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Old Oct 31, 2004, 05:09 PM
Registered User
Nr Windsor, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Aug 2004
470 Posts
Help with my first AP set-up

Hi guys

I have only recently been following this forum for a few weeks but love the pics and think that AP seems really good fun....so I have brought a (v) cheap Aiptek 1.2mp mega cam but now have a couple of choices which I could really use your help with...

First what aircraft to use - I guess it should be slow and steady but I don’t really have such a thing in the hanger. My choices at the moment are:

1) Use a Scorpio Threedee...this is a high wing aerobatic. Reasonably small aircraft…it is brushless and lipo powered and so should have plenty of performance to take the camera. I could v easily strap the camera to bottom of the aircraft without upsetting the c of g...I guess it would be prudent to use dual rates...but not really sure how stable it will be as a camera ship.

2) I have an old excite flying wing (v much like a zagi)...but this will have to use a brushed set-up and I guess might struggle to gain height.

3) Invest in a slow stick...this seems aircraft of choice in these pages? I have spare typhoon 6 motor…do you think this would be suitable?

The other question is now that I have the Aiptek, how do I take airborne pics with it??????????

I have figured out that I can use a servo to operate the shutter (I realise I might be able to get various electronic switches to do this but am appallingly bad at rigging up anything too complicated!) but the camera turns itself off after 1min. To turn it back on I have to press a fiddly button on the camera which I would not be able to do if the aircraft is in the air. Other than use a timer of some sort to remind me to take a pic every 59secs what do you guys suggest?

All advice gratefully received!!

Regards

Roger
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 05:21 PM
SlowStick Test Pilot
patrickegan's Avatar
Yumastan RCAPA.NET
Joined Feb 2003
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I can’t help with the wing thing. You can buy a switch for the camera or use a servo. The slow stick is a great platform you can use the stock 400 motor and the next thing you know you’ll be spot on!
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 05:30 PM
All posts Copyright '07
Joined Sep 2004
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Tips..

I am probably three weeks ahead of you in terms of experience. I bought the Slow Stick, mounted my camera on a homemade mount, hooked the shutter to a servo using a control rod and a small bolt. Just got my first pics today. My camera has the same problem - 1 minute auto-off. I just kept taking pics. I used the flash so I knew when I got a picture.

Out of 89 pictures, about 6 were good. Of the bad ones, half were blurry, and half were clear but framed improperly.

My tips from one sortie:

Use the flash if you have it. Validates you are taking pictures.

Shoot tons of pictures.

Tilt your camera down to avoid the wing in the picture.

If you have a six channel receiver, program the servo on a switch. I have the Optic 6 and it is like taking a picture.

Zip ties are really strong!
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Rochester Hills, Michigan, United States
Joined Oct 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abqlloyd
My tips from one sortie:

Use the flash if you have it. Validates you are taking pictures.
I would think this would make your pics worst. The exposure(i.e. shutter speed) is going to be set based on what your camera thinks is available for light. A flash is good for 15-20 feet tops, so with AP, it is no good. So if your camera thinks the flash is doing something (like increasing the available light) it may reduce the shutter speed, and since the flash in the case of AP is not increasing the available light, you end up making your pictures worse as you slowed the shutter speed and blured your pics.

--Scott
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 07:08 PM
Did You Hear That?
wattnoise's Avatar
Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 2003
2,152 Posts
The airplanes you have might do fine... The Aiptek is light enough that it wouldn't hurt to try them first... You can attach a weight equivalent to the cam/mount/servo set-up that you come up with and test their capabilities without endangering your cam...

Alternatively, the Slow Stick is a good choice and can handle many different kinds of power modifications... You may find that you do not need to do a motor change if you build it light... Try it stock and work from there...

The Aiptek Mega Pencam was my first cam and is still used for certain photoshoots that I do... Mine is the same with the servo shutter trip as well - I just take a pic every 30 seconds or so... After a little practice you'll get plenty of shots that you meant to get...

Try to make a mount that will look out at a shallow angle down - not straight down... You'll be much more pleased with the results... Also, the Pencam shoots landscape orientation when upright - not on it's side... A little trickier to get a mounting set-up for it but not hard to do...

This first link is a closeup of the servo trigger/mounting plate for my Aiptek...

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=25

This is the final incarnation of my Aiptek mount looking rearward on the SS... Works good - whichever way the tail is pointing is what you get a shot of... Less motion blur, too...

http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185523

Finally, do a search for focusing the Aiptek internally - it's very simple and your photos will be great... Powerful little cam...

Watt Noise?
Kevin
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dreslism
I would think this would make your pics worst. The exposure(i.e. shutter speed) is going to be set based on what your camera thinks is available for light. A flash is good for 15-20 feet tops, so with AP, it is no good. So if your camera thinks the flash is doing something (like increasing the available light) it may reduce the shutter speed, and since the flash in the case of AP is not increasing the available light, you end up making your pictures worse as you slowed the shutter speed and blured your pics.

--Scott
Good point. On my 3 year-old Fuji, however, its not that fancy. Flash on, flash off. Simple as that. Fixed aperature, fixed shutter speed.

Now if I could get my digital SLR in the air..I would agree with you 100%. Any thoughts on how to get 4 pounds on the bottom of a SS?
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Old Oct 31, 2004, 07:47 PM
Did You Hear That?
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Tucson, Arizona
Joined Aug 2003
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Just a note - if we're truly talkin' about the Aiptek Mega Pencam as seen in the threads I posted - it doesn't have flash...
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Old Nov 01, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Nr Windsor, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Aug 2004
470 Posts
Thanks chaps!

I think I will try the Theedee first...will crack on with the camera mount tomorrow after work with the aim of getting some shots at the weekend...from where I flew I am hoping to get the river thames at runnymede, and maybe if I can knife edge and shoot a photo (!) a glimpse of Windsor Castle to the east and Heathrow to the west...actually, I will be satisfied with a half decent pic of the field!!!!

Regards

Roger
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Old Nov 01, 2004, 06:53 PM
Space Glider Project
Tristar500's Avatar
Greensboro, NC
Joined Feb 2004
186 Posts
Invest in a slow stick...... It's a $35.00 plane!

Seriously though, I would highly recomend the SS. It's a real workhorse, forgiving, easy to modify and cheap. Did I mention very stable?

I love mine, all three of them.

Here's a pic from todays shoot.
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Old Nov 03, 2004, 04:12 PM
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Nr Windsor, Great Britain (UK)
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Aaaagghhhh...cant get the camera software to install on my computer...anyone else have problems getting Aiptek set up on XP?
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Old Nov 03, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Denver Arapahoe, Colorado, United States
Joined Dec 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodgie
Aaaagghhhh...cant get the camera software to install on my computer...anyone else have problems getting Aiptek set up on XP?
The software won't actualy install, or the camera won't? If the manager software is installed, but doesn't detect the camera, follow these stpes.

After running the setup, reboot.
If the "Found new hardware" wizard doesn't pop up, right-click My computer. If it does pop up, then skip this section below.
-- Skip --
Choose "Properties".
Click the "Hardware" tab.
Click the "Device Manager" button.
Find the USB device with the exclamation next to it. There may be two, one for video and one for pictures.
Right-click it/them and choose "Update Driver".
-- Skip --
Let the wizard search the Aiptek CD.
Click any continue messages you receive about a non-signed driver.
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Old Nov 04, 2004, 03:44 PM
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Nr Windsor, Great Britain (UK)
Joined Aug 2004
470 Posts
Gary

Thanks v much...in a fit of temper last night I chucked the camera in the waste paper bin, but thanks to your post I have managed to sort out installation and now the camera is strapped upon my Threedee awaiting its first sortie! Unfortuately work will interfere with my plans tomorrow so am planning my first AP trip on Saturday morning.

Thanks again

Roger
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