Hacked Handycam = Night Vision NurseryCam

Reading Time: 2 minutes

When our daughter was born we made a determined effort to de-clutter, with all redundant appliances and gadgets being evicted to the garage. On looking woefully at this pile of once-cutting-edge technology one day it struck me that some of it could be repurposed – with a baby twist!

First to make it back into the house was our old Sony Handycam – it has the “NightShot” feature, for shooting in complete darkness – especially “Handy” since I’d blacked-out the nursery the day before. As it had previously been the computer room (sob) there was thankfully an abundance of conduit and holes in floorboards through which to route cables safely away from little hands.

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The camera was set up using a cut-down old tripod, with “Demo Mode” turned off (to stop it cycling through all it’s very useful scene settings) and no tape inserted (to stop it going into standby every 3 minutes). For safety’s sake the power supply was routed through the wall into the next room, where it was put on a time-switch to save electricity. It powers on every evening around bathtime, and off in the morning around dawn.

Yep, that’s one of our many "single" baby socks covering up the light from the viewfinder.

A Casio pocket TV was next out of the junk box, making a great bedside table monitor (it has a jack-plug line-in socket), and a couple of ebay cables later the camera was also connected to the lounge and kitchen TVs.

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We find it really useful for keeping an eye on what Lois is up to – she’s almost at the stage of rolling over in her sleep so it’s good to have a quick look when the squawking begins, rather than dashing straight in there. Also, naturally, we like to just sit and enjoy the rare spectacle of her peacefully sleeping instead of watching the commercials!

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