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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Link to Part One - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=5298

Ok, here we go with part two. Let’s build the DSLR housing.
Parts and tools needed:
• Outdoor Products waterproof utility box
• 95mm lens filter
• 3” to 4” PVC adapter coupling
• 4 small screws
• One ¼” thumb screw
• Paint – I usually use flat black bedliner in a can. Your call.
• Plastic shims
• 3 ½” hole saw
• Electric drill
• Sandpaper
• Small file or Dremel
• Hand tools
The housing for this project is made by Outdoor Products and sold by Walmart, Amazon, etc. It is waterproof and not too bad quality. The lens hood or snorkel is made out of a 3” to 4” PVC adapter and turned on a lathe to shorten it and provide a notch for the 95mm lens filter.
So let’s build the snorkel first. For the lens we are using, the snorkel length or distance between the lens filter and the housing does not need to be changed. We do need to shorten the hood length so it is not visible in the shot. We also need to cut a notch in the interior of the coupling to provide a place for the lens filter to sit. Here is the coupling in the lathe being machined.

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After it is turned in the lathe take a piece of sandpaper and smooth all edges and remove the shiny surface so it will hold paint. Next, insert the lens filter in the end of the coupling, center it and seal around it with epoxy, JB Weld or hot glue. Your call. Paint the snorkel and set aside for later assembly. Now we will take the housing and measure for drilling. Take a 3” coupling and set it on the front of the housing. Measure as below.

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With the coupling in place, draw a circle inside the coupling with a marker. Remove the coupling and mark the center of the circle. Drill the hole for the lens with a 3 ½” hole saw. After drilling take the sandpaper used earlier and smooth the new hole.

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Next grab your drawer of assorted small screws and find four of the same about 1/16” dia and about ¼” long.

Image

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:47 pm 
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Then take the painted snorkel and mark four places to drill mounting holes on the edge that will be placed against the housing. Drill the four holes a little smaller than the screws you are using. After drilling turn the snorkel with the housing side up and set the housing on it. Mark the four holes and drill the four holds in the housing a little larger than the screws. Before installing the snorkel look at the front of the housing. You will notice a ridge that goes around the front of the housing. At one point the snorkel hits that ridge leaving a gap between the snorkel and housing. Take a file or Dremel and flatten that ridge.
Go ahead and attach the snorkel to the housing now using a little silicone sealer and the four screws you found earlier.

Image

When you position the camera in the housing you will notice that the housing is not square. So we need to make a ramp to enable the camera to be horizontal. I use plastic shims from the hardware store to provide a level surface. They are cheap and easy to work with.

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Place the camera in the housing and cut the shims so the lens ends up close to the middle of the filter and the camera is perpendicular to the front of the housing and there is enough room for the hot shoe adapter. It’s a tight fit. Mark and drill a 5/16” hole that lines up with the ¼”-20 thread in the bottom of the camera.

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To secure the camera use a ¼” thumb screw. For a stop use nylon insert stop nut.

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I am a big fan (and dealer) of RAM products for securing the housing to trees, posts, etc. So I installed a RAM 1 1/2" ball mount on the bottom of the camera housing.

That’s about it for the housing. Pretty simple. Go ahead and paint if you like or cover with your preferred choice of camo treatment.

Here are a few more pics of the finished housing.

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Image

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:21 pm 
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That looks great!

:awesome

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:41 pm 
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Man, I am so tempted. I better get another job!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:20 pm 
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TRL,

Great post and the finished cam looks very nice. I'll also be looking at building something similar a little later. Canon and Nikon DSLRs (older models) are quite reasonable in price now and very good for trail cams. The quality of photographs from these cams will make it all worthwhile.

Bruce

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:35 am 
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Yepper! I'm sold! Just won my first rebel XTI on ebay last night.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:27 pm 
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Well done instructions and pictures. Very clear. Good job.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:57 pm 
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westcocanuck wrote:
Great info!

Question, could a 220EX be used instead of a 270EX?


You can use just about any strobe you want. I chose a Nikon SB28 for this project because of its standby mode and manual adjustment capabilities.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:41 am 
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Great tutorial. Only problem is most of us don't have access to a lathe. :(


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:04 am 
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mattpatt wrote:
Great tutorial. Only problem is most of us don't have access to a lathe. :(


Ask around in the town you live. You might be surprised. The lathe I use is in my neighbors garage and he was happy to let me use it.

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