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Author Topic: Underwater video equipment suggestions  (Read 13902 times)

Eclipse

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Underwater video equipment suggestions
« on: September 22, 2010, 07:29:26 PM »

Requirements:
1 B&W camera
1 Color camera
Must run on 12 vdc
Must interface with laptop
Prefer not to use coax if possible due to the weight of the cable (approx 100 long)
Video quality must be reasonable as these will be used in an underwater environment
Equipment suggestions to accomplish this are welcome.
Cost must be kept minimal as upgrades are inevitable as experiments progress.

Thanks
Bill
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dave w

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Re: Underwater video equipment suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2010, 08:04:25 PM »

X10 makes color and B&W low resolution security cameras. They are small, come in wired versions using four wire telephone cable. You would have to mount them in waterproof underwater camera boxes.

http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Wired_Cameras

http://kbase.x10.com/wiki/Wired_Cameras

BTW coax using a foam core center conductor would be light, not heavy in water.
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HA Dave

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Re: Underwater video equipment suggestions
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2010, 09:08:45 PM »

Requirements:
.............. Equipment suggestions to accomplish this are welcome.
Cost must be kept minimal as upgrades are inevitable as experiments progress.

Requirements... would not normally be followed with a shopping list. I would expect you have an actual requirement... a reason to see and or record video underwater. The reason(s) and expected conditions (such as light and depth) could be useful. I don't know what "accomplish this" actually refers to.

So... what are you hoping to do?
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Eclipse

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Re: Underwater video equipment suggestions
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2010, 09:36:07 PM »

Thanks for the links .... I'll be checking them out sometime tonight.

The intended use is to install them in an underwater ROV, equipped with a mechanical grapple. The cameras would be used both in maneuvering, and to operate the grapple.  A B&W camera for seeing somewhat greater distances, since color has very little definition at any distance underwater, and of course the color cam when in a close up situation.  The reason for light weight cables is due to the fact that there are a series of cables that form an umbilical cord tho power all the electronics, from thrusters, and electronic speed controllers to depth, compass, and temperature gauges.  The umbilical cord is supported every few feet with enough floatation to keep it relatively neutrally buoyant. The prototype I'm currently working on has been tested to a depth of 100', and so far is water tight.

The lighting is taken care of by a number of high intensity LED's.

Any and all suggestions welcome!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 10:17:51 PM by Eclipse »
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dave w

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Re: Underwater video equipment suggestions
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2010, 01:50:16 PM »

Well in this scenario cameras are mission critical. IMHO you should be looking at the most expensive, feature packed cameras, not the cheapest security grade cameras like X10. I don't know that you want to rely on $30 cameras for such a critical use. (ex video professional blathering here)

Having said that: X10 wired cameras are very reliable but they are low resolution, fixed focus, fixed aperture, and have no remote camera controls (adjusting color, brightness, contrast, focus, white balance, etc, etc.)

Again IMHO, minimally, you should buy a couple X10 cameras and test them under simulated conditions, but if me, I would looking at industrial grade Sony, JVC, Panasonic, etc.

$0.02 but I will wave the charge.  :D
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hawk1

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Re: Underwater video equipment suggestions
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2010, 02:18:53 PM »

Don't know if you could modify this camera but maybe give you some ideas.

http://www.harborfreight.com/underwater-camera-with-black-and-white-monitor-91309.html

I don't own one but always wanted to play around with it.  Maybe extend the cable a little, stuff like that.
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Eclipse

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Re: Underwater video equipment suggestions
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2010, 09:58:01 PM »

Well in this scenario cameras are mission critical. IMHO you should be looking at the most expensive, feature packed cameras, not the cheapest security grade cameras like X10.

Thanks Dave, but I'd like to keep the costs down in this area for the time being, and I figured that x10, or similar equipment would do for now.  I have a lot of testing and tweaking to do before I get too heavy into the video end.  I considered some similar cameras to what you suggested, as I once worked with high end security and surveilance cameras, but just don't want to spend that much until I know everything else will work as intended.  It's a long, and somewhat bumpy road, and unfortunately, some of it is well out of my realm of expertise.

Don't know if you could modify this camera but maybe give you some ideas.

Thanks hawk1 - I actually looked at something very similar to this, but ended up dismissing the idea because I need the video to interface with a laptop, and since it will require being out on the water, I also want to keep my power source to a single unit.
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