Introduction: Make a Solar Wifi 3g Outdoor Camera Webcam From an Old Android Phone !

About: I'm a French freelance engineer. I enjoy hacking and disassembling this electronic world... I love cycling, windsurfing, travelling . Hope to come here often !

News from April 2017.

The project evolved, I now sells directly SolarCam with the phone and box. it works very well, surfers from around the world are interested !
I keep this instructables open, for DIYers.

There is a lot of change:

  • webcam is totally remote control, SMS or web.
  • there GPS and temperature
  • auto update -Very simple to use, it works worldwide.
  • ...

please visit the website for more information.



Transform your old Android smartphone into a wireless solar camera !

You can use it indoor or outdoor.

And communicate using wifi or 3G.

Very easy, cost nearly nothing...

I worked on this project, for 2 years in France.

The website is here : Solarcam

As I am a lazy surfer, the idea first was to check swell on the sea from home,

But no electricity and no intenet on the beach, so I decided to create an Android application to do that, and after 30 versions and hundreds of tests, It works !

Maybe now, it can be great to share & build a community of solar camera around the world.

Give a second life to your old phone, and share live images around the world !

See exemple on this page : Live

Step 1: What You Need

  • Adhesive tape.

  • Neoprene glue.
  • Metallic L.
  • Wires
  • Solar panel from seeedstudio :

You can buy 1W panel is enough to have 1 image every 5 minutes, at day time.

the 0.5W works fine too, but with 1 image/hour.

you need to have the sun !

Step 2: Your Old Android Phone

This one is Galaxy Ace, broken screen, but high quality pictures, 5Megapixel autofocus.

  • Directly, connect the wire to the battery ! fix it with tape.
  • + is red
  • - is black

more detail in this video, in French : Video1

You can do that, phones batteries are self protected.

but !

Disconnect solar panel if you are not using, or the panel will drain the battery to death !

You can directly solder wires on phone's connectors , photo 2.


  • You can found galaxy phone, on ebay.
  • The Xperia series, from Sony Ericsson are good too.
  • Don't try with your Iphone, or your new S5, it won't work ! (above Android 4.2 is not compatible)
  • Battery should be in good condition,
  • Voltage shouldn't be above 4.2v when panel and battery are connected.

Step 3: Glue a L on the Panel

Use the neoprene glue

Clean before the surface, with alcohol

put some glue, on both surface, wait 10 min, and fix the two parts.

Wait 24h !

This glue is perfect but it takes patience...

If you have, solder the tiny wire with connector.

Step 4: Construction of a Weatherproof Case

To do this, use tape, this Video explains how.

The ideal is to find a waterproof box, but watch the size.

For example this one, found on ebay perfect for the small Samsung GT 5360.

I used Microscope Glass Cover Slide also found on ebay

Ok all the hardware is now okay, let's download software.

Step 5: Download Iwebcam

First, your phone must be :

Old !, above Android 4.2, it might not work at all.

  1. Run a factory reset. You don t need to login to your Google account after reset
  2. Prepare the wifi or 3g connection.
  3. Adjust time
  4. Full charge battery, remove GPS, synchronisation, sound.

Download iwebcam from here

If wifi is already set launch iwebcam.

your image will be sent to this address :

You can see the last 10 images, zoom, or even watch a timelapse of the week.

You can change parameters, 3G wifi, or create a new account.

Some SolarCam are working here more than a year, without any issue !

Hope it works !

* actually we don't have a lot of sun, camera are little bit lazy.

On a Budget Contest

Participated in the
On a Budget Contest