Introduction: Hacked WebCam for IR Photography and Night Vision

About: General all round alpha geek. Low tech to High tech repair and hacking anything that comes in helpful and entertaining.

 The purpose of this Instructable is to show how easy it is to modify and re-utilize O.T.S. Technology.
I will show you how to modify a commercially available USB Webcam which will allow you to use it in the IR spectrum.
or to see in complete darkness with the help of an IR remote or purpose built IR light source.

 Most Charged coupling devices (CCD) are sensitive to Infra Red light. The manufacturer removes the ability to see in IR by either installing a filter either  on the CCD or on the lens. In order for your webcam to utilize the IR spectrum the filter needs to be removed

 For this Instructable you will need a webcam ( I suggest the Gemini USB WebCam)
A fine point Exacto knife
Tweezers or hemostats,
Helping hands and a magnifying glass would help with the process.
Also a tv/vcr/dvd remote or purpose built IR light source for night vision.

Many thanks to the other members with IR projects which have inspired me

I hope you enjoy this Instructable as much as I did making it.


Step 1:

 For this my first Instructable I chose to use a Gemini USB Webcam. This webcam is fully PNP with Vista .and is easily modified or hacked. It is a mass produced webcam available from many computer retailers.

The first step is to purchase one. Alternately, any commercially available webcam will do, however internal configuration most likely will be different and will likely need to be disassembled more than the Gemini.

Step 2:

Step 2
Remove the lens housing assembly from the body of the webcam. This is achieved by un-screwing it in a counter clockwise direction, (Lefty loosie). You do not need to remove any screws.

Remember once the lens housing assembly has been removed from the body of the webcam, the CCD will be exposed .Protect the CCD from excessive light, it can damage the chip.

Step 3:

Step 3
Once you have the lens housing assembly in your hand, you will notice on the inside there is a square piece of glass with dots of glue on each corner where it meets the housing. This is the Infra Red filter
At this point you will use the fine point Exacto knife, ( helping hands and a magnifying glass would help in this step)
Any fine point sharp instrument will work here, just carefully remove the glue then remove the IR filter ( tweezers or fine hemostats work well here) Try not to damage the lens underneath the filter in the process.

Step 4:

Step 4
Screw the lens housing back into the body of the webcam. Clockwise- Righty tighty.
Now you have hacked your webcam and it is ready to take IR pics and use for night vision.

Step 5:

Step 5.
Plug it in to your favorite desktop or laptop and have fun.
Take a look around your garden and see how the various plants and flowers colors have changed. Look around inside your home and see the color changes.
If you want to use it for night vision just get yourself a spare TV/ VCR/ DVD remote and press a button while pointing it at your subject.

You can make an IR light source to use also. This will be the subject of my second Instructable.

The pictures here are of a jade plant in full light and me in full darkness using a tv remote to illuminate myself.

Thanks for reading.