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  • Make my own camera system?

    I know this might sound kinda crazy, but is it even possible to put together my own camera system. I just find it ridiculous that Ridgid and General charge anywhere from $5,000 to $11,000 for what amounts to a $200 DVD recorder, $200 TV monitor, heavy duty case, and 200 ft reel of cable. I thought that the cable was similar to the thicker RG-11 tv cable that is used for longer run cable TV installations???? I know...I know.....it's a heavier duty version, but does it really cost them over $20 per foot? I might be wrong, but it just seems crazy to me....and I'm not a cheap-skate at all. I always buy the quality tools, I was just wondering if anyone can clear this up for me.

  • #2
    Re: Make my own camera system?

    I looked into that too. My father in law is a swim coach and he builds under water cameras so i had him look into building one he said it wouldnt be as easy as you'd think. it wasnt the cable and the camera it was the machineing and the hardware
    Mike
    Clark County Plumbing And Drain
    www.plumbinginclarkcounty.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Make my own camera system?

      the lens is special (one place I read it was sapphire) do not know if ridgid is or not but some do use it in there lens, then there is the push rod special hollow with transmission cable in it,, , but I can tell you by experience a electrical fiberglass tape will not work, I tried to make one and yes it would work on a 3" or larger line but much past 20 feet it was useless, and the lens I had would collect stuff, and was not scratch proof, (it was water proof) but except for some short runs that had next to no bends was it of any use,

      most of the mini cams may say color but when the IR leds are on the picture is normally black and white. only in natural light will you see color and it has to normally be very good light.

      yes the price is beyond me or my means as well, but there is more to making one than meets the eye,

      and besides labeling the cable on has no Idea how far in one is,


      you can go to ebay and fine sewer cams down to under $300 but I would really doubt if they have any of the features or quality of the high end companys, like Ridgid,
      Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
      attributed to Samuel Johnson
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
      PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Make my own camera system?

        I don't think Ridgid's color mini can be improved on much. At least the camera, reel and pushrod. I own a Vivax, and can't do what I can do with the Ridgid with it, mostly as the pushrod is crap, though they've supposedly got a better one in the works which I am to get soon. I'd take my $ back for it in a heartbeat to buy 1/2 another Ridgid.

        I've gone around a while with this, and I come back to the fact that all the quality systems retail for similar prices. I just don't think it can be done much cheaper. You've got a sensitive and delicate camera thats got to be very water proof and has got to take a beating and shrug it off daily. You've got a lot of development in getting just the right flex in the pushrod. You've got a reel with expensive sliprings to carry the signal through the rotation. You've got a head unit with electronics and a screen that must survive knocking around in your vehicle daily and work in environments where it is likely to get splashed, rained on, or snowed on.

        I'd like to demo Radiodetection's Gatorcam3 for a few months and see how that compares, but their pricing is on the same level and for another couple thousand I'd probably just stay with Ridgid for compatability reasons alone. For me to buy 3 new gators is much more than one more Ridgid.

        Plumberjr made a setup to run the Ridgid reel directly to a laptop, but to my knowledge it does not power up the sonde. If you can get around this it would avoid the cost of the monitor.

        But in the end, you are not going to make anything as functonal, durable and convenient as the Ridgid for much less $. The only reason to mess around with it is if you are genuinely interested in it and will enjoy the creating of it. If you just want the tool, suck it up and pay for it.
        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Make my own camera system?

          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.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Make my own camera system?

            I appreciate the info guys, I'm thinking of buying my own Ridgid 200ft color reel now but I don't like Ridgid's monitor setups....plus the fact that it costs $3,300 for a doofy looking monitor. The mini cam monitor is more practical for the job site but it only comes with 100 ft reels and I don't want to spend $1,000's just to be 20 ft short on my next job. I would like to have a monitor setup similar to General's Spectra system which is in an attache case instead of their other setup which is a HUGE plastic box(20" by 20" by 30"). Is there a way to have the line trace feature added to a good quality LCD screen and dvd burner???? I figure that even a high end screen, burner, and heavy duty case will set me back about $1,000 at most. What if I also buy the brick transmitter and clamp it to the end of the reel?????
            Last edited by vette850; 02-21-2009, 01:28 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Make my own camera system?

              Originally posted by vette850 View Post
              I appreciate the info guys, I'm thinking of buying my own Ridgid 200ft color reel now but I don't like Ridgid's monitor setups....plus the fact that it costs $3,300 for a doofy looking monitor. The mini cam monitor is more practical for the job site but it only comes with 100 ft reels and I don't want to spend $1,000's just to be 20 ft short on my next job. I would like to have a monitor setup similar to General's Spectra system which is in an attache case instead of their other setup which is a HUGE plastic box(20" by 20" by 30"). Is there a way to have the line trace feature added to a good quality LCD screen and dvd burner???? I figure that even a high end screen, burner, and heavy duty case will set me back about $1,000 at most. What if I also buy the brick transmitter and clamp it to the end of the reel?????
              I am interested if this works as well?
              Anyone tried it?

              Simon

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Make my own camera system?

                What if you bought the ridgid pn 87252 power pack, about a grand new, or robbed one out of a used monitor if you can find one for less than that, and used the a/v feeds to a laptop via a vid capture device? Then you can power the sonde in the reel? Be interesting to see if this would work.
                This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Make my own camera system?

                  I just bought my seesnake plus, color, vhs, with the scout in January of this year and have already gotten 10% percent of my money back in work. I love this tool!!!

                  The price of the reel at a little over $5000 is totally worth it to me. The small camera head, the sonde, the push rod, very durable. I understand this price.

                  The monitor at give or take $3500 is way overpriced. The vcr and monitor is worth only $200. So that leaves us with $3300. Is the control really worth $3300? I dont think so.

                  But what do I know?

                  I know this. This thing is paying for itself quickly.

                  I've never tried other cameras. I've only used seesnake even when working for other companies. But according to every plumber I've ever talked to in person or in this forum, the other cameras dont compare.

                  Also I have an authorized seesnake repair center 30 minutes from me.

                  My only real regret is that I didn't bite the bullet sooner and buy my camera when I first started over three years ago. I only told a couple of people and have already gotten work for the camera. I cant wait to tell more customers about my new toy!

                  Lenny

                  Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

                  I know, it doesn't make sense.


                  http://www.hebertdraincare.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Make my own camera system?

                    Originally posted by Ace Sewer View Post
                    What if you bought the ridgid pn 87252 power pack, about a grand new, or robbed one out of a used monitor if you can find one for less than that, and used the a/v feeds to a laptop via a vid capture device? Then you can power the sonde in the reel? Be interesting to see if this would work.
                    It works. That is close to what I am doing, and it is the ORIGINAL way that SeeSnakes were set up. You weren't tied down to proprietary video equipment - the 87252 would allow you to use ANY video device you want.

                    I never bought ANY of Ridgid's VCR's or monitors - they were WAAAYY overpriced and too big. I started with a basic 9" AC/DC VHS/TV combo you could buy at any Best Buy for $150, took it apart and figured out how to bolt it to the top of the 87252 such that it was one solid unit. Used the kickstand on the bottom of the PowerPack to tilt the whole thing back. Used one of those soft side coolers from California Innovations as a carry case. Worked pretty well. Whole thing way under $1000.

                    Then discovered the Sansui CLD-0065 VHS VCR + 6" LCD TV and started using those. Cut the weight + bulk by 1/2. CLD-0065's were under $200 if I remember correctly.

                    You can see what I did here:

                    http://www.detectionspecialties.com/...video_insp.htm

                    9" TV on the left attached to Power Pack, CLD-0065 on the right.

                    Got tired of problems with videotape and went all-digital with Archos 704 in October 2007.

                    87252's can still be had for around $600 when you can find them. I think Ridgid did all of us a real disservice by discontinuing them and forcing us to use overpriced, proprietary monitor/control units.

                    I am pretty sure that I can make my own PowerPack if I need to. I currently have two of them - the electronics are built extremely well by DeepSea of San Diego and will probably outlive me, so I likely will never need to replace one.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Make my own camera system?

                      So can I use the 87252 power pack for a dvdr setup? When you go on Ridgid's website, they have the 87252 listed as the power pack for the VCR and the 25128 listed as the power pack for a dvdr setup. I hope that I can use the 87252 on my dvdr cause it is half the price of the 25128. Thanks.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Make my own camera system?

                        Originally posted by Vance G View Post
                        It works. That is close to what I am doing, and it is the ORIGINAL way that SeeSnakes were set up. You weren't tied down to proprietary video equipment - the 87252 would allow you to use ANY video device you want.

                        I never bought ANY of Ridgid's VCR's or monitors - they were WAAAYY overpriced and too big. I started with a basic 9" AC/DC VHS/TV combo you could buy at any Best Buy for $150, took it apart and figured out how to bolt it to the top of the 87252 such that it was one solid unit. Used the kickstand on the bottom of the PowerPack to tilt the whole thing back. Used one of those soft side coolers from California Innovations as a carry case. Worked pretty well. Whole thing way under $1000.

                        Then discovered the Sansui CLD-0065 VHS VCR + 6" LCD TV and started using those. Cut the weight + bulk by 1/2. CLD-0065's were under $200 if I remember correctly.

                        You can see what I did here:

                        http://www.detectionspecialties.com/...video_insp.htm

                        9" TV on the left attached to Power Pack, CLD-0065 on the right.

                        Got tired of problems with videotape and went all-digital with Archos 704 in October 2007.

                        87252's can still be had for around $600 when you can find them. I think Ridgid did all of us a real disservice by discontinuing them and forcing us to use overpriced, proprietary monitor/control units.

                        I am pretty sure that I can make my own PowerPack if I need to. I currently have two of them - the electronics are built extremely well by DeepSea of San Diego and will probably outlive me, so I likely will never need to replace one.
                        interesting that you and i have the same set ups with the (5) 9'' tv,vcr and the (2)sansui units. that's what i did for a a good 10 years and still have them as back ups. but i do love the color monitor/ vcr briefcase.

                        in fact the first power pack i have is the original deep see unit in a metal 5'' x 5'' case.

                        when i need to convert a vhs to a dvd, i use my sony direct and just burn it as needed.

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Make my own camera system?

                          Did the same thing. When we bought a new camera head, we got the color one instead of the B&W by mistake(didn't know it at the time). About a year later my brother decides he wants to hook up his LCD and DVD player.
                          After a little tinkering, it worked great. And better yet it was now in color! We were happily surprised....

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Make my own camera system?

                            I couldn`t afford the ridgid screen one either. Have bought a DVD recorder with 80Gb HDD and a cheapish 19"TV, put everything in a heavy duty suitcase and there we go, works perfect. Can either store only on hard drive or burn onto DVD or both.

                            Have managed to relocate the cables through the suitcase not like on the picture any more. Looks really professional now.

                            Cheers, Meise
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
                              Re: Make my own camera system?

                              WOW.... you kiwi's put the fill valve on the wrong side of the W/C!

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