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Submersible Webcam - Picture heavy
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cbussell
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 2006.09.17(Sun)17:36    Post subject: Submersible Webcam - Picture heavy Reply with quote

Ever since I got my first aquarium about 3 years ago, I've thought it'd be cool to have a camera in the tank. As of last night, I've decided it's time to make one Smile

I'm including a few pictures of the work in process for now. I'm making notes on what I'm doing and on ways to improve the process. Once this is done and tested sucessfully (at least I [b]HOPE/[b] it will be sucessful), I'll post the instructions.

I've already done some partial submergence testing for image quality. I might have a problem with glare, but I won't know for sure until I seal and fully submerge the enclosure. There also might be a bouyancy problem, but I've added 5 plant weights so far, hoping the added weight will eliminate that problem.

All that out of the way, here's some pictures...

Webcam, still mostly factory-assembled


Webcam, disassembled


Webcam housing, in progress


Webcam housing, nearing completion, with cam (unsecured)


Weighing down the housing. It's not pretty, but it's functional


Test picture, will revise the settings once everything is completely cured. I do need to add more weight to the housing to get it to submerge properly.
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ultra
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Joined: 11 Apr 2003
Location: Essex, England

PostPosted: 2006.09.18(Mon)2:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool. Did you use aquarium safe sealant though?
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cbussell
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 2006.09.18(Mon)10:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep Smile Two colours, even. Putting the black sealant on the outside of the housing to limit the amount of light allowed into the casing.

Still having a problem with bouyancy, which I expected. I'm going to attach the camera to a piece of slate and see if that helps. If not, then I'll just open the top, move the camera forward to the front of the glass and seal it in place and then load the casing with vegetable oil.

Don't laugh, I'm serious. I mean, if you can use it for cooling a http://www.tomshardware.com/2006/01/09/strip_out_the_fans/, it can certainly be used for this as well. Just have to make sure that I don't get any oil in front of the lens. Yellow pictures are bad.
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TolkienGeek
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Joined: 22 Aug 2006
Location: Huntington, Utah

PostPosted: 2006.09.18(Mon)11:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you want to fill it with cooking oil? Oil is lighter than water, it'll float better than ever.
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cbussell
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 2006.09.18(Mon)11:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lighter than water, heavier than air. Smile The cam ALMOST sinks, as is. Besides, it'd just be weird(er) than normal. Of course, I'm going to try the slate first.
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Michael L.
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Joined: 20 Nov 2005
Location: Nanaimo, B.C, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.09.18(Mon)16:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not just fill up the casing with aquarium gravel or something? I would be a bit concerned about using oil.
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Ciklido
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Joined: 06 Aug 2005
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2006.09.19(Tue)13:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow great idea but the problem is that the lens are not in contact with the water or are overprotected and the glare shows up clearly. Maybe you could cut the circumference of the lens area and paste a thinner glass cover onto the case where the lens are being exposed. I don't if you get it but its just a though all though its complicated.
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cbussell
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 2006.09.20(Wed)1:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, tore apart the case and am redoing it. V2 of the camera will boast the following 'features':

More streamlined design - Say goodbye to that ugly hunk of plastic. With the new and improved case, the footprint has been reduced by 40%

Improved glare reduction* - By allowing direct contact between the camera lens and the water, the glare is virtually eliminated

*pending proof of concept Wink

Yeah, between the overly large case and the glare issue, I couldn't get it to balance correct. So, I'm going to rework it all around and see what happens Smile

Oh, and just for the record, trying to get a clean break on a strip of acrylic that's only 3/8" wide is hard!
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brianD
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Joined: 22 Dec 2004
Location: maryland

PostPosted: 2006.09.20(Wed)16:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

what about trying lexan?? you can get a cheap sheet of it at a hobby shop
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cbussell
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004
Location: Anchorage, Alaska

PostPosted: 2006.09.20(Wed)16:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might be worth a shot. I just grabbed a small piece of acrylic at the local Home Despot.
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