Public Lab Research note

Additional experience with with Saturn V and SkyShield beta

by patcoyle | June 20, 2015 01:42 20 Jun 01:42 | #11991 | #11991

What I want to do

Continue to explore the Chris Fastie and Don Blair Arduino controlled Saturn V and SkyShield beta with pan and tilt and CHDK for aerial panoramas. I've reported my initial experience and tried some of this myself with a different pan-only rig.

My attempt and results

Flew Delta 9' Levitation with Canon A495 (just in autoexposure mode). Again used Brooks hangups rather than the kite line clips. Addressed prior reported issue with the camera cable coming loose, by using the ubiquitous Alliance latex free orange bands to snug the cable to the SkyShield pins. I just let the SkyShield dangle rather than attach it to the rig with the velcro pads.


Managed to launch by myself, but had help on rig detachment after flight.


Main image above is a Photoshop automated Photomerge of several images, as are these below. In response to Chris Fastie comment below, I used the default selection as indicated in screenshot below.




Questions and next steps

Fly and continue to evaluate.

Why I'm interested

As indicated before, integration of simple computing capability into our projects can provide flexibility and versatility and I'd like to learn more about using these small boards. People have expressed interest in making aerial panoramas. Again, Chris and Don fielded this in a few weeks. Kudos to them!


Nice mosaics. Where are you flying from? The street? I don't see any park nearby.

Which mode were you using? it looks like there might not be enough overlap among photos in the upper rows. The A495 does not have a very wide angle lens. It is 37mm (eq.) compared to 28mm for typical small PowerShots. I think we need another mode for lenses like that. The current modes probably will not produce enough overlap in the upper rows. That's a really important thing to learn.

Does Photomerge allow different projections of the stitched panorama? ICE has 10 different projections that can be applied after the panorama is stitched.

Thanks Pat.

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Thanks Chris. I launched from street at corner up from my house. I walked back down to court across the street from my place, stayed in position for a while and then landed there. I should have indicated I used the default startup mode. Photomerge does allow different projections. I used the default. I'll stick screenshot of the choices screen in the note. Don't know how to use markdown to put it in comment.

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That's pretty gutsy flying right there in the hood. Very impressive.

The default mode (Mode 0) has eight pan positions. The A495 needs more than that. Modes 2 to 5 have nine pan positions. Mode 2 would be a good one to try with the A495. But 10 pan positions would probably be better, so the sketch will have to be edited.

I had a hard time telling which LEDs were lit in full sunlight, so a dark cloak or something is needed to block the light while the mode is being selected. The next version is going to have a DIP switch instead of LEDs. So if the new PCB works that problem will be solved.

You can drag a jpg right into a comment just as you do in the note.

Thanks for your feedback.

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