Flying the Modded XTC-100 Video Camera

I finished the modded XTC-100 this evening, having lopped off the case and batteries and reconfigured the optical block and circuit board. By virtue of the 3 volt regulator, it now gets its DC power by plugging into any unused socket on the receiver. I expected noise on the power bus to be visible in the image, but clearly things are different in the XXIth Century, what with brushless motors and suchlike futuristic tech.

Cynbe thought the most stable platform for making videos would be the Radian Pro, which he loves to fly anyway. We actually tried the unmodified XTC-100 on the Radian and got some decent video, but the graceful Radian was clearly wallowing under the load. Also, there was no good way to mount the camera on the glider’s belly without some serious hacking. So I wound up taping it to the top of the fuselage facing straight forward, which produced videos of less than satisfactory quality. We quickly abandoned that approach.

The modded XTC100, total weight less than 1 ounce. The plastic case is made from the box the camera comes in. The 3-volt regulator, near the top right of the image, is wrapped in blue masking tape. Since the total current draw is roughly 2.5ma, the regulator dissipates negligible heat.
The modded XTC100, total weight less than 1 ounce. The plastic case is made from the box the camera comes in. The 3-volt regulator, near the top right of the image, is wrapped in blue masking tape. Since the total current draw is roughly 2.5ma, the regulator dissipates negligible heat.

And so, on to better things. The completed modded camera weighs less than an ounce. Taped to the wing close to the fuselage, this isn’t even enough weight to disturb the lateral balance. Making videos with extremely light cameras and large, stable foamies like the Radian may be our personal solution to a whole bunch of technical problems for other, larger and more complex projects, for which things like prebuilt foam model aircraft are simple and inexpensive development platforms.

Cynbe with the Radian Pro, showing the modded XTC100 taped to the wing. Duct taping a camera to a wing is uglissimo, but a great way to experiment since it peels off easily.
Cynbe with the Radian Pro, showing the modded XTC100 taped to the wing. Duct taping a camera to a wing is uglissimo, but a great way to experiment since it peels off easily.

If you need more detailed comments on cracking the XTC-100 camera and modding its PCB, drop me a line. Next: The XTC-200, which is HD. (I thought it prudent to destroy a cheaper camera first, to get the bugs ironed out.)

And incidentally: Naio at the SCCMA flying field in Morgan Hill. The first time he's seen Seriously Big Aircraft.
And incidentally: Naio at the SCCMA flying field in Morgan Hill. The first time he’s seen Seriously Big Aircraft.

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