Introduction: Installing a CVS/ RiteAid Camcorder in a Zagi 400
Another video with the forward facing mirror installed.
Step 1: Materials
- As the name implies you well need a Zagi 400, should work with other RC flying wings as well.
- You well also need a hacked CVS or RiteAid disposable camcorder. Haking a CVS / RiteAid camcorder Here is a link on hacking the camera. $30
1 - two AAA battery holder from Radio Ripoff. $1
- A long bladed hobby knife or sharp pocket knife to modify the Zagi.
- Velcro to hold the camera in place $1
- USB extension cable for down loading the video.
- Tape to reinstall the battery tray, either strapping tape or electrical tape. I use electrical tape because it is easier to get off and I have a bunch of it. If you use electrical tape make sure to wrap it around the leading and trailing edge a bit so it well not try to peel off all the time.
Additional Materials to make the camera forward viewing:
1 - 1" round mirror, these are available at craft stores. $2
- some styrofoam to make a support for the mirror.
- Video editing software to mirror the video as it well be inverted because of the mirror.
This conversion only cost me $34 to do, which is about the cheapest I have seen for an onboard video camera.
Step 2: Modifing the Camera
- First go to this site and modify your camera following the directions there. Hacking a CVS / RiteAid Camcorder
- Also to reduce the weight and size of the camera do not reinstall the camera back into its case. Since it is no longer in its case you well need to supply power to the camera some how, this is where the two AAA battery holder comes in. Unsolder the power wires from the cameras circuit board and solder the leads from the battery holder in there place.
- Also to make is easier to mount the camera I removed the onboard speaker as well.
Step 3: Modifing and Mounting the Camera on the Zagi
- Now that you have the camera ready you can modify the plane to hold the camera.
- The first thing to do is to remove the motor tray from the airplane. Pretty simple, just pull up the tape holding it down. Now would also be a good time to replace the canopy and motor tray if it is worn out.
- With the tray off cut a hole in the bottom of the wing for the lens to poke through. In my case I cut out the square section between the receiver and the motor mount.
- Set the camera on the airplane with the lens poking through the hole you just made in the wing, positioning the camera so that the board is centered on the wing as much as possible. Once you have it where you want it trace around the board with a Sharpe and remove the camera.
- With the knife make a shallow cut all the way around the line that you just made, about an eighth of an inch deep.
- Now take and cut out the foam inside of where you cut leaving a recess for the camera to set in, I my case I had to cut it out a bit more to clear a carbon spar that I installed the last time I recovered the plane.
- Once you are pleased with the way the way the camera sits in the hole use a small square of Velcro on the front of the board to hold it down.
- Re-Install the motor tray and trim it as nesassery so that you can reach the buttons of the camera.
- Charge up a battery and take it for a spin. :)
Step 4: The Mirror
Here is the mirror I have cooked up to allow me to shoot forward facing videos.
It is simply a 1" round mirror that you can get in a pack of 20 at a craft store for about $2.50, glued to a wedge shaped piece of scrap styrofoam. The mirror assembly is attached to the bottom of the wing with Velcro to allow it to be taken off for when the camera is not being used and also to help prevent damage on hard landings, it well simply pop off.