So you want to build your own deer camera? The advantages of using a digital camera for your deer camera are great. You dont have to buy film, and you dont have to pay for processing. Plus you always pay more because you absolutely have to get the 1 hour photo because your so excited to see whats on there, and thats twice as much. It doesnt take long for that film and processing to add up to enough to pay for a digital setup. The setup I just built is more of an experienced builder type camera, but you follow the same basic steps which i will outline here. First step is to buy your materials. For digital deer cameras, i prefer to use the Sony DSC-P41 camera. The advantage to these cameras are the picture quality, battery life, and power-on time. Averaging 5 pictures a day, the camera batteries will last 2 weeks or more. I have my camera set up on a feeder and usually get 20 or more pictures a day, and the batteries will last around 5 days. You can pick up these digital cameras at Walmart on clearance ( most of them are already gone) or you can usually find good deals on ebay. I got my last one for $130, list price was around $300 new. The second thing you need is a camera control board. There are manufacturers of boards, though i only have experience with 2. The manufacturers that i recommend are Pixcontroller (http://www.pixcontroller.com) and Snapshot Sniper (http://www.snapshotsniper.com). Pixcontroller has 2 different boards available depending on the options you want. Both of thier boards are dip-switch programmable for different cameras, delay time, night/day, and video capture. They range in price from between $40-80 for the board alone, but are also available in kit form (recommended) so you have most of the supplies you need. Snapshot Sniper only carries one type of board, but in 2 different versions. One has the motion sensor on the front, and one has the motion sensor on the back, depending on which way you want to mount it. The thing i really like about the SS board is that instead of dip-switches, it has an LCD screen with on-screen programming, which is very easy and convenient to use. The Snapshot Sniper boards are around $40 and do not come in a kit form, but all the supplies will be listed below. We will be using the Snapshot Sniper board for this project. You will need a case. Most people, including myself, use Pelican micro-cases. You can get them on ebay for around $20 shipped, or there are many websites like www.cases4less.com that sell them close to that. Those are the 3 basic things you will need. There are several small pieces of hardware and misc items that you will need to complete the project. Here is a parts list (sorry if i leave anything out). Parts Sony P41 Digital Camera Camera Control board Pelican Case (model 1060 used here) micoscope glass slides, or other source of small, thin glass #6x32 screws, nuts and washers various size heat shrink tubing Solder Electrical tape Goop marine or automotive adhesive small guage wire, such as telephone or networking wire Sony flex cable Tools Screwdrivers Soldering Iron Glass cutter Drill Drill bits Exacto knife Nutdriver or pliers First thing you want to do is get all your parts together in your work area. Make sure you have a clean work area and you have everything you need before you begin. Next thing you want to do is lay everything out inside the case and make sure it fits before you get started. This is a crucial part of the project. On this project i also install a slave flash and a slave flash controller. This is on more of an experienced level, and i recommend you build a basic camera system before attempting this, unless your pretty decent with soldering and electronics. Now that you have figured out where you want everything, you can start drilling holes for your board. First print a template out off the website and mark the holes. MAKE SURE you can put the board where you mark the holes. You dont want extra holes in the case, so measure twice, drill once! Now make your own template for the camera so you can drill the holes for the lense and flash. Again, its very important that you make sure everything lines up and is going to fit before you cut your holes. Once you have your holes cut, you will need to cut away the foam lining on the front of the case so you can glue down the glass that will protect the camera, and also glue down the motion sensor freznel lense. Use an exacto knife and cut it out the best you can, then use an adhesive remover to remove any of the glue or residue left over. Its ok if there is a little bit left, but try to get as much off as you can so you get a good water-tight seal. After you have all your holes cut, and all the foam cut out, you can take the microscope slides and cut them to fit. I usually try to leave around 1/4" or so on all sides of the hole for glue to stick to and seal. Once you have all your pieces cut, take your Goop and smear it all around the hole but be careful not to get it in the holes, you dont want it where your lense will be looking out. Once you have applied the glue, let it sit for a minute or so to get tacky, then put your glass down and gently press it into the glue. It needs to dry for 20-30 minutes before going any further, and it wont be completely dry for several hours, so be careful not to slide the glass around in the glue and smudge up the lense hole viewing area. Now you get to start modifying the camera to be able to take pictures. The first thing you want to do is take the flex cable and you will see that the end without the wires has a hard plastic blue coating on one side of it. This needs to be removed. This isn't too difficult, but you need to be careful so not to damage the cable. I use an exacto knife for this. Start on the cable and work towards the end slowly, making sure to remove all the blue plastic. Once you get all the plastic off, this is what it should look like. There are traces on the flex cable that need to be removed. When holding it in your hand, you can double check which oned to take off by looks at where the wires are soldered to the cable. There will be 3 wires soldered to the cable. There on one side of the wires there is a single trace with nothing soldered to it. Leave this, it will act as a guide when inserting the cable. On the other side, there are 2 traces with nothing soldered to them, these need to be cut off flush so none of the traces are left exposed. Next is to insert the cable into the camera. Basicly what this cable does is attatch to the control switch plug of the camera that controls the on/off and the shutter. This allows you to make those connections outside of the camera, which is controlled by the camera control board. There are 4 screws on the camera that you need to remove to gain access to the inside. Before you start, sit down and touch something metal that so you discharge any static electricity. You dont want to ruin your camera. Remove the 4 screws, 2 are located behind the battery door, and 2 are located on the bottom of the camera. Then pull the camera apart gently. At the top of the camera, you will see 3 ribbon cables. You are looking for the blue one. It has 6 traces. Take a jewlers screwdrive undneath the cable and work it up and down gently to remove the cable from the plug. You can also use tweazers, but make sure they are flat, not crosshatched, as this will most likely damage the cable.