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  • #16
    Re: Make my own camera system?

    I know I am going to hear it over this, but have you given any thought to harbor freight? I am in the septic pumping and repair business and don't use the equipment every day, but I can say that it works well every time I use it. I will admit that these cams won't work for everyone, but I have had good luck with them. I use what they call the underwater camera for inspecting septic tanks after they are pumped out. I have modified it slightly but I can see the septic tank baffle from a small 8" clean out on the opposite end of the tank (about 6-8 feet). This camera cost me $100.00 on sale and it comes with an excellent carrying case. I also use their pipe inspection cam for looking through pipes. I will admit that the Ridgid equipment is clearly better, but for a lesser use situation, I have found them both to be ok. I also purchased 2 year extended warrantees for both for about 50.00. The pipe camera is on sale now for 400.00. It's big draw back is the 65' cable. Just a thought.

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    • #17
      Re: Make my own camera system?

      HI I have made my own camera system - it wasn't easy i spent about $600 - i purchased a 100ft of 1/4" pex pipe as a push rod works great for about 60ft in a messed up line. I welded 1/4" metal rod and built a housing for the cable to spool up in ( got the idea from the cheap cameras you see on eBay ) i built a stand that spins the spool so it is easy to get the cable in and out of clean-outs. I installed a Audiovox wireless video system so i can spin the spool without tangling wires. and a 7" LCD - installed a rechargeable battery for the camera on the spool and one for the monitor...
      Parts used:
      100ft pex
      1/4" Sony camera head with 4leds
      fiberglass for camera head mold
      heavy duty spring to support fiberglass camera head mold
      some welding
      audiovox wireless video receiver/transmitter ( made for back up camera for cars )
      and a 7" $99 lcd monitor from my local car stereo shop

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      • #18
        Re: Make my own camera system?

        Wow would like to see pics of that

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        • #19
          Re: Make my own camera system?

          $600 sounds real real good compared to the untold tens of thousands I have in ridgid camera equipment.

          But.

          While I may not be as good as many with electronics, I'm no idiot. And I'm as cheap as they come. And I've spent a little time on it. And I just dropped $7k on a pair of cs10's. And I think it was the right way to go.

          I value my time enough and have enough work that I am better off having the good stuff that lets me get done, done right, done now and on to the next one. Spending too much time on jobs dicking around with homade crap that kind of works if you nurse it just right; well, I'm a grown-up. I'm over it. I've got work to do.

          If 65' does what you need and you've got the time to mess with it and you enjoy it, rock on; I've been there. I understand there is some pride in making something work. And there is some satisfaction in not spending those $.

          But I'm done with it now. I'm not walking into any job half-cocked; I just don't have the time for it; I've got three more waiting and I need to know that what I've got on my van will get me done and out and on to the next one on time, even if this one turns a little difficult.
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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          • #20
            Re: Make my own camera system?

            I just wish that Ridgid would build a reel that is self powered and offer an adapter to conventional video outputs. Mytana, Vu-Rite, EasyCam and others do this.

            Ridgid has the best pushrods and camera heads for sure, but the monitors, while durable are very very expensive for what you get.

            The new CS1000 and laptop interface are interesting for me, but still a big nut to crack in terms of return on investment for someone who does plumbing and drain services as opposed to strictly drain services.

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            • #21
              Re: Make my own camera system?

              You still need a power supply and camera controls for our cameras. The other brands you mentioned have em built in. So the LT1000M is pretty the same as what your looking for. Just detached and comes with the HQ software.

              Originally posted by Swade Plumbing View Post
              I just wish that Ridgid would build a reel that is self powered and offer an adapter to conventional video outputs. Mytana, Vu-Rite, EasyCam and others do this.

              Ridgid has the best pushrods and camera heads for sure, but the monitors, while durable are very very expensive for what you get.

              The new CS1000 and laptop interface are interesting for me, but still a big nut to crack in terms of return on investment for someone who does plumbing and drain services as opposed to strictly drain services.

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              • #22
                Re: Make my own camera system?

                So EZ a cave man can do it. I'm grinding My lens from a wine bottle .
                I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Make my own camera system?

                  Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                  there is a reason why the ridgid cameras are #1 in my book.

                  there's a reason why all my other cameras sit on a shelf at the shop.

                  there is a whole lot more to a camera than a pushrod and camera head.

                  other have tinkered with garage built cameras.

                  ridgid has mastered the sewer camera.

                  you can build one for fun, but not for business.

                  but if you succeed, i'm sure ridgid would be thrilled.

                  rick.
                  Rick, I am looking to purchase a camera system / locator. I have borrowed one from a friend ocassionally ( camera only ) and I do not remember the name and model number. I really did enjoy using it. I was amazed. It showed footage but due to unknowns of how a sewer is ran under concrete if their was one specific problem area it would be a crap shoot on finding exact location. Could you please tell me a Rigid camera system that would be a good starter system for myself ? I am not rich but am not opposed to making an investment but do not want to break the bank on my first purchase. I do not know much about these sytems other then what I learn form you guys. When do you guys decide to camera a sytem , I own 3 sewer machines and it would be nice to find the problem , try clearing obstruction then viewing and making sure you got it. I have cleaned alot of sewers, after clearing obstruction and running lots of water without issues. I have been called back the next day and even later as I apparently did not clear the obstruction. Most of the time I dont have this issue but it does happen. When do you decide when to use it and when do you decide you dont need it. I am much less advanced in the cameras and drain cleaning as you guys are. Like I said, i do it but am not at the level as some of you guys. I do mostly residential in sewer cleaning but if I purchased a camera who knows what I would do. Thanks a million . I am quite sure you can help me.
                  Last edited by Fred the plumber; 05-20-2011, 05:04 AM.
                  The Plumber/Firefighter

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                  • #24
                    Re: Make my own camera system?

                    Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                    So EZ a cave man can do it. I'm grinding My lens from a wine bottle .
                    LOL , you always make me laugh. Keep up the good work.
                    The Plumber/Firefighter

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Make my own camera system?

                      fred, i feel the 1 camera system that you can use 90-95% of the drains you run into is the seesnake mini 200' camera system along with a scout locater.

                      the monitor and recording media is a difficult choice due to budget and needs. the dvdpak works great for me as it's compact, runs on battery or ac and burns a dvd without failure.

                      the new cs10 looks very interesting if you want to record on a memory stick and create reports from a laptop along with emailing them the report and stills. the lt1000 is basically the same and more using your own laptop. lots of good choices out there.

                      tell us your budget and your typical runs.

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

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                      • #26
                        Re: Make my own camera system?

                        Originally posted by NewPipeOM View Post
                        HI I have made my own camera system - it wasn't easy i spent about $600 - i purchased a 100ft of 1/4" pex pipe as a push rod works great for about 60ft in a messed up line. I welded 1/4" metal rod and built a housing for the cable to spool up in ( got the idea from the cheap cameras you see on eBay ) i built a stand that spins the spool so it is easy to get the cable in and out of clean-outs. I installed a Audiovox wireless video system so i can spin the spool without tangling wires. and a 7" LCD - installed a rechargeable battery for the camera on the spool and one for the monitor...
                        Parts used:
                        100ft pex
                        1/4" Sony camera head with 4leds
                        fiberglass for camera head mold
                        heavy duty spring to support fiberglass camera head mold
                        some welding
                        audiovox wireless video receiver/transmitter ( made for back up camera for cars )
                        and a 7" $99 lcd monitor from my local car stereo shop
                        Wow I just did something very close, I copied a $20 dollar bill at the copy shop then went home and glued both sides together and with some careful cutting I have made my own money, now it is not going to work every where but should work sometimes till I am caught and thrown in jail.
                        Seattle Drain Service

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Re: Make my own camera system?

                          Originally posted by PLUMBER RICK View Post
                          fred, i feel the 1 camera system that you can use 90-95% of the drains you run into is the seesnake mini 200' camera system along with a scout locater.

                          the monitor and recording media is a difficult choice due to budget and needs. the dvdpak works great for me as it's compact, runs on battery or ac and burns a dvd without failure.

                          the new cs10 looks very interesting if you want to record on a memory stick and create reports from a laptop along with emailing them the report and stills. the lt1000 is basically the same and more using your own laptop. lots of good choices out there.

                          tell us your budget and your typical runs.

                          rick.
                          Rick thanks for the response. I would say my budget is 3500.00 to 5000.00. My typical runs are residential down 4" CI, 3" 4" PVC 3" DWV copper. I also clean small 1 1/2 and 2 " drains with the other bathroom groups as well as laundry and kitchens.. I do more of the 3" and 4" drains then the smalller ones but do any drain in the house . My lenght of runs have never gone over 100', i have been asked to clean longer ones but I dont have the cable and not sure if the machine I own would be that effective. Most of the time my cable is long enough to reach into the city or county sewer which I always try to run all 100' and usually do it twice . I also clean from house to septic tanks also. and My drain machines are a 7/8 X 100' Speed Rooter 91 self feed, Medium Machine Mini Rooter 50' of 3/8 and 5/8 manual feed, and a small handheld with 35' of 1/4 or 3/8 that is manual also.

                          I would love to be able to locate an exact location of an obstruction along with viewing the video. I have only expierinced black and white but I know there is a color option which I am sure jacks the price up.Anything else would be a plus and I am sure it gets very expensive.
                          The Plumber/Firefighter

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                          • #28
                            Re: Make my own camera system?

                            Fred,

                            I've gone round and round with cameras, and come back to the 200' ridgid color mini that rick suggests. It's the most versatile of the many I've tried, including other ridgid options and vivax. If I had only one camera, it'd be a 200' color mini. It's not in your price range though, at least not new. The reel alone is about $5k new. And you still need a monitor and locator.

                            The compact, flatpack, or micro reel/lateral might work for you; they are in (or near) your price range. They have 100' not 200'. I believe they all share the same smaller pushrod and all can be equipped with a sonde for locating. I think the compact is a no-record monitor, but does have vid output jack for an external recording solution. irguy will have the definitive answers on that. They do better in smaller lines, but will do 4". the micro reel/lateral can use an explorer for a monitor, which is a lot of capability for the $, but others have had troubles getting enough light out of that setup, especially in cast iron. Read the posts on that if you are considering that option.

                            My personal thought is that a full, modular monitor is the most versatile setup; you can run a micro drain, micro reel/lateral, mini, or full size all from a cs, lt, or dvdpak, so when you've licked your $ wounds you can add other reels for different capabilities and not need another monitor. If recording isn't very important to you, and older vcr or non-recording monitor might work fine for you.

                            For myself, I've just ordered two new cs10 monitors; the convenience, versatility, and (the real reason) flashdrive recording are worth the price hit to me. I'm not an lt fan; I prefer the cs. But that's just me, for reasons I've gone into in another thread that may not apply to you. Plenty like the lt a lot and wouldn't pay more for a screen and flashdrive recording they already have on a laptop.

                            One reason why the full, modular monitor solution is best for me may not apply to you; I have lots of pieces and parts (5 reels, 4 monitors with two new ones on the way). It's worth it to me to not have monitors dedicated to specific reels because then, if there is a problem with, for example, a reel, I just grab the spare reel, get back to work, and look at getting the other one fixed when I have the time instead of having no camera capability while something gets fixed. If I was a one man show with one camera system and one broken thing means the whole show is down anyway, that wouldn't matter, and I'd be thinking compact. But if I was going to end up with another system or two anyway, I'd go big from the start if I could.

                            So, it comes down to a few decisions about what you expect to be doing right away, what you expect to be doing in the future, and $.

                            First decide on a reel/pushrod size. For reels, if 100' will do it, and you are going to be in 4" max and smaller a lot, then think compact/flatpack/micro-reel/lateral. If you expect to be in 6" or bigger from time to time, 4" a lot, some 3" and 2", and nothing smaller than 2" and don't need to do 2" traps, think mini.

                            For monitor solutions...

                            If the smaller reels will work, then for a one man show that will stay that way, and rarely if ever record, go compact. You can get a cheap digital camcorder to record when you need to.

                            If the smaller reels will work, but you want a modular monitor instead of a dedicated system, then an old used monitor and micro reel/lateral (or maybe flatpack? I've never used one of those) if you don't expect to record a lot. If you want recording and a modular monitor, then dvdpak, cs, lt, or possibly explorer depending on needs and preferences.

                            If the mini sounds more like you, you need a modular monitor to run it. Older used monitor if not doing a lot of recording. dvdpak, cs, or lt depending on needs/preferences if you are doing a lot of recording.

                            For locators, the (i think) scout we used at the last roundup makes it easy. But I'm still perfectly content with my ancient kd4550 and a similar model from general.
                            This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Make my own camera system?

                              What is the opinion from those who have experience with it on the Mini in 6" clay?

                              Runs up to 150', able to push out ok?

                              enough light in 6" with the smaller camera head?


                              The few times that I've rented the mini, I've found it difficult to push out past 100' in 6" (no guides, straight run with no turns). I've also found the lighting to be a little dim.

                              Thanks,

                              Chris

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                              • #30
                                Re: Make my own camera system?

                                100 ft the mini in 6" clay is usually no problem (kinda matters on the condition of the pipe, offsets) 150' with lots of water I have done many times but have sometimes had to attach my duct rodder to get out there. I have no problem with the lighting when using a skid.
                                Seattle Drain Service

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