How to Add Remote Viewing To Your PAP Rig

June 27th, 2010

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to realize how simple it is to see what your point-and-shoot camera at the top of your PAP pole is “seeing”.

The basic problem is that with the simple PAP rigs that I’ve described in the past (here and here) , like the polster system, is that you can remotely press the shutter but you’d really like to see what the camera is “seeing” so you can compose the shot without trial and error or guessing.

The key to remotely viewing a PAP shot is the fact that virtually all point and shoot cameras (the kind you typically use on a painters pole) come with an A/V output cable like the one connected to my Canon G9 in the adjoining photo. These A/V cables are usually a foot or so long and have a single plug that connect to the camera and two phono connectors (also called RCA connectors) for connecting to a TV. The yellow connector is the video from the camera and the black connector is the audio from the camera. If your just connect these connectors to your TV (and select the right input) you will see the same video on your TV as you see on the back of the camera.

Now to make use of this great TV connection feature on your PAP system you have to do three things:

  1. Find a little miniature TV you can attach to your PAP pole. They are all over. Here’s one. Your local Radio Shack is another source of miniature TVs. Make sure the TV has external A/V input. Almost all have external input jacks.
  2. Extend the cables to reach from the top of your pole to connect to your miniature TV. Here are some. Since these cables are carrying a analog signal instead of a digital signal the length is not a big deal, you can easily run these cables 25′ or 50′ without a problem. This is not the case with USB cables, they are more sensitive to being extended.
  3. Figure out how to connect the miniature TV to your pole so you can watch it and compose the photo. You can use velcro or a small metal bracket, anything so your hands are free for holding the pole and pulling the shutter release cord.

That’s all there is to it. Thanks to Nik for pointing out how easy it is to connect a remote TV to your PAP rig. Note that Nik has added a miniature TV to his Polester from but you can do the same thing with virtually any small PAP pole.

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3 Responses to “How to Add Remote Viewing To Your PAP Rig”

  • Why not make it wireless while we are at it.
    I made a post on Flickr about it here:

  • Seems like too much trouble and fuss. I want quick and simple in the field while shooting. If I don’t get it right the first time with my Canon G10 (built in 30 second delay timer plus exposure bracketing), I do it again with info I’ve learned from the first attempt. It rarely takes more than two tries.

  • Mike, my rig was a bit o’ trouble and fuss, to put together… but now it’s grab and go. No trouble at all.

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