Can a DRONE chase a ROCKET?!
Fpv drones are an amazing tool for getting video clips. Unlike anything else, you can use these drones to get really dynamic shots, re chasing objects as they're, speeding down the road or flying through the air. We did a shoot recently where vanover chased an arrow flying such a great shot. It was so cool, but it took a lot of tries. It was really difficult, but the payoff was awesome and we've been thinking. How can we top that what's something else that flies through the air that we got ta chase what's gon na? Be that next big challenge rockets, it's kind of like an arrow right and it's kind of like a trail of smoke, hopefully get more time in the air right. I did rockets with my dad as a kid, so i've definitely got some experience with it. My friend mike – and i were talking about doing some rockets with our kids, and it just happened to correlate to what we wanted to do yeah. So you picked up some rockets from amazon. How much is this guy uh? These are about 15 dollari, cheap thing that could make for a really awesome shot, ma, as it turns out these little guys kind of really tough to chase a little bit too fast. I lost it. Oh wait is that it wow. That is not going to be easy. I didn't realize that the smaller they are the faster they are because this is super lightweight, a really thin tube and then some very light plastic on the bottom.
This weighs next to nothing, not only that they're really small and right really hard to keep in frame and when you have them in frame, they just look like they're so far away, Sì, so it's, just not giving us the shots. I thought it'd be challenging to keep up with it, but it was just gone. It was pretty far off in the distance for me, but i could still kind of see the smoke i just hunted down. The smoke trail right, Sì. The smoke trail was really fun, but we were finding these little rockets really challenging to chase and just really not yielding an epic shot right. So we we got to thinking just need a bigger rocket right. Let'S build our own. My daughter actually watches another youtube channel called king of random and i just happen to stumble across them building their own homemade rockets. They called it the randomizer rocket. I made a few changes to it, but you can actually build it out of just parts you have laying around. This is a rocket stop touching it i'm gon na stop touching it i've, designed it to try to look like the spacex rocket. Ha. The look has the look, has the feel i think i'm going to be able to be closer and therefore also i'm going to shoot it at a much higher frame rate, so i'm shooting this at 240. So we get that super sexy, slow motion, footage of the rocket flying higher and higher into the sky, so this is bobby fpv he's been doing some episodes with us.
Lately he's one of my favorite freestyle, piloti, i'm biased. He does that flowy thing now. I don't know if i've seen you do a whole lot of like chasing or like subject based flying where you're like chasing cars or anything like. Have you done that much before uh? I think i've only chased like my grandfather's car, like just going around the street yeah it's gon na, be a little bit a little bit difficult, it's a small target with a lot of acceleration Music. Somebody tapped it Music. Va bene. We ready yep one two, three that thing's filled out on you know where the heck it went. Oh, Mio Dio, Va bene, you did it. Ho capito, hai capito. Oh it's, straightforward going straight for it, so this is definitely a lot easier, but it's. Certamente, no easy feat and when we did the aero episode i mean we fired that thing over and over and over. I think i shot the thing 100 volte, but when you fire an arrow it's free right pick it up fire. It again firing a rocket there's. A price every time, because you can only burn these engines one time these things were pretty cheap. The engines turned out to be a little more expensive yeah. We started burning through engines and dollars, not only that they were hard to find right. So what are we gon na do about that? So then i decided to start making my own engines.
I did a little bit of research. I learned how to make my own engines out of pvc pipe kitty: litter potassium nitrate and sugar, Applausi musicali. So i bought a lot of pvc, so we can make a lot of engines shoot multiple rockets say in the pvc. Oh, the the pvc is the engine. Pvc is the engine, oh because they use like a cardboard thing right. Normalmente, they use a cardboard thing, but this is a really big engine. This is comparable to an e45 engine. We'Ve so far only used a and c the bigger the letter, the more power you get so an engine is just a hard tube that holds your propellant and then has like caps on it. I couldn't believe how simple it was to make it. You got some science yep and you might have some cooking, i mean put it in the blender. I guess that's just rocket field so we've got. È questo? Is this actual rocket that's actually wrong? We just don't. Take that too hard. We'Ve just got some rocket fuel here all right, so you cut pieces of pvc pipe, you mix up some rocket fuel and then you pound it in right. So you've got your uh little dowel here and then the only other thing you really need is actually kitty. Litter right, what purpose is that the kitty litter is the plug on the top and the bottom. You hammer it in there and it makes a plug it's gon na be an inert plug right, so that's not gon na burn.
Then you put your rocket fuel in there, yep that's the danger zone, dangerous and then you put another safe zone. You put another plug of kitty litter up top that's right and you drill out one of the ends. It turns out that drilling the hole is really important to get that right. Sì. That was one of the things that you struggled with the most. Definitely because the variances in the holes was creating all sorts of crazy different flights right, they were shooting off to the side yeah. It was so fast. Oh my gosh for something oh wow, really important to drill a very straight hole with exactly the right size yeah, but eventually i feel, like you were getting pretty good. Oh sì, they got really awesome three, two one. Oh mio Dio. That was way better. So now we're making cheap engines we've got a big rocket or a bigger rocket Music we're, trying to maximize our opportunity we're getting as many pilots as we can in the air. Allo stesso tempo, so we tried strategizing a little bit right, so putting one pilot on the the close up from the launch one pilot starting further away just doing everything we can to get our chances up so we're flying with the dji digital fpv system, while We'Re fiddling with these rockets trying to get a reliable launch, we don't need to be too stressed about who's who's on what channel it pretty much sorts it for us right.
So you just plug in everyone's on the system. It'Ll keep all the pilots from interfering with each other, not only that but it's easier to see the rockets too, with the higher visibility with the higher risk. Oh yeah once you're up, but even though the fpv system is in hd it's very unpredictable right. The wind is going to change its path, the igniters right, the process of lighting these things off so igniters are these things that tie into your fancy button. You hit the button this burns and it ignites the engine right and that turned out to be not a hundred percent reliable. This thing doesn't have enough voltage. These things tend to be finicky we're. Having so many failed launches. We'Re out there ready to go ready to go ready to chase. Why is it going off? Just doesn't take off three two one. I mean that's that's. Davvero, the biggest difficulty is that you can't time it three two one hit the button and then it's gon na light at some point exactly how long it's gon na take for that igniter to cause a real reaction in the engine. It kind of varies. So it became really difficult to time your launch of the drone, so i found some new method to make better igniters out of nichrome wire that i got off of amazon that turned out to be very reliable, Sì, so you're, basically getting it to as controlled of A point, as you can it's still not 100 it's, still a little bit of luck involved right yeah.
Allora, ultimately, what we need to do is we need to get a rocket that is as big as possible. So it's going to look good in the shot and as slow as possible, but not so slow that it's, unstable and curves off and goes some direction. We need a nice, stable trajectory, that's gon na be possible to chase and make for a good shot Music. Ci siamo: how about this is that that big enough wait on the ground that's almost as tall as me, this is about a five foot rocket. This is the new prototype sean's working on doubled up the foam feels strong and again it's, just so lightweight. So i actually designed this it's kind of inspired by flight tests and all of the building that i've been doing from back in the beginning, with airplanes, david venistel actually inspired this top nose cone with his flight test viggen. I actually made the nose cone to be a bumper and, unlike some of these other rockets, where the nose cone deploys and then there's a parachute. This is not going to have that when we were trying chasing the foam rockets, i think it was actually making for a very cool shot for the rocket to just nose dive into the ground. Il problema è, they get beat up pretty quickly right that nose. Cone gets ruined, so you think you've got a solution to that, though it can crush itself and save the rest of the body from damage.
So i just tape it on there with some packing tape and i can cut it off and slap another one on there when it crashes. So when you go out to the field we're going to have a couple of the main bodies, because you want to have a few different attempts and then just a bunch of these nose, cones so we're carrying a dji osmo action, you can tune it with nd Filters and shutter settings to make the most pleasing and cinematic image so we're trying to use the screw on nd filter kit so that we can tune the shutter speed to get good. Subject: background separation right when you've got your shutter speed tuned properly you're going to get that blurry background for the motion everything is coming together to make a really good looking shot. This is going to be a really difficult shot to pull off, no matter how many variables we try to control it's, still going to come down to tremendous pilot skill and a little bit of luck right and some good weather, definitely yeah all right, we're back out Here, it's uh, it's, pretty hot as usual, but this time we've got four beautiful. Looking rockets built and we've got lots of rocket engines to propel them and i'm. Also thinking that this recipe is gon na provide the most reliable performance we've ever had. So we should get lots of launches lots of attempts to get the shot.
We had a whole crew out here before just trying to maximize our chances of getting the clip and we got some really good clips, but not not the clip so we're back out here. Pretty much on me and sean to pull off this whole operation. I'M. Hopeful, though Music, i think we're getting really really close to getting the shot that we're looking for it's coming together, the rockets are behaving more predictably than ever, but there's still a lot of unknowns. It'S a lot of reacting to what's happening in the moment if there's ever been any question about a digital fpv system having too much latency to do stuff like this, i think we're showing that it's it's plenty fast enough and i'm glad that we have a really Crisp image to actually react to you need everything that you can on your side to make chasing one of these things as possible as possible, Musica, così la musica. I think that might have been it cool. I hope it was it. I mean i'm happy to keep going, but i think uh i don't know i think i nailed it. I don't know. Maybe rockets is an awesome hobby isn't it. It is a hobby, it sure is a lot of tinkering. I was getting pretty frustrated because i just wanted to have the shot so i'm, really glad that we had you figuring all this stuff out. Come al solito, sean is just mvp. I love doing this, so it was so much fun.
Per me. I loved building things. I always loved building things and designing and come up with fixes for the problems. We had a lot of problems. Sì, Soprattutto, we finally got our shot. The whole thing. It was a cool shot. It came out so good i'm psyched on it. So sean thanks for putting in the work to make this happen thanks to dji for sponsoring this episode for all the flying, we flew with the dji digital fpv system, that's also available in the rotor riot store link in the description and, most importantly of all, thank You guys for watching and for tuning in, we hope you enjoyed this episode. I'M ladrib i'm let's play rc. We'Ll, see you next time on road arrive, Applausi: Musica! This is rocket fuel there. It is there that goes on the blender right here. Should i drop a match in it, yeah just sit in this pile and drop a match in it. You want me to be great. Do you think i should no? I don't think he should.