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#2941075 - 09/12/12 03:50 PM Homebrew Camera?
Southern Sportsman
8 Point

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 1129
Loc: West TN

I'm not asking for exact specifications, because I'm sure its a little bit involved, but how, generally, does one go about building a homebrew camera? Where do you get parts, which parts do you get, etc?

Thanks in advance.

#2943848 - 09/14/12 08:24 PM Re: Homebrew Camera? [Re: Southern Sportsman]
8 Point

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 1310
Loc: Oak Ridge, TN

finding the right camera is an important start.
It is best if it does not auto cut off if left on.

once the right cam is found you "hack" into the shutter trigger (button to take the photo). most of the time it is an input to the shutter that is shorted to the ground/return. Solder a wire to the ground and one to the input. Then when the two are touched together the camera takes a photo.

Next is motion sensor. One from outdoor flood lights works well. In it there will be a relay on the circuit board it will be a 120vac relay, it should be removed. replace the relay with one of the voltage your system will use. For example 12V dc. You will need two wires connected to the normally open contacts on the relay and two wires to power the sensor.

Timing board is next. It will need two relays hooked to timers.
So how it works is....
Motion detector detects motion and starts timer that holds relay on for 5 sec. the camera input is wired through this relay. also at the same time it starts another time that then interrupts the signal from the motion detector for a set amount of time (this keeps one deer from using all your photo's over a short time) after this time out period everything is ready to go again.

This is a very simplistic non detailed explanation. It is neat to build a game cam but at prices of $49 for cheap ones you just cant build them for that.

#2943872 - 09/14/12 08:47 PM Re: Homebrew Camera? [Re: buckmoss1]
Southern Sportsman
8 Point

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 1129
Loc: West TN

I'm guessing one that you build is of much better quality than your basic $100 cam. Buckmoss, do you have any approximate on how much it cost to build a? I'm assuming you could spend as much as you wanted to, but for a basic build?
#2944041 - 09/15/12 07:43 AM Re: Homebrew Camera? [Re: Southern Sportsman]
8 Point

Registered: 10/21/04
Posts: 1310
Loc: Oak Ridge, TN

I built one 10 years ago for a final project in an Electronics class.
It was based off info found on jessieshuntingpage.
It was 35mm version with a 12v battery.

Camera- $30
Motion sensor -$15
Battery -$15
Enclosure -$15
Old camera lens filter -$5
Electronics - $20

For my circuit board I just used breadboard and wired/soldered all connections.
For more expense pcbexpress has a mini board service three boards for $80
You can get 2 circuits per board so that's 6 for the $80.
The electronics are cheaper in more bulk off the web than piecemeal at radio shack.

I really thought about making and selling these but didn't feel like I could spend the money for startup on a chance they wouldn't sell. The game cam market went crazy with digital cam about the same time as well is I never per sued it.

#2944880 - 09/15/12 10:42 PM Re: Homebrew Camera? [Re: buckmoss1]
12 Point

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 6953
Loc: NE Tennessee

You can google homebrew cams. There are many sites that offer dyi step by step. There are many builders that are more than happy to share knowledge and help you along the way.

Here is a website you can join and get all types of help advice parts etc: Even step by step how to on hacks

You can pick up cameras from ebay and craigslist easy enough.
You can contact gary @
He can help with any parts you may need.

I can tell you is very addictive! A good homebrew camera doesnt even compare to commercial cameras!!

Good Luck
" a smart man learns from his mistakes, the sign of intelligence is learning from others mistakes"

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