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Old 03-04-2010, 11:52 PM #1
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Question Night Vision Phone

So, my experimentation with my iPhone as Safety goggles ( Indirect Viewing for laser safety ) led me along these lines: The phone's sensitivity to IR is not particularly high, but I wonder if one could build an effective IR illuminator using an array of unfocused IR diodes, possibly from CD-ROM drives, and integrate it into a system to hold the phone in front of the eyes. I think something like that would be relatively safe, since its light would be uncollimated. What do you think?


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Old 03-04-2010, 11:57 PM #2
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

IR L.E.D. "spotlights" are common, heck even my Sony handicam has a cluster of IR L.E.D. lamps on it.

Pics!! come on, I want to see lights on that thing you made.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:05 AM #3
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

Me too! But I want to see what y'all think about the feasibility, before I try to build the thing...Seems like one or more omnidirectional (or less directional, anyway) lasers might be more efficient than a cluster of LEDs.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:10 AM #4
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

But in terms of practicality, a bunch of drivers, or a well thought out driver capable of firing a group of IR laser diodes VS a group of IR LED lamps with resistors, the LEDs are far more practical.

My handicam films a really big area in night vision mode.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:52 AM #5
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

I (personally) don't think IR laser diodes would be as cost effective (or even as efficient [powerutput] ratio) as IR LED's. IR LED's are a dime-a-dozen, (actually $0.84/dozen):
http://www.ledshoppe.com/Product/led/LE1021.htm
And LED's are better suited (focused, not scattered) for IR video/pics.
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Old 03-05-2010, 03:08 AM #6
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

Sure it's possible, but you would need to remove the IR filter from the camera, or you're gonna need quite a huge LED array. The problem is, opening the iPhones is a PITA and the IR filter may even be a coating on the CCD.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:39 AM #7
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

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Sure it's possible, but you would need to remove the IR filter from the camera, or you're gonna need quite a huge LED array. The problem is, opening the iPhones is a PITA and the IR filter may even be a coating on the CCD.
The problem with removing an IR filter (if optional) is that sometimes it throws the other components off and you lose the ability to focus.

I have tried this on both a digital still cam, and a jvc mini dv. You have to replace the IR filter with a regular piece of glass of the same dimensions.

Depending on how small the filter is, the harder it will be to replace.
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:59 AM #8
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

I wasn't sure if the iPhone had an IR filter, but you're probably right - that would explain why IR illumination looks so dim. Eh, once I have to start taking the phone apart, I might as well try to build a night-vision system from scratch. I guess it's not worth it...Thanks for the input!
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:13 AM #9
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

Dont give up quite yet... You can also try higher wavelength and lower wavelengths.

What type of ir have you tried this with? I see you mention CD drive, those are 780nm and your cam may see 808nm a bit better and 980nm possibly even better.

Try a bunch of different LED's at different wavelengths first, then throw in the towel
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:26 AM #10
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

a lot of work when little B&W ccd cams are so cheap these days.

$30 with built in LEDs
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Old 03-05-2010, 05:30 AM #11
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

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Originally Posted by photonaholic View Post
a lot of work when little B&W ccd cams are so cheap these days.

$30 with built in LEDs
Theres just no bragging rights when you buy it... Besides, its 'night vision phone'
Be kinda akward mounting a little black and white cam on his keypad.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:31 AM #12
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

Search back for this members other posts, he wants to mount lasers to this "device"

It simply cannot be anywhere near as awkward as this....



Just add a little more cardboard and tape, some dryer hose and the whole thing can look like this...

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Old 03-05-2010, 12:01 PM #13
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

this could work, but you'll have to remove the camera's internal IR filter. then grab some IR leds, power them up and you've got nightvision!
that's my oppinion
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:26 PM #14
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

I think its viable to use uncollimated laser diodes as IR illumination, their efficiency is as good as led's or better.

A downside could be that your illumination is visible to the naked eye when using cd writer (780) or 808 nm diodes. IR leds for this purpose often have slightly longer wavelengths (in the order of 950 nm) making them less visible. Since the emitting area is also much larger, they are practically invisible.

That said, some people -can- see a dull red right from a TV remotes IR led when adapted to the dark and looking straight into it... though i doubt doing so is safe!
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Old 03-05-2010, 04:58 PM #15
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

The draw from the phones batt. pack would negate this... you could use small solar
panel to supplement.
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Old 03-05-2010, 06:08 PM #16
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Default Re: Night Vision Phone

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The draw from the phones batt. pack would negate this... you could use small solar
panel to supplement.

Solar powered night vision, now that just made my whole day, er night??

Lunar cells should work better right?? (Lunar-C cells)
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