The lowest price tag that can be found on a pair of night vision goggles is $80. A pair that can snap pictures is even higher, and video cameras are by far the most expensive. The price of a night vision camera is usually too high for the average person. Luckily, it is very simple to create a night vision camera/scope, and can usually be assembled using parts lying around the house.
A night vision camera can be used for many things: to monitor a dark room secretly, to play night time airsoft or paintball, to see when hunting at night, etc. Just be sure to use the camera for moral reasons, and don’t break any laws.
Step 1: Obtain a camera. Any camera, whether digital, film, or video will work – even cell phone cameras will work. However for the purpose of this project, I highly recommend using the Vistaquest 5015 5.1 megapixel digital camera. The reason for this is because it is very light, has a small LCD screen (necessary for goggle feature), can take pictures or record decent video (minus sound) for more than an hour on a 512 SD card, and is very cheap ($25USD). Again, you can use any camera, but I highly recommend this one – this project will assume this is what you’re using.
Step 2: Once you have obtained the camera, you will need to turn it into an infrared camera. This is very easy to do.
Simply unscrew the case and carefully remove the lens. You will find a small infrared filter. Most have a small piece of plastic, others have a film. Peel off the plastic, or scratch off the film. Place the lens back in, and screw the camera back together. This is necessary because the camera will now record infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye, read more from here.
Step 3: Make the light. What we will do is create an infrared flash light. Infrared light is invisible to the eye, but the camera will now sense it because we have removed the infrared filter.
To make the light, we have one of two options. The first one is very simple. Find a remote, or purchase one. You will see one or two sensors in the front. If there is one, and it doesn’t light up, than that is the infrared emitter. Holding a button will cause the remote to emit a stream of infrared light like a flashlight. If there is a blinking red light, it is just for show. You can either remove it, or place a piece of black wiring tape over it.
The other option is to install infrared LEDS. This is fairly easy. They can be bought at Radioshack. Simply solder the wires to the battery connector to power them. Note that these will have a short field of illumination.
Step 4: Get an eye viewer. By eye viewer, I mean something like you’d see on a camcorder. That type is ideal. However, you simply need concave lens, so that you can have your eye close to the screen and still be able to see it. The easiest way to get this is to purchase a cheap pair binoculars, separate the two scopes, reverse it, and then attach it over the LCD on the camera. This should cover the entire screen, so that no light can escape. You should now be able to the screen, but no light can get out.
Step 5: Turn on the camera, go to a dark room, and look in the scope. Press and hold a button on the remote and point it at something. You should now see the bright stream of light in the dark room. You can record the video by pressing the power button on the camera.