Near Space Project



Fitting Cameras in payload

Decided to use a Styrofoam Esky (Cooler, some people may call it) to house my payload. The small Esky usually stores up to 6 cans of soft drink so its noeskyt overly large. Its also very easy to cut through to make holes for the camera gear. I still need to work on the final attachment to the parachute as the esky comes pre-fitted with a rope tied lid. I will most likely replace the provided rope with my own and add an additional two points to provide more stability during the flight.


I started by cutting a hole for the Go Pro which will hopefully record a video of the flight. The other small hole is for what I think is the light sensor. I will need to make a few more adjustments to get the hole size right, as the Go Pro has a wide angles lens and I can still see the Esky in the shots.

I have also cut another hole in the bottom of the Esky to allow for a second camera. The 2nd camera is my cheap 1080P camera and will be set to take a still shot over 5 secs.

Camera’s in final positions

I am hoping that if I connect the cameras to an external battery that I will be able to extend the battery life. This seemed to work in my initial tests, but I am currently retesting to ensure I can get at least 3 hours of battery life.
I don’t really want to purchase a Go Pro Back pack battery if I don’t need to.

I will be placing some additional foam around the cameras to keep them in place, but have discovered that having the USB cables attached make it more difficult to get the foam to fit.  More cutting and adjustment needed.

Foam insert to keep things in place

The camera’s seem to be locked in tight and I can shake the payload and they don’t budge.

The Go Pro looks good to go (except for battery life), its more a power-on and hit record,  whilst my other camera seems to revert to some basic setup when I turn it on , so I have to reset everything to how I need it for the  flight. During a recent test, I thought I was recording a still every 5 secs but instead it was videoing, it wouldn’t have been too bad provided the battery life lasted.  So I’ll be researching to see if I can save the config somehow to save time and fiddling at launch.


Near Space Photography

There are many photo’s and videos around the internet showing the beauty and awe of near space. The sheer contrast of the earth below with a dark black emptiness of space above.

Being my first launch, I want to ensure that I too get to celebrate a successful mission. Nothing helps show others what can be achieved then some great photo’s or video.

However I certainly don’t want to place super expensive camera equipment with the risk of never recovering it into my first launch. So I have attempted to keep it relatively inexpensive but still with some good quality.

I have seen a lot of success with Go pros and also moded Canon camera’s. So I have gone down that path.

First up take a look at the CHDK Wiki who list several models of camera that can be modified to function to your requirements. They also provide all the instruction needed to complete the mod.

Canon IXY 70
Canon IXY 70

I purchased a cheap Canon IXY digital camera and just had to place some software on an SD card that when loaded by the camera allowed it to automatically start taking a sill shot every few seconds. The CHDK code allows for many other features as well.


I also acquired a SJCam SJ4000 as it looked like a cheap Go Pro alternative. It supports HD video and will also can take a still every 5 – 10 seconds. I haven’t decided yet, but may use this as the main still taking camera.

GoPro Hero2
GoPro Hero2

With the amount of Go Pros
heading into near space, I thought I may as well go the distance and risk it for some decent video footage. So I stalked Ebay for a 2nd hand Go Pro
Hero 2. This will be used to shoot constant video for the flight.

There are many things to consider to ensure I get some great photo’s and one of them is to ensure I have enough storage for the flight, so I have picked up a 32 GB SD card as this is supposedly the maximum for this camera.

I need to ensure I set the camera for a good quality shot, but I must not fill the card to quickly. I estimate I need to shoot for at least 2 hours. This also indicates that the battery must last the duration of the flight, so some battery expansion will be required.

So many need one of these

Many things to consider

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑