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  • Cheap probe camera

    Any recommendations for an inexpensive lighted probe camera?

    I need to look in the vent holes in some shear walls to see what kind of anchor bolting exists at the plate.

    Don't need to record, or take heat readings or anything. Just need a flexible scope capable of showing the plate 18" or so below the hole.
    thanks,
    kevin
    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

  • #2
    Re: Cheap probe camera

    I have this one.
    http://www.amazon.com/Bosch-PS90-1A-.../dp/B0046ZRYOU

    It works fine and since I have several other Bosch 12v tools batteries are not an issue.
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    • #3
      Re: Cheap probe camera

      Harbor Freight $99 new Cen Tech there are 20% off coupons on the www

      Ebay has them from $45

      Here...ships from CA $50
      http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-SOUTHWIR...item3f395c37b4
      Last edited by Happy Home; 07-25-2014, 10:02 AM.
      Steve

      "Get three coffins ready" - A Fistful of Dollars 1964

      http://youtu.be/KZ_7br_3y54

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      • #4
        Re: Cheap probe camera

        Thanks for the reply, Bill.

        I don't run that battery platform, and I was hoping to spend a lot less. Is there a scope review from JLC or FHB that anyone knows of?

        kevin
        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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        • #5
          Re: Cheap probe camera

          Has anyone used a USB scope? If I could scope this wall for $20 on my laptop I'd be a happy camper.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ee7Pr4XsDGw
          “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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          • #6
            Re: Cheap probe camera

            Maybe not what you are looking for, but check out this sucker:

            http://www.amazon.com/Vividia-Waterp.../dp/B009PMHUK2
            "First we finish the game, then we’ll deal with the Armada!"

            Sir Frances Drake

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            • #7
              Re: Cheap probe camera

              How about a recip saw?
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              • #8
                Re: Cheap probe camera

                Problem with probe cameras in exterior walls is insulation.

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                • #9
                  Re: Cheap probe camera

                  Originally posted by NW Architect View Post
                  Problem with probe cameras in exterior walls is insulation.
                  Around here it's a less frequent problem than you might think... In this case, anyway, it's a non-insulated wall under a porch/patio.
                  “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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                  • #10
                    Re: Cheap probe camera

                    Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                    How about a recip saw?
                    Engineers tend to frown on taking a sawzall to the shear ply?
                    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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                    • #11
                      Re: Cheap probe camera

                      I think if you so it in a circle it is OK:)
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                      • #12
                        Re: Cheap probe camera

                        Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                        I think if you so it in a circle it is OK:)
                        This question of openings in shear ply has come up on the forum before- IIRC it even made it into the published mag.

                        My rule of thumb has always been openings are ok if they are smaller than the edge nailing pattern. (And there are already two sets of 1 1/2" vent holes in this shear wall.) The engineer on this job adds the restriction that the holes not be closer than 8" to each other.

                        My problem with adding another set of vent holes is a) I'm not 100% confident I'd be able to see the bolting if it isn't centered in the bays, and b) 3 vents in a bay seems like it will short circuit the high to low air flow that is ideal. Maybe not.
                        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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                        • #13
                          Re: Cheap probe camera

                          Interesting issue. I have done a lot of seismic retro and initial installation in the Central Coast area. Especially after Northridge and Loma Prieta.

                          Is this shear wall a short wall or pony wall under the living space?
                          And is it sheared on both sides?

                          And I am curious about the high to low air flow issue you mentioned.
                          Can you 'splain more on that?

                          Unless your arm is larger than the nailing pattern, usually not more than 4" OC, why not cut holes smaller than the nailing pattern and if your arm fits reach in and feel for bolting.

                          Then, if there is no bolting to meet specs how will you add the required bolting?

                          Not knowing the details of this job but making stuff up in my prolific imagination I am thinking there are several ways to confirm bolting.

                          Like maybe figuring if the project was built to plan with the jurisdiction.

                          Check if there were and anchor bolt requirements on the permit.

                          And if the project was built before say '95 we can be sure the bolting pattern is not up to current.

                          And then why is there a requirement to confirm the bolting pattern?

                          Whew, I need to stop and have another cuppa' this is exhausting.
                          Last edited by Bill Robinson; 07-26-2014, 11:24 AM.
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                          • #14
                            Re: Cheap probe camera

                            Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                            Is this shear wall a short wall or pony wall under the living space?
                            And is it sheared on both sides?
                            This particular wall is about 5' high under the front side of the porch, no actual house framing above it, just the porch (which is topped with a concrete patio, and that's a whole other can of worms...)
                            (Edit to add: sheared one (interior/crawl) side, clad in brick on the exterior side)

                            Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                            And I am curious about the high to low air flow issue you mentioned.
                            Can you 'splain more on that?
                            Most of the time specs are for two holes per bay, one about a foot down from the top plate and one about a foot up from the bottom plate. Sort of like eave and ridge vents on a roof. Using the roof venting metaphor, I have heard some folks argue that they don't like to have a third venting system (like gable end vents) because it may short-circuit the bottom to top airflow. I'm probably way overthinking that one, especially for a shear wall in our climate.
                            (Edit to add: I see now I said "high to low" before, I meant "low to high")

                            Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                            Unless your arm is larger than the nailing pattern, usually not more than 4" OC, why not cut holes smaller than the nailing pattern and if your arm fits reach in and feel for bolting.
                            Engineered seismic work has gotten much more robust in the last 10 years or so. The existing nailing pattern on these walls is between 2-3" o.c. and the engineer has asked for added nails to bring the average spacing to 2" o.c. I think he said in the notes 2 1/2" openings would be ok, I'd have to check that, but a hole big enough for me to reach around in is not kosher.

                            Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                            Then, if there is no bolting to meet specs how will you add the required bolting?
                            The spec just says to verify, but if we wanted to add lateral resistance we'd use UFP's. http://www.strongtie.com/products/co...fp.asp#gallery
                            They are a great real-world solution from Simpson. You can put them right over the shear ply into the plate. It is not uncommon to use them over existing shear walls as the existing bolting is usually unknown or assumed to be inferior.

                            Originally posted by Bill Robinson View Post
                            Not knowing the details of this job but making stuff up in my prolific imagination I am thinking there are several ways to confirm bolting.

                            Like maybe figuring if the project was built to plan with the jurisdiction.

                            Check if there were and anchor bolt requirements on the permit.

                            And if the project was built before say '95 we can be sure the bolting pattern is not up to current.

                            And then why is there a requirement to confirm the bolting pattern?
                            No requirement; this is a voluntary seismic strengthening for a new owner. The house had some previous retrofit work done, and this is the latest round of review and strengthening.

                            All good questions, Bill, thanks for the interest.
                            Last edited by kfc510; 07-26-2014, 12:57 PM.
                            “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” - Upton Sinclair

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                            • #15
                              Re: Cheap probe camera

                              Thanks for the answers.

                              I was heavily involved in seismic retrofit and new s
                              Construction what now looks like almost 20 years ago.


                              Guess things have changed.
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