Rocket Camera

A few years ago I attempted to put a camera in a small rocket. I had always had the idea in the back of my head, but I never knew how to do it. As soon as I saw this Make Magazine article I knew I had to try.

I mostly followed the advice in the Make article. The major problem I encountered was what camera to use. I didn’t want to risk damaging anything expensive, so I opted to use a $30 CVS “one-time-use” video camera. The Camera Hacks forum has useful information to get around CVS’s security and make the camera reusable.

I removed everything but he bare essentials of the camera to reduce its weight. Following the instructions on the Camera Hacks forum, I soldered headers onto the camera for a USB connection.
camera-4

I attached the camera to the rocket by gluing standoffs into the nose cone, and screwing the camera into the standoffs.
nose-cone-2 camera-installed

With the help of jbgizmo.com I built a cheap lightweight altimeter that uses a pressure transducer to calculate altitude.
altimeter-2

With a hole drilled in the nose cone the final result looks like this.
camera-hole

I launched the rocket once with the camera and once without. Both launches had the altimeter. The launch with the camera used a D12-5 engine and reached an altitude of 420 feet. The launch without the camera used a E9-4 engine and reached an altitude of 835 feet.

See more pictures of this project on flickr.

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