There is still the stealth install of the monitor and DVR to go, but we have put together the final camera. This one is going to appear strikingly similar to a previous camera we did but that is intentional. First of all, too many methods of stealth will lead people to curiosity. As well, it can sometimes be difficult to find the parts you need and serendipity can often simplify what used to be complicated. The last "spotlight" camera we built entailed cracking glass and creating a lens from a lightbulb... both doable but time consuming tasks to accomplish. We happened upon an old CFL bulb at a thrift store recently and were inspired to do an easier version...
Just a little update on the story: As we mentioned, we have a few wild neighbors who are either vengeful or just "loose" and we are setting up these cameras to keep everyone honest and because it's fun. We don't want to help along big brother, we just want to CONTROL EVERYTHING... pant, pant...
Setting up our sprinklers on a timer has actually done a lot to pacify our neighbors who were breaking said sprinklers because they felt we were deliberately trying to ruin the paintjobs of their poorly parked cars. Attempts to communicate with these neighbors on this subject were met with denials and creative buck passing to invisible and elusive vandals skulking around the neighborhood (picture hamburglars here).
The earlier communications seem to have at least alerted them that we were on to their hijinks and that further attacks would be difficult to conceal. Considering that the timers are now the evildoers from their point of view, it may be difficult for them to stay angry with machines.
So we have found that things have kind of evened out and the cameras will end up being more just to show the Unplggd readership how to be sneaky.
Getting back to the DIY:
The first thing we did was take apart the assembly. It didn't work anymore so we removed the bulb
, cracked it and droppped it into the city water supply and recycled it at our local hardware store.
The next part is going to appear difficult, but it is not. All you need is a lathe and a set of cutting tools to split the reflector. That's it! ...Ok, just use a hacksaw to saw the plastic in two- we used a lathe because we just finished cleaning out the garage and NEEDED to.
Naturally,you will have to determine at which point the diameter of the reflector will match with the outside diameter of the reflector. It is best to cut it too small and slowly file or sand it out until it is big enough to hold the camera housing. We managed to get a super tight fit that requires no glue or extra work to keep it on:
Then we taped up the camera body to paint it. We didn't want paint getting on the front half of the body because we want the silver finish to play with the reflective surface of the light bulb housing.
After that, we used some 400 grit sandpappy to give the paint we were about to add some tooth (a mechanical means to adhere itself.). This only takes a sec- you don't want to sand away the paint, nor do you want to upset your tape. Then a quick wipe with some Acetone to clean up the surface.
We then hung out our laundry to be able to spray it from all directions:
The two paints we used are below:
The one on the left is white primer while the right can is a clear coat. No point in painting a whole bunch of layers- clearing over the primer will suffice.
And here we are with the painted camera (totally unphotoshopped):
We slid the housing back a bit so you could see a little sliver of a silver line where the paint ends and the old finish begins:
This one will watch the front of the house so that our neighbors will be on tape the next time they pour chocolate syrup all over our fence... yes, they did... to be fair, this was probably done more to express adolescent awkwardness than to exact any kind of revenge.
The final installment will showcase the wiring and location of the hard drive and monitor- stay )
The Other Cameras' Links: