Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hang the camera - Picavet

Usually the camera doesn't attach directly to the kite but hangs 20m or more lower down the line on a picavet self levelling system, named after french inventor Pierre Picavet. This keeps the camera steadier while the kite moves around. The picavet is a cross with 4 pulleys or holes through which 4 lines pass. The 4 lines are gathered at each end and attached to 2 line hooks which hang from the kite line. This allows the line angle to change while the camera stays level.
Here's an animated demo of how it all works from the Kaper website.

This picture shows my line hook bent up from thin coat hanger wire.

Ready made line hooks and picavet kits are available from The KAP Shop

The top 2 picavets are made from UPVC plastic, cut and heat moulded to shape. The bottom one is from the KAP shop. The picavet can be used with or without pulleys but they make the action smoother and quicker to level. I used Ronstan Kite Blocks costing about A$8 for a pack of 2.
More expensive and lighter Pekabe model boat blocks are another option.

Weight is always a consideration when building KAP rigs. A lighter rig can be used in a wider wind range and with less pull on the line.

My 4 picavet lines are each about 1.8m long, which allows the camera to hang about 90cm below the kite line with the 2 line hooks about 1.2m apart. The suspended ring prevents rotation.

Some KAPers use one length of continuous line to thread the picavet. Either way works well.

This photo shows one of my rigs hanging from the line of a PL 2m2 Pilot

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