The View Up Here

Random scribblings about kites, photography, machining, and anything else

An Overabundance of Projects

Posted by Tom Benedict on 15/03/2012

A couple of things have come up recently that sparked a whole slew of projects at home. Unfortunately I’m also right in the thick of a major project at work, so I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. But… such is life.

One of the projects is a change to the 6WD camera project I was working on late last year and the first part of this year. We’re trying a change in the camera mount that will lower the center of gravity and give the operator much better options for pointing the camera. This will mostly be accomplished using components from Brooxes, so it’s right up my alley. Back in my happy place! The only non-Brooxes component I’m planning to use are a set of Servo Blocks from Servo City.

Servo Block Built

This is a component I’ve been itching to play with for some time, so again, I’m back in my happy place. One question I want to answer is whether a single metal geared servo and a set of Servo Blocks components can be used to build a HoVer axis on a KAP rig. I think the resulting axis will be lighter and have less end play and angular play than the HoVer axis I built out for my A650 rig:

Subtle as a Dump Truck

I miss having the HoVer axis on my DSLR rig. My hope, of course, is that I can add a third axis to my DSLR rig. Of course this will add weight, but… such is life. My only concern at this point is the height of the unit and the space requirements the DSLR puts on the rig. It might simply not fit. Only one way to find out!

All of this would’ve been enough to keep me going for a while, but then I saw this on Flickr from fredkap88:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredkap88/6969184721/

It’s a really cool self-contained AutoKAP rig where all the electronics fit up inside a rotating enclosure that’s part of the pan axis. It’s a super clean design. Looking at the video of it moving, I expect it’ll be a real joy to use in the field. Seeing it just got the designing gears going again!

There are a couple of real advantages to having a dedicated rig like this for panoramas. The first is that you can shave every unnecessary gram from the rig and camera. The second is that operationally, things become much more simple and much more repeatable. It’s possible to do panoramas with a conventional general-purpose KAP rig, but it requires fair attention to detail to make sure there is sufficient overlap between frames, that the overall coverage is sufficient, etc. With a dedicated rig, panoramas just happen. The real joy is picking out the best of the best once everything is back on the ground.

Coming right on the heels of this, I might have the opportunity to work with someone who has a potential market for aerial panoramas. So there’s some motivation to see what I can do in the short term rather than leaving this on a back burner the way I sometimes do.

I’m taking the next four days off. Some of that I hope to spend doing KAP at more photogenic locations than I’ve been in the habit of visiting recently. Certainly a good bit of that will be spent working on the modifications to the 6WD camera project. But a good bit of that will also be given over to rig development for doing panoramas with my T2i. I hope to have good things to share later in the weekend.

– Tom

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One Response to “An Overabundance of Projects”

  1. Better busy than idle eh? Keep us posted!

    B

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