Kite Camera

kc

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After seeing my hombrew game camera and pictures, my brother told me about something he would like to do.  He got interested in kites several years ago and wants a camera he can attach to a large kite.  We kicked around a few ideas, but the big problem is the camera weight.  An Owl PF is just way too heavy.  It's also a little too expensive considering it may have a crash landing.

Does anyone know of a lighter, fairly inexpensive camera that can be wired up similar to the OWL and takes decent daytime pictures?

 
 

gizz

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If any of you decide to do this please post the pics you get from the kite on here. It'll be on topic cause your monitoring a wildlife trail from the sky!!
Was wondering though, could you use a timer board that take a pic say every 2 minutes or so?? With the OWL PF and timer only it wouldn't weigh too much.
 

Archilochus

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Hi Tinhorn, gizz,
Tinhorn... great link!  Might have to give that a try!

gizz.... You could use Tinhorn's "refresh" timer to make an automatic picture timer - you'll have to adjust component values a bit to get two minute time interval.

I've thought of using a balloon of some sort to do the same thing - then you're not relying on wind to keep your cam from crashing!  You can also lift a fair amount of weight.

Archilochus
 

ToddP

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Back in my youthful days I used to play around with model rockets.  (I don't know if I could get away with launching in the school yard like I did back then) but... they used to have models with little cameras in the nose cone.  When the engine was finished burning and blew a charge to open the nose cone it would also click a picture from above.  I never tried one but know they are around.

ToddP
 

gizz

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Do you suppose one of those readily available "Bat" kites could lift an owl and timer?
Would be nice to use an $8 panaramic disposable in case it crashed but it would have to be hacked. If I try this I'll wrap the owl pf in some foam in case it crashes.
The one-shot timer should work but I'd need a 10 minute initial delay to get the kite up there then probably a pic every 1 or 2 minutes. Doable?
 

Tinhorn

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You Guys Bored Making Game Cameras ! ! !   :eat-burger:

It would not be too hard to have an initial 10 min delay then start ripping off pix's every min or 2, especially if a normally closed reed relay is used (that would save on battery juice a little)

A single stage TLC555 timer could be built to hold in the N/C relay for 10 min's, when it times out, the relay contacts would close and provide battery power to the Modified Refresh Circuit.  This circuit would start the 1 or 2 min pix taking phase

Using a cheapo cam would probably require a solenoid to press the shutter button but then even one of those one-time-use cams could be used.  The Circuit outlined above will operate a solenoid too

A light weight 9v transistor radio battery could be used to operate the timer circuits.  9v mite even work a 12v solenoid, at least for a while, long enought to take 24 pix's maybe.  Anybody who has the one  listed in Jesse's Main Cam section can test and see, maybe

http://arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/kaptoc.html

Tinhorn
 

Zeke

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Just a thought...since I'm in the RC hobby...You could use a RC (remote controlled) servo to trip the cam. A buddy of mine has taken pics with a cam mounted to the bottom of one of his planes. Of coarse you would have to have a RC TX and RX and a servo. He mounts the servo so that when its activated, the control arm pushes the shutter button.  Z
 

quackmaster

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Is it trespassing if you let your kite fly over the fence and do some surveying? :tank:

I really never new a kite could be so useful.
Hmm now if I could just fly one over a group of ducks with a claymore strapped to it.... :muha:
 

Tinhorn

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while searching the net for info on previous kite systems, I saw where it's illegal to fly a kite over 500 feet ! ! !       :eat-burger:
 

Archilochus

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Hi all,
In the past I've used solenoids to trigger various cheap 'mechanical' shutter cams with some success.  Disposable cams would also require something to wind the film to the next frame though.

I'm certain a servo will work to press the shutter button - been meaning to try that - just never seem to get around to orderin' the parts.  Could work out an automated servo driver circuit that removes the need for the RC Tx and Rx controller.

The solenoid (and maybe the servo) would require more batt power - increasing weight.
Seems like the weight of a cheapie cam with solenoid or servo would end up about the same as the Owl.  I guess the real problem is preventing the loss of a $50 cam.  The guy on the kite link above strapped a $170 Yashica T4 Super cam onto his kite - NO WAY I'd do THAT!!

I wonder if you could thread fine 'magnet' wire into the kite string so you could control picture taking from the ground?  Maybe run power through the wires to the input LED of an opto-coupler in the kite - that way it might be sort of immune to false triggering.

The way I fly a kite, I'd need a 1 hour delay timer before pics started being taken :-{

Archilochus
 

Zeke

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Hey Arch, If you figure out how to use a servo let me know. I was trying to figure it out before I found this site THANK YOU,THANK YOU, THANK YOU JESSE!!!. The problem I came across was how to get the servo to center itself after it was activated from the first time while not hooked up to a radio.   Z
 

Archilochus

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Hi Zeke,
This circuit might do what you want:
[url="http://www.terrypin.dial.pipex.com/Images/ServoUpDown.gif
 

gizz

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Go ahead Arch, bid on it. looks cool but how do you get it back if the string breaks?
Other than that it should solve your inability to launch a kite!:smile-blue
 

billyray

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Hey gizz, if the string broke on that thing I bet there would be a lot of UFO reports. I know if I saw something like that  flying by my house I'd wonder what the he!! it was. lol  Another thought, before you send it up just in case the string breaks, take a picture of yourself holding a sign that reads"If you find this balloon please call 555-5555" No telling where it would end up.
 

Archilochus

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Dang! Didn't think of that!  That would be a bit of a problem..... :-0

How about 2 strings?? - one for back-up.   Since the thing can lift 10 lbs we'd have lots of extra carrying capacity for "fail-safes" and such.

Hey billyray... I really like it - sorta' like the 'message in a bottle' thing.

Archilochus
 


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