Video Cameras and Mounting Techniques

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Greg Furtman

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I've done some searching here but have not found what I'm looking for. I'd like to know what types of video camera people are putting onboard HPRs, mounting techniques, and positions. I'm a Tripoli Level 1 member and an advisor to a rocket team that will compete in this year's First Nations Launch Competition. They need to shoot video this year.
 

Nathan

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Here is my Panasonic HX-A1 camera mounted to the av-bay of my 6" diameter Formula 150. This is one of the mounts that comes with the camera.

 

timbucktoo

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I have a Möbius camera with a 3D printed shroud made my Additive Aerospace.
 

timbucktoo

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I have an older Mobius & shroud, but yes similar. Just make sure you match the shroud to the camera.
 

jadebox

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I used to build fancy shrouds. Now, I often just use electrical tape. It is amazingly effective at holding a camera in place and makes it easier to access the camera while prepping the rocket. You can also get it in multiple colors to complement your rocket.
 

emckee

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Note that electrical tape has limitations on how fast you can go...
 

jadebox

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That & it usually leaves a sticky residue that needs to be cleaned up!
I have never had a problem with that. It always comes off cleanly without leaving a trace.

I wouldn't use the technique on a mach-busting rocket, but I have used it on a few L motor launches successfully. It isn't elegant, but it works well in many situations.
 

timbucktoo

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I have an adequate feel for the speed of balsa, but what is the speed of electrical tape?
I have gone a little over Mach 1 with electrical tape. Of course how many wraps and how tight you make it will affect your results.
 

Tobor

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check out Liquidfyre rocketry. makes carbon fiber shrouds.
Is he actually shipping product again? I met Bryan and his family at MMWP last Spring, and at that point in time his production output was still limited. I honestly hope things have improved for him.
 

Greg Furtman

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Is he actually shipping product again? I met Bryan and his family at MMWP last Spring, and at that point in time his production output was still limited. I honestly hope things have improved for him.
I checked out his website and he isn't making anything due to family matters.
 

emckee

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I have gone a little over Mach 1 with electrical tape. Of course how many wraps and how tight you make it will affect your results.
That matches my experience, but it will depend on the aerodynamics of your camera and whether/how well you protect it and the tape. In my case, I just exceeded Mach 1 and found that the camera had shifted under the tape during the flight, so I wouldn't go much beyond that speed (if you actually want your camera back).
 

Voyager1

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I use a 3D printed pair of custom bulkplates to hold a GoPro inside a payload section with an oval-shaped hole cut into the body tube to allow for the full rectangular frame to be captured. The bulkplates clamp the GoPro with threaded nylon rods and nuts. The GoPro is mounted on its side to fit inside a 54 mm body.

I will post pics of the setup when I can.

It’s surprising what you can get away with. One of our club members just taped a GoPro to the side of a HP rocket with duct tape to capture a downwards video that resulted in a high quality video that was used by one of our nation TV broadcasters.
 

Mailman

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Looking to fly a camera onboard my upcoming L2 and have been doing some research. Decided on a RunCam 2. 1080p 60fps, WiFi controls, it’ll run on my 2s lipos, readily available replacement parts. I plan to mount inside my Ebay and use a lens extension cable to get that elusive outward facing video.
 

cwbullet

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You will find an endless number of solutions on the forum as you search from as simple as electrical tape to the over-engineered / overly complex. As I found in rocketry, there is no wrong method as long as it is safe and successful.
 

Greg Furtman

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I use a 3D printed pair of custom bulkplates to hold a GoPro inside a payload section with an oval-shaped hole cut into the body tube to allow for the full rectangular frame to be captured. The bulkplates clamp the GoPro with threaded nylon rods and nuts. The GoPro is mounted on its side to fit inside a 54 mm body.

I will post pics of the setup when I can.

It’s surprising what you can get away with. One of our club members just taped a GoPro to the side of a HP rocket with duct tape to capture a downwards video that resulted in a high quality video that was used by one of our nation TV broadcasters.
Looking forward to the pics.
 

JoeTekcor

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That & it usually leaves a sticky residue that needs to be cleaned up!
I wrap the electric tape tightly sticky side up first. Then put the camera in place and wrap tape around normally. The tape never sticks to the actual paint.
 

Idunno

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I use a 3D printed pair of custom bulkplates to hold a GoPro inside a payload section with an oval-shaped hole cut into the body tube to allow for the full rectangular frame to be captured. The bulkplates clamp the GoPro with threaded nylon rods and nuts. The GoPro is mounted on its side to fit inside a 54 mm body.

I will post pics of the setup when I can.

It’s surprising what you can get away with. One of our club members just taped a GoPro to the side of a HP rocket with duct tape to capture a downwards video that resulted in a high quality video that was used by one of our nation TV broadcasters.
 

Idunno

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Please do post some pics if you can. I'm looking for more a more elegant solution than simply taping to the outside.
 

Duster45

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Here's some pics of my Mobius Action Cam mounts from Additive Aerospace.IMG_2937.JPG IMG_2936.JPG
 

Richard Dierking

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I've used GoPro Hero Sessions including the 5 which has 4K video as an option. I used the GoPro camera holder and created a bulkhead with a bracket for it. The clear tube was obtained through eBay and the ends were machined down to couple with 3" airframe. Also, the newer GoPros just barely fit 3" airframe. 4K video is nice, but still at 30 fps which is a bit slow for rocketry applications. GoPro doesn't make the Session any more, but there are still some out there. Caution if you use this camera because it self-heats to improve the performance of the battery. In a closed compartment it could overheat and shut down. Also, I'm using the Veho Muvi cameras. There are various versions out there (std, Pro, HD) and they have similar dimensions. The HD is about 2 mm thicker. I use a 3D printed bay that is epoxied into the airframe parachute compartment and I made an access door with a hole for the camera lens. It's nice to be able to install your rocket on the pad, then turn on the camera and place in the camera compartment right before the launch.IMG_2337.jpgIMG_2304-1.jpgIMG_2271-1.jpg59529679420__B7981AAA-0E28-464A-875A-37F592769869.JPGIMG_2274-1.jpg
 

Richard Dierking

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Here's a couple more photos. Showing the set-up for a Veho HD and look-down video. I cut a piece of mirror from a small make-up mirror I got at Walmart and epoxied at approx 45 degrees inside a section of a model rocket nose. And, the bracket for the GoPro Hero Session.IMG_2376.jpg IMG_2375.jpg
 

Richard Dierking

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There is one important consideration to what ever camera arrangement is used. The look downs usually add parasitic drag, but I don't think that's a big problem unless it's a rocket designed for ultimate performance. But, when you are adding things like cameras, you should control spin by proper alignment of fins and be mindful of axial balance on the roll axis. If the rocket rolls and is not balanced, the coning can be more than a problem with performance, it can lead to the destruction of the rocket if the angle of attack becomes severe at high velocity. Cameras which attach to the outside of the airframe can create problems with axial balance unless they are counter balanced in some way.
 

Exactimator

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I've used different keychain cams with different mounting methods.

Velcro failed at midpower.

Electrical tape failed at just under Mach, stretched out and the camera was lost. Others have used it successfully on more extreme flights than mine.

My most successful combo is an 808 #16 Lens D keychain camera bought from eletoponline365 on ebay with an Additive Aerospace shroud. The camera gets pretty decent video and the shroud keeps it secure and provides a bit of protection if the rocket lands on something hard.
 
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