Estes Oracle... No Lap top...Help!

I just tried out my new Estes Oracle. As most know by now when the power is off all video is lost. I don't have a laptop to down load the video to in
the field. So I picked a launch site ~15 minutes from home. I put a new battery in the nose and off to the site I went. Launch was beautiful. I gathered up my stuff, left the power on so I would not loose my video and headed for home. Well I ran into traffic and it took me 25 minutes to get to my driveway. By the time I got up to the computer the camera was dead..No video left.
I don't want to buy a laptop. So how can I rig up multiple batteries in parallel or series to supply additional battery time without frying my Oracle camera. I figured I could solder some leads to the single battery connectors in the camera which could have quick disconnect fittings of some sort to plug in the additional power source.
thanks for the help, KT
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Funny, I am in the same boat as you (no laptop) so I decided to do a test for battery life. I put a new alkaline battery (Walgreens brand) and turned it on about 10:00 PM Thursday and took a video to hold in memory. Friday afternoon about 5:00 PM I was still able to download the video. The "on" LED continued to light up till after midnight (albeit dimly) when I went to bed. Were you perhaps using a carbon heavy duty battery or an old alkaline?
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Mark Daughtry, SR
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Well, I thought my battery was new. It came out of a new box. But I've had the box for about 6 months. Now I'm wondering if somehow I had accidentally hit the power switch.... If yours lasted so long.
KT
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A piece of masking tape over the switch might be prudent.
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Does anybody (besides me) feel that this is an inexcusable product design defect on Estes' part?
I mean, non-volatile flash memory in the form of compactflash and SD cards has become commonplace and DIRT CHEAP (you can get 128 megabyte SD cards for < $15!), and these will retain your pictures and video, without power, indefinitely.
The type of camera Estes is using in the Oracle can be bought at your local Wal-Mart in blister packs for about $18.
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Vince wrote:

Keep in mind that when it comes to product cost, they look at savings over the long run. If they can save $1 in production per unit, with projected sales of 10,000 (just tossing out a number), that $1 per unit translates to $10,000, which is significant.
-Kevin
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writes:

Yup. And those cameras lose memory when the batery is removed, dies, or bounces in the contacts. Just like the Oracle. I've had that happen more than once with my old Pencam. And Estes seems to be using the oldest Pencam technology out there.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
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On 12-Jun-2005, kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.TRABoD (Bob Kaplow) wrote:

Bounced in the contacts, maybe that's what happened to mine. I swear I watched the switch and it never moved. Also when I got home it was still in the "on" position and the led was still on. But no video was there.
KT
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(Bob Kaplow) wrote:

I would assume that the g forces of the launch would be more likely to cause battery bounce than some earthly bounce. Besides there being a hefty spring at each end of the battery. I believe (or I assume) this is a built-in feature to compensate for g forces as it takes more effort to put the battery in than holders with a spring on one end (-) and a flat on the other (+).
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Based on my first few pencam flight failures, I'd say it's the ejection / deployment Gs that are muching with the photos.I got in-flight resets, then after deployment pictures.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
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Bob Kaplow wrote:

I don't doubt it; the springs that hold the batteries in place aren't designed for that. A wedge of some sort to keep the battery from moving after insertion probably isn't a bad idea.
-Kevin
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Possibly a wrap or two of masking tape to hold it in it's place?
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Tape / tie wraps aren't enough. It's not that the batteries fall out of the battery holder, it's the spring compression that makes them lose contact.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
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kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.TRABoD (Bob Kaplow) wrote:
snip

snip
That is a lot o fG's.
Jerry
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ejection /

moving
the
Sounds like maybe it's time for some soldering-iron engineering here. Two possibilities come to mind:
1. Swap out the battery holder for one that is more appropriate for the shock and G loading.
2. Since the thing apparently has limited battery life, add a 2nd battery (or more) in parallel.
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Small strip of tin foil, folded over and over till it is thick enough to make the proper size wedge......done this on other electronics that suffered from a poor design.....that's the quick easy fix only a kitchen pantry away!
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On my Pencam battery holder I ran a small screw through the spring and tightened it down on the battery to prevent it from shifting in flight.
Then I replaced the battery holder with a Nicad hot melt glued to the back of the mounting board.
    Bob Kaplow    NAR # 18L    TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"         >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<< Kaplow Klips & Baffle:    http://nira-rocketry.org/LeadingEdge/Phantom4000.pdf www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/ www.nira-rocketry.org www.nar.org
... One nation under surveillance, divisive, with liberty and justice for none.
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wrote:

If they tell you that you need a computer to download the video at the field or within a certain amount of time after flight, I don't think it's a big deal. I think someone did say that was the case. Maybe you can return it and get your money back.
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Hi,
You might try this link for the Octave Multipod camera:
http://www.octave.com/cgi-bin/shop/shop.cgi/act/specs/item/1103564187
I don't know if you lose the video when the power is turned off with it but it is supposed to double as a pen drive so it might have non-volatile memory. There are videos there shot from R/C planes and also some rocket launchings. I have one on order. At $109.00 it is pricier than the Oracle but it has 6 minute capability to do a descent video record with sound no less. It may be non-volatile but I haven't confirmed that. I don't know how it could double as a pen drive if it doesn't have it.
Kurt Savegnago
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The user manual states that the video disapears when the power is turned off.
KT
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