Firstly, the components. There are 3 main components to this project; the camera, IR LED's and the screen. IR light is invisible to humans, fortunately digital cameras are able to see this wavelength of light. What we'll attempt to do here is to show what the camera sees, on a screen which the viewer can observe, using infrared light and not visible light which would be impracticle.
The majority of parts to this project were bought on eBay:
- Low lux 12V camera $25
- 20 pack of high power IR Led's (850nm! NOT 940nm) $5
- 12V 3.5inch colour screen $20
Jaycar (aussie version of radioshack)
-various electronic pieces (resistors, power jack, switches, wire, etc) $10
All together this project cost ~$60
Put simply, the electronics are all powered from one small main board which has 12V running across it and connecting the camera, screen and LED boards to it. The resistors are used to reduce the 12V to about 3V for the LED's (they produce a fair bit of heat, use higher rated wattage resistors).
The results of this device are phenominal! Ranges in a park at night are well over 50 metres, it can show to ground in detail, outline trees on the horizion and show buildings. The best feature however is it's ability to find wildlife... Upon peering up into trees, 2 distinct glowing dots reveal the location of owls and possums. It's a creepy effect, like something from a horror movie!! (ahem paranormal activety ahem).