Starting at $45
The Redstone Rig is a simple camera bracket designed to be an upgrade from the Public Lab soda bottle mapping rig. It is not motorized or remotely controllable (yet), but allows better aerial stability, full access to the camera, easy camera aiming, and excellent camera protection. It is designed for small point and shoot cameras like Canon PowerShots. The articulated camera tray allows vertical shooting for mapping and also oblique photography with the camera balanced in any position. The camera (not included) is attached with a thumb screw (included) into the tripod socket so is always securely pointed in the same direction. Protective legs and bumpers can be configured in various ways for different needs.
The camera tray has raised lips on both sides, so the base of the camera has to be less than 4 cm thick to fit between them (although the plastic is easy to carve away if necessary). A hole for the tripod screw will have to be drilled through the tray in the location that allows your camera to be balanced side to side. The back of the camera should be mounted up against a lip to prevent rotation which could reorient the camera and loosen the tripod screw. The second lip makes the tray reversible so it can be drilled for another camera with a tripod socket in a slightly different place.
Unless you plan on building your own suspension, we strongly advise ordering a suspension kit as well. The rig can be easily suspended using either a Picavet or pendulum system, both of which prevent spinning and tend to keep the rig level. The Picavet is recommended for kite flights, and the pendulum is better for ballooning.
A 3D printed Picavet cross and all the hardware needed to construct a working Picavet suspension — a self-leveling, damped suspension system. The assembled Picavet attaches easily to the Redstone rig. Best for kite photography.
Suspend your camera rig from the flying line with a simple rigid shaft. The pendulum attaches easily to the Redstone rig. Best for balloon photography.
(Suspension kits are not designed to easily fit with any other mounting rig setups, please email email@example.com if you would like to purchase only a suspension kit separately.)
The Redstone Rig is designed and developed by Public Lab contributor Chris Fastie and is completely open source. Downloadable instructions for 3d printing your own Redstone Rig and Picavet suspension mounts are available on Thingiverse. Instructions for building and assembling are available as a pdf.