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Old 11-26-2007, 08:18 AM   #1
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Default My Slow Stick Camera Mounts for AP - AV

When I first started AP using my Slow Stick I made a camera mount from wood mostly just to have a place to mount the servo for the shutter and used rubber bands to attach it to the front of the landing gear. Very crude but it worked.

Later I made a "better" camera mount from foam board from wally world - reinforced it with a coat of epoxy for strength and it worked even better!

Hard landings made me make longer and stronger landing gear. Camera was a lot of drag on the front of this landing gear. Bigger motor! From a TP 2410-09 to a TP 2409-18.

Needed a new camera mount with more down angle to aleviate the diving to take closer pictures!! New mount made from blucor with angle built in. New landing gear had axel so camera mount was moved here for expediancy. What a drag!! Takes 5 minutes to climb to a decent altitude for pictures and then a couple to get into position - then only a few shots before time expires and landing is required. The first five minutes of climbout is at almost WOT. Not good. Change is needed soon!!

Need a BIGGER motor - not a lot bigger but 200 watts I think. I have a Electrifly 35-30-950 so I bolt it up to a GWS stick mount and here we go!! Also need a better camera mount that will allow me to get the camera up under the wing and allow for better pictures - maybe some straight down shots from overhead and also mabe some side shots when necessary. Hmmmmm. OK I'll have to design a mount that will work for all of those and not require a complete rework every time I want to make a change!

So here is my new design. It is constructed from polycarbonate - plexiglass. 18 X 24 sheet at Home Depot was $6.98. I cut it into strips 1.5 and 2" wide respectively. Then cut these into peices for sides, tops, and bottom peices. I dremeled out the top peices to fit my Canon cameras. I use two cameras. A S200 and an S400. The S200 is 2.1mp and the S400 is 4.0mp. I actually have two Slow Stcks also each with the same mounts so that either camera will work on either plane - backups you know!! Anyway the mount consists of a simple tabbed peice which is attached to another tabbed peice in a cross fasion and then attached under the wing to the stick using servo mounts. This "cross" allows the mount to be used for either side, straight down in either direction, or forward or backward views for the cameras and can be changed in a matter of seconds without even unplugging the servo! See attached pictures. I was just so happy when I got these made up that I thought I would share them with others. The cameras are attached via the tripod mount and very close fit on the top "zoom" dial. Very secure. Well anyway here are the pics!!


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Old 11-26-2007, 08:21 AM   #2
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After all that I needed more wing area as the glide ratio of my little slow stick was too fast! AUW approaches 38oz! So I clipped off the last 1.5" of the wing and added a blucor 6mm extention of 11" on each side - total WS now is 60"!!

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Old 11-26-2007, 08:25 AM   #3
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OK - pictures are in order!!


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Old 11-26-2007, 08:29 AM   #4
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OOps - pic of the finished wing!!


Flies much better now carrying all that weight!!

Hillbille


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Old 12-06-2007, 09:30 AM   #5
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I just wanted to add a few more pics as I think it will be better explaned if illustrated.


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Old 12-06-2007, 10:23 AM   #6
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Also I thought I might add that this Slow Stick with a modded wing flies GREAT!! It has an AUW of between 36 and 42oz. depending on camera and battery choice. It will lift off in about 12" or less dependent upon the breeze and the pilot.

I started off with a wood camera mount rubber banded to the stock landing gear - worked but also created a lot of drag. Landing gear got longer and the camera seemed to get lower - lots of drag! Stock SS with a TP2409-18 pulling a GWS DD1080 prop at WOT would take about 5 minutes to get to 600ft.! Not good at all. My little 3s1p 1500 were not fairing well under this load not to mention the fact that the motor was at it's limit too! Need more motor - bigger batteries for more power - or need to reduce the drag and increase the lift!

I made a wing from blucor. Shaped into an undercamber by scoring the leading edge 3" back every 1/2" and then bending/shaping over the kitchen countertop edge until I had the shape I wanted. Two sections 30" long and 12" chord with 26" carbon fiber tube on the leading edge and 12" carbon fiber tube on the trailing edge joined with a 6" piece (each edge - leading and trailing) of 3/32 music wire bent to about 4 degrees of angle for dihedral. The wire was coated with epoxy and inserted into the carbon fiber tubes and then the tubes were coated in epoxy and wrapped with strips of Scotch Extreme Packaging tape. Very strong wing and I was amazed that it needed no struts. I tested it in a 20mph wind with a full load - old non working camera on maiden (Canon S400 damaged in "hard" landing - all pictures now are PINK - I should send it to CHELLIE!!) and a 3s1p 2150 15C battery. Took off in 0 inches!! (wind!). Flew to about 200 ft. and then made several tight turns in the wind - wing still ok - stress test - full throttle and full up - loop - wing didn't even flex - full throttle and a little dive for some extra speed and then full up - LOOP - wing is solid as a rock - so land and I have a new wing for my slow stick.

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Old 12-06-2007, 10:27 AM   #7
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So now I had a modded SS and a stock SS. The stock SS quickly became my "back-up" plane as I only flew the new wing. But I wanted a REAL backup plane so I started looking at the regular SS wing to see if it could be easily modded. It can and that post is above.

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Old 12-06-2007, 11:32 AM   #8
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wow

mow i am a little embarrassed about my paint stir stick and hot glue design...

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Old 12-06-2007, 01:53 PM   #9
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As soon as our SS is flying again (need to put different servos on) I want to do some AP with it.

Thats a slick camera mount. I like. You just have the servo on Ch 4 for shutter operation, or do you have a switch on the TX for a different Ch?
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Old 12-06-2007, 01:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
wow

mow i am a little embarrassed about my paint stir stick and hot glue design...
Don't be!!! What you've created (after we're all done "picking" on you...) is what this hobby is all about Fred. You've done nice work, don't kid yourself. I had the opportunity to fly your short bus (I think that's the name right?) as soon as I got out of my truck, and it flew just fine... I still need to see some of the videos from that day though...

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Old 12-06-2007, 05:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pburt1975 View Post
As soon as our SS is flying again (need to put different servos on) I want to do some AP with it.

Thats a slick camera mount. I like. You just have the servo on Ch 4 for shutter operation, or do you have a switch on the TX for a different Ch?
I used CH. 4 for many a picture. In fact I tried it both ways (moving the stick in or moving it out) to snap pictures - in was the best for me as I tended toward a firm "grip" on my radio - much like you will see people who appear to be trying to tear a joystick apart when playing a game - that's me!! LOL!!

I now use the "Gear" channel on my 6EX radio - it's positive - and takes a picture every time! BTW - the mount can be made to fit any camera of any size!!

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Old 12-06-2007, 05:17 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post
wow

mow i am a little embarrassed about my paint stir stick and hot glue design...
Hey Fred - Yeah I build one of your wood ones first - great idea by the way - I had nowhere to really "mount" it so I used rubber bands to affix it to the landing gear. Worked great for a long time and I built/rebuilt 5 of them (hard landings - don't ask - LOL!!) at varying angles. This is essentially the SAME design - just made from plexiglass cut into strips instead of a stir stick.

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Old 12-06-2007, 06:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by hilbilly View Post
Hey Fred - Yeah I build one of your wood ones first - great idea by the way - I had nowhere to really "mount" it so I used rubber bands to affix it to the landing gear. Worked great for a long time and I built/rebuilt 5 of them (hard landings - don't ask - LOL!!) at varying angles. This is essentially the SAME design - just made from plexiglass cut into strips instead of a stir stick.

Hillbille
I had extended the sticks beyond the top of the camera, and drilled holes so a dowel would go through both. The dowel was a little longer on each end, and I was able to wrap my rubber bands around the dowel to the SS fuse. real simple, but it worked. I had also made a mount on the front, for perpendicular carrying. It was another paint stick, mounted to the frame. It had two holes, one on each end. On the other mount, i glued a couple vertical dowels, and they slid into the holes on the fuse mount. I then wrapped my rubber bands around that, and viola, forward facing mounting.

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Old 12-06-2007, 06:51 PM   #14
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Yep - exact same idea but different use. I did the dowel thing too - but used them to allow rubber banding to the front of the landing gear,

This new mount is the same "principle" of the dowel interlock but uses end tabs and a slot system. Fairly easy to make and cheap too! One sheet (18 X 24") of polycarbonate (lexan) from Home Depot was $7.00. None of the "strips" are more than 2" wide so I have lots of them!!

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Old 12-06-2007, 07:14 PM   #15
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I liked it, I might even try using it.

The material might come in handy in some other applications too. I would have to check it for weight vs strength as well as it's advantages of being clear...

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Old 12-07-2007, 07:55 AM   #16
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Just curious, do you have a weight for the casing? that's pretty slick. I've been flying with a SD 400 attached to the front of a GWS E-starter. So far I've only been shooting video, but I definitely want to make the move to AP. Right now I'm happy with my forward facing mount because it works pretty well, but it definitely does not provide any protection for the camera (though the plane would have crash in an inverted fashion to directly impact the camera). Nonetheless, a high speed nose in crash would probably still rip the camera loose and send it rocketing forward. As I spend most of my time flying in hilly, often rocky terrain, having some layer of protection is an appealing idea. Further compelling me along this track is the increasingly top gun nature of my flying.... it creates cool video, but someday I'm going to run out of envelope to push and auger squarely into a pine tree or rock outcropping (or collide with a curious red-tailed hawk - almost happened once). A new E-starter slope glider kit is only twenty-five bucks but a camera is a wee bit more (and it's on loan from my girlfriend.... don't worry, I'm looking for a used one to buy off of ebay.)

This gets me to my second question, do you like the SD400 for AP? I have only snapped a couple shots with it on the ground and they seem pretty decent (very little chromatic abberation). The reason I ended up with this camera is because my girlfriend had dropped it into a lake and said aquatic escapade had rendered it semi to non-functional (the sound of the lens extending was horrible... like it was lubricated with sand.) Having given up on the camera, she said I could have it. Strangely, and in a complete inversion of the overriding maxim of this hobby - the movement of all things mechanical toward an expensive breakdown/destruction - I believe that putting the camera on my plane has actually restored to it full working order as (I hypothesize) the vibration from the brushless motor jostled all the sand out of the zoom mechanism. It no longer jams or flashes the error message. Consequently, I feel like I should give the camera back so I'm now looking for a used one on Ebay. The only thing with her camera is that the pictures are a little foggy. I have a feeling that this is because lake water coated the inside of one of the lens elements (which I can't clean), but it could be something endemic to the SD400. Are you happy with the quality of the photos from your SD400?

sorry for the long post... I've got runaway keys.
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:52 AM   #17
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Actually I use an S200 and an S400. These are the lesser cousins of the SD's.

But to answer your question yes I do like the quality of the pictures.

Go here: http://www.bakehead.com/barstow_calico.htm

These are most of the pictures I have taken since I started AP. Look at the pics and then come back here and comment if you want. The mount really doesn't weigh all that much - I'll weigh it (with and without camera) and post the results here in the morning.


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Old 12-07-2007, 03:26 PM   #18
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The mount with a 9g servo is 2.1oz, the camera with tripod mounting screw in the mount is 10.1oz.


Hillbille


And this IS the paint stick HG mount - only I used lexan and hot glue!!


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Old 12-07-2007, 08:57 PM   #19
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very nice....im still using the old standby paint stir stick mount.

AP Plane: Brushless Slowstick
Camera: Canon A570 IS
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Old 12-19-2007, 10:54 PM   #20
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Updated with more pictures!! I am terrible with explanations and hope the new added pictures will answer some moe questions about the plane and the mounting system. The plane is extremely stable and has been up to almost 17** feet so far (those straight down pictures are HARD to get full views!!).

The modified SS wing works as well if not better than the wing I built from blucor. I added a few pictures of the plane in flight with the modded wing taking pictures. I might add (LOL!!) that some of the best pictures I have taken are close-ups of my feet!! I usually confirm that the camera is on and the shutter servo is working before a flight along with the contro; surfaces check. Lots of closeups of my tennis shoes!! LOL!!


Hillbille :p

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