I bought a Revolution Imager 2 camera system a couple months ago. It's a real time camera video system that comes complete with camera -- of course -- a 7" monitor, a battery, remote controls, and lots of wires. Other than testing it I haven't even used it, but I've made a box for it to try and contain the wire "problem" and make it easier to carry around, setup, and use.
I needed a box big enough for everything, but small enough to fit in a Pelican case that I use for all of my telescope camera equipment. This Seahorse SE300 seemed to be the right size according to the specs online, so I ordered one. Goldilocks would have loved it. It turned out to be just right.
To make things easier I found a 1/8" thick piece of plastic to use as a printed circuit board of sorts. The plan was to tie things down with zip ties and having the piece of plastic kept me from having to drill holes in the bottom of the box.
The system comes with a BNC to RCA coax cable for the video, and a power cable
that both run to the camera. Both are slightly silly short, and a bit stiff.
I bought a nice flexible extension cable made for the system that is silly
long at 25 feet. I only needed a cable about 8 feet long. When I use the camera
I'm going to be next to the telescope, and not in the next county.
I wasn't sure if just cutting the video line and not worrying about recreating the usual shield-dielectric-core construction of a coaxial cable would be OK, but for this project it seemed to be. I thought a bit about how to join the two parts. It turned out that just a simple terminal strip and crimp connectors worked fine. Good. I didn't want to mess with solder, shrink tubing and electrical tape to make a bunch of bad electrical, and bad looking connections. The wires were pretty small so I added a drop of solder where the wires came out by the rings to help keep them in place. The wires aren't going to be moving around much, so they should be OK.
I couldn't find a longer terminal strip, so I had to settle for one that was only 100% too long.
Starting to come together. Once the parts of the camera cable were electrically joined and tested I started in on the rest. I Velcro'ed the battery (the blue thing) to the back wall in a standing position. That made it easy to get at the power switch on the right side since it was taller than the side of the box.
To get the wires out of the box with the lid closed I used the saw blade on my trusty Swiss Army Knife to cut some simple notches in the sides of the box. One for the camera power/video cable, the camera remote wire, and the monitor cable. I hate destroying the integrity of waterproof boxes, having lived in ones in the Navy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Once I started to get things in place I added a couple more zip ties here and there to help keep things neat and secure. I didn't want things flopping around after I drop the box, which is going to happen some day.
In addition to the long extension cable I bought a female BNC to male RCA plug adapter. It took the place of a cable that comes with the camera that takes about 2' to do the same thing this does in less than 2". The yellow plug is coming from the cable attached to the monitor.
Not terrible, and it might even work. I could have made the wiring look a bit neater, but I didn't want to have anything make any sharp turns if I could avoid it, so that's why there are things laying on top of each other and large loops.
Putting the battery like this prevents stuff in the box from accidentally hitting the power switch and draining the battery while everything is packed away. Also, when the switch is on the small red LED near the switch can be seen glowing through the side of the box when it's dark, so I might not forget to turn it off at the end of the evening.
Since none of the wires and connectors need to be messed with anymore I found a nice piece of cardboard box and made a floor to cover the business end of the operation. The tail of wire for charging coming from the battery and laying by the hinge can be tucked down under the cardboard when not in use.
Ta da! All of the parts fit with a little space leftover for a layer of foam rubber on top for padding, and a few more parts someday. The monitor stand is under the monitor inside the coil of white extension cable. The camera is in the black pouch in the lower right-hand corner.
Ahhh, Velcro. That sounds Italian. The swiveling/tilting mount for the monitor couldn't be permanently mounted, so... I originally was going to have some kind of arrangement where the tabs on the base of the mount would slide under some metal rail bits on top of the box, but naaaa. This was a lot easier and cleaner. Also the rails would have probably needed to have been rivetted in place, and I didn't want the long ends of the rivets sticking out inside or outside of the box.
Looks just like the concept. The box provides enough weight to keep everything from spilling and tipping all over the place. I left the white extension cord about 12' long. After I use it for a while I might shorten that. The nice thing about the construction is that if anything needs to be changed or replaced all you have to do is just snip a couple of zip ties, do the work, and then replace the zip ties. I'll make a cable for connecting the system straight to my telescope battery some day.