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Archive for June, 2014

Flying Videos are a Pain

Posted by Tom Benedict on 24/06/2014

A couple of weeks ago I took my helmet cam, my Zagi, a tripod, and a beach chair, and climbed the cindercone south of Kua Bay. The footage I got from the last time I flew there convinced me that the Gopro does better on a tripod than on my head, so that’s where I put it. I used a Nokia N8 and my Canon A2200 on the helmet to do the tracking footage. The A2200 never really focused all that well, so I was left with the static Gopro footage and the tracking N8 footage.

It worked ok, but the more I try to make flying videos the less I find I enjoy the process. Trying to keep my head level (which I couldn’t) and tracking the plane (which I’m getting better at) took away a lot of the joy of flying the plane in the first place. At one point I took the helmet off so I could just have fun flying it instead of filming it. As it turns out that was a good thing since I wound up using that footage in the video.

After going through all the raw footage I started the long nit-picky process of choosing just the bits I wanted to show. I found a piano piece by The Fat Rat, edited the snippets to fit the music, and made a first cut. jimbo320 on RCGroups gave me some much-needed feedback that I used to further refine it. It’s not stellar, but it’s a beginning. The question is whether I want to pursue this any further, or simply have fun flying the plane.

Unfortunately toward the end my poor Zagi had one too many collisions with the rocks and the trees, and the covering on one wingtip ripped loose. I took it home, pulled all the covering off, and found I had cracked its main spar as well. I built a new spar with a thickened center section, filled the tear in the wing tip with Gorilla Glue, and replaced all of the torn biax reinforcement. I’m re-covering it with the same laminate I used the first time, but the artwork on the plane will be different. The old scheme was far too symmetric top to bottom, which made it difficult to tell orientation from a distance.

So this video is the last time you’ll see this color scheme on my plane. It’s probably also the last slope video I’m going to make for a while. Too much focus on cameras and too little focus on flying makes my poor plane feel like an abused chunk of styrofoam.

– Tom

Posted in Photography, RC Airplanes | Leave a Comment »

Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month… Dang, I Missed It!

Posted by Tom Benedict on 17/06/2014

I’m an utter dweeb. I completely missed Tourette Syndrome Awareness Month. It ran from May 16th until June 15th. And now? It’s June 16th. Yeah. Missed it by one… friggin’… day…

So here’s my belated post for TS Awareness Month!

Since I’m so late to the game this year I figure everyone else who’s writing about TS Awareness Month will have covered the basics: motor and vocal tics, the underlying neurochemistry, the genetics, etc. I’ll skip that part. I figure a bunch of other people have covered stereotypes, misconceptions, and all that jazz, so I’ll skip that, too.

Instead I’ll talk about movies! I like movies, and these are two of my favorites. Both touch on TS, though neither one ever mentions it by name. In fact, I doubt any of the people who made these movies even had TS on the brain (so to speak). When Hollywood film makers actually try to portray TS they tend to fail miserably. But when they come at it at an angle… Sometimes they get it right.

Movie #1: Star Wars

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be around someone with vocal tics, watch Star Wars. Any of the movies will do, but Episode IV is the classic. R2D2 tics like mad throughout the entire movie. Yeah, sure, sometimes he’s talking to C3PO, but most of the time he’s just ticcing away. (He’s also an utter smartass, especially to C3PO, but that’s a whole ‘nuther topic.)

The funny thing is when he and C3PO are bumming around the Death Star, R2D2 is ticcing non-stop up and down the halls. “Boop deep wop boink!” And none of the storm troopers bat an eye! It’s like the Empire just went through this massive round of sensitivity training or something and everyone is trying not to make eye contact. Meanwhile R2 and 3PO are busy sabotaging the computer system using R2’s sonic screwdriver. (Oops! Mixed metaphors!)

Those characters in the movie who didn’t get the Empire Sensitivity Training tended to fall into two camps: those who thought R2 was cute (Luke and Leia, mostly) and those who thought R2 was irritating (Han Solo, Uncle Owen, and, oddly enough, 3PO himself). R2 drove 3PO up the wall to the point that they parted ways for a time on Tatooine. But here’s the catch: R2 had to listen to himself 24×7. Welcome to the wonderful world of vocal tics. No matter how much someone with TS might bother you, you always have the option of walking off into the desert alone. The person with TS is relegated to listening to themselves until they’re zapped by Jawas.

Which brings me to…

Movie #2: Frozen

WARNING: Spoiler Alert

People sometimes ask me if I really have TS. My tics can be easy to miss if you’re not looking for them. It’s not because they’re particularly subtle. I just suppress like nuts in public. When I was a kid I couldn’t, and I stood out like a sore thumb. As I got older I learned how to hide them: Turn away so the person next to you doesn’t see your shoulder jerk. Hide your vocal tics in exuberant outbursts. Look down at your book so people don’t see your nose twitching and your eyes rolling off to one side. It’s not perfect, but it serves. Eventually people doubt that you have tics or figure you can stop them at will. Of course the next logical question is: If you can stop them whenever you want, why tic at all?

Why indeed?

The answer, of course, is that I can’t. I don’t really stop them. I hide them. Or minimize them. Or try to keep them quiet. Tics can be suppressed, but only for so long. They never really go away. Eventually things reach the breaking point and the tics come out on their own.

So what does all this have to do with Frozen?


For the first half of the movie she’s trying like crazy to suppress her tics. Society sees them as bad, so she begins to see them as bad. Her family consults experts (aka Trolls) and they tell her they’re bad. She hides from the people of Arendelle, from her family, even from her own sister. It’s not that she’s afraid she’ll be judged. She knows she will be. So when she slips up and the cat is finally out of the bag she runs off to the mountains, lets her tics loose, and…

Wait a second! She gets this friggin’ awesome ice palace up on top of a mountain, complete with her own sound track and wardrobe! When I let my tics loose I just get a sore throat and joint pain!

But I digress…

Eventually society catches up with her, drags her out of her own personal Utopia, and locks her up. I don’t want to give away the whole movie to anyone who hasn’t seen it, so I’ll skip to the end: People do finally accept her for who she is, starting with Elsa herself. I mean honestly, what’s not to like? She can freeze out invading fleets, summon ice monsters at will, and she’s an utter badass at impromptu ice sculpture.

Elsa’s character arc in Frozen is remarkably similar to how many people with TS adjust to their own diagnosis. Unfortunately our society hasn’t quite caught up with the people of Arendelle, who, in the end, welcome Elsa with open arms.

I bet we just need to work on our impromptu ice sculpture.

– Tom

Posted in Tourette Syndrome | 2 Comments »

IR KAP with the A2200

Posted by Tom Benedict on 16/06/2014

I finally got out to do some near infrared kite aerial photography with my newly converted A2200. Opportunities came up during the week to fly around town, but I punted on them in favor of returning to my camera proving ground: Anaehoomalu Bay.

Back in 2008 when I replaced my aging Nikon Coolpix 5600 with a Canon Powershot A650IS I tested it in town first. But I really put it through its paces at Anaehoomalu Bay. There are so many different terrains with so much varied texture, it’s a great place to see what a camera can do. Back then the A650 was clearly a step up from my 5600, and the photos at Anaehoomalu Bay really let the camera shine.

Where the Wind Comes from - Panorama

That first session with the A650 was great. So how did my first session with the NIR A2200 go?

In a word, frustrating.

To be fair very little of this was the camera’s fault. This time all the blame is on me. When we got there the wind was very light so I grabbed my 7.5′ rokkaku. By the time we’d hiked to where I wanted to do KAP, though, the wind was blowing. Rather than do the smart thing and walk back to the car for a different kite (or, better yet, the whole kite bag!) I put the 7.5′ rok up anyway. The kite was clearly over-powered. It was iron-bar flying all the way.

Within a few minutes I heard an approaching helicopter. Sometimes tour companies will overfly Anaehoomalu Bay, but nine times out of ten it means County Search and Rescue. These guys routinely fly below 500′, so I started hauling in line as fast as I could. Sure enough the County S&R helicopter came flying out from behind the trees. There are plenty of horror stories of kites and kite lines being hit by low-flying helicopters, but the County S&R pilots are some of the best I’ve ever run into. I’m pretty sure they knew the day I started flying kites at Anaehoomalu Bay and noted every day I flew after that. They flew over, came back, circled my kite once, and took off. The whole time I was taking in line, hoping I didn’t get caught in their prop wash. Without having tripped the shutter even once my arms felt like cooked spaghetti.

After the helicopter flew away I put the kite back up to a good operating altitude. Eventually I even start to take pictures, but for some reason nothing worked right! I’d used this camera for KAP before, but for this set of tests I was using a new card I’d just prepared that same morning. Of course none of my defaults were set up, so the whole setup was hosed. I’d forgotten the cardinal rule of… well… really of all photography: Do an end-to-end test of your gear at home before you ever take it out in the field!

Camera settings were wrong, things were blurry, the wind was gusty, but I did manage to get a couple of frames I thought might turn out ok. In frustration I finally landed all my gear so I could catch my breath. Within minutes the wind shifted 180 degrees, flipped my kite up and over, and dumped sand on all my gear. I dismantled the kite and started shaking the sand off my rig and camera. By the time I had everything packed the wind had shifted another three or four times and was blowing stronger than ever. I was glad to have everything back in the bag and ready to go.

By the time we’d hiked back to the car the wind was howling. Well out of rokkaku territory and well into Nighthawk speeds. It was clearly time to go.

When I got home I was pleasantly surprised to see that despite the helicopter, the blurries, the blown panoramas, despite everything, one frame did turn out.

Anaehoomalu Bay Infrared Aerial

I spent the next morning sorting out all the native Canon and CHDK options so the camera would do what I wanted. Then I repeated all those settings on my unconverted A2200. Next time I’ll be better prepared. And next time I’ll test everything at home before I head out!

– Tom

P.S. Next step: Mounting both A2200 cameras on the same KAP rig for 4-color photos!

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Yet More Experiments

Posted by Tom Benedict on 11/06/2014

Since I wrote New Experiments I’ve accomplished three out of four of my goals: My Gopro has a frame case and a remote video/power cable, so I can use it with the video downlink on my KAP rig and on my airplanes. I built a set of parts that let me move my KAP rig from various suspensions to a pole and back. And I built a helmet cam that aims remarkably well, though that’s still a work in progress. Of the set I wrote about in New Experiments only one is still on my plate: the OrangeRX Flight Stabilizer Hack. And it’s well underway at this point.

I honestly thought these would take more time! So rather than sit on my thumbs I came up with a new list:

Project 1 – OrangeRX Flight Stabilizer Hack

Yeah, still on the top of the list. I now have three stabilizers in hand, one of which has been flashed to the Open Flight Stabilizer firmware. Given the functionality of OFS I think it’ll be a drop-in stabilizer for a KAP rig. How well it’ll stabilize the rig still remains to be seen. And that leads me to:

Project 2 – Passively Damped Parallelogram Pendulum Suspension

This is a return to an earlier project I never finished working on. But the time served me well. I think I’ve simplified the design enough to make it straightforward to build. I also think I may have at least partially solved a long-standing problem with pendulums and Picavets alike: Taking out sway around the kite line. If this works then both fore/aft and side-to-side sway will be reduced and slowed down enough that an RC flight stabilizer might actually stand a chance of keeping the camera from rocking and rolling. Details to come.

Project 3- R,G,B,NIR Imagery from a KAP Rig

This is hardly news. I know a handful of people who are doing this or who have done it in the past. Scott Armitage, Chris Fastie, and I’m pretty sure Ned Horning have all done this. I’m just following in their footsteps. The two big fab items on this are a dual camera mount (done!) and a GentLED-CHDK Y-splitter cable so I can trigger two cameras at once (parts on order). The big purchase with this is a second Canon A2200 to replace… no… to augment the one I converted to NIR (already in hand!) This should come together relatively quickly.

Project 4 – KAP Gear Consolidation

In many ways my current KAP setup has brought me exactly where I’ve wanted to be for a long time: I can use a range of cameras on the same rig. I can get video feedback from all of them. Gear failures in the field are at an all time low. I can adapt my gear to whatever the circumstances require.

And my bag weighs like a brick! I’ve got more KAP goobers in my bag than I can count. Setting up a kite? No problem. Setting up my rig? It’s a maze of batteries, cables, antennas, oh my! I want to consolidate my gear to make it easier to carry and use.

The biggest changes on the rig will be moving the video transmitter, changing the antenna to a permanently installed cloverleaf with a radome, and neatening up all my cables to make life easier. But the biggest change will be to my transmitter: I want to rebuild the back of my video monitor so I can bolt a little hand unit to either side for either left or right handed operation. The hand unit will include a single joystick and button, as well as the RF board and antenna from my existing transmitter and either an Arduino Mini or Baby Orangutan board as the brains. If I build it the way I’ve envisioned, it should be about as wide as the joystick and about as long as the monitor. I think I can get the depth to match the monitor as well. Once it’s installed on the monitor the monitor and transmitter should make a nice neat ready-to-use package that should cut down on the amount of gear I have to carry by a good bit.

This is by far the most invasive project, and will be the last one I take on. But if the damped pendulum and the rig stabilizer work out, it’ll be a welcome change.

– Tom

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Rat Patootie

Posted by Tom Benedict on 09/06/2014

Saturday evening the kids decided they wanted to see Pixar’s Ratatouille. The last time we watched it I vowed that I would make ratatouille before we saw it again. Of course I never got around to it, so Rydra and I figured an even better thing would be to make ratatouille so we could eat it while watching Ratatouille.

More traditional recipes for ratatouille are chunkier, closer to a vegetable stew. But the presentation of the ratatouille in the movie is so nice we decided to go that route. Lo and behold, while searching for recipes I found a Disneyesque ratatouille recipe on

We didn’t have all the ingredients, but as a friend of mine from Marseille explained years ago, most of French cooking has its origins in peasant food. It’s what I call “fridge cleaner cuisine”. You use what you have. What we had was some onion, garlic, copious amounts of zucchini, and red yellow and orange bell peppers. And… the dreaded mandolin slicer.

Several years ago our mandolin slicer decided I needed to be taught a lesson.


And teach me it did! Fingers are not carrots! Don’t take the thing lightly. Like ever! I’ve been terrified of the mandolin slicer ever since. I’d love to say that I learned respect from this experience and came to a good solid mutual understanding with it. But nothing could be further from the truth. I’m still scared of that thing. (I made Rydra slice the vegetables!) Ever since that wonderful learning experience Rydra has referred to it as “the finger slicer”. Me? I call it the Devil Tool.

The ratatouille turned out well.


So did the movie. It’s just as much fun to watch now as when it came out. And this time we had food to match!

– Tom

P.S. That was the first time I got to apply a pressure dressing. When I went back for my EMR refresher course a year later the instructor asked if we got to use our training. I explained about chopping the tip off my finger and applying the pressure dressing one-handed. One of the other guys in the class, the head of security at one of the resorts, said, “Only time I’ve had to use a pressure dressing was when one of the cooks cut the tip off his finger with a mandolin slicer!” Um… Yeah… When I explained that’s exactly what happened everyone got a good laugh.

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Converting the Canon A2200 to Infrared

Posted by Tom Benedict on 06/06/2014

I finally broke down and did it: I converted my Canon A2200 to infrared.

I’d actually planned to this when I bought the camera. It was the whole point! But then when it finally arrived I played with it, took some pictures with it, and started to like it as a visible light camera. It was the camera I used the first day of WWKW 2014, and it was the camera I built my helmet cam around. I’d just about come to the point of admitting I was never going to convert the thing.

Then I saw the dust. When I zoomed all the way in (the way I use it on the helmet cam) I got a big dust smudge in the upper left corner. Bad enough that I had dust inside the thing. The dust was up where I would have sky in the frame regardless of whether I was doing ground photography or KAP! It had to go.

I used Ned Horning’s procedure on Public Lab to get me to the optics. Sure enough there was a big blob of dust on the inside of the IR blocking filter. I removed it, started to put the camera back together, and paused… I already had the camera apart. The IR blocking filter was right there. Put it back together sans dust? Or wait a day and put an infrared longpass filter in instead?

Normally a decision of that magnitude would’ve required a lot of soul-searching on my part. I really had fallen in love with the thing. Converting it ran the risk of permanently destroying the camera. If I cracked the camera’s IR blocking filter, there would be no going back. Should I? Or should I take the safer road?

Out of curiosity I hit Ebay and saw another A2200 going for $16. Oh heck yes! I clicked “Buy” and scrounged up a color negative film leader to use as a filter for my disassembled A2200.

The conversion went relatively smoothly. There were three tough spots I ran into: The first was getting the case off. Canon doesn’t make their compact cameras in a way that’s easy to disassemble. The second was removing the three screws that hold the detector onto the optics assembly. They’re painted over with varnish, which has to be cracked off. Only problem is that cracking the varnish off makes a gazillion little dust particles that need to stick to your optics! (THAT’S WHAT GOT ME INTO THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE! GRRRR!) Cleaning them up took time, but it was time well spent. The third trouble spot was finding a piece of film leader that didn’t have scratches on it. When the A2200 lens is zoomed all the way in it’s a fairly high f-ratio beam. This makes dust and scratches stand out like nuts. I went through a couple of film chips before I found a keeper.

Once the conversion was done I had to take it outside to test. I was going to our summit facility the next day so I grabbed my camera and took it with me. I had partly cloudy sunny skies to play with. Perfect!

Infrared Panorama of 10m Ridge

Ned Horning and Chris Fastie from Public Lab had warned me that white balance with a NIR converted camera was critical. So I white balanced mine off the tops of some nearby clouds: nature’s white cards. Then I walked to the other side of the building and made this panorama. I’m really pleased with how it turned out. It’s not the best test subject for a newly converted camera, but it worked. The air at 4000m of altitude has very little water vapor so it’s quite dark in the IR. There’s no vegetation up there, but the South Kohala Coast, visible just to the right of the rightmost telescope, is nice and glowy. Success!

During subsequent testing I found the upper and lower left corners to be a little soft. At first I worried that the optical thickness of the original IR blocking filter and my IR longpass filter were different enough to cause problems. The original filter is 0.32mm thick. Film, as it turns out, is almost the same thickness. Then I thought to check some of the visible light images I’d made with the camera prior to conversion. Sure enough the camera has soft corners on that side. Considering the heritage of the camera and the state it was in when I first received it, I expect it had been dropped several times in the past. I’m guessing the optics barrel is slightly out of position. I don’t think it had anything to do with the conversion.

The next step is to put this in the air. If the weather is favorable this weekend I’m planning to get out for some near-IR KAP. And when my second A2200 arrives I’m planning to build a two-camera mount for my KAP rig so I can do four-color photography. But that’s for another post.

– Tom

Posted in Photography | 2 Comments »

World Wide KAP Week 2014 Recap

Posted by Tom Benedict on 02/06/2014

I mentioned it a couple of times in earlier posts, but World Wide KAP Week 2014 just finished. Unlike a lot of annual “week” type events, World Wide KAP Week has no fixed time frame. Since good flying weather may start at different times of the year depending on where you are in the world, each year the dates are a little different so that no one spot on the planet gets the best conditions for WWKW. Some years it’ll favor those at more northern latitudes, other years it’ll favor those more in the south. This year it ran from Friday the 23rd of May until Sunday the 1st of June.

My WWKW started off great. One of my kids had an end of school year event at Anaehoomalu Bay, so I grabbed my KAP gear and brought it with me. I flew my Canon A2200, a camera I’d originally intended to convert to infrared. I probably mentioned it before, but I’ve had mixed results with the A2200 in the air. This time I think I finally got the issues sorted out. I came away with some good single frames and one really nice panorama.

WWKW2014 Anaehoomalu Bay Panorama

The next day I grabbed my gear and headed down to the anchialine ponds near the old village of Wainanalii. I wrote about this in another post. Just prior to WWKW I’d finished work on an aimable helmet cam. I tried using it to document my KAP session at the anchialine ponds with mixed results. Rather than fly the A2200 this time I had it mounted to the helmet running an intervalometer. But instead of coming back with a card full of stills the way I thought, I came back with a card full of three second movies made every five seconds. I’d left the camera in video mode! Regardless, the Gopro frames worked out well enough that I was able to de-fisheye some choice ones and put together a small set of photos for my blog post. The ponds were beautiful.

Golden Pools 1

I was weathered out Sunday and Monday (Monday was a holiday) so I didn’t get to fly until later in the week. In previous years I’ve taken time off from work for WWKW, but with everything else going on in my life I just couldn’t do it this time. In a way, though, I think that worked out ok anyway. I’ve been trying to do more KAP toward evening when the light is better, so this just forced my hand. Tuesday evening after work I drove down to the coast with my KAP gear and photographed Puu Kohola from the nearby harbor. KAP on that part of the island is always iffy, but for some reason everything came together this time. It was the perfect mix of good light, soft wind, and the best slack-line flying I’ve had in years.

Puu Kohola Panorama

The weather closed back in Wednesday, so I only got one other session in for WWKW 2014. Saturday and Sunday two of my kids were at a swim meet here in town. I asked permission of the organizers to do KAP over the event and was given the go-ahead. The wind was far from ideal and at one point the shear layer coming off some nearby trees caused a really nasty vortex that caused my kite to overfly and turn toward the ground. Rather than risk the safety of anyone at the event I walked everything downwind and finished up the session there. All of my KAP was done during a break in the competition, so when the whistle blew for the meet to get back underway I packed my gear down and went back to being a swim dad.

HPA Pool 1

Sunday afternoon after the meet finished I threw all my gear in the car along with my helmet cam, my Zagi 5C, my transmitter, and three coolers. It was time for the bi-weekly trip to Kona to go grocery shopping at Costco. But there are a couple of good spots to do KAP and slope soaring along the way, sooo…

By the time I got to the cinder cone at Kua Bay the wind was rocking. It was really too much for KAP, and as I learned a few years ago Kua Bay is inside the five mile radius of Kona International Airport. I looked at my KAP gear, looked at the plane, and… I parked by the cinder cone and grabbed my plane.

It felt a little weird flying a plane the last day of World Wide KAP Week. But in a way I’d already had the magic KAP session for the week photographing Puu Kohola. I didn’t want to end the week fighting a kite in that much wind. So I hiked up the cinder cone and had one of the best slope soaring sessions I’ve ever had. One flight lasted just over forty minutes. If I hadn’t brought it down so I could put on my helmet cam, I probably could’ve stayed up longer.

I even met a new friend while I was there. He was sloping a Radian – very different from my Zagi. So rather than getting helmet cam footage of me flying my plane, I videoed him flying his instead. When my cameras filled up I took off the helmet cam, picked up my plane, and kept going. (I did eventually make it to Costco.)

World Wide KAP Week 2014 was a fantastic kick in the seat of the pants. The past several years I haven’t been out doing KAP nearly as much as I used to. I probably did more KAP in those four sessions than I have all year. I came away with a broken kite (repaired Saturday), a broken video cable (repaired Sunday), a new pole head for doing pole aerial photography (built Saturday), and enough of a sunburn to remind me that hats only keep the sun off your face if you’re not looking up. Oh! And I came away with a lot of photos, some new spots to fly, and a smile I just can’t wipe off my face. I had a fantastic time. I can’t wait for World Wide KAP Week 2015!

Sunburn or no sunburn… Keep looking up!

WWKW2014 First Flight

– Tom

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KAP Rig to Pole Adapter

Posted by Tom Benedict on 01/06/2014

In my previous post I described some bits I’d made so that I could swap a rig from one suspension to another. I did this as the first step in getting into pendulum design. I needed a way to move my rig from a Picavet to a pendulum to whatever design I wind up testing so I can compare the performance of each. But even as I was making them I knew I wanted a mating part that would let me flip my KAP rig upside-down and mount it on a pole. Yesterday I got the chance to make the new pole head:

Pole Head

With a KAP rig most of the forces are axial: pulling up or down. With a pole rig the forces are mostly axial, but if for any reason the pole leans to one side the forces become radial: pushing out sideways, wanting to bend things. I knew the joints on the KAP adapters I made were plenty strong, but I wanted something a little beefier for the pole.

The core of it is one of the KAP adapter bits I’d made previously. The outer shell is the new part. It started life as a length of 1″ diameter 6061 aluminum. I bored out the bottom to match the depth and inside diameter of the original pole head. Once that was done I flipped it around. I turned the remaining outside diameter down to 0.6″ and put a 45 degree taper to transition between the narrow and wider parts. There’s a good bit of metal between the bottom and the taper at the top, so it’s plenty strong. Once the outside was done I drilled the inside 0.375″ to match the KAP adapter bits and drilled a #8 clearance hole between the upper and lower halves of the thing. The only step left was to cross-drill the lower half with a 0.128″ hole for the rivets. The original pole head had nice flats for the rivet heads, so I spotted each hole with an 0.250″ end mill to make a flat.

The 0.375″ hole on top is a close fit for the KAP adapter, but not so close that I had to force the part into place. I put some blue Loctite on the screw I used to secure it to the pole head, so it shouldn’t go anywhere. Once the head was pop riveted to the pole, the work was basically done. But I abuse my pole, and I knew the head would take damage if I didn’t do something to protect it. So I chucked up a piece of PVC pipe, faced off both ends, and used it as a cap. With the lock screw backed out just right, the cap is a snug fit and won’t fall off in transit.

I really wasn’t planning on pursuing this during World Wide KAP Week. Not with so many great places to fly. But weather is weather. Sometimes it cooperates, sometimes it doesn’t. The winds in town were gusting so I ducked into the shop to make this while I waited for conditions to improve. This morning the sun rose to a clear sky and almost zero wind. Here’s hoping there’s something to fly in this afternoon!

– Tom

Posted in Engineering, Kite Aerial Photography, Machining, Photography | Leave a Comment »