Custom camera fairing

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Reed Goodwin

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Hi all. Before TRF went down, I had a thread going about possibly making a fairing for my Boostervision camera to hold it outside my rockets during flight to get better reception from the flight. I think it's only fitting to describe how I finished the sucker.

I decided to make a foam shape and then put some fiberglass to help strengthen it. My goal was to have the camera housed outside a 2.1" airframe with a clear line of sight from the antenna to the ground. I tried a couple foams after I discovered that I didn't have any leftover 2" pink insulation board, but they all failed, so I ended up going to the store and buying some 1/2" insulation board and laminating several pieces with wood glue. Before I began carving the foam, I experimented with different ways to get the camera and battery into the most compact, space-saving shape possible and came up with this
IMG_2636s.jpg


I then began shaving the foam down with my pocket knife since I didn't have a hot wire foam cutter available. After much mess, I ended up with this
IMG_2602s.jpg


I then used some fiberglass that I had had from previous experiments to cover the foam to provide a hard covering. I think the glass is only around 1oz stuff, as I laid three layers and it was still very thin. I rotated each layer by 45 degrees to try and increase the stiffness in different directions. I also put some washers inbetween some of the layers, thinking I would use them for attachment to the airframe later. I did the lay-up on the airframe so that the extra glass would conform to the airframe.
IMG_2609s.jpg


Once the glass had cured, I removed it from the airframe with the help of the plastic wrap I had put on the airframe, and then trimmed the edges to make neat lines.
IMG_2637s.jpg


Reed
 

Reed Goodwin

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I then began to carve out a pocket in the foam for the camera in that configuration shown above. I wanted to have the pocket be fairly snug on the camera to help hold it steady. Once I had the pocket carved, I made a hole so that the camera's antenna could stick out of the fairing.
IMG_2640s.jpg


This completed the fairing's flight-worthiness and so I used it on my PML X-Calibur on a G64-7W load at a launch in late December. I ended up using masking tape to strap the fairing to the side of the rocket. Here is a picture of the rocket going up. You can see the fairing strapped to the fincan of the rocket.
IMG_2684s.jpg


Thanks for all your help on figuring out how to increase the range of the camera.
Reed

EDIT: I almost forgot, here's the video captured from the camera. It's the best footage I've captured so far: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BNiGLHwJdk
 

sailmike

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Great job! Cool video. How high did the rocket go?

I hope to do a video someday also. I need money to spare first though.

Mike
 

Art Upton

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Nice foam Fairing.

Nice way to get the antenna to stick out as well.

Art
 

Hogan3276

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Nicely done!!! I have been wanting to make one similar and seeing this helps a great deal.
 
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