DIY Homebrew Outdoor Webcam How-to


Introduction: DIY Homebrew Outdoor Webcam How-to

I used an old Logitech webcam, a semi-retired Thinkpad, and a 6X iPhone telesope lens from ThinkGeek to construct an outdoor webcam.

Why? Cuz I got a *killer* view of the Seattle skyline including the Space Needle and I want y'all to see it too!



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    9 Discussions


    I pointed a webcam out my window, and it had white out issues during the day. Did you experience this, and if so, how did you over come it?

    5 replies

    Yeah, especially here in Seattle. Some days it's just foggy or rainy and there isn't much to see. BUT, I'm putting a weather station up next so the webcam image will be supplemented with current conditions. At least then we'll all know if the camera is on the fritz or the weather sucks.

    I am looking to do the same in the future. Here is a web site in Forest Lakes AZ with a web came that many of us in the valley consult with during the winter. Not sure if the weather station group (Davis)can help provide assistance with the web came but I intend to use their system for my weather station in New Mexico when we eventually move to our 18 acres.
    Click on the web came for a single frame view of snow depth.

    you try putting a neutral density (ND) filter on the front of the lens. Available at any self respecting photography store. No lens mounting you say? use bluetack :)

    If I put an ND filter on it, won't it always be dark? Not to sound stupid, as I know that's the point, but I'm looking/hoping for a solution that will allow me to setup my webcam once, and have it work all the time. If I use an ND during the day, I'd have to remove it at night, right?

    Fair enough, I hadn't thought about all conditions. I think modifying the sensor would be tricky. You never know it might be limited by an easy to change component but which one? More likely webcam's cheapy CCD isn't built to deal with a very wide range of brightness. I guess you're options are... Buy a higher quality webcam and experiment with that, Get some of that auto tinting glass, maybe from a pair of old specs and stick that on the front, Finally build an elaborate solenoid/servo system to shift the ND in when the light creeps above a certain level. In an ideal world that'd be as simple as a solar cell connected to a solenoid fighting a spring. I think in the real world you'd need amplification and a way to set a threshold. Its practically an instructable project of its own. You should do it :)

    Wow. That looks exactly like my old laptop! Too bad I dropped it on the ground, and it broke.