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#341 [url]

Sep 6 11 3:36 PM

I wonder what he does for thrills  Crazy 

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#342 [url]

Sep 11 11 7:08 PM

A flight today with my good 'ol trusty Slow Stick X.  Winds were not good at the start and got worse as it went along.  I was fighting it to land.  But I manged to roll it in...  I was already thinking about the repairs I might need when the wind finally quit gusting....  It was still strong - but those crazy gusts gave me a break right when I touched down....

Music is a little George Jones.  Tomorrow is his 80'th birthday.  With the way he's abused his body over the years - booze and other drugs - I'm surprised he's still around.  But he is, and is even still performing!  Who knows - perhaps my beer-drinking liver will fare as well too!  HA HA.....

Flight from head camera....

Flight from on-board #11 808 keychain cameras...
Merle Haggard on this one.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#343 [url]

Sep 12 11 12:47 AM

What terrific video Thunker.  Kinda like a big production too with what, 3 cameras right?  Very cool rolls, soaring, diving and loops too.   Hard to tell the wind gave you any trouble it landed well.  Nice editing, with a view from the ground, and two views on board the plane, front and rear, pretty nice!

I just bought one of these amazing lil vid/audio 808 keychain cameras, a number 8 I believe.   The HD video is spectacular the audio seems a bit wonky thus far. 

Is there a way to know which version of the 808 you will be getting and I noticed you removed the date/time stamp too, was that easy to do?

Thanks for sharing your handy work.

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#344 [url]

Sep 12 11 8:27 AM

Thanks pelletor,

Yes, I had my Lumix FX78 on a head mount.  It's actually a camera head mount for my GoPro HERO HD camera.  I made a little adapter so that it would take a standard camera screw mount.   Here's how I did it...

And, yes, I had two of the #11 808's mounted on the plane.  I used Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum Ver 10 for the editing.  I just love that video editor!  Makes it easy to sync up multiple video tracks and fade back and forth between the views.  I few times I've actually put up all three cameras on the same video and swapped back and forth between the views.  It's a little tricky though because the Lumix shoots true 1920x1080 AVCHD while the #11's are 1280x720.

The "bible" of these cameras is at Chuck Lohr's site....

From what I understand the #11's are the desirable ones to get in the HD variety.

Here is the seller I've used to get the #11's -   "power-gps" for $40.  The older non-HD #3's really preferred a high speed "class 6" memory card.  Using the slower cards produced duplicate frames occasionally that showed up as little pauses in the video.  I'm not sure if that is still true on the #11 HD versions but I run 4G Class 6 cards anyway.

Post #2 here shows other preferred ebay sellers that provide genuine #11s....

Removing the date/time stamp is almost impossible on the older non-HD cameras, but it's a breeze with these #11 HDs....   Post #12 in the rcgroups forum shows how to do it and has a link to the firmware to download.

Hope this helps!

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#345 [url]

Sep 12 11 8:54 AM

It occurred to me that I forgot to post the maiden flight of my GWS T-6 Texan the other day.   I did exactly the same thing I did with my Helios F3A a while back - tried a split-s and I ?think? stalled it out.  After researching I think RWTW had it pretty much figured out before.  I think it's a tip-stall.  Which means it was pilot error.  I believe I just lost too much airspeed and one wing lost lift - starting a downward spiral.  If I was a better RC pilot I could have probably corrected by giving it throttle and opposite aileron.  But, once again, I was too low and didn't have enough time to react before the plane "touched down."  heh, heh....

Amazingly this EPO foam wasn't even dented!  The battery hatched popped off, the wings popped loose from the connector bracket and the cowling was shattered but that foam was untouched.  Even the prop survived intact.  Oh, and the wing halves separated a little.  I have a replacement cowling on the way ($4) but in the meantime I've just taped the old cowling back together.  I just  re-glued the wing halves back together (used UHU POR glue this time), screwed the wings back on, popped the battery hatch back on and it's ready to go again.  Just waiting on ideal conditions to give it another try. 

Without the risk of crashing there would be no challenge to this little hobby (or at least that's what I tell myself when I crash - ha ha).....

I had messed around with the camera angle and got it angled up a bit too far.
(P.S. - pgandy, I moved the wing markings further out for you.  <grin>)

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#346 [url]

Sep 12 11 11:39 AM

Great detailed post Thunker54,

Thanks for all the URL's and the all that info about the camera on E-bay etc.  I see the price is around $50-$55 but that includes the camera, a charger and a 4GB memory card!

I paid $16 for the camera and $14 for the class 6 4GB memory card only from Amazon.   I just tested it outside and it seems I got what I paid for.   Looks like not true HD but "stepped up" and the video tone fluctuates from warm (slight red hue)  to cool (slight blue hue) for no apparent reason during the video.

There is a lot of info in your post above and I have some homework to do.

Loved that video of you flying and now I know what a "tip-stall" is too!   It certrainly did it happen!   What a great view of that flight from the ground and then from the air...really nice work!

I noticed my original 1min 5 sec .avi clip produced a 77 MB file.  When trimmed by 9 sec and  converted to a .wmv file it dropped to 6.1 MB.  How big was your 5 min clip and why do you use Vimeo and not YouTube for instance?

Thanks again for sharing....

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#347 [url]

Sep 12 11 12:03 PM

These are the ones I've bought.  I have about 4 I think.

There are issues with these cameras.  One is the color shift you noticed.  So far I see nothing anyone can do about that.  Another is vignetting in the corners.  On some it definitely gets darker in the corners but mine don't seem to do that very much.  But for $40 and only 15 grams I can live with it.  Of course can't compete with my GoPro but then the GoPro is a $300 camera and weighs about 5 ounces!

The file sizes on-board video of my Slow Stick X yesterday.....  raw video was about 8:15.
Front camera raw file size was 664 M
Back camera raw file size was 436 M
So I think it kind of depends on what you're videoing as to what the file size turns out to be.

After rendering a .wmv from Sony Vegas, the resulting video was 6:32 long and the size was 252M.  It was rendered to 1280x720 at 5 Mbits/sec

I see from Chuck Lohr's site that there are some counterfeit #11's around to watch out for.  As long as you buy from the vendors in post #2 above though one should get the real deal.

SO BUYER BEWARE! The fake #11 camera eBay seller is: fashionjewellery125

I wasn't even aware that they were selling these things on Amazon.  Let me know how it works out for you.  If you got a real #11 you got a heck of a deal!  When I got my first non-HD camera a couple of years back I bought one that had built in memory.  It was slow memory and a lot of pausing.  The downside was when the camera failed you had to throw the memory out too.  I think the newer ones that come with memory are an external chip that you can re-use though - probably like you got.  But ever since my first one I buy cameras w/out memory and get the memory separate - like you did.

For serious video I use my GoPro..   But then again when I fly it I have over $300 in camera gear alone in the air.  Airplane and all I've figured I'm flying about $650 with that setup...  Here's a little flight I did the other day.   Park workers showed up while I was flying so I cut the flight short.  I've made a little home-made panning camera mount for it.

I use vimeo for several reasons.   First the video codec is way better than YouTube IMHO.  Secondly there is none of the nasty music copyright checking.  Also, if a Plus user, it has advanced stats.  I can see how many plays, how many finishes, what countries the plays are from, and if I embed the video to another site it shows how many plays are from that site.  Vimeo is a little buggier than YouTube, but when it works it beats YouTube hands down IMHO.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#348 [url]

Sep 13 11 12:20 AM

I was wondering how you were able to use all the cool music you included with your videos, nice to know Vimeo has no "issues" with music.

My 808 appears to be a # 8 version according to Chuck Lohr's site (yellow lettering on a black background) as seen on a video frame.  Amazon does not list the number but after reading about all the difficulties that can be associated with these cameras I wanted to take advantage of Amazon's easy exchange or refund policy. 

The Go Pro and panning combination makes for a very slick video Thunker.   Do you need 3 hands to fly and pan at the same time?  The results look great.

I use the included "Windows Movie Maker" software and "Magix Movie Edit 12 Pro" for the most part to edit any stuff I make and it appears to be about the same price that I see the Sony Vegas is listed now.  I also use "AVS" software.    I paid a one time fee ( $59 at the time IIRC) for a video editing software but it includes free lifetime upgrades and a ton of other free down loads to edit audio and capture video, made CD's ringtones, registry cleaners etc etc. 

See it here: 

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#349 [url]

Sep 13 11 7:23 AM

OK...   The #8 isn't the HD version.  It's 720x480 pixels.  I doubt the date/time stamp removal tools will work on it.  But that explains how you got it so much cheaper than the 1280x720 #11 version.

I have the panning servo hooked up to a knob on my transmitter.  I use my thumbs on the two sticks and my right forefinger to rotate the knob.  The EasyStar, being a sailplane type, is quite forgiving to fly.  You can release the sticks entirely and it'll just float along.  The tricky part is keeping up with where the camera is pointing.  I put a speck of yellow paint on the knob showing where camera is pointing straight forward.  But I have to take my eyes off the plane and glance down at the radio to see it.  It makes me nervous to look away from the plane but it's just for a second.  I wouldn't want to do that if I were flying way up high.  These planes can get awfully difficult to see when they get way up there.
But AMA regulations state you're not supposed to go above 400 feet anyway.  I stuck an altimeter on one of mine several years back - I liked seeing how high I could go and it was before I knew the rules.  My record height was over 1200 feet.  Now it gets REALLY small that high - but sure is a nice view.  Although surprisingly the view doesn't seem to change very quickly once you get over about 500 feet.  I fly down low anymore.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#350 [url]

Sep 16 11 6:29 PM

What a shame.   Another vintage WWII warbird lost.
This is but one more reason why I like to fly all my airplanes while standing on the ground.  Last report I heard there were 12 spectators killed...

Looks like embedding is an issure.  Right click and select "watch on youtube"
(Another reason I prefer vimeo!)

Soooo sad...

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#354 [url]

Sep 18 11 7:33 PM

Another little flight with my Millennium Slow Stick X today.  My "regular" park was occupied with a local Scottish festival so I flew from another county park up on a hill outside of the city limits.
It was about a 9 minute flight - I cut a lot out for the videos...

Head camera view:

On-board 808 keychain camera views.  This is a great example of the limitations of the #11 808 cameras adjusting to contrast and shifting color levels...  It was overcast and low light is NOT a friend to higher definition cameras from my limited experience:

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#355 [url]

Sep 18 11 8:08 PM

Plane in Reno Air Crash Underwent 'Radical' Changes to Compete


Yeah Ron.... Although I've always thought that the whole point of racing most anything was modifying your car/boat/plane/etc to (try to) make it perform better than the competitor. 
Seems to me this is an issue of public safety.  I've seen race cars lose control and crash into spectator stands as well.

After these recent two terrible crashes this weekend
it wouldn't surprise me at all for the powers that be to shut down all air racing, and even air shows.
Such a shame.   Stuff happens.

I have a good friend that used to fly powered parachutes.  He had a two-seater and was always trying to get me to go up with him.  However his aircraft was considered "experimental" at the time and required no pilot license or registration at all.  Somehow that term "experimental" always scared me away and I never went up.  He, however, flew it for several years - only selling it when the authorities changed the rules and required him to get a license to fly it - or cut it down to a single seater...

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Ate Up!!

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#357 [url]

Sep 26 11 7:57 AM

I am going to take a chance here because I have not seen these two videos as they are banned in my country.  It is in two parts regarding F-18’s fowl weather flight operations from the USS Nimitz.  I wish that I could view them as I have the highest regard for US Naval pilots.

Part One



Part Two

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#358 [url]

Sep 27 11 8:28 PM

It took a bit but I finally managed to fly my T6 Texan without crashing it for the first time.  I asked an acquaintance of mine, who is the best RC pilot I know, to check out my previous flights where I crashed.  His comment was that it appeared that I either lost control of the elevator or that an aileron got stuck up or down - maybe a stripped servo issue?

Sooo - I went back and did some detailed checking in those areas.  The elevator seemed solid.  However the ailerons....  Well one of my aileron control horns just pulled out at the slightest force.  It would operate the aileron in a test condition, but I suspect that when it encountered any real load it was VERY sloppy indeed.  I pulled both aileron control horns out and hot-glued them back in - making sure there were quite secure.

Now, there was no way to know for sure if the horns were loose before OR after my crashes.  So the only way to tell was to take it out and try again.

So, here's the flight from today after "fixing"? it.....

The flight was about 6-1/2 minutes but I edited it down.  Also, since I was flying so high it was quite a ways away from the camera, so about 1:10 into the video I did a little pan/clip to "zoom" it in.  That reduces the quality which accounts for the slight blurring.  You can see me "zoom" back out as I come in to land.  Would be a lot better to use the zoom on the camera but I've learned that if you zoom in too much on the camera it gets pretty tricky to get the camera aimed just right on my head.  Easy to miss the plane completely.

Finally brought the plane home this time without any additional damage.. HA HA.....

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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#359 [url]

Sep 27 11 11:44 PM

Congrats Thunker,
Nice to get a helpful 2nd opinion!

I was wondering if you had a 2nd person recording your flights because of the attention required to fly and record and in some cases pan the on board camera all at the same time. 

Now I understand you use a head mounted cam, very nice!  Cool post production too.

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#360 [url]

Sep 28 11 11:23 AM

Thanks Pelletor,
I have a head mount for my GoPro camera and made a little conversion to take a standard camera type mount.

Regarding panning the camera in flight - on my EasyStar - I have the panning servo connected to a knob on my radio so I can pan left/right in-flight with the twist of a knob.  To keep track of which way is forward, I just put a little dab of yellow paint on the knob to show when it's centered.  I do have to glance away from the plane to check it from time to time though.

Tulsa, Oklahoma

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