I recently has an issue with a Night Owl security camera with a ‘sticky’ mechanical IR Cut filter. Got it replaced by Night Owl, but the replacement has the same issue… So decided to take a look and see if I can fix it myself.
First, how do you know you’ve got an sticky mechanical IR cut filter? well… Looks like the filter either sticks in the daylight mode or the night mode. I’ve not seen it stick 1/2 way between. When it’s stuck in daylight mode, your camera video will be normal during the day, but night. It’s almost black. yeah, even with the IR LED’s on it’s black. even holding a white piece of paper up in front of the camera at night, it’s almost black. Stuck in night mode, the camera night vision will be perfect, but during the day the image will be pink-ish to purple-ish tinted.
Other way to tell is trigger the switch from day to night to day and see if you can hear the filter ‘click’ back and forth. ie during the day, completely cover the camera with a dark plastic cup, you should hear the filter click into night mode. remove the cup, click back to daylight mode. You can do the opposite at night, shine a flashlight at the camera face, the IR LED’s should turn off and ‘click’ the filer should move to daylight mode. kill the flashlight, IR LED’s should come back on and ‘click’ filter into night mode.
Third, tap on the side of the camera, sometimes that will jiggle loose the stuck IR cut filter, at least for awhile. For me usually the next night it simply stuck in daylight mode again.
So once you figure you’ve got a sticky IR cut filter, take the camera apart and make sure there is no grit, dirt, debris inside the IR cut filter itself which might cause the filter to jamb. On mine, I also took a razor and shaved done the inside top of the IR cut filter module thinking that perhaps the plastic molding was off bit or warping due to heat. figured a little extra play might be good.
Reassembled and so far so good!
read the disassembly article here