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Re: TV cameras in the weirdest places...

To: John Miller <>
Subject: Re: TV cameras in the weirdest places...
From: Richard George <>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 15:31:30 -0700

> So, I called in a plumber with a TV camera. It worked pretty slick.
> The unit looks a lot like a snake but with a small (1.5" dia by 4" long)
> head that he feeds down the cleanout.  The head contained a B/W camera
> and a light.  He said newer units have color cameras and will also
> show on the monitor how far in feet they are into the drain.


This sounds like a great service - I can think of a couple of pals with older
houses that this would work great on... - Who did you use?

> QUESTION:  Has anyone built their own remote cameras for applications
> like this where you want to see into spots you can't put your head?

A couple of years ago I bought a borescope from MSC for doing car "stuff" -I've 
mostly used it for starting into various places in
my house, and it works
pretty well for what you're describing - unfortunately, they've gone way up
in price since I bought mine (who said inflation was dead :-/ ), so maybe
getting a cheap video camera would be the way to go these days...

I've also built up a "remote" camera for my camcorder (the trick here is
finding a camcorder that can record an external signal - there are only a
couple that do it - I also got one with an big LCD display on it...)
for use when autocrossing (though I haven't got to use
it for that since the daughter was born :-/ ) - I found a source of cheap
multimedia cameras (so I don't cry in my beer when I trash one) - all you need
to do is supply power and an RCA jack.. - I hadn't thought about it, but you 
could probably
put one of those in a waterproof and clear container of some sort and look at 
all sorts
of interesting stuff with it....

I've also thought of building a "monkey cam" using a multimedia camera, some of 
those 900 MHz
video repeater things, and a drill battery to power the whole thing - you'd 
mount the camera and a light
on a hat of some kind, mount the repeater and battery in a belt bag, and have 
the other end of the
repeater hooked up to the video capture/conference system of your choice (I 
thought it would be
a good solution for field service people - you could just have the tech do the 
poking and measuring while
engineers at a remote site looked on (I assume you'd have a hands free phone or 
something so you can
issue the guy wearing the camera instructions...)) - you could probably pay for 
the system after the first
few problems (my soon to be ex employer has an annoying habit of shipping half 
tested stuff to unpleasant
places (Taiwan, Korea, and worse) and then shipping an engineer when (surprise) 
the system has problems,
and those plane tickets aren't cheap...).

(Richard George)

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