# Anybody Doing Lowpower Video Rockets?

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#### rokitflite

##### Well-Known Member
Hi,
I've been messing with some of the wireless mini video cameras on ebay and was just wondering if anyone else has done some experimenting with them in rockets. I've seen a couple up on ebay but one of the guys making them can't seem to build a rocket longer than 16" and they always look too short & fat.

-Scott

#### powderburner

##### Well-Known Member

There are old threads (try the search button) on pencams and other stuff that give lots of details. Hopefully some of those guys who actually did this stuff will notice your qstn and jump in here with more specific links.

#### WiK

Hi there

I have one of those! Ive been messing around with it in R\C cars and stuff like that, and I'm gonna try and put it in a rocket this year... The only concern is the amount of equipment requiered. If you happen to have a DV Cam or Camcorder with a video in plug, then you can just plug the reciever in there. If you dont have one (like me) , then you'll have to take a VCR or something to the launch to record it with.

Welcome to the forum!! We like people to post lots of pictures, by the way

Phil

#### rokitflite

##### Well-Known Member
Wow, thanks for the quick replies! I looked at the pen cams a while back and the cost kinda scared me away but I will hunt down some of the old posts. I have been to the clay brothers site several times, they have some incredible footage! As a matter of fact they gave me the idea of putting the camera in a pod up front looking straight down so the rocket is centered in the field of view. The only thing that gets me about their site is that they use the X-10 camera which has a range of a few hundred feet outdoors at best. They have some flights on there that look like they have gone at least half a mile high with no loss of signal. They say something in there about modifying the antenna on the transmitter, but they don't say how they did it. Lord knows I can't figure that one out without some help!

-Scott

#### Micromeister

##### Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Supporter
Rokitflite:
The X-10's indoor "advertised" range is 150' that's thru walls furniture etc. the actual range Outdoors unobstructed is almost a mile. I have the set up just haven't had the time to stick it in a rocket yet. Actually looking for a smaller/lighter battery pack/ or capatitor package to run it for about two minutes The only modifications required involves the camera mounted antenna plate.
Hope this helps.

#### havoc821

##### Well-Known Member
I fly low power vieo rockets. More stuff later but I have to get off internet now. More later.

#### RocketboyG80

##### Well-Known Member
I too have some questions relating to this. I was wondering how you guys trigger pencams to continuously take pics after it leaves the pad. I know you must use a timer of some kind, but I don't know the specifics. Can someone fill me in? A schematic perhaps?

#### rokitflite

##### Well-Known Member
Hi Micromister!
I find that hard to believe with the X-10! A friend of mine in AZ says he tried his outside and only got a few hundred feet. Another guy in the local model airplane club flies his in a plane and the picture is marginal at best beyond 600 feet. The cameras I have been buying off of ebay will do 100 feet through walls and other obstacles easily indoors, and outside in the air I would guess about 900-1000. I have attached a picture of another one I built into an Estes Mean Machine nose cone. I actually plan to sell this one on Ebay to try and raise the standard of custom built video rockets being sold there now! And no, it is no mistake that it resembles a Cineroc/Omega combo!

#### Micromeister

##### Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Supporter
don't know what to tell ya! I've seen the video of a 2 stagged model flighing on AP motors to well over 2000' said to have been filmed with an X-10 .. I'm not sure but I may have also see something similar on this site early last year. I didn't pay that much attention as the HOW To was also published in Sport Rocketry. Based on the Vid I saw I purchased the X10 and will be converting it sometime in the near future, likely after completing my BT-101 Bomarc
From what I remember (very little...CRS takes it's toll the trick was to get the reciever under the directional cone transmitted from the rocket antenna. I'm sure someone out here will remember that most impressive flight video and or the issue of sport rocketry.

#### vjp

##### Well-Known Member
I've never experimented with an X-10 or video rocketry, but here's something worth considering - replacing the stock receiver antenna with a high-gain Yagi design. There are plans available on the web for all sorts of Yagis for just about any popular frequency. I think the X-10's operate on about 1 GHz, a Yagi for this frequency could be very small (less that 2 ft. long) and offer a lot of gain vs. a 1/4 wave omni or bow-tie type antenna.

Since you're not modifying the xmitter or boosting the output in any way, this mod is totally FCC legal.

#### havoc821

##### Well-Known Member
For my videocam rockets, I use the Dolphin PenCam after I heard about it on info-central. It was \$40. I used a rocket that was the BT-55 tubing. This is almost a perfect fit fot the camera, but it needs a little bit of tape to keep it sug in the tube. I would slide the camera into the tube and leave the nosecone off. I took and old estes launch key and epoxied it onto the bottom of the nosecone. When the camera was on and set to video mode, all I had to do was push the nosecone on, pop in the plastic rivets to hold it in place and launch. The key on the nosecone held the shutter button down so it would take video. When the launch was over, I just hooked it up to my computer and downloaded the video. I had and eyebolt attached to the top of the nosecone so the parachute would attach there so when the rocket was coming down, the camera would still be facing the ground, via mirror. Well, the video would always cut off after the ejection charge went off because the parachute would tug on the nosecone a little bit and make it let go of the shutter button. Well, that isn't a problem now. I chose a 7 second delay one day and it was way too long. The rocket came in ballistic and buried itself into the ground, well the nosecone at least. The charge went off a second after the rocket hit the ground. I figured it was a total loss. The payload tube was destroyed, and the top of the camera was shattered. The actual shutter button was ripped off of the circuit board!. Luckily, there was soemone who fixed it for me. Instead of using the button that I had to hold down, I attached a switch so I wouldn't have to hold down the button. Now, all I have to do is turn the camera on, flip the switch and run. I am now able to get video after the charge goes off. The crash was actually for the better! Anyways, here is a picture of one of the rockets I use for videocam flights.

#### havoc821

##### Well-Known Member
Here are some pictures gathered from a video.