Ideas for recording sewer camera feed

OK, so we have a $7k camera which has a dead dvr unit. It has video out via the old yellow rca cable. Any ideas of a solution to record the video. We have tried a laptop with video capture but it didn't last and was unreliable. Also tried recording via a camera held to the screen but the picture isn't that great. Any suggestions?

geek_ilottl, Mar 29, 11:53 pm

perhaps the laptop was over committed or simple not capable
should be possible to set up a laptop to do it but it would need trimming, all bloat gone and dedicated to recording only

assume not possible to use desktop due to mobility

geek_skin1235, Mar 30, 12:04 am

I would recommend using a DVD recorder with at least 250GB internal HDD. That would allow you to record, trim, edit, and burn to DVD if required for archiving for instance.
Look for a used one with no built-in Freeview tuner as these are generally cheap at the moment.

geek_flower_tears, Mar 30, 1:34 am

Get the DVR unit repaired by the agents.

geek_gyrogearloose, Mar 30, 8:25 am

OK, so having a laptop in the vn with the plumbers is not a good idea the last few laptops didn't last a few weeks due to the nature of the work, the laptop had to be on the ground enar the sewer camera so no good. Gtting the DVD unit fixed by the agent is thousands. A DVD recorder will not do it as it needs power and a screen adn again to heavy to lug. Thanks anyway.

geek_ilottl, Mar 30, 10:05 pm

Dashcam with a remote camera RCA input.

Tablet with a USB video capture, but probably same problem as normal laptop, except cheap to replace.

Ruggedized laptop.

"Video sender" running off a battery, transmit to recording device of some description which stays in the relative safety of the van.

geek_bitsy_boffin, Mar 30, 10:12 pm

We had the drains inspected and they used a panasonic HDD recorder, you can get them off trade me for next to nothing, I did not even bother to try and sell mine I just binned it.
Get one without freeview. easy peasy

geek_zl1vbt, Mar 30, 10:51 pm

Get a portable dvr recorder, records to memory card, plug straight into your rca cable, small enough to fit in your pocket. EXCEPT, it still needs power. you should be able to find a small portable 12v battery to power it. That would be the simplest method IMO

geek_lucky.gadgets, Mar 30, 11:29 pm

I'd be very surprised if the DVD burner itself isn't a standard device common to cheap external top-loading DVD burners.
But first, I'd try cleaning the lens in the burner (google for how to do this), and checking that crap hasn't got into the mechanism that positions the lens assembly.
If the unit has had a knock, then the laser lens may need calibration. (again - google for how to do this - the circuit board and adjustment potentiometer should be easily accessible in a top-load unit. Trial and error would be needed for this.
Also, if they're the same unit as drainlayers were using at my place, the batteries were cr@p, not holding a full charge for long, when the battery was getting low (didn't take very long), the camera / screen would work, but the DVD burner would fail.
Final solution (if not resorting to service agent) would be to carefully disassemble to get at the DVD burner. It's probably very standard and will have SATA or IDE connection. The maker's name and part numbers etc might lead to finding a cheap replacement.

geek_mm12345, Mar 31, 1:47 pm

You could buy an old Video camera like Listing #: 866327639, lots of these have analogue inputs so you could plug your camera feed into them [ with supplied adapter ], the more modern "old" cameras also recorded to SD card so no probs getting the files off later.

geek_galex, Mar 31, 11:24 pm

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