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Your experiences with Estes Astrocam/Snapshot?

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Max_Power004

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I just bought the Estes Snapshot rocket; I think it’s the exact same thing as the Astrocam, just a different name. I hope to fly the rocket this weekend. (My first flight since I was about 12 or 13, about 11 years ago) I’m trying to maximize my picture taking potential, by tapping into the vast knowledge of rocketryforum.com! What have you found to be the best choices for the Astrocam/Snapshot? Engine choice? Shock cord configuration? Parachutes? (I read somewhere that someone put two parachutes on it to make sure that the camera didn’t hit too hard, one on a longer cord than the other. He said it worked well, but I’d be worried about them getting tangled together, thereby causing the rocket to plummet to the ground. Is this a good idea?) Etc. Same goes for the Shuttle Xpress, I will be launching that as well. Any other helpful hints you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

ggoldy

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My first problem with the astrocam was the film poping out on hard landings, and there will be some. Using black electrical tape, I covered all the seams to block out light and hold everything together. Second was I never could remember if I advanced the film so since it took sooooo long to go thru a roll of film, I would advance the film after each flight and before each flight. Works out to be every other frame. The plastic fins became warped from the heat comming from the blast deflector. I used a cloths pin to hold it higher on the rod and used a 4' rod to avoid weathercocking. And the list goes on, and on, and on.
 

Max_Power004

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Originally posted by n3tjm
C6-7 = Splat Recovery

So, you're saying using a C6-7 will make for a crash landing?! I read several reviews that said C6-7's are perfect because with a C6-5 you get pictures of the sky. Needs more time before ejection aparrently. I mean, that's just what I heard.
 

nomopbo

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Fishhead

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Out of a whole roll of film, (most of which I even remembered to open the shutter for,) I got one recognizable shot of a curb and some grass. The ol' AstroCam is on the dusty side these days.
 

tenzero

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Good luck with your AstoCam.... I have used two which I have a total of three rolls of film collected. None of the images were good enough to publish. My second rocket went into the high branches of the only tree in a 50 acre field! Never recovered the rocket..... email me if you get some good images.... I would like to take another shot if I feel encouraged.
 

THoz

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As a long time lurker, I figured I'd finally speak up on this subject. I got an Astrocam last year as my second rocket as a BAR, I got about 4 good flights before I lost a fin on it. I actually flew it once on three fins, but I won't try that again! I then got a Code Red to use the body and swap out the nose cone with the Astrocam. Since then, no trouble. I fly it on C6-7s most of the time and have only had one close call with it, I have also done a few C6-5s to get horizon shots. I'll post a few pics to show what kind of results I get. I use 24 exposure film since thats all I can find, and get 8 - 10 shots off before I get it developed (skipping a frame every launch). My 'Code-Red-Cam' tends to weathercock quite a bit which can lead to some heartstopping flights as it seems to veer off in an unexpected direction at times, but so far I've had all successful recoveries. On to the pics:
 

THoz

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Astrocam that took forever for the ejection charge to fire. You can see the base of the athletic field light tower and it's shadow in the snow. I figure the chute came out at about 40 feet, but everything was OK.
 

GoBang

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Here's a link to my Astrocam page. It has three pix as well as some suggestions on how to get the thing to work reasonably well.

Hope this helps...
 

Tedman

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Originally posted by tenzero
Good luck with your AstoCam.... I have used two which I have a total of three rolls of film collected. None of the images were good enough to publish. My second rocket went into the high branches of the only tree in a 50 acre field! Never recovered the rocket..... email me if you get some good images.... I would like to take another shot if I feel encouraged.
I cant belive this is your one and only post ever
 

ashman

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....with my Astrocam. I had one of the old ones in which you had to build the camera. Had a lot of flights and the photos were the quality I expected, which was pretty well represented by the photo on the box. I noticed a little melting on the fin unit so I used, and recommend, putting a little metal foil tape (used in the hvac field) on the inside of the fin unit. That one landed in a tree, and I recently bought two new ones, one each Astrocam and Snapshot at a Hobby Lobby 1/2 off sale (couldn't resist!), which I have yet to fly. The shutter mech. is different.

I highly recommend! Have fun!
 

phil

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One of my first rockets was an Astrocam and I was disappointed by it. It was prone to weathercocking, and went through an awful lot of C6-7 before I got one good shot.
 

zog43editor

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You can find some pictures I took with my Astrocam in this thread
http://rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16003

My advice is to fly on days with bright sun, and not to fly early in the morning or late in the day. The speed of the film you can get now-a-days works best in bright light. You can really tell the difference in the photos.

Do use C6-7's. Do upgrade the shockcord to a kevlar/elastic harness (ala Quest). Do attach the parachute to the camera itself, cause you'd rather have to walk a ways as opposed to watching the camera free-fall.

And most important- Do fly your astro cam every chance you can.

You can find 110 pretty cheaply- I believe in the thread above I mention I found it online for $1.59 a roll and that Walmart charged me $1.28 for processing.

kj
 

scottrc

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I'm a BAR with one of these too.
I have a new one that my 9 yr nephew bought. The last time I used a camroc was an ole 1973 type that was a very good system until losing it back in 1980. With this new one, the biggest problem I have is with advancing the film and putting the cone assemble into the tube without triggering the shutter. Any advice on how to put this thing on?

I too hace used electrical tape on the case in order to a) keep to door from popping off during ejection or landing and b) to secure any light leaks.

Also, the RTF fin unit has melted after three flights and is becoming unstable do to broken fins and lumps of melted plastic so I'm looking at putting the camera unit on a different rocktet. I'm reading through this site for alternatives.

I too have launched with the C6-7 as having the best results but Il have some really blurred pictures.

Scott
 

zog43editor

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Any of the BT-56 based rockets can serve as carriers, including the Eliminator for D, E, or F flights.

kj
 

Nuke Rocketeer

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I'll have to pull out and scan some of my old Astrocam photos and post them. I had fair luck with it. I used the rocket it came with unmodified only twice, after that I either used the 24mm Delta II carrier with a D12-7 or E10-8, or used a pair of marcus strap-ons with B14's and a C6-7 in the core. I remember getting a really good picture of the bridge over the Brazos River east of Glen Rose Tx from a launch inside the city of Glen Rose.

Joe W:kill:
 

danc

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Having not used a 110 camera in about 20 years where do you set the advance wheel? On the roll I have each frame has 4 number 2s or 3s etc It seems to click into place on the first digit is that the one you use or do you try to put it in the middle on the dot between the two pair of numbers.
 

zog43editor

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Originally posted by danc
Having not used a 110 camera in about 20 years where do you set the advance wheel? On the roll I have each frame has 4 number 2s or 3s etc It seems to click into place on the first digit is that the one you use or do you try to put it in the middle on the dot between the two pair of numbers.
As long as you get to the next number ont he advance I think you're fine. I will look at mine tonight and see where it advances to.

Kevin
 

MarkH

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Yes, when you feel it stop or lock in, that is the correct position. The 110 film has holes that the camera uses to lock it into the center of the frame (There is a little plastic tab in the camera that falls into one of these holes when the film is advanced). Unlike 35mm film, 110 has these black bands in between frames and if you try to advance past where it first stops, to the 2nd or 3rd repeating number, you will have one of the bands in your picture. Look at some 110 negatives and you will see what I'm talking about.-Mark
 

Cougar93

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I had one when I was younger that required construction of the camera. That seemed like a daunting task at the time. As a recall, the engine failed to fire the ejection charge, and it lawndarted in a spectacular fashion on the hard desert ground. I remember paying a hefty sum for the rocket at the time. It seemed to crash in slow motion.
 

TheRadiator

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My Astrocam flew well, although the shock cord snapped and the nose cone with all 12 exposures floated away never to be found again. I have a new nosecone, but I've yet to use it.
 

dwmzmm

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Originally posted by TheRadiator
My Astrocam flew well, although the shock cord snapped and the nose cone with all 12 exposures floated away never to be found again. I have a new nosecone, but I've yet to use it.
Reminds me of my last (to date) Astrocam flight; used a different
launch vehicle to fly my payload (such as the FSI Maverick - both
as a single stage and two stage - and my own designed Saturn -
IV clustered/staged booster). Last flight was at JSC on May 21,
2005; flew with a D12-0 & three C6-0 first stage; D12-7 & three
C6-7 second stage. Upperstage sailed into the clouds overhead
and, despite hearing the four ejection charges from the second
stage, we never saw anything again (bummer, as the film in that
Astrocam payload had about seven different shots in it!).

Liftoff shot of that flight here by Warren Benson:

http://www.nasarocketclub.com/gallery/may-21/100B0121?full=1
 
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