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Day 135 - GoPro Hero 3
27th July 2013
Location:Doonside, NSW, Australia
Conditions:Sunny, very light winds < 5km/h
Team Members at Event:GK,
Paul K, and John K.
We got back into flying again during the
last week as we had a short 2-week break for a
holiday in Hawaii. Hawaii was great as we
spent a week cruising between the islands
and then spent a week on Oahu enjoying the
sun and sights. Dad spent 5 weeks in Europe
during the same time, so water rocket
development has been quiet. The rocket
experiment we wanted to launch wasn't
finished in time for this launch and so will
be launched during the next NSWRA launch.
Our cruise ship in port in
Sailing past the Na Pali coast
Sanding rockets on
Inspecting Harpoon Missile
in Pearl Harbour
GoPro Hero 3
I've had my eye on a GoPro for quite a
while after seeing all the great footage you
can get from it. So while in Hawaii I picked
up the Black edition with the Wi-fi remote
We took it for a spin this weekend at the
launch and tried a couple of different
camera angles. The wide field of view is
very useful and it is simple to point the
camera as you only need to point it in the
general direction. I only had a slower 16Gb
microSD card on hand before the
launch so we only filmed in 1920x1080p @
30fps. Any faster frame rates or larger
frame sizes resulted in stuttering video. I
ordered a SanDisk Extreme 16Gb micro SD card
but it hadn't arrived by the time of the
launch. I am keen to try the 848 x 480 @
240fps mode as that is more than twice the
number of pixels at that frame rate compared
to our Casio Exilim FC100.
GoPro Hero 3 with remote control
Giraffe's view of launch. The
is mounted on the end of the
We put the GoPro on the end of a long
boom on the tripod so that we could get a
close-in giraffe's point of view of the launches. A
couple of times the slight breeze caused a
resonance in the boom which resulted in
shaky video. The boom was just some 20x20
aluminium angle we had on hand. Overall I was really happy with
the video quality though. We converted the
footage down to 1280x720 for YouTube.
Unfortunately the footage is compressed when
we export it from the video editing
software and then YouTube re-compresses it
again. You loose a bit of the quality that
way. We could upload it at 1080p but the
upload would take a long time.
Stills from the video also turned out great.
We also filmed a lot of the Pyro rockets on
the day with the setup.
PET rail buttons
For the first Axion II flight we tested a
couple of simple guide rail buttons made from PET
plastic to see how well they would work. On
the one launch they looked like they worked
fine but don't quite feel strong enough. We
will try them again with thicker PET plastic
made from 2L apple juice bottles. We
probably wouldn't use these for our larger
rockets, but for smaller rockets they should
be sufficient and are easy to make. The
rocket nearly got stuck in a tree but passed
the rocket eating trees within a couple of
Simple rail button
Second rail button further up
We then flew the Axion
IV rocket two
times with foam. We again tried the GoPro from a couple of different angles.
Both flights went well without problems
and it's always good to get them back.
Paul also launched his new "Black
Xarconian Cruiser) rocket that he made from a kit
before the holidays. He launched it a couple
of times on a C6-3.
Here is more footage from the launch day
using the GoPro both from the Giraffe's
point of view as well as from a Chipmunk's
point of view.