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Old 09-16-2019, 05:10 AM   #1
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The next evolution in Scopecams (maybe)

Updated new post: 21MAR2020 -- SideShot GoPro Mount

Preface
I'm writing this while on deployment, where you literally lose your mind if you don't keep it occupied so I try to focus on my hobbies remotely, and I need somewhere to post my thoughts because nobody in my division understands all this.

Backstory
So I've had a dozen airsoft cameras over the years, ranging from GoPro's, to Mobius Cameras, to Runcams. I've had some experience with all of them, and each has their pro's and con's. GoPro's are great for POV cameras and rear-facing cameras if you're alright with the weight, whereas Mobius and Runcam cameras are great lightweight cameras that are also great for rear-facing cameras, or prebuilt Scopecams. While the Mobius is marginally lighter than the Runcam, the Runcam offers several more features such as WiFi Live View and swappable batteries, and has become the base scopecam platform for the airsoft market. I've personally used both of these cameras, and while they both have their perks I think they need drastic improvement.

The problem I have with the existing scopecams: framerates.
Both the Runcam Scopecam and the new Mobius M2 camera support 1080p/60fps or 720p/120fps, which to me is restricting in videos. Depending on how you want your video to come together, you can either get slow motion at 1/2x or 1/4x smooth playback at the maximum depending on if you want 30fps or 60fps playback online. 60fps has become the standard on Youtube, so in order to get a smooth slow motion effect on your scopecam, you need to be shooting in 720p/120fps - but 720fps is worse for tracking a 6mm pellet flying through the air at hundreds of feet per second at a target over a hundred feet away. Long story short, we're pushing the limits of the modern day Scopecams.

What's the solution?
I've had terrible luck with scopecams. Out of focus, overheating, off-target, drained battery, everything that can go wrong with my scopecam, does go wrong. The only cameras I've ever really been able to rely on was the GoPro's, which got me thinking: GoPro's lenses are M12 lenses, the same as every other Runcam and Mobius camera. The GoPro has several amazing features, such as a 2" live view touchscreen, WiFi live view, and replaceable batteries that can be picked up at almost any store. It shoots in 4k/60FPS, as well as slow motion 1080p/240fps and supports a digital zoom with 1080p/120fps. So why not turn the GoPro into a Scopecam?

So how is a GoPro going to become a scopecam?
Well you've got two options, and I went the more expensive route. You can either try to disassemble that camera and replace the lens with one to your liking and risk killing your gopro entirely, or you can make a VERY expensive $900 purchase. A company based in Canada, Back-Bone CA, converts GoPro's into cameras with interchangeable lenses ranging from the standard M12 mount to C/CS mounts or even DSLR lenses. The H7PRO is a modified GoPro Hero 7, rehoused to accept the different lenses but includes all the standard GoPro features. It also includes a Sidearm Mount, giving you 4 total 1/4" tripod mounts that line up directly with the lens.


Next up, the lens options. You can either use the standard M12 mount lens (which may require removing the removable IR filter from the GoPro), or you can use a C-Mount lens. C mount lenses aren't necessarily as expensive as most DSLR lenses, but they're not cheap like M12 lenses either. M12 lenses can reasonably be priced up to $100, you can typically find a 35mm lens for a 4x zoom effect for $50. But if you've already spent $900 on the camera, why cut corners now?? Well I probably should have, but I didn't. For a whopping $300 bringing the grand total to $1200, I got a 8-48mm varifocal lens, allowing for anywhere from a 1x-6x zoom. Combine the 6x zoom with the GoPro's digital zoom in 1080p/120fps, you can get an 8x zoom. Or, if you're like me and your camera is never zeroed with the rifle, you can back off the zoom until your shots are in frame and then shoot in 4k, and crop the image into 1080p in post.

The possibility of Night Vision Scopecam
This is by far one of the coolest features I would love to have this camera. Provided you can turn any of the other cameras into a night vision camera as well, this one makes it just a tad-bit easier with it's modularity. As mentioned before, Infrared filters block out the infrared spectrum the the human eye can't see - when you remove the filter from the lens, your film is given a reddish/pink hue - this is the infrared spectrum. Night Vision systems utilize the infrared spectrum to their advantage, using special sensors that pick up only the infrared spectrum, and when combined with an infrared flashlight, ta-da you can see in the dark.

This same concept can be applied to your modern day digital cameras, GoPros, Runcams, and Mobius alike. By removing the infrared cut filter, that filters out the infrared light, you can install an infrared cold mirror that filters out the visible light spectrum, only showing you the infrared spectrum. This turns your image into black and white, and when used at night with an infrared illuminator/laser, your camera will turn into a night vision camera. This would be great for those who run night vision setups, but maybe not for BASR's as you still need an independent light source and a night-vision capable scope, such as the ATN's (which are cheaper anyways).

This effect can be applied to any of the previously mentioned cameras, however the Back Bone modified GoPro has a filter holder in front of the sensor, making modifications simple as opposed to other cameras which require special adhesive and steady hands to secure the filter to the lens properly. Both of which I have neither of.

Alright, so what's the downside?
The mounting solution, the price tag, the size, and the weight. Having just received this in the mail a few days ago and still being on deployment, I'm scratching my head on how I'm going to go about doing this. The dimensions of the camera and lens together for the variation I bought is 130mm long, 63mm high, 55mm wide, and weighs 430g. That's without even a proper mounting solution or any camera or lens protection. The modified GoPro Hero 7 is not waterproof, nor is the lens. They both require some degree of protection on top of being mounted to the rifle in some way.

What's the bottom line?
The reason why I don't like the Runcam or the Mobius cameras anymore is the lack of modularity, battery life, features, and low framerates. GoPro's are known for all but ONE of those - modularity, which is solved via the Back Bone cameras. But starting at $900, it's a rather large investment. Here's some of the bonuses though:
+1080p/240fps - Watch your shots fly in slow motion at 1/8x in 30fps playback or 1/4x at 60fps for those unbelievable shots.
+Use GoPro's intuitive features such as voice commands, wifi, and live view.
+Swappable batteries are available at most stores major stores and are compatible with all Hero 5/6/7 batteries.
+M12/C/CS mounts gives you a variety of lens options
+Filters can be removed and installed in minutes for shooting in Visible Light/Near-IR/IR spectrums.

So what's the hold up?
The newest holdup is what I initially feared - mounting. This has always been a problem for me with cameras. Having a full-size GoPro with an extended lens mounted to the top of a scope not only looks silly, but can be fragile depending on how it is mounted. So far I've only come up with two mounting solutions, both of which utilize Back-Bone's sidearm mount that gives the GoPro the standard 1/4" threaded mounts that you find on cameras. I've made two attempts to mount the camera using different mounts, a simple one and a weird fancier one, but both present their own unique issues.

The first mount is just simple and stupid, but is also has a low visual impact. The problem is that the most FUNDAMENTAL part of camera mounts that utilize the 1/4" screw is that you can orient the camera FIRST, THEN you screw it into the mount. This mount does not offer that. The screw is fixed in place, nothing to screw it in from the bottom. The plate that it sits on however can be "adjusted" to help face the camera to correct position, but the problem is the vibration of the rifle can shake it loose and next thing you know, it's off-center again. Really not a fan of this thing, it's quite useless. In all, it's off center vertically, horizontally, doesn't retain it's hold anyway, and.. useless.

The second mount is a mount I'm familiar with, and I love it in the fact that it lets you orient the camera first and then thread the camera mount in. It does allow you to position the camera first and tighten the mounting screw, and I've had it pretty centered. The good part about this is you can also adjust the angle depending on how it's mounted. If it's mounted super stupidly like mine is (the mount is vertically mounted), it allows you to adjust the camera angle up and down. If you mount it to a side-rail, you can adjust it left to right. But once again, it looks... silly. It works, it can be centered and it will hold its center, however I'm afraid of knocking it. accidentally.

The third option I have is to use a different lens (of the PLETHORA of M12 lenses I apparently have..), and use something that of a flashlight mount and clamp the lens down. It may make it easier to adjust the camera angle from there too. Or simply tap and dye a mounting screw into an accessory scope rail, which would make the mount a bit more low profile.

What's the bottom line right now?
It's expensive, and it's tedious, and it's a work in progress - but the sample shots I did look promising despite the conditions it was recorded in. I mounted the camera as best as I could, got the lens (35mm M12) focused for about 100ft, and shot at a tree. Recording in 1080p/120fps, the shot could be played back at 1/4x the speed and was visible for about 4 seconds before it hit the side of the tree. However, after about the third shot, it did vibrate itself out of zero. Then again it was a hastily done mount, and I have yet to figure out how to get it properly mounted. Runcam may not have their stuff together, but they were sure great at keeping their cameras centered.

What about the night vision?
HA! It works. I actually may buy another one of these cameras and run it as a headcam for night vision possiblities (They have a smaller version that the lens can be separated from the rest of the camera). The only problem is that it's definitely no Gen3 tube - it needs an Infrared light to go with it (which are expensive.. which I bought). So it would only be able to see whenever you have the IR light on. As far as a night vision scope? It can work - but same story, you need the infrared light, and it'll need to be a powerful one. I've got a Surefire Vampyre, and it seems to do the job just fine.
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Last edited by The Shaggy Sniper; 03-22-2020 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Update after receiving the camera and clarifications
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Shaggy Sniper View Post
Preface
and I need somewhere to post my thoughts because nobody in my division understands all this.
.
I understand the feeling. I can see the physical pain in my family members' faces when 80% of my verbal speech is about airsoft😁. Geez, though, $1200 on one singular camera??? I'm using a camcorder mounted with a custom wooden mount that whatever reason stinks like a landfill.
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Old 09-16-2019, 08:53 AM   #3
Masada   Masada is offline
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For $1200 you could have a Torrey Pines Logic EagleEye... which is basically the best solution.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:49 AM   #4
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Or an ATN X-Sight 4K pro.

Night vision capable scope that has recording functions.

It's not Gen 3 quality (prob Gen1+ or Gen 2 at best), but it works with a good infrared light.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masada View Post
For $1200 you could have a Torrey Pines Logic EagleEye... which is basically the best solution.
I remember looking at that when I was looking for solutions, but couldn't warrant $1200 on what is quite literally a gopro mount, with no camera included - that and the fact that not only do I use a bolt action, I also use AEG's with red dots and other such optics that would render this useless. That and the bulk of the thing is pretty substantial, I know the setup I'm gonna be going for isn't low profile but I'm gonna find some way to make it a little bit less absurd.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by AccurateDMD View Post
Or an ATN X-Sight 4K pro.

Night vision capable scope that has recording functions.

It's not Gen 3 quality (prob Gen1+ or Gen 2 at best), but it works with a good infrared light.



Yep! Those would definitely be the top contender for night operations, simple setup and made for night vision. I see my self getting one of these when I get out of the Navy and have more freedom to go to night ops without having to ask for permission from Big Navy to go away for a weekend to do some stuff they find risky.


The reason why I'm gonna go with the GoPro though is for the majority of the daytime games that I go to, I'd hate for the battery to get fried on the ATN when I'm out playing in the hot sun and it's trying to provide a live digital image while recording at the same time.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:14 AM   #7
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I don't have an ATN X sight, but it's made for real firearms so I would assume it's somewhat durable and daytime heat wouldn't affect it.

That said, anything below Gen 3 night vision is pretty terrible in my opinion. I say that as someone who's used Gen 3, and I guess if you haven't used it you may be quite happy with Gen 2 and below because you wouldn't know what you're missing.

If you are running NV with infrared spotlights keep in mind anyone with any generation of night vision will see you as if you were signaling them. Especially those who run Gen 3 and don't require IR supplemental lights.

Again, this is bb warz so the % of players who run equipment like I'm describing is low. When we run it though, it's almost unfair.
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Old 09-16-2019, 10:49 AM   #8
Masada   Masada is offline
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Originally Posted by The Shaggy Sniper View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Masada View Post
For $1200 you could have a Torrey Pines Logic EagleEye... which is basically the best solution.
I remember looking at that when I was looking for solutions, but couldn't warrant $1200 on what is quite literally a gopro mount, with no camera included - that and the fact that not only do I use a bolt action, I also use AEG's with red dots and other such optics that would render this useless. That and the bulk of the thing is pretty substantial, I know the setup I'm gonna be going for isn't low profile but I'm gonna find some way to make it a little bit less absurd.
I've come close to buying that EagleEye on multiple occasions. But the price and weight have always stopped me. Those things are all aluminum/glass and sturdy as hell, but for a scope cam I think it's perfect. It gives the camera the same view as the shooter sees.

I have a TPL Deadeye which is basically a 20x lense for a GoPro. Same story, super robust and heavy but gives a very clean picture at range. I had originally planned to use it as a scope cam, but the bulk stopped that idea pretty fast. I just used it for range work now.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:31 PM   #9
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You can run a USB cord from the mobius to a battery pack.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:38 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 1tonne View Post
You can run a USB cord from the mobius to a battery pack.
I do have a soft spot for Mobius because it was my first scopecam, but having a USB cord get tangled in brush and such was always a nuisance to me, same thing with the Runcam. I loved the Mobius because it was SUPER lightweight, but the lack of being able to confirm the image was going to be correct and in and sighted in with the rifle was always holding me back. Too many times the lens was just off-center by default with the included mount.


My thoughts with the GoPro, is if I do have that problem I can either back off the zoom a little bit until it's in frame, shoot it in 4k and then crop/zoom the image in while it's still 1080p and be good to go.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:00 AM   #11
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Good news guys - the camera and the lens came in. I began to review it while I was literally trying to figure the damn thing out, but had to delete the whole thing so I could rewrite it.

Oh my god. This thing is awesome and exceeds all expectations.

The only thing I will say is that the lens was a little bit bigger and heavier than I thought it would be - measuring in at about 100mm in length and 50mm in diameter. The GoPro Hero 7 weighs about 105g, the lens weighs 605g. It's heavy. It took me a minute to get it set up, but it's everything I hoped it would be, but once again I'm falling short on how I'm going to get this thing mounted and how to protect it. More on that later.

The Modified GoPro Hero 7, which I'll call the BBG7 (Back-Bone GoPro 7) comes with several accessories in the included custom Back Bone case, including the Sidearm mount that snaps into place with the charging port cover removed. It took some wearing in and a few tries to get comfortable with this, as it does require a bit of force to snap it into place. Removing the mount is still a bit tricky. In the case is the original GoPro Hero 7 lens assembly, so if you would like to revert back to the original lens you need only to attach the lens finger-tight and the lens should be in focus, no need to adjust the lens.

Also included in the box is a 5mm spacer for C-mount lenses which is required for the lens I paired it with to focus correctly, as well as an M12 lens mounting assembly for your other existing M12 lenses. There's a removable IR cut filter located right above the sensor, making C-mount and CS-mount lenses a plug-and-play setup, simply attach the lens and focus it to your needs, no need to look for lenses with IR cut filters pre-installed or shop for external IR cut filters. The filter can be removed easily by CAREFULLY removing the O-ring that secures it into place and removing the IR lens, as well as CAREFULLY removing the O-ring beneath the filter when it has been removed. Be careful not to scratch the filter when removing or handling the filter, and be EXTREMELY careful not to scratch the sensor. If you do happen to scratch the filter, there is a spare provided in the case. Replacements can also be bought online, you just need to make sure they're the right size.

The only gripe I really have is that the front LCD of the camera. The GoPro Hero 6 I have in front of me has some small piece of protective plastic for waterproofing, however the BBP7 doesn't - if you press lightly on the screen, you will notice the LCD will be effected. Additionally, it's probably just my unit, but when the GoPro is on or even in standby mode, the first line of horizontal pixels are on. This doesn't really bother me too much, and nor does the lack of a protective screen over the LCD because I'm going to probably make a custom protective housing for it with some 3D printing due to the Sidekick mount I'm going to be using.

The lens as I mentioned is superb, almost no distortion so long as you're in Wide setting. If you change the view to Narrow or SuperView, it will distort the image due to the lack of a fish-eye lens that it's trying to compensate for. It's perfect for close quarters engagements, long-distance engagements. The initial zoom levels I provided in the main post were an estimate, but here's a little bit more concrete numbers:

Maximum Wide FOV
At 4k/60fps 16:9, lens zoomed out all the way, we're looking at about 45 FOV, what you could probably call 1x.

Maximum Narrow FOV (zoom)
Well, comparatively this lens at 48mm (maximum optical zoom) is damn near close to 50mm - which is pretty impressive. A 50mm lens will give you about a 8 FOV. I've actually found 50mm to be way too zoomed in for airsoft, and found that 35mm lens is a good happy medium for all engagements. The fact you can go from CQB to unnecessary zoom on this lens is insane. In addition to damn near being a 50mm zoom, you can still use the digital zoom on the GoPro itself.
tl;dr, I'm comfortable in saying this has variable 1x-8x zoom.

240fps at 1080p is going to prove INSANE so far. Slow motion is a cool effect to apply to your videos, but if you're not shooting at 120fps or higher then the effect can get lost. Imagine seeing that one in a million shot unfold at 1/8x speed, every glorious moment of it.

The only thing I was really worried about with the lens was focusing it on such a small monitor, but simply setting it to full digital zoom at 1080p/60fps allows me to focus it with the tiny 2" GoPro screen. The lens focus/zoom/aperture locking screws do stick out of the lens about 5mm, I'll probably swap them out for some smaller thumb screws (that way I'll also have spares).

Once again, the only thing that's going to be difficult is mounting and protection. As I mentioned before, I'll probably look into making a 3D printed case that allows me to protect the camera and lens while still allowing adjustment. Probably a square with some clasps around it for the GoPro, and a tubular housing with some space to add some foam or something to protect it in case of light drops, as well as some lexan and a sunshade (possibly a killflash if I can find one in 49mm variant?) for reduced scope glint, because I can tell you that thing's a goddamn MIRROR in the sunlight.

Lastly, seeing the size of the damn lens now leaves me to mounting the camera on top of optics. 50mm is too much clearance to try to get from a riser, as much as I hate having the camera that much higher than the barrel. The good news is because this does take M12 lenses, I can steal the 50mm lens off of my Runcam and reduce the length, size, and weight drastically, as I can with other M12 lenses too. That C-lens may become more of a lens for other hobbies in my life down the line, and I may go back to M12 lenses, and it reduces the overall cost of a GoPro Scopecam setup. However, I would note that having tried the Runcam lens on the GoPro is that some lenses do need to have the IR filter removed in order to be focused properly, which is the case with the 50mm runcam lens. I'd recommend still shopping for lenses with infrared lenses installed in this case, or back off some of the threading on the lens about 5mm so it doesn't scratch the filter or worse, the sensor.

I'll post pictures when I have the chance, it's just going to be of the new GoPro itself with the lens and some sample pictures of the zoom levels, and you guys will get a chance to see my office and parts of the aircraft carrier I'm on.
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Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera

Last edited by The Shaggy Sniper; 09-23-2019 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:58 AM   #12
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Well, Back-Bone posted a link on their Facebook page of a GoPro mounted scopecam from Side-Shot.com - A pretty good alternative to the TPL Eagle Eye. The Eagle Eye is literally just the mount for the GoPro for $1200, no camera included. Side-Shot sells GoPro mounts for all the Heros (3 through 7) and they also sell a phone mount as well if you'd like to use that instead, if you've got some old phone you don't mind sacrificing. The side-shot mount for the GoPro 5/6/7 is $280 but requires you to change out the lens of the gopro to either an 8mm or 12mm lens, which is when the modified camera would come back into play.


They also sell a combo that includes the Back-Bone modified gopro and the mount for only $1250, their prebuilt kit you can get clamp mounts in different sizes of 25mm, 30mm, 34mm.


I'd like this setup better than the Torrey Pines, because I'll say it again, it's cheaper and it's a lot less bulky as well. This will probably be the next purchase when I get home, but I rather hate actual in-scope cameras due to the fact you're limited to what the actual scope sees. At the same time it definitely takes out some of the focusing issues out of the equation. Additionally the fact it sits in a waterproof housing should prevent against rain getting into the internals, however I'm going to have to contact them to see if it actually is 100% waterproof, and can survive another one of my involuntary swims in a swamp. Thanks Ballahack.


It'd be another hefty purchase, but another option would be to buy the GoPro mount and get the Back-Bone Ripcord for $900. You could remove the rest of the GoPro housing from the mount side-mount, fasten the lens assembly to the mount and secure the GoPro to somewhere out of the way. The Ripcord camera however is a Hero 5 base and not a 7, limiting it to 4k/30fps or 1080p/120fps.
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Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera

Last edited by The Shaggy Sniper; 09-26-2019 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:10 AM   #13
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Alright, so another update. Since deployment has been extended again, and again and again, it looks like I'm not going to be home for several more months. With that said, I'm still trying to pursue this even though I may not be able to use this until the summer.


A lot of websites don't ship to the.. uh.. ship. So getting some of these accessories has been a long and tedious wait, but here's what I know so far:
The 1-6x lens would be good if it weren't for the focusing issues I'm having yet again - it's only in focus at long ranges. It needs a 3-4mm extension, but a the smallest C-Mount extension you can get is a 5mm which is what I have currently, and that puts it too far out of focus. But what I ALSO have for the lens is a cold mirror lens that only passes the infrared light, essentially making it a night vision camera. In an office with no sunlight but the lights are on, the camera really can't see much.


That's why I also now have an IR flashlight, a Surefire Vampire. Great little flashlight, expensive but hey it's pretty damn nice. Essentially an illuminator, and suddenly the camera can see this invisible beam of light on the wall. But the lens is out of focus, and that's the next thing to work through.


On the other hand, I still have the 50mm lens that came with the Runcam, with the IR filter removed. Back-Bone sells IR cold mirrors for the cameras, which does the same thing only it turns any lens without an IR filter into a night vision lens. Unfortunately those filters can't be shipped to the ship, so I've gotta get them sent home so someone else can ship them out to me in a box. The 50mm lens focuses just fine, but I might swap it out to a 35mm lens because I can't imagine taking shots at night that warrant a 50mm lens.
Additionally, I may end up buying another modified GoPro and using it is a POV camera with the same night vision capabilities, with a stock GoPro lens. Who knows, this is all just ramblings.


Night vision-ish GoPro? Check. Illuminator? Check.
Return to Home Port?
...not anytime soon.
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Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera
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Old 02-26-2020, 01:10 AM   #14
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Well.. I'm home. Good to be back on land, and I've had a chance to get some benchwork done to do some modifications to the camera. While it still needs some cosmetics because it's ugly as all hell, I've got it.

https://imgur.com/EX5ymI6
https://imgur.com/giNPTu8
https://imgur.com/9xoyHr5

Test Video

Okay, so the camera works, and that's all I really care about right now. The test footage was shot in high winds out the back door which is why the shot is canted damn near 45 to the left. There's not much to really safely shoot at at my house, not at long ranges, so I apologize I didn't get anything better than that.

The footage was shot at 120fps, shot from my Striker AS-01 with .32's at 410fps, and the pavement is about 100 feet away, shot using the RunCam 50mm lens on BackBone's modified Hero 7. The Hero 7 supports an additional digital zoom, which I believe was about 25% zoom in this case. The lens was slightly out of focus, but I'm not gonna complain too much right now.

So what's the ugly thing surrounding it? Well, it's an early sunshade and lens protector using only some PVC couplings, lexan, and electrical tape. I'm pretty sure I just gave myself cancer using a dremel on BOTH of those materials. The sunshade was upside down when I took the picture, the lens protector is supposed to be at a downward angle to deflect BB's, but whatever.

What we're really here for is framerates, slow motion. Here's what's available for the GoPro Hero 7:
1080p: 240p/120p/60p/30p
2.7K: 120p/60p/30p
4k: 60p/30p

With each resolution and framerate, it has it's drawbacks. The reason I chose 1080p/120fps over the 240fps for the test video was the built in stabilization feature, but this can easily be done in post. At 240fps, you lose the ability to use stabilization as well as digital zoom, however with the 50mm lens you REALLY don't need an additional zoom, even a 35mm lens should do you fine. So yes, you can shoot at 240fps, just know that you wouldn't have any stabilization.

So what's left to do?
Well, once again a cleaner mounting solution, and I may switch to a tighter, more compact lens, which is the OPPOSITE of the 1-6x lens that I bought. I haven't even tried adding that yet, but the current setup (the scope, the GoPro/Lens/Sunshade, the portable USB charger, and their respective mounts) weighs QUITE a bit. So adding a HEAVIER lens may not be what I want to do. But there's another mount coming in the mail eventually, and I'll see if I like it better than the current one which currently stands about 6" off the rail and 2" left of the center of the rifle.

Edit: the wild right hook was not just the winds, the outer barrel of the striker was warped and created an S-Bend in the rifle and that's what was causing that.
__________________
Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera

Last edited by The Shaggy Sniper; 02-27-2020 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 03-10-2020, 01:46 AM   #15
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: SoCal / Colorado, USA
Posts: 86
Lessons Learned:
1. Lens Protector needed some adjustment..
So last weekend I managed to go out and play, and here's what I managed to learn. First of all, the Lexan protector I made for the lens that was seated at a 45 angle actually did TERRIBLE for the video quality - everything is distorted, and rather out of focus as well. Everything looked fine on the phone and on the GoPro screen itself, but the actual footage was unusable. That being said, the lens protector will now be seated parallel with the lens from now on.

2. GoPro Plagued Freezing Issues.
Secondly, as if I would never have enough camera issues, I had several instances when the GoPro's would freeze.. This apparently being a common problem with GoPro's nowadays. Cold weather, SD cards, star alignment, whatever the case may be that causes videos to be corrupted beyond repair during recording, GoPro has lost their touch. I'm hoping it was a combination of several factors for me, the cold weather (50F/10C), the SD card used for 240fps video was a class 10 instead of the newer 1/2/3 cards, and perhaps just some configurations that need to be done in order to get it to work properly. Everything always works fine in an isolated, controlled environment (my back porch), but.. whenever you take it out to the field, everything goes to hell. And it's harder to notice when these things go wrong when you have more important things to focus on, like actually playing the game and trying to take out the guy who's shooting at you.

Finally, the new mounting solution came in, and it's working wonders. It's actually an LED camera mounting solution, meant for 20mm camera accessory rails, but works perfectly on picatinny rails as well. I mounted it to the top of the scope and it worked perfectly, and allowed me to tighten it to where it was centered. There's also some additional screw holes which I can utilize as "zeroing" screws, moving the image up and down. Only problem is I got one of the screws stuck in there, and now I've just gotta work the willpower to get it back out of there as it's blocking me from mounting it back on the rail at this point (screw is coming from the bottom). Nonetheless, probably going to be the mounting solution of choice. Quick disconnect, and can easily be adjusted. Perfect.

3. Other equipment issues
Lastly.. the rifle. I need to get the Striker AS01 fine-tuned. It's just not shooting accurately with the bucking that's installed, so I headed to my local shop. The local shop I go to doesn't really have much for a sniper market, and still just uses the standard VSR bucking with a rounded contact patch. When I asked why they're still only carrying these basic buckings (not only for snipers, but their AEG line as well) instead of the Maple Leaf AB/OB or similar, anything other than just the regular rounded contact patch, they had no idea what I was talking about. They'd heard of R-hop, but believed it more to be a myth than anything. Needless to say, I think I'm starting to outgrow my small hometown local shop. Onto bigger and better things.. In Cali. Where there's a shop about 20 minutes away from me that has an assortment of Maple Leaf buckings for VSR and AEG.. Time to have fun with them.

Link to terrible video quality..
So for fun, here's a shot took from about 150 feet at 1/4x speed, rifle shooting at 400fps. The grey blob is the person I'm shooting at, talking to his buddy. You can see in the branches how there's almost a shimmering kaleidoscope effect, and that's due to the angled lexan that was sitting in front of the lens, which had a gnarly effect on the focus as well. This has since been corrected, but the next field test won't be available for at least another few weeks (late March at the earliest). I also need to find out what my new local field limits are here in Cali...

Til next time.
__________________
Rifle:
Ares Striker AS01
Maple Leaf 6.02 540mm Inner Barrel
Action Army Hop Unit
Maple Leaf Autobot 70
Long Spiral Fluted OB
M140 Spring
500 FPS/0.2g

Cameras:
-GoPro Hero 8 (headcam)
-Mobius Actioncam (alternate headcam/POV)
-Backbone GoPro Hero 7 w/ 16mm lens + Side-Shot scope mount
-Insta 360 One rear facing camera
-GoPro Hero 7 Alternate rear facing camera
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