Introduction: Really Easy Aerial Video From Kites

Picture of Really Easy Aerial Video From Kites
This is a quick instructable showing how easy it is to take video from a kite.

Equipment needed:

Bamboo canes (1 or 2)
Some cable (zip) ties
A small handheld drill
Some tape (pvc electrical, or duct)
A junior hacksaw to cut bamboo pole to length (if needed)
A kite (I used a 2.4m2 cirrus kite)
A camera that can take a rough landing (I'm using a Kodak PlaySport outdoor camera, but GoPros would also work)


The basic theory is that kites produce quite a lot of lift, so adding a bit of extra camera weight shouldn't be too difficult.




Step 1: Bit of Bamboo Bracketry Pt 1

Picture of Bit of Bamboo Bracketry Pt 1

Given that the kite doesn't have anywhere sensible to attach a camera, we'll need to create some form of bracket. I chose bamboo, because it is:

light
strong
abundant
cheap
easily workable

So it seems to fit the bill well. The form of the bracket developed over the course of our experiments. We first tried with an X-brace configuration, but this was soon found to be too vulnerable during landing. The design was simplified to a single bamboo pole which ran between each of the power line bridles.

Before heading out, I made sure the poles were long enough. I needed poles of 1700mm for my 2.4m2 kite to adequately reach between the bridles.

To attach the pole to the bridle I drilled a hole through the pole and used a cable tie to attach it to the main power line (see photo). Do this at both ends to form a bamboo 'bar' across your power lines.

Step 2: Bit of Bamboo Bracketry Pt 2

Picture of Bit of Bamboo Bracketry Pt 2

Now, we need to make a secure mounting for the camera which won't rotate.

This was achieved by using two smaller pieces of bamboo, drilling all the way through and then through the bamboo bar, securing with two more cable ties. They can't rotate around the main bamboo bar as the cable tie restricts their movement.

You'll want to think carefully about the geometry of the hole through the bamboo bar, as this will define your camera tilt angle relative to your kite. Don't drill the holes such that the mounting is facing too high up in the air, or too far downwards.

You might want to drill a few different holes in different positions to experiment which angles work best for you.

Step 3: Attach the Camera

Picture of Attach the Camera

Now, all that remains is to attach the camera to the mounting, with a bit of judicious use of sticky tape. A few obvious things to consider here: don't obscure the lens and make sure you still have access to the useful buttons.

You don't need a lot to attach the camera on. So although these photos look like the camera is fairly precariously attached, it's actually pretty firmly connected to the bamboo just with a few pieces of tape.

Step 4: Voila!

Picture of Voila!
We're ready to go, just press 'record' and get flying.

Remember - your kite now has a large bamboo pole attached to it which could do some serious damage if it crashes on top of someone. Be careful to avoid people nearby.

Happy aerial videoing, and if you liked this, do remember to vote! :)

Comments

randomray (author)2013-09-11

Were you steering the kite in the video ? I'm thinking a more stable single line kite might be a better choice because all that movement was just annoying and really not useful .Thanks for the info I'll try this on one of the more stable kites I have .

kram01 (author)randomray2013-09-11

yep, it's four line kite so it was steerable. It was just quite a gusty day as you can probably see!
If you want a stable aerial shot, you'll need a very stable kite and steady wind. Whereas I deliberately tried to steer the kite to get shots of some of the wider park scenery as proof that you can film more than just the patch of ground immediately below you.

randomray (author)kram012013-09-12

Thanks for the heads up on that .

About This Instructable

2,512views

17favorites

License:

More by kram01:Really easy aerial video from kitesMobius Interlocking BagelsConcrete chicken (or anything else) with polymorph
Add instructable to: