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KAP rig 2


KAP rig 2I upgraded my KAP camera to a Pentax WG-1, which does not fit in my original KAP rig. So I had to build me a new one.

The new rig is a mix of various materials that I wanted to experiment with: it uses aluminium for the camera cradle and one of the side supports and mounting beams, carbon rods for the other side support and the two longerons on top and plastic. Most of the structure is glued together - aluminium and carbon fiber bond really well with super glue.

The mini-servos used on KAP rig 1 were a little too delicate to my liking, especially since the new rig is heavier and larger than the previous one. So I decided to go with 'regular' size RC servos. The pan servo is a HITEC HS-322HD which can easily be modified for 360 degrees rotation. The tilt servo is a Futaba S3115, it is more compact than the HITEC (but it cannot be modified for 360 degrees rotation).


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Making a kite reel


20111016142400_023The making of this kite reel was inspired by a similar model I saw at a kite festival in Scheveningen, a couple of weeks ago. But in stead of building it from plywood I chose polypropylene, or polypropene - PP for short. It's a thermoplastic polymer that is easy to cut, saw and file and it is insensitive to moisture.

The sides are 25 cm in diameter and about 9 mm thick. They are made from kitchen cutting boards that I purchased at a local general store for about € 3 a piece.

In the left side plate I cut a hole with a diameter of 14,5 cm, to stick my hand through. Both side plates have three elongated gaps, to save weight and to function as an attachement for a carabiner. These holes also make the reel visually more attractive, IMHO.

I used a fretsaw for all the holes because it gives me more control than a jigsaw. A bandsaw would probably the most conveniet and time-saving, but I don't own one.

In the middle of the right side plate I attached a wheel from an inline skate: these have ball bearings for smooth operation and they offer a good handhold. The wheel is kept at a small distance from the right side plate with a little piece of aluminium pipe that goes over the attachment bolt.

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Building a rig for Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)


Powersled L 3.0 kiteSome time ago I bought a Powersled kite (pictured right), a medium sized, single line lifter kite. It's a great kite with a considerable pull, and I decided to take advantage of that and build something to lift a digital camera up high to take aerial panoramic photographs.

This article describes the build of a so-called 'AutoKAP rig': a rig that holds a digital camera, programmed to perform an automatic sequence of panning, tilting and picture taking without intervention from the ground. The idea is to take the kite and the rig to a place of interest and then make a bunch of aerial photographs (and hope that some are not too blurred).

Read more: Building a rig for Kite Aerial Photography (KAP)

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