DIY Night Vision Googles




About: You'll see ;D

Have you ever seen splinter cell, or wanted to be a spy like in the special forces? Personally I've always wanted to be a spy and realized all I needed was a pair of night vision googles. I was looking on the internet an found that night vision googles range from $70 to over $1,000!! so I decided to make my own using a 3D Printer and a few store bought items.


Step 1: Materials

For this you need A 3D printer or access to a 3D Printer- If you don't have one or don't have access to one you could always use other materials right? After all this is Instructables!!!

A micro (small) screwdriver for opening your camera

A camera (I used an Olympus)

A micro lens for your camera they can be found on ebay

Cool metallic tape (to temporarily hold the camera in place)

A 220 ohm resistor

A grid style pc board

IR leds of any size (I used 10mm because bigger is better right? ; )

Some wire

There are a few general things I didn't take a picture of but I'll list them right here

Super glue

Wire cutters

Electrical tape

A switch

9v battery

Soldering gun

CAD designer program

And a GREAT Attitude

Step 2: Hacking Your Camera

Hacking your camera is where your need to be patient and creative. I saw this amazing instructable on how to hack your camera to be able to see the infrared spectrum. Because I cant really explain on how you should hack that part here is the instructable link. all you need to do is follow until you remove the ir film

Step 3: Starting the Case

Now we are going to start the case. First of all I decided to take the camera and offset it down the middle, I did this so when I looked through the screen I could see just a little above where my eye line was so if you need to look over walls you could do it more sneaky.

Step 4: 3D Printing the Camera Case

Next I 3D Printed a case for the camera to protect it. If you want the stl file I've uploaded the file here but when I exported to stl the sizing might have been off. You don't need to use this case either. You can but it is specific to the camera I was using. You can use this as an outline for your case if you need to, but remember when making the case create an opening for easy access to the SD card and battery, the usb slot and to the buttons and such.

Step 5: Insert the Camera

After I made the box I inserted the camera into the box and glued it in. Make sure that you have easy access to the buttons and that everything runs smoothly before you glue the camera in. I had to make some modifications to my camera box so I cut some parts out of my box to ensure a good fit because my measurements were a little off.

Step 6: The Googles/ Headset

Here I decided I wanted to make a headset or googles just for effect really. I have the stl for this too and little adjustments were made to the final product.
Glue the camera box to the headset so the screen is centered to the eyepiece hole. If you are designing the headset yourself remember to make the eyepiece large enough for the micro lens and add a spot to hold the infrared LEDs. You could use my stl as an example.

Step 7: Adding the Infrared LEDs

Now we will finally get around to doing the circuitry so heat up that soldering gun! First you will need to get out the pc board and a handful of infrared LEDs. In the middle of the board there are two strips of unbroken pins. On one strip you are going to solder the positive leads (the longer ones), and on the other strip you will solder the negative leads (the smaller ones). Next you will solder the 220 ohm resistor to from the positive lead strip to another part of the board (I choose the top left). Than do the same with the negative lead using just a plain strip of wire. And lastly just like in the last picture you are going to solder some multi-stranded wire, for flexibility, to the positive lead and another wire to the other lead. when you are done glue that bad boy onto the headset! to finish the circuit solder the negative wire to the negative wire of a 9v battery connector. Than solder the positive wire to a switch and the switch to the positive wire of the 9v battery connector. And BAM! your done!

Step 8: The Results

In the end these were the results of the night vision googles. You could easily get some pictures of signs, household objects or sneaking little brothers....



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    7 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I found out that you could use a magnify Glass to help diffuse the ir LEDs and to have a bit more eamge


    4 years ago

    Have you noticed if the angle of the light on those LEDs is small? I have used some 10mm white LEDs because I had the same logic, the bigger the better, unfortunately in my case I found that the beam was very narrow compared to say a 5mm LED.

    5 replies

    Reply 4 years ago

    Yes, when I was testing the whole thing out I was kind of wondering about that, the problem could probably be fixed by using a mix of 5mm and of 10mm LEDs.


    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    I do like this project though. The whole reason I bought a 3d printer was for my projects and I love it.