BJ's Video Surveillance System
This is a contraption I put together when BJ started noticing signs of weirdness in her old apartment. It offered peace of mind but most of all, was really hilarious to watch at the end of every week.
It was a really simple design.
1. Hide a little bitty camera on top of her t.v. stand. (and camaflauged by plants and stuff)
2. Run one of those magnetic door switches from radio shack to the main door.
3. Solder leads to the power, rec, and stop buttons of an old vcr.
4. Poll the state of the door switch with any microController, or use a 555 timer or Whatever.
5. When the door opens, use relays to switch on camera power, then the vcr power...wait....then the rec button.
6. After 2 minutes or so, stop vcr, power off vcr and camera.