Launching rockets and recording video

Since we put out a call for model and amateur rocketry hacks, we’ve been getting a lot of submissions on our tip line. Here’s two that found their way to us yesterday:

Upgrading an original

Back in the early 70s, Estes released a rocket with an 8mm movie camera attached to the nose of the rocket. It was called the Estes Cineroc, and is an excellent demonstration of engineering prowess to fit a movie camera inside a cardboard tube. The Cineroc is somewhat of a collector’s item, so of course there’s a reproduction kit with a payload bay large enough for [Bob Marchese]’s 808 key fob video camera. His launch video looks awesome, has color, and doesn’t need to be mailed off to Estes to be developed.

Much better than a lightbulb and a button

Remember the old yellow (or blue, and I think maybe a red one) push-button launch controller? Equipped with an arming key (a piece of wire), batteries, and a button, that controller wasn’t much to write home about. [Joe Niven] built his own launch controller with multiple LED lights, buzzer, continuity checker, and a battery tester. Not bad for a 555 and a pair of 4000-series logic chips.

12 thoughts on “Launching rockets and recording video

  1. I remember in the 80’s that Estes made a rocket that used standard 110 film. Does anyone else remember that one?

  2. I’ve launched many a rocket and would love to add a camera, even an old cell phone, but since I lose 99% of my rockets on the first launch, I’ve never done it. Maybe I should launch them in a forest, but hey, that’s where I live.

  3. I built one around 2000 out of a small AA flashlight shell. I got tired of losing rockets, so I built this one to be traceable. It held a smoke bomb (the cheap 4th of July ones) and the parachute discharge would lite the fuse and leave a smoke trail back to where it landed. The smoke staining also ended up giving it a very interesting design. Launched it probably a dozen times, which was a record for me. Never lost it, but the chute didn’t discharge one day and I haven’t repaired it since then, still in my garage though!

  4. The video wasn’t the best out there, but it was my first try and for much less than the stupid expensive eBay collector prices for a Cineroc. The amount of roll was a little disappointing. Trees are less of a problem at the sod farm MDRA uses. Next launch I’ll try both stages.

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