Introduction: High Tech Periscope

About: Engineering Physics Major Biola University, Civil Engineering concentration USC, Minor in Biblical Studies. Philippians 4:8

Webster's New World Dictionary defines a Periscope as an optical instrument consisting of a tube holding a system of lenses with a mirror at either end arranged so that a person looking through the eyepiece at one end can see objects reflected by the mirror at the other end: used on submerged submarines,  etc. With today's technology we can accomplish the same principle with electronics. Using things we found around our house and garage, we built a High Tech Periscope.

Step 1: Pieces and Parts

My grandpa and I found the following parts around the house and garage.

1. Electronic surveillance camera.
2. Portable analogue TV.
3. Aluminium pole.
4. Radio control car batteries.
5. Power Connector to fit camera.
6. Audio/video connector to fit TV input.
7. Metal part to mount TV and battery  onto aluminium pole.
8. Wires with connectors spades.
9. Zip ties and black electrical tape.

Step 2: Putting It Together

Depending on what you find around your place, your periscope may vary from ours in outward looks, but the function will be the same. It will allow you to look over, or around things. We are going to modify our periscope as time passes just as you most likely will.
Arrange your parts on a table so you can see how things will work together.  We started with the camera, then the pole and then the TV. Deciding to drill a small hole in the end of the pole we mounted the camera on one end of it. Then we looked for a part to mount the TV.  Finding  a preformed metal TV mast mounting part that worked for mounting the TV as well as the battery, we drilled a hole in the  pole  to mount the metal part and then used one sided tape to hold the TV and battery to the mount.

Step 3: The Battery!!!

The battery for us was the hardest part of the whole project. We had to build a battery that supplied the proper voltage and amperage  to run the camera for several hours at a time.  We needed 12VDC at .5mHr, it also had to be small enough to mount on the pole and operate the camera for at least 2 hours. The TV has its own AAA batteries and can operate for several hours on a set of batteries.  Finding two 9.6VDC radio control car batteries, we rebuilt them into one 12.13VDC battery. This allows us to recharge them and should last a long time.

Step 4: Camera Power Connector and Polarity

Looking at the power connector of the camera, we saw that the camera required 12VDC and the connector needed to have the positive from the battery to the tip of the connector, and the negative to the barrel of the tip. This is called polarity of the connector. Doing this I learned how to use a multimeter to check the voltage, and resistance for a complete circuit.  I also learned a lot about Ohms Law and the math involved. I zip tied all the wires down to the pole to stabilise the wires and prevent them from unconnecting. 

Step 5: Connecting the TV

All that remained to do is connect the camera to the TV and power everything up. To turn on the camera all I have to do is connect the ground side of the camera power cable to the battery. To turn on the TV is just a matter of moving a switch to the on position. For a final test we simply went outside and raised the camera above the fence and looked into the empty yard next door to us. Now that everything works, have fun, and have respect for others privacy. 

Green Living & Technology Challenge

Participated in the
Green Living & Technology Challenge