In this Instructable I will be teaching you how to build a picavet and camera mount for kite aerial photography/video so that you can capture amazing bird's eye views of the world around you.  The purpose of the picavet is to hold and stabilize the camera while it is attached to the kite so that you get the best quality photos/videos, as opposed to simply sticking the camera to the kite which would give you crazy blurry whiplash photos.  I tried to design this picavet system so that it is simple to use and so it would offer a bit of protection for the camera in the even of a crash landing. The Instructable is broken into three main parts, designing and creating the picavet platform, designing and creating the camera mounting system, and tying the string and pulley system that stabilizes the picavet platform.  If you have any questions or suggestions please post them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them. Enjoy!

Note: The Picavet system I designed is for taking videos. As such there is no mechanism for activating the shutter release to snap a picture.  If you are interested in having photos there are a number of programs such as Imagegrab that all you to pull pictures from videos.

To avoid confusion here is a list of terms that you will need to know throughout my Instructable:
KAP = Kite Aerial Photography
Picavet = system of cord and pulleys that stabilizes a platform that the camera is attached to.
Picavet Platform = "X" shaped piece of plywood that the camera is mounted to. 

Disclaimer:  Although I have designed and built this KAP system with the safety of the camera in mind, I make no guarantee that your camera will be safe in the event of a crash.  If you plan to build your own Picavet/KAP rig please understand that there is a chance that your camera could be broken and move forward with that information in mind.  Also please be mindful of the Picavet during flight, abrupt changes in wind can cause the kite and picavet to move very quickly and if your not careful someone could be injured.  Lastly never fly kites near people, power-lines, or in restricted airspace.  Be safe out there!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

When I design an Instructable I want the project to be accessible to everyone.  In the past I have found some really amazing projects on this website that I would have loved to build but they required special tools or materials that I simply didn't have access to.  Now that I've decided to start writing my own Instructables I don't want to put you guys in that situation so I try my best to use tools and materials that are easy and inexpensive to find, mostly using materials that anyone can pick up in their local hardware store.

This project is no exception, save for the kite and camera, you can get everything you need to build this project from a home improvement store for around 20 dollars and most of the tools are things that any maker probably has lying around his/her shop already.

Small Camera - The camera I use for this Instructable is a Sony Cyber-Shot.
Kite - I prefer parafoil kites as they tend to fly steadier than delta and diamond kites.
Kite String - Make sure you use a strong kite string, 50lb - 75lb string should be enough.

Picavet Platform and Pulley System Materials
10" X 10" square of plywood
10 feet of kite string or accessory cord (accessory cord is like a thinner version of paracord)
4 - 1/4" eye bolts
4 - 1/4" lock washers
8 - 1/4" nuts
3 jump rings
Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape to secure knots
2 small carabiners

Camera Mount Materials
Small strips of wood roughly 3/4" X 1/2" X 12" 
Wood glue
Wide elastic/rubber bands
4 small screws and 4 small washers
foam for padding and protecting the camera

Ruler and pencils for layout
Band saw or Jig saw
screw drivers
pliers to tighten nuts and bolts
Drill or Drill press
Fly cutter,  Forstner drill bits, or hole saw (some way to  cut a hole that is roughly 1.5" to 2" in diameter
clamps for holding glued wooden parts
heat-gun or lighter for heat shrink tubing
The ability to tie a bowline knot 
<p>Excellent instructions, thanks! I made some expedient modifications to the design suitable for my GoPro Hero. I used high-quality 3/16&quot; particle board that's strong and light; it was already drilled on 1&quot; centers, making it even a little lighter. I used a simple cross shape that was easier to cut out, a little lighter, but still plenty strong for my GoPro. I stuck a GoPro sticky mount on the bottom, making it easy to attach the camera and adjust its angle. I used screw eyes rather than bolt eyes to save a little more in weight (actually, my corner hardware store didn't have bolt eyes). Instead of mini caribiners, I saw on another Web site how to bend a straight section of coat hanger to make a clip-on point -- you just wrap the kite string around the clip (see the first and third pics). I used 120-pound snap swivels (fishing) to make it easy to clip the two key rings to the clip.</p><p>Worked great in a moderate breeze with a 7' delta: https://youtu.be/IJhp9ie0YAg</p>
<p>Here are some pics from my attempt at this. Very pleased with how well it works! </p><p> A couple of minor tweaks: I used good-quality 1/4&quot; plywood rather than 3/8&quot;, which helped to keep the rig lighter. Also, instead of velcro or rubber bands to hold the camera in, I made a foam-padded plate that screws on with wingnuts.</p><p>We found it worked best to get the kite aloft, about 20 or 30 feet, and then to attach the picavet to the string. That way the kite has a lot of lifting power by the time it's trying to lift the picavet into the sky.</p><p>Thanks for a fun instructable!</p>
<p>Thank you for posting hchute! your ring looks fantastic and works beautifully, way to go! </p>
<p>I'm building it now, and looking forward to its test flights next week in the Olympic Peninsula. Thank you, Matt, for the very clear tutorial!</p>
<p>Hi, I am very new to the hobby. I don't want to invest too much to start. I have a gopro and was wondering if the below kite would be suitable to lift. any guidance would be greatly appreciated. </p><p>http://www.amazon.com/Patriotic-Parafoil-Single-Line-Kite/dp/B001TZDOO4/ref=sr_1_3?s=toys-and-games&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1431106678&amp;sr=1-3&amp;keywords=parafoil+7.5</p>
<p>Good Idea, well done</p>
<p>Good Idea, well done</p>
<p>I had a lot of fun with this one. Thanks for the tutorial. </p>
<p>You're very welcome Smabbott. Your pictures look awesome, I'm glad you had a good time with this project. I'm interested in your modified camera mounting system, could you tell me more about it? </p><p>P.s. thanks for sharing the pictures, I always enjoy seeing pictures and knowing that people are out there enjoying and using my Instructables!</p><p>Best regards,</p><p>Matt </p>
The mounting system is a little half-baked. I have a couple of android devices of different sizes that I'm using as cameras. I'm using pegs to hold the device in place. I made several sets of holes so that the pegs can be moved to accommodate the different sized devices. My intention is to use some sort of bungie cord to secure the device but I'm just using duct tape for now. <br><br>I thought I'd drill out some more holes to lighten the platform. It seems a little heavy for my kite. I'll post more photos when I've made my modifications.
Thanks for your kind words wilgubeast, I'm glad you like the instructable.
Love that you built this with a wide audience in mind. Great text, awesome photos, well deserving of a finalist spot in the 2013 Kite Contest. Hope you bring home a cool prize!
Sure, It'll take a little bit, I'm off at college and left my camera etc back home. But I'll try my best to get the pictures to you guys ASAP : )
Can you post the videos you've made?
Really fun idea! Great work!
Neat! Thanks. I have found a fantastic wood for building light and strong structures like this. Pauwlonia. Lighter and stronger than Balsa, CHEAP, too. Check it out if you can find it. I am fairly sure you can build this lighter than plywood and not lose any strength. <br>Thanks again, great instructable. <br>Tight Lines!
Love it thanks <br>
So RAD! Great work!

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