Mobius Remote Lens Eyeball Cam

Dashmellow

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This project is a follow-up to the DIY “Mobius Remote Lens Tube Cam” I posted two weeks ago. Like that project, it was also created as a companion cam to the DIY “Low profile tripod thread windshield mounts” I posted about two weeks ago as well, with the goal of creating something small and discrete that doesn't necessarily look like a camera from outside a vehicle.

This one is the “Mobius Remote Lens Eyeball Cam”.

eyeballbw2a.jpg

This eyeball cam project is something that has been simmering for quite a long time. In fact, I bought the ping pong balls I used for the housing almost a year ago when I first conceived of the design. Initially, I experimented with one of the six balls that came in the package, cutting a hole in it and playing around with some options but ended up putting the project on the back burner because I still wasn't quite sure how to bring the whole idea together. It wasn't until I came upon the idea of using a 1/4-20 threaded T-stand that I realized I could have a very simple but highly secure method of attaching a lens module housing to an easily adjustable tripod threaded windshield mount. Of course, this was the same idea that allowed me to create the small front profile tripod mount Tube Cam. In both cases, it was the creation of the DIY low profile mini mounts that provided the impetus to put the remote module cams together.

T-stand
T-stand.png

eyeball2a.jpg

Where I live in northern New England it is currently WAY too cold out right now (about 14 degrees F) to try to mount anything on my vehicle's windshield but I wanted to show how the Eyeball Cam might look when mounted in the way it would be in actual use. So, to demonstrate this I simply attached the remote cam module to a sheet of glass with one of my DIY low profile tripod mounts holding it in place using a neodymium magnet on the opposite side of the glass.

glassmountedxa.jpg

Here it is with a different DIY mount:
eyeball2glassmount.jpg


Umm, so in hindsight, I probably should have better documented exactly how I built this thing since I knew from the beginning I was planning to post this as a DIY project, but hey, a cornered Ninja can't always just stop in the heat of a battle to take pictures. :D

Then again, this was really such a fundamentally simple project, made from only a few parts that I'm sure you can use your imagination if I just describe what I did while you look at the photos.

The camera module housing is made from two standard 40mm ping pong balls. The first one has a 17.4 mm hole drilled in the “front” to accommodate the bezel of a standard Mobius "C" lens module, a hole in the top to insert and epoxy glue the 1/4-20 threaded T-stand from the inside and then a larger hole in the back to insert and secure the lens module.

ponger3.jpg

The second ping pong ball was cut in half and I drilled a hole for the extension cable with a vertical cut half way up from the bottom to allow for the cable to slide up to the hole. This half-shell was later lightly glued in place over the rear of the other ball to cover the hole and provide extra strength to the whole housing once the lens module was installed. Actually, the shell is cut slightly beyond the halfway center line of the ping pong ball so that it wraps around the equator of the other ball a bit and snaps into place so that it holds pretty well without any glue at all. Of course, the final step was to spray the ping pong ball shells with a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Ultra Flat black camouflage paint before I put it all together.

At first, I was thinking of securing the module in place inside the shell with a hot glue gun but I nixed that idea pretty quickly because it would have made the module install permanent and useless for any other purpose in the future and it also would have made it nearly impossible to access the lens if I should ever need to refocus.

So, the answer was to use Blu-tack, which I carefully packed around the module a little bit at a time using a wooden dowel. The result was a very secure installation that not only cushions and protects the lens module but also fills up the inside of much of the shell, thereby giving it strength and rigidity. It is after all, only a ping pong ball. The Blu-tack “filling” also gives the whole sphere a nice hefty feel without being too heavy. And the whole project can be dismantled one day if I decide to do something else with the lens module.

Finally, I used a thick rubber washer around the protruding lens bezel that happened to fit perfectly. At first I was just planning to use a standard O-ring to cover the very slight gap between the lens bezel and the ping pong ball shell but when I went through my collection of assorted O-rings I came across that old fat flat rubber washer that I'd saved a million years ago off an old motorized gadget I threw away thinking that one day I would find the perfect use for it. I guess this was it! Remember folks, never ever throw away any old useless parts you think you might need one day, despite what your wife might have to say about such matters. :p
 
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Dashmellow

Dashmellow

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End result looks quite professional, never would have guessed it was a ping pong ball

Thanks. Yeah, it doesn't feel like a ping pong ball anymore either as it's pretty heavy filled with Blu-tack and the weight of the lens module. I should put in on a scale and see what it weighs now.
 
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Street Guardian USA

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Nice, Maybe it's time to add a manufacturer's tag under your dashcamtalk avatar ;)
You should grab dashmellow.com
 

kamkar

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End result looks quite professional, never would have guessed it was a ping pong ball

That was what i was thinking when i saw the first pictures " what kind of ball/sphere is that i wonder" i actually thought it was smaller than a pingpong ball at first.

Only thing i used pingpong balls for was making DIY M80 firecrackers, one of those SOBs once whent off a fjew inches from my hand. that was the last time i tried to trow a firecracker DIY or not.
Got a good whack over the fingers :) but it teached "little" kamkar a lesson.
 
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