Camcorder Armour

This is the Academy of the IKV Melota.
This is where you will find useful information on HOW TO to many of the things that we assume are regular processes for our ship.

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Klingons in the original series used disrupters. For nearly 20 years, klingons used disrupters. It was not until ST:TNG that hand weapons really came into being for the TV shows. If we stick with the fact that in all of the TV series that klingons did, in fact, use disrupters, then we can look at paintball as a legitimate approach to immulating klingon culture.

This leads to a paintball event in the concept of klingon disrupter combat.

Many KAG vessels may be engaged in paintball events as disrupter events.

What if a KAG vessel desires to film this event? Well? What are the ramifications???

It is heavily recommended by the IKV Melota that a combat camera be armored prior to entering a paintball event.

Paintballs in and of themselves could have the kinetic energy to damage a videocamcorder by kinetic displacement. They probably cannot attain hull penetration. However, it is possible that they could blast through thinner hull plastic over an LCD display. It is very likely that they could crush the innards of a TFT diplay since they are so much thinner. Who knows, it may be possible to tear a diplay completely off of its mount.
Disregarding the odd chance, There are two primary kill methods by which a paintball could render ineffective or destroy a videocamcorder.

The first and most obvious would be to spray and block the optics. This could be a simple short term problem such as "I cannot see" which can be wiped off. After the wipe the camcorder would be back in action. There is a risk of damaging the anti-glare coating of the lens itself. This would not actually kill a camcorder. But it would certainly degrade the capacity of the camcorder itself from a purely optical perspective.

The real killer would be fluid penetration. Fluid penetration could short out electronics and/or gum up the transport equipment. Either of these would spell disaster as the camcorder itself would mostly likely be out of action for the day, or worse, forever. The transport mechanism could be cleaned out: but at what co$t? Short$ may not be cleanable.

The solution is to give the combat camcorder an armor of its own.

A crude, but simple armor form was developed by the IKV Melota from plexiglas that has proven to be a reasonable compromise. This armor design allows for four of six sides to be 100% shielded. The fifth side is mostly shielded; enough for the risk to be more than acceptable. The sixth side must use the operator *AS* the shield. The operator must make a conscious effort to keep his/her body in line with side6 to protect the device. In some 5 years of paintball videography, the IKV Melota camcorder has never been hit. This is shear luck. It has been sprayed by near misses, though.

The risk/return equation on this design of armor is very acceptable. The IKV Melota videocamcorder has been in the thick of the Deliverance Wars as well as the Venom Wars. The armor has allowed various *competant* videographers to enter combat, get good footage, and do this with minimal risk to the videocamcorder itself. This design was also appropriate for early style camcorders with a viewfinder.

Today, however, camcorders don't always have viewfinders and solely use the sideways "wing" of an LCD screen. Cdr. Ripar of the IKV Bayou Serpent purchased a new (modern) type camcorder. We had to build armor for its chassis design that was somewhat different. With this in mind, there shall be an addendum to this original posting following the photos for the original IKV Melota armor.

It is very important that your chosen videographers fully comprehend not only proper videography, but also the limitations and weaknesses of this design of armor. After all, it is these brave souls who must protect the very device that they are now taking into harm's way. They must be competant enough with videography in and of itself that they don't have to think about the videography. They just do it. They must use their conscious thought to maintain the safety of the device itself. They must remember to always keep their own body/face between side6 and a potential round. They must remember to cover side6 with their hand when not recording.

Finally, the armorer must purchase and warp a plexiglas or Lexan thick enough to shrug off the rounds themselves. There is a big difference between an armored cruiser and a protected cruiser. If your amorer does not prepare thick enough armor, you too, can be reminded of the difference, expensively.

This is an important concept.

The IKV Melota built an armor capable of shrugging off a 300 fps paintball at two meters.

If you build your armor from too thin of a plex, it may allow penatration by the round. Even if the kinetic energy is lost, the fluid penetration is still your most likely killer.

TEST THE MATERIAL with a HOT marker before you use it to make the armour. Use some out of bounds 300+ fps marker on the material at a ridiculously close range, say, 2 meters. If it survives, then it should work for real field use.

Be advised!!!
The Membership of the IKV Melota can never have responsibility or liability for the loss or costs of repair of a video camcorder as it is ultimately the decision of the device owner(s) to take this sensitive piece of equipment into a man-made hostile environment. The owner(s) accepts all risks by his/her decision.
End of advisement!!!

The following images show the IKV Melota's design, and its LIMITATIONS. You can use these images to construct your own armor and/or analyze the weaknesses to make a better armour.

Yes, better armor could be made. There could be a side6. The IKV Melota did not want to have to deal with a completely closed box. Using the operator's body has worked fine for some 5 years. However, you could certainly add a side6 if you so chose.

Views to see the sides.

Fully mounted and ready.

Cdr. Ripar of the IKV Bayou Serpent contacted me about armor for his upcoming camcorder. His intention is (still future tense at this original writing, 200802.03) to have two combat camcorders in action at Venom Wars V. He purchased his camcorder. I purchased some Lexan Sheet and we made a date for him to drive over for construction.

It is some 4.5 hours to for each of our ships to visit each other. This is a testament to the closeness, camraderie, and seriousness to work together. I applaud Cdr. Ripar of the IKV Bayou Serpent for being willing to drive the distance in order to plan/insure a safe, successful videotaping of the upcoming Venom Wars V. Thank you, Ripar for tolerating the drive, kids, cat, and cinnamon mead in order to get this done. In spite of the screwups with the caulking, and the buying parts that we did not need, I really did have a great weekend with you, my Brother.

The design of this armor is different for a variety of reasons. Having that "wing" that must remain extended, we had to plan a wide armor box. Also, due to the difficulty of seeing an LCD color display in broad daylight, we needed to make the interior of the box dark so that the display was visible. Being so wide, it was necessary to put a back door on it. A Melota Mark I style case would too easily allow a round to pass from behind into the LCD display.

Thus we began the construction of the Bayou Serpent Mark I case, Melota Mark II.

Borrowing a "bender" again from my Fav'wI, we proceded to cut plates of Lexan Sheet. This material is thinner than the original IKV Melota plexiglas armor. However, it is 30 times stronger. Using the bender, it was bent into the appropriate shape. Actually, pieces were ultimately bolted together to form the 4 sided box. (L,U,R,B) The front and the hinged back are single sheets.
Once completed structurally, and knowing that the interior must be dark to shield the LCD from sunlight, we proceded to paint the interior of the box black. The original idea was to put a dark emitting diode inside, but I was all out so we opted for paint. It was a low tech and no batteries solution.

We must protect that LCD "wing".

This armor box protects the LCD "wing" from both light
and paintballs.

This is the "dark tunnel" effect to see the LCD in daylight.

The "dark tunnel" works!!!!

Two combat camcorders ready for action.

This leaves the IKVs Melota and Bayou Serpent with the only known video camcorders armored and ready for a man-made hostile enviroment. We hope to bring you more videos from the Melota, Bayou Serpent, and Deliverance as the years go by.

Hom Salek, Sutai
Ship's Brewer
Commo Officer IKV Melota

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The IKV Melota is a non-profit organization supporting Mr. Roddenberry's vision of the future. We find it very distressing that Viacom and Paramount do not share his visions. We recognize all trademarks and copyrights as belonging to their owners and hope that the owners have sense enough to realize that we fans pay the bills. There is no need outside of testosterone and rectal attitudes to pursue fan sites.

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