Adding night vision to the Raspberry Pi camera

 

After months of promises, the Raspberry Pi camera is finally heading out to hackers and makers across the world. Of course the first build with the Pi cam to grace the pages of Hackaday would be removing the IR filter, and it just so happens [Gary] and his crew at the Reading hackerspace are the first to do just that.

As [Gary] shows in his video, the process of removing the Pi cam’s IR filter is extremely fiddly.  Getting the filter out of the camera involves removing the sensor, gently cutting it open with a scalpel, and finally gluing the whole thing back together with a tiny bit of superglue. Not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for anyone without a halfway decent bench microscope.

If you’re looking for a Raspberry Pi-powered security camera, game camera, or something for an astronomy application, this is the way to make it happen. You might want to be careful when removing the IR filter; [Gary] broke one camera on their first attempt. They got it to work, though, and the picture quality looks pretty good, as seen in the videos below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comment by Thomas J Coyle III on May 30, 2013 at 12:32pm

Since the Raspberry Pi camera is relatively cheap, with a little patience and a steady hand you can have a relatively inexpensive IR camera.

Regards,

TCIII

Comment by Gisela & Joe Noci on May 30, 2013 at 12:58pm

IR-A ONLY!!!  Near infra red - NOT Thermal IR ( IR-b and C)

Comment by Jack Crossfire on May 30, 2013 at 3:03pm

Still remember when removing the IR filter on a DSLR got popular, then faded away.  At 1 time, Canon even sold an IR version of the EOS 20D.  Wonder what's driving the current resurgence.

Comment by Gary McCray on May 30, 2013 at 9:04pm

Hi Jack, Canon still makes an EOS for Astrophotography with a greatly reduced IR filter.

That's always what they were for.

The IR thing became an issue several years ago when the low light mode of one of the video cameras was so sensitive that body heat showed through clothing with a sort of Xray vision effect.

The camera was quickly pulled from the market and released only after an adequate (and hard to remove) IR filter was installed.

Quite a few of the sensors are capable of this kind of long wave IR performance, but it is purposely scuttled for this reason by providing built in IR filters.

And ostensibly to better balance the visible spectrum although the built in microcontrollers could probably handle that just fine.

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