December 28, 2009

Camera Plane

Last year for Christmas I got a HobbyZone Super Cub radio controlled airplane. This year I got a Kodak Zx1 HD camcorder. Yesterday I combined them. Only minor modifications were required to fit the Zx1 into the airplane. I had to cut out a section of the wing’s leading edge, move the receiver and trim about 1/4” of material from the fuselage. The results are pretty awesome.

If you plan to do this, I recommend using an 8-cell battery. The 7-cell that comes with the plane just doesn’t have enough juice to climb at a decent rate with the added weight and more forward CG.

So far, I only have one annoyance with the camera. The way it takes video is it captures one horizontal line at a time, not entire frames. This means that anything quickly moving across the frame horizontally will be distorted. This is very noticeable when taking video through a prop. Instead of ending up with a single blurred blade, you get 5 or 6 horizontal lines. Other than this, and the way it eats batteries and memory (1MB/sec), I am very happy with the camera. The image quality and sound are rather impressive. Even though the mic was getting prop wash blown directly in to it you can barely hear any wind.

Normally the rubber band in front of the camera is on top of it.

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