Ottertail Country

Ottertail Country
Ottertail South

December 26, 2008

Photo workings


Alert!! Does anyone recognize these two artifacts? They have been around here a long time, look to be hand crafted of clay, and really should go to the maker of them. Please let us know if you recognize either of these and if you remember who created them. We did manage to get Tim's green ash tray to Lucy's new apartment, maybe she wants these as well????

You have all seen some of the photos taken by the Ottercam, located just outside the Lodge. It operates on six 'D' cell batteries, so I'm not too keen on buying more (about $8-9 dollars for a set). So I did some testing on the unit and determined that the batteries are connected in series, and so they provide 9volts DC to the camera. I bought a 120V AC to multi volt, selectable low volt DC converter. This provides 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, 7.5, 9 or 12volts DC, all multiples of the 1.5Volt battery. This rig cost less than two sets of new batteries, so that's good. These photos will need blowing up to see the detail properly....

To test this device, I taped some cardboard to the end of the batteries that were touching the two ends of the circuit, thereby isolating the battery array from the case. Then I slipped the transformer wires between the cardboard and the battery case contacts. Much to my delight, the camera turned on, showed 99% battery power and took some pictures!!

O.K., out to the garage for supplies, including an old broom handle, some left-over copper tubing, electrical tape, screws, drill bits, drill motor...... I guess that's all. I sawed two pieces of broom handle, shown above, to replace four of the batteries.

I cut a short length of copper tube, which would become the new contacts.

I split the copper lengthwise, flattened it, bent it to 90° and drilled a hole in it. This well become evident below.....

Next I applied some tape to the sticks until they were approximately the diameter of a D cell battery.

So here it is, a replacement for two batteries, complete with copper contact on the end.

I put the copper wire from the transformer under the copper contact, tightened the screw and now I have two "double batteries" that fit in the case, held in position by the springs on the ends and the built up tape makes the sticks stay in the correct location once the battery case cover is back in place.

Hmmm.... now I have to get 120V AC power out to the camera. More supplies... step ladder, hammer, wire strippers, wire nuts, cable clamps and an old homemade extension cord. I wired this old cord to the wires for the yard light at the top of the gable end of the south end of the Lodge, ran the wire down the wall and out to the big wood stake that holds the camera. Woo hoo, no more batteries and I have 99% battery power no matter how long it's out there or how cold the weather. Who says you can't have fun on vacation in the middle of the winter???

I gotta go, Carlo



Anonymous said...

What a touch of genius!!!!! Gene, you should have spent some time inventing something to make big bucks. Loved all the pictures.


Anonymous said...

If no one claims those bowls, or whatever, I will take them.


Anonymous said...

I'm calling you next time my electronics aren't working! Pretty amazing work!