Any suggestions on camera shroud?

Discussion in 'Mid Power Rocketry (MPR)' started by ChadZappa, Jul 11, 2018.

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  1. Jul 11, 2018 #1

    ChadZappa

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    Hi. I will be using the Foxeer Legend 2 action camera as an on board camera and I was wondering if anyone has bothered building a shroud to cut down on drag. It’s a fairly rectangular cam and it isn’t too bulky, so maybe I don’t need to worry that much for mid power flights, but I’m open to any suggestions or tricks you have. The only thing I’ve seen for this was a video by Apogee Components using a pre-molded plastic thing. I guess I’m wondering if anyone has any DIY ideas for something similar, or thoughts on materials. Thank you.
     
  2. Jul 12, 2018 #2

    MikeyDSlagle

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    With a little creativity you can make a homemade vacuum chamber and do your own vac-forming. I have had fairly good results making a couple. I can't remember the thickness of material I used but I ordered it from Amazon. Hobby Lobby has some thin acrylic that I have used as well. I used Sculpy (spelling?) polymer clay to form the shape of the shroud around the camera; and under the camera as well to get the lens pointing just slightly away from the rocket, so you are not seeing only the rocket. Sculpy needs to be baked to harden.

    Easiest description of a DIY setup would be to build a box out of say 1x4s and put a piece of peg board on top of it. The size of box really depends on your material used and the parts you want to make. Have some way to connect a vacuum cleaner hose to the box, such as an old attachment cut off and epoxied or siliconed through a hole in the side. The part you want to build a form for will set on the peg board. Around the perimeter of the box, you will need something to make a good seal. I use weatherstripping. Simple peel and stick will work fine.

    Next you will need two smaller (height-wise) the same size as your peg board box. You will lay these on top of one another and connect together with hinges. This holds your material. A clamp or some sort of rotating window lock will be used to hold it closed. I used screws, don't really need hinges for that matter. Just screw the pieces together after the material is in place. I set up four glasses in my oven and set this frame on top. Turn on the over to 300 (I think it was) and after a few minutes you will see the material start to sag. The thicker the material, the more you can let it sag. Have some foil or something underneath just in case! Get your pieces set up on your peg board, and turn on the vacuum. Quickly move the frame from the oven to the peg board box and carefully but quickly press it down and seal it. Hold it for a few seconds until it cools enough and remove the frame. If it isn't quite as defined as you would like, you can put the frame back in the oven and reheat the material just be sure to get it placed precisely on the peg board box to get a better form.
     
  3. Jul 12, 2018 #3

    ChadZappa

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    Thanks for the reply and the detailed description! I guess this is my best bet for a lightweight solution. Might have to put in the extra effort and give it a try.
     
  4. Jul 12, 2018 #4

    OverTheTop

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    Great idea!
     
  5. Jul 12, 2018 #5

    MikeyDSlagle

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    You will have to cut away the areas for the buttons and lens, unless you use clear. On my camera the buttons formed really well and I just used a hot knife to cut the pieces away. Then sanded the cuts to dress it up. Didn't look great but a little patience and practice will go a long way.
    I formed my basic shape with the clay as mentioned and set that on a piece of tubing roughly the diameter of the rocket, split in half lengthwise. Leave an inch or two on each side of the camera and shroud to have a enough to attach to the rocket. I drilled some holes and used removable rivets on one rocket, screws on another. It really is super easy.
    I had some pictures but can't seem to find them.

    Just google DIY vacuum form. A few pics will help see what I am talking about.

    If I had time, I would offer to CAD you up a shroud and you could have it printed. If you want to send me the dimensions, I may have a window early next week.

    This is what I used:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K88C3PE/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20

    :D
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  6. Jul 12, 2018 #6

    ChadZappa

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    I super appreciate the amount of time you put into this response. I couldn’t ask for more. I was checking out YouTube videos and I think I should be able to pull this off. I’ll let you know when I do, lol
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2018
  7. Jul 12, 2018 #7

    Nytrunner

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    Or you could use electrical tape to make a smooth transition from tube to camera. Won't be ogive, but the slope is still better than air getting in and around the camera
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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  8. Jul 12, 2018 #8

    ChadZappa

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    This sounds dumb, but I hadn’t thought of that. This is a great suggestion for a quick fix while I get set up to do something more professional looking, lol. Thank you.
     
  9. Jul 12, 2018 #9

    Nytrunner

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    When I set out to break a personal speed record or truly push an airframe to the limits, I'll look into shrouds, but the quick and dirty method has worked well for me so far.

    I make a couple rings of tape w/ sticky outside and use those to stick it to the airframe. Then strap over it, kinda wrap a strip around the back, and finish with the slope with some vertical strips. Crudely illustrated process below.
    upload_2018-7-12_15-56-23.png
     
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  10. Jul 13, 2018 #10

    ChadZappa

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    Yeah, this is perfect. And thanks for the illustration, lol. I can do this to get me by for a while.
     
  11. Jul 18, 2018 #11

    Lloyd Leichentritt

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  12. Jul 18, 2018 #12

    ChadZappa

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  13. Jul 23, 2018 #13

    slothead

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    Just I needed, thanks.
     
  14. Jul 26, 2018 #14

    MoeB

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    I built a hood out of 1/2 a plastic nosecone and secured it over the camera port. Bump casting a shadow mid-frame on rocket below:
    [​IMG]
    I built a hood out of half a plastic nose cone then put some fiberglass on it. Worked great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Maybe a little overkill on the size but at the time the camera I used was pretty big so I had to fabricate a large shroud.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
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  15. Jul 27, 2018 #15

    slothead

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    What motor is powering this rocket?
     
  16. Jul 27, 2018 #16

    MoeB

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    That was an Aerotech N2000W
     
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  17. Jul 27, 2018 #17

    slothead

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    Thanks. Looks really impressive.
     
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  18. Jul 27, 2018 #18

    ChadZappa

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    A bit overkill, maybe, but that’s a great looking setup! Also, using a nose cone isn’t something I’d heard of yet, so thank you. That’s a great looking build.
     
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  19. Aug 10, 2018 #19

    pendrin2020

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    When TnTech needed to do this for a competition, we mounted the camera internally and just used a tiny shroud with a mirror at 45 degrees. Kept the equipment safe inside the airframe, and minimized the aerodynamic footprint. After the lawn dart, we lost a little bit of 3d printed plastic with the shroud, but the camera was in one piece... kinda.

    Sadly, the AV bay was below the water table so we lost the camera to water damage. *shrugs*
     
  20. Aug 11, 2018 #20

    ChadZappa

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    Yeah, this will be a great technique for future rockets, especially when I go high power. This brief little story was a real rollercoaster ride, lol. RIP camera.
     
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