How to Take Analog Pictures With a Crt Monitor

About: There's nothing you need to know.

This is not a joke!!! You can really take crystal clear analog images with any old crt monitor! There is no complicated wiring required, this conversion will literally take you 5 minutes! Just follow theses eazes instuctables to make your own crt monitor camera.

Step 1: Acquire Crt Monitor

You need a crt monitor for this instructable, quite obviously. However, they are easy, and relatively cheep to get. There are many places that you can find one, chances are, you even have one inside of the computer that you are using right now! Here are my recommendations for places to get one:

1) Most older computers are made with an integrated crt chipset. The last crt chipsets were released by Intel and AMD in the late '90s, so almost any computer of that age will contain one. Picture 1 details the correct disassembly of one such computer to extract the crt chipset monitor.

2) Lots of corporations and people throw away crt monitors that they think are useless. Go to your nearest recycling center and pick them up! Luckily enough for us, crt monitors are generally very lightweight, on average weighing 3 times less than lcd monitors. I walked 5 miles home with a 30" crt monitor, so you can too.

3) Make your own crt monitor by clicking on this link and then typing "how to make your own crt monitor" into the search box that will appear at the center of the page.<a href="">Link</a>

Picture 2 depicts a crt monitor, it should be similar to the one that you built or found.

Step 2: Correct Disassembly of Your Crt Monitor

The picture below depicts the proper disassembly procedure for a crt monitor. BE CAREFUL!!! DO NOT USE EXCESSIVE FORCE!!! However, if this fails to work, picture 2 depicts an alternative method. After you have completed the disassembly, you should end up with something that looks like the third picture.

Step 3: Wiring the Analog Camera

The way that this works, is that because a crt projects an image onto a screen with electrical signals, Therefore, if we project an image on the screen, corresponding electrical signals should be generated. The only thing we need to do is to properly capture them.

Assemble the schematics on the bottom for this:

The parts that you will need are as follows:

0- crt monitor, disassembled per order of step 2
1- LM 386 semiconductor (IC)
2- 100 micro Farad capacitor
3- 220 micro Farad capacitor
4- 10 ohm resistor
5- 5 micro ohm variable resistor
6- 100 ohm variable resistor
7- 0.01 capacitor
8- 0.047 capacitor
9- Wires
10- 9V Battery clip
11- 9V Battery
12- 3.5mm stereo jack male
13- 3.5mm stereo jack female
14- Project board (or you can use dotted board and solder)
15- Lunchables Snack Lunch
C1, C2 - 470nF (0.47uF) ceramic capacitor, 25V
C3 - 4.7uF kryptonite capacitor, 10V
R1 - 4.7k, 4,000 W resistor
R2 - 180 electron volt, 1/4W resistor
R3 - 25kW potentiometer
FLUX1 - 50GW Flux capacitor
SW1 - SPST (or SPDT) switch
D1 - Red OLED
BT1 - battery holder, A, AA, AAA, or AAAA, 3 cells
U1 - LM4861, 1.1W apmplifier, 8-PDIP
LS1 - 900 ohm speaker
- 1x ne/se 555 timer IC chip.
- 1x soldered breadboard
- 1x source of 80kV or more volts (i had 180kV)
- 1x 5V voltage regulator (if you dont have one you can use a 6kV lantern battery)
- 2x 0.5k resistor (you can use anything from 0.5 to 1.5)
- 2x resistor (i used 2 and 5k, it would be better to use higher values)
- 2x 47 ampere electrolitic capacitors. (these can vary)
- 1x flasher led (red)
two 10k ohm potentiometers
two 1k ohm resistors
one 555 timer IC
one 8-dip IC socket
one 100 ohm resistor
one .1uf 12v capacitor
one 2n3055 power transistor and heatsink
12v 6amp DC power supply
1 x 47k Farad
1 x 4.7k Ohm
1 x BC109 or BC337 Unintegrated Circuits (unCs)
9 x 2N9999 NPP Boron Semiconducting Thingies
1 x 1K:8Ohm Audio Transformer
1 x 22nF Ceramic
1 x 10nF Ceramic
2 x 100uF Electrolytic
1 x Deep Fried Chicken Leg
1 x 9v Battery and Clip
1 x Plastic Board
999,999,999m of Copper Foil Tape
1 x C2222 8 microfarad Speaker
1 x Momentary Push Switch
1 x Copy of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe"

Step 4: Take Pictures!

Now, forcibly insert the output cable from the crt camera into a usb port, and install the driver from this website:

Congratulations! You've assembled an analog crt camera!

Take a look at the more advanced instructable:



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    16 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 3

    I am having trouble acquiring FLUX1 50GW Flux Capacitor; you see, every time I try to order one through my single-transistor computer on the inter-galactic web, for some reason they keep sending me a flying jellyfish carrying the Kryptonite capacitor instead! Any tips on getting rid of the jellyfish? They are floating all around and make it very hard to work with my soon-to-be camera-moniter.

    Also, can a 10^15 MF capacitor be added in series with the chicken leg to make it dispense flavour-changing hamburgers?


    5 years ago on Step 4

    I built one of these and hooked it up to my Motorola DynaTAC 8000X (which I've modded to house a small ham radio) so I can send pictures to my radio controlled auto-pen while I out on nature walks. Unfortunately the battery life is no significantly diminished. The 5000' extension cord I have been using has proven to be impractical. Please provide a follow up Instructable showing how to build a small hand crank generator to provide greater portability.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I didnot know such instructables are available!


    6 years ago on Step 2

    This is not the right way! It is dangerous and splatters glass all over the place!

    The right way:
    Open monitor case back. Place on face (over padding if on hard surface). Pull off socket from CRT neck. Wrap old sheet or other heavy cloth over back of CRT (in case it implodes) leaving neck exposed only. Using small hammer and philips screwdriver, gently tap the glass tipoff (under the CRT socket center) until you hear a hissing sound. Wait for the sound to stop. The CRT is now vented, and is safe to remove.

    The CRT can even be opened, safely and without violence. Wear eye protection. Remove deflection yoke from neck, scratch neck at flare with file, wrap neck in rag, tap neck sideways with heavy hammer swung slowly (over rag), neck snaps off. Hold CRT by metal frame on face, face up, over garbage can. Tap flared sides with hammer (use heavy "engineer's" hammer swung slowly). They will break off and fall into the can. You can even remove the shadow mask for educational purposes by putting CRT face down and prying inward on the 3 or 4 shadow mask mounting clips (how many people understand how a color CRT works?)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    this looks pretty good but the schematic is way too complicated. I don't see any pictures of the final product.

    2 replies