How to Build a Mini Spy Camera

By Marshal M. Rosenthal

A cell phone camera can be built into a mini spy camera to capture events happening far away from your location. You will need to build an optic system that will increase the zoom capabilities. A mono-scope purchased from a hobby store or a toy store is needed as well as some supplies from a hardware store. Your mini spy camera will be able to capture scenes far away from your location without alerting anyone that it is being used.

Things You'll Need

  • Cell phone
  • Monoscope
  • Cell phone case clip
  • Vise
  • Portable drill
  • 1/4th-inch drill bit
  • 1-inch diameter C-clamp
  • Two mini-tripods
  • Two 1/4th-inch diameter metal nuts
  • Needle-nose pliers

Step 1

Insert the screw head of one of the mini-tripods through the hole in the bottom of the C-clamp. Screw a metal nut onto the screw head of the mini-tripod with your fingers. Tighten the metal nut with the needle-nose pliers.

Step 2

Turn the lever counter clockwise on the C-clamp to loosen the sides. Insert one end of the monoscope into the open end of the C-clamp. Turn the lever clockwise to tighten the sides of the C-clamp against the monoscope.

Step 3

Open the legs of the mini-tripod and stand it on a table.

Step 4

Place the cell phone case clip in a vise with the clip facing upward. Tighten the vise to hold the cell phone case clip securely.

Step 5

Drill a hole through the center of the clip with the portable drill. Loosen the vise. Remove the cell phone case clip from the vise.

Step 6

Insert the screw head of the other mini-tripod into the hole in the clip. Secure the screw head to the clip with a metal nut on the other side. Tighten the metal nut with the needle-nose pliers.

Step 7

Open the legs of the mini-tripod. Stand the mini-tripod next to the one already on the table. Place the cell phone into the cell phone case clip.

Step 8

Stand the tripod holding the cell phone on a table or surface that is off the ground.

Step 9

Stand the other tripod in front of the first one so that the monoscope inside of the C-clamp is facing the lens of the cell phone’s camera.

Step 10

Turn on the cell phone. Select the camera function. Move the mini-tripod with the mono-scope attached to it back and forth slowly while looking at the image on the cell phone’s screen.

Step 11

Stop moving the mini-tripod when the image appears sharp. You can now take long distance pictures with your mini-spy camera.

Tips & Warnings

  • You will get sharper pictures if you use a high-quality monoscope.
  • Check your local and state laws to be sure that photographing people without their permission does not violate any privacy laws.