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Gadget Freak Case #223: Rocket Records Its Own Flight

Doug Conner strapped a video camera to his PVC-based rocket to record its flight.

Doug Conner attended Maker Faire in San Mateo, Calif., and was impressed by a compressed-air rocket demonstration. These are not actual rockets -- they're projectiles -- but he was sufficiently inspired to go home and make his own PVC-based rocket and launcher. He started sending rockets 200 to 300 feet high from his backyard. Then a brainstorm hit. What if you could watch the flight from the rocket's point of view?

Conner decided to strap a video camera on to the rocket. This required calculations to accommodate the additional weight of the camera. He increased the body diameter and length of the rocket and sent it up with a live camera shot of the trip.

Doug Conner calculated that he could achieve approximately the same flight with the extra weight of a camera if he increased the body diameter and length.

Doug uses a launch pressure of 45psi for the flights, which typically last 7.1-7.4 seconds.

Do you have a Gadget Freak project you would like the world to see? Send a brief description of your gadget and a photo to Senior Editor Rob Spiegel.

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The editors of Design News have handpicked your favorite Gadget Freak cases from over the years, bringing them together in a dynamic digital edition, complete with videos, which you can view here.

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