In this project we'll see how to make your own camera trigger from recycled, reused, and re-purposed materials, many you may find laying around your home!
One starry night of sleepless lasagna-tummy, my mind wandered to my bloated Bolognese belly.
After the third antacid and mouthwash I had an epiphany. Maybe it was the double chese and garlic turf war, maybe the chalky effervescence creating a toxic nerve-gas, I don't know. I lost track of everything over the last 5 glasses of red.
I had a vision of my expanded belly carrying me upwards, all I was able to grab before my feet left the ground was my sunglasses and camera. I was carried to the sky photographing my way upwards. I had broken into the stratosphere when.... *blink*
It was over.
A quick look on Google the next morning revealed that apparently more than just me has a reaction to a cocktail of food, alcohol and medicine, and as far back as 100 years. Intrigued, I checked Instructables to see if anyone had done something similar, to my surprise (and to date of publish) they had not. I was inspired to create my own aerial photographs. Since I am not familiar with the methods of making my trigger from 555 timers, I needed to make a mechanical trigger. As a twist I would use recycled and re-purposed materials and combine it with an old abondoned digital camera to take photos from my kite.
While electronics may be second nature to some, to others (myself included) they are a mystery. I did not want wiring or programming to be a deterrent, for this project this element is removed entirely. In addition I wanted a design that would not compromise the camera housing. This rules out opening the camera to solder on a trigger.
My guidelines for this project were:
- use as much recycled content as possible
- budget of around $50
- able to function with any digital camera
- no special camera function (or special plug)
- no specialty knowledge (eg: no electrical / arduino / 555 timers etc.)
Enough talk...... let's build!
Step 1: The kite
Kite design is everything. There are countless varieties of kites, and luckily there are a few that lend themselves well to this application. I suggest doing your own research to determine which style fits your needs best. I chose a design that was simple, easy to fly, able to achieve lift in any wind, and large enough to accept a payload. The delta conyne satisfies all my criteria. With a little sleuthing you may find dimensioned plans online that you can use to build your own.
As I was on my way to find materials to make my kite (rip-stop nylon and wooden dowels), I happened upon a kids store nearby which had the exact kite I was looking for, in the size I needed (6'+ or 1.8m+ from wingtip to wingtip), and was on sale!
An actual quote from the cashier "I can't believe you're buying this, it's been in that corner of the store for years."
The kite cost $30. The remainder of the budget was spent on the line, more on that in step 9.
The only downside is that the kite is kinda pink.