Booster Vision - Mini GearCam {Component}

Contributed by Joe Policy

Manufacturer: Booster Vision
(Contributed - by Joe Policy - 05/10/05) BoosterVision Mini Gearcam Combo

Brief:
The BoosterVision Mini Gearcam Combo with 14db Antenna is a great way to get started in video rocketry. I purchased mine with a LOC/Precision Weasel which is a great carrier for the camera. This combo is FCC labeled so you do not need a license to operate it and transmits at 2.4ghz.

Construction:
The kit includes:

  • 1 LOC/Precision Weasel kit
  • 1 4 channel receiver with rubber duck antenna
  • 1 CMOS pinhole camera with 9V battery adapter
  • 1 Audio/Video connector with RCA jacks
  • 2 transformers
  • 1 14db booster antenna
  • 1 set camera/receiver instructions
  • 1 set instructions for mounting the camera

I must give Art Upton at BoosterVision high marks. I always received immediately responses to my emails and once I was ready to place the order, he had it in the mail very quickly.

There are two recommended rockets for the Mini Gearcam Combo: the LOC/Precision Weasel and the Semroc Goliath. I chose to go with the Weasel since I already have a Goliath. Of course, the camera will work in just about any payload bay since the camera is mounted externally.

I did not realize that BoosterVision would provide such clear instructions for mounting the camera, so I asked Art if he would do the install for me. He agreed for a very small fee and I must say that he did a great job.

BoosterVision Mini Gearcam Combo The kit arrived with the payload section of the Weasel already constructed. The rest of the rocket kit was up to me. BoosterVision uses a nose cone as the shroud for the camera, this works very well and helps keep the rocket aerodynamic. The camera itself was mounted in the bottom of the shroud with double stick tape so it will be easy to move the camera to a new rocket if I so desire. I did a test connection of the equipment and everything worked perfectly. The camera did come with a focusing wrench, but my camera was already set to go.

I assumed from the BoosterVision website that the antenna came already mounted. That was not the case. It is mentioned on the main page of the BoosterVision website that if you purchase the antenna separately the customer has to mount the antenna, but the Mini Gearcam page shows a photo of a mounted antenna. Ultimately, this was not a problem for me and I was able to build a mount for my antenna. The website claims you will be able to receive signals up to 5600 feet away with this antenna, however I will not be launching anything quite that high so I will take their word on that.

I did not bother painting the Weasel for the first two flights--I just wanted some video! The camera and battery adds about 3 ounces to the rocket, which is pretty light. I connected the receiver to a Digital 8 Video Walkman and found the camera transmitting on channel 4. I readied the booster antenna and pressed the launch button. The first flight was on a F24-7 for a nice straight boost to about 700 feet. I kept the antenna pointed at the rocket the whole time so I could not see how the video was coming along. I am happy to say that it actually came out perfect from take off to landing!

Second flight was on a G104T-M. I definitely got some altitude this time. Altimeter registered 1734 feet and even with the extra distance, I still had perfect video for the entire flight.

Summary:
Kudos to BoosterVision for providing a very complete, well thought out product. Just when you thought you would have to wait for the Estes Oracle to come out in the fall, wait no more because you can easily do great quality video with the Mini Gearcam Combo.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Comments:

avatar
L.B. (June 12, 2005)
I also have purchased a Booster Vision and it is great. I put camera in a pod and screwed it on the side of a LOC Warlock and a LOC EZI-65. Great video. Can not wait till next launch to get more video. I would recommend everybody to buy this product.

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