In Rocket Video
Using $15 Spy Camera



Over the years I have tried many ways to shoot photos and videos from rockets. I recently found on eBay a new class of video cameras that make shooting videos from rockets (and RC planes, etc) very easy with pretty good quality. These cameras are sometimes sold as spy cameras. They record both color video and sound onto a micro SD card. The one I bought cost about $15. The memory card I salvaged from an old cell phone and will record over an hour of video.


Video of some flights


The camera is very small and weighs less than 1/2 oz. Below are some photos and a link to videos made with this camera. I have taken video with the camera inside a nosecone and also with the camera just taped to the outside of a rocket.

The camera is 2"x 1"x .75" and weighs .4 ozs. It uses a built-in rechargeable battery and has a USB port to download video and for power. Side views shows the power button and Kevlar safety string attached. I attach the string to the rocket on the chance the camera breaks free from the tape during flight.
If you have seen my X10 Video page you will recognize the nosecone. I took out the X10 crap and used the same hole to mount the new camera. I use just shipping tape to fasten it into the nosecone. One of the biggest problems with shooting video is spinning during the decent. I solved the problem by having the nosecone/camera come down on its own chute. The chute/shock cord is attached to the top of the nosecone with the swivel which allows the chute to spin but keeps the nosecone from spinning.
The added weight at the top helps stabilizes the rocket and has little effect on the rocket. Rocket ready for flight. The rocket is a TLP AMRAAM dual engine model and can fly on 2 C11-3 or 2 D12-5. It has flown many times and shows signs of wear and tear.
I used a large 24" chute for slow decent and longer videos. Here the camera is simply taped to the outside of an Estes Eliminator and it flies on a C11-3 or D12-5 or E9-6.

  Click here to see video.


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