Quest Icarus Question

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Jul 15, 2004
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I'm looking for a rocket to send up a wireless video camera and I'm seriously considering a Quest Icarus. On 'Video Rocketry' he says that the X10 camera adds about 2 oz. to the rocket. My camera is a cheapie and will probably be lighter than the X10. Another nice thing about the Icarus is that it seperates into two halves, each with a parachute. :cool:
I don't have RockSim (and probably won't get it).
I bought extra parts to convert the Icarus to D (or E) power.
What do you guys think? :confused:


PS I'm not looking to go super high. I just want to make it work. If it works I might look for something mid-power to take it higher. Central Illinois Aerospace is having a mid-power build in September and you can get an Aerotech Airspike with two motors for $40 at a clinic (they are the closest club to me).
I would do it if I were you. But then again, I am not.:p Sounds like it won't go very high but since you don't care it won't really matter. Just be careful. Make sure it is a LARGE field. You would not want to lose it on your first flight.:D ;) By the way, I will make the rocket on rocksim if you want me to. i don't know about the weight. May be a little heavy for a D.
Originally posted by phaar
By the way, I will make the rocket on rocksim if you want me to. i don't know about the weight. May be a little heavy for a D.

I'll take you up on the offer. :cool: Figure 2 oz. for the camera. There's a RockSim file at EMRR.
If I had to I'd build it as an E, I could always use a spacer to use D's. I've bought both D & E motor tubes and hooks.
Ok...nm, messed up...ok, it would be very very fine. I would go for it without a doubt. With an E, probably over 1,000 feet...well. Good luck. More specs in the morn.
Good. I figured it would work out fine with a D. I'll just have to be sure to keep the weight down as light as possible.
At first I'm just planning on having the camera "look" out a hole in the side. If that works I'll design a mirror to look down.
Alright...I was rushing last night but my calculations are still correct. With an Estes E, you can get it well over 1,000 feet. Most likely around 1,500 or so. Sounds good to me.:cool: All I did was add a mass object that was 2 ounces to the file at EMRR. So, it should be right!
What kind of video camera is it? I have been building and flying several of the ones in 800mw range available off of Ebay. Just make sure you use an engine with enough UMPH! A C6-3 just will not do it if you are trying to loft the camera and a 9 volt battery! I have attached a picture of mine that uses the same tube size as the Icarus, but it is on a 2 staged D motor booster.
Depending upon the camera that should be a nice flight and stay within the transmitters range. Plus, if it gets stuck in a tree like mine did once you still get the footage AND get to watch the ground spinning around slowly from up in the tree until the battery dies :rolleyes:
DITCH THE CHUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! dunno bout the camera, but my dads lawn darted on the Quest chutes, we havent had a problem with it on the Estes
hahahaha. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that Quest chutes are some of the cheapest out there. I very much agree...especialy because if I saw right, the Icarus has 2 chutes. Both failing (or just one) could spell disaster for your camera. So I would recommend you just put one estes. Probably would want to go with 18 incher.
Better yet get onto Ebay and get some of the nylon chutes by Thrustline!!! Seach by seller flying_silverado (he is up on this forum as well) and you will see he has several sizes of nylon chutes available. They are of very good quality and resonably priced!
That would be good. But, if you are planning on using a D, you may want to go with the plastic. Nylon is a lot heavier. It may work out with an E though.
What kind of nylon parachutes do you use? A D motor will lift a 24" chute by thrustline just fine. The attached picture is of a BT-60 video camera rocket that has flown with C5-3s, C11-5s and D12-3s. The Ds put it and its 24" nylon parachute up to around 700 feet.
I am not saying it WONT. But, I am saying that he does not have a lot of weight to add on so he has to be careful.
Interesting rockets rokitflite. Very nice looking. I'm not looking for terrific height. I just want to see it work. I'm also going with the 200 mW unit. Since it is line of sight that shouldn't be too much trouble. If I have a problem I'll just build a better receiving antenna. Shouldn't be too hard to do as 1.2 GHz antennas are pretty small and you can make some outrageous gain (I'm a ham as well).
I like the Icarus because it 'splits' in two, the payload section has a chute and the booster section has a chute.
I've got some mylar chutes & streamers coming from Rockethead that I was thinking of trying. I don't want it coming down too fast but I don't want to lose it either.
Most of the places I'll fly aren't too big either.
Thanks for all the input. So, the consensus is the Icarus will probably work fine on D's and better on E's if I want to fly that high. I think I'll use the E motor mount and use a spacer to use D's. Sound reasonable?
Phaar what did it sim on C's? Just out of curiosity.
Tell me if I'm wrong but the problem with too small of a motor is not that it won't go high enough but that it won't break free of the pad, right?
<>< should be about 250 feet or so. I would not try it because Rocksim is not always perfect at predicting.:D ;) Too risky.
Hi bcdlr,
You are using the 200mw, roughly $30 camera, that is all over the place on ebay. The camera, 9 volt battery and battery clip weigh 2.3oz. If you are good with a soldering iron and tracing wire paths you can eliminate a good deal of weight by removing the heavy power plugs that come on the camera and battery clip. A small on/off switch can be wired in as well. Be careful if you do this because some models of the camera have a small 5 volt regulator built onto a small circuit board that is molded inside of the power plug on the camera side. Using an xacto knife you can carefully cut the plug along the molding lines and take the circuit board out and wire it back in once the plugs are cut off. In most cases however the regulator is inside the body of the camera and you can cut the plug off with no problem. Another tiny weight reduction tip is to glue the two halves of the camera casing together with liquid plastic model cement and discard the 2 small screws. The Icarus kit is one of my favorite Quest kits, built up it should be around 3-3.25oz depending on how heavy you lay on the glue and paint. You can shave a little weight here by cutting 2/3 of the plastic shoulder off of the nose cone. Now you are looking at a total launch weight without the motor of only about 5.5 oz without using any of the weight saving methods which could put you around 5 oz. A C11-3 would give it a good flight for a small field, with a D motor you had better have a good sized field! The receivers and the little antennas that come with them are pretty pitiful. My first flights with this set-up were pretty poor in terms of reception. If you go to this site..., they give some good instruction on building a patch antenna for just a few bucks. My recommendation are based on my actual experiences with these things. Good luck and I hope to hear some stories about your success!!!
rokitflite, that's why I bought the Icarus and a cheap video camera. I didn't want to get head over heals until I could prove that it worked. Heck, if I get anything viewable I'll be tickled. We'll work on it from there.:)
I just wanted some advice, which I've gotten, on the Icarus as a platform. I liked it to the first time I saw it. Seemed like a good design. Can't wait to get my hands on it.
Thanks for the site on the anteannas. That guy is a ham as well. Lots of good info. I shouldn't have any problem "lightening it" - I'm not afraid to tear it apart and solder it back together. Thanks for the advice and insights.
Do you have any videos posted anywhere?
Hi Dan,
If you do choose to go a little further with these the 800mw cameras with the separate transmitters have MUCH better range. What stinks is that I bought a digital video cameras so that I could download the video feed from the rocket into the camera and put it right onto the internet. Unfortunately the signal does not remain CRYSTAL clear and the picture keeps going to completely blue/blank. I now download it to a tv/vcr combo on my car powered by a 400 watt power inverter that I got off of Ebay brand new for $23. The pictures look great from such a cheap camera! If you don't want to use a mirror hood at least angle the camera down a bit. My "stilt" rockets have the camera looking straight back between the stilts at the booster section of the rocket. Hopefully I will get some good video at NARAM this week... We'll see!
I will make a mirror hood, just wanted to try it first without.
How much does the mirror / shroud change the flight patterns of the rocket?
That always puzzled me. Seems like that would alter its course like a fin. But everyone seems to build them like that. On the other hand I probably don't know what I'm talking about!:p
It really depends on how big you make the hood. On the one that I posted a picture of that HAD a mirror hood, I stole it off of an astrocam 110. This does nothing noticable to the flight characteristics. The Icarus is so long and thin it will be a nice stable rocket. The mirror does not need to be more than about 5/16 x 1/4. You just want to angle it so the rocket takes up about 1/8 the viewing area. This way you see all the nice smoke from the launch and stage separation if you try it two-staged. For the mirror I used a piece of a first surface mirror I purchased off of (of course) Ebay. Let me know via private email if you need one and I will send it to you. The only thing is you need to practice cutting VERY thin glass! The mirrors are about as thick as a microscope slide. If you HAVE an old astrocam lying around, stealing the mirror and hood from it makes it much easier. Let me know if can be of any more help!
No, the mirror/shroud doesn'tmake a noticable difference in flight characteristics. Even my C6-5 power camera rocket didn't drift anywhere. I got my mirrors from Hobby Lobby. They a 3/4" x 3/4" square. 5 or 6 for $1. Dan, do you have a link to the video camera system you are using? How much altitude can you get before the signal breaks? How big is the camera. If it is only $30, I might get one. does it have sound? Thanks!


P.S. I sent you an email with the Eye in the Sky7 liftoff pictures as well as letting you know I will mail the check today if I can.

BTW, Everybody else, go to the MPR forum and look at my new thread, Eye in the Sky 7 launch report. It tells about the launch as well as pictures.

Good luck Dan!
Just realized we are out of stamps so I can't mail the check untill monday.:( Sorry about that. :(
Hi Havoc,
Go to Ebay and type in 200mw. A million of these cameras should pop up. I've bought about 10 of them from vendors in china. One named "bidokay" has been a reliable seller. The camera usually costs a dollar, then they charge 20+ dollars for shipping!
That is pretty stupid. Is shipping that much just because it comes frm some dude in china is that just one of those ways to scam you out of money? Well, I will take a peek and see what I find. :)
That is just the way it is. Shipping $28, camera $.99, you get the camera set up for about $30. If you buy one from the US it costs more. The cameras cost $5-$10 to make, maybe about $10 shipping so they make about $10-$15 bucks. They just make some of their money within the shipping charge. No big crime, you still get a neat little camera system at what is still a resonable price. They state the shipping charges pretty clearly so its not like it should be a surprise to anyone buying them.
I knew that it wasn't a crime. I was looking around and it was either $1 with $30 shipping or $30 with $1 shipping. Anyways, which one of these did you get and which would be the best for rockets? Do they have any with sound that would be around the same price range? Thanks!