Aerial Photography and Video Discuss the growing field of aerial photography and aerial video right here!

A.P. ships.

Reply

Old 01-17-2004, 04:20 AM
  #1  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default A.P. ships.

Hello Everyone,

Hopefully you are all enjoying a good start to this new year and I am personally looking forward to seeing many AP related projects and images from this group.

I thought some of you would like to see what AP platforms I've flown with the PenCam payload, what methods I've used for mounting/vibration isolation and some results of those efforts. Following is a brain dump of what I'd like to contribute here.

Regards,
Roger

Edit: I added in some more details as well as the remaining AP ships in my fleet. That's what I get for falling asleep at the keyboard! [sm=tired.gif]
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2004, 04:36 AM
  #2  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.



AP ship #1 - Kavan Bloody Mary. Being limited to parkflier size due to space constraints here in the SF Bay Area, I thought this would make for a great platform. It has a descent glide rate and is somewhat manueverable due to the wing dihedral/rudder relationship.

It was very underpowered so I upgraded from the stock Speed 280 to a Speed 300. Now I could get it up to altitude and more importantly, fly against the prevailing breeze often present here on the peninsula where I live.

The first composite came from the first flights with the camera, yes there was plenty to learn as I began to discover what these cameras can (and cannot) do. Image distortion caused by the line scanning (akin to raster scan of a monitor/tv) of the cameras imaging chip, factory focus and light sensitivity all combined to bring out the best and worst of this little gem.

The second image is an example that these cameras can 'hiccup' when taking a snapshot. I've not been able to figure out why exactly it introduces the streak in the shot but I suspect it has something to do with shooting into a bright, low angle sun. The clue lies in what happens when the camera is pointed directly at the sun. Some of you have by now already experienced the 'black hole' shot, it's where the intensity of light causes the imaging chip to 'saturate' and actually causes it to output a negative value - hence the black region. But that's my theory anyway.

So the procedure for shooting started to form, always shoot away from the sun would be rule number 1. After a little focusing work, the next two images yielded great results.

Camera mounting was nothing more than strapping the camera to the plane with good ol' 3M Magic Tape. I had two mounting locations, under the belly at the planes' CG (pictured) and another with the camera looking forward and mounted just in front of the cockpit former.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Nl28284.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	19.0 KB
ID:	91366   Click image for larger version

Name:	To44231.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	37.2 KB
ID:	91367   Click image for larger version

Name:	Pu51761.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	173.3 KB
ID:	91368   Click image for larger version

Name:	Kd89178.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	201.8 KB
ID:	91369  
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2004, 05:04 AM
  #3  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.



AP Ship #2 - Mountain Models Switchback 3D (SB-3D for short). So I could fly slow but the wait to get the plane into position was driving me nuts! I decided to go with a faster plane altogether and as it turns out, right after maidening the plane my Bloody Mary snapped a wing in-flight and was promptly deposited in the Bay. [X(][:@]

I started to try the video mode from these cameras with this plane and as soon as I figure out a way to upload a couple to my e-mail server account (space logistics problem) I'll post here at a later time.

Edit: I found one video file that I had forgotten about... [link=http://home.att.net/~r.mihara/sb3dflight1.mpg]In-flight video[/link]. One rule to remember when shooting video with these cameras is to fly smooth and as slow as possible. Either that or try to aim the camera at far objects, near field objects will tend to blur readily due to the slow video frame rate.

For this particular airframe, the optimum camera mount required a double layer of foam servo tape - 1/4" total thickness. This was slightly compressed using lengths of stout tape wrapped around the planes' fuse and camera.
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2004, 05:29 AM
  #4  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.



AP Ship #3 - Modelsport Hornet Micro-Heli. I was nuts thinking I could fly the PenCam on this micro Heli, especially with only a couple of months of basic hovering training.

I did manage to take two videos though, I'll have to revisit this platform someday.

Edit: This heli was given new life by conversion from the stock brushed speed 300 motor to a Hacker B20 B/L. Now that Lithium Polymer cells have proven to be a reliable power source for helis (and planes), I should be able to further reduce the AUW from the current 300 grams down to about 240 grams. This will offset the weight of the camera and allow it to fly as it should.

The initial camera mount was again solid to the landing skids using tape. Vibration of course was present and I started to experiment with a spring isolation method that yielded promising results.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Wu60148.jpg
Views:	4
Size:	30.4 KB
ID:	91374   Click image for larger version

Name:	Dy80385.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	21.7 KB
ID:	91375  
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2004, 03:03 PM
  #5  
Fubar-One
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Fubar-One's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Canyon Country, CA
Posts: 1,774
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

That is one hell of a cool shot of the SB-3D!

My AP ships are, so far:
Kadet Senior ARF carrying a 900mhz half watt wireless video system with a color CCD camera which is mounted on a servo allowing for fore and aft viewing.


My secong video plane (sort of) is an Ultra Stick 60 which, in this picture, is carrying an 800mw 1.2ghz video system with a BlackwidowAV Panasonic CX-161 CCD camera.

This system performed less than well and has since been replaced with a BlackwidowAV 200mw 5v system. Just ordered the Kokam Li-Poly 1020 2C pack with 5v reg from FMA to power it and will build a smaller more streamlined housing for system.

Almost forgot my original systems!
This (R.I.P.) was a Right Flyer 40T modified to carry a 35mm autofocus camera. Plane was a pig and the vibration effect ruined pretty much all the shots. Dont seem to have a shot of the plane handy but here is one of the shots:


This one is a Bowman Hobbies Super Scooter EPP combat sloper with my original Spylinker video system on board. Worked amazingly well for how cheap the system cost. Might be due to flying from a mountain top...
Fubar-One is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2004, 08:34 PM
  #6  
W4UAV
Senior Member
 
W4UAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 423
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

Today was the first flight of my latest "AP Ship". Its a Wingo from Hobby Lobby.
The thing flies great! It stood up to 15 mph winds and I got 73 pics from the Aiptek Mini 1.3
Pencam in one flight (on 1248x960 image size itll hold 73) The Wingo needed a little nose weight, the pencam
was just the ticket! Im flying it with the stock speed 400 and 5 X 5 Gunther prop powered
by Thunder Power 7.4v 2100 mah Li-poly pack, flew for 15 min while snapping pics.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Ay73901.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	84.9 KB
ID:	91581   Click image for larger version

Name:	Ql35067.jpg
Views:	5
Size:	55.6 KB
ID:	91582   Click image for larger version

Name:	Ot47464.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	51.2 KB
ID:	91583  
W4UAV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2004, 09:12 PM
  #7  
W4UAV
Senior Member
 
W4UAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 423
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

Heres a self portrait:
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Nl31113.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	39.4 KB
ID:	91590  
W4UAV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 04:24 AM
  #8  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

Hi Dan,
I've corresponded with a number of folks whom fly the Sig Kadet Sr. and love em. There is a flyer in my area who did an e-conversion and is thinking about getting a camera to do some AP with it.[sm=thumbup.gif]

I've got to try a wireless video set-up, it looks like a ton of fun!


Hi Mike,
Your Wingo looks great! Love your mounting method, nothing could be simpler...

The obligatory self portrait that has become a prerequisite from another board I see you've achieved. You are now qualified to snap at will! [sm=thumbup.gif]


Regards,
Roger
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 04:51 AM
  #9  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.



AP Ship #4 - Mountain Models Miniflash. Sticking to the theme of small and nimble, this plane was a handful! If it weren't for 'expo' and the reflexes I mustered from flying the heli I would never have been able to take pictures with this plane. But to just rip up the skies with this little beast was a blast! At 200 watts in (2.4:1 thrust to weight) this plane had no problems carrying two cameras. Yes you can gang up these cameras with an approximate 30° offset and take panoramas (you can still do panoramic shots with just a single camera as well).

I essentially used the same camera mounting method as with the SB3D, camera just in front of the wing - on the fuselage side and tape, tape and more tape.

At this time a fellow came up with the idea of using two camera simultaneously to take pictures and produced 'panoramic' images of excellent quality. The software that accompanied these cameras allowed for 'stitching' multiple images together with relative ease. Adjustments to image alignment as well as color, brightness, etc. could all be done in s/w.

I borrowed on his method and was able to take this panoramic, lining up the plane to take the shots required nothing more than careful planning and execution. I've described this method to others using this baseball diamond analogy...

You are standing at 'Home Plate'.
You fly the plane from 1st base towards home and snap when the plane is overhead.
Fly around and approach from the 2nd basemans position and repeat.
Repeat for the remaining infielders positions, snapping when the plane is overhead.

What you have achieved is a shot every 22.5° which can easily be stitched together to form a panoramic!

The second image was generated by a second camera placed side by side (no offset) with the first unit on the plane. This camera was modified as part of an experiment to improve on the cameras ability to shoot pictures in low light conditions. What I ended up with was a camera that was highly IR sensitive and I'll elaborate on that later.
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Nl28503.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	12.5 KB
ID:	91678   Click image for larger version

Name:	Xv64092.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	18.8 KB
ID:	91679  
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 05:47 AM
  #10  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.



AP Ship #5 - Mountain Models Tantrum. I guess you could say I really like the kits that Doug Binder produces...no this is not meant to be a plug (sorry).

What I really like about this plane is that it is larger than any of the others I've flown. It actually flies remarkably similar to the GWS Slow Stick that is becoming a predominant AP platform for numerous individuals. Here is where I began experimenting with a quicker means of camera attachment/repositioning. A single 1" piece of velcro was all I used to mount the camera to the plane, making sure that each time I mounted the camera that I wiggled it to ensure the velcro was fully meshed together.

There were a small proportion of distorted images due to prop/motor vibration but that turned out to be less than 15% of all the shots taken per sortie...not bad. I've been able to improve on that percentage by noting where on the throttle position that image distortion became prevalent and staying away from it while snapping a shot. What this means is that you can take 'power-on' shots, just not at a specific throttle position that excites the 'mode' of the camera/mount. A great way to determine this is by using the camera in 'live view'. By noting where image distortion occurs using this method you can quickly determine:

1) Whether your mounting method provides sufficient isolation capabilities.
2) Isolate where on the 'stick' you should stay away from when you snap a picture.

(Note: brain is now beginning to hurt...)

The following shots are from a small softball diamond located in the San Carlos hills above SF Bay - mid peninsula. It was such a gorgeous day out, too bad I got called in to work right after the first flight otherwise I would have more shots to share!
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Xv65690.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	84.8 KB
ID:	91683   Click image for larger version

Name:	Kf14334.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	101.8 KB
ID:	91684   Click image for larger version

Name:	Hf99139.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	62.3 KB
ID:	91685   Click image for larger version

Name:	Xs57945.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	25.7 KB
ID:	91686  
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 06:21 AM
  #11  
Wild Moose
Member
Thread Starter
 
Wild Moose's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 76
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.



AP Ship #6 - Mega USA Freedom 3D. This plane marks the beginning of my venture into the larger class. Quite a difference going from 16 oz. to 3.5 lbs! One of the things I found most surprising is that this plane will still slow down and float about much like the Tantrum. I've even had it 'coring' a thermal at a local field flying amongst my friends' NYX and Pike...unreal.

Despite the big prop (Hacker C40 swinging an APC 17x8 on 3S3P Lipolys) and vibration that was definitely present, I managed to get descent shots by mounting the camera with a thin piece (~ 1/16" thick) of medium density black servo foam...and more tape of course.

What is evident in mounting the camera, and paramount to yielding descent results is that you must maintain the camera with zero free play in whatever mounting scheme you use. If you can lightly touch your camera and it moves (does not return back to it's original position), then you need to 'tighten' things up. It won't take much and the results can be quite surprising.

Since the size of this plane is quite large (at least for me it is!) - 48" wingspan, I could now attempt some high altitude shots without fear of losing sight of the plane. Bigger is indeed better...[8D]
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Wu61565.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	43.4 KB
ID:	91700   Click image for larger version

Name:	Mh20899.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	91.1 KB
ID:	91701   Click image for larger version

Name:	Qv54422.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	82.3 KB
ID:	91702   Click image for larger version

Name:	Kd88939.jpg
Views:	7
Size:	14.9 KB
ID:	91703  
Wild Moose is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 01:38 PM
  #12  
helinewbe
Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Madison Heights, MI
Posts: 99
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

What kind of pen cam is that? I would like to put one on my Wingo. It looks like you have a direct link from the receiver to the camera? How is that done? Just looking for a simple set up to take some winter photos soon.
helinewbe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 03:22 PM
  #13  
W4UAV
Senior Member
 
W4UAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 423
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

The cam is an Aiptek Mini 1.3. You can buy one and send to have it modded,
or buy one already modded(this way best if you dont already own one):

http://home.att.net/~mechconsultant3/Order.htm

I love mine, I just connected the Backpack switch to an unused channel, set the trigger of the switch
on my transmitter, fly and take pics! Power comes from the receiver, so its even lighter because theres
no batteries in the cam!!!!

Flies great on my Wingo!!!
Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	Ax72860.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	111.4 KB
ID:	91814  
W4UAV is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2004, 04:04 PM
  #14  
mr.rc-cam
Senior Member
 
mr.rc-cam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: West Coast, CA
Posts: 536
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

That is a nice shot of the airborne Switchback!
mr.rc-cam is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2004, 10:23 AM
  #15  
HoboDog
Senior Member
My Feedback: (1)
 
HoboDog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Buckley, WA
Posts: 102
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

Your photos look great! Now I have to have one. Is this the right camera?
Aiptek Mini PenCam 1.3-Megapixel Digital Camera

Model: PCM13

If so it says it has 30 second auto shutoff to save the battery. What do you do about that?
Doug
HoboDog is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2004, 06:19 PM
  #16  
W4UAV
Senior Member
 
W4UAV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Gainesville, FL
Posts: 423
Gallery
My Gallery
Models
My Models
Ratings
My Feedback
Default RE: A.P. ships.

When you send it to be modded or buy one that is modded, part of the process is to
eliminate that stupid timeout, plus it runs off of your receiver power, so no batteries to save!
My advice is to order one already modded if Roger has them in stock.

Click on this link and look at the page:
http://home.att.net/~mechconsultant3/Order.htm
W4UAV is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service