two wires from the outside contacts on the relay to your switch. The switch allows you to stop recordin and power off the DVR.

Step 4: Prepare the DVR

Picture of Prepare the DVR

This is tricky. On the end of the mini DVR is a super-micro push button switch that must be de-soldered and removed. This may require an assistant to carefully lift up on each side with a tiny screwdriver as you heat the contacts. Once the switch is removed, solder two leads to the two contacts. Then wire the two leads to the outside contact on the reed relay. Done!

Step 5: Test It Out

Picture of Test It Out

At this point you should be able to press the momentary switch and the DVR should power up (yellow indicator) and begin recording (blue indicator).

Then attach a 9v battery and slide the switch on the motion sensor to the alarm position. (towards the 9v wires). There is a built-in 15 second delay when you turn it on to allow you to place the sensor and walk away. After that you should be able to wave your hand across the sensor and the DVR should power up and begin recording. While the sensor lens increases the range to around 30', eliminating it will reduce that distance so keep that in mind when you place it in service.

The DVR is USB based. The movie files (352 X 288 12fps) are located in the "movies' folder when you plug in the DVR to your computer.

Have Fun, Be Safe and use responsibly.


Cyberchipz (author)2017-11-26

This links to an obscure advertisement for me!

homemaker2 (author)2015-12-04

this was posted in 2009. The part Motion Sensing Door Chime. Radio Shack Part #49-426 is no longer available can you plz update using available parts????

Thanks in advance

_soapy_ (author)2009-05-13

I think I'll do this with a still camera, as that will give more useful results for my application, and with a multi-gig card it will take high quality pictures non-stop (every second or so) for the whole "detect on" time then stop. Then it will do it again once the trigger goes again. Another way to do this might be to make a small timer circuit that gets toggled on by the sensor and that then sends an off signal a few seconds after the sensor stops detecting. A 555 timer should be enough for that. Once you've got the circuit wired up, you could use a mains circuit to power it for as long as you want.

JaesonFricke (author)_soapy_2013-10-31

did you have any luck wiring up the 555 timer with the DVR? I'm going to give this project a start but would really like it to shut off after a few seconds.

jack852 (author)2010-07-10

I bought the dvr a few months ago and it worked great, i finally got around to buying the rest of the parts but when i went to try the dvr out again, before i altered anything on it, it wont record anymore! i press power once and the yellow light comes on but nothing i do will turn the blue recording light on. so strange, i was able to figure out how to get into the system files (hold down power while plugging it into usb) and i was just wondering if anyone knows how to tell if anything is corrupt or how to fix this issue. there is nothing physically wrong with the dvr. please help KipKay, or anyone by that matter.

flashmahn (author)jack8522011-11-07

I had same issue.. I got conned on two, and the same thing, one worked and later mysteriously died and the other came in with lens glued in place out of focus. Neither ever worked past 1 week or so

cliffyd (author)jack8522010-11-02

same thing happened to me, I think a SM resistor went and threw it for a loop, sucks cause I really liked that little thing too!

bblack03 (author)2009-08-13

does any know where I can find the 5mm Pinhole Mini Spy Device DVR Voice Recorder 4GB USB? Ebay does not have them any longer

flashmahn (author)bblack032009-09-30
Ebay has them time to time. When I tried to order from Kip Kays link the ebay account was closed temporarily according to Ebay. They had a 2nd link the next week and I ordered on the mid Sept and rec'd my cam last week. It works great. Only complaint was the bubble wrap packaging was a bit thin and possible that it could have been crushed in shipping. Contact WAI BING CHEE JENNY" in order to get a camera
flashmahn (author)flashmahn2011-11-07

I have had 2 of these and both faulty. Second one has lens permenantly glued in place out of focus. The Chinese con men that sold them swear they are all checked before shipping. Needless to say I would be happy if at least one had worked. I am happy Kip Kay got a good one. I feel conned by the seller in Hong Kong. They keep changing their account name in E Bay be warned... Neither will even charge or boot

Sandisk1duo (author)bblack032009-08-15 has them but just type "spy camera 4gb" in the search box

Jordan arduino (author)2011-05-24

Dude,when does your show air

oanderson (author)2011-01-12

Hi I was wondering if it needed to be a door chime or could it be a motion sensing light?

cliffyd (author)slyman2010-11-05

yup,its a motion sensor!

christinablonde (author)2010-07-13

i bought this dvr camera from the ebay guy now i am in the process of making this. can someone please maybe make one that stops recording once motion stops and goes to standby mode ready for next motion ??? please

xdingelitox (author)2010-06-12

this DVR is a pen DVR stuff, here the link where you can purchase them

mattyboy_900 (author)2010-06-11

does any one know where to get the DVR? ebay keeps turning up 0 results

d3voln1k (author)2010-05-26

hey this thing has movement sensor and i was wondering if i cans uses to make this motion cam?

MikeSekarlis (author)2010-05-08

Hey- I have everything but the motion detector/chime I have uses three AA (1.5V) batteries.... can I use this motion detector or not? If so, what  design modifications do you recommend? Thanks for your reply dude!!

youknow1998 (author)2010-05-02

How long will it record after motion is deteced?

tflagarrigue (author)2010-03-06

I'm looking at a mini dvr camcorder spy pen device mainboard usb flash on ebay..this seller is in Hong Kong i think this is legit? Seller: covert_stuff88

punkhead58 (author)2010-02-09

Why did you use a $30 motion sensing door chime, when you could have simply bought a motion sensor from Radioshack for $10? Unless, of course, you already had the door chime laying around.

ddavel544 (author)2009-10-08

This one of my favorite Instruckables ....will it record sound as well as vid?...I'd like to see and hear what people are saying about me at my job....when I'm not there.

chilll2009 (author)2009-10-01

How much does it cost???

flashmahn (author)2009-09-30

I have the DVR but it is dated 1980-01-01 and a time stamp that is not right. Any ideas how to re-program this? Anyone know how long it takes on the USB to charge the battery? Also I would like to make this with an IR array in order to find out who has been breaking in at night. I have 10x 8mm 3Chips 60deg 200mW Infra Red IR LEDs. Does anyone have any ideas how to incorporate 1-10 of these lamps in this project and what might need to be changed in order to achieve this? It would be nice to have the array with the possibility to plug into this project with a wire of 1 meter so that it can be placed at a small distance from the camera so that when the PIR is activated the array comes on as well. Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated

pyroninja21 (author)2009-09-20

hey kipcay a fiew years ago for my birthday my friend got my a crapy spy gear set I have taken the plastic caseing off the circut baurd do you know if I can use it for the same porpouse

zonuna (author)2009-07-02

Hi, can you tell me how you dissemble (take apart ) the mini spy cam from its casing

Mr. Squishy (author)zonuna2009-07-28

It does not come in any casing. It has no case when you get it.

Mr. Squishy (author)2009-03-17

We don't have RadioShack in Canada anymore, but The Source by Circuit City had a motion detector that had the same model number and looked the same.

KlM0 (author)Mr. Squishy2009-04-09

And now that Circuit City is going out of business (they filed chapter 11 last month) what store do you have in Can. that is similar? Who is the electronics kit and part store king in Canada? KIMO+

Mr. Squishy (author)KlM02009-04-09

That was only the US stores. The Source which is in Canada was bought by Bell.

REA (author)Mr. Squishy2009-05-21

you win this round Canada... ¬_¬

Stegs (author)2009-03-24

This may be a dumb question, but how do i play the video from the DVR? Will this work on my mac?

Mr. Squishy (author)Stegs2009-05-03

You can't play video from the DVR. You need to plug it into a USB port on your computer to play video. It should work on Mac. Most video recorders work on Macs using iMovie.

danielemur (author)2009-04-13

cool instructable by the way

danielemur (author)2009-04-13

kipkay, im thinking about takeing the spy cam and combining it with the trip laser project you did. basicaly I want to replace the motion sensor with a trip laser. any ideas?

SWANKIM (author)2009-04-09


Mr. Squishy (author)2009-03-16

I have a useful way to use the camera. Put it in a tree when you go to bed on Christmas Eve., the you can get Santa!

runnoutt (author)2009-03-12

yeah I want to set one on my front porch for the UPS guy. But the mailman is gonna trigger it everyday...

crazycommanche=US= (author)2009-03-09

kipkay youve done it again

i make shooting things (author)2009-03-01

kipkay. That camera would be perfect for my Rc planes but they sold out on Ebay :\ know any where elce that i could get them or who produces them? iv been trying to find the right camera forever but haven't had any luck.

They are not sold out. There are over 10 available at that link. Downside to the DealExtreme version is you have to disassemble the pen to get to the raw DVR. Not sure what's involved in that or if you can even do it without losing the lens and/or audio.

That's right, Kipkay, but actually I just think, you'll only have to crack off the top of the pen, and then if you're good at soldering, you may be lucky enough to get some wires soldered across the switch.

define good at soldering. I can solder basic circuit boards with out a problem. but havnt done anything complicated.

Bender is great (author)2009-03-05

Finally I can see what my dog does when I'm not around. Damn dog.

coldblackice (author)2009-02-19

Awesome instructable kipkay, but we really need an "off" timer! 666 work?

Kipkay (author)coldblackice2009-03-01

Why? See my note above.

coldblackice (author)2009-02-28

I messaged kipkay for the same modification as noted in the two posters below -- he never answered. I'm guessing he doesn't know how :) Project is kinda worthless without it -- essentially a "one trigger" use per setup (or having to watch through a couple hours of video)

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