How to Make a Snake Camera

By Jeffery Keilholtz ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Work gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Safety glasses
  • Bendable LED light
  • Key chain DVR
  • Screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Wire (8)
  • Straight-edge knife
  • Solder gun
  • Wet sponge
  • Solder wire
  • Electrical tape
  • Permanent epoxy

Snake cameras are long, flexible recording devices similar to the shape of a rope. Once your camera is constructed you can use it to slide under doors to record activity on the other side. You can also use the camera to gather images of hard-to-reach places, such as inside vents or around dense areas of pipe.

Slide on a pair of work gloves, a dust mask and safety glasses to protect your skin and eyes.

Unscrew the back plate of the key chain DVR. Remove the panel board and camera from the casing. Carefully disconnect all of the camera's ribbon cable connections from the panel board with needle nose pliers. Ribbon cables hold the camera to the panel board and are responsible for transferring electronic energy through the camera lens.

Measure and cut up to eight pieces of electrical wire to the length of the bendable LED light. Strip each end of the wire to expose the metal fibers. Carefully slice each end into two or three individual pieces. Measure and cut six pieces of wire. Slice each end to give you 12 wire connections on each end if the key chain DVR has 12 panel board ribbon cable connection points. Measure and cut eight pieces and slice each end into three pieces of wire to give you 24 wire connections, if your panel board has 24 connections.

Connect the camera ribbon cable connections to the wire you cut and sliced in the previous step. Heat a solder gun. Rub solder wire on the gun tip. Wipe the tip clean with a wet sponge. Touch one sliced wire to one of the ribbon cable connections. Touch the solder wire to the wire and ribbon cable connection to complete the bonding. Continue for all points of connection.

Repeat the previous step to connect the opposite end of the wires to the panel board ribbon cable connection points. Carefully reinstall the panel board into the key chain casing.

Wind the wires around the body of the bendable LED light. Wrap the wires with electrical tape to secure them to the body. Glue the camera to the top of the LED light with permanent epoxy. Attach the key chain casing to the bottom of the LED light with permanent epoxy.

About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.