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  • #31
    Re: Make my own camera system?

    Ace, thanks so much for taking the time writing such a long detailed informative post. I have a lot to think about. I see you said 5000.000 for just the 200 ft real , if I went expensive and got the color monitor, DVD recorder what are we looking at? Can I interchange the reels in the future with mini equipment ? Is it called mini because the cable is smaller and will go in smaller drains?I have many more questions but need to reread all your information and go to the rigid website.

    When do you guys decide to use camera vs just clear an obstruction without camera? What do you charge if u just clear an obstruction and not use camera ? What if u use camera and and your cleaning machine, what would be the cost ? Plumbers who own jetters, do they normally use the camera to locate obstruction for their own, pull back camera then clear with jetter? They then push camera back up to make sure they got it. I am also trying to find out when I would use camera and sewer machine , vs just my sewer machine like I am doing now. Can you pull camera back and run your sewer cable in drain together, I would not think so due to possibility of damage to camera cable.
    The Plumber/Firefighter

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    • #32
      Re: Make my own camera system?

      I never ever run the drain cable and camera together. I've seen guys do it and it scares the crap out of me. We always follow up the jetter with camera. I like to show a before and after jetting video to show the value of the service.

      After clearing a few hundred drains you'll get the feeling of when to run the camera or not. We have a 2 hour minimum on main stoppages so if I'm still within that time period I'll run the camera real quick to make sure I didn't miss anything at no charge to the customer. Makes for good customer service and sometimes find deficiencies that need to be addressed. I always do this when pulling back tampons or baby wipes because just when you think you've pulled them all back there is ten more still in there. The boss doesn't like giving away a free camera inspection but it's my equipment so, my risk. If I had trouble with the stoppage like pulling back mud or roots then obviously I'll recommend a camera service and charge a premium for that.

      Rarely use the camera for kitchen or lavy drains. Mostly old galvanized piping here so the risk of damage or getting stuck is pretty high. I always use the MicroDrain camera after clearing a toilet stoppage. Most guys will just flush the toilet a few times and walk away leaving the real problem like a toothbrush or comb still in there.

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      • #33
        Re: Make my own camera system?

        Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
        I never ever run the drain cable and camera together. I've seen guys do it and it scares the crap out of me. We always follow up the jetter with camera. I like to show a before and after jetting video to show the value of the service.

        After clearing a few hundred drains you'll get the feeling of when to run the camera or not. We have a 2 hour minimum on main stoppages so if I'm still within that time period I'll run the camera real quick to make sure I didn't miss anything at no charge to the customer. Makes for good customer service and sometimes find deficiencies that need to be addressed. I always do this when pulling back tampons or baby wipes because just when you think you've pulled them all back there is ten more still in there. The boss doesn't like giving away a free camera inspection but it's my equipment so, my risk. If I had trouble with the stoppage like pulling back mud or roots then obviously I'll recommend a camera service and charge a premium for that.

        Rarely use the camera for kitchen or lavy drains. Mostly old galvanized piping here so the risk of damage or getting stuck is pretty high. I always use the MicroDrain camera after clearing a toilet stoppage. Most guys will just flush the toilet a few times and walk away leaving the real problem like a toothbrush or comb still in there.
        Thanks. You have answered alot of questions i had. Is the mini interchangable with the monitor? is it a mini because it is used for smaller drains. Boy do i need some education on the camera/ locater system. I am buying one and want to get into the market.

        I normally charge 250 to 275 for main drain cleaning. I add 75 if i have to remove watercloset for access. I am normally there an average of 2 hours. I get most open the first time but ocasinally I leave, I cleared obstruction, rans lots and lots of water for verification only to be called back that night or days later. I see the camera as a two fold use, one for the plumber knowing he has definately found the problem and always used as an additional charge for that reap problem sewer that definately requires a look at.

        I was thing 700 dollars for a sewer cleaning and a camera of drain. I will have to check the going rates around here but i think to camera a drain is around 400 to 600 not counting using a sewr machine. I need to find away to incorporate both and make it fair for me and the customer.

        I have much to learn about all of this and glad I have all you guys for help, deciding what camera to buy is the next move along with all the other things mentioned by you and others.
        The Plumber/Firefighter

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        • #34
          Re: Make my own camera system?

          Fred,

          pm irguy or josh with specific questions, or get them to hook you up with the sales rep in your area.

          cruise ebay/craigslist/cleaner classifieds for used equipment once you now what you want.

          verify what I say with others and make sure you understand the options.

          basically, there are 4 choices in ridgid pushrod, which come packaged different ways. The larger and stiffer the pushrod, the further you can push in a straight run. The smaller and more flexible, the better for bends, but the more flexible stuff you run out of push in larger lines sooner.

          - the full size, which I don't have, is best for long strainght runs in services and mains, 4" and larger, might do 3" but I would expect trouble in bends in the copper dwv you mention. others can comment from experience.

          - the mini, which is callled 'mini' because it is smaller than the full size, does great in 4", 3", will do 2", will not do a 2" trap, and is my weapon of choice

          - the compact, flatpack, micro reel/lateral share a size smaller yet pushrod. Similar capability to mini, cheaper, but comes' in 100' max as it is more flexible and you won't push as far in 3" and 4" as you will with a mini. But it will do bends more easily, and will do a 2" trap. Choose this over mini for price if 100' is adequate and/or if you are going to do a lot of bends in series, like in multiunit buildings.

          - the micro drain, 35', very flexible, will do many but not all toilets which the others wont do any, very specific to short runs in small lines with lots of bends.

          The micro drain and micro reel/lateral can be run off the explorer monitor, which is cheap relative to other monitors. explorer/microreel is most capability for $, but others have had issues getting enough light with this combo as the explorer is limited in how much power it can supply.

          the mini and full size require one of the larger, more expensive monitors, like the cs, lt, or dvd pak. These monitors will run any reel with the proper adaptors. They add significantly to the cost of the system, but give you expandability and flexibility for the future. an older used monitor w/o digital recording might be good for you to save $ vs new to run a mini if that is the size reel you want. I just happen to have two I'm upgrading from to cs's which are for sale. Thsi is an option for you if you don't need to record, are willing to figure out an external recording solution, or are ok with vhs tape recording.

          The compact might be a good solution for you, but does not have a record feature. does have vid out for an extermal third party recording solution. I believe this is the more flexible 100 footer, not the mini. verify that. it's relatively cheap, which is why I think it might be good for you. It is not, I think, readily expandable to other reels as a monitor though. verify that as well.

          Your needs make it sound like the full size and micro drain are inappropriate for you, at least at this time.

          From what you've said, I'd advise pay more $ and get a mini, maybe compact if that works, maybe a full size monitor (new or used depending on availability and recording needs) so you have that capability for later and a micro reel/lateral to save some $ vs mini up front. Id advise agaist explorer and micro reel w/o a thorough test drive due to the lighting issues others have had. DO do the test drive if you can get one though, as this is the best bang for the buck combo.

          Mini rocks. it's more expensive. size down might do what you need, be cheaper, might even be better for you as your needs sound a little skewed to smaller lines and shorter runs.



          Pricing is area dependent; my pricing will be inappropriate in your area, so I won't comment.

          Price structure is up to you. don't get the flat rate vs t&m agument started again lol. I camera when I want to. I charge if I needed to camera to do the job, or if I feel I provided value by using the camera.

          ps... mini 200' color reel @ ~$4700 + cs10 monitor @ ~$3700 + scout locator @~$1300; about $10k. dvd pak save a grand, cs1000 add 2500, lt somewhere between cs10 and cs1000 once you add in the cost of a hardened daylight viewable laptop, cheaper if you can deal with a regular laptop.

          othe things I'm not very familiar with are the minipak monitor, and the flatpak. The flatpak just seems like a compact only shaped different, and they are way cheap if that's what it is; just saw one on toolup at $3300. these are no-record options with vid outs....
          Last edited by Ace Sewer; 05-22-2011, 04:08 PM.
          This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

          Comment


          • #35
            Re: Make my own camera system?

            Ace, I just wrote you a long spiel but it malfunctioned for the 3rd time on my work computer. I will have to copy and paste in the future cause I cant write this 4 times and wont post. I have learned alot from your posts, I want to say thanks for taking your time to help me because it was alot of information and was very informative. I have lots more to ask for sure. your information was great.
            The Plumber/Firefighter

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            • #36
              Re: Make my own camera system?

              yeah, I get that too... If I'm writing something long, I always select the whole text and 'copy' it to the clipboard before submitting, so I can paste it back in for the next try.
              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Make my own camera system?

                My Ridgid micro explorer does not work it only work for 5 times
                so i got a usb 5m waterproof camera in oz its called yellow tongue ( flat nylon strip about 18mm by 4mm thick ) for jointing flooring taped to it plunged into my laptop view record look it does not self right but for $15 dollars

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                • #38
                  Re: Make my own camera system?

                  is it the camera itself that is color or the moniter? in other words, if i have a B&W moniter now and bought a color one, would I need a different reel or what?
                  Also, anyone have any experience with Spartans new PROvision? Looks real awesome but, for $7500? It has a touch screen that you can point out issues (like Madden) as you record and looks similar to the Seesnake compact except the moniter actually folds into the reel so it saves space. All that sounds nice but, if the pushrod is crap, it's pointless. Just wondering if anyone has tried it.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Make my own camera system?

                    Originally posted by Plumber26 View Post
                    is it the camera itself that is color or the moniter? in other words, if i have a B&W moniter now and bought a color one, would I need a different reel or what?
                    Also, anyone have any experience with Spartans new PROvision? Looks real awesome but, for $7500? It has a touch screen that you can point out issues (like Madden) as you record and looks similar to the Seesnake compact except the moniter actually folds into the reel so it saves space. All that sounds nice but, if the pushrod is crap, it's pointless. Just wondering if anyone has tried it.
                    Call this guy. I think he lives in Advance. He can demo the product for you.
                    Matt Hedrick
                    815-414-1277
                    AllurePlumbing.com
                    • leak detection
                    • drain cleaning
                    • utility locating
                    • conductor fault locating
                    • and other specialties.

                    Greensboro NC, Winston-Salem NC, High Point NC, Thomasville NC, Kernersville NC

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Make my own camera system?

                      Weird, I went to school w/ a MAtt Hedrick and I'm from that area (Davie County). Wonder if it's the same guy. Thanks for the info. Found a Demo on Spartan's website for sale $4000+/-.
                      About the moniter questin. Is the camera head B&W or can I just buy a Color Ridgid moniter? Not that it's any issue. There are certain things you don't want to see in color, especially in a sewer.
                      Good luck w/ the 30''pipe situation. Hope you find what you need in time. Hell, just get in there w/ a flashlight and crawl through the thing... lol. That's worth $30000 all by itself.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Make my own camera system?

                        Originally posted by Plumber26 View Post
                        Weird, I went to school w/ a MAtt Hedrick and I'm from that area (Davie County). Wonder if it's the same guy. Thanks for the info. Found a Demo on Spartan's website for sale $4000+/-.
                        About the moniter questin. Is the camera head B&W or can I just buy a Color Ridgid moniter? Not that it's any issue. There are certain things you don't want to see in color, especially in a sewer.
                        Good luck w/ the 30''pipe situation. Hope you find what you need in time. Hell, just get in there w/ a flashlight and crawl through the thing... lol. That's worth $30000 all by itself.
                        there are color heads and b/w heads. both will work with either color or b/w monitors. The b/w head I have has a red light, not a white one. I think you could tell a color head from a b/w by powering it up and if it has a white light, it's color. others may know better than me but that is my experience with the heads I have owned.
                        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Make my own camera system?

                          the color cameras came out when they developed white led's. before that it was red led's or infrared led's on black and white. if memory serves me right, that was around 1997?

                          rick.
                          phoebe it is

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                          • #43
                            Re: Make my own camera system?

                            Hey. I think this is probably the best thread to post in. I've done some searching around and I'm not finding anyone asking the same thing, sorry if this is a repeat question...

                            We've got a SeeSnake camera and external monitor setup that we connect to a Sony DVD recorder in a Pelican Pack. It's a great little setup, but we're trying to cut down on stuff in the van... I'm sure most of you have seen the setups with the SeeSnake reel plugging directly into a Pelican Pack with a monitor and recorder built in that are being sold for around $1200 or more by third party companies. This is a fairly simple device to build, and could be had for about half the cost, however my only hurdle is locating the female connector for the SeeSnake reel.

                            Does anyone know if Ridgid sells this part, or if anyone has produced an aftermarket socket?

                            Once I've sourced this part, the rest is simple... hook the power and ground pins to a 12v power source, and the video pin to an RCA connection that feeds to the video receiver (not sure if I'll be going with the same Sony unit we use now or not... I may look into something with a solid state hard drive for that added "field ruggedness" factor). Along with that, fitting the whole thing with a flat panel monitor in a Pelican Pack case should make for a fun weekend project. If someone would help me source that socket I'd be glad to post a pictorial DIY (if that sort of thing is allowed here... I don't see this as leeching from Ridgid, since this is DIYing a largely third party product)

                            EDIT - I just realized my other roadblock will be adding controls for resetting the distance tracker, and toggling the transmitter. Since there are only power and video pins on that connector I assume those features are controlled by sending quick interrupts in power to the unit (which is why the video signal blips briefly when those buttons are pressed on the Ridgid monitor). With a bit of experimenting I would assume that could be replicated using a microcontroller (such as an arduino). That would be a MKII build feature though. If there's any info on this already that would also be great.
                            Last edited by ADW Patrick; 09-16-2012, 11:05 PM.

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                            • #44
                              Re: Make my own camera system?

                              Originally posted by ADW Patrick View Post
                              Does anyone know if Ridgid sells this part, or if anyone has produced an aftermarket socket?
                              connector = ridgid pn 77307, bulkhead connector

                              I'd go with sd card memory or usb thumb drives; I'd ruin a dvd burner quick, and a hard drive almost as quick

                              blipping the power seems to toggle the sonde on/off

                              I don't know for certain, but I think the footage counter is entirely within the reel, and is an overlay on top of the video signal, and might end up working just fine with your display/record device.

                              Good luck, and enjoy. This was a project I was working on for a while but, while I'm sure I'd have got something together, I ended up losing interest and being too busy and needing a solution sooner than I was going to get one built. I bought a couple cs 10's. They work nicely for my needs. I'd have saved a few thousand, but it just wasn't worth the time and effort to me.
                              This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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