If this one has been done, it hasn't been recent: Onboard Video reccomendations?

richh

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I've had mixed success using 808 "spy" video cameras for onboard video.
Pro
1. Inexpensive, $10-$20 depending on the vendor
2. Acceptable video quality. Not great, but not too bad, either
3. lens location makes it really easy to mount to a rocket
4. Common enough to have lots of 3d printer files for a shroud

Con
1. Hard to use... trying to be a "spy cam", without well written instructions makes it easy not to take video when you want
2. Shoddy workmanship made a whole SystemsGo launch set of videos useless (OK, I should have tested them ahead of time, but I wasn't expecting the lens to be covered up)
3. Other poor quality issues... video decides to stop recording after a few minutes, poor quality batteries on some devices, etc.

While there is a pretty good "you get what you pay for" argument regarding these cameras, I stuck with them because of their price.

However, I know tech marches on. Does anyone have a different "go to" video camera fro rocketry now? I'm looking at Mobius, and I might try to get some students to make a Raspberry Pi based camera... But for my own hobby stuff, I just want to strap it on and go.


What are your thoughts?
 

dshmel

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I like the Mobius ActionCam. Great support and quite a few lens options, along with 3D printed shrouds. I have 5 different cameras with lenses to fit different needs, and about 4 shrouds printed for different air frame diameters. I use double sided tape to attach the shrouds and can move them from rocket to rocket (unpainted FG air frames).
 

richh

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I like the Mobius ActionCam. Great support and quite a few lens options, along with 3D printed shrouds. I have 5 different cameras with lenses to fit different needs, and about 4 shrouds printed for different air frame diameters. I use double sided tape to attach the shrouds and can move them from rocket to rocket (unpainted FG air frames).

That sounds good, that's why I was leaning that way. Thanks!
 

mpitfield

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I like the Mobius ActionCam. Great support and quite a few lens options, along with 3D printed shrouds. I have 5 different cameras with lenses to fit different needs, and about 4 shrouds printed for different air frame diameters. I use double sided tape to attach the shrouds and can move them from rocket to rocket (unpainted FG air frames).
I have only used the Mobius with the 120 wide lens and it has, looking for wood to knock on, worked flawlessly.

I see that they also have a smaller version now.
 

Leo

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IMO what you want is the Mobius Mini B Lens (B = wider field of view). Small, light and takes great quality videos.
 

dshmel

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IMO what you want is the Mobius Mini B Lens (B = wider field of view). Small, light and takes great quality videos.

Yes, the Mini has a small form factor but has a shorter run time. Maybe the more recent versions have better batter capacity. There are many new video camera options available from a number of manufacturers, including units supporting UHD. The RCGroup forum https://www.rcgroups.com is a great resource for aerial video information and camera reviews, samples, etc. I am sticking with the Mobius for now since I have an investment in hardware, lenses, batteries and shrouds. You may want to consider a UHD system if higher than HD resolution is important. For me, the 1080p resolution is fine.
 

Leo

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Here is an example video. Watch in HD. (youtube still compresses the video, original is clearer)

This was made with Lens A (110 deg., narrower FOV).

[video=youtube;D464D2mY3HY]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D464D2mY3HY"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D464D2mY3HY[/video]
 

dshmel

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Mobius with the A2 lens. Check out the rocket launch at 2:25:

[video=youtube;3p0ERC_HWt4]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p0ERC_HWt4[/video]
 

ChrisAttebery

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I had the Mobius and I have a Mobius Mini. IMHO the picture quality of the Mobius was better. If I were looking for a camera I would lean towards the Mobius 2 over the mini.
 

richh

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Put in my order for a mobius. I'll keep trying with the 808's as long as I have a couple of live ones still pretending to work, but important launches (certification, etc) will go on the mobius. Thanks everyone!
 

K'Tesh

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Alex Boyce (of Boyce Aerospace Hobbies) and I are currently working on the final details of the CinerocDV. We're close to having something you can 3D print and and attach an 808 to and be mistaken for a vintage Cineroc. Also, it'll have the parts that you might need to get a damaged Cineroc back in shape.
 

rharshberger

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Alex Boyce (of Boyce Aerospace Hobbies) and I are currently working on the final details of the CinerocDV. We're close to having something you can 3D print and and attach an 808 to and be mistaken for a vintage Cineroc. Also, it'll have the parts that you might need to get a damaged Cineroc back in shape.
Nice thing about Boyce is that if you want an upscale he is usually amenable.
 

Ravenex

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I've had mixed success using 808 "spy" video cameras for onboard video.
Pro
1. Inexpensive, $10-$20 depending on the vendor
2. Acceptable video quality. Not great, but not too bad, either
3. lens location makes it really easy to mount to a rocket
4. Common enough to have lots of 3d printer files for a shroud

Con
1. Hard to use... trying to be a "spy cam", without well written instructions makes it easy not to take video when you want
2. Shoddy workmanship made a whole SystemsGo launch set of videos useless (OK, I should have tested them ahead of time, but I wasn't expecting the lens to be covered up)
3. Other poor quality issues... video decides to stop recording after a few minutes, poor quality batteries on some devices, etc.

While there is a pretty good "you get what you pay for" argument regarding these cameras, I stuck with them because of their price.

However, I know tech marches on. Does anyone have a different "go to" video camera fro rocketry now? I'm looking at Mobius, and I might try to get some students to make a Raspberry Pi based camera... But for my own hobby stuff, I just want to strap it on and go.


What are your thoughts?

As someone who sells these cameras to the rocketry community I want to note that if you are getting 808 cameras for $10-20 they are not original genuine 808s. The original 808 #16 is usually $40-$60 and I have flown many of them, including some violent crashes without any failures. I even had one record black 5 ft under ground until the batteries died after a rocket came in ballistic at 185mph. That said the Mobius and Mobius Mini are superior cameras to the 808.
 

tim cubbedge

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All you can do is turn it on at pad & off when recovered. The RunCam has WIFI and might allow it as long as you’re close enough to receive signal once landed. What’s the problem with just turning it off when recovered? With the right SIM card & full battery it’ll last at least an hour.
 

theLabyrinthMaker

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We're in a competition that awards bonus points if we take an onboard recording of the flight starting at launch and ending at landing.

"After all parts of the rocket has been recovered, the team shall return the payload to the ground station and download the video with a judge present. The video must show that it 14 starts at launch and ends at landing. Video showing the rocket sitting on the launch pad or laying in the field for more than 5 seconds will disqualify the bonus points."

Does anyone know of a good way to do this?
 

billdz

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I've seen beautiful video from both the Mobius and the RunCam, am thinking about buying. As for Mobius vs. RunCam, don't know, RunCam is a little cheaper.

In the meantime, I'm still using 808s, although I've come to prefer this cheap USB flash drive camera, which is more aerodynamic, smaller, makes better video, and costs less than $10:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/32GB-Hidde...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649
 

dshmel

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I've seen beautiful video from both the Mobius and the RunCam, am thinking about buying. As for Mobius vs. RunCam, don't know, RunCam is a little cheaper. In the meantime, I'm still using 808s, although I've come to prefer this cheap USB flash drive camera, which is more aerodynamic, smaller, makes better video, and costs less than $10
...

I own a number of Mobius cameras, including the mini, as well as a bunch of 808 cameras. If size is not a concern, the full size mobius is my choice. If size and weight are more important than quality, then I use my mini. If cost is the overriding factor, then the 808's are very inexpensive now.

As far as beginning the video recording at launch, then shutting it off within 5 seconds of landing, the only way I could think of doing this easily would be to use the motion function. However, if the rocket twists slightly on the rail or rod, that may activate the video as the camera sees the ground or blast deflector "move." If not, then you may miss the first second or so of thrust because of the lag in response. Then again, the initial puff of the motor may trigger the start of the video. At landing, the video may continue to roll if you have a rocket dragging on the ground (windy conditions) or have the parachute fluttering in view of the camera lens. Because capturing the entire launch from ignition to recovery (without interruption) is important to me, I have never used the motion feature because of the uncertainties. But YMMV. I don't mind editing the video to remove pad time and post landing time.

Using a remote start via WiFi or radio (I know some cameras have remote switches) works for pre-ignition, but you will likely be out of range when it lands.

Hey, if you figure out a way to do all this for the bonus points, let us all know.
 

mikec

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I have never used the motion feature because of the uncertainties.
I have, and it works fine, subject to all of the caveats you raise. It does miss the first 2-3 seconds of the flight because of lag. I wanted to use it to increase the run time sitting on the pad waiting for launch, and it does. But it's not certain by how much, maybe 3x relative to being in recording mode?

We really need a camera with an accelerometer and really fast startup time in it. Or alternatively, much longer run time.
 

dshmel

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I have, and it works fine, subject to all of the caveats you raise. It does miss the first 2-3 seconds of the flight because of lag. I wanted to use it to increase the run time sitting on the pad waiting for launch, and it does. But it's not certain by how much, maybe 3x relative to being in recording mode?

We really need a camera with an accelerometer and really fast startup time in it. Or alternatively, much longer run time.

A lot happens in the first 2-3 seconds, especially with a Warp9 or VMAX motor. This is why I use the Mobius Mini at 60fps. I get the best video on the way up. As far as battery life, I have never run out of power on any single video flight. I have come close to depleting a battery, when it took me 30-40 minutes for recovery. I posted some statistics about my experience with pad wait times before launch when flying in Argonia. The average time was very low. If you run out of battery it will likely be while the rocket sits in the field waiting for you to recover it. You should have a way to recharge in the field, which can be a simple as connecting to your vehicle.
 

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Start the camera based on igniter current. Stop it when an altimeter detects landing. Some altimeters have that as a trigger. I think it is in the Raven.
I know the Raven is able to have outputs on continuously for powering servos or cameras, if it is possible to turn the output off with landing as a condition then a combination of this and motion activation might work. Basically use the raven output to supply power to the camera through the USB port, this would require the Raven to be powered at 7.2V and then using a regulator to 5V for the USB plug. The camera manufacturer makes a regulator exactly for this purpose, as does hobby king. The 808 and Mobius cameras can be set to boot up and shutdown when power is applied to the USB port including saving the video. So it would work like this:

1) turning on the Raven would apply power and boot the camera
2) motion detect would begin recording
3) landing detection would remove power to the camera
4) the camera would then use internal battery to save the video
5) the camera would shut down

This would have to be tested of course.
 

mikec

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If you run out of battery it will likely be while the rocket sits in the field waiting for you to recover it.
You've obviously never been sitting on the pad for hours at BALLS with one delay or another. Don't want to miss those black sky videos because your camera went dead.

In 2015 I worked on a project where we could turn the camera (a HackHD) on from a Telemetrum channel remotely. Sounded good, but it just required too much fussing to be worth it.
 

billdz

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With Jason Cook's free Insane Rocketry app, you can turn an Android phone's camera on and off remotely. Need to cut a hole in the airframe if you mount the phone inside the rocket.
App at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.insanerocketry.insanerockets
Mounting instructions at: https://www.insanerocketry.com/help/helpebay.html

I use the app for GPS tracking and flight data, it works as an altimeter if the phone has a barometer. Never tried the camera function but I'd bet that it works.
 
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