Simple ROV camera build



As a bit of a distraction from my current ROV build (which is coming along slowly) I decided to try building a simple underwater camera. This was somewhat inspire by the camera I’ve seen built for the MATE competition; basically I wondered if something simpler with improved performance could be built. This is what I came up with:

A full description of the build and testing can be found here: Comments welcome.


Well so far this is a bust. The tubing doesn’t seal well enough to the camera body to keep the water out for more than a few hours.


Hey Tim,

On my ROV for the mate competition we used some composite video cameras. The ones we used were designed for Multi-Copter FPV flying which kept it relativity small.

I think we used a film canister of something of similar size to make an epoxy cast around the camera. The lens of the camera was pressed up against a milled piece of acrylic that sat inside the tube. This made it so the camera was flat and that nothing like air bubbles in the epoxy could get in between the lens that would distort the view.

This was a method we have used this past year. It works great. We have a decent amount of hours on ours and have no failures when done right.

Hope this helps,



That’s really nice. For whatever reason, I appear determined to do this without potting. I have a question about your composite video - did you just feed it over plain old wire rather than coax?


In our main electronics tube, we have a video balun and then it just gets sent in a twisted pair over ethernet to another balun and to a simple RCA jack for hooking it up to various sources.


Thanks. That’s what I was planning; I just wondered what others did.


Today I tried design two:

This time I’m encasing the electronics in a $10 waterproof flashlight (hollowed out). Current sitting under 10ft of water and so far so good.


Just following up on my camera designs. I ended up making 3 design over all; the first failed, the second (flashlight) was a success, and the third (GoPro case) was also a success. Take a look at the Hackaday blog for full details. I think I like the GoPro case best - it’s small, easy to build, and simple to mount anywhere on an ROV.