BASICS / CAMERA CRADLE /
DAVID HUNT May 9, 2002
(File Size 207KB)
You will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the link above.
You can download the Adobe Acrobat Reader Free here
One of the first KAPER articles was "KAP for under $20". It started with some brain storming about the direction to pursue, with the promise of more substance to follow. Now, finally, after 2 years there is the complete realized concept, with detailed assembly instructions. (Click the Link Above)
The show case of the rig is the Viscous Timer. The timer design comes from a airplane free flight page that a KAPER reader shared with me. I regret that I have lost the original email and the link to the site so I am unable to give the proper credit to the originators of this idea.
The total weight of the KAP cradle is 4.94 oz. (140g). Yes that's total weight suspended from the line, including disposable camera, viscous timer, picavet, and attachment hardware. (Actually the rig that I weighed had an extra 4 or 5 grams because of an extra length of dowel that I haven't bothered to trim off as indicated in the plans.)
If you click on the link at the top of the page you will be taken to the Acrobat file with the complete instructions. I wish to thank Peter Bults who kindly hosted the PDF file on his site for two years because my previous web provider did not allow PDF files on their server. Be sure to visit Peter's site Digital Encyclopaedia of Kite Aerial Photography
My original criteria set a limit of $20 US for camera, cradle and kite. This KAP system can be assembled for less than $20, but some creative procurement will be necessary. The cost may go over the limit because of the quantity of the materials that you may have to buy. A 20" X 30" foam core poster board costs $2.79 but you can make 30 cradles from one board. The smallest quantity of tongue depressors (Jumbo Craft Sticks), available at my local craft store, was a bag of 75 for $3 that's enough for 18 cradles. The same applies to the aluminum tubing and the Silly Putty® used to make the viscous timer, and the wooden dowel used on the center support.
If you calculate the cost of only the materials used, the entire rig is close to $6US including the camera. If you have to purchase some of the materials in quantities larger than you need the cost could more than double.
I have flown this rig with a cheap plastic 32" delta in 3Bft winds. I had to replace the flimsy plastic spreader with a wooden dowel because in a strong wind the plastic spreader would bow until it popped out of the brackets. I noticed that Into The Wind has a 52" Delta for less than $10US and this would be more than enough kite to lift 5 ounces of KAP rig.
The Cheap GalleryThis is a sampling of my first roll of film with the cheap rig.
I've included both good and blurry pictures to demonstrate that a disposable camera's shutter speed is very slow. If the shutter is tripped when the rig is swinging then the picture will probably be blurred. Take multiple pictures of the same subject to increase your chances of getting a non-blurred picture like my favorite picture below.