Explore whats below the waters surface with a reverse periscope. This is
a PVC pole with 2 GoPro cameras attached, 1 of which has a live video feed to the surface. Its all battery powered for portability. I also added a hook to retrieve found treasure on the ocean bottom.
Step 1: The EV Nathan Bridger
This is a short video of the 2nd expedition of the EV Nathan Bridger, The goal was to find and video living organisms under the water surface. The location is Owls Creek in Virginia Beach, VA. This small body of water is saltwater connected to the Atlantic Ocean by Rudee Inlet. In the video are hermit crabs, mollusks, and sea snails among tons of tiny creatures constantly flying by with the current. Filmed with a GoPro Hero 3+.
Step 2: Live Video Monitor Housing
This monitor housing will keep the water away when it's raining or from sea spray, but it is not waterproof. Its more of a way to control all the wires associated with this project. I also have a small shoulder backpack to carry the 100 ft. of video wire. The container is a recycled Mixed Nuts plastic jug with a round screw top from Costco.
The monitor is a small 3.5" LCD Backup Camera Display available online. I added a switch between the monitor and a 3s LiPo battery used for RC cars. Its rechargeable and so far lasts more than 1.5 hrs, additional battery life tests are still needed. I soldered the wires to the switch prior to mounting the switch, hence the odd placement and sugru to secure the switch. Be sure to plan out where your switch will go before you solder any wires.
The Video connector is a RCA composite connector from a wall plate I had from another project. I drilled a small hole on the cap, insert connector, screw back together. This makes for a nice, easy to connect/disconnect handheld monitor. Future add-on will be an anti-glare visor, a bit hard to see in full sunshine.
Step 3: Main Assembly & Parts
The main structure is made from 1" pvc. I have 2 T pieces connected to support 2 GoPro cameras. I added an extension to the main assembly with a hole and latch pin. This allows me to connect to a larger pole extension, so far it's about 8ft. long, perfect for around the docks and just under the boat. Additional "pvc poles" can then be added to each end with another set of holes and latch pins.
My Parts List:
- 2 GoPro Cameras
- Live Video Out GoPro case by Eye of Mine Action Camera
- 100ft video cable standard def
- 3.5" LCD display bought online
- 3s LiPo battery bought at hobby shop, available online
- Metal rod from scrap
- Wire ties
- Rocker switch bought at going out of business Radio Shack
- Sugru available online
- RCA composite connector
- 2 T pieces
- 1 elbow pieces
- 2 end caps
- 1" diameter PVC cut into the following pieces:
- 2.5 in x 2
- 24 in x 1
- 1.5 in x 2
- 7.5 in x 1
- PVC cement
This list should be flexible with your design, add or subract items where needed, think of this as a starting point. I used 2 cameras, however the Live Video Out attachment requires only 1 GoPro.
Step 4: GoPro Mount
There are many ways to attach a GoPro to PVC, I used the Tri-pod mount with a screw and spacers (nuts) and a PVC end cap. Drilled a hole using a cordless drill, make sure the cap is well secured and stable prior to drilling using a clamp. The Tri-pod GoPro mount has a thread size 1/4"-20TPI (threads per inch).
Step 5: Hook Attachment
The hook is a bent metal rod inserted into a hole and secured with 3 wire ties. I clamped the rod to some old heavy scrap wood, hammered away until i was happy with the bends.
Step 6: Go Exploring!
Take this apparatus wherever there is water and see whats below! Remember to rinse off the rig with fresh water after it being in saltwater. Also, always test your GoPro housing without a camera in it to ensure the seals are working correctly. Rinse them and clean them regularly to prevent any future leaks.
Have fun and let me know of any questions in the comments!