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Jun 19, 2007, 03:22 PM
Hogster's Avatar
Thread OP

My mast setup

Hey gang

Finally got round to taking some pics of my completed mast system - an EasyUp 50ft mast with Askman's belt-driven gimble.

The mast was only extended to about 25ft in this shot

My backpack is held to the mast using a very technologically-advanced bracket - a bent piece of coat hanger Works just as well as a more advanced bracket would

6ch Webra Rx, two 360 robot servos, 4-cell 1200mAh KAN NiMh pack which powers the camera, 10mW Airwave downlink.

Any questions, do fire away


PS. Have updated my website with these photos
Last edited by Hogster; Jun 21, 2007 at 03:10 PM.
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Jun 19, 2007, 03:54 PM
Hogster's Avatar
Thread OP
Oh I forgot to do the close-ups

I built a bracket from aluminium that sits between the camera and the mounting plate (on the gimble) which holds two servos next to the zoom toggle and shutter button of my A620. You can probably see how it works The zoom toggle was fashioned from a solid chunk of perspex (thick clear plastic), and is operated by moving the left stick on my transmitter left and right - right for zoom in .... I'll let you guess what left does By moving the left stick up to the mid-point, the camera then enters fixed focus/exposure mode (it's holding the button half-way down), and then moving the stick fully up takes the photo.

I also built two brackets (from aluminium and wood) to hold the camera - one to shift the mounting location to position the CofG of the camera (and large wide-angle lens) over the centre of the gimble, and the other to hold the camera vertically for portrait shots.

The ready-to-use gimble fits neatly in this padded flight case.

The gimble weighs 720g, and including the camera weighs 1.25kg.


Last edited by Hogster; Jun 19, 2007 at 04:00 PM.
Jun 19, 2007, 06:23 PM
Registered User
quailbird's Avatar
Holy Cow David, it looks like a loud speaker for a lens. I love the whole set up. You could put on the out side of your case, "Just in case 2". You always do a good job.
Jun 19, 2007, 07:51 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar

Very professional looking rig.

I've been poking around with building a mast to salvage some of my business but I only need about 25-30ft.
The intention is to build a bit on the light side to be more man portable. ( I want to do some wildlife stuff)
I too wish to use the Cannon A620 but will add only tilt to the mount to reduce weight and allow a lighter mast. For pan I plan to mount the mast in bearings and turn the whole thing.
One rub though. Today I noticed my A620 seems to have a dead pixel
I like your rig a lot. Hope you don't mind if I "borrow" a few of you ideas.

Jun 20, 2007, 10:32 AM
Registered User
zachishi's Avatar
Do you guys know of anyone that sells the easy mast in the US. I have found some people selling masts but they seem way overpriced. Any info would be great.
Last edited by zachishi; Jun 20, 2007 at 02:22 PM.
Jun 20, 2007, 04:07 PM
Hogster's Avatar
Thread OP
Real - Keep us all informed with how things progress with your system. Is the dead pixel really noticable btw? What colour is it? By all means borrow some of my ideas! Just make sure a cheque for 10,000 goes in the post for me each time you copy one ok

zach - The mast I use is distributed in the US by Aero Photo.


Jun 20, 2007, 10:53 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Not sure I can pass that kind of royalties on to my clients.

The A620 has a black dot that just showed up about halfway between the center and the upper left corner.
I called Cannon USA tech support and they think it's a dead spot on the sensor or a speck of something. Very friendly and helpful folks and they just said send it back and they will fix it.
It's still under warranty so I'm not even going to think about busting it open to look.

I'm still scrounging for the tubing I want to use.
I know they get a bad rap, but I may try a pneumatic and use tubing on the thick side so I can MIG weld and thread it where fittings are needed.
It will take a while to get this done. I've got a lot of other pots on the stove right now.

Jun 21, 2007, 09:47 AM
Kite flying SCRAPS member
GliderGuideMan's Avatar
Hey Davidnice setup - I was nearly tempted by a setup that was on eBay UK last week. Interestingly I went house hunting in Haslemere/Grayshott last week and there was a mast photographer outside a property we went to look at taking some pictures. Speaking to the Estate Agent, there are two mast equipped photographers in the Haslemere area, but it sounds like they charge a fair bit, he wouldn't tell me what it was but did say 'they really make him pay for the pics'

Jun 21, 2007, 02:23 PM
Hogster's Avatar
Thread OP
Ira - Glad to hear Canon are sorting things out for you

Dave - These seem to be the standard prices, at least they're very similar to what I came up with independently:

Jun 21, 2007, 04:31 PM
Flying Kiwi
booma's Avatar
my what a big pole you have class work as usual, pitty your rugby team is devoid of the same level of excellence........
Jun 21, 2007, 04:56 PM
Aerial Shutterbug
RMihara's Avatar
Hey David,

Cool set-up you got there! My that's a nice piece of glass and I just saw your pano, lovely work!

How stable is the mast? Have you had an opportunity to see how much wind it can tolerate? Thx.

Ira, it may very well be a speck of dust/dirt. A dead pixel usually shows up as a saturated one, at least that's my understanding...hope it's the former!

Jun 21, 2007, 05:09 PM
Hogster's Avatar
Thread OP
Roger - Yup that's the Canon wide-angle converter for the A620/40 I've often just looked at it admiringly Glass like that isn't cheap though!

I haven't been able to set up the mast very often (just haven't had the time now that I'm on my summer placement), but from what I've seen from initial tests is that it's pretty stable in windy conditions. Naturally it sways a bit at the top, but anything 50ft long and unguyed will sway, you can't escape that. I will be doing more tests when I have the time - hopefully I won't have to use the guy ropes as that just adds to the setup time ....

Last edited by Hogster; Jun 21, 2007 at 05:16 PM.
Jun 21, 2007, 11:47 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Hey Roger,
I tried shooting canned air into it while extending and retracting the lens as well as every crack or crevice I could find. No joy, spot never moved.
Sounds like Cannon will just fix it but I will be pining away for my A620 for 3 weeks until it comes home.
This is a great camera and a very good choice for a light weight/ unguyed mast.

Jun 22, 2007, 01:44 AM
Hogster's Avatar
Thread OP
Can you post a sample photo (close up) showing the dot?

I've got loads of dust in my A620's lens but fortunately it doesn't affect the photos .... it noticably affects movies though.

If it appears a sharp dot on an image then I can't see it being a spec of dust ....

Hmmm ...

Jun 22, 2007, 12:18 PM
Not THAT Ira
Real Ira's Avatar
Just shot this sample.

It is much sharper in vids.
There is nothing on the lens and it doesn't move around.
My guess is that some grit got into the camera during a beach landing.
The last flt before I noticed this was with the Magpie and with the weight of this camera is has a rather long roll out on landing. this results in sand getting tossed up by the wheels.
With the Nikon 7600 I can just hold the plane off and "plop" down.
I may just have to build a regulator and run the Cannon off the flt pack to get the weight down.
Ooops I'm getting a bit OT.


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