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This eBook will walk you through the process of building your own ruggedized, submersible camera featuring pan/tilt and sensor inputs.
This eBook will walk you through the process of building your own ruggedized, submersible camera featuring pan/tilt and sensor inputs.
18 backers pledged $401 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$401

18

Overview:

This project started out as a way for me to make an inexpensive weatherproof camera out of parts I had handy in the lab.  After I put it together and began testing I realized that this could be further developed into a system that could be quite useful.  The original was a bit bulky so I kept working to try and make it a more compact and easily handled system.  My idea was to keep it to as many off-the-shelf parts as possible.  To this end I decided to focus on the "shell".  Creating a fairly versatile and inexpensive shell opened up a ton of possibilities.  The components are easily drilled and milled to enable you to customize it to your specific application.  With this system you don't have to worry about destroying a waterproof case that you just spent a large amount of money on.  My reason for creating the original was to collect data for nature conservation which meant it had to be something that it had to be a fairly rugged shell as well as being able to be mounted on a tree branch or even submerged in a river or lake for long periods of time.  I'm about to take everything I've learned and put it in a PDF so that you can build your own version of it.

Why Kickstarter:

I have found that Kickstarter is an excellent forum for getting ideas out there.  The feedback is invaluable in terms of making improvements to designs as well as just getting people engaged in productive activities.

What will the money be used for:

The funds raised during this project will be used to buy materials to construct a second camera system in order to better document the process for the PDF.  Although I have all the test data and pictures from the current functional system I do not have a full set of pictures and video for the construction phase of the project.  I will use the funds to recreate the build process for you in the form of a detailed PDF and videos.  The PDF will contain a listing of suggested off-the-shelf parts as well as instructions for building the shell and modifying components to fit inside.

What does video from a submerged camera look like:

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 This is actual raw video captured using a Logitech imaging element inside the shell in a 2' deep fish pen.  Depending on your choice of camera element and supporting components just about anything is possible.

Why do you need this PDF:

I will not try to convince you that you need this PDF.  I am just trying to make all the information that I've gained as well as the obstacles that I've overcome during the construction of this project available to you in a convenient form.  This one is not for everyone.  If you are just looking to take pictures or video while protecting your camera there are a ton of weatherproof/waterproof cases out there on the commercial market.  If however, you want to push your picture and video capture to the limit in harsh environments on a budget this one is for you.

What are the specs for the camera system featured here:

The system featured in the PDF has the current specs.  As mentioned before though the system is easily customized to your specific application.  The PDF will show you how to create the shell and give you tips on ways to add the features you need for your application.

  • USB interface
  • Logitech C160 camera module
  • White LED spot light
  • Pan/Tilt (2 micro RC servos controlled by Polou Maestro board)
  • Thermister (for external temperature logging)
  • Water intrusion sensor
  • Standard 1/4" 20 camera mounting thread on bottom

What else will I find in the PDF:

Also include in the PDF will be suggested mounting configurations and descriptions of fixtures you can use to maximize you shells usefulness.  You will also get ideas on various ways to connect your system to control and recording devices for local or remote use.

Does it come in different colors?

Yes!  Just got done testing and I think I have found the best solution for this application.  I have added shells in the following color choices in the rewards section.  I will also add information on painting and finishing to the PDF.

Color Choices
Color Choices

Video from the test phase:

A few pictures from the testing phase:

Test tank partially drained to show top of camera.
Test tank partially drained to show top of camera.
Of interest is that despite algae growing everywhere else on the camera it stayed away from the clear acrylic allowing decent pictures and video to be taken.
Of interest is that despite algae growing everywhere else on the camera it stayed away from the clear acrylic allowing decent pictures and video to be taken.

 Warning:  This next video in 9 minutes.  :o

 Progression of Design & Development:

Comparison between earlier design and the latest.
Comparison between earlier design and the latest.

Wait, what do the tee shirts look like:

The tees will look something like this.

 Thank you for taking a look at my project.  Time is a valuable thing and I do appreciate the time you spent reading this.

More Dev Pics:

 

Risks and challenges

The challenges for this project are very minimal since I will basically be reconstructing a system that I have already built and tested. The only real risks will be in getting all the thumb drive loaded and out by the deadline. I have already lined up a supplier for the thumb drives in order to ensure that I will have them in time to get the rewards out on the dates specified. The tee shirts and ball caps are also just waiting for final quantities and sizes to ship. I have also tried to set the dates for the shells so as to allow myself enough time to produce and ship them on time. Materials for the shells are being sourced locally in order to eliminate any lead times that would interfere with shipping those on time.

Unforeseen things always happen, but I think I have planned enough ahead to be able to mitigate any delays. Thanks again for your support.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You get a heartfelt thank you email from us. You can also feel good about the fact that you are helping support the propagation of knowledge through supporting websites like TorrSyst.com

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    Your name on our Kickstarter supporter thank you wall.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A link to download the ebook from the TorrSyst website.

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    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    A cool thumb drive with the ebook and video tutorials on it.
    Note: The bonus videos only available on the thumb drive.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    TorrSyst logo tee shirt. Plus the download link for the ebook. There is a picture near the bottom of the story section.

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    Pledge $22 or more About $22

    TorrSyst logo ball cap. Plus the download link to the ebook. The design on the front of the ball cap is the same as the one pictured on the front of the tee shirt.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    One shell. White PVC with clear acrylic installed for you. All you do is add the internal components of your choice. The PDF is included to help you along.
    Note: This is the shell only with no pre-drilled mounting holes or other components.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    TorrSyst logo tee shirt and ball cap combo. Plus the download link to the ebook.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $42 or more About $42

    One color shell. PVC with clear acrylic installed for you. The exterior of the shell will be expertly painted by me in one of your choice of colors from the color pallet in the color shell section to your left. All you do is add the internal components of your choice. The PDF is included to help you along. Note: This is the shell only with no pre-drilled mounting holes or other components.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    One fully assembled and tested submersible camera. Download link to the full suite of software and PDF are included as well as your choice of tee or ball cap.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    One fully assembled and tested submersible camera. The exterior of the shell will be expertly painted by me in one of your choice of colors from the color pallet in the color shell section to your left. Download link to the full suite of software and PDF are included as well as your choice of tee or ball cap.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $145 or more About $145

    *Special* Save $10 with this one. One fully assembled and tested submersible camera plus an extra shell. Yep, one whole extra shell as in Reward #7 to use as a backup or just experiment with. Download link to the full suite of software and PDF are included as well as your choice of tee or ball cap.

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Funding period

- (30 days)