Introduction: A Compact PVC Camera Uderwater Enclosure

Picture of A Compact PVC Camera Uderwater Enclosure


This is my first attempt at building a waterproof camera enclosure. It is designed to fit a flashlight spy camera available from various online retailers for about 45$. I wanted something that wouldn't add too much bulk to the camera. I tried to do the entire build with materials readily avialable from hardware stores. The acrylic sheet was scrounged from another project. It might take a little bit of searching to find the thicker acrylic.

Step 1: Materials


4 1/2" of 1-1/2" PVC pipe
1 1-1/2"  end cap
1 1-1/2"  threaded clean out
Acrylic Sheet ( as thick as you can find in this case 10mm)
PVC Adhesive and Pretreatment (Purple Stuff)
Epoxy ( I used JB weld but 5min epoxy would work. Other resins might need thickening)
Xacto Knife
Jig Saw
Teflon Thread Tape
Hole Saw
File
Sand Paper
Stainless Steal Eye Hook
Epoxy Plumbing Putty

Step 2: Cut Out Acrylic Circle

Picture of Cut Out Acrylic Circle

You can use the end of the PVC pipe as a template to draw a circle on the plastic. Notice that I have left on the protective paper to avoid scratches. I cut the circle using the jig saw.  In the picture it doesn't look perfectly round. I cut outside the line, then used a file and sandpaper to finish. It also allowed me to fine tune the disk until it fit snugly into the end cap.

Step 3: PVC Parts

Picture of PVC Parts


I used the plain end cap to help hold the acrylic on. This protects and reinforces the acrylic window. It also makes for more glued surface area and a longer path for water to reach the interior. 

I cut a hole in the center of the end cap using the hole saw. The hole is a smaller diameter than the acrylic disk.  Smooth off the burs using the sandpaper.

I cut the pipe to length using the jig saw and smoothed off the burs.
 




Step 4: Dry Fit Then Glue

Picture of Dry Fit  Then Glue

I did a dry fit of the pieces to make sure they fit.  I sanded and filed the acrylic so that it fit snug in the end cap. I also tested how the camera would fit in the enclosure.

I stripped off the protective paper around the edge of the acrylic where it would come into contact with the PVC. I bedded the acrylic in a layer of JB weld spread around the lip of the opening of the cap. I place a weight on the acrylic and let it cure for 24 hours.

Final fit time. Use the purple solvent then PVC glue on all the glued surfaces then pressure fit. I used a bar clamp to compress the ends and ensure a tight fit. When done right this actually "welds" the PVC together. 

Step 5: Fit the Camera

Picture of Fit the Camera


Step 6: Attachment Point

Picture of Attachment Point

The Idea was to have the camera hang down from a line with a Fishing jig below it. I drilled a hole in the end cap just big enough to fit the end of an eye hook. I fixed the eye hook in place with a nut then filled in the end cap with epoxy plumbing putty. This makes the end cap a solid piece of plastic and should keep out any water.
I tested it out in my fish tank and a pond with no leakage. Next.....the gulf of Maine.

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