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Dustin Lobner

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I believe the manual says it needs 5-20V to run. The higher the voltage, the lower the current draw. As long as your batteries can supply 5V min for the duration required, you should be OK.
So the C rating on the battery wouldn't matter either, even when directly connected, because the whole danger in direct connection was from the surges that come from also powering the drone, correct?

If that is true then I could just use whatever form factor LiPo fit my need.
 

Dustin Lobner

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So the C rating on the battery wouldn't matter either, even when directly connected, because the whole danger in direct connection was from the surges that come from also powering the drone, correct?

If that is true then I could just use whatever form factor LiPo fit my need.
I believe so? I've attached and unattached a 9V battery about a dozen times to no ill effects. I tried asking several different places online and the tech support is zero, so I haven't heard that "officially".
 

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I believe so? I've attached and unattached a 9V battery about a dozen times to no ill effects. I tried asking several different places online and the tech support is zero, so I haven't heard that "officially".
Did you just snip the 3 wire harness that comes on it, and replace with the battery connector, and leave the “video” wire disconnected?

Thanks for humoring my electronic neophyte questions. If I try this out with a limo, I’ll report back here.
 

AllDigital

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I know there are a lot of threads on cameras and I've tried most of them over the years. Lately, for my basic "horizontal" camera I have been using these very small inexpensive cameras from Amazon ($26). They are only 16mm x 21mm x 41mm and they pack 1080p, 30fps, SD card, and battery. The quality is just OK, but I am using them primarily for data collection and not cinematography. I mount these using a 3D printed ring and then tack the ring in place with 3-4 (removable) shear screws. I've used them on 2", 3", and 4" av bays and I can get by with only a 4.5mm hole to the outside. They have a single push button to on/off, but I soldered a lead to externally trigger and/or to a flight computer to activate remotely. It records in ten minute chunks to the SD card for at least 90 minutes (that is the longest I've gone).


IMG_5702.JPGIMG_5703.JPGIMG_6099.JPG
 

Dustin Lobner

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Did you just snip the 3 wire harness that comes on it, and replace with the battery connector, and leave the “video” wire disconnected?

Thanks for humoring my electronic neophyte questions. If I try this out with a limo, I’ll report back here.
Basically - I snipped the yellow (video) wire and then used a wiring hardness they sent along to extend the red and blue to where the batteries are.

No worries! I'm about 3 days ahead on you on knowledge. If all goes well, it flies next weekend.
 

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Basically - I snipped the yellow (video) wire and then used a wiring hardness they sent along to extend the red and blue to where the batteries are.

No worries! I'm about 3 days ahead on you on knowledge. If all goes well, it flies next weekend.

Thanks very much, and good luck on the flight...looking forward to the video.
 

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rocketace

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Also, is the ribbon cable detachable from the board or camera?
It does not look like it detaches so I really don't want to try. It also has some clear epoxy on the corners of the connectors as well as on some of the other large components. I will let you know if it works or smokes....:oops:

cable.jpg
 

rocketace

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Please confirm that the magic smoke doesn’t escape when you plug the lipo in.
No smoke! The board did noticeably head up, but it looks like it runs well. I even connected it to a RCA video cable to plug it into my TV so I could change the settings. Looks like it defaults to 2.7k, but with following the manual and a few clicks its set to 4K.

IMG_7686.jpg
IMG_7687.jpg


After some testing I will start thinking about a 3d printed mount for all of this.
 

Cl(VII)

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No smoke! The board did noticeably head up, but it looks like it runs well. I even connected it to a RCA video cable to plug it into my TV so I could change the settings. Looks like it defaults to 2.7k, but with following the manual and a few clicks its set to 4K.

View attachment 445475 View attachment 445476

After some testing I will start thinking about a 3d printed mount for all of this.
Thanks so much for the info, and the idea to hook into the TV...I was wondering how best to go about changing the settings. I ordered the same one today. Should be a fun little toy.
 

rocketace

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I think it will be fun as well! I also plan to see how it does as a pad camera. I might try to find a way to remotely activate it in the further. Maybe the Eggtimer wifi switch. Definitely get the 128GB SD card. Two minutes on 4K was about 1GB.
 

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So.... I received a reply from RunCam advising me to NOT connect the battery directly to the camera and that I should use a BEC. Trying to educate myself on BEC and Buck converters and I found a few on Amazon. Below are a few options I am looking at

I did hear one youtube saying be cautious of using there around radio signal because it could cause interference. I will have to figure out how to do some testing with my featherweight GPS to make sure it won't cause any issue.

Fixed BEC
Adjustable BEC
Buck Conveter
Buck Converter 2

IMG_7688.jpg
 

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There may be some valid concern they have that I just can't think of (though I've worked with Li battery systems for my day job for 22 years now), but claiming a battery voltage is not stable (which in other places seemed to suggest it could just suddenly surge to a higher voltage and damage something, I grant that wasn't directly stated in the email above) just seems like a complete misunderstanding of how batteries work to me. This battery is dedicated to your split camera, not also powering other things, right?

I can see if the same battery is also powering a drone that the drone's motor loads will be much higher and can vary suddenly/frequently, and the internal resistance of the battery and inductive effects of the wiring can result in the voltage seen by loads changing based on sudden load changes, so in a drone-shared application I can see the value in a (U)BEC for the camera (assuming the BEC itself doesn't have issue with the sudden voltage changes). But if the battery is dedicated, or only used for other tiny / relatively fixed loads (like a GPS unit) then I can't possibly see why there's any reason for concern, provided the camera can support the whole range of the battery. But the battery will always start high and work down, there won't be any surges or the like when there aren't other things hammering it with sudden surges.

This discussion got me interested in looking at split cameras, personally I went with HawkEye cameras (I use the FireFly Q6 as a Mobius replacement), so I'm leaning towards the FireFly Split 4K cameras, though the larger regular model supports a range of input voltages (has an onboard regulator) while the Split Mini 4K requires a fixed 5V input, so I'd have to add my own regulator, and right now trying to decide whether to go with a 2S battery and a buck regulator, or a 1S battery and a boost, so I'll probably just end up ordering both from Amazon and playing with them since they're all pretty cheap.
 

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I can think of one reason RunCam might insist on a BEC for all power applications, current limiting. I am not an electronics engineer, so maybe I am just spinning wheels here.
 

rocketace

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This battery is dedicated to your split camera, not also powering other things, right?
Correct, the battery will be dedicated to the camera alone.
I did order a Buck converter and a fixed BEC. I don't know yet if I will use them in the final application, but I wanted to play around with them to lean and also have them on hand for any application hat I might need them for in the future.
 

Bruce

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I agree, nice video. Very little spin!
 

Dustin Lobner

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I agree, nice video. Very little spin!
That's a result of the 3D printed fincan...my "normal" rockets always rotate going up, but the 3D printed ones generally don't. Which says to you something about the accuracy of a 3D printer vrs my "traditional" build techniques, lol.
 

rocketace

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Great video, makes me even more exited to get mine up in the air!
 

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That's a result of the 3D printed fincan...my "normal" rockets always rotate going up, but the 3D printed ones generally don't.
Any chance you might be willing to share the STL file for that Fin Can?
 

Dustin Lobner

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Any chance you might be willing to share the STL file for that Fin Can?
Sure. It's gotta be at least 100MB though, so I'll have to set it up on google drive when I get home. Will PM a link.
 

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Has anyone noticed how HOT the recording board gets? Hot enough where I cannot touch it bare handed. I emailed RunCam and they said the 4K version does get hot and that heat dissipation is up to the end user.

Since it will be inside a rocket during the Texas summers, I think I am going to find away to put a heat sink on the board to help.
 

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Has anyone noticed how HOT the recording board gets? Hot enough where I cannot touch it bare handed. I emailed RunCam and they said the 4K version does get hot and that heat dissipation is up to the end user.

Since it will be inside a rocket during the Texas summers, I think I am going to find away to put a heat sink on the board to help.
Good info...nylon standoffs from the 3D printed mount are in order then too.
 

FMarvinS

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I know there are a lot of threads on cameras and I've tried most of them over the years. Lately, for my basic "horizontal" camera I have been using these very small inexpensive cameras from Amazon ($26). They are only 16mm x 21mm x 41mm and they pack 1080p, 30fps, SD card, and battery. The quality is just OK, but I am using them primarily for data collection and not cinematography. I mount these using a 3D printed ring and then tack the ring in place with 3-4 (removable) shear screws. I've used them on 2", 3", and 4" av bays and I can get by with only a 4.5mm hole to the outside. They have a single push button to on/off, but I soldered a lead to externally trigger and/or to a flight computer to activate remotely. It records in ten minute chunks to the SD card for at least 90 minutes (that is the longest I've gone).


View attachment 444871View attachment 444870View attachment 444872
Mike, interesting and apparently very affordable. Would you kindly post some video showing camera performance in flight. Can the inherent movement switch be used to automatically turn on during take off and stop upon landing? If positioned horizontally with lens section (facing downward) and placed outside via a hole in the body tube, how big a hole would be needed and approximately what dimensions of an external camera shroud would be needed for protection and aerodynamics?
Thanks,
Fred, L2
 

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Has anyone noticed how HOT the recording board gets? Hot enough where I cannot touch it bare handed. I emailed RunCam and they said the 4K version does get hot and that heat dissipation is up to the end user.

Since it will be inside a rocket during the Texas summers, I think I am going to find away to put a heat sink on the board to help.
When I was heavy into modding computer hardware for crunching BOINC, there was the practice of replacing stock GPU coolers with aftermarket kits. Many of these kits used individual heatsink blocks to help cool certain chips like v-regs and memory. They were effective at dissipating heat. Copper blocks work better then aluminum blocks, but they are much heavier.

You can find them in virtually any size you need. If you go that route, I would strongly recommend using a thermally conductive epoxy to attach the heatsink. Even the best thermally conductive tape, like 3M's series that I used on GPUs, might not hold up to the g-forces encountered in MPR/HPR flights.

Some examples of heatsinks (Here).
One good brand of TC epoxy is Arctic Silver's Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive (Link).
 

Dustin Lobner

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When I was heavy into modding computer hardware for crunching BOINC, there was the practice of replacing stock GPU coolers with aftermarket kits. Many of these kits used individual heatsink blocks to help cool certain chips like v-regs and memory. They were effective at dissipating heat. Copper blocks work better then aluminum blocks, but they are much heavier.

You can find them in virtually any size you need. If you go that route, I would strongly recommend using a thermally conductive epoxy to attach the heatsink. Even the best thermally conductive tape, like 3M's series that I used on GPUs, might not hold up to the g-forces encountered in MPR/HPR flights.

Some examples of heatsinks (Here).
One good brand of TC epoxy is Arctic Silver's Arctic Alumina Thermal Adhesive (Link).
Logging in just now to ask this question, lol. Thanks for the info! I have a 3D printer that smokes its first main board awhile back, the stepper drivers have heatsinks...I'll steal one off of there, should be the perfect size.
 

AllDigital

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Mike, interesting and apparently very affordable. Would you kindly post some video showing camera performance in flight. Can the inherent movement switch be used to automatically turn on during take off and stop upon landing? If positioned horizontally with lens section (facing downward) and placed outside via a hole in the body tube, how big a hole would be needed and approximately what dimensions of an external camera shroud would be needed for protection and aerodynamics?
The cheap camera is 21mm x 16mm (L x W), so that is the size of hole you'd need through the airframe to point it down. It would stick out about 16mm for the lens to clear. I have done this on larger rockets with another similar camera with success. This one is completely squared, so it would benefit from a tiny fairing hat if you did that. For my purposes, I mount it looking out and I get away with only a 4mm hole in the airframe. I have not experimented with any auto-on or vox features. In my experience those never work well.

Here is a video from a few weeks back. It was a launch to 16K feet on a 4" rocket. You can see that the quality is cheap (poor light balance), but for a $26 camera/SD solution you can't beat the price or the size.

 

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