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Jan 14, 2013, 06:38 PM
elCapitan's Avatar
Originally Posted by Lee
The GP is twice the cost of the plane so I would protect it the best I could. We have one flyer who is on is third GP because he puts it on the nose and dose proximity flying. If he makes a mistake the GP is the first thing to hit the ground.
Actually, for most flyers, I'd say the opposite. Yeah, if you're doing proximity flying on rocky slopes, ok, maybe you want a ton of protection, and buy the insurance on it, too.

But for most flyers who will crash into grass or dirt, if at all--and usually not while swooping down at a steep angle over a cliff--I'd say get rid of the case. In fact, on the GoPro 3, they slimmed down the camera so much, and beefed up the case, that the case weighs more than the camera!

The camera was specifically designed to take a beating, even without the case. It's an action camera, and it will hold up WAY better than any other un-cased camera out there.

If you're using a GoPro, but not purposefully doing risky flights, then I'd say all you need is lens protection, like Layer Lens. They just added a new version that fits the GP3, too. This keeps weight down (by more than 50% ), keeps surface area down, and provides the protection you really need, which is for the lens.

That's all I've ever used on my GoPros while flying, and while I've had a number of crashes, I've never had any damage to the camera.
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Jan 15, 2013, 12:37 AM
Registered User
ashdec87's Avatar
If you set the camera back far enough, the lens won't see the foam, but will still be protected enough
Jan 15, 2013, 12:41 AM
elCapitan's Avatar
I do that too, but for about $20 (at least when i bought my last one), the layer lens is some good added protection.
Jan 15, 2013, 07:38 AM
Lee's Avatar
Most of the time our FPV planes will survive a serious accident if they is built per our instructions. I don't think we could design them any tougher without adding significant weight which would negatively affect the way they fly.

Consider how the parts are being positioned in the wing. Simple things like how the batteries are laid into the wing will decide if they will survive and accident. When we hit a brick wall with the Assassin, the only reason the battery is not destroyed is that the battery is taking the impact in the only way it can survive which is on its flat side.

The same is true of all the components including the camera. Would you hit the cones with the camera on the nose of the plane?

Assassin vs Brick Wall 3-12 (4 min 14 sec)

RC Bowling with Reaper #16D HD (re-edit) (3 min 11 sec)
Jan 15, 2013, 09:09 AM
elCapitan's Avatar
Well, like ashdec said, it's pretty easy to dig in the GoPro about an inch back, and the foam will protect it, while still not getting in the shot.

But even if my GoPro was directly on the nose (and it is on my DRXL, the first wing i put my GoPro on), as long as i have the layer lens on, yeah, I'd hit the cones without hesitation. in fact, last spring swarm, i hit cones, other planes, a dummy, and a sprinkler wheel, head on with my GoPro, and the only thing that happened was a small scratch on the layer lens. worked exactly as designed, swapped it out, no problems.

And the camera never stopped working, and no problems with the sd card. Seriously, these GoPro cameras can take almost as much beating as an assassin
Jan 15, 2013, 10:28 AM
Registered User
fnffishcore's Avatar
Just my 2 -- as somebody who flies purely LOS and isn't too concerned with endurance -- I would never risk flying my GoPro without the case. I've had at least 1 crash that I know would've destroyed the camera had it not been for the case. I figured if I'm flying something as aerodynamically un-friendly as the GoPro, there's really no harm in adding a little extra weight and drag with the added benefit of arguably the best protection.

Now of course I understand the importance of saving weight and trying to be as efficient as possible for endurance and distance flying, and if that was my goal than I'd certainly rethink using the case. But then if I could afford all the FPV gear, top of the line batteries and electronics, etc., then I could probably afford to destroy a GoPro or two as well
Jan 15, 2013, 10:58 AM
elCapitan's Avatar
I can totally understand that balance of protection vs un-aerodynamicity (...er whatever you'd call that ) although I've flown my GoPro much more LOS than FPV, and I still prefer the Layer Lens. But I can understand what you're saying.

But I still think that argument t breaks down a bit with the GoPro 3. A case that weighs more than the camera!? In my mind, that kind of negative is only outweighed by the positives of protection if you're doing proximity flying like WindsofChange, or other risky flights.

In the end, what I'm trying to point out is that IF you want something higher quality that the keychain--something presentation-quality--then there are ways to make the GoPro absolutely worth the weight/shape. Case, no case, Layer lens, dug into the foam, set back an inch or so, even dug in completely with the lens facing down and forward through the bottom of the wing... it doesn't have to be like putting a sail on top of your wing. It's not that bad.

It's not for everyone, but it's not that bad. There's a reason a LOT of people are still loving their GoPro on their wings.
Jan 15, 2013, 11:02 AM
UH60 Pilot
E1Allen's Avatar
Yeah, I think it's all about personal preference, I feel better with it in the case and I am willing to accept the weight I guess.
Jan 15, 2013, 12:22 PM
Registered User
ashdec87's Avatar
To alleviate the aerodynamic issue, try putting a faring behind the camera. I did that with my camera and in front of the motor. That really helped.
Jan 15, 2013, 07:55 PM
elCapitan's Avatar
Thanks, ashdec, forgot to mention that tip, too. I did that on my my Herc, and it seems to work well.
Jan 15, 2013, 08:13 PM
Breaker of Things
ppridday's Avatar
OK, that RC bowling looks like a scream. That is definitely going on my list of things to do...

Jan 16, 2013, 06:11 AM
Where did that tree come from
kid at 55's Avatar
Are the 2200 mAh 3cells battery too small for the Grim Reaper to get the CG right ?
Jan 16, 2013, 09:52 AM
Registered User
ashdec87's Avatar
Not necessarily, depends where you place it and the rest of your electronics. Keep the wing tips light and you might be ok
Jan 16, 2013, 10:25 AM
elCapitan's Avatar
actually, I think a 2200mAh 3S is probably the most popular battery for the Reaper, but in the end it really is all about CG.

Before you dig in your electronics, what a lot of people do is measure where CG should be, on the bottom of the wing, stick a couple pushpins in, and lay the electronics on the top. Try to balance the wing on the pins, and shift the electronics on top as needed, until you're balanced. Then mark where everything is, and cut the bays.
Jan 16, 2013, 10:37 AM
Registered User
ashdec87's Avatar
Does anyone use prop savers? I have one on mine, but I dont know how much help it is. Plus I think the rubber bands are cheap because they keep breaking in storage. I currently have two bands on there as I push 500w at WOT.

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