Introduction: Cheaper Document Camera*

About: I have always like building... now I have the skills and equipment to do some really cool stuff.

Document cameras are expensive and don't have the field of view I was looking for. One day, looking at the back of the LCD projector I noticed it had a video input... This led me to my old digital camera that had a video output!

What you will need:
1. Digital camera with video output
2. LCD projector with video input mounted to ceiling
3. Cable to connect the two (1/8" mini jack to RCA)
4. Lots of batteries for the digital camera (if you have a plug... all the better)
5. 1/4-20 bolt/machine screw 0.5"-0.75" long
6. Three old yardsticks
7. Metal piece with 90 degree bend or the like
8. Pop riveter & rivets or equivalent

*(this is only a cheap document camera... if you already have the LCD projector)

Step 1: Camera Mount:

The digital camera needs to aim at the work area to show what you are doing and be up enough to not get in your way or bonk your head. So I needed to hang it from the ceiling. The first time I did this the pole, from ceiling to camera, was to short... then I lengthened it.

Step 2: Ceiling Set Up

I needed to hook it to the ceiling but it also needed to move if I needed to change something... so not permanent. Also needed to be close enough for the camera cord to reach the projector. So I made this set up with:

two yardsticks
one plastic plate/piece
piece of metal with 90 degree bend and some hole in it
Some pop rivets
and finally some short bolts (1/4-20 is what you will need to screw into the bottom of the camera)

Nothing is fixed everything is just hanging there. wedged under the edges of the ceiling tiles.

Step 3: Camera Bit!

I drilled two holes in the yardstick, one at each end. One to bolt the yardstick to the metal bit and the other to mount the camera to.

As you can see the cord from the camera, video out, goes to the projectors video in.

Step 4: Final Thoughts

This was remarkably easy to set up... here are some of the goods and bads"

easy to set up
Has a wide field of view for showing entire work area
Can be moved if need be
Uses things that you probably have around
Students love it. They are transfixed just because it's different and cool.

Can still see all the camera settings through the projector (can't turn them off on this camera model. Other cameras you can)
eats batteries (some cameras have the option to plug them in... that would be good)
You bump the camera... all your kids get seasick!

I am going to try this set-up with a higher resolution web cam... I have the cam ordered.
You could use a better resolution digital camera... mine is 2 mega pixel. (make sure the video output is really good, so the detail is better)
You could also use an old video camera or cam corder... that way you have a plug (no batteries) and higher video output resolution.
Old color security camera would work also... you don't need sound just the video.