100 metre camera rebuilt

100 metre camera August 2000

Copyright Dick Raynor 2000

In the light of experience gained with the earlier steel framed rig, our 100 metre towed camera has been reconfigured. The main changes are as follows:
1. The lights have been separated to try to provide more constant illumination over a greater range. The top light is angled steeply downwards to provide a more diffuse light close to the camera, while the lower light aims further into the distance.

2. A horizontal element has been added to the stabilising fin, to cause the camera to pitch down during a descent, and upwards during a climb. This will enable users to see better where they are going while on the sides of the loch.

3. A sonar transducer has been added just below the upper light, feeding through a spare coaxial cable to the display unit on the surface. This will enable the operator to "see" troublesome obstacles such as trees in time to avoid entanglement. It is hoped that it might also have uses in the on-going fish investigations.It will be interesting to see what effect the 192kHz pulses, or the pulse envelopes, have on them.

To see some results, click here.

Lasers Module fitted 10th September 2000

                                    Copyright 2000 Dick Raynor

TV camera with lasers

Despite appearances due to lens distortion, the two lasers are actually parallel and 150 mm or 6 inches apart. When an aerosol can is sprayed in front of them, the particles become visible from the side. Each unit draws about 25 milliamperes from a 2.4 volt supply.
As the beams are parallel, they should project 2 small spots of light on any plane surface in front of the camera, and these spots will always be 6 inches apart. This way, we don't have to guess the size of objects any more. Photographing the rig is much harder than using it!

If  you would like to have your own underwater television system for angling, wreck location, well inspection or plain curiosity, just email me to discuss your requirements.

Ongoing project

Another camera, still under construction, will utilise 50 metres of 8 core cable to have a couple of extra facilities useful in shallow work. The camera will be in a sealed acrylic dome, and attached to a miniature servo motor (or two) which will enable the operator to pan and tilt the camera within the dome, and so "look" at things of interest as they pass.

There will also be a pair of miniature lasers at a fixed beam separation, which can be briefly switched on to provide precise size measurements.

A switchable selection of lighting arrangements will  be provided for comparison purposes including infra-red, ultra-violet, flourescent and the new deep lamp tested to 234 metres. This item has now been identified as a Ford Escort foglamp bulb!

Anglers model being tested

A no-frills, pocket sized version of the camera will shortly be tested for use by anglers. It consists of a camera and monitor which can run off a pocket-sized 12 volt battery. The camera can be fitted with 25, 50 or 100 metres of cable and can be lowered from a boat or a roach-pole.

Anglers will use it to locate underwater obstacles, as well as to study the underwater topography.

Contact me for more details at