"1/2 A" & "1/8 A" airplanes These are the small ones...more popular now than ever.

1/2a Video Project

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Old 06-21-2017, 10:40 AM
  #1  
Remby
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Cool 1/2a Video Project

The idea to put a video camera on a 1/2a plane has been one of my all time goals. Although it is more common with other types of electric powered planes, or drones, the smaller planes with the castor lubed engines present a number of challenges.

Yesterday for the first time I had success putting a 1/2a video plane into the air twice, and is hands down the coolest thing I have done with these size aircraft. Two videos, with nearly 20 minutes of video was captured.

A couple of issues with vibration were expected , and it appears as wave patterns on the picture as it climbs out under power, I think a change of a smaller prop would help hit the right frequency to limit the wave, although it is not all that bad. Under glide it is a great picture.

I am looking for any comments or advice on adjust for best flying, picture quality, etc.

Anyone else ever do the camera stuff with our 1/2a's ?
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Old 06-21-2017, 04:30 PM
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Check out the latest SMALL Fun Fly on RCG. It is under Electric Events.
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Old 06-21-2017, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Remby View Post
The idea to put a video camera on a 1/2a plane has been one of my all time goals. Although it is more common with other types of electric powered planes, or drones, the smaller planes with the castor lubed engines present a number of challenges.

Yesterday for the first time I had success putting a 1/2a video plane into the air twice, and is hands down the coolest thing I have done with these size aircraft. Two videos, with nearly 20 minutes of video was captured.

A couple of issues with vibration were expected , and it appears as wave patterns on the picture as it climbs out under power, I think a change of a smaller prop would help hit the right frequency to limit the wave, although it is not all that bad. Under glide it is a great picture.

I am looking for any comments or advice on adjust for best flying, picture quality, etc.

Anyone else ever do the camera stuff with our 1/2a's ?
Sounds great, and you are doing you're own bushwacking thru the fields on this one.
Can you post your vids to Youtube so we can see?
Also, there is a thread just started for just what you are talking about on the other site.
I may try putting FPV on a 1/2A soon, may have to make a pod so it is out of the castor spray path - ha.
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Old 06-22-2017, 08:09 PM
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You need isolation mounts they sell them for the quad cameras tons of them on ebay all different types.
I have mounted a camera on a .07 plane same issues.
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Old 07-01-2017, 12:57 PM
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I am pos
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Old 07-01-2017, 01:01 PM
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Five captures from the first two videos. The first shows the "wave" effect from the Cox .049 Super Medallion running. Rest taken with the dead-stick mode in effect.

Videos are big, about 1-Gig per 11 minutes of Video.
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Old 07-01-2017, 04:02 PM
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Yea same thing for me I would cut to idle and it would do ok, a fun thing to do cut to idle and
dive down at yourself to capture the operator on the ground. It is cool to see the flying field
from the planes perspective.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:16 PM
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Cool - good share, you must be having a good time with that.
I have to get my act together - too busy. I have a few different cameras to try out.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:14 AM
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A glow engine is always a cause of trouble, when using the model as a video platform. Also, the 1/2a class

present a number of extra challenges, weight of the "cargo" (video cameras), the cameras position, drag, balance,

all must be considered. Ease of access to the controls for the camera operation is a must, and the hot lube oil

must be kept away from the video assembly to allow for clean, ease of use.

I still fly using the old 1/2a style of dead stick landings, and in this tech., the video is very good during

the glide. Another issue is being a small model, the wind can have a big effect on a steady video, a calm day

helps, as well as small inputs into the controls during the glide.

To buy a isolation mount for most planes is fairly easy, but getting one to use on the small, and not add

weight, is the real trick for this class.

I have attempted to fly other camera setups before, the older version added over 7ozs (!!) , not much success

with that.

This latest setup is worlds better, adding only 1.5oz total to the model. That is for both cameras and mounts,

and video is a good, perhaps low end DVD quality, with sound as well. Very cool hearing the wind over the length

of the flight, even on the glide home. Overall worth the effort, with very low cost as well.

Note I am not flying the plane through a phone, the cameras are just passengers, and videos can be viewed after

the flight is over, if all goes well.

The plane used was built in 2003, has a 42" wingspan, using Rudder/Elevator controls, and was converted into

this video drone carrier. The entire video setup mounts on the outside of the wing, and can be removed for

flights without the cameras. It can fly with one, or two video cameras at once.

The prop change to a smaller dia. helped with the wave effect, still have a bit of vibes. during the assent, but

not all that bad. Third flight had a five minute engine run during the climb, and over five minutes of glide

video. Sun was a bit too low, but still got some good video.

I will provide details of the setup after the next test flight, and get a video posted somehow of the flight, if

all goes as it should.

The entire dual video package being used for this project cost under $20.
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Old 07-29-2017, 12:49 PM
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I am reporting that my 1/2a Video system is a complete success !

Having this work out is the result of a number of failures over time , and the desire to record video from these
small models. Being able to record two , full flight length videos on every flight, without trouble or issues,
has been a dream for many years. Perhaps one video per flight was the dream, but getting two just came about from
the setup used.

Bottom line, you fuel the model, turn on the cameras, then startup and fly, and afterward view the flight videos
on the PC, about as simple as that. All at the cost of about a quarter per flight. Vibration during the engine
run can be controlled by adjusting the prop size and RPM, to hit the right FREQ, to get the clearest video.
During glide , well , you may want to see that for yourself !

Some limits are part of this class of model, such as the power of the engines, the oil slime, the air moving the
model around (way to easy), and learning to fly a camera system for the best video. The cameras (may) need a bit
of work to prepare them for the job given to them, but it is worth the effort.

One of the main goals here was for consistant, ease of use of the video recorders.

My setup is basic. A non throttled Cox .049 (Super Medallion) hauls the load up, when it's out of fuel It is
trimmed out for a steady glide down to landing. In effect, A powered glider, it adds to the entire project
because of the sound. The sound during the glide is very cool, it makes the whole 1/2a thing much bigger than
ever, like a Jet decending best describes it. Again, very cool, and you won't get this until you hear it the
first time it lands, and all the noise just stops. Wow !

The quality of the video is better than I hoped for, compared to what I have viewed and downloaded from other's
worthy attempts, using larger platforms. It rivals some of the much more costly systems out there.

Flying and viewing the videos gives rise to a number of challenges and ideas, I tried to film the Hawks that
were following the model yesterday, but did not get them on the film !

Bottom line, if you like taking pictures, and flying 1/2a , then the two together adds to the fun, and lets you
see, (and hear), your flight area in a very new way.

I will post the details for building the camera pods, and setup. Should give you a start for trying this. The
model should be as big as allowed by this class. A Ace Wizzard, the great Jr. Falcon, or somthing along those
lines would provide a good platform, the model will need to have the pods added into the airframe's wing. The
cameras can be removed for flights without them, although I have not tried this as yet. The pods have a small,
clear plastic sheets for streamlining, but this is easly removed. Building or using another wing for the camera
setup would be a good idea, the pods in use by me are built onto the wing. They are not big, adding about 3/4" to
the height of the wingtips.

The videos are long, about 10 minutes+ each flight, so with two cameras rolling it provides over 20 minutes per
flight, the videos capture two sides of the area being filmed. Have captured 2 hours of video in 8-9 flights.
The weight is around 50 grams for both cameras, micro SDHC cards, and the pod mounts, making it quite easy for
the Cox engine to deposit the bird into the clouds for filming. The mounts are built into the wingtips, uses the
down angle to view the ground, like being in a plane looking out the window. The mounts attach right at the C.G,
no ballance weight needed. Cameras attach with velcro, and twin rubber bands strap secure them onto the wing, and
also secure the SD cards from dislodging during the flight. Cameras charge up using a USB port cable, and no
connection to the model's power is required.

Posting the videos is a issue, the small one is still 500MB, and only so because the camera shut down in flight
because a low battery condition. The largest so far is 1.17GB, nearly a 14 minute long capture.

I will get the data posted so others can give this all a shot, it really is quite worth the effort.

My attempt is good start, and I am very happy with the results. But, I am positive it's not the only, or the
best way to do this. If this area has your interest, give it a shot, and let all here know what can be done.

A couple of captures of my selected landing area ,I approach from over the pond, glide over the red car and
apple tree, in between the two structures, and land just before the road. No STOL needed, and all dead stick as
well.

Picture 3 shows the final approach, although a bit high before the final.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:45 PM
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Posting mount drawing..

Also, picts of mount on the wing.

To balance, both pods need to be on the wing. Can fly with one camera, but a "dummy" need to be on the other side.
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:50 PM
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MD80 Mini HD Sports DV DVR Video Audio Camera Recorder DV Camcorder Webcam | eBay



Lot 2 Mini DV Camera DVR Hidden Video Recorder Waterproof Sports Camcorder MD80



posting some places to get the cams..
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Old 08-01-2017, 07:11 AM
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Two more Pics, of the mounts and cameras..

the Micro SDHC cards should be a "(10)" class to keep up with the action, and a (4 gig) to (8 gig) work well, enough space for three to four flights.
One of the cameras I am using was purchased about 5 years ago for this project, but never put it into use. It did not look like it would work to me (at all), so I put it all on the sideline. This Spring, it was decided to give it a try, so worked out and built the mounts. I built the dummy camera, put them both on the model, and flew it the first time.

It really has been a surprise how well it has worked out, with just a couple of days, and a few hours of effort.

After that success, I ordered another camera, for the second record option. Same type, and just glued the Velcro to the camera's back using a thin film of epoxy. The first one I used super glue.

This newer one had a "rattle" , so the back was carefully removed, and the battery, lens assembly, and microphone was checked and secured with a small amount of silicone rubber. Must take care not to get any on the two main switches (on/off) and (record/stop) . Put it back together ( minding the switch buttons ), and let it set (got to make sure the two switches work before it sets), When later it all was ready , it was attached to the wing pod, and balanced out for flight.

A small red streamer is attached to the ring hole on the cameras, in case they get knocked off, to be easy to locate them, quite small units they are. The streamers are run down through the bottom of the mount, to prevent it getting in front of the lens in flight. About 14 inches or so long.

The SD cards may (and do) work better in one camera over another, Try switching them to see what works best.

Got to have a cover, something so when you turn the cameras on, you can see the small LED's telling you what the camera is doing. I use a dark shirt. Flashing light is record mode.

No longer just a sport flyer, it now can be on a recon mission, and it changes how you feel about the flight.


Working on getting the videos up..
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Old 08-21-2017, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Remby View Post
The idea to put a video camera on a 1/2a plane has been one of my all time goals. Although it is more common with other types of electric powered planes, or drones, the smaller planes with the castor lubed engines present a number of challenges.

Yesterday for the first time I had success putting a 1/2a video plane into the air twice, and is hands down the coolest thing I have done with these size aircraft. Two videos, with nearly 20 minutes of video was captured.

A couple of issues with vibration were expected , and it appears as wave patterns on the picture as it climbs out under power, I think a change of a smaller prop would help hit the right frequency to limit the wave, although it is not all that bad. Under glide it is a great picture.

I am looking for any comments or advice on adjust for best flying, picture quality, etc.

Anyone else ever do the camera stuff with our 1/2a's ?
Engine mounted in the nose, on pylon in tail ? Not yet but the equipment available today lets you put it on even an .010 sized plane. I was wondering if you used a front mounted engine or maybe a pylon mount? a larger but lower pitch prop may resolve vibration issues. Good Luck
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Old 08-21-2017, 08:39 AM
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gmeyers ;

Engine on the nose, standard type of aircraft model, .049 Medallion powered, 42" wingspan, 2 channel Rudder / Elevator controls.

I think ailerons would work better for Videos, but went with a older model I had here, to test it all.

I have to watch the trees with the .049, what I have here would never work with a .010. Even the cameras would need to be smaller, I would think.

Yes, changing the pitch/diameter of the prop helps quite a bit, it still can't beat the free glide videos, after the engine runs dry. But, playing with the prop size and pitch can minimize the distortion, caused from the engine vibration .

The model I am using is pictured in the gallery , It's the Red and Tan model.

Hope you give it a shot, its all very cool.!!
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Old 08-21-2017, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Remby View Post
The idea to put a video camera on a 1/2a plane has been one of my all time goals. Although it is more common with other types of electric powered planes, or drones, the smaller planes with the castor lubed engines present a number of challenges.

Yesterday for the first time I had success putting a 1/2a video plane into the air twice, and is hands down the coolest thing I have done with these size aircraft. Two videos, with nearly 20 minutes of video was captured.

A couple of issues with vibration were expected , and it appears as wave patterns on the picture as it climbs out under power, I think a change of a smaller prop would help hit the right frequency to limit the wave, although it is not all that bad. Under glide it is a great picture.

I am looking for any comments or advice on adjust for best flying, picture quality, etc.

Anyone else ever do the camera stuff with our 1/2a's ?
There is a Whizard from Ace on ebay right now that would be a good platform for 1/2A FPV but it's a mite pricy I'd probably be willing to trade a 1/2A Pylon racer or an Ace Pacer pattern plane for it. Also I got a Norvel .074 today fresh from Russia. I thought it might be a bit risky but the price was right and seller had a 100% rating (though not many transactions) so I took the chance. Glad I did it because the engine is Mint and an excellent example of the quality they have produced. I have three more .074's and they have been great little engines for me. Trying to figure what plane and camera I'd like to use. I think I'd be leaning toward a transmitting camera with recorder or with recorder on the ground Plane is still undecided - maybe a rubber kit conversion like the AERONCA CHIEF at 54 inches but light with huge lifting ability and clear windshield for the camera . Ah - - decisions decisions.
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Old 08-21-2017, 03:55 PM
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gmeyers ;

A Wizard would likely work quite well, not a big fan of the foam wings, too many trees here. But, under "normal" flying field conditions, sounds like a winner. And the big , rubber conversion model may work very well, got to like the Clark-Y for lift.

A bit larger in size to make it stable won't hurt, got to keep that engine class though!

The model being used by me is a stable flyer, with good speed even while gliding.

Keep it going, it adds a extra dimension to the flying , even can be useful for location, and other things ..

Doing the video flying really changes the routine , and flying , just gotta try it ! .
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:33 AM
  #18  
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Video Snapshot discovery...

Tell me what, do you see?

Have lived here for decades, but never knew this was here..
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:33 AM
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Kite-eating trees?
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:02 AM
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1/2a Photo Project
Looks more like a picture thread going on here. =)
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