How to make a mini spy camera

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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How to make a mini spy camera
A webcam can be turned into a mini spy camera. (Closeup of a webcam image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com)

A mini spy camera must blend into a scene as well as provide video to the person who wants to watch what it is seeing. You can make a mini spy camera from an inexpensive webcam. You will need a few tools but no electrical expertise or mechanical skills. Your mini spy camera will sit there quietly being ignored, while everything it sees can be recorded onto the computer or transmitted through the Internet to a laptop or cell phone screen.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Bath towel
  • Webcam
  • Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver
  • Flat-edged jeweller’s screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Old pullover jacket
  • USB extender
  • Laptop

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place a bath towel on a table. Stand the webcam on the bath towel. Remove the lens retaining ring from the front of the webcam with your fingers. Place the lens retaining ring aside.

  2. 2

    Remove the screws from the top, bottom and the back of the webcam with the Phillips jeweller’s screwdriver. Pull the front casing off the back casing with your fingers. Place the front casing aside.

  3. 3

    Insert the tip of the flat-edged jeweller’s screwdriver into the seam between the left side of the lens and the inner casing. Lift up on the tip of the flat-edged jeweller’s screwdriver to loosen the lens from the inner casing. Repeat this procedure on the right side, top and bottom of the lens.

  4. 4

    Separate the lens from the inner casing with your fingers. Pull the lens and circuit board out from the inner casing. Place the inner casing aside.

  5. 5

    Cut a hole in the front and in the bottom of the right pocket of the old pullover jacket with the blade of the utility knife. Put the pullover jacket on.

  6. 6

    Plug one end of the USB extender into the USB cord connected to the circuit board.

  7. 7

    Place the lens and circuit board into the right pocket of the pullover jacket. Trail the USB extender through the hole in the bottom of the right pocket and around to your back.

  8. 8

    Plug the other end of the USB extender into the USB port of a laptop. Run video capture software on the laptop.

  9. 9

    Stand in front of the laptop so it cannot be seen. Place your right hand in the right pocket.

  10. 10

    Hold the lens of your mini spy camera so that it is facing the hole that is cut into the side of the right pocket. Anyone standing in front of you is now prey to your mini spy camera.

Tips and warnings

  • Some laptops will let you close the lid without turning itself off.
  • The USB cable connecting the mini spy camera to the computer cannot be too long or signal interruptions will occur.

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