I Built A Thing . . .

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I Built A Thing . . .

Postby jjester6000 » Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:47 am

]So, I've screwed around with analog television junk for quite a quite a while now, but its been quite a while since I've been to this forum.
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I picked up this Sanyo VC500 PortaPak camera at a flea market recently, and I decided that I want to build myself a digital recorder for it.
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Whenever I got a PortaPak camera in the past, I would have just cut the connector off, separated out the appropriate wires, and hooked the unit to a VCR (I took my RCA CC011 Storm Chasing, and recorded it using a VCR running off an Inverter).
DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDER FOR USE WITH PORTA-PACK CAMEREAS (You might find it interesting)..png

(My initial design, but not final)
I decided to use one of those FPV DVR's (for use with drones) as my recorder, as well as a 7AH SLA. I'm currently in college, so I don't have much of a work space in my apartment (Let alone many tools).
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Despite this, I was able to make it happen with parts from the Auto Parts Store, a Conduit Box from Home Depot, and a $3 hot glue gun.
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It's not finished yet, but it is functional.
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It still needs some sort of charging regulator to avoid overcharge (I got an external A/C adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter with a regulator built in, but I want to be able to run it off my trucks power socket) as well as a pre amp for the microphone (I can't hear shit).

I'm also considering welding on some belt loops so I can affix the unit to myself (Maximum Portability!)
If life doesn't give you lemons - Grow Some DAMMIT!!!
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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:04 pm

jjester6000 wrote:It still needs some sort of charging regulator to avoid overcharge (I got an external A/C adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter with a regulator built in, but I want to be able to run it off my trucks power socket) as well as a pre amp for the microphone...

Is the 'trucks' power different? Perhaps 24V? No big deal if it is or is not. How long would you wish a 7AH 12V battery to recharge in? Assuming engine/motor running...
Mic pre-amp easy, any idea of the mic used? Dynamic, electret or other? Any details?

Also, any experience in component-level builds rather than buying 'modules'?

One final question...what are you trying to do with this project? A rather important one...it's all rather vague to me...it seems to me, buy a dash-cam and be done with it, but correct me if I'm wrong...sorry if that seems a little harsh...

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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby smeezekitty » Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:01 pm

Steve Anderson wrote:One final question...what are you trying to do with this project? A rather important one...it's all rather vague to me...it seems to me, buy a dash-cam and be done with it, but correct me if I'm wrong...sorry if that seems a little harsh...

In the same vein, vidicon cameras are particular easily damaged by exposure to direct sunlight so that seems like it would make it a bad choice for recording in a car
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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby Steve Anderson » Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:21 pm

smeezekitty wrote:In the same vein, vidicon cameras are particular easily damaged by exposure to direct sunlight so that seems like it would make it a bad choice for recording in a car

In the same way the camera on Apollo 12 suffered the same fate...different type of tube though, but still subject to permanent 'burnout'..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtBMAMO11e8

Many other links to the same subject...

Now, what if that happened on 11?

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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby jjester6000 » Fri Sep 24, 2021 1:19 am

Steve Anderson wrote:
jjester6000 wrote:It still needs some sort of charging regulator to avoid overcharge (I got an external A/C adapter that plugs into the cigarette lighter with a regulator built in, but I want to be able to run it off my trucks power socket) as well as a pre amp for the microphone...

Is the 'trucks' power different? Perhaps 24V? No big deal if it is or is not. How long would you wish a 7AH 12V battery to recharge in? Assuming engine/motor running...
Mic pre-amp easy, any idea of the mic used? Dynamic, electret or other? Any details?

Also, any experience in component-level builds rather than buying 'modules'?

One final question...what are you trying to do with this project? A rather important one...it's all rather vague to me...it seems to me, buy a dash-cam and be done with it, but correct me if I'm wrong...sorry if that seems a little harsh...

Steve A.


Though I do have dual batteries, its a 12V system, and I want to be able to keep the battery topped off without overcharging it (would a voltage limiting resistor do the trick?). I go storm chasing and like old cameras, so why not combine them?
20210728_073518.jpg

I don't have much experience in component level building, in fact not too much experience with electronics projects in general; I'm good with automotive wiring, but I'm also somewhat literate in actually building circuits (I built an amplifier circuit for my crude flying spot scanner).
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Also, I understand that Vidion tubes are fragile, but I made this thing able to work with many different cameras; I understand that Saticon Tubes are particularly robust against this.
Last edited by jjester6000 on Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
If life doesn't give you lemons - Grow Some DAMMIT!!!
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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby jjester6000 » Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:15 am

This video right here is part of the reason that I want to take a vidicon camera Storm Chasing
https://youtu.be/17Cd-3z5gmQ
May 17th, 1981
(The NSSL had built a sound recording probe to deploy in the path of a tornado).
20181005_151408.jpg

(I also have a period correct truck for the job)
If life doesn't give you lemons - Grow Some DAMMIT!!!
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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby jjester6000 » Fri Sep 24, 2021 8:41 am

I did a bit of work on the unit, and made it actually a bit more usable.
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I added a shoulder strap as well as some connectors for an external mic (I don't need a preamp after all, the mic on the VC500 is just crap).
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I also fixed up the VC500 with a new/used lens from a parts RCA CC011 (I bought the camera without a lens)
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I had to modify it slightly to allow for a manual iris control, but its a hell of a lot better than the fixed zoom CCTV camera lens I was using.
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Here is a video test I made with this camera:
https://youtu.be/ln_iZWvW62s
If life doesn't give you lemons - Grow Some DAMMIT!!!
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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby jjester6000 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 2:21 am

So I did some more slight modifications to the camera.
20210923_183745.jpg

I added the Mic off my CC011 parts unit, and it seriously looks pretty cool on the camera.
20210923_210142.jpg

I also added the indoor/outdoor filter off the same camera, and it has seriously improved the over exposure issue.
20210923_183715.jpg
If life doesn't give you lemons - Grow Some DAMMIT!!!
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Re: I Built A Thing . . .

Postby jjester6000 » Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:25 am

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I got me a label maker, and its amazing how it completes the look of this unit.
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I also labeled some other stuff.
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Maybe I'll make a Stereo Dust Particles commercial about this unit.
http://45.59.85.254/sdp-ads/index.html
If life doesn't give you lemons - Grow Some DAMMIT!!!
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