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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Suggestions needed for building a Remote Housing
Dylan Gordon, Photographer
Ventura | CA | US | Posted: 8:55 PM on 03.28.11
->> Hey all -

I want to build a cost efficient housing to fit a camera + Pocketwizard.

Ideally:
- i want it to be small as possible so that i can put it in almost any place..
- solid.. needs to be able to withstand somewhat of a beating: being kicked, dropped, hit.. Needs to be able to take a hockey puck.

My original idea is to drill a large hole in the back of a pelican case and put a plexli-glass dome port on the front. This unfortunately is not the most cost efficient.

If theres any way you can help me out with a better way to build something like this, ideally under $50, it would be hugely appreciated.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (2) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Tom Story, Photographer
Tempe | AZ | USA | Posted: 9:10 PM on 03.28.11
->> Ammo can?
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John OHara, Photographer
Petaluma | Ca | United States | Posted: 11:45 PM on 03.28.11
->> Go to ebay, find an Ikelite under water case bid cheap. Or hire soemone to point and you shoot
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Dylan Gordon, Photographer
Ventura | CA | US | Posted: 12:36 AM on 03.29.11
->> Tom - Ammo can would block the signal from a pocketwizard..

John - unfortunately, i dont think i'll be able to find someone to sit inside a hockey net or in the middle of race track to hold a camera.. But i'll def check out ebay. Thanks!
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:02 PM on 03.29.11
->> Dylan the $50 is going to be the BIG roadblock. Only thing that comes to mind in that price range would be to find a contractor that does sewer work and buy 12" of 6 or 7 inch PVC pipe. Have the Lexan cut to the proper diameter and glue it into the front of the pipe. The 12" is oversized dependent on what body and trigger you want to mount in there. Buy the 12" and cut it down once you dry fit everything.

Get a piece of 1 inch aluminum stock cut to the length of the pipe and drill (3) 1/4 inch holes. One to line up with the body's tripod socket one to mount a cold shoe to hold the PW and one to let you pass a 1/4 bolt and wingnut to lock the camera/pw rig into position.

PRO's are that the pipe will take a hit from the side better than most enclosures and will shed water nicely. PVC won't block RF.

CON's You won't be able to make adjustments once the camera is mounted in the pipe. You can't easily swap cards. You can't see the LCD's to verify anything. (Depending on the body you may be able to plug a USB cable into it and use a laptop to make adjustments while the camera is in the pipe.)

DON'T paint it BLACK you will roast your gear in the sun!

I'm not taking mounting hardware (magic arms/clamps etc) into the $50 budget.
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Mike Isler, Photographer, Assistant
New York | NY | US | Posted: 12:17 PM on 03.29.11
->> Dylan-

You'll find a lot of good information by searching the Message Board... just searching for "netcam" turns up this thread:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=13251

I suspect that the $50 budget might be quite a barrier though. Even a Pelican case, as you propose, costs more than that. Perhaps you can learn how to create from Fiberglass? If you can make a solid fiberglass housing with a flat Lexan front, it could be reasonably inexpensive.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 12:53 PM on 03.29.11
->> Dylan,

As many have said $50 is going to be tough... the one thing that comes to mind by going the DIY route is.... will the refs/league/coaches look at this contraption and even let you use it.

Not sure what levels you are looking at but some have strict restrictions and require approval from the league.

Youth levels require approval from the refs in some/most cases. I always ask and only one ref had me show it to him prior and he was fine with it, especially when I said this is the same used in most NHL nets.

Keep this in mind before you get to far, might be better to by one and be able to use it.

Jim
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 2:15 PM on 03.29.11
->> Dylan, just my personal opinion but you want to try and spend less than $50 to protect a piece of gear that potentially costs over $3000,$4000, or $5000+ ? If the safety of your equipment means that little why even bother "protecting" it?
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 2:35 PM on 03.29.11
->> Jim good point but I know of only one 'commercial' vendor of enclosures and he won't sell the soft top to people buying his rig on the used market. If you know of other companies selling these let us know. Although this may be changing soon ;)

As far as the refs. You're probably right at the pro and college levels. At the high school and youth level not one at any game that I mounted my remote ever said boo. Two got photos of themselves from the remote!

A MUCH MUCH bigger point in this discussion should be to review your liability coverage. Manufacturing a device that you are going to put in a situation where some one may hit it and get injured may fall outside your standard photographer's coverage.
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Chris Peterson, Photographer, Photo Editor
Columbia Falls | MT | USA | Posted: 3:30 PM on 03.29.11
->> What if you made a mold around the camera and wizard out of plastic bags (I'm thinking out loud here) and then put it in a box, then filled the box with that styrofoam insulation that you inject into houses (it comes in a can).

You then cut the camera out of the mold and when it's time to put it in place, glue or tape the mold back around it.

I bought a Mac Pro on eBay and that's how they shipped it. They covered it in plastic and then foamed the sucker. It was pretty slick (though tough to unpack).

Of course, the Pocket Wizard antennae would have to stick out.

But what Chuck says in the on the mark.

Ammo cans definitely work to protect cameras. I've left cameras out in the field for weeks in an ammo can with no problems. But the electronic stuff to fire them was always outside the box.

Just my 2 cents.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 3:55 PM on 03.29.11
->> Chris those foam packs are self contained units. The foam and activator are contained within the plastic bag. If you wanted to do what you are describing the best bet would be to find a UPS store that does packaging and bring the gear in. They pop the first bag and put it in the bottom of the box. Once the foam expands partly they put in the camera and a second activated bag on top. Close the box and a little while later both bags are fully expanded and molded to the contents. Only thing to check is the heat given off in the exothermic activation.

That foam is the devil's crazy glue. Also note that most of those foams are not UV stable. If the plastic allows UV to pass though it the foam will eventually turn to dust.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 5:06 PM on 03.29.11
->> Chuck, Eric, I was going to bring your points up about the cost and insurance but i assume some things......The cost is low like you said chuck but we always see the .99 cent garbage bag protecting a probody and long lense as well as the home made trigger cable that fails, rather than $50 more for a well made one.

Eric, the main reason why I think there are no issues with the refs is that yours at least looks like the ones in the NHL. mine is the same as the NHL but the ref that questioned it was more interested in seeing how this works than giving me permission.

You think if you mounted a metal box, pelican case or a pipe you would have the same success? I doubt it.

I posted this link awhile ago:

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=35606

(I will be adding an image to my member page soon after the is posted) If I was to do it over I would remove the two side wings and the rear bend. This was before I knew I could have the soft top made.

Not much response to my thread so I just bought the same one that most have seen, actually just bought another setup and 3 extra plastic pieces.

I did get a quote to have the plastic piece fabricated and have two family members who are seemstresses. I showed them the soft top and both said no problem. The problem is in low quantity it is not economical.

If there are 8-10 interested I could relook at this but then again you could just buy it in classifieds or from the mfg that currently makes them.

Jim
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Michele Goldfarb, Photographer
Buffalo | NY | United States | Posted: 5:37 PM on 03.29.11
->> Hi. I am not sure if this is helpful , but, yes, putting it out there.
The thread I am sharing is on building a box for squash.
It is from 12/06, but, it is a camera box and they are being used. This description is from Insight, almost toward the end when you scroll down.
I am gearing up to build one and will let you know my final costs.
I know it will be more than $50.

Also, yes, if the players and coaches find it a distraction, once approved and placed, it will be removed.

Michele

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/489922
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 5:53 PM on 03.29.11
->> Jim, protecting gear from wind and rain with a garbage bag is a pretty much tried and true method for keeping your gear dry.....but this description

"needs to be able to withstand somewhat of a beating: being kicked, dropped, hit.. Needs to be able to take a hockey puck.
"

seems to involve somewhat more than a trash bag. 8)
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Thread Title: Suggestions needed for building a Remote Housing
Thread Started By: Dylan Gordon
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