Where do I start? - RC Groups
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Dec 10, 2003, 12:42 AM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar

Where do I start?

GWS Slowstick, SoarStar, and Wingo are the most commonly used planes for AP.

For the SlowStick, you can get by with the stock 300 motor, but it won't last very long if you run it hard with 8 cells. A better bet is to upgrade to a speed 400 motor with an F or G gearbox, or a brushless motor.
You can buy the S400 and gearbox here:

Best bang for your buck has to be the Slow Stick. $35 and needs very little modification. Can haul cameras up to 5 or 6 oz, although 3 ounces is a reasonable limit without a brushless motor and reinforced wings.

Aiptek mini pencam (1.3 Mega)
Aiptek SD (1.3 Mega) accepts SD memory cards
Mustek GSmart mini3 is 2 megapixels
Pentax Optio S4 - 4 megapixel cam
Nikon 3700 - great for stills or smooth video

Check this thread for more about cams:
Great cams for aerial photog

Usually folks start off by fashioning a camera mount that allows the shutter to be pressed by a mini servo. Some simply glue a servo to the camera body.

A better and increasingly common solution is an electronic switch that is soldered into the camera and plugged into the receiver.
The Aiptek and Mustek can be fairly easily adapted to an electronic switch. Check these threads:
RC-CAM's switch
Michele switch
Switch by Smokey Rotor

(no longer available Wild Moose's SMT Backpack switch)

The Optio S4 can be triggered using an IR switch made by MX.

Camera mounting options: Check these threads...
Aiptek SD mount
Optio S4 mount
Mustek mini3 mount

This is a fresh start on THIS THREAD.
Last edited by RMihara; May 18, 2006 at 07:15 PM.
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Dec 10, 2003, 01:37 AM
Aerial Shutterbug
RMihara's Avatar
Hi Steve,

Please add the following to the Aipteks Stats on your 'Great Cams' thread...

Mini 1.3
1.3" x 1.22" x 3.54"

Image Capacity:
1248x960- up to 50 pictures
640x480- up to 160 pictures

Recycle time (time between shots):
approximately 2-3 seconds.

3.9" x 1.7" x 1.4"

Image Capacity:
1280x1024 - up to 10 pictures with built-in 8 MB memory
640x480 - up to 40 pictures with built-in 8 MB memory
200-300 with a 128 MB SD disk.

Recycle time (time between shots):
approximately 0.5 seconds.

Dec 10, 2003, 09:19 AM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Difference between the Aiptek mini pencam and the pencam mega?

Last edited by Steve Nolan (eBird); Dec 15, 2003 at 11:55 PM.
Dec 26, 2003, 04:35 PM
Registered User
rikks's Avatar
Should the camera be mounted away from the motor?

Will the motor mess up the signal?
Jan 01, 2004, 10:06 AM
Registered User
Andy W's Avatar
No, but the motor must be off when you take pictures (or severe image distortion will show up in your pictures)..
Jan 04, 2004, 12:11 AM
Registered Boozer
Ralph_D's Avatar
Originally posted by Andy W
No, but the motor must be off when you take pictures (or severe image distortion will show up in your pictures)..
Not necessarily true. My first mount was made of foam and it did cause the distortion but my latest mount, below, is on solid and allows me to take shots at full power with no distortion.

Jan 09, 2004, 08:01 AM
Gustavo Exel
gustabmo's Avatar

Camera memory

Make sure you get a camera with lots of memory, or at least one that takes memory cards so you can buy a larger card later.

It's very frustrating to be limited to 20 or 30 pics per sortie, as even the pros here admit that the secret behind AP is to take lots of pics and sort out the better ones.

Try to get enough memory to be able to hold at least 100 pics, and, obviously, use it! Take lots of pics... shoot several times aiming at each of your subjects to increase the chance of getting a really good pic of each one.

Jan 21, 2004, 09:55 AM
Thanks Dad!
RacerPaul's Avatar


Can you tell me what mods and setup you are using?



Who is Scooter Motique?
Feb 23, 2004, 10:44 AM
Registered User
Is anyone using gas power for AP or is there just too much vibration? What acft models work best? Mounting systems?
Apr 23, 2004, 12:47 AM
Registered User
Medve's Avatar
OK guys, I headed over to my LHS (Aeromicro) to get a Lite Stick. I am having trouble finding the mods for it on here though. Is it under foamies, AP, Park Fliers, or which?
Also, has anyone tried those pinhole video cams off ebay? Any good?
Apr 23, 2004, 07:59 AM
Registered User
Kyle G.'s Avatar
Originally Posted by Medve
OK guys, I headed over to my LHS (Aeromicro) to get a Lite Stick. I am having trouble finding the mods for it on here though. Is it under foamies, AP, Park Fliers, or which?
Also, has anyone tried those pinhole video cams off ebay? Any good?
pinhole cameras... i bought one, about $50 dont waste your money. image is ok, have to "retune" it ALOT which means loosing your picture and what not. my dad is thinking about maybe adding a resistor i think its called so there is a constant signal comming back and maybe it wouldnt have to tune it that often. needs a lot of light too so i wouldnt i would save up for a nice quality one from like black widow AV
Apr 23, 2004, 12:56 PM
3D Flyer
skysthelimit's Avatar
How do I adjust the resolution on the camera it self i am running 1280x1024 because i can get 10 pictures on the built in memory. i was flying the cammera on my 3d foamy but the battery I was running was light so the weigt didn't bother me sincei run a 4 oz lithium anyway 3s 2p but my apl battey went out after just a could flights no big thing because we build are own batteries. but I can't get another cell to go with the other. Long story short I can't get another cell to fix the bad one. The small batt. was used for ap but lost the light one. So i ahve to use the 3s 2p batts. used for 3d. anyway the plane is to heavy now. So my main questions are how do change the resolution on the camera and How would you like to possibly see som beach pics of my possibly new Ap plane.
May 26, 2004, 01:31 PM
Registered User
newflyer's Avatar
Hey E-Bird, what prop would I use with that GWS speed 400 setup you mentioned? The stock one that comes with the 300 motor?
May 26, 2004, 03:41 PM
Look! Up in the sky!
eBird's Avatar
Newflyer - depends on which gearbox you get. The "G" is 4.5:1, so an 11x8 would work fine. The "H" box will need a little larger prop, a 12 or 13".
Jun 08, 2004, 11:21 AM
Restful User
Jacques Flambeau's Avatar

With a GWS 400 and a "G" (4.5:1) box and 7-cell KANs, a GWS slowflyer prop 12x6 pulls 9A. and gives 11 oz thrust and a 13x6.5 prop pulls 11A. and gives 13 oz of thrust (all values measured and static). The higher current of the 13x6.5 prop is a tad over the recommended limit, but having extra thrust at takeoff is helpful and you can throttle back for cruising. The static "half throttle" current draw is about 2.5A. for either prop.

"YMMV", but this is what my SS does.

Last edited by Jacques Flambeau; Jun 09, 2004 at 08:40 AM. Reason: corrected a number

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