2022-01-03 Periscopes Replaced By Video Cameras

I’m sitting on the grass in the back yard and it’s chilly, but the sunlight feels really good on my back. I can hear some birds up in the trees, I’m waiting to see if they’ll come down and eat some birdseed. I started thinking about a way to watch them up there. What I need is a periscope, so they wouldn’t get scared and fly away. But that would have all sorts of complicated prisms and optics and lenses. Instead, I could just put a video cam up on a stick, and watch it down here 10 ft below on a flat screen. I wonder if all the submarines have done that? They don’t need to have all those big periscopes with binocular lenses and stuff. All they have to do is put a thin rod up high, and put two tiny cameras for stereoscopic vision on the end of the rod, and have it pan and tilt so it can see all around. Hey there’s another million dollar idea! But I think they probably already know about this, and have already done it. Does anybody know if the submarines have this kind of thing now?

Instead, I’m going to put an FM microphone over there by the bird seed, and see if I can pick up the birds chirping in the house with my radio. I’m going to use a solar cell as the power for the microphone. I think if I put a few hundred farad super capacitor in parallel with the solar cell, it should run the microphone for a few hours after the sunlight goes dim. But by that time the birds have already gone to roost in the trees.

What I need to do is work on making a battery pack for my big GE SuperRadio. It uses D cells which cost way too much, so it has always been used with the AC line cord. Instead, I need to connect several Ni-MH rechargeable batteries together so they’ll fit inside the battery compartment and clip the wires onto the battery contacts. The rechargeable cells are slightly bigger than AA cells and are in 5 cell packs that add up to 6 VDC. The radio needs more than 6 volts so I’ll have to use more than one pack.

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