Friday, 9 September 2011

High as a kite

I tried to fly my kite a couple of days ago down on New Brighton Prom. The wind was pretty strong, and the kite was flapping around all over the place.

After repairing the damage caused (spreader bar penetrated ripstop nylon) with some insulating tape, I tried again from a different more sheltered  location. The wind was a bit weaker, but very turbulent. It was impossible to get the kite high enough to find steady winds.

Today though, the winds are much lighter, so I went down to the Prom again, and risked sellotaping my little camera to the kitestring.

And I actually ended up with some footage!

video 

As you can see, the results leave a little to be desired! I may need to attach a weight to the bottom of the camera to make it less affected by the buffetting. Also, attaching the camera to the string a little below the kite might help too.

Still, early days. If you click pause during the video, you can occasionally get some reasonably interesting still images. 

The little camera itself seems pretty shock resistant. It took some fairly hard landings, although no direct high speed nosedives, and still works just fine. I really wouldn't want to try sending anything expensive up there at the moment. 

Take two...

I added a pound coin and some blu-tak to the bottom of the camera. I also attached the camera to the string about a foot or so below the kite, instead of much closer to the kite. Finally, I attached the camera to the string with two pieces of sellotape, instead of one. I also used my Bren attachment, to facilitate launch and recovery. This time, the kite didn't crash to earth even once.

Here's the result:


video

Although still far from perfect, there are moments of lucidity here.

Bren has an idea for a housing. I've suggested adding a tail to the housing to make it point into the wind.

And then I found...

A bottle cage that I never got around to putting on my bike...

Attach camera to cage. Tie cage to kite...

And...

video

I tied the cage to the kite using only one piece of string. Hence the assembly was free to rotate. But tie it on at two points, and I think it's going to finally be pretty stable. You can see for yourself how much better this third try is.

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