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Rock Spotting Video Camera Installation

Contributed By: Ethan Brady

I finally installed black and white CCD cameras to spot for me!!

I am powering them of 8 1.2V NiMH (rechargeable and no memory effect) batteries and using a 5" TV as a monitor. A non-shorting rotary switch allows me to choose between the 2 views and even has 3 extra positions for later expansion. RCA plugs allow the setup to be removed easily if needed. I had the camera on during my trip to Denver and back and didn't run out of power. The cams only draw 1/4 amp each. I might upgrade to a 3 pole switch to also switch camera power. Until I get more cameras, tho, it probably won't be an issue.

I mounted on cam on the passenger side spring "box" mounting bracket, aimed forward at the pass. side front wheel. Now I know which way my front wheel is pointing, and it will literally prevent me from falling off a cliff. The second camera is mounted in the trailer hitch (really!) facing forward. It allows a view of the rear diff and part of both rear tires. I wish that cam's lens was just a little wider. Oh well. Whaddya want for $50, right?!?

Speaking of cost, the cams were on sale for $50 each and the other parts were under $30 (switch, battery holder, metal case for everything). This doesn't include the voltage regulator I bought and ended up not using! The TV was free, as I already had it.

Any questions about what/how I did this, lemme know. As for a tech write up, well, there it is. It's not really too hard. If you can use a multimeter and solder, you can build the little switching box I made, or go to radio shack and get a pre-made one (and probably less than $30!) but it won't be made of metal and nor will it include your batteries! Also, I didn't seal the cams yet. I'm planning on staying outta the water for a little while! ;-)

Ethan B

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