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Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - Printable Version

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Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - K'Tesh - 06-08-2015

Let's start this forum with a quote from one of the founding fathers of rocketry... G. Harry Stine

In his Handbook of Model Rocketry 4th Edition... I love what it says about the Cineroc (emphasis mine)

Quote:Optical payloads
__________________________________________________________________________
One of the most interesting model rocket payloads is a camera, and many model rocketeers have worked very hard to build and fly camera models. The first camera model on record was built and flown by Lewis Dewart, of Sunbury, Pennsylvania, in 1961. A small Japanese camera was simply strapped to the side of a model rocket. When the ejection charge popped the nose, it pulled a string that released the shutter and permitted the camera to take a photo of the ground below-or the sky and clouds, depending on the direction the model was pointed.

Vernon D. Estes and Estes Industries, Inc., brought out the first commercial model rocket camera, the Cameroc, in 1965. The Cameroc allowed all model rocketeers to become in-flight photographers. The Cameroc lens points straight up through the tip of the nose. Therefore the model must be over peak altitude and pointed down when the ejection charge goes off, ejecting the nose-camera and tripping the shutter. The Cameroc takes one black-and-white photograph per flight, hopefully while the nose is pointed toward the ground from a respectable altitude. The negative is a circle 1.5 inches in diameter. It is Tri-X film, which you can develop in your own darkroom (or even on the flying field) if you are a camera buff. If you are not, you can send the film to Estes for development. Don’t take it to your local film processor because they do not have the facilities for developing circular negatives and because the ASA film speed of the Tri-X film must be pushed to ASA 1200 by special processing techniques.  Standard processing won’t work.

It also occurred to a number of model rocketeers that a motion picture camera in a model rocket would produce a spectacular piece of footage as the ground fell away and the model climbed to high altitudes. The first in this area was the movie camera rocket built and flown by Paul Hans and Don Scott, of Port Washington, New York, in 1962. This was a big model powered by a Type F motor because the smallest motion picture camera available at that time was the Bolsey B-8, a spring-wound 8-mm camera. It was heavy. Following months of preparation, including flights of preliminary designs carrying dummy cameras, Hans and Scott committed their Bolsey B-8 to flight. The lens looked out through a hole in the side of the nose section; the nose and body sections were recovered on separate brightly colored silk parachutes.

On the first flight everything worked perfectly. The model flew beautifully. Scott had to climb a tree to get the camera back. The color film was sent to the processing lab-and promptly disappeared! It was lost. The company replaced the film, but could not replace the flight footage. Undaunted, Hans and Scott tried again at the Fourth National Model Rocket Championships at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. This time the two modelers took the film to a different processing lab with very explicit instructions.

That first in-flight piece of color motion picture was indeed spectacular. The boys sold it to Time-Life, Inc., who never used it but left it to languish in their voluminous files.

Vernon D Estes and Estes Industries came to the rescue of the model rocketeer again. They hired Mike Dorffler, a young model rocketeer who had developed a very small and very lightweight model rocket movie camera. Dorffler’s camera was refined and developed into the Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever to be put on the market. Fully Loaded with its own cassette of Super-8 color film, the Cineroc weights a mere 2 ounces (56.7 grams). It is battery driven, has a 10-mm focal-length lens shoots 31 frames per second at f:11 with a shutter speed of 1/500 to stop and rocket motion, and is 9.9 inches long and 1.75 inches in diameter. This tiny movie camera has taken some outstanding in-flight movies. It probably has thousands of other uses where a small, very lightweight movie camera is required.

If you want to fly cameras, I highly recommend the Estes Cineroc and Cameroc. They work, they are reasonably priced and they can give you some spectacular results. Of all the model rocket payloads these two cameras are perhaps the most fun to experiment with.

Mr Stine and I apparently share a common vision (too bad the Cameroc and the Cineroc aren't still "reasonably priced" anymore).  

BTW, there are two photos showing the Cineroc that I've spotted so far in the book. One held by Frederick C. Durant III, while Astronaut Michael Collins is inspecting a Cameroc, and another that clearly shows just the Cineroc with Omega rocket and the Cineroc/Omega decal that apparently never shipped out. I realize now that the 2nd photograph might very well be one showing the very first Omega ever built.

Pointy Side Up!
Jim


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - Greg Young - 06-08-2015

Jim I have 3 flights taken by my Cineroc back in the day that I transferred to video tape. I have to find that tape and transfer it to DVD. Although I still have the original film, I don't have a projector anymore...


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - luke strawwalker - 06-08-2015

(06-08-2015, 04:33 PM)Greg Young Wrote: Jim I have 3 flights taken by my Cineroc back in the day that I transferred to video tape. I have to find that tape and transfer it to DVD. Although I still have the original film, I don't have a projector anymore...

Best quality would be to send the original film to a place that will do the direct transfer to DVD... lot of "electronic noise" on tape, plus "replicative fading"... LOLSmile 

There's places online that still do it, though you'd have to mail or ship it to them...

Best of luck!  OL JR Smile


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - Greg Young - 06-08-2015

(06-08-2015, 05:00 PM)luke strawwalker Wrote:
(06-08-2015, 04:33 PM)Greg Young Wrote: Jim I have 3 flights taken by my Cineroc back in the day that I transferred to video tape. I have to find that tape and transfer it to DVD. Although I still have the original film, I don't have a projector anymore...

Best quality would be to send the original film to a place that will do the direct transfer to DVD... lot of "electronic noise" on tape, plus "replicative fading"... LOLSmile 

There's places online that still do it, though you'd have to mail or ship it to them...

Best of luck!  OL JR Smile

Thanks for the advice OL JR. I wasn't aware of the replicative fading piece.
There's a "film to video" (DVD) place in the general area I should probably check out.  Cool



RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - Rocketman - 06-08-2015

Cinerocs were awesome and I sponsored many Mr. Cineroc flights and even roomed at NARAM-20 with Mr. Cineroc.  But digital cameras today can do 4k, 8k, 12k and even 24k raw.


The time is neigh.

Just Jerry


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - luke strawwalker - 06-09-2015

(06-08-2015, 06:45 PM)Greg Young Wrote:
(06-08-2015, 05:00 PM)luke strawwalker Wrote:
(06-08-2015, 04:33 PM)Greg Young Wrote: Jim I have 3 flights taken by my Cineroc back in the day that I transferred to video tape. I have to find that tape and transfer it to DVD. Although I still have the original film, I don't have a projector anymore...

Best quality would be to send the original film to a place that will do the direct transfer to DVD... lot of "electronic noise" on tape, plus "replicative fading"... LOLSmile 

There's places online that still do it, though you'd have to mail or ship it to them...

Best of luck!  OL JR Smile

Thanks for the advice OL JR. I wasn't aware of the replicative fading piece.
There's a "film to video" (DVD) place in the general area I should probably check out.  Cool

You're welcome, Greg...

That's my homage to one of the more memorable Star Trek: The Next Generation second season episodes and some "technobabble" delivered by Dr. Katherine Pulaski (Diana Muldaur).  Basically, making a copy of a copy of a copy ends up replicating all the mistakes and "errors" or "noise" in the image in each successive copy, thus deteriorating the copy's quality markedly, and progressively worse the more iterations or steps in the process that occur...

For instance... take this video I did back in 1988, when I was a junior in high school...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaEHXasHRWU

I originally recorded those rocket launches on our VHS camcorder (one of those big honkin' old JCPenney full-size VHS ones, before they came out with the mini-tape palmcorders...)  It had some "edit" functions that allowed one to install different soundtracks recorded on VHS tape by dubbing back and recording only the new soundtrack to the existing footage.  Coupling that with some dubbing runs of the original full-speed footage through my then high-tech digital Toshiba VHS VCR, I could get relatively clear slow-motion footage and even frame-by-frame replays of the footage via the "really clear" Toshiba digital VCR's slow motion playback (unlike that of regular analog VCR's with huge "noise bars" at the top and bottom of the screen.)  By re-recording the slow-motion footage at regular speed on a second tape by dubbing it back, and then re-recording the soundtrack off another videotaped documentary on the space program I had recorded off of PBS, called "Man's Greatest Adventure", I arrived at the finished product-- BUT the quality was badly compromised, as one can see from the final product, as the result of all the "copying and recopying" in order to dub the original footage into slow-motion, re-record the slow-motion at full speed, and dub over the soundtrack of the documentary. 

Still I was rather proud of that bit of technical play, especially as a high schooler... closest I'd ever come to a television editor, and with only a digital VCR and an ancient camcorder to play with, not all the resources of a full television studio... LOLSmile 

In the same way, if you've ever xeroxed a document and then made another copy of it, or a copy of a copy, and you do that a few times, eventually the final copy will be practically unreadable... there's always a little crud on the copier, or fuzziness induced by the imaging system, so that the copy isn't QUITE as good as the original... that fuzziness or imaged crud on the copy is then REPLICATED on the next copy, which will include whatever crud or fuzziness created in imaging and replicating THAT copy, so it's a cumulative process...

I've made DVD copies of original 8mm home movies that were sent to a photography shop and recorded to VHS years (decades) ago, but the quality is not as good as if the original film was sent directly to a shop capable of projecting the film and recording it as a DVD directly.  In my case, the 8mm film no longer exists, so I had little choice.  Of course some formats are "noisier" than others... film is pretty good at being less "noisy" so long as the film is not scratched or dirty.  VHS, on the other hand, as an analog signal copy, is pretty "noisy", and there's ALWAYS *something* "lost in the translation" between formats, which can introduce a lot of "noise" and stuff into the picture/sound. 

Anyway, best of luck on your transfers... :Smile

OL JR Smile


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - Greg Young - 06-09-2015

Thanks for sharing, your slow motion video was great!
I liked the modern sound tracks you added to it from ST the second generation, etc.. Cool
My first VCR was a RCA VDP something or other. It was a portable deck, with an equally large AC supply, and an even larger RCA camera.
And to think I strapped the deck on my back, and carried the camera when I took our 3 girls and my wife to Disneyworld. I carried that throughout the park even in the 100 plus degree temps we had when we visited.
Looking back on it I must have ben a little "touched", but no one gave it a second look back then.
Now you can do more with a phone.... Rolleyes


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - luke strawwalker - 06-09-2015

(06-09-2015, 04:27 PM)Greg Young Wrote: Thanks for sharing, your slow motion video was great!
I liked the modern sound tracks you added to it from ST the second generation, etc.. Cool
My first VCR was a RCA VDP something or other. It was a portable deck, with an equally large AC supply, and an even larger RCA camera.
And to think I strapped the deck on my back, and carried the camera when I took our 3 girls and my wife to Disneyworld. I carried that throughout the park even in the 100 plus degree temps we had when we visited.
Looking back on it I must have ben a little "touched", but no one gave it a second look back then.
Now you can do more with a phone.... Rolleyes

Yes, this is true... LOLSmile  (phone can do more than an $800 camcorder could do back then). 

Thanks for the compliment... One of these days, I'll have to give such a project a shot with modern computer-based technology... Course I have to learn it first, and you know that axiom about old dogs and new tricks... LOLSmile 

It's amazing now what we can do with the "keyfob cams" available for next to nothing on the internet...

Later!  OL JR Smile


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - snaquin - 06-09-2015

As a kid I always wanted the Cineroc but it was way out of my grass cutting money & allowance budget.

I had a couple of the original run Omega kits with the two piece nose cone,  not the blow molded cone with payload section.  I built one stock and one with FSI conversion kit to use FSI E60 & F100's that got damaged pretty badly on it's first flight.  I have a pic of that one somewhere single stage on an F7.

For reference Gary Rosenfield's Old Cineroc Movies are posted on YouTube here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_90XW6OuMY

Some interesting flights.  One flight appears to have an Omega booster mod for 2xD's, another flight with an F67-14 that is the orange upper stage of one of his Sonic models and a 3xF100 flight in the Uprated 2650 he had drawn plans for while at Composite Dynamics.

Makes me wish all the more that I hadn't missed out on the original Cineroc when it was available.


RE: Estes Cineroc, one of the most elegant model rocket products ever - Rocketman - 06-09-2015

The Cineroc was discontinued because the electric motors from Japan were discontinued due to a change in tarrifs.  The molds were intentionally destroyed by Barry Tunik for tax purposes.  Model rocketry history is controlled by government IRS rules and regulations.

For those of you who have never touched one, flown one or developed film by hand from one, you are missing far more than the rumors claim.

I have crushed at least two dozen.