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Athos Camera Bay.JPG (658289 bytes)

Aramis II Camera Bay & Hatch, Finished.JPG (648894 bytes)

    JVC camcorder in unfinished bay

Finished camera hatch

Grab the Popcorn & Fasten your Seatbelts!

After getting back into the hobby, we quickly invested in a Canon Elura Mini-DV camcorder to record our exploits and after some practice have managed to get some good shots of our launches.  We've since also invested in a  Canon XL-1 Mini-DV camcorder and now regularly have two ground cameras aimed at our big projects.  After figuring out how to shoot ground video, we took the next step and invested in a couple JVC GR-DVM50 Mini-DV camcorders that we've been bolting inside our big rockets, with great results.  When we get home we hook our camcorders up to our PCs with a Western Digital Firewire PC Card and then edit and produce our video clips with Ulead's VideoStudio 4.0 Basic.  If you have RealPlayer installed, view the RealMedia streams; Otherwise, if you have a high speed internet connection, it's worth the time to download and view the high resolution mpeg files.

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Project Flight Date Description Motor(s) Video

Jayhawk

2nd

May 2002

11.5" dia., 14 ft., 215 lbs.

2 x N2000W

Ground, On-Board, Tower

Porthos

4th

November 2001

11.5" dia., 16 ft., 160 lbs.

M2500T, 6 x K1100T 

Ground, On-Board, Tower

Porthos II

1st

October 2001

11.5" dia., 19 ft., 300 lbs.

6 x N4800T,  N2000W

Ground, On-Board

Aramis III

2nd

October 2001

  6.0" dia., 12 ft.,  60 lbs.

2 x M2000R, 2 x M1939W 

Ground, On-Board, Tower

Athos II

2nd

August 2001

  7.5" dia., 14 ft., 100 lbs.

7 x M1315W 

Ground, On-Board

Aramis III

1st

August 2001

  6.0" dia., 12 ft.,  60 lbs.

2 x M2500T, 2 x M1939W 

Ground 

D'Artagnan

3rd

August 2001

  4.0" dia.,   9 ft.,  20 lbs.

4 x K250W 

Ground, On-Board

Jayhawk

1st

July 2001

11.5" dia., 14 ft., 215 lbs.

2 x M2500T 

Ground

Aramis 2-Stage

1st

July 2001

  6.0" dia., 17 ft., 100 lbs.

M1315W to K250W

Ground, On-Board

 

  
Jayhawk, 2nd Flight

The Jayhawk measures 11.5" in diameter, stands 14 ft. tall, and weighs in at 215 lbs. dry.  For her 2nd flight at NSL we loaded her up with a pair of N2000Ws taking her to just over 5000 ft.  An 18 ft. chute was deployed at apogee and a Blacksky ARRD released two 26 ft. parachutes at 1500 ft. 

The ground video does a good job of capturing the recovery sequence up close.  And this time, using new parachutes without forward drive, the Jayhawk stuck the landing.  An amazing and almost unbelievable thing to see a 200+ lb rocket float back gently and end up standing.

This flight of the Jayhawk also debuted our dual look-up & look-down camcorder package.  The on-board footage combines the best of both views showing lift-off, the nose cone sailing away at apogee, the mains coming out at 1500 ft. and then finally the landing.  Unfortunately we forgot to clean the mirrors before lift-off so there are a few smudges in the video, but they don't detract too much from the action.

We also successfully used the tower cam to catch the lift-off of the Jayhawk.  Once again we share our tower cam footage at both full speed and 1/3 speed.  The scream of the motors as they seemingly tear by inches your head is incredible.  And once again we always find ourselves ducking when we watch this video.

NSL
May 2002


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (600KB)

On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (1MB)

Tower Video

Real Player

WMV File (700KB)
  
Porthos, 4th Flight

Porthos, the biggest rocket in our 3 Rocketeers family, measures 11.5" in diameter, stands nearly 16 ft. tall, and weighs in at 160 lbs.  For her fourth flight at ROCstock, Porthos took off an M2500T and six K1100Ts.  This made the equivalent of the California legal limit of a full N impulse.  She reached an estimated altitude of  6000 ft., but suffered heavy damage after the drogue chute jammed and the rocket came in separated but with out any chutes inflated.  

In the ground video you can hear the commentary as elation turns into hopeful and then more strident coaxing as we implore the drogue to come out.  Alas, it never does and the video catches the entire up and down.  Be sure to note the kids running for cover at the instant of impact.  If you've ever wondered why the ROC folks don't take kindly to kids playing behind the flight, this video should explain it well.

Be sure to listen to the lift-off on the on board video.  Porthos sounds like a screaming herd of elephants while leaping into the sky.  Blue Thunder motors make a very cool screech.  Light seven of them together and the sound had people jumping 1000+ft away back at the flight line.

This flight also marked the second successful  use of our tower cam.  In fact this time we had the tower cam running as we rolled Porthos into place, elevated and armed her.  We've included all that footage at 30x normal speed for your entertainment.  The launch in then shown at both normal speed and then again at 1/3 speed.  Don't be surprised if you duck.

ROCstock XIV
November 2001

 


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (700KB)

On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (300KB)

Tower Video

Real Player

WMV File (700KB)
  
Porthos II, 1st Flight

Porthos II combines the original upper airframe from Porthos with a new booster capable of holding a central 150mm motor and six outboard 98mm motors.  Porthos II measures 11.5" in diameter, stands 19 ft. tall, and weighs 300 lbs dry, and weighed 500 lbs at lift-off.  For her first flight at Aeronaut we loaded her up with six N4800Ts and an N2000W.  We lit three of the N4800Ts on the ground and then three more N4800Ts at 6 seconds, and finally the N2000W at 12 seconds (which although the igniter fired, never actually lit).

In the on-board video be sure to watch for the booster breaking free just after the two 26 ft. chutes inflate.  You can then watch the booster fall 1500 ft. to the playa, kicking up a cloud of dust as it impacts.  Look for the booster shadow as it enters from the upper left corner.  When it meets the booster, it's down.

BlackRock XIII
October 2001


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (800KB)

On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (2.5MB)
  
Aramis III, 2nd Flight

Aramis III measures 6" in diameter, stands 12 ft. tall, and weighs in at 60 lbs. dry.  For her 2nd flight at BlackRock XIII we loaded her up with a pair of M2000Rs, and airstarted pair of M1939Ws  6 seconds into flight.  Aramis III flew to 19000 ft. and was recovered under three 12 ft. parachutes.

The on-board video is again dizzying on this flight.  The 4 motor and 4 fin design (as D'Artagnan uses as well) produces high roll rates during flight.  Great for spin stabilizing an altitude attempt.  Less than optimal for great on board video shots.  So make sure you're hold on to something tight as you watch, and if you're prone to nausea, we might recommend against watching.

This flight also marked the debut of our new Tower Cam.   We mounted a small CCD camera at the top of a 10 ft. mast mounted to the end of our 15 ft. rail.  All told this camera sits 30 ft. up in the air looking straight down at our launcher.  The footage is incredible.  The first time we watched the video we both ducked as the rocket screamed by.  So if you ever wondered what two Redline M motors, tearing by your head at a distance of 2", would look and sound like, this video will answer that question for you.

Fellow rocketeer, Jaime Clay, has also taken this video and slowed it down for us.  Click through here to see a half speed version, and a quarter speed version of the tower cam video.  

BlackRock XIII
October 2001


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (900KB)

On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (1.7MB)

Tower Video

Real Player

WMV File (200KB)
  
Athos II, 2nd Flight

Athos II combines the original upper airframe from Athos with a new booster capable of holding seven 75mm motors.  Athos II measures 7.5" in diameter, stands 14 ft. tall, and weighs 100 lbs.  For her second flight at Aeronaut we loaded her up with seven M1315Ws.  We lit three of the M1315Ws on the ground and then two more M1315Ws at 7 seconds, and another two at 14 seconds.  The seven motors had a combined impulse of a full O motor: 40000 NS with a 20 second burn.  Athos II flew to just under 20000 ft. and was recovered under three 14 ft. parachutes.  

On this flight we flew two camcorders, one looking down and one looking out.  We mounted the look down camcorder in the booster, and as you can tell from the video, it didn't like the ride.  Being that close to the action was a bit too much, and the tape frequently loses sync, and ultimately the video cut out before apogee, but the footage we did get is incredible. 

The look out video will tend to make you sea sick.  All three ground started M1315Ws didn't come up to pressure simultaneously with the result being a less than vertical lift-off.  On the look out video, the non vertical attitude of the rocket manifests itself in a horizon that tends to tilt up and then down as the rocket rolls.  Couple a rapid roll rate with a very non vertical boost, and you may need some Dramamine to watch this video. 

Aeronaut 2001
August 2001


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (1.7MB)

On-Board Look Down Video

Real Player

WMV File (700KB)

On-Board Look Out Video

Real Player

WMV File (2MB)
  
Aramis III, 1st Flight

Aramis III measures 6" in diameter, stands 12 ft. tall, and weighs in at 60 lbs. dry.  For her 1st flight at Aeronaut we loaded her up with a pair of M2500Ts, and a pair of M1939Ws to be airstarted 6 seconds into flight.  Unfortunately both M2500Ts blew their aft closure on take-off and the rocket coasted to a mere 140 ft., but both the drogue and main fully deployed, saving the rocket.

Aeronaut 2001
August 2001


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (500KB)
  
D'Artagnan, 3rd Flight

D'Artagnan, the baby in our 2nd generation 3 Rocketeers family, measures 4" in diameter, stands 9 ft. tall, and weighs in at scant 20 lbs.  For her third flight at Aeronaut, D'Artagnan took off on two K250Ws and then air-started another two K250Ws 12 seconds after lift-off.  This made the equivalent of a full M impulse.  Earlier in the day, D'Artagnan had flown the very same flight, but without the video camera, and set a new M altitude record of just under 28000 ft.   On this flight, D'Artagnan's video camera kept her to just 17000 ft. and she was recovered under a single 9 ft. parachute.  

The on board video is somewhat dizzying, with the rocket reaching roll rates of up to 3 rps.  But the view at apogee is spectacular.   Be sure to also note the sky diving cold smoke canister under drogue leaving a smoke trail on the way down.

Aeronaut 2001
August 2001


Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (1.3MB)

On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (1.7MB)
  
Jayhawk, 1st Flight

The Jayhawk measures 11.5" in diameter, stands 14 ft. tall, and weighs in at 215 lbs. dry.  For her 1st flight at LDRS we loaded her up with a pair of M2500Ts taking her to just over 3000 ft.  An 18 ft. chute was deployed at apogee and a Blacksky ARRD released two 26 ft. parachutes at 1500 ft.  The video does a good job of capturing the complete recovery sequence up close.  A fabulous flight for our first scale rocket.

LDRS XX
July 2001

Jayhawk_1st_Flight_Ground_Video_Title.JPG (42198 bytes)
Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (2.5MB)
  
Aramis 2-Stage, 1st Flight

Aramis 2-Stage measures 6" in diameter, stands 17 ft. tall, and weighs in at 70 lbs. dry.  For her 1st flight at LDRS we loaded her up with an M1315W in the booster and staged to a K250W in the sustainer.  Aramis 2-Stage had a great flight, although she coned badly off the pad for 2 or 3 rotations, but eventually straightened out.  Booster recovery was flawless, with the 14 ft. chute deploying right at apogee.  The sustainer deployed a 4 ft. drogue at apogee and two 12 ft. chutes at 1500 ft.  The two mains were tangled at first, but one cleared and inflated just before impact allowing the sustainer to land with out damage.

On this flight we flew two camcorders: one in the sustainer looking down, and one in the booster looking up.  Both camcorders worked great.  In the downward looking footage you can see the booster drop away and the sustainer light.  You can see the same in the upward looking video, as well, with the sustainer staying in frame for the first 5 seconds of it's flight.  You can also see the stage separation charge pop the two stages apart in both videos, one second after motor burn out on the booster and one second before motor ignition on the sustainer.

All in all a great first multi-stage flight that will no doubt lead to more and larger multi-stage flights with lots of cameras in them. Stay tuned.

LDRS XX
July 2001

Aramis_2_Stage_1st_Flight_Ground_Video_Title.JPG (47084 bytes)
Ground Video 

Real Player

WMV File (1.5MB)
Aramis_2_Stage_1st_Flight_Upper_On_Board_Video_Title.JPG (56071 bytes)
Sustainer On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (1MB)
Aramis_2_Stage_1st_Flight_Lower_On_Board_Video_Title.JPG (56493 bytes)
Booster On-Board Video

Real Player

WMV File (500KB)
 

 

 
 

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