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Air Cam 1

Overview

 

Back in 2003 I wondered if it would be possible to make a simple airborne camera system and fly it on my cheap and cheerful firebird XL. With this in mind from the local cheap shop I obtained a £10 web cam.

Circuit

 

I had the aircraft and camera all I needed now was a means to trigger it and a power source.

After a bit of fiddling with a couple of surface mount 555 timers I crafted a small timer circuit that one triggered gave me a few minutes to get up to photographing altitude before firing the shutter continuously until the image memory was full. 

In early tests of the camera system I used the original internal dual AAA power source, but after a couple of flights I found that the firebird XL’s bigger brother (Firebird Commander) has a ultrasonic dog fighting attachment or “Sonic combat unit” and the power socket that is present on the side of this model was also available on mine however it was hidden and I had to engineer a suitable hole. This supplied sufficient power to run the imager without impacting on the performance of the aircraft.

 

 

As Built

 

The circuit was crafted onto a spare bit of strip board and lacquered in order to give it a bit of weather protection.

 A suitable bracket and skid was made from 20mm conduit and cable ducting.

 

Mosaic Map 

 

Here are some of the the airborne images from the device taken mid 2003.
A Google earth image(center) indicates the areas of the various images.