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Isolating the lens assembly and LCD from a digital camera Answered

Hello, Instructablers, I hope you can help. I'm trying to make a functional pair of night vision goggles based on the premise that digital camera photosensors detect IR range light while the human eye cannot. I have an old, functional Sony cybershot that I'm willing to scrap for the job, but the innards are far more complicated than I was expecting. As I am trying for a wearable, head mounted unit, I would like to shave off as much bulk from the camera unit as possible -- I do not, after all, still need picture taking capability anymore, merely a digital display. Any suggestions on where to begin? EDIT: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the more I think about this the more it seems like it would be more practical to buy a standalone microcamera and mini LCD. However, what method of output and input would these typically use? Would a simple microcontroller like Arduino suffice to perform all the necessary processing to feed video from the camera to the display? Does any of this even sound reasonable? Thanks in advance and sorry if photography isn't the right section for this, Ninepound


Digital cameras have an IR filter built into the lens or most commonly in the sensor pack. If you don't replace that with optical glass you will filter out most of you ir. Google "digital astro photography" and you should be able to find info about removing the ir filter. Star gazers do it on their camera since the filter blocks some of that precious light they are seeking.


9 years ago

Your second idea is possible, and it's something I've considered before. Standalone cameras such as the one Kipkay uses in his spy glasses instructable output an A/V signal which is fairly standard. Doing signal processing would be tricky to achieve cheaply, but should hopefully be unnecessary. You can buy eyepiece LCDs- I used to know a great website supplying them but have lost the link. If you can find an eyepiece LCD that accepts the same signal the camera puts out, wiring them together should be very simple, they might even just plug together. The model I remember was something like 320*240 resolution, had a white LED backlight and was about the size of a sugar cube (roughly 1" cube), and was perhaps US$90. The price might have come down since them but you are probably looking at over $100 for the full system. The problem is that cheap small cameras don't have great light sensitivity so without a lot of IR LEDs it might not give any better night vision than your eyes. If you do decide to pursue this idea, make sure you write it up!

You really want an old video camera. The Sony has one component, you're without the other half of the device and the video processing in between. L