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Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

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Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Old 06-16-2005, 08:48 AM
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Ray44
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Default Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Greetings, For some time I've thought about taking some still photos but don't really know where to start.
Guess the only plane I have suitable for this is my old LT-40 w/OS 52. She does vibrate a tad.

1)What really really cheap camera that I can trigger easily would you folks recommend?
2)Is the LT-40 OK?
3)Is a Futaba 3004 adequate to trip the shutter?

I do have spare channel on my rec'vr.

Really Helpful would be some photos of a similar installation.

Looking forward to your suggestions.
Thanks,
Ray
Old 06-16-2005, 10:57 AM
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cwrr5
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Sure, it's actually very easy. An Lt-40 would be a great platform for AP, but you need to isolate your camera from engine vibes, or you will have blurry pictures-garanteed. I've always just used left over foam rubber(like for wrapping fuel tanks, receivers, batteries, etc) and rubber bands to mount mine in gas planes. You could also devise some slick rubber grommet/bolt combinations that would work well I would think. I like to use electric because I can just shut the motor off and not worry about vibration, then restart the motor in the air if needed. Setting the camera up for good pictures does take a bit of trial and error.

As far as actuating the shutter, a 3004 will work just fine, pretty much ANY servo will work fine. It doesn't take much to push the button. I like using micro servos, just to keep the weight down, but that should not be an issue on a .40 size trainer. Basically, you want to mount the servo to the top of the camera so it lays sideways(double sided tape works fine), and adjust the arm so it just pushes the button enough to take a picture when you flip a switch or whatever, but not get stuck or break the camera in the process.

When selecting a camera, you pretty much get what you pay for. I suggest going with a cheap digital from wally-world or somewhere for first attempts, then if you really get into it heavy, you can always upgrade. Apitek digital cameras are popular because you can modify them or buy them modified to just plug into the receiver without the extra servo, etc, and actuate the shutter electronically, and they're relatively cheap. Also most digital cameras now can take at least a little video. If you use a film camera, you have the cost of the film and processing, but the picture quality generally is better. Again, you get what you pay for.

Hope this helps some... See my thread "Some AP at the field" for an example of a camera - modified Apitek like I mentioned above. Also flew a Cannon Elph Lt for a while in a small Quaker, but don't have any pictures of that one.
Old 06-16-2005, 11:42 AM
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Ray44
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

CWRR5, Appreciate all the info it is a help.
I do want to stick with film even though like you say it's more expensive to have the file developed.
Reason being that the initial cost of camera will probably be cheaper.

Another thing I thought about is finding a cheap film camera that will auto advance the film, seems this would
be a must.

I'll keep searching around for info and see what I can come up with.
Thanks Again,
Ray
Old 06-17-2005, 01:06 AM
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randall1959
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Actually by the time you get film and the camera, for not a lot more you can get a cheap digital camera. Walmart has some really cheap ones on sale now that would fit the bill nicely and they are so much easier if you want to post your pics online.
Old 06-17-2005, 04:49 AM
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Nashcat
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Ray,
I went with a $17 digital cam from Wal Mart. I just wanted something to play around with and take a few pics of our flying field. I'm using it on a 3 channel Senior Kadet and use an extra channel for the shutter. The camera has a automatic 30 second shutdown, so I turn it on, take off, and take a pic about ever 20 seconds. It holds 20 pictures and I usually get a couple of good ones each flight. I'll try to post a pic of how the servo is mounted. I ran the shutter trip wire through a piece of balsa glued to the side of the cam for support and the servo is held on with velcro. This is about as cheap as it gets.

Nashcat

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Old 06-17-2005, 04:56 AM
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Well, I think I've finally gotten the image posting right, so here is a pic of our field that I took with the $17 camera.
Nashcat
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Old 06-17-2005, 07:46 AM
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Ray44
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Hi Nashcat, Wow thats exactly what I had in mind and its within my price range.
I was beginning to wonder if I could find a camera for a price like that & digital to boot.
So now a couple more questions:

What is the make/model of the camera?

Where on your Kadet did you mount the camera?

What do you have for an engine on your Kadet?

I think I'll make a trip down to WalMart this weekend.

Many Thanks,
Ray
Old 06-17-2005, 12:28 PM
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

That is PERFECT! Small, simple, and cheap. Exactly what I was suggesting.
Old 06-17-2005, 01:01 PM
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randall1959
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

I think they are carrying one a little above that one at Walmart now, around thirty bucks that has a lot more features like zoom and such and more choices in programming. It's also pretty small, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. If memory serves me correctly it's also an Aiptek, which is a very good brand of camera. I'll be at Wally World tomorrow and I'll try to remember to take my Nikon and get some pics of it and the model number and all that.
Old 06-17-2005, 01:56 PM
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

The camera that I bought at Wal Mart didn't have a brand name on the package, but the software that came with it says Aiptek. It wasn't on the display with the other digital cameras, but was hanging on a display with some cheap film cameras. I mounted it between the main gear on the Kadet, using some foam padding and rubber bands. It has to be accessible, in order to turn it on after the engine is running, plus removable in order to download the pics. I carry a laptop computer to the field so I can download the pics from the camera and make adjustments on the spot, instead of having to bring the camera home to download. I'm flying the Kadet with a Thunder Tiger 46 Pro, and didn't have problems with vibration. I usually bring it back to idle before taking the pics. The Kadet is 3 channel, with rudder and elevator on the right stick. I have throttle and camera on the left stick. I tried the camera servo on the trainer switch, but it seems to work better from one of the sticks, because you can activate the servo slowly. I'm not sure, but I think it gives the camera time to focus if the shutter is depressed slower. It could also be triggered slowly from a knob on the flap channel. Be sure to set your servo travel down to the minimum required for the shutter release so you don't bottom out the switch causing added vibration. While you're at Wally World, go to the sewing section and pick up a package of Velcro that is marked "industrial strength". It's great for holding the servo to the camera. You may also want to tie a string to the pocket clip on the camera to anchor it to the gear in case your rubber band mount comes loose.

Nashcat
Old 06-17-2005, 04:09 PM
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Ray44
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Greetings All, I just called around to three local Walmarts and best I could do was the $30 dollar one.
Sales lady said it was "Junk" and I told her "thats just what I'm looking for" guess she didn't think much of
my choice of cameras.

Now if I've got any spare servos left I'm in business.

It'll probably be next weekend before I get to try it out but when I do I'll post a couple of the photos
here............if I can figure out how to do it.

Your help has been really invaluable and is much appreciated.

Later,
Ray
Old 06-17-2005, 04:35 PM
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rcairplanenut
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Default RE: Help With Vry Inexpensive Still Setup Please

Hello,

I have done a lot of still photo work and this will probably be a repeat,

A 3003 has more then enough power to trigger the button on the camera the trick is to make sure that the travel only goes down enough to make it take a picture any more and you could damage you servo and camera. Using the retract channel usually works out good, if you have a computer radio you can slave the picture taking to a spring loaded switch and you can fine tune your EPA.

LT-40 is good MAKE SURE YOU DON’T POINT THE CAMERA OUT THE SAME SIDE THAT YOU EXHAUST IS ON! ( the oil spray will poop up your camera and make for blurry pictures)

If you are going to go with a film camera make sure you get one with auto advance so you do not have to land….forward…take off and get a picture. Wall Mart has some good auto advance 35mm cameras for under 40 bucks however developing film will get spendy after a while, you may want to consider a digital camera I have read good things about the atipec camera from wall mart it seems good. In general you would want to get and use the highest mega pixel you can for RC digital photography.

If you can, in general, mounting the camera on the inside of the fuse will result in less vibration, it is closer to the CG and there is no air turbulence. Isolate your camera with foam padding or rubber to reduce engine vibration even more. Also take a mental note as to what throttle positions on your TX result in smoother RPMs on your engine. When you take photos use these positions or go up high, cut the engine and take your photos on the glide down.


Hope it helps

SG
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