Quick Hack: IR Webcam

It’s been done multiple times before, but here’s a quick hack to create an infra-red webcam.

Infra-red Bed Lamp

Infra-red image of my bedside Lamp

There are some slightly odd artefacts in the above image (the dark blotches towards the left of the image), possibly caused by directly exposing the camera sensor to light (they appear to be blurry images of part of the internals of the sensor). This has happened before and tends to go away after a while, I’ll be honest I’ve got no idea what’s really going on there.

All (at least all I’ve ever come across) webcam CCD’s can ’see’  infra-red light, but have a filter on them to block it out. The actual hack is incredibly simple, although may vary depending on your model of webcam.

  • Unscrew lens.
  • Remove infra-red filter. In my case this was a small glass square that I was able to remove by breaking it.
  • Cut a small square from a floppy disk (floppy disk platters act like pretty good visible light filters).
  • Place floppy disk filter where the infra-red filter was.
  • Re-screw lens.

Here are a couple of photos of the cameras internals, and the lens removing process.

Camera With Lens Removed

Lens, Infa-red Filter & Visible Light Filter

And one final image just to prove it’s infra-red, here is a picture of the infra-red LED from a TV remote and the light from our living room.

Remote and Light

This may get used for the 3D scanner if I can find a CD burner to dismantle for the infra-red laser diode.

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