Feasibility on camera idea

Hi All,

General project feasibility question here - please take it easy on me as I have limited experience with micro controllers and limited understanding of what is possible - but I am keen to learn and want to have some fun.

I do a lot of fishing, and have thought of making a waterproof camera that could be put down to 50-100m depth on a cable to look at the conditions on the lake / sea floor.

I understand that there will be high pressures with waterproofing and sealing of connections required, I can sort this elsewhere - my questions are regarding the electronics side specifically.

The idea would be to have an image sensor (digital camera), 6-10 leds (for illumination) and a temperature sensor together on the end of a 100m cable - feeding back video stream (and temp readings) to a 'box' at surface - with output to be viewed on a screen (possibly on laptop or smartphone). Would be good to be able to adjust brightness of LEDs at surface also.

Any suggestions on how this could be best approached? I am thinking that this could be effectively controlled by a micro controller, setup but perhaps I am wrong. If so, please let me know how other people manage these types of systems.

Will the 100m cable length between sensors and surface be an issue?

I see that there are many similar systems on the market available to buy... however these all seem to use analogue video / traditional signal and connections, and I would prefer to do use a 'digital' based camera as there are potential further benefits to digital image processing if this was to be taken further (I think).

Please let me know if anyone has any thoughts on this!

Arduinos do not have the memory or processing speed needed for video, or even for good quality still photos. A RaspberryPi would be a lot more appropriate. And it could probably do the other tasks also.

An Arduino could be used to control a camera - i.e. to switch it on or off.

...R

UNDERWATER1: I understand that there will be high pressures with waterproofing and sealing of connections required, I can sort this elsewhere - my questions are regarding the electronics side specifically.

Glad you are happy about getting that sorted. At 100 m, waterproofing is a serious problem! :astonished:

UNDERWATER1: Will the 100m cable length between sensors and surface be an issue?

Certainly will. For analog, coax is fairly straightforward, you will need only a video booster amplifier at the camera. Now for digital, you will have to figure out how you are going to interface the signal. USB is not appropriate over that distance, it would be more like HDMI (and again with a booster). Clearly this has nothing whatsoever to do with Arduinox which would only be connected to the temperature sensor, but OK, it's an entertaining discussion. :grinning:

UNDERWATER1: I see that there are many similar systems on the market available to buy... however these all seem to use analogue video / traditional signal and connections, and I would prefer to do use a 'digital' based camera as there are potential further benefits to digital image processing if this was to be taken further (I think).

As above, you need to figure it. Now I think of it, it looks like you want an "IP camera" to send the data over a Cat 5 Ethernet link (with POE). That would do it.

I presume you mean 6 to 10 LEDs of at least 1 Watt each. Maybe 10, 3 W LEDs.

Looks like 100 m of flexible (stranded) Cat 5, 4 wires for Ethernet 100, 2 for power at 36 or so Volts to power the series string of LEDs and POE, and two for your RS-422 link to the Arduino temperature interface.

What bandwidth in bits per second do you require?

If you are dealing with uncompressed video it may be alarmingly high.

Wikipedia says 24-bit, 1080p @ 60 fps: 24 × 1920×1080 × 60 = 2.98 Gbit/s.

Ask this question at a SCUBA diving website. Someone will know if this has been done.

"Please let me know if anyone has any thoughts on this!"

Use the forum Google search function in the upper right of this page to search for "ROV" and similar key words. You will probably find many previous project discussions and code concerning similar activities.