Public Lab Research note

Jim Day's Picavet rigging on my Saturn V

by mathew | June 03, 2016 23:51 03 Jun 23:51 | #13164 | #13164

I'm a big fan of my Kaptery Saturn V rig. and have recently flown it with a new, easier-to-handle picavet rigging.

Previously, it had a rigging as @cfastie shipped it, looking like this:

Chris Fastie's rigging for a redstone picavet

While at the Fort Warden Kitemakers meetup I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Day, who has been doing kite aerial photography (KAP) for a few decades now. He recommended that I shorten the picavet rigging on the kite side, and just use a single string:


I copied Jim:


Jim's reasoning, which my field test bore out, was that getting rid of all that string and replacing with a single line results in a lower chance of tangles. Jim also believes that the rig is more stable because the angle of the strings on both sides of the picavet is more even. I didn't see that benefit on my rig, but the simpler handling was much appreciated.

Flight and photos

The rigging flew great! I have to change the timing on my skycam controller to slow down, however. I got a lot of blurred photos with my current camera settings, because the rigging started to pan while the photo was being snapped. I hadn't had that trouble before.

A contemporary Portland scene, clandestine encampments and construction:


Self portrait with bike:


Union Pacific Rail Yard:


Detail of Jim Day's rig:

Jim had a pretty nice, single-servo KAP rig with remote controlled camera trigger:



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