Well, I launched my Oracle camera a few times today out at Lucerne. The
video files are large (65MB each), so I'm not really keen on posting
them on my website because I'll rapidly run out of bandwidth, etc. If
someone has access to a site where they would like to host them, please
contact me offline and we can find a way to get them out.
Flight 1: Stock Oracle camera and rocket with a D12-5. Video captured
full flight, pretty good shot, you can see the SCRA guys as the rocket
ascends. After ejection, one or two frames that show more than the
desert floor, but on this flight, the camera stopped almost at the
moment of touchdown, so it is the full flight. Despite using more than
the 6-7 squares of wadding, the chute and shroud lines received minor
damage, but nothing preventing them from being used again.
Flight 2: This time I used one of my old stock of E15-4. This
particular one is a few years old, and didn't light the last couple of
times I tried to ignite it. I used a first-fire junior-ish igniter this
time, and you can see the first several frames of the video show the
chuffing as the engine didn't quite get going for a few seconds -- then
finally took off. Really good flight, but due to the altitude, the
video ends during descent.
Flight 3: This time, I decided to use a different base rocket, so that I
could try it on an Estes 'E' engine. I used a Blue Ninja that had been
modified for an E, and launched with an E9-4. The launch was beautiful,
there's no reason the Oracle couldn't have been made with the 'E'
placement for the thrust ring, BUT, the same problem with not enough
occurred - this time with (somewhat) catostrophic results. The chute
was essentially melted, but the 'tumble recovery' was enough to 'save'
the video camera. The Blue Ninja received some damage to the front
tube, but could fly again. The BAD part was that the impact turned OFF
the video camera, thus erasing the video!!! This is one of my pet
peeves with the unit, that it erases if turned off!
I should add (because I don't think I did earlier) that the video is
320x240, but at only 9fps for 30 seconds. 9fps is VERY slow when you're
wanting to catch a launch. I really commend Estes for the mechanical
packaging of the camera itself, but the fact that the rocket is not
sized for an 'E', that it's RAM only (not flash), and that it's only
9fps, make this a good (not great) product. OTOH, it's probably great
for the target market of RTF flyers who'd like a video of their flight.
One of these days I'll get around to taking it apart and trying to see
if anything can be done to resolve these shortcomings (such as more
- posted 16 years ago