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  • Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

    After reading a few of the other threads on this subject I thought I would devote my after dinner time tonight and see what I could come up with with the intent of building a Seesnake to Laptop interface device as cheaply as possible...

    First a picture then a few observations and parts sources.



    A few thoughts:

    - Pin #1 is a shielded cable (2 conductors). I'm using one of these for the Dimmer / Potentiometer / LED circuit

    - I will do a first build of this rig with adjustable / regulated power supplies to make sure there are no voltage surprises.

    -The video capture device comes with basic software for the laptop.

    - The power supply that is built into a USB port is not high enough to run this rig. You may burn out your USB port on your laptop if you try to power everything via laptop skipping external power supply.

    -If you try this design remember that DC voltage is polarity specific.


    Parts sources:

    SeeSnake Reel and cable:
    http://www.toolsdirect.com/index.cfm.../795/finish/NA


    Laptop:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...314&CatId=3444


    Video Capture Device:
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...0&Sku=O38-1022

    Power Supply:
    http://www.trcelectronics.com/Sinpro/spu65-105.shtml

    Project Box / Connectors:
    http://www.radioshack.com/home/index.jsp?cid


    Estimated Turn Key Price for this project:

    Under $8000 if you had to buy everything new.

    If you already have a laptop and the Seesnake cable and reel then you could build the actual interface for less then $200...

    Okie
    Last edited by OkieBill; 10-08-2008, 11:45 PM. Reason: just because...

  • #2
    Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

    50 looks and not even a question?

    Do you think it will work?

    Bill you really suck at drawing in paint...

    Bill explain the wiring of this device in more detail ...

    Bill you put this post in the place where most guys have cameras... If you want it to be seen you may need to post it in general pro's section...

    I'll just talk to myself

    Okie

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

      bill, i was one of the 50

      not being an electronics expert, i understand what you're attempting. i don't know if you're going to ruin the anything in your attempt.

      ridgid/ seesnake used to make the power supply only as an option.

      this was the dimmer, rca outs and mic.

      i suggest you might want to look for that and see what's inside of it.

      i already posted with photos of the 2 i have.

      1 was pre ridgid days and the other is probably 2001.

      i actually like the set up posted the other day with the archos?

      rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

        I don't have experience with the SeeSnake, but my first question is do you have a SeeSnake already with a monitor? If so, it seems like you could do the project a bit incrementally and prevent some risk to the unit. It might make sense to try to use the monitor for powering the reel, and at first just try to divert the video into the laptop using a kind of Y-cable that would send RCA video one place and leave the rest of the pins unchanged.

        If you get that working, you can do the more dangerous work afterwards. It would cost a bit more initially, but the extra cost might be worth it to do things incrementally.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

          Rick
          The issue I have with the Archos rig is that you still need the External Ridgid power supply and video interface which If I'm reading the posts correctly is not available for purchase anymore.

          The Archos is the recorder and the display only...

          --The only information I'm not sure about is the DC voltage @ pins 1 and 2 on the seesnake connector. ( If you have a digital meter this info would help incredibly)

          This interface once worked will enable you to use a laptop or the Archos.

          Okie

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

            Originally posted by cpw View Post
            I don't have experience with the SeeSnake, but my first question is do you have a SeeSnake already with a monitor? If so, it seems like you could do the project a bit incrementally and prevent some risk to the unit. It might make sense to try to use the monitor for powering the reel, and at first just try to divert the video into the laptop using a kind of Y-cable that would send RCA video one place and leave the rest of the pins unchanged.

            If you get that working, you can do the more dangerous work afterwards. It would cost a bit more initially, but the extra cost might be worth it to do things incrementally.
            CPW: I do not own a camera yet so this is purely cranial exercise for me..

            It is my plan right now to get a used ridgid camera cable and reel if I can find one on ebay

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

              technically i don't see why it won't work. as long as there is not a voltage/current issue, sneak path, or some other abnomality it looks good onpaper.

              it would be a fun project, if one had the camera/cable to play with

              steve
              In the never ending struggle to keep the water flowing.... The Poo Poo Cowboy rides again!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                Big problem-

                no way to trigger the FlexMitter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                  Hmmmmm, did not think of that one.

                  Easy to leave it on full time..(just tie it into the video power circuit)

                  It may be that the flexmitter has the switching built into it and it just uses the LED circuit... (I'm just thinking out loud)

                  I have to get my hands on a cable and head ( to see for sure)... It will be easy to deconstruct once I actually get to examine one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                    You can't leave the flexmitter on all the time. It tears up the video. That's why it's switchable - otherwise it WOULD be on all the time.

                    I'll attach a couple frame grabs to show what I'm talking about.

                    To my dismay, I have found that the circuitry for enabling/disabling the flexmitter is (was? - not sure about current setup) driven by a 12C509 8 bit microcontroller running some custom code. There's no way I can duplicate that. The rest of the stuff on a SeeSnake A/V board is pretty standard stuff and I could build my own board if all I wanted to do was run the camera and adjust the LED's.

                    But, my feeling about the camera is that if you don't know where it is (using the flexmitter) there's no point in seeing what it is.

                    My strategy is just to buy up enough spare power packs (there are still some available) to last me forever. I don't want to be locked into Ridgid's display hardware. I want to be able to configure my stuff, my way.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                      actually there is a way to turn on and off the flexmitter

                      problem is it's propriety information and i'm not at a luxury to post it, yet.

                      it can be done, not too difficult.

                      in the old original days, the old school transmitter was always energized and didn't mess with the image.

                      fortunately i still have old school and new school.

                      remember i've owned this equipment longer than ridgid

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                        Rick:

                        Yeh, I think all you have to do is drop the cam voltage down to the min. required to still have it operating (8V) then bring it back up to nominal (12V). I have noticed, many times, that if I plug the reel into the power pack with the power pack on, the transmitter AND the cam will come on but the blinking xmtr LED won't be blinking...which should mean that it's OFF. The blinking LED is driven directly by one of the I/O lines of the 12C509. Since the microcontroller didn't initiate the flexmitter turn-on sequence, it thinks it's OFF even though it's not.

                        I'm just too lazy to mess with it much - too much else to do. I just want to have spares of everything I already have.

                        Besides, the build quality of Deep Sea's circuit boards is much better than any I could make myself. I would gladly buy a couple of bare LED/video boards for my 64227 power packs if only someone would sell them to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                          These are great threads on this but someday I will read of someone who took Ricks little box and added usb to it it! Then I will be happy.
                          Seattle Drain Service

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                            Pm me if you want a better box made for u that works for seesnake----mine isnt the same as drawing, but its the only thing i use between my reel and laptop and i do lots of camera work----and i do it cheaper than 200---AND I WAS THE 1ST TO MASTER THE WORKING VERSION---YES I AM THE SEESNAKE LAPTOP CONVERTING MASTER

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Seesnake to Laptop Interface Device

                              Originally posted by plumberjr View Post
                              Pm me if you want a better box made for u that works for seesnake----mine isnt the same as drawing, but its the only thing i use between my reel and laptop and i do lots of camera work----and i do it cheaper than 200---AND I WAS THE 1ST TO MASTER THE WORKING VERSION---YES I AM THE SEESNAKE LAPTOP CONVERTING MASTER
                              Thanks for the offer Plumberjr, You should be proud of your accomplishment. I have to assume that since you have not offered any technical information on your design you are attempting to protect it for Patent / marketing. I fully understand and respect that.

                              The journey has kind of become the challenge for me (though I do have a real need being in my first year of business).

                              If ya feel like joining in the journey how did you solve the flexmitter issue? My first thought is to just leave it off, It would be a small price to pay for the $$$ saved. I would be more than willing to pull the camera and energize a cable snake and let the SR-20 find it

                              Okie

                              Comment

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