Tuesday, September 16, 2008

DIY - Camera Dry Box

As soon as I realized limitations of my Sony Cybershot T-70 point and shoot camera, I wanted to buy a DSLR. After going through so many reviews I decided to buy a Sony alpha A350X DSLR camera with 2 lenses. 18-70mm & 55-200mm to be specific. I got this down from Broadway Hongkong through one of my friends last month. I got 4GB Sandisk CF card, LCD protector and Camera bag free of charge from Broadway. After I purchase it, I realize there are so many other little accessories I need to have with the DSLR. So I end up purchasing a wireless shutter release, 2 UV protectors for my lenses, rubber blower with metal valves etc. I got these through ebay which is quite cheap.

After all these, again I realize I need one more thing. A Dry Box or Dry Cabinet. So I called 2 local shops in Colombo, Sri Lanka to check prices. I got shocked by listening to the price.

One shop wanted LKR 18,000/- (USD 169) for a Dry Box with analog meter and electrically rechargeable desiccants. Two of lower versions of available for LKR 4,500/- (USD 42) which is just a plastic box with some silica gel bags in it. Another cheep version was available with an analog meter with silica gel bags for LKR 7,500/- (USD 70).
For me Dry box is just a box which can keep the humidity lower than the outside humidity. So I decided to do some research on this to see whether I can build my own Dry Box and I ended up with this.

So I decided to share what I have done with others so anybody who is interested can build their own Dry Box for 20% of the cost of what is available at the shop. In my opinion this is better than what is available in the shop since this has a digital meter to show the humidity and this holds the camera and lenses from moving inside the box which adds more protection.

What have I done?

1.Found a box which can be fully sealed (air tight) which is adequate enough to put my gadgets. I ended up purchasing a Microwavable food container for LKR 1225/- (USD 11.50)

2.Then I bought a sponge of 4 inch thickness. LKR 380/- (USD 3.5 )

3.Digital Hygrometer with temperature meter from ebay. With shipping it was USD 11.98 ( Unit was 3.99 and shipping was 7.99)

4. Rechargeable dehumidifier from ebay for USD 15.99. This is the item which was difficult to find and I had to pay LKR 140/- as taxes for Sri Lanka customs.

So the total cost for me was USD 43 for the total solution.

Below are the items I have used and how I have made my Dry Box. This is quite simple. So I am not going to explain step by step. Hope pictures speaks for it self.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How to convert fixed satellite C Band dish to rotatable dish? DIY

I had this question in my mind for quite a some time and I have searched the web but without success. So I thought about it, and with a help of my friend Nilanka I have managed to make my eurostar powder coated fixed dish to rotatable semi automated dish. Cost was very minimal compared to a ready made rotatable dish. I thought of sharing the idea with others, so who ever interested can Do It Yourself.
Items used
1. Original 2' ring came with the fixed dish
2. 3'6" Galvanized pipe & 3 metal bars.
3. Old tire rod from my previous car
4. Used universal joint of a vehicle (Used spare parts shops are having these)
5. Adjustable pole which came with the original dish
6. 24” eurostar actuator
7. 2 nos of on/off switches8. 16V 2.5A power adopter ( I got a old laptop power supply)
Weld the universal joint to the center of the 2’ original ring with the use of 3 metal bars

Fix the tire rod to the side of the ring

Fix the adjustable bar, which came with the original dish to the tyre rod and with a clamp fix the other end to the galvanized pipe.

Fix the actuator to the ring. For more info on fixing the actuator, I found following article on the web http://www.satcrazy.com/install/intermid_les.html
Fix 2 switches to a small piece of box and one switch will work as a power on off switch and the other switch will work as polarity change of the power supplied to the actuator motor.

Now with the use of adjustable arm I can control the tilt to the east ( May be 10 degrees in Sri Lanka) and H-H movement through the actuator and those 2 switches.
It moves little slowly so stoping at the correct place is not a proble. ( H-H movement takes 2 mins on 16V, Origianl motor required voltage is 36V).
More pictures.

Special Thanks to Nilanka @ http://www.nilanka.net/
Disclaimer : Above DIY session has been done with the help of a quaified technician for welding and iron works. Please take extra precausions while attmpting this.
Copy Right Rasika Ambepitiyage 2007©
rasika@ambepitiyage.com from Sri Lanka