SKY EYE OPERATION
1. Plug all servomotors and batteries into the slots
on the radio receiver. If you don’t know how to
operate an R/C radio, read the manual, talk with a
knowledgeable friend, or visit a model/hobby store.
2. Turn on the R/C transmitter and operate the
levers to see which one controls the tilt servo and
which one controls the shutter servo. Depending
on your preferences, you may want to rearrange the
servo plugs on the receiver. I plugged the tilt servo
into radio channel 1 and the shutter servo into
channel 3, thereby putting the tilt action and the
shutter release on different joysticks.
3. Now you’re ready to take pictures. Turn on the
camera and extend the pole to a reasonable height.
Raising and lowering the pole can be a bit dicey with
the camera mounted to the end. Work slowly and
Photography by Karen Hansen and William Gurstelle
4. Mast photography is best done by 2 or more
people: 1 to operate the camera shutter and tilt controls and (at least) 1 assistant to hold the mast or
pole. To take pictures, the assistant rotates the pole
so the lens faces the desired direction, and then
the camera operator adjusts the tilt servo so that
from the ground it appears that the lens is pointing
directly at the item to be photographed. If you’ve
equipped your rig with the wireless video viewfinder,
frame the picture using the image on the television.
The camera operator then holds down the shutter
joystick until the servomotor arm depresses the
camera’s shutter button. If the servo fails to operate
the shutter, readjust the tightness and alignment of
the bolt that holds the camera against the top frame
Tipping: The farther the pole is extended, the
greater the tendency to tip and fall. Use extreme
caution. Also, the greater the angle of tilt, the
greater the tipping tendency. Hold the pole as
close to 90° vertical as possible.
Buckling: Depending on the strength of the pole,
the weight concentrated on the end of the pole could
cause it to buckle or fold, especially when the pole
is fully extended. The tendency to buckle becomes
more pronounced as the pole is held at increasing
angles from vertical. Test the strength of the pole
before fully extending it or holding it at an angle.
CAUTION: Keep the camera and pole under control at all times, and most importantly,
away from overhead wires and power lines.