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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:18 am 
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Hello,
I am back on the forum.
Back from my field work in Greenland I am planning next season's camera trapping. I want to get more into using flash and are starting to gather the goods (SB-28s and some radio syncs). I plan on housing the flashes in lock-n-lock spaghetti boxes but will need to figure out how to place them. The flat tundra has no trees so I will need to use some sort of stands. Do people simple use poles into the ground when there are no suitable trees or bushes? I would rather have something less invasive as I am camera trapping in a research area - and I am the deputy scientific leader... ;)

Here is a shot from last year of one of our study species the muskox:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:29 am 
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Location: Magalia, California
This sounds like overkill, but I use steel t-posts (6-7 feet) to mount LED arrays. T-posts are used here for livestock fencing. They are heavy and a pain to haul in to a site, but it you drive them in deep enough they can stand up to shoving by most black bears. Another ridiculous requirement is a two-handed post driver which weights maybe 10-12 pounds. It works much better than a sledge hammer for long posts. I have also used cut-off pieces (3-4 feet) of t=post or angle iron, and then slide longer lengths of PVC tubing over them. This weighs less, but I've had bears push on them and snap the plastic poles. A more lightweight solution for the arctic might be wooden stakes (3-4 feet) with aluminum conduit extensions. They WILL wobble in the wind, but you can use tension cables or ropes (guy lines) to anchor them. But on second thought, a muskox would probably just walk right through a guy line, and there goes your flash set up. Heavy tripods of course are stable and easy to use. That might be the easiest solution.

I hope our friends here have better ideas. As you can see, I could use some help too.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:55 pm 
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I use what are called "concrete stakes" to mount cameras, but they'd work for flash units too. Concrete stakes are solid soft steel 1/2" to 5/8" in diameter and three feet long, with holes drilled through at 3"-4" intervals. You could use thin-walled steel conduit slipped over the concrete stake to extend the height of the stake. Concrete stakes are pointed on one end and can be driven with a carpenter's hammer or even a rock. Sorry about using English measurements, the U.S. has never modernized.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:50 am 
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Glad to have you back. I am sure the ideas will come from the other members. I use rebar cams stands that I designed in spots I have no trees. I have them made up by a couple buddies .. they look like a bale fork and the piece the cam attaches to can be moved up and down the rebar and angled any direction.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:32 am 
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Lars

Great pics of the musk ox and sounds like an interesting project. I noticed you were also looking at the Yongnuo triggers. I’ve posed a couple of threads about adding power capacity viewtopic.php?f=113&t=11506&start=20

Plus another thread about modifying these to work as a transmiter for the camtraptions ir sensor.
viewtopic.php?f=113&t=11778

In case you find them useful.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 2:02 am 
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Thanks, Richard!
Those are useful references! I did notice the one with the Camtraptions device.
Cheers,

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:43 pm 
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Hi Lars. Most times when I'm in an area without trees (or the trees aren't quite in the right location), I'll mount my flashes on pitchforks. Bungee cords have never failed me either. I think the pitch forks I use I got at a yard sale for very little cost. I also keep two stands on my property that I made from 2x4's and a cross piece that is attached to a 45 degree block of wood to get the flashes angled toward the ground. If my description is a little confusing, I could post some pictures tomorrow.

Hope that helps and looking forward to seeing your work this year-it's always very impressive!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:16 am 
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Hi Andrew!
Thanks for your tip and comment! Much appreciated!

I have decided to invest in a few pro light stand devices from Manfrotto. As I mentioned, I really want the setup to be as little invasive to the environment as possible since I am working in a research area - and I am the deputy scientific leader ;)

I was considering small ball heads for the angling but decided for umbrella adapters. I have ordered tiny and cheap Arca Swiss mounts and plates. The latter are to be bolted to the flash boxes. This is probably all a bit overkill but I like to have a sturdy and resistant setup that can left out on often very rough weather. I will post images when I have put all together.

Cheers,

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:49 pm 
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One thing I just learned about from other camera trappers is fishing bank sticks, which have 3/8" female threads on top. You can just stick them in the ground and mount to flash, etc. via a 1/4-3.8 adapter. I'm using them for active IR triggers or flashes when they are low to ground. Not super stable but good enough so far. I don't know about tundra ecosystems but they wouldn't leave a mark the way a t post would. Good luck
J

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:24 pm 
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I will check those out. Thanks, Jonny!

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