Pencam SD?

I finally got around to trying to fly the Pencam SD that I picked up a while back. But I seem to be having problems with the batteries. The first flight
the battery door popped open in flight, and I got nothing. A piece of gaffers tape cured that problem. The second flight apeared OK, but shot no video. I know I got the camera started (in movie mode) because I waited for the LCD display to tick before I stepped back and they launched. When I recovered the camera, it was off, and again the SD card was blank.
Ground tests show that the camera functions properly, creating files on the SD card. Has any one else flown this camera? Any ideas on why it keeps shutting off? Are the internal battery springs too loose? Something else?
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.mars (Bob Kaplow) wrote in

I have a PenCam SD, but haven't launched it. I suspect the problem you're seeing is a momentary loss of battery power due to the G-Forces of the flight. Those sheet metal spring clips lurking inside the camera may be flexing enough to cause the batteries to loose contact.
ScottE
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Bob, I believe you will find Scott is correct in his assumption... if you examine the battery contacts closely, you'll see that they are rather flimsy. One way to rectify this is to "shim" the contacts with some card stock; the other way I've tried is to "shim" the battery with thin strips of copper. (BTW, if you ain't guessed already, the latter method is NOT recommended,trust me on this one.) Also, I'm not sure about the SD, but some models of pencams have a feature that automatically powers down if no activity is detected for a given brief period of time...it could possibly be shutting down before you leave the pad(?) Any how, good luck with it! FWIW, Bob 352
Bob Kaplow wrote:

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Bob Kaplow wrote:

I just went to the Aipek site to verify the video settings of the Pencam SD and it looks like it maxes out at 320*240 10fps. Probably not the answer your looking for but I suggest skipping the Pencam altogether and go with one of those CVS digi recorders. Thirty bones gets you a rugged digi cam that can do 20 mins of 320*240 video but at 30 fps.
http://www.csh.rit.edu/~soup/cvscam /
Ted Novak TRA#5512 IEAS#75
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I've got a couple CVS cams but they're designed to be returned to CVS since they're digitally locked. CVS then burns a DVD for you and keeps the cam.
Early code versions of the cams could use a Palm cable to download from, but as the revisions have marched on, so has the difficulty in retrieving video from them. There are sites like www.camerahacking.com that detail the different revisions.
I'd planned to mount one in a rocket but we're enjoying our Estes Oracle instead, so the kids are playing with the CVS cams for the time being.
Mike Doyle
tdstr wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've got 4 of the CVS cams, all unlocked. Apparently the new rev cams can also be unlocked.
Ted Novak TRA#5512 IEAS#75
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wrote:

I've got two - both with the 3.7 version of the firmware. I haven't been able to unlock them yet... :-(
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Len Lekx wrote:

Check out http://camerahacks.10.forumer.com /
Ted Novak TRA#5512 IEAS#75
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is there some way to tell what firmware rev is in the camera before you buy it? ANd how do you unlock them?
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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On 11 Oct 2006 12:47:40 -0500, kaplow snipped-for-privacy@encompasserve.org.mars (Bob Kaplow) wrote:

The only way to tell which firmware rev is to turn the camera on - the opening screen has the revision number listed.
camerahacking.com will have more details on this... but basically you have to open up the camera and wire a USB cable to a connector-card on the camera. After that, you have to 'trick' the camera into its' diagnostic mode (shorting out one of the SMT resistors is required...) and employing some software on your computer to do the unlocking.
I just can't seem to get it right... :-(
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You can look at the bottom of the camera while still in the package for the revision number, and check the camerahacking website for desirable softwhere revisions.
There are clues in the packaging, the holy grail cams that are easy to unlock say "New" on the package and are 3.04 IIRC.
Mike Doyle
Len Lekx wrote:

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wrote:

Yeah. I have a pair of 3.70s, and I *cannot* get it to work. Even when I *do* manage to get the thing turned on properly, I keep getting 'Camera Not Found' messages with the utility program.
I may just give up, and keep trying to get my point-and-shoot cameras to work the way I want them to. And if they'll take the new 4-GB memory cards, I might be able to capture as much as a CVS camcorder... and without the hassle.
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Bob Kaplow wrote:

You have to do a thing called the "Vulcan Nerve Pinch" on the camera. ;-) Press the Delete and Record buttons at the same time, then power it up. Virtually all models can be unlocked using CronusKey, but almost any time you see someone having a problem with unlocking a camera, they either have a defective cable or have the wrong USB drivers installed.
I found three models at my CVS: 200, 220 and 230. If the 200's have "New and improved" on the sticker, they have had their firmware update. I bought an M230, firmware version 53.05. These are all unlockable using CronusKey and OPS.20. I ordered a cable off eBay, so no need to solder.
CVS/Rite-Aid Digital Camcorder Download Cable http://cgi.ebay.com/CVS-Rite-Aid-Digital-Camcorder-Download-Cable_W0QQitemZ250038259239QQihZ015QQcategoryZ88664QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
You can find cameras on eBay already modified with USB connectors built in:
CVS/RiteAid/Ritz Digital Camcorder with USB cable! http://cgi.ebay.com/CVS-RiteAid-Ritz-Digital-Camcorder-with-USB-cable_W0QQitemZ230037764891QQihZ013QQcategoryZ11724QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
I especially like this one:
CVS/RiteAid Cam w/Remote Lens! RC, Helmet, Rocket http://cgi.ebay.com/CVS-RiteAid-Cam-w-Remote-Lens-RC-Helmet-Rocket_W0QQitemZ230038074555QQihZ013QQcategoryZ11724QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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writes:

Is there a link somewhere to how to unlock them and what versions can be unlocked. There's finally a CVS in my area, so I'll go pick one up if it works as a rocketcam.
--
Bob Kaplow NAR # 18L >>> To reply, there's no internet on Mars (yet)! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle: http://nira-rocketry.org/Document/MayJun00.pdf
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Bob Kaplow wrote:

Got all my skills from camerahacking.com.
Ted Novak TRA#5512 IEAS#75
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wrote:

I've been having similar problems with a couple of modified point-and-shoot digital cameras in my own rockets. For a while, I thought it might have been the vibrations of the rocket accidentally pressing the 'OK' button when the recording is done... and the camera displays the 'Press OK to Delete' message.
But the previous post about the leaf-contacts not being secure enough got me thinking along those lines. I've bent the contacts towards the batteries to place more compression-force on them, and put a piece of non-conductive foam behind each one to maintain the pressure. I want to wrap the cameras with rubber-bands now, because the pressure on the battery-compartment hatch is high enough to make me worry that the little plastic catches might fail in flight... but that's not a big problem.
I plan to test this refinement out at the Spring Three Oaks launch next year - since I have to rebuild the camera-bay of my rocket, after the main parachute failed to open fully during the last flight.
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