It all started with a bad smell coming from the heat register. [CuddleBurrito] recalled a time when something stinky ended up in the ductwork of his folks’ house which ended up costing them big bucks to explore. The hacker mindset shies away from those expenditures and toward literally rolling your own solution to investigating the funk. In the process [CuddleBurrito] takes us on a journey into the bowels of his house.
Version 1.0 of his investigation tool was a flashlight and cheap web-cam attached to the end of tape measure. Pushed along into the duct and monitored on his laptop, he got great video – right up to the point where his rig got snagged on something. A few tugs left him with a ruined camera and a stranded flashlight – his favorite! The mission quickly turned from investigation of the smell to recovery of the still-lit flashlight. With the clock running, and realizing that his rig needed wheels to avoid getting snagged, he whipped up a quick sled from tongue depressors and hot glue, and used a stout cardboard tube as a roller. Decked out with another flashlight, another web-cam, and a small servo with a zip tie finger, [CuddleBurrito] plunged the depths yet again, intent on retrieving his favorite flashlight by its lanyard. The rescue starts at the one minute mark in the video below.
Sadly, once the mission switched to a rescue, the source of the stink was never located. We suspect curiosity will get the better of [CuddleBurrito], though, and when it does, we’d like to see what mods he makes to this rig to mitigate the odor.