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THE DIY DUDE
By 2 July 2009 | Categories: the diy dude

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You can’t just put a camera in plain view though. What you really need is a clandestine agent, something that no one will ever expect.

Enter the cute teddy. That’s right, who would ever suspect that a cute little teddy has inside it a camera and ­microphone, ­strategically placed to catch would-be house- and baby ­neglecters ­unawares.

What you need :

  • cute teddy (mine has a pleasant vanilla scent)
  • 1 infrared enabled (modified) ­webcam
    (see TechSmart 68, http://tinyurl.com/diycamera)
  • 1 stitch unpicker
  • stapler
  • hobby knife
  • notebook and long USB cable

You have to ensure that your teddy-cam does not look out of place; this means that you must very carefully unpick the stitching at the back of the teddy’s head.

I found this quite easy to do. Then remove the stuffing out of the head and set it aside.

Now, using your hobby knife, cut away whatever it is that’s holding the teddy’s one eye in place. Remove the eye, it is your choice as to which eye you will blind. Once you have removed he camera.

Now get out your infrared camera, see TechSmart 68, or make one of these first. The reason we’re using an infrared camera is because it has a very good low-light response, ideal for catching your baby-sitter canoodling with a boy/ girlfriend, when he/ she should be watching the baby.

Strip down the webcam so that all you are left with is the lens attached to the circuit board. Now insert the ­camera lens into the teddy’s ­eye-socket and stuff the head with the stuffing you removed earlier.

Make sure that the teddy resembles the teddy you started off with, otherwise you may rouse suspicions.

You can then either sew the teddy back up again or, like me, just staple the back shut.

It is up to you at this point as to how you will survey your prey, I mean suspicious nanny or house-sitter.

You will obviously need to carefully hide the teddy-cam’s USB cable so that it cannot be seen.

A good way of doing this is by placing the bear on a ­book-shelf and feeding the cable down the back of the shelf.

You’ll need quite a long extension cable, so you can ­attach the USB cable to a well hidden notebook.

You can either record the goings on by using some sort of screen capture software like Camtasia, available from www.holton.co.za for R3579 (incl VAT) – read our review at http://tinyurl.com/lnuy5m, or you can stream the video live over the Internet.

The simplest way is to sign up to a service like stickam (www.stickam.com), where you can make your own channel and keep an eagle eye out. [AG]

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