KAP - Kite Aerial Photography

KAP RIG pictures

Consist of a frame of light balsa-wood serving as a cradle for the camera. A strong rubber band holds the camera in place. Another rubber band will draw the shutter arm down to hit the shutter button when the timer triggers.
The cradle is attached to a cross that in turn hangs under the kite line (see In action). Then the timer triggers, a picture is taken and the read float will fall down a few feets to visually indicate to the ground that the picture is taken.

The camera can be tilted all way to pointing straight down or turned around for panning and locked in any position prior to setting the timer and letting the rig up in the air.

Total weight of the rig is 500 grams.

The timer was taken from an "Eggon-timer" that is used for cooking and can be set up for many minutes. When the timer trigges, a steal wire moves towards the timer a few milli-meters, enought to release and drop the shutter arm.
The timer in close up.
The thin nylon thread of the float is released automaticallu as the shutter arm goes down.


This rig is made of light Aluminium, holding a digital camera. The camera is a simple point-and-shoot camera, without optical zoom and fixed focus (zoom is seldom needed typical KAP pictures). The HP Photosmart 435 was the cheapest used camera I could find that was light enough (170 grams with batteries). It has 3.2M pixels which is enough for up to A4 size printing if the picture is sharp.
The shutter control here is made with radio control from the ground. This is far better than using a timer as you can decide exactly the timing for the shot. Also you can make subsequent shots when you believe the camera is in good position. 

To allow best possible reception of the signal, the antenna of the receiver need to be as far as possible away from other metal parts. It is hanging down below the black box to the right. The read part behing the black box is made of balsa wood.

The total weight of this rig including batteries is, like the first rig, 500 grams.

The camera is attached to the rig using the tripod screw hole.
The radio control for the shutter is made from a "wireless door-bell" that was hacked a litte to work with the camera. Also the camera was opened to connect a pair of wires to the shutter switch...
The remote control for controlling the shutter. With the remote controlled shutter, many shots can be made while the camera is up, which saves a lot of time. Of course the camera has to be taken down in between to check the result and possibly tune the tilt and panning.



Copyright © Johan Östman, 2005-2015