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building my own underwater camera

3641 Views 32 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  jpollman
finally got started today after recieving all the needed parts to build my own lunkercam. first a huge thanks for jpollman, for going out of his way to fax me the directions so i could read em over and see if it was something i wanted to tackle. i ordered the plans and camera online, the plans included lots of little parts to get you going and a shopping list of what else to pick up . the list is very specific it gives you part numbers right from radioshack catalogs. if you try this yourself read the directions several times and have every part ready to go once you start soldering it sucks having to desolder or resolder over and over. im not finished yet but have some pics of what is done. i couldnt wait to finish so i already had it wired up and hooked to my house t.v. and it works great!
these are the parts plus the camera and a few homedepot items this gets ya started

i skipped the first step and did my junction box fisrt since i added the optional on/off switches for the camera and lights really read the directions if you go this route i luckily got it right the first time, but could see why people may have trouble then i added an rf adpater (going ou t the bottom) so i can hook it to any cable ready t.v. you also neds this if your t.v. doesnt have seperate audio and video rca's out the back. this was interesting adding the resistors of two different ohms to complete the circuits but the directions read very well

as soon as i complete more ill get more pics and of course ill show ya the finished product! thanks for looking!:D

build your own lunker cam
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finished up most of the lower camera assembly unit!
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Looks like a cool project. Can't wait to see the latest pics! :D
With the little $19.95 tv from ABC, how much you got into this, without the labor?
Good deal !

Glad to see you rounded up all of the parts you needed. It's really a fun project while you're doing it. Once you're all done and have it working there's a real feeling of satisfaction in having built it yourself. Another nice thing is that if anything ever goes wrong, chances are that you'll be able to fix it yourself !

Can't wait to see the finished product but it looks like you're doing just fine so far. Keep up the good work !
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I built one of these a couple of years ago. I think with the kit, camera, and TV I had about $110 to $120 into it.
That's a really cool project! I think I'll order the parts and build one too. :)
there should be somthing that u can just plug into ur video camra to put dow the hole like the cord connects to the camra and theres the little camra on the end of the wire
You can get the camera already put (WIR-100) together in an enclosure with IR LED's at http://www.intellicamspy.com/waterproof_cameras.htm but it's cheaper to build your own from PVC.
Hey great post. Here is another option for cameras, I am not sure if one would be any better then the other, but what the heck!


If you get their emails, they sometimes have these and others on sale in packs of 3 for like under $100!
i refuse to buy anything from x-10 on prinicpal since them guys are the inventors of the "pop under" advertising on the internet. I'd rather give my money somewhere else that doesn't promote such obnoxious advertising.

I think a nice addition would be a motion sensor that either turns the camera on from a sleep mode or sends an audible response so you know when something is down there moving around.
In my line of work I design and build printed circuit boards for everyone from hobbiests to huge corporations, military and even NASA. In my spare time I design and build gadgets like this too for fun. In fact this past weekend I tested a large auxillary infrared light source while fishing for whitefish at night...it worked great, too.

Just so you know, although building this project is definetely half the fun, you can buy an Atlantis Drop Cam with 65' of cable, battery, charger, 5" B/W monitor and soft case for $190.00. I bought one last year and am very pleased with it.

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but to my understanding atlantis drop cams have a lite that cannot be shut off unless they have changed their design. this gives me that option plus 50-70 buxs less and a the feeling of accomplishment when im done!:D
Youre right, my Drop Cam has the IR lights on all the time. I'm not sure why that would be a problem, but if I wanted to disable them I would just go in and do it.

Dont get me wrong, I am not in any way trying to discourage you! I just wanted to mention the Atlantis option for anyone who is reading, but doesnt have the gusto to build their own.

Have fun!
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for sure. i looked at the atlantis several times but decide to try it on my own. i think for the most part not being able to turn the lites off would be fine, but can see where looking in dirty water how the lite can reflect making viewing even harder, then again how well would you be able to view in dirty water anyways? so who knows. but for those not mechanically inclined or ambitious enough to try it def. look at the atlantis drop cam
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I didn't use my Lunker Cam very much. But believe me, being able to turn the lights off will make a difference under the right conditions. Plus, it's not much less but there is less draw on the battery if you aren't running the lights. Every little bit helps ! :)
Ozz can't wait to see your next post! This looks interesting and I might want to try it too! I just got done building my own shanty, might as weel build my own camera, plus like jpollman said if it breaks you would be more likely to be able to fix it yourself. I use to do board level repair for Honeywell programmable thermostats so I am sure I can do this one. If I should have any trouble I know all the right people to help me out. Can't wait to see the next post! Keep up the great work.
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got everything i can get done so far im waiting on two LEDs that somehow didnt make it into my kit he apologized and mailed em right away. so till i get those i cant do much but i got my box and system all down so when the lites get here ill be done and get some pics up. should be a good system and easy to use which is key if it aint easy to set-up and use you'll never use it on the ice
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Originally posted by jpollman
I didn't use my Lunker Cam very much. But believe me, being able to turn the lights off will make a difference under the right conditions. Plus, it's not much less but there is less draw on the battery if you aren't running the lights. Every little bit helps ! :)
Turning them on every once in a while is a good thing too even if you can see fish just fine. higherpowered showed me that last Sunday. We were seeing a few perch here and there, and then he flipped on the light and there was a perch RIGHT in front of the camera that you couldn't see with the light off. It was freaky. He turned it off, perch was gone. Turned it on and the perch was there.
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