Question about checking wall cavities (with digital camera?)

I'm wondering if anyone here uses any type of small digital video camera for inspecting wall cavities. Specifically, to reduce the amount of patching, I was considering buying one of those little "wireless spy cams" and attaching some bright LED lights to it so I could drill a fairly small hole and inspect the cavity before pulling wires, nailing into the cavity (to avoid plumbing, etc), filling with insulation, etc. Maybe attach the camera to a pipe snake so I can push it further up the cavity when needed.
Anyone else using this technology? If so, any advice on what to use or avoid (wireless, etc.)? I'd probably want to link it to my laptop so I could take the laptop to the wall area and view real-time while manipulating the snake.
Thanks for any advice, Keith
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wrote:

Never used one..... pricey!
See: http://www.fiberscope.net /
Oren --
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I was thinking cheaper ;-) I could probably save even a few more dollars by dropping the color capability and just getting a b/w camera, but you never know when you might need to see something in color...
http://www.raidentech.com/mimiwipispyc.html $37
The biggest problem with this one is that it is wireless designed to be hooked to a TV instead of laptop, so I'd also have to get the hardware to take this as an input that the laptop could use.
Best, Keith

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wrote:

I was checking into distance capability for a USB camera the other day. *
I was wondering about using a cannibalized web cam for near what you want to do. I my case I wanted to view parts of the attic over the garages. I'm not going up there into the far corners (G)
A USB camera would be limited in cable length, but it would work.
* http://www.usb.org/about/faq/ans5
That would connect you to the PC....
Oren --
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http://www.axiontech.com/prdt.php?itemw249
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excellent idea--we do surgery with similar technology
peter

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wrote:

http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/SeeSnake-micro You can get them for under $200, they're waterproof, have a light at the end and you don't have to mess around with a computer.
R
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hanger a whole lot cheaper. People are getting gadget crazy these days.
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Sigh.
R
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Glenn wrote:

How do you see through the coat hanger?
--
Art

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Maybe he means the cardboard tube. ;)
R
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For those who want to use a camera with RCA jack or S-video try a product from Dazzel. http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products/Dazzle/Dazzle+Video+Archiving/Dazzle+DVD+Recorder.htm it is on my list to purchase
I did just purchase a laptop camera. It is a bit larger than what is being described. as the sized goes down the price goes up. Have not made a holder for it yet. Check out the Gopher pole http://www.pushpullrods.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=P&Category_Code=TP-ALL If anyone comes up with a lighting system let me know. I'm thinking of a LED head lamp. As for USB, 16 ft is max unless you get a booster. You can get another 16 ft but has limitations on how many one can add on http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%5Fid=1512&sku=39978 says USB 2.0 up to 80 ft. If you can live with USB 1.0 http://www.cablestogo.com/product.asp?cat%5Fid=1512&sku=39993 says 150 ft, I have this one in a shop using 75 ft of cat 5. IO Gear has a model that goes 198 ft. I have one with 20 ft of patch cord. As soon as my friend gets me the 100 ft cat 5 patch cable i'll be trying it out.
I went with a laptop camera instead of a security camera because of the resolution. If using a security camera with IR it is black and white only and to get much of a distance the size goes up. I did find a company with a security camera that uses USB but most use RCA. I know one can get an RCA extention for 15-20 dollars.
Hope this helps, tools are wonderful...
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