back to article LOHAN slowly strips lens caps off hi-def imaging arsenal

It's all go at the Special Projects Bureau's mountaintop headquarters as we await the imminent delivery of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Vulture 2 spaceplane, currently being hewn from the living nylon down at 3T RPD Ltd. We've got plenty to be getting on with while we wait for the bloke in the big white …


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  1. Neil Charles


    Feedback from the paragliding community says that the Gopro Hero 3 battery life leaves something to be desired compared to earlier versions. If it's the cold and we're noticing it at only a few thousand metres up, then LOHAN might cause some issues!

    Awesome bit of kit though. I still want one.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Batteries

      Yes, we've heard various reports of battery issues. Probably the cold in our case, though.

      1. stu 4

        Re: Batteries

        Yes occasionally mine will still freeze up for no reason even after various firmware upgrades which is a pain.

        I use mine paragliding, paramotoring and skydiving ( and on quadcopters, cycling and scuba...!)

        Admittedly my flying ceilings are about 13k so nowt like as high as Lohan is going.

        You can easily power it via the 5v usb rather than via the expensive auxiliary battery bak-pak. I use a 3s 1200 lipo and UBEC when flying paramotors. that gives me roughly 3-4 hours of additional power. As an added benefit, seeing as the 5v also goes to charge the battery it means that it warms up the camera as well via the internal lipo charging.

        And while you are at it - why not take the analogue video feed out of it too - and fire it through a 5.8hgz video transmitter ?

        I get about 4000 feet vertically with my quadcopter with a 600mw tx and omni directional tx, but with a high db gain antenna (since you are effectively going to be 'below' all the time directional focus shouldnt be too much of an issue) you should be able to get that up to 40k or so I'd have thought at least... for some real time video!

        Anyway I hope you are going to record in 2.7k..... you know it makes sense!

        Also make sure you have prores on - we want that bitrate maxed out!


  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps powdered silica gel inside the cases might reduce the need for the open back. Which may enable you to snugly foam package the camera for warmth.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Well, we can pack 'em in foam anyway - it's porous enough to allow the camera to "breathe".

  3. Chris G Silver badge

    Product Placement

    Given that Lohan is viewed almost exclusively by professional techies world wide of one kind or another many of whom probably have the power to recommend or purchase, I would have thought there would be a manufacturer out there who would jump at the chance to place a piece or two of their kit on this ground(air?)breaking project.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Product Placement

      Of all the words I could think of to describe this project, I'm hoping that "groundbreaking" doesn't end up being one of them.

      And yay! Lots of cameras. How many are going in the box and how many in the craft, though?

      1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

        Re: Re: Product Placement

        We're working on something else for the Vulture 2. Watch this space...

    2. breakfast

      Re: Product Placement

      Maybe the accurate term as it passes through the jet streams is "windbreaking"?

  4. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    Not considered a drying rig ?

    Other than putting silica gel inside the case, have you considered creating something that will dry everything out before launch ?

    Not my field, so I don't know if a sealed box with dry silica gel would do the trick. Or perhaps a box with some dry ice in the bottom (to create cold and trap any moisture as ice, with a heated section above to keep the cameras warm ? I'm sure between all us commentards we have enough boffinery skills to come up with something.

    The gauntlet is thus propelled on a downward trajectory ...

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Not considered a drying rig ?

      The thing is, the ventilated case is only really an issue if the batteries can't handle the cold. It's debatable whether having a sealed case would resolve that problem.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Not considered a drying rig ?

        Is there an option to have a remote power source for the GoPro 3? So you could keep those batteries nice and warm (or at least not frozen) with the rest of the electronics?

        1. stu 4
          Thumb Up

          Re: Not considered a drying rig ?

          yup, its just 5v.

          I power mine in flight (paramotoring) via an external lipo into the USB. Gives me 4 hours with a small lipo before it even touches the main battery (which is even worse than an hour if shooting 2.7k footage or 1080p60).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Go Pro will sell you little strips to put inside the case to stop misting.

    Or just turn the car air-con on full, give the inside of the case a blast and shut it again while making sure you keep it in the dry air.

    The second of those techniques is the one I use for my shoots and the bonus is that it's free.

  6. Haku

    £45 full 1080p HD sports/dash cam the size of a tic-tac box

    The Mobius, from the manufacturer that created version #16 of the 808 carfob 'spy' cameras. By far the best full 1080p HD miniature camera for its price, can work as a sports cam or a dash cam (continual loop recording of short files).

    Full review on Techmoan's site, with sample clips to download and link to the eBay seller who's the manufacturer's shop front. If you order one, look at the sellers other items for mounts, long USB cable etc.

    I got one, only took 6 days to arrive from China, and am about to get another to install permanently in my mum's car it's that good.

    1. Steven Raith
      Thumb Up

      Re: £45 full 1080p HD sports/dash cam the size of a tic-tac box

      Ooooh, cheapy 1080p cameras.

      Any of them take an external/deadcat mike for recording exhaust flames/intake noise on the car?

      Steven R

      1. Haku

        Re: £45 full 1080p HD sports/dash cam the size of a tic-tac box

        The Mobius doesn't have external mic capability, but the sound quality is the best I've heard from any cheap Chinese camera, and there's nothing stopping you from unsoldering the internal mic and putting it on a long wire :)

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: £45 full 1080p HD sports/dash cam the size of a tic-tac box

          Aaw, but that would require effort!

          If I can't put an external deadcat mic next to my air intake (for full on intake growl) then I'm out!

          Steven R

  7. Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    Probably the easiest way to stop misting would be to flood the case under a stream of (dry) nitrogen while closing the case. No water vapour, no misting.

    Most watch repair shops will have a nitrogen setup: They flood the case of a waterproof watch with nitrogen after doing a battery change, before closing the back.

    Or close everything up on a low humidity day ( yeah... in the UK...right!).

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    640x480? In 2013? Really?

    And it's the only product to include "Hi-Resolution" in the name... I'd say it's not worth the waste of space to bring it up.

    1. Haku

      Re: 640x480? In 2013? Really?

      I learnt a long time ago that anything which professes itself to be "Hi-Resolution" only does so in comparison to the graphical resolution of a ZX81.

  9. shyted

    silica gel sachets

    Going in a different direction (down as opposed to up), but when scuba diving with cameras in housings, silica gel sachets or moisture muncher capsules, are essential for keeping things fog free.

    Its also really helpful too, if you put the camera in its case in a dry environment (sounds obvious I know).

    Speaking from bitter experience here for the number of 'amazing once in a lifetime shots', that turn out misty. (';')

  10. Andus McCoatover

    CHDK - Kudos!!

    THanks muchly for the link. I was trying to breathe some life into my A630, and I remembered something like this from the past.

    Now I have it, at last.

    Chees, SPB!

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