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Night Vision LCD glasses

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Ever since I bought my LCD glasses (well, 3 different pairs of which I'll be selling one close to christmas) I've wanted to turn one of them into night vision goggles, I have a 1st generation night vision monocular and it's pretty cool but your hand gets easily tired holding it if you use it for too long.

Playing around with one of the cheap Hong Kong cameras that has 4x 3mm infra-red LEDs on board I found that converting one of my LCD glasses into night vision goggles would be much easier than I thought. But because I'm doing it on the cheap I won't be buying an expensive low lux CCD camera, rather a cheap Hong Kong CMOS camera and remove the infra-red filter from the lens, then add on a string of infra-red LEDs.

The distance you can see with them will depend on the amount and brightness of the LEDs you use, so my idea will look something like this once completed:

CylonNightVision.jpg

I bought 50x 5mm infra-red LEDs off eBay so when they arrive I'll begin proper testing, really wondering how many I'll need to mount to the glasses to be able to see any real distance, they're in the 850nm range so you can see a little red glow when they're on but that's ok because they'll be brighter to the camera and it's only a toy night vision after all :) total cost so far, about £17 for the LEDs & camera & £56 for the Eye-Treks.

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How Low-Lux do you need? I've seen 1/3" ccd board cameras with .05 Lux sensitivity for less than $30. (Black and white, not color.)

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B/W are much more light-sensitive, plus will give better results with IR. that might be a good way :)

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$30 sounds great but do they come in PAL format because my Olympus EyeTrek can't handle NTSC signals, can you be sure they're .05 LUX? I've bought CCD cameras from Hong Kong eBay sellers where the description has said things like .01 & .05 LUX etc. only to find my Sony bullet camera which is .5 LUX works better in low light.

The CMOS camera I'm testing this out on is a standard 3 LUX one and I've decided to use the Olympus Eye-Treks because they have brightness & contrast control so you can further enhance the dim image from the camera.

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*link deleted due to poster error*

Call them up, they are in Mesa, AZ. Not sure if it does PAL, I am assuming it's NTSC since its an american vendor, but the thing sure as heck wasn't made in america so who knows.

I believe the lux rating on a 1/3" CCD, those suckers are huge! The only justification I can think of for a 1/3" CCD board camera being so cheap is that it is in black and white.

EDIT** For some reason, I can't type the word S*P*E*C*I*A*L*I*S*T*S.

www.circuitspecialists.com/prod.itml/icOid/8153

Edited by eickst

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EDIT** For some reason, I can't type the word S*P*E*C*I*A*L*I*S*T*S.

How funny. That word contains the name of a drug for male dysfunction and it is blocked to punish spammers. I modified the database - it should work now.

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I've just done a test of this rig with 8x infra-red LEDs, very surreal experience walking round a house knowing there aren't any lights on but you can see everything, moreso with the depth perception aspect of it because you're looking at a mono image and your depth perception is skewed making you feel a little disorientated.

Works great indoors but went oudoors and along a lane which has no streetlights and I couldn't see much, where there were streetlights they weren't much help because the camera is just a cheapie 3 LUX one.

In the next few days I'll try 12 & 16 LED combinations outside and see how well that goes. I'll also look into using a low LUX CCD camera but the problem there is powering it off a 7.2v battery pack which most CCD cameras need a higher voltage.

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It will be also cool to put these led on your r/c car and drive it in the dark.

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