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  1. #1
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    Question Looking for some input from all of you for a project

    Hi All,

    I've been giving a lot of thought to something that I would like to have made, but I would like to see what you all think.

    I want to create an underwater camera case for a GoPro that would be capable of remaining submerged at relatively high speeds - maybe up to 70 or 80 MPH. I would like to be able to aim a GoPro camera upwards toward to the lower unit and pad of the boat at an oblique angle. The purpose would be to obtain a clear image of the pad, lower unit, and propeller at pretty high speeds.

    I realize there are a number of practical challenges to overcome, not least of which is not only the device itself, but how it would actually be mounted to withstand that kind of stress, as well as minimizing the affect it would have on the boat pulling it.

    Right now I think ideally, a camera case could be shaped in acrylic/Lexan, though that would also present a number of challenges. Obviously I wouldn't want to spend a fortune here. One thought I have would be to make a mold off a Speedmaster case, create the actual camera case in fiberglass and add a clear acrylic camera port for the lens with the GoPro mounted inside.

    I know a Speedmaster is not designed to be completely submerged at high speeds though, so I assume there would be some trial and error with the design. I would ideally need the camera case to be submerged at least 12 inches below the running surface of the boat, which I know would create a lot of drag and could really negatively affect the control of the boat and so it would need to be as small as possible. An actual GoPro camera might be too large for this application, however I do have a GoPro Session camera that would suit this application well since it is very small.

    What do you all think?

    Greg


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  3. #2
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    I think I'd use a large transducer fairing as the shape to shoot for. I had a large 744 transducer in a fairing pod on the bottom of my 28 Manta, and I was certain I was going to notice a difference in performance after removing it. Turns out it ran the same speed with or without it there.

    Those fairing pods are of course intended to be mounted with the transducer in a hole through the bottom of the hull, so you'd have to figure something else out for mounting, but the shape may be a workable option.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #3
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    How about a slow mo camera fixed to a frame supported just a few feet down and make passes over it... you would have to wait for some perfect weather and crystal clear water but with the right lighting angle you could probably get some cool video. I think it will be a challenge for something hydrodynamic that doesnt generate air bubbles or distort the lens view

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    Neat idea Greg.
    I think you’d be better off making a camera rather than adapting one. If you bought a tiny yet accurate lens like a cel phone cam size and molded it into a clear epoxy resin you could get a very thin and long gradual shaped oblique that you could stick to the hull with some extreme quality two sided tape. If your base was shaped to be an exact fit of the hull bottom there wouldn’t be much of any lip to catch water that might lever it off and you could make it long and thin so it would not create much drag. Probably have to get pretty fancy with the resin finish and polish to have it optically pure but even a quick home job should still provide enough resolve to see what’s going on.
    Hydrostream dreamin

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  9. #5
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Maybe something like this in a home made pod?

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  11. #6
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    I would think one camera just above pad to aim at LU

    another camera low on motor to aim at pad area.

    Is what I was thinking about doing If I do a center pod on a 24 skater for single motor compatibility.
    We have invented the world WE see

    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.

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  13. #7
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    Or Maybe...

    Attach the camera housing to the pad? Iimbed the lens in rear facing a bronze thru hull water intake fitting from an inboard ski boat. Cutoff the threaded through hull top fitting. Mill out the water intake. Insert the rear facing camera. Perhaps this casting style will minimize water turbulence, bubbles etc for a clear view at speed before it hits the gear case.

    The new adhesives used on high quality marine emblems may work to adhere it to the pad. I've seen it take a hell of a beating. Heat will typically take it off afterwards with no gel damage. Don't know if suction cup technology exists that could do the job in this turbulent environment. A small gauge two conductor signal wire or two could be run thru a hollow SS safety wire safety lanyard.

    If the safety wire is rigged over the side correctly, and is short enough ,it might save the gear case and prop if the device pops off.

    I would think there is something out there now in Marine research that can do this in a robust plastic wireless device
    Last edited by scott reierson; 05-04-2021 at 11:01 AM.

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    This is a complex project so let me throw this out there... senior mechanical and electrical engineering students are begging for capstone projects. You get to write up the specification, constraints, and budget and get a few hundred hours of engineering under the scrutiny of professors and all it costs you is the material cost. It would get more attention if “sponsored” by a company such as screamandfly. Let them do all the research into materials, hydrodynamic shapes, mounting systems, how it might affect boat dynamics (along with optimal fail-safe mechanics), etc. They might even be able to do hydrodynamic lab testing before going to the field. There could even be technology out there we aren’t aware of.
    Last edited by engineermike; 05-04-2021 at 01:42 PM.

  16. #9
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    That GoPro Session isn't a bad start, really. None of the little "bullet" cameras I've had were HD or even had decent megapixel count.

    Hero 4 Session, available next week. It’s cube-shaped and measures less than 1.5 inches long on every side. It shoots 1440p video at 30 frames per second, 1080p up to 60 frames per second, and 720p up to 100 frames per second. It’s waterproof up to 10 meters so it doesn’t require a bulky housing,
    Cast, machine, or 3D print a "fairing" for it.

    https://www.theverge.com/2015/7/6/88...-cube-hands-on

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  18. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by engineermike View Post
    This is a complex project so let me throw this out there...mechanical and electrical engineering students are begging for capstone projects. You get to write up the specification, constraints, and budget and get a few hundred hours of engineering under the scrutiny of professors and all it costs you is the material cost. It would get more attention if “sponsored” by a company such as screamandfly. Let them do all the research into materials, hydrodynamic shapes, mounting systems, how it might affect boat dynamics (along with optimal fail-safe mechanics), etc. They might even be able to do hydrodynamic lab testing before going to the field. There could even be technology out there we aren’t aware of.
    That is a great idea! The university I go to has a load of equipment that no common man could afford. I wish I had gotten to do something as fun as this could be for my capstone project, but I did not.

    When I was reading this (as an architecture/design student that does structural engineering calcs/construction and has built multiple boats & engines) I was thinking that that it would work best as an extension of the hull. And offset from the center-line of the hull quite a bit. If the idea is to get a good upwards shot of the gearcase then the further off to the side the better. Cameras are so good now you could put the camera out of harms way, where it doesnt cause cavitation, and then crop the shot down. I think like you said initially a shape like the SSM or even the trailing side of the modern torquemasters may work for a fin that sticks down 12" or so and stops 2 feet or so forward of the transom. Then a camera can be placed on the trailing edge of the fin and look back.

    Not sure if you were thinking of outfitting a single boat with this or more down the product development/retail path to where it could be put on any boat.

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  20. #11
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    need that cle go pro case does ebay sell them

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  22. #12
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    I like a good thought experiment.

    First thought that came to me was diving trolling lures for fishing. If the idea could be adapted into a shape that would maintain consistent depth at the speeds you talking, this might be the least invasive option as far as handling. Would need to be towed from a bow sprit of sorts.

    Second though is that to get the shot your after you may be able to face the camera towards the bow. A tiny lens, a few inch long 1/2 or less around bulbous bow shape mounted at the extreme bottom edge of the skeg protruding forward a couple inches.

    Third is similar to what was said above about slo mo camera. But instead of a single point. A line of say 600ft with upward facing cameras spaced at say 10ft intervals, and a really good editing program.

    I think all of these ideas are probably bested by whoever thought of having engineering students do the work for you!

    What is your main goal? Cool images or R and D quality data?
    ANTI40​It's just an idea.

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  24. #13
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    You could use a go pro, its just the wider the camera is, the longer your housing will need to be.

    However, I think unless you're really really submerged, the water will be far too dirty to really see anything at all.

    But I could be wrong. Probably am.

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  26. #14
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    All fantastic ideas everybody and this is exactly why I love this place. I think this project would definitely pose some big challenges, however being able to shoot very high-framerate video to observe in close detail the entire action of the lower unit, propeller, and bottom pad in relationship to each other at such speed would really provide a unique perspective. I’m not even sure this has been done before. I know it’s much easier to set up a static camera, pre-focused and run a boat right above it, but I don’t think that would provide the level of detail I am looking for. Panning a static camera mount at that speed underwater would also not work.

    Those really small video cameras would definitely make the design and construction of the underwater camera case easier, but the problem is that those small cameras do not usually have suitable image quality, and being able to obtain really good detail is key to this. Also, those very small digital video cameras cannot be set to specific framerates, shutter speeds, exposures, etc. They are almost always shooting at 15-30 frames per second, which would be entirely too slow. Ideally, I would need a video camera that can shoot at least 120 FPS, but 240 would be great. That may also require added lighting, but that would need to be addressed separately, if required.

    I think with some imagination a suitable underwater rig could be made.

    Quote Originally Posted by engineermike View Post
    This is a complex project so let me throw this out there... senior mechanical and electrical engineering students are begging for capstone projects. You get to write up the specification, constraints, and budget and get a few hundred hours of engineering under the scrutiny of professors and all it costs you is the material cost. It would get more attention if “sponsored” by a company such as screamandfly. Let them do all the research into materials, hydrodynamic shapes, mounting systems, how it might affect boat dynamics (along with optimal fail-safe mechanics), etc. They might even be able to do hydrodynamic lab testing before going to the field. There could even be technology out there we aren’t aware of.
    Mike, I think that’s s fantastic idea. I really like that a lot and I think that could really add a great deal of depth to the effort. Thank you Mike!


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  28. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scream And Fly View Post
    All fantastic ideas everybody and this is exactly why I love this place. I think this project would definitely pose some big challenges, however being able to shoot very high-framerate video to observe in close detail the entire action of the lower unit, propeller, and bottom pad in relationship to each other at such speed would really provide a unique perspective. I’m not even sure this has been done before. I know it’s much easier to set up a static camera, pre-focused and run a boat right above it, but I don’t think that would provide the level of detail I am looking for. Panning a static camera mount at that speed underwater would also not work.

    Those really small video cameras would definitely make the design and construction of the underwater camera case easier, but the problem is that those small cameras do not usually have suitable image quality, and being able to obtain really good detail is key to this. Also, those very small digital video cameras cannot be set to specific framerates, shutter speeds, exposures, etc. They are almost always shooting at 15-30 frames per second, which would be entirely too slow. Ideally, I would need a video camera that can shoot at least 120 FPS, but 240 would be great. That may also require added lighting, but that would need to be addressed separately, if required.

    I think with some imagination a suitable underwater rig could be made.



    Mike, I think that’s s fantastic idea. I really like that a lot and I think that could really add a great deal of depth to the effort. Thank you Mike!
    Yeah I think some specs is critical for us to all give you specific input. With info like your ideal frame rate, resolution etc. we could start researching camera products and see what kind of hydrodynamic research has already been done with regards to cameras / other pieces of a similar size.

    I like the trailing from the bow idea but how could we keep that stable enough to get a good shot? And what if the trailing device breaks at 70 mph...does it hit the prop/gearcase and destroy everything?

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