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Nikko Seawolf - blast from the past

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  • #31
    Turns out modifying the boat to adopt the camera is fairly easy: Just had to flatten the crew's backwall, then leave out the instrument panel (comes out easily) and glue the compartment to the backwall. Also left out the dome as it would have to be cut anyway to not distort the lens and give access to the camera. Used just double sided tape to mount the camera (slightly misaligned). So far so good, doesn't even affect the forward/rear balance of the boat.

    That said I don't have a video to show: Turns out the fully charged batteries from a week ago have self depleted meanwhile. The camcorder is also fairly prickly about storing video footage: It seems that it needs to have at least a 5 minute duration to auto store. Anything before that (as in my case a dying battery) and it will not write it to the card. You can of course manual force a stop, but that's tricky with the waterproof casing. So I have to charge the batteries and try again.

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    • #32
      Ok, second time did the trick: Freshly charged camcorder batteries and into the test tank. I added a mirror to the backwall so the sub could take a selfie. This pictures is a freeze-frame from the movie it shot. Worked as advertised. The sound is horrific, akin to that Youtube video. The engine sound is very loud so I'll definitely have to dub the video, but that's no biggie.

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      • #33
        Did another tank dive. This time I set the trim balance just right: She dives now perfectly on command and with no input resurfaces being positively buoyant. More importantly I also wanted to see what the night vision capabilities of the camera are: So I turned off all my usual lights illuminating the tank. If I take a Gopro Hero picture at this point, you'd see nothing but darkness. Instead the camera switched automatically to its IR illuminators and came up with this grainy but visible picture. This goes a long way to take footage in a swamp. Again, this is only a freeze frame from the HD movie it captured. Needless to say I'm really pleased with this dirt cheap camera. Highly recommend it.

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        • #34
          Next stop the local fountain. :)

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          • #35
            Just back from the local fountain. That was not just great fun but real success: After some initial adjustment the camera was spot on shooting nice UW video. The Seawolf behaved nicely although I do need to add a bit of forward weight to trim out the camera housing. But still managed to nicely dive and move swiftly around the narrow fountain. The Seawolf steers on a dime, which helps. Until I hit the area of seaweed where some got into its downward propeller. That stopped the diving action. First I thought it was dying batteries but it was just some seaweed. Lesson learned: Next time bring some pliers to get that stuff out. Nonetheless here a still image from the movie. I also had a UW Hero on a tripod so now I have the pleasure of editing some UW mini film together.

            At any rate the Seawolf and cube camera are a perfect combo for little money.

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            • #36
              Here is a brief video that shows some of the footage from the fountain, onboard camera as well as exterior view:

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              • #37
                Nice! Good use of two cameras!
                If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

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                • #38
                  Too short!
                  Make it simple, make strong, make it work!

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by trout View Post
                    Nice! Good use of two cameras!
                    Thanks!

                    Yeah, first I wanted to just cut back and forth and then I remembered that my video editing software does pic in pic, which I thought was good in this case.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by redboat219 View Post
                      Too short!
                      I know. Actually run into a bit of a technical glitch: The two cameras use slightly different formats (same resolution but different number of frames and compression) and then my computer puked. It could be fixed but I'm running out of time as I got other things to do. It's not a show stopper, I know how to fix it, just not enough time right now.

                      It's also interesting from a sound perspective: The outside Hero camera recorded barely any sound whereas the onboard camera did. So that sound could be used, slightly lowered in volume.

                      Anyhow this was merely a test to see whether this worked and it did. What I really envision to do with this sub is take it to a subfest event and shoot UW videos of the other submarines. I bet that'd look awesome.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by tifosi12 View Post

                        I know. Actually run into a bit of a technical glitch: The two cameras use slightly different formats (same resolution but different number of frames and compression) and then my computer puked. It could be fixed but I'm running out of time as I got other things to do. It's not a show stopper, I know how to fix it, just not enough time right now.

                        It's also interesting from a sound perspective: The outside Hero camera recorded barely any sound whereas the onboard camera did. So that sound could be used, slightly lowered in volume.

                        Anyhow this was merely a test to see whether this worked and it did. What I really envision to do with this sub is take it to a subfest event and shoot UW videos of the other submarines. I bet that'd look awesome.
                        You going to be there next week? I'll give you a show.

                        David
                        Resident Luddite

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by He Who Shall Not Be Named View Post

                          You going to be there next week? I'll give you a show.

                          David
                          Thanks, I know you would. Sadly I won't be there. Too far a distance. Hopefully next year in Indy or in Georgia if air travel normalizes (read no masks).

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by tifosi12 View Post

                            Thanks, I know you would. Sadly I won't be there. Too far a distance. Hopefully next year in Indy or in Georgia if air travel normalizes (read no masks).
                            I hear you. No masks, no jabs, no government sanctioned bull-**** of any kind.

                            For that day, my friend.

                            David
                            Resident Luddite

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by redboat219 View Post
                              Too short!
                              Succumbing to peer pressure I finally had a chance to make a longer version. Here are two minutes of it until the boat gets caught by the deadly sea weed. Nah, was easily retrieved, but did wrap itself around the vertical prop, which prevented any further dives until I had all the bits and pieces removed.

                              The technical issues I had originally were due to a different format of the cube camera compared to the gopro. My video editor software got all confused. Once I made all the footage the same resolution, it was smooth sailing putting it together.

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                              • #45
                                Nice impression of the USS Connecticut.
                                Make it simple, make strong, make it work!

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