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The Spread
Get your old smartphone out of the drawer – it could be landing astronauts on the moon, winning a world war… or spying on your cat
24/12/2019

You probably already heard that your old smartphone has more computing power than NASA used for the moon landing and hundreds of times more than the Allies had in WWII. So, I have a question for you: when is a powerful computer not a powerful computer? Answer: when it’s gathering dust in the back of your cupboard.

With this in mind, after a quick Google I found an article suggesting all sorts of uses for my old phone from simple tasks like searching for extra-terrestrial life (yes, really) to far more exotic ones like… well, like acting as a remote control.

My favourite was using my phone as a security/pet* camera. For an indoor pet camera you can skip most of what I’m about to tell you as I’ve focused on outdoor mounting - which is a little more tricky.

* If you have a pet and don’t think you need a pet camera, maybe have a read of this article.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/burglar_patrol.jpg?v=1577190012

You’ll find inexpensive waterproof cases BeachBuoy) and mounting brackets for sale online. Silicone sealant is available from any hardware store. If you want to use both your phone’s front and back cameras, you’ll need a case with clear windows on both sides.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/you_will_need_labelled.jpg?v=1577190070

Download Alfred Camera (or similar) from the Play/App store and set it up on your old phone and your current phone. Pair them together and check the remote camera function is working.

Make a small hole in your waterproof case at the location of your phone’s charging port. Don’t forget you want the better camera on the back of your phone to be facing out through the clear window if you have a single window case.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/make_hole_for_cable.jpg?v=1577190036

Use the silicone sealant to waterproof the hole.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/reseal_the_hole.jpg?v=1577190047

Find a nice view.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/View_using_old_phone_camera.jpg?v=1577189729

Switch on your old phone and run the Alfred Camera app. Now mount it in position and adjust the viewing angle using your new phone to see what it’s seeing.

If you don’t have access to power, you’ll need a simple solar charger with USB output. Don’t forget to use the silicone sealant to make sure all of the electrics are waterproofed.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/Using_Old_Phone_as_Camera.jpg?v=1577190549

Mission accomplished.

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0106/1860/1568/files/Man_on_the_moon.jpg?v=1577193593

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