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Homemade UFO Detection and Recording Gizmos

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posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:09 AM
I’m hoping this thread will kick start some interesting and practical projects. I know there are tons of old camcorders, web cams, unused computer towers, VCRs, telescopes, 35mm film cameras with beautiful lenses, etc. sitting in peoples closets. It would be great if a bunch of this stuff was in people’s back yards watching the sky. There is some great freeware out there that automatically alarms and records video when it sees a change in the image. All sky cameras are easy for anyone to DIY. There is no shortage of techi people out there however there is a true shortage of systems in the public domain which are capable of capturing more than the standard video footage. Parallax video systems (two, synchronized, widely separated cameras recording the same view) should be the UFO hunter’s primary filming tool. They are simple and inexpensive but I have yet to see any footage from one. Near infrared modified camcorders are starting to gain momentum but there is a whole range of other detection devices that could be spawned from all the stuff collecting dust in the basement. For the advanced tinkerers it would be nice to see detection systems using other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum in tandem with video. It would also be nice to see some steady video tracking mounts so that frame averaging software (which is now shareware) could be used to improve distant and grainy images.

I’ve started this thread as a centre for ideas and technical solutions related to building unique investigative tools. Technical “how to” questions and answers are welcome here. So are pictures and explanations of equipment, modifications, software, etc. Demonstration footage would be great and I would love to hear about new technical ideas that you think would work well. If there is something you would like to try but you’re not sure how to go about it or where to get cheap parts, hopefully someone with the technical know-how will drop in on the thread and lend advice.

In an attempt to be a doer and not just a sayer I’ve started to put together my own system and will post it below. I hope it gives people ideas and it would be great to hear your ideas on how it could be improved.

Thanks All!

posted on Jan, 13 2009 @ 12:17 AM
This is a system that I have thrown together for scanning the sky around my place. I love hanging out in the back yard on warm nights visiting with friends while we gimbal the instruments around scanning the sky for high strangeness.

1)This is a FLIR thermal imaging camera which is sensitive from 7.5 to 14um. Mounted to the side of it is a Samsung camcorder which I use for recording the video output of the thermal imager. I use the thermal imager as the primary means of locating objects in the sky because it has a fairly wide field of view and can easily pick up blacked out aircraft at their service altitude. Objects don’t need to be producing gobs of heat to be detected by the thermal imager. They just need to be a different temperature or emissivity than the background (which in this case is space). I can even pull a temperature off of the surface of the moon with it. It has a cross hair displayed on the screen so I can just gimbal the telescope around at my leisure and when I find something I put it in the cross hairs and then I know the telescope and other instruments are recording it too. A nice feature is that I don’t even have to be watching the screen because there is an alarm that sounds when something different than the background comes into view.

2)This is a Cannon camcorder that I chose specifically because of its excellent performance at low light levels. It has been extensively modified to improve low light sensitivity even further. It is responsible for recording and displaying images from the main telescope. The main telescope has a 13.1 inch primary mirror and is a Newtonian reflector. It is comparable in size to the optics used in early surveillance satellites. I cannot however read the license plate of a UFO at 35,000 feet.

3) This is the body of an old web camera that I have gutted and installed a CDS sensor and a photo diode. The signal from the photo diode is fed into channel 1 of the digital oscilloscope (4) and the signal from the CDS sensor is fed into channel 2. This allows me to record the exact nature of any pulsing (even into the MHz) of both visible light and near infrared light. The 3 inch telescope that these sensors are installed onto makes a system that is incredibly sensitive. I often serendipitously pick up the tumble rate of dead satellites which are too faint to see with the naked eye. Having the output of the different types of sensors feeding into different channels also allows me to perform a degree of spectral analysis.

5) This is an ITT, Gen 3, night scope which I have aimed in the same direction as the other instruments. It is not presently hooked up to a recording system because I primarily use it for initial object spotting as an alternative to the thermal imager.

6) This is a Telrad spotting site. It is similar to a heads up display allowing me to gimbal the instruments over to a visible object without having to find it in the narrow field of view typical of a finder scope.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 05:45 PM
That is a great idea!

Could you please post the model of that Canon camera that you use because of its low light level performance? I am sure some people would like to know that.

And as your image is bigger than the 600 pixels limit, here is a resized version that shows all.

Happy hunting!

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 06:58 PM
Have you seen anything with it? Could you post soem pictures?

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:25 PM
Great topic. * and F'd. I appreciate the detail in which you made your post and look forward to see what others are using (or thinking of using). I have nothing in my arsenal as of yet but would love to get something going at some point.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:35 PM
Wow man, that is a nice setup!

I'll give that a star and flag just because it is so damned cool.
Do you have any videos to post to the ATS media?

I would love to see some!

PS - I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread in hopes I can learn how to build that.

[edit on 2-3-2009 by Jay-in-AR]

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:43 PM
Like Armap said, I would like to know the model of canon you used... FS100?

As far as improvements, I couldn't speculate until I saw a video.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:46 PM
This is a wonderful idea and great post. Strange how little interest has been shown to date.

I have lots of computers sitting around, but little in the way of quality camera equipment. This has given food for thought, though.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:52 PM

Originally posted by Jay-in-AR
Wow man, that is a nice setup!

I'll give that a star and flag just because it is so damned cool.
Do you have any videos to post to the ATS media?

I'll second that. Starred and flagged for pure awesomeness, but would love to see some vids from your setup.

I understand that most of the equipment in your setup has been repurposed, but do you have a rough estimate of how much something like that would set someone back?

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:55 PM
ALPHA WAVE RADIOS 1 to 20 Hz. good luck finding one and decoding the frequency. through its a low frequency it can contain 1,000s of different wave lengths. NWO will triangulate your house if you broadcast transmissions.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 08:18 PM
Wow nice setup, wish you were around when the sky watch project was thought up, sadly nothing much came of it but im glad to see there are people out there with the drive and ability to make something like this, well done that rocks!

Here's the old thread if you would like to take a look...

Would be cool to see any video you may have, like even aircraft or birds at high altitude would be cool to see, can this thing track with motion detection? my thoughts in the past were to have a normal full or wide angle view camera and a motorised telescope hooked up to a pc and software to follow moving objects, that way you can see the whole sky and lock on to moving objects while the telescope gives a nice close up.

Have you considered doing this in the day as well? day is as good or even better than night i believe, you should make a permanent station if possible, perhaps without too much expensive equipment though if need be, that was my hope, a 24/7 sky watching station, using software to track and keep motion and discard the rest, you're bound to catch something then.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 08:26 PM
Great idea...

"Would be cool to see any video you may have, like even aircraft or birds at high altitude would be cool to see, can this thing track with motion detection? my thoughts in the past were to have a normal full or wide angle view camera and a motorised telescope hooked up to a pc and software to follow moving objects, that way you can see the whole sky and lock on to moving objects while the telescope gives a nice close up. "

It would need to be something that you could override with a remote zoom-out control for bringing the object into scale, though...

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:06 PM
Thanks for all of the complements!

ArMap, thanks! I wondered what I was doing wrong there.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:07 PM
ArMAp & Jay-in-AR
The Camcorder is a Cannon Elura 85. I think I've seen used ones for

$80-$100 on ebay.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:09 PM
Lee_K, Jay-in-AR, TheStev & just theory

I don't have any great video from this setup yet. It's pretty cold up here but a soon as it warms up a bit I'll post some stuff. I have some video from using the gear separately and can throw some of that on line in the next little while. Just jets and helicopters and that kind of thing.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:10 PM
If you have an old webcam or are willing to spend $4 on one then you're ready to go. Wont be National Geographic but at least something in your area would be recording the sky.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:11 PM
Man, that is really slick.

Can you post a vid or two?

I would really like to see it in action.

NM... You already answered it. Disregard.

[edit on 2-3-2009 by Jay-in-AR]

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:15 PM
I purchased this stuff over years for different purposes. These prices are value at time that I purchased the items, Many deals are to be had out there though if you shop around. Keep in mind that I'm trying to encourage people to make use of their old computers, cameras etc., with this thread, not necessarily go out and buy a bunch of stuff. But if you've got the money giver, we can always use more eyes pointed at the sky.

13.1" Telescope used $900
Night scope $2,500
FLIR $21,000
3" Telescope $300
Canon Camcorder $600
Samsung camcorder $450
O-Scope $4,800
Telrad Finder $70.00
Misc mounting etc. approx $150
quick-grip $2

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:15 PM
By the way, if anyone is interested in a pretty decent low-cost Camcorder, I recently bought a Samsung SC-MX10 and I really enjoy it.

Cost me about 200 bucks brand new in the box and I'm quite pleased with its capabilities... Not UFO sighting, but here is a snippet of its resolution capability.

Not bad... Watch in high def.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 10:18 PM
No kidding, but you've given me a good idea. It wouldn't hurt to be monitoring whatever parts of the radio spectrum people might have equipment kicking around for. It could be piped into the audio channels of the computer or whatever other recording device being used. If you're an electronics hobbyist you can build a crude all band receiver for a few bucks or parts around the shop.

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