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Old Mar 27, 2007, 10:52 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 887

I've been using my hybrid camera gear for something worth many times what I paid for it.

We have an older house in a rainy city. Vancouver has had an extraordinary amount of rain this winter, and we started to get water seeping into our basement for the first time. I've used my spycam and Digilife DDV-5120a to examine and make videos of the house's foundation drainage system.

Unfortunately, no one passes on to you diagrams of such facilities when you buy a house. Half the perimeter of our house has a fairly new foundation drainage system, installed just before we bought the place.

The solution seemed to be to have an additional new system installed on the half of the house that didn't seem to have a drainage system, and where the seepage was happening. Those unfamiliar with this won't be aware that this sort of work starts at about $4000 and easily goes up to several times that.

To diagnose the problem, I've had to first determine the layout of the drainage pipes (known as "tiles").

I removed the strap from an led headlamp and taped the light to my spycam. I adjusted the lens focus, and positioned the light to illuminate the field of view of the spycam. I connected the spycam to the video-in port of the 5120a, turned on the headlamp, spycam and camera, and lowered the spycam down various vertical pipes that connect into the drainage system.

This allowed me to see sideways at the bottoms of the shafts, which, combined with using a wet vac to flush/vaccuum debris out of the bottom of one that was plugged and causing the problem, allowed me to determine that the half of the house that I thought had no drainage system, actually has an older system. So instead of installing a new system, it appears at this point I only need to have the old one cleaned out. Thus saving an amount of money that makes the cost of the camera gear look like spare change.

I still need to do some more precise work with the camera, by taping the spycam/light to a pole, rather than dangling it down the shafts by the cables. Now I also have videos clips featuring our drainage system. I wonder if this could be a cult classic on YouTube? Draincam!
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