Introduction: Making an Online Fish Tank Webcam!
Step by step guide for modding the case of an IP camera so that it can be attached directly to a Fish Tank.
The reason this is needed is because webcams usually are designed to be put in front of the subject, or need a stand. However with a Fish Tank cam it needs to be hidden away taking up as little room as possible
Step 1: Get Your Parts
1. Get an IP webcam (this means that you dont have to have a PC attached to it to get the images onto the web) The one i chose was an Orite IP cam 200 - you can pick these up for less than £50
2. Get a project box from Maplin/Radio Shack - the one i got cost about £3
Step 2: Take the IP Camera Out of Its Casing
1. Unscrew the two small phillips screws on the underside of the box
2. Pull the box apart
3. Unscrew the final philips screw which attaches the PCB to the case
Thats it, the camera is free!
Step 3: Cut the Project Box
1. Carefully cut a hole in the project box that will take the cable - make sure that it fits nicely and the box closes fully
2. Cut a hole in the front of the box so that the lens can see through it
Note:/ I found that by using a craft knife the font hole was easy enough to make (you do need to be careful though). The wire hole is easily made with a junior hack saw
Step 4: Now Install the Electronics
Fairly self explanitory!
I have used two large lumps of bluetack (you could also use Sugru) to hold the camera in place, this allowed me to adjust its angle inside the case easily
Step 5: Play With the Angle + Then Screw the Top on
This took a while, first of all get the focus correct then keep playing with the angle of the camera until you can see enough of the tank.
Once done attach the box top
Step 6: Firmly Attach It to Your Tank
I used lots of bluetack!
Step 7: View Your Tank on the Web!
Now just port forward your DSL IP address on port 80 to the webcam.
There are lots of other bits to do on this, including the firewall setup, the camera setup, and the webpage (if you want one) etc etc but i havent gone into detail on this project.
Step 8: Update - Wide Angle Lens!
I've found a wideagle lens that fits, i bought this from http://www.maplin.co.uk (Stock code MW64U) for about £13.
This gives a far wider view of the tank.