Saturday, December 15, 2012

KAP rigs - RC 3mm aluminium

At the other end of the complexity range is the full radio controlled rig which is heavier than a manual rig because servos, receiver and batteries are included.

Panasonic Lumix LX3 Aluminium RC Rig - 745g

This was my first RC rig, made from 3mm x 35mm aluminium resulting in a flying weight of 745g. (Flying weight includes everything hanging from the kite line)

The LX3 does not have an intervalometer or IR remote so the only way to shoot is by pushing the shutter button.
My existing Futaba radio was only 2 channel but I needed tilt, pan and shutter control. I devised this system using one servo for two controls, down to move the pan ratchet and up to shoot, with the other channel for tilt. I used standard Futaba S3003 servos and 4 x AA batteries resulting in a rig that worked but was way heavier than it needed to be.

A stiff breeze was required to lift the rig with  constant tweaking to keep the pan/shutter link working.

Building this rig was a good learning experience. The first lesson learned was that 3mm Al is way too thick. 1.6mm would be plenty strong enough.

Soon after completion I saw a carbon fibre tube rig and decided that was what I had to build next.

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