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aviatordave
08-16-2006, 05:46 AM
Here is my ground level-50 feet Pole Camera. I built this around a military 50 foot fiberglass antenna and my Pentax Optio S5Z. Most small cameras will work with this set up but if I choose to go $$ SLR $$ I will surely have to modify the mount.

I had the base made so that I could drive my cars tire over the end to hold the pole while I take pictures. With the Optio S5Z, I can connect live to my portable TV to frame pictures.

The camera is triggered via the 'PRISM' switch which uses an infra red signal (like your TV remote) to take pictures (the small circuit board located in front of the camera). The camera has a 360 degree view and can tilt up and down via a standard servo.

The main reason to have this is to take pictures of houses or other objects such as cars, family pictures, memorials, etc... Its a good tool to have if your in the business of taking aerial photographs for extra $$$.

Here is a 5 mb video of the tilt and 360 degree movement (http://www.cascadeap.com/campole.wmv).


Below are the pictures....which should be self explanitory. I've included a sample of a ground shot (Vets Memorial) and a 30 foot shot as an example. Because of the wind (~ 20 mph) I did not feel that anything higher would do any justice. Let me know what you all think, I hope this may broaden some of your horizons!

Dave

(Last pic is of a Vietnam Vet driving by on his Harley paying respect.)


<thanks for the help Kosh!>

Kosh
08-16-2006, 06:00 AM
That is soooooo cool, :) I have been thinking about one for some time but after seeing how yours works I may have look around. So how long is that pole when its down all the way? What kind of AUW? :p

HoggZilla
08-16-2006, 06:38 AM
I want to build one, that is a great tool. I was thinking of pieces of pipe that would be thread together on site but a telescoping antenna would be best. I have a Nikon D70 which is an Awesome camera and I would be using that so it needs to support some weight.

I was thinking of putting my small wireless camera on top with the Nikon to use as a viewing tool. If lined up properly I could see what I shot beforehand.

Any other ideas for a telescoping device? And do you find the 50' mark to be the key height, I was only thinking of something like 30?

Oh, another thing. I can see how you have control to move it once in place, do you find that critical? I really hadn't thought about that key factor.

Thanks,
Steve

aviatordave
08-16-2006, 06:37 PM
The pole is put together in 5 foot increments, its not really heavy but requires a little skill to put together when you get up real high. In the picture I was at 30 feet which proved to be good enough for what I wanted and the wind was blowing alot.

When I get home today I will take a picture of the pole parts and show how they get assembled - its pretty strong. I think you would want the ability to move the camera remotely rather than set it up and realize its at the wrong angle then have to bring it down and readjust. Its just alot easier to move it remotely.

I read that alot of guys have AP poles that go to 50 feet, but most hover in the 25-40 feet range...it all depends on the subject that your photographing.

Dave

Eric_N57105
08-16-2006, 08:56 PM
Here is my ground level-50 feet Pole Camera. I built this around a military 50 foot fiberglass antenna and my Pentax Optio S5Z. Most small cameras will work with this set up but if I choose to go $$ SLR $$ I will surely have to modify the mount.

I had the base made so that I could drive my cars tire over the end to hold the pole while I take pictures. With the Optio S5Z, I can connect live to my portable TV to frame pictures.

Looks good, Dave, especially the versatile camera platform. Ham radio operators involved in portable operations are always looking for sturdy, but lightweight poles for antennas. A couple of good sources are:

www.jackite.com
www.tmastco.com

A base like yours is commercially available. I'm drawing a blank for the source right now, but I'll post it later. I made one from a piece of 3/4" plywood to which I bolted a floor flange and screwed in a stub of black pipe. I drop various antenna masts right over that.

Google "portable masts" and variations, and you will see hundreds of sites addressing a similiar problem by hams and others looking for an alternative to a sky hook.

Eric
www.ke6us.com

aviatordave
08-16-2006, 09:17 PM
Thanks for the info Eric! I'd like to see what a professional base looks like, please forward the info if you can remember.

Eric_N57105
08-17-2006, 04:32 AM
Thanks for the info Eric! I'd like to see what a professional base looks like, please forward the info if you can remember.

------- OT -------

I checked out your own website too.....I couldnt resist the 'about me' section so I took a peek. I must say you have had quite a journey in life. I especially liked the story about your solo motorcycle ride up north. Thanks for sharing :)

Dave

Well, I didn't mean to imply that the commercial ones were, in any way, BETTER than your design. Just that they exist and others may prefer to buy something that magically appears via a FEDEX truck.

Here's a couple of commercial versions:
http://www.superantennas.com/___Products/Drive-on_Mount/drive-on_mount.html
http://www.nevadaradio.co.uk/acatalog/gtr-mounts.html

Here's one that the ham probably had fabricated:
http://www.eng.mu.edu/~usi/opar.html

Hopefully there are some ideas there for others.

Eric
www.ke6us.com

HoggZilla
08-17-2006, 04:33 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing more detail about constructing your pole. Also, can you show me how you designed your camera swivel? I was pricing some of this equipment online and it's like 2K plus for a pole and electronics. WOW.

aviatordave
08-17-2006, 11:13 PM
Here are some pics of the fiberglass pole sections. They fit over each other and are just shy of 5 feet high each. I bought it off EBAY for around 25 bucks. It came with guy wires and a carrying bag.

I'll try to get detail of the camera mount and swivel later tonight......got to get kids from football pratice, then supper, then finally its 'Dave Time' :)

HoggZilla
08-18-2006, 12:24 AM
Thanks for the pictures. I just got some swivel parts to start from the Home Depot. I hope to start a first try tonight. If I see your pics then that will surely help. I am going to mount my Nikon D70 so I will probably make sure it works with a weight first before I put my cam up there. Wonder if I can get a prism device for my D70???

Edit: Oh, one more thing. How do you get the servos to hold their position when you are moving the camera - or do you?

aviatordave
08-18-2006, 03:31 AM
to hold the servo position I use the flap (dial) on my transmitter... The throttle would work too because it stays in one place. I'll look and see if the Nikon is supported for Prism....otherwise you will need a servo. What does that camera weigh?

My kids will be off the good computer in a bit, then I'll work on the swivel photo for you.


<EDIT> Good news! the D70 is supported by the prism switch. You can check it out at www.hexpertsystems.com (http://www.hexpertsystems.com) if you want to be sure, just email him

HoggZilla
08-18-2006, 04:19 AM
to hold the servo position I use the flap (dial) on my transmitter... The throttle would work too because it stays in one place. I'll look and see if the Nikon is supported for Prism....otherwise you will need a servo. What does that camera weigh?

My kids will be off the good computer in a bit, then I'll work on the swivel photo for you.


<EDIT> Good news! the D70 is supported by the prism switch. You can check it out at www.hexpertsystems.com (http://www.hexpertsystems.com) if you want to be sure, just email him


Thanks. I am ordering the prism now.

The D70 weighs quite a bit, 21oz without battery or memory card. probably 1 1/2 pounds all together. But it is an Awesome camera. I also have a zoom lens for it that is slightly heavier, now we are talking 2lbs for sure.

aviatordave
08-18-2006, 05:07 AM
Here are the pics with labels, hope it helps.

If I totally messed you up let me know and maybe I can clarify.

Dave

(you better go beefy on the build, that camera is heavy compared to my 5 oz pentax. also - it will sway more with that much weight up there, it wont bother the poles a bit - they are really strong)

HoggZilla
08-18-2006, 05:30 AM
Ahhh, that helps a lot. I see you use one servo, up and down only. You turn the pole manually to get the other dimension? As far as being level, I guess that is not a problem.

I bought some aluminum from the hardware store, that should be strong enough. How did you attach your beauty to the pole? You might have said but I missed it.

Thanks again.
I can't wait to show you the video of my first scratch build. My friend said he would have the video ready tomorrow.

aviatordave
08-18-2006, 05:41 AM
I just used two small bolts (12-24 I think) to attach the aluminum to the fiberglass pole

Yes, just turn the pole by hand for 360 degree movement. as for crooked pics...I just straighten them up on the computer

(I'll be looking forward to that video! I will be gone most of the day...visiting the Iowa State Fair)

HoggZilla
08-18-2006, 06:32 PM
Finally got the video. Here is the link. I love making fun of myself.

http://www.michaelvera.com/

aviatordave
08-19-2006, 02:58 AM
Wow, what a well laid out video. Your friend sure has some experience there. That was fun to watch.....my wife and I both enjoyed it! (She's like - 'Do you know this guy?'.....I'm like....'well yea...kind of'.....:) )

Thanks for the credit, glad we could help. Still looking forward to your Pole or inflight video.

Thanks for sharing, that was a real good video.

Dave

Kosh
08-19-2006, 05:56 AM
Good looking video, well planned and thought out. Cant wait to see more of them. Thanks

HoggZilla
08-24-2006, 03:19 AM
Got my pole in today. I hope to work on it this week.

Kosh
08-24-2006, 03:57 AM
I feel like such a slacker now. Should have bought pole instead of food. :rolleyes:
Cant wait to Know how you do this. Please take a few photos and do a build if you have a little spare time for us here. :D

aviatordave
08-24-2006, 04:11 AM
Well...food is over rated - it just smells and looks bad a day after you eat it :eek:

I will be interested to see Hoggs camera pole, he is putting a pretty nice camera up there.

Dave

aviatordave
10-02-2006, 04:33 AM
Here are some shots of a house I did today. They are selling it and were unhappy with the photos the realtors took. I have not photoshoped these yet, just downsized for our dial up friends:)

The house is located in Wisconsin and they are leaving next month to spend the winter in Florida (snowbirds :D ). They hope the house sells while they are gone. Must be a rough life ....:o

It was kind of a challenge since they had so much vegatation around for me to get a good angle. 50 feet proved to high and we agreed that about 25-30 feet worked best.

It was fun not worrying about landing, interference, and 'did I get the shot I wanted?' - they were able to view a small DC powered TV to see what they were getting. Customer wants...Customer Gets !!

Hope you all had a good weekend -

Dave

(first photo is ground shot to show difference)

Kosh
10-02-2006, 06:23 AM
Super sharp pics, Very nice job getting the right angles. I can see how it makes a big difference and I see the advantage of the customer standing right there saying thats the shot I want.

Kudos, Kosh

Warden
10-02-2006, 12:21 PM
Wow, Great Stuff! Really nice job!

One question, how do you get the real time view the camera is seeing to the DC powered TV?

I'm assuming you're using the video outs on the camera but it is just a long cord to the TV or what?

aviatordave
10-02-2006, 01:39 PM
thanks guys.

Yes Warden, I went the 'cheap' route and just run a cable down from my video out and into the TV. I couldnt justify the cost of a downlink for this.

Dave

Warden
10-02-2006, 02:05 PM
Thanks, Dave!

aviatordave
04-24-2007, 06:22 PM
I got my pictures published on the realtors web site. I'm going to have to chat with them as they dont want to make it viewable for full size.

Realtor site (http://www.rome-realty.com/AHAddPhotos.asp?PropID=213&stNr=679&adr=Jack%20Pine%20Arbor%20Road&city=Rome)

SAVS
04-25-2007, 01:08 PM
Sweet! but you do need full size available...Denny

I got my pictures published on the realtors web site. I'm going to have to chat with them as they dont want to make it viewable for full size.

Realtor site (http://www.rome-realty.com/AHAddPhotos.asp?PropID=213&stNr=679&adr=Jack%20Pine%20Arbor%20Road&city=Rome)

sierra-gold
04-25-2007, 03:33 PM
For a little over two years I offered listing photography as a part of my Desktop Publishing service. I did fliers, ads and Web site updating and had tired of trying to PS agent provided photos into something useable. I purchased a good Nikon P&S (at the time) and most importantly a Nikon Speedlight aux. flash and a couple of work lights. My interior shots soon had a couple of real estate agents using my service.

I was quite proud of my photos and usually took 10-15 shots based on the agents "to take" list and let the agent select those they wanted to use.

After attempting to suggest some of "my better shots" to them, one of them said "look, I pick the photos that my experience tells me will sell the home... not what you think is your best photo. I'm selling homes, not photographs."

I let them make the decision from then on.

Maybe they know all that is needed here is a small photo, not a large one. :D:D

SG

stinkweed007
04-27-2007, 06:16 PM
I dont know if this is necessary but you might try to add a wireless video cam to your cammo pole setup there.. I might do that as well, just to be somewhat certian where my camera is pointed.. might save you the cable for those who dont have a video out on their cams or if the cam only plays in video out mode, but wont snap a picture

Cool Idea Dave..

must have been nice to not concider weight in your mount...