KAP Guide

edited September 2013 in Technique
As many of you know, I've been working with an organization called TIGHAR trying to train a few of their members to do KAP. As part of that work, I wrote a KAP guide to give them some reference material when they're cut off from the internet.

The document is written specifically for that team and their equipment but there's a lot of material there that others may find useful. Eventually I would like to adapt this into a broader, more general KAP guide and perhaps incorporate it into the KAP wiki. But knowing how my grand plans rarely materialize, I think I'll just share what I have now.

The document is MS Word format and available for download at http://www.olsphoto.com/kapguide.doc (22M download)

[Update: There's a PDF version at http://www.olsphoto.com/kapguide.pdf (500K download) Thanks, Pierre!]

[Update 2: new location is http://howtokap.com/kapguide.pdf]

All feedback is welcome. (Especially corrections!)


  • Nice job David,
    haven't completely read it yet, lack of time..but what I saw looks great.
    note to dial up users: 22 MB download.. Looks like it's worth the download though.
  • Splendid guide, they should be able to produce some good material from its use. Wish them all the best.

    BTW any Mac OSX users that don't have Word or indeed any of the other MS Office progs on their computer can still view/read such documents by using Neoffice for those unaware of its existance.
  • edited July 2007
    Fantastic document, but I'm surprised that a 35-page Word doc is 22 meg. The photos on letter size page layout shouldn't be that large, no?

    What is TIGHER, please?

    How would you like review comments, please, such as here in this message thread?
  • Brad,

    The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (acronym TIGHAR, pronounced
  • Wow David, you've certainly done a marvelous job in putting materials together for this project, even providing onboard reading and tasks, too cool! Hope they return with some great images. Wouldn't it be phenomenal if KAP played a role in solving this mystery.

    You might wish to consider making the file available as a PDF. While this would grow the file size a bit, it might be more accessible, and your formatting will always be maintained.

    Great work!
  • edited July 2007
    I really wonder when you find the time to sleep (or to work...). Great document, that will certainly help the TIGHAR expedition but also, hopefully kiters and soon to be Kapers to enjoy this activity.
    Once reviewed and maybe amended, a PDF version would be great for dial up users.
    With your authorisation as well as TIGHAR.org, I would happily work on a french translation and I am confident that other foreign KAPers would find the time to translate it in german, spanish, portuguese, japanese, greek and why not Scottish !....
    This is the kind of content I would love to feature on www.kapita09.info with your copyright of course.
  • FYI the 22Mo in word = 500 Ko in PDF - PL
  • edited July 2007
    Wow, what a response! Thanks everyone.

    blbarnes, I think the huge size is due to the large size images embedded in the document. I'm sure there's a way to avoid that but I haven't taken the time to figure out how.

    I think we can take comments and corrections in this thread. Of course, if anyone wants to send me their comments privately, my email is [dwheeler20874 at gmail dot com].

    Pierre, I think a PDF version is a great idea. Have you already generated a PDF version? (And it's only 500K if I understand you last comment?) Could you email that to me? I'll stick it on my server and add a link to it at the top of this thread.

    Ultimately I would like to see a PDF guide to KAP and the same material in HTML form -- perhaps in the Wiki. And I think it's going to need reviews, contributions and translations from everyone here. Right now this is just a little snowball but we could grow it into an avalance.
  • edited July 2007
    Pierre has converted this to PDF for us so now there's a 500K download instead of 22M:

  • Very impressive, Dave. I have my usual few nits to pick in spelling and punctuation, but overall it's very good.

    Page numbers would be a very good addition. (and would make it much easier to comment on specifics)

    A printable version on half-sheet pages in so-called "signatures" would be very valuable. (Signatures put the pages in print order, so that they can be printed back to back and bound.)
  • edited July 2007
    Ah, good. I am also offering grammar and punctuation nits.

    If you believe this document will be translated, then I will gear some of my comments toward the impact on translation and localization. This means that I am not necessarily correcting errors in all cases, but it could mean that I'm offering changes to make it more suitable for translation and localization.

    Perhaps I should send some translation and localization guidelines offline through e-mail.
  • edited July 2007
    All suggestions are appreciated. In my defense I should point out that I wrote it in one weekend with a hard deadline. (Procrastination, you know....)

    BTW, I won't get to my email until this evening in case anyone has already sent anything that way.
  • edited July 2007
    Please, I hope that there's no need for anyone to get defensive. We're here to help. That's how it worked with the KAPwiki Jargon list. Nearly everyone stepped forward and offered help me put that together.

    \\On page 3 of the KAP Guide, it says:

    "This screw is tethered to the rig to prevent losing it. When attaching the camera try to get this screw as tight as possible with fingers or perhaps give it a little torque with the pliers in the tool kit."

    Wow. Two questions:

    1). How do you tether a screw to the rig, please? I have no idea what to attach to the screw besides a string.

    2). During KAPiCA, I was specifically advised against overtightening the screw to the tripod socket because you could damage and distort the tripod socket. (My tripod socket is metal, by the way, but regardless...) What are people's opinions on screw tightening, please?
  • edited July 2007
    1) You can see (barely) in the photo at the front of the document, there's a small hole drilled in the hex head of the bolt holding the camera to the frame. Then there's a wire threaded through that and twisted to the frame itself.

    2) Yeah, overtightening might damage the camera. But undertightening would be bad too. (Bombs away!) I used a nylon bolt -- perhaps less like to cause damage by overtightening.

    Perhaps screw tightening would be a good topic for a new thread.

    And don't worry, I'm not feeling defensive. That was just my way of saying I know there are problems to iron out, big and small.
  • Ok, perfect opportunity for a newbie question here. The rig looks very light, do you need the FF16 or 9ft delta to lift it, or is this just you being an engineer (I have a ton of respect and affection for engineers); I understand they will not be able to run out and get a kite if a FF8 happens to be too small so in this situation this make sense but in general. Also, if you used a FF8 is it as important to anchor it/walk it down or can you just pull it in hand over hand? I haven't even flown my kite yet (its in the mail) so if this is a matter of personal preference or experience I will just go fly a kite.
  • Short answer: A FF8 could also lift it.

    Originally we were going to provide a flowform 8 but Brooks and I decided to go with the FF16 instead. Brooks had been doing some KAP with a FF8 and found it flew at a lower angle than the FF16. So we got a little conservative and went with the tried and true FF16.

    The 9ft delta is in the kit to give them some light wind capabilities and it is by no means overkill. I test flew this rig with my own new 9ft Levitation Delta Light and actually had a hard time getting the camera aloft in light winds.

    I think any time you can pull the line in hand over hand there's no reason not to. Just make sure you don't let tension build up on a hoop winder. Walk downs are for when it's too difficult to bring it in hand over hand.
  • edited July 2007
    OK, there's a new version of the kapguide.pdf file on the server now. (1.3M download this time.)

    No corrections made yet but this version has page numbers and annoying section numbers. This should make it easier for people to tell me where the problems are.
  • Thanks for numbers. That will help everybody. Comments to come.
  • David,

    Any objections if I drop the contents of your KAP guide in a new page in the Wiki?
    This will make it very simple to edit the contents for all that have some input to add.

    I'll start simply by cutting and pasting text, and add chapter headings in the process. Once all the text is there it will be easy to change the lay-out, page set-up, etc. (my 2-screen configuration makes this a very simple task)
  • edited July 2007
    Wicherd, that sounds like a fine idea. Once it's in the wiki we can rework it as much as necessary. I plan to rewrite it for a different target audience: KAP newbies instead of TIGHAR. But I can make those edits within the wiki, I think.
  • Consider it done. To edit in the Wiki you'll need to create an account, but that's simple enough..

  • David,
    Very good document!!! I'm sure it will be really usefull.

    Would it be OK if I forward your original message (keeping your credit off course) in a local kite club email list?
    You can check this kite club website here www.batoco.org

    Thanks in advance and regards
  • Nice work Dave, you must have been busy with that.
    I would query the advice though, contained in ref. camera angles, horizontal no problem, probably the easiest Kap, but I find vertical shots have only been of much use when I have been Kapping other kites or buildings.
    A slightly revised version of your work would be a very useful inclusion with kit purchases for any one starting off with Kap.
  • Ramiro, I don't mind if you share this with your email list. But it really is just a rough draft at this point. Perhaps you would be doing the mailing list readers a favor if you wait until we make some corrections and put it up on the wiki.

    Bruce, thanks for sharing your point of view. Since TIGHAR is interested in documenting an archaeological site, I think they will find the vertical shots very useful. In the final document, though, I think I would change the advice on camera angles to describe the different zones, horizontal, vertical and in-between, and describe the strengths and weakness of each type of composition. And that's the sort of subject that deserves input from many more KAPers.
  • "And that's the sort of subject that deserves input from many more KAPers."
    Thats for sure Dave, I think I might have been a little confusing with the vertical and horizontal references, I was refering to the camera being mounted verticaly (pointing at the horizon) as being the least useful camera orientation.
  • Vertical, horizontal or diagonal, the document is now inserted into the KAPwiki: KAP Guide and is awaiting further editing....
  • I've tweaked a few spellings and punctuations -- nothing serious. My knots page might be usable, downloadable from my site.

  • edited July 2007
    I've been doing some copyediting on the KAP Guide that Wicherd is hosting on KAPwiki. I need to know the correct spelling of the Sutton Flow Form, but I cannot locate a Web site for the Sutton company.

    Of course, a search on the Web--including this forum--turns up all permutations: flow form, Flow Form, Flow form, Flowform, FlowForm.

    Does anyone know the URL to Sutton? (Sutton.com is a real estate company.) Or, does anyone please have the product label for their Sutton FF so that you can confirm the correct product spelling?

    Thank you
  • Brad, this site might help, it appears to be definitive.

    This is the company referred to in the above link.

    Both the above links use Sutton Flow Form in their text, although interestingly the German site uses FlowForm as the page header and Flowform as the page title.

    I think the use of FF is purely abbreviation for cataloging purposes and the like i.e. FF16.

    Hope that helps.
  • As a bona fide retailer of the original Sutton Flow Form from Air Affairs, I'm the one that changed all the original text to the factory version. If you don't know, Brad, don't fix it. It's working.

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