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Camera Housings

Discussion about deployment systems including altimeters, timers, air speed flaps, servo systems, and chemical reactions.
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Jamie5335
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Camera Housings

Post by Jamie5335 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:11 pm

Hello All,

I would like to discuss with you the idea of mounting cameras on Water Rockets.

At the moment we use the fairing below to mount the camera in:
View from Apogee.jpg
DSC01882.jpg
The problem is that the picture is 90 degrees out to the side of the rocket and thus gives a strange perspective of the launch. We do this because it stops the parachute catching on the camera or the camera being ripped of the outside of the rocket at high speed.

I have tried other methods of mounting the camera but they have resulted in too much of the rocket being in shot:
View from Apogee1.jpg
How do you guys mount your cameras on your rockets? What would you suggest when using a Wide Angle Lens on a Keychain cam? Do you use Fairings in between the bottles to mount the camera in? If you could post some pictures that would be great!

We mount the Altimeter in with the camera so if the rocket crashes then they both have a good chance of survival!

I have emailed various people with some good ideas that I will try and post back on how I found them, along with some footage on YouTube.

Cheers, Jamie B
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Jamie Bignell,
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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Water Rocket Expert » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:23 pm

I always put the camera on the outside of the rocket on the fairing. The plastic tends to become a lens and distort the image or video. However I always put the camera on the fairing so that if a splice fails it does not soak the camera or turn the camera into flying debris. I usally tape the camera with duct tape so that the lens is parallel with the rocket. Yes, much of the rocket ends up in the video, but it works fine and I think having some of it in the video is cool and it also proves it wasn't pyro if you don't have sound (or sometimes even if there is sound!)


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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Jamie5335 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:05 pm

I agree that the plastic does distort the image, however when I mean put the camera in the fairing I meant to say that I usually cut a hole in the fairing for the lens. Maybe I didn't make that especially clear in the photos. Anyway, thanks for the feedback! What camera do you use?


JSB Rocketry
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Jamie Bignell,
jamie.s.bignell@gmail.com
Somerset UK

"The important thing is to know how to take all things quietly" -Michael Faraday.

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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Water Rocket Expert » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:58 pm

Well I was using the key chain camera until a rocket exploded just after Christmas and the camera was never found so now I use a $50-$60 action camera from midland that is small and light.


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Re: Camera Housings

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:44 pm

This is a great question! There are so many good answers. Where to begin? As you may already know, our team has been flying cameras for over 10 years on our rockets, and we were one of the very first teams to fly a water rocket with a camera. Our onboard videos were even featured in Episode 42 of Mythbusters, which has been cited by numerous people as the inspiration for them to get involved in Water Rockets.

The main thing to bear in mind is that you should not have to worry about the air blowing a camera off the side of the rocket. We have attached small cameras directly to the sides of our record holding X-10 and X-12 rockets using vinyl electrical tape and they have never blown off. It is very likely that these rockets hold the record for greatest acceleration and highest speed, but that's only speculation, since no other team has published these figures.

If you are worried that the parachute will snag, you should create a large fillet of tape to surround the camera and eliminate places where the parachute can snag.

Note that if you plan on landing the rocket in water like we do, you will also have to completely waterproof the camera so it will not get ruined by the water, especially if it lands under the rocket and is held submerged for a long time.

To keep the rocket from blocking your view, you have a few choices:

1) You can make a ramp out of some material like corriflute or balsa wood that will tilt the camera away from the body of the rocket and reduce the blocked area. You can also use clay for this ramp, which can make it adjustable in the field.

2) Place the rocket at the very back of the rocket between the fins. There is very little rocket body to block the view down there.

If you want to take video inside of your rocket, you have a couple of choices here too:

1) We discovered that using a camera with a wide angle lens attachment (this was several years ago before any cameras were made with the wide lenses) and the lens would focus like a macro lens and allow the camera to focus on internal experiments in close quarters.

2) We invented a, external boom that allows the camera to look inside the rocket from a distance outside the rocket. This is great to show an experiment that is more effective if you can see the interior of the rocket and the exterior of the rocket at the same time. We used this method several years back to record parachute deploy tests.

Our rocket launch with Seven Onboard cameras shows off all of these techniques:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4HkfI6pnA8

If you want the ultimate in coolness, you can build a chase camera pod similar to our creation from last summer. There is some additional rick of damage to the camera using this wild scheme, but the results are really amazing.

This video shows how we developed the chase camera:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIBWADU0v7Y

Have fun!


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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Jamie5335 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:02 pm

Hello U.S. Water Rockets1,

Thanks for the lengthy reply- you sure have some great ideas! It is good to know about the camera not flying off when a large amount of air resistance is applied.

I will try the ramp idea from inside the rocket. I am going to make a small platform from inside a fairing using the ramp to provide more of a view and less of the lemonade bottle. The possibilities of Corroflute... :)

The external boom seems like a cool idea as well. I have two cameras, so I can't live upto your impressive flight of 7 cameras on one rocket!

I find that the keychain cameras can produce great quality footage, yet are difficult to mount. The other camera I possess is the Fly DV camera which does lack in quality but is easy to mount and the lens is movable over around 90 degrees.

The chase cam is also a good idea- I will try it one day when I have the time! You could try launching two rockets at the same time, one after the other. Do you think that the first one could carry a cam which looks down on the other??

Thanks again,

Jamie B


JSB Rocketry
Website: www.jsbrocketry.webs.com
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCczlD-uBjlYdJyBFEfuCEbg/feed

Jamie Bignell,
jamie.s.bignell@gmail.com
Somerset UK

"The important thing is to know how to take all things quietly" -Michael Faraday.

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Re: Camera Housings

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 10:34 pm

Jamie5335 wrote:Hello U.S. Water Rockets1,

Thanks for the lengthy reply- you sure have some great ideas! It is good to know about the camera not flying off when a large amount of air resistance is applied.

I will try the ramp idea from inside the rocket. I am going to make a small platform from inside a fairing using the ramp to provide more of a view and less of the lemonade bottle. The possibilities of Corroflute... :)

The external boom seems like a cool idea as well. I have two cameras, so I can't live upto your impressive flight of 7 cameras on one rocket!

I find that the keychain cameras can produce great quality footage, yet are difficult to mount. The other camera I possess is the Fly DV camera which does lack in quality but is easy to mount and the lens is movable over around 90 degrees.

The chase cam is also a good idea- I will try it one day when I have the time! You could try launching two rockets at the same time, one after the other. Do you think that the first one could carry a cam which looks down on the other??

Thanks again,

Jamie B

If you have an 808 camera, you can tie a piece of parachute line through the keyring hole and connect that to the neck of the bottle. If the rocket crashes or blows up, the "safety line" will keep the camera from disappearing. Wrapping tape around the camera will keep it from spitting out the microSD card.


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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Water Rocket Expert » Mon Apr 07, 2014 6:49 am

I now do that along with coating the camera with orange paint or tape for easy retrieval.


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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Jamie5335 » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:15 pm

Thats a good idea, I will give that ago.

Where have you lot had your explosions occur? I had a splice fail at the glue and another fail at the neck, but these did minor damage. Bottles here in the UK are getting VERY thin and I had one of our bottles fail at 70psi!! This bottle wasn't reinforced unlike the others I have. With operational pressures of 130 psi I have been keeping the pressure below 100 psi, but now I have been making new splices from expensive bottles that burst at 150 psi, so we will see what happens!

Cheers Jamie B


JSB Rocketry
Website: www.jsbrocketry.webs.com
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCczlD-uBjlYdJyBFEfuCEbg/feed

Jamie Bignell,
jamie.s.bignell@gmail.com
Somerset UK

"The important thing is to know how to take all things quietly" -Michael Faraday.

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Re: Camera Housings

Post by U.S. Water Rockets » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:42 pm

Jamie5335 wrote:Thats a good idea, I will give that ago.

Where have you lot had your explosions occur? I had a splice fail at the glue and another fail at the neck, but these did minor damage. Bottles here in the UK are getting VERY thin and I had one of our bottles fail at 70psi!! This bottle wasn't reinforced unlike the others I have. With operational pressures of 130 psi I have been keeping the pressure below 100 psi, but now I have been making new splices from expensive bottles that burst at 150 psi, so we will see what happens!

Cheers Jamie B
It's a mix of stress cracking at the thick part where the neck forms, or the claw part if we use that portion, and "tired" splice syndrome. This happens when you repeatedly push the pressure to the limits many times. Eventually, the splice will just fail at some totally safe pressure. With bigger and more complex rockets, we stick to "normal" pressures and not get greedy and the rockets really never explode.



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Re: Camera Housings

Post by Water Rocket Expert » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:16 pm

Mine usually fail at the splice by delaminating.


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Re: Camera Housings

Post by U.S. Water Rockets1 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:20 pm

Water Rocket Expert wrote:Mine usually fail at the splice by delaminating.
The only way to prevent that is to use lower pressures, or increase the overlapping area of the splice to spread out the load of the pressure over a bigger area.


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