Estes Astrocam build

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Sooner Boomer

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This is an Almost Ready To Fly rocket. It needs no glue* and little in the way of tools. I put it together sitting on the couch in about 30 minutes; taking my time and reading the instructions carefully
(*but I'm going to use a few drops anyway)

Bunch of obvious pictures, unboxing and opening plastic bags...

thebox.jpg


unbox1.jpg


unbox2.jpg


unbox3.jpg
 
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Sooner Boomer

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Shock cord goes into body...

there's a small plastic clip inside the body that holds this plastic nub in place
scmount.jpg


scmount2.jpg


the shock cord gets a double knot on one end, then the free end goes through the plastic nub
scmount3.jpg
 

Sooner Boomer

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A cord gets tied to a loop on the end of the nose cone with a double knot. I'm going to put a dab of white glue on the knot to help keep it from coming undone. A loop and double knot go on the other end (another dab of glue)

ncmount1.jpg


Nosecone, parachute, shoch cord all tied together
complete.jpg


Nosecone with camera. There's a small groove in the nosecone the cord is supposed to go down. I haven't figured out how to keep the cord from bunching when I slide the nosecone in
w-camera.jpg


all done and ready for flight!
alldone.jpg
 

Sooner Boomer

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The kit goes together quickly and fairly easily. I needed some forceps to get the clip onto the shock cord mount inside the body tube. The fin can is made from two halves that press together, no glue. The fins slide into slots in the fin can (again, no glue). The instructions say that it's optional to wrap a layer of transparent tape around the body, just above the fin can. I think I'm going to use black electrical tape - add a bit more contrasting color.

My only complaint is that the body tube (BT50) is some of the thinnest, weakest, flimsy-est paper I've ever seen in an Estes kit. It's FAR below the quality of the bulk tubing they sell. I'm going to fly it a couple of times stock, but I have a strong feeling I'll be rebuilding it with better tubing. I think I'll also build it so that it can use 24mm engines (with an 18mm adapter of course). I need to think about that nosecone, too. There HAS to be a better way!
 

rklapp

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My cam keeps draining power. I'm tying it out for the first time tomorrow so hopefully it'll turn on in the field. I find stickers to be harder than water decals. The sticker pulls the layer off when I try to reposition. I understand using soapy water helps with positioning. Water decals on gloss paint works the best for me.
 

Initiator001

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I wrapped my Astrocam body tube with self-adhesive white Monokote.
It make the body tube much stronger as can be seen in this picture of my Astrocam impacting the Lucerne Dry Lakebed when the C6-5 motor did not fire the ejection charge.
Astrocam Impact 004.jpg
 

BABAR

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I wrapped my Astrocam body tube with self-adhesive white Monokote.
It make the body tube much stronger as can be seen in this picture of my Astrocam impacting the Lucerne Dry Lakebed when the C6-5 motor did not fire the ejection charge.
View attachment 456693
In the immortal words of E T:

“Oooouuuuuch!”

did camera continue to function? If so, video should be morbidly fascinating, albeit brief.
 

BABAR

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Good stuff above. Clearly Estes is trying to avoid using glue on this rocket, but the mount for the shock cord really is about as bad as I can think of.

First you got this thing sticking out that certainly is not helping the aerodynamics of the rocket.

Second the clip on the inside is just something hanging there waiting to snag a parachute and keep it from coming out. May be the cause of the Playa Dart that is posted above.

I decided to avoid this.

I am putting an outer strip of Mylar tape down as a base on the outside of the rocket just below the hole for the shock cord anchor.

I will then put 11 cm shock cord through that , stick it to a 12 cm piece of tape, and stick both
16165215740712087627245614328780.jpg
16165220036853528141284659289896.jpg
16165221662143040312343536508555.jpg
16165222572476221868044544122309.jpg
over the previously placed mylar.

Mylar to mylar is pretty strong. I think this will hold up well. Also it is easily replaceable as I can easily peel the outer Mylar tape off the underlined Mylar tape without damaging the rocket body.
 

BABAR

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It feels very strong.

I will add some kevlar to the free end for a bit of extra length

I am not going to cover the hole yet.

Who knows, it might whistle!:cool:
 

rklapp

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I used clear tape to secure the white string but forgot to take it off. I got great video of my NC clip.
 

Initiator001

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Second the clip on the inside is just something hanging there waiting to snag a parachute and keep it from coming out. May be the cause of the Playa Dart that is posted above.
Nope. The ejection charge on the C6-5 motor did not fire.
Estes honored a warranty claim on the rocket.Estes C6-5 002 Ejection Charge Cap.jpg
 

Initiator001

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In the immortal words of E T:

“Oooouuuuuch!”

did camera continue to function? If so, video should be morbidly fascinating, albeit brief.
The camera is fine and still works.

The footage is pretty dull after the rocket passes apogee and is heading for the ground. The camera lens is facing skyward.
Only when the rocket hits the ground and the camera pops out of the housing does one realize that something went very wrong.
 

BABAR

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The camera is fine and still works.

The footage is pretty dull after the rocket passes apogee and is heading for the ground. The camera lens is facing skyward.
Only when the rocket hits the ground and the camera pops out of the housing does one realize that something went very wrong.
This is a painful slow mo version.

the up flight is gorgeous. I am the dude in the orange hoodie.

at 30 seconds, think of “Mr. Bill” saying, “Oh noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”
forward velocity was initially just barely enough to prevent the rotors opening. It’s sort of like my version of watching the Hindenburg footage

change your youtube setting to 720.

you know that saying, “It’s not the fall that kills ya...........”?
 
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shockie

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Sooner Boomer

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A note about the camera, in case you want to build another nosecone (I do!). The camera looks a lot like a normal USB thumb drive. It has a USB connector on the end opposite the lens. Orientation is a concern if you "rehome" the camera. The instructions imply you should insert the camera into the Astrocam nosecone with the SD slot outwards. In other use, with the power button on top, the camera will be in proper orientation. When used in the Astrocam, the video will be sideways (rotated 90 degrees).
 

BABAR

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A note about the camera, in case you want to build another nosecone (I do!). The camera looks a lot like a normal USB thumb drive. It has a USB connector on the end opposite the lens. Orientation is a concern if you "rehome" the camera. The instructions imply you should insert the camera into the Astrocam nosecone with the SD slot outwards. In other use, with the power button on top, the camera will be in proper orientation. When used in the Astrocam, the video will be sideways (rotated 90 degrees).
Good to know. I was gonna do it the other way to keep the slot internal, but I doubt the card is gonna fall out, so likely no biggie.
 

BEC

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I always fly it with the SD slot against the nose cone.
 

Sooner Boomer

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I don't think it really makes any difference. It's just how I interpreted the instructions, the pictures appear to show the camera inserted into the nosecone with the slot up. The video will still be rotated.
 

BEC

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Well, it is in "landscape" orientation. I suppose you could call that "rotated". I like the look with the model off to one side (the left if the SD card is against the nose cone).
Screen Shot 2021-04-02 at 11.20.04 AM.png
 

BABAR

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Well, it is in "landscape" orientation. I suppose you could call that "rotated". I like the look with the model off to one side (the left if the SD card is against the nose cone).View attachment 458085
I suspect it is gonna default to landscape no matter which way you put it in, if you go with the SD card on the other side, the body tube is gonna be on the other side,

I am going to out a tether cord on mine and tilt it out a bit (put some kind of spacer in the slot, so I have less body tube and more scenery in the picture.
 

UhClem

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This is going to last about 5 seconds. I'm going to rebuild mine.
I dug into the supply of Kevlar cord and rigged an external shock cord like I would for streamer duration. I am still looking at the nose cone and trying to figure out how to get that and the nose cone cord into the body tube...
 

BEC

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I am going to out [put?] a tether cord on mine and tilt it out a bit (put some kind of spacer in the slot, so I have less body tube and more scenery in the picture.
In looking at the screen grab I posted, I found myself thinking along the same lines. I like how the camera snaps in and the retaining rubber band is only used to keep it that way, but I could stand a little less of the model in the view as well. I'll have to think about that a bit....
 

BABAR

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In looking at the screen grab I posted, I found myself thinking along the same lines. I like how the camera snaps in and the retaining rubber band is only used to keep it that way, but I could stand a little less of the model in the view as well. I'll have to think about that a bit....
I drilled a hole from the nose cone baseplate into the camera cavity and ran a kevlar cord through it. You can attach a lanyard through one of the square holes in the USB plug as a backup. I think the main risk if you put a spacer in to shove the camera base out (aim the lens laterally) is what if camera falls out. With the camera displaced out, I still think the rubber band would work. You could also try electrical tape. You may NOT be able to see that little blue light (hard enough to see it anyway, even through the hole, when the sun is bright.). Obviously (or not) don’t tape over the lens.

still surprised nobody SELLS a small camera like this or the 808 cams that COMES with a flexible lens on a mobile stalk. It seems like this would be a great seller not only for rocketry, but also for RC planes, cars, boats, kites.
 

rklapp

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I might try a spacer (the rockets really not interesting to look at) and secure it with two layers of masking tape like I usually do.
 

BABAR

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I might try a spacer (the rockets really not interesting to look at) and secure it with two layers of masking tape like I usually do.
Put some colored tape on the camera. That black camera falls off on the grass its gonna be hard to find
 
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