On-Board Video - Some Memorex 7-in-1 Camcorder Results

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bguffer

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Picked up one of these from radioshack for $120:
https://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3342289

Put a little extra padding around the battery to ensure the battery keeps contact with its terminals, powered on the unit, turned the lcd screen around, placed electrical tape around the unit so the screen stays shut and the battery compartment doesn't open, placed some electrical tape around the card slot to ensure the memory card can't get lost, cut a hole in my 2.6" airframe, then slide the camera into the airframe with the lens sticking out one side of the airframe, and about 1" of the opposite end of the camera sticking out the opposite end of the airframe, hot glued the camera in place, put the rocket on the pad, and let it rip.

On a H250G, with infinity focus:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjxUuz7fp0&feature=channel_page

On a G64W, with macro focus (an accident):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tluVj5VUyOc&feature=channel_page

I saw a couple of these go on ebay for $100 new.

If anyone picks one of these up, remember to hit the record button within 3 minutes of turning it on. The first time i used one, I had the unit turned on, glued into the rocket, went to hit the record button after 3 minutes from power-on, and realized the unit had powered itself off.
 
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BHP

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Nicely done.

Onboard video is the coolest thing going. And it is getting so cheap and easy!
 

WiK

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That's really cool, I love the HD versions. How much memory does the HD recording use?

Phil
 

Len_Lekx

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The first time i used one, I had the unit turned on, glued into the rocket, went to hit the record button after 3 minutes from power-on, and realized the unit had powered itself off.
Yeah - the automatic power-down feature has been thwarting my efforts at on-board videography for some time now. My own latest attempt uses a pair of Samsung SportsCam camcorders. They cost more, but have an external camera pod that lets me protect the main camera within the airframe.

It works on the ground... flight tests coming in April...
 

Bondo

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bguffer,
we have been looking for inexpensive video for our big projects. I tried to click on your link to Radio Shack but the link didn't work...what model camera are you using? Thanx for the video links, they worked great. peace.
 

Bondo

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duh on my part...Memorex 7-in-1 Camcorder!
How much memory do you think would be required for 30-45 minutes worth of filming? It takes quite a while for the range to clear for a big project so the wait time to launch can be up to 30 minutes. Just wondering if there's a way to figure it out. peace.
 

bguffer

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Link should be fixed...

Just ran a test as i was curious myself...

Used a SanDisk Ultra II Class 4 SDHC 4 Gigabyte memory card.

I ran 2 five minute long tests. Both test wrote out 150 Megabyte files. So 30 megabytes every minute, 1/2 megabyte every second. So i think a Class 2 memory card should be plenty speedy enough (class 2 is 2 megabytes/second write speed, class 4 is 4 megabytes/second write speed, etc for those who don't know).

Also the camera said there was about 2 hours 10 minutes of record time available when i first inserted the card. That seems to jive with the 30 Megabytes/second i saw.

I don't know what the camera will do when a file's filesize needs to cross the 2 gigabyte barrier. Running a test right now. Some camcorders will write files bigger than 4 gigabytes, some (ie: Canon Vixia HF100) start writing another file at 2 gigabytes, some (ie: Casio EX-FH20) stop writing files at 2 gigabytes and eventually auto-power off. Running a test now. I'll see what the results are tomorrow morning.
 

bguffer

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Another quirk about this camera. When charged the camera's battery, the charging light indicator on the camera never quit blinking. After i unplugged the power cord, and the plugged the power cord back in, the charge light indicator did not come on.

So it seems that you may have to perform a little trickery to see if the camera's battery is completely charged. I've confirmed this problem with 2 units, but am unsure if all the units suffer the same problem.
 

bguffer

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Several hours after hitting record, i checked on the camera. The camera had powered off. There is a 3,150 megabyte file on the card, as well as the 2 150 megabyte files from earlier and 4 other 2 megabyte files.

Appears the camera battery ran out of juice, prior to filling up the 4 gigabyte memory card.

Confirmed i was able to import the 3,150 megabyte file into PowerDirector. PowerDirectory reports it is 1 hour and 44 minutes long. So it appears the battery gives about 2 hours record time in 70 degree temperatures.
 

paparoof

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keep in mind that filesize varies greatly depending on the amount of information in the image. Take the your camera and record 30 seconds of blank white wall, then record 30 seconds of cars driving on the highway, and you'll see what I mean.
 

bguffer

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keep in mind that filesize varies greatly depending on the amount of information in the image. Take the your camera and record 30 seconds of blank white wall, then record 30 seconds of cars driving on the highway, and you'll see what I mean.
I was thinking the same thing when i ran the 5 minute tests. One test had the camera pointed at the hallway to a door. The other test i was twisting the camera around in my hand so the camera was continually doing 360's. The filesizes were the same.
 

bguffer

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I run Windows Vista. Not sure what all codecs i have installed. Things i notice with videos produced by the camera:
1) The videos will play forward in Windows Media Player, but quits displaying video when i try to skip forward. So i need to convert the files to something more user friendly.
2) Can import the files into Windows Movie Maker or Power Directory.
3) Cannot split the directly imported movies in movie maker or Power Director.
4) Can however export the movie, from Windows Movie Maker or Power Director, into a format where i can skip forward and then was able to import these intermediate movies and split and edit however i like.
 

bguffer

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Takes between 2.5 and 3.0 hours to recharge the battery.
 

jadebox

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I was thinking the same thing when i ran the 5 minute tests. One test had the camera pointed at the hallway to a door. The other test i was twisting the camera around in my hand so the camera was continually doing 360's. The filesizes were the same.
Some cameras use a form of compression where each frame is compressed separately while others compress across frames.

The first method (usually "Motion JPEG") results in about the same file size for the same recording time whether or not the scene changes. The second method will result in smaller file sizes for recordings with less change.

I'm not sure your test was valid since the spinning camera would "see" a blurred scene that doesn't change much. A better test is to point the camera at your TV so it records changing scenes.

BTW, Motion JPEG is generally better for fast action stuff like a rocket launch. But, it is often used in cameras with lower-resolution and lower-frame rates, so just because a camera uses Motion JPEG doesn't mean it will produce the best on-board videos.

-- Roger
 

FROB

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Thats very cool- nicest picture quality from a low cost DV camera i've seen so far!
too bad its to big/heavy, i'd like to get something like this into a min-diameter airframe for some very high altitude shots. data online says its over 1Lb.
I might try to dig one up used and strip off the case and LCD to see how small & light it can get.
Does it look like it comes apart easily? have you tried?
 

bguffer

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Thats very cool- nicest picture quality from a low cost DV camera i've seen so far!
too bad its to big/heavy, i'd like to get something like this into a min-diameter airframe for some very high altitude shots. data online says its over 1Lb.
I might try to dig one up used and strip off the case and LCD to see how small & light it can get.
Does it look like it comes apart easily? have you tried?
I put it on the scale. It weighs 5.1 ounces.
Measures 4"x2.5"x1.25" at widest portions of the camera.
 

bguffer

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Some cameras use a form of compression where each frame is compressed separately while others compress across frames.

The first method (usually "Motion JPEG") results in about the same file size for the same recording time whether or not the scene changes. The second method will result in smaller file sizes for recordings with less change.

I'm not sure your test was valid since the spinning camera would "see" a blurred scene that doesn't change much. A better test is to point the camera at your TV so it records changing scenes.

BTW, Motion JPEG is generally better for fast action stuff like a rocket launch. But, it is often used in cameras with lower-resolution and lower-frame rates, so just because a camera uses Motion JPEG doesn't mean it will produce the best on-board videos.

-- Roger
Manual states:
Video Format: AVI-H.264 (max: 1280 x 720 resolution 30 fps)

Put the camera on a tripod, aimed at running widescreen television, zoomed in so the cameras screen displayed only tv screen, recorded for 5 minutes.
Resulting AVI filesize still 150 megabytes.
 

bguffer

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Thats very cool- nicest picture quality from a low cost DV camera i've seen so far!
too bad its to big/heavy, i'd like to get something like this into a min-diameter airframe for some very high altitude shots. data online says its over 1Lb.
I might try to dig one up used and strip off the case and LCD to see how small & light it can get.
Does it look like it comes apart easily? have you tried?
No idea how easy it comes apart. Won't try. I do see it has 3 screws behind the battery compartment cover, and one screw inside the tripod mount hole.
 

Bondo

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I'm anxious to hear how the +2gig test went? did the camera time out or????
 

jaz

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After seeing your videos I started building a rocket around the same camera. I have used boostervision before and had good luck with it but I liked the idea of getting some high def video. Presently I am working on figuring out how to mount and secure the camera. It is great getting ideas and inspiration from what others are doing. :D
 

jaz

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I want to throw out a big thanks to bguffer for all the information on what you have been working on. Here is a picture of the rocket I been working on insipred from the videos that you have been posting using the memorex 7 in 1. It is a extended hyperloc 835. I cant wait to see more of your videos. :D

DSC03380.jpg
 
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bguffer

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I want to throw out a big thanks to bguffer for all the information on what you have been working on. Here is a picture of the rocket I been working on insipred from the videos that you have been posting using the memorex 7 in 1. It is a extended hyperloc 835. I cant wait to see more of your videos. :D
Hey, something looks familiar in that picture... Good luck. Hope to see your videos as well.
 

bguffer

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Another launch, this time with 2 Memorex 7-in-1 video cameras running. One looking downward, one looking sideways. Lofted by Binder Design Velociraptor to half a mile, an an Aerotech J275W.

[youtube]XI2sOCMZV98[/youtube]
[youtube]mrdCZGlYzHA[/youtube]

The second video starts at 3x speed, until the launch, to save viewing time.

The rocket seperated, but the parachute never came out, and the 2 pieces fell from half a mile up.
The payload bay broke, but the rest of the rocket was in good condition. One video camera was still recording. The other video camera was powered off, and had not completed its file save to its memory card, so no video file showed up on that video card.
With some work, i was able to recover the video from the 2nd video camera's memory card.

Also put one of the memorexes on a 3" PML AMRAAM, on an Aerotech I357T, to 2000 feet.
[youtube]T1GgGzUtc38[/youtube]


I have learned that when removing the hot glue used to hold the camera in the payload section, that the payload section starts peeling layers of cardboard after awhile. I have begun wrapping the section of the payload tube that gets the hot glue with fiberglass. I figure the fiberglass should stop the cardboard from peeling layers.



Bob
 
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bguffer

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The dimensions of the lower body of the Memorex 7-in-1 camcorder are:
1.125" x 2.75" x 2.25"
 

billspad

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AnotThe other video camera was powered off, and had not completed its file save to its memory card, so no video file showed up on that video card.
With some work, i was able to recover the video from the 2nd video camera's memory card.
Can you explain howyou did that? I'd like to recover the video from a similar Memorex camera. The rocket came in ballistic from 600'. The camera is a little beaten up but still works. The memory card was ejected on impact. The file is there but the size is 0.
 
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