Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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On the one hand, true. On the other hand, bollocks.

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Balloonera

Sky shots
  (+5, -1)
(+5, -1)
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Small H2 cartridge (like one of those CO2 cartridges), a balloon, a parachute, a mini camera, and a lighter. Push button and it inflates the balloon, pulling the whole contraption (minus cartridge) up into the sky. After a pre-set time the camera snaps, at the same time lighting the lighter that pops the balloon. The parachute brings the assembly back down to earth gently.

Extra H2 cartridges and balloons sold separately. Cartridge refiller also available.

<added later> Once triggered, an LED light flashes every 20 seconds and a loud beep is emitted every 5 seconds. This helps locate device if lost. A label is included for the customer to print their home address.

Optional long distance model. Includes much higher capacity memory chip. Does not include method for popping. Release it and it takes a picture every minute at first, then every hour. Launch it in the morning, and hope it is eventually found and sent back to you. </added later>

Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004

Memento: Balloon photography http://www.agentsmi...on+photography.html
But using a tethered balloon. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Balloon Photography http://activetecton.../kites/balloon.html
Some of the kite photography people also do balloon photography. [jutta, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Another approach http://darwinawards.../stupid1997-11.html
Do not attempt. [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Sling Shots http://www.halfbake.../idea/Sling_20Shots
Thought up here [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Balloons for pyromaniacs http://www.halfbake...20for_20pyromaniacs
including [eul] [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

I don't think this is it, and it doesn't use Hydrogen but it is portable. http://www.floatogr...veillanceSystem.pdf
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Astrocam Rocket with Camera http://www.edirecto...Camera+Kit&cid=1306
Link mentioned in anno. [afrocelt, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Extreme version of the Balloonera http://www.srcf.uca...gasus/pegasus1.html
[Worldgineer, Jun 21 2006]

[link]






       Possible to use helium instead of hydrogen, but would be less fun.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       ok,... can't believe it hasnt been done, will look around. How about weather balloons that gather data?
dentworth, Aug 05 2004
  

       I'm sure the concept of a camera on a balloon has been done, but this is a device that can fit in your pocket for that quick essential skyshot.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       Why not a paper baloon, ordinary disposable lighter with a controlled output? Hot air takes you up, increase the flame to burn the balloon and bring you down. No problems with having to solve the H2 storage. +
scubadooper, Aug 05 2004
  

       A most excellent invention, [World]. +. (You have way too much spare time.)
lintkeeper2, Aug 05 2004
  

       [scupa] I like that. Perhaps using flash paper to make sure it isn't still on fire when it lands.   

       [lint] not nearly enough, my dear.   

       Please, someone stop me from posting Balloonerena. The title is calling to me.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       Would that be when you release several hundred of them during the Olympics opening night festivities and wait for the olympic flame to ignite them?
scubadooper, Aug 05 2004
  

       No, that's Balloonorama. A Balloonerena is someone who dances on their tip-toes balancing on balloons. Or something.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       would you be able to eliminate the lighter altogether if you modified the camera to use the battery to generate a spark that ignited the hydrogen?
xclamp, Aug 05 2004
  

       I was trying to think how you'd combine a balloon and a ballerina. Or would that be a Balloonarina?
wagster, Aug 05 2004
  

       [x], yes, that would work fine as long as you introduce a bit of air to the balloon as well.   

       [wag] yes it would. And you're about two annos behind.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       Simple. Practical. Inexpensive. Ballooneragineer. Bun.
yabba do yabba dabba, Aug 05 2004
  

       Ballyhoo....
normzone, Aug 05 2004
  

       Bah. Yes, we could set it up to just release the balloon as well. Or drain some amount of H2 (or even (sigh) He) such that it slowly falls back down. But then there'd be no bang and flash. Wait... The flash might be helpful for night shots if timed well.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       If things go wrong, the camera can take a snapshot of you screaming moments before you explode...[+]
destructionism, Aug 05 2004
  

       You could just fuse the balloon, then when the fuse has burnt up to the balloon, BANG! Also adds to the fun as you get to light the fuse before you let go... and not light the balloon by mistake... when I get home I'm gonna go play with my H2 generator and balloons. [Edit: And some paratrooper army men.] Not risking my camera though!
eulachon, Aug 05 2004
  

       (link) is for you.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       Yup, H2 balloons are tons of fun... H2/O2 balloons are Really dangerous though, I've never launched one. I made a small one and blew it up on the ground from far away... wouldn't want to accidentally light the balloon and lose a hand.   

       I did launch a garbage bag H2 balloon on a very long fuse though, it's definately a sight to see.
eulachon, Aug 05 2004
  

       NO NO NO. Camera goes up, drifts 200 yards north (or any direction) as it goes up because of the wind, pops and drifts another 200 yards further onto a roof or tree or into a stream or onto a road to be destroyed by traffic and the film unretrievable.   

       You say you only take the pictures in a safe no-roof-no-tree-no-stream-no-road area then. Well, whats the stupid fun in taking a picture of a barren field with you standing in the middle of it?? NO bun
macncheesy, Aug 05 2004
  

       [mac] Your scenario (and worse) is a possibility. This leaves us with 3 options:
1. Only use in open areas. Boring, except for near crop circles, etc.
2. Use only on windless days. Better, but not reliable.
3. Use your head. Don't set the timer for 10 minutes if it's windy and you're in the city. Set it for 10 seconds, and chase after it. Think of this more as a toy than something that's supposed to work perfectly every time and I promise your pictures will come out much more exciting.
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       (locational features added - see idea)
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       Bally-high?
It'd be my luck the camera would end up somewhere in the south pacific.
  

       "If you try, you'll find me
Where the sky meets the trees.
"Here am I your special picture
Come to me, Come to me."
RayfordSteele, Aug 05 2004
  

       "'It'll make a romantic picture' you said. 'No one will ever see it' you said. Of course the thing runs out of lighter fluid and our camera's following the sunset. Get dressed, get in the car, and find the damn thing."
Worldgineer, Aug 05 2004
  

       For camera, substitute an el cheapo camera cellphone (preferably someone else's, or invoke your handy cellular carrier's insurance) and set it to transmit its pics at 5 minute intervals. Include a GPS chip so you know what it's seeing. And when the *big* flash goes, well, it might have time to transmit its final picture before its case melts while plummeting to fiery ruin. +
phlogiston, Aug 05 2004
  

       I had a radiocontrolled zeppelin, some 35 feet long, powered by two directionable 3.5 cc two stroke engines, He filled (100 bucks worth of gas, shit!) with a video camera and a film camera. I used virtual reality glases to cut the sun's glare and it was like being in the cabin. You could see yourself on the ground, strange feeling, like an out-of-body experience. Crashing it was tops!.
finflazo, Aug 06 2004
  

       technical
k_sra, Aug 06 2004
  

       huh?
Do you need a drawing?
  

       [fin] zeppelin's another option. Add a small radio device and a few small props and you may be able to keep it from wandering off. Though that's much more weight.
Worldgineer, Aug 06 2004
  

       These are the sorts of ideas I wish I could come up with +
spiritualized, Aug 06 2004
  

       Or you could just use a piece of dental floss as a tether...
WordUp, Aug 08 2004
  

       Dental floss is heavy, though it should work for a dozen or so feet. Now carbon nanoribbon...
Worldgineer, Aug 08 2004
  

       anything involving balloons is always a good idea.
PinkDrink, Aug 08 2004
  

       Don't quote me but I think I saw this on tv. yesterday.   

       [2 fries] thinks he 'saw this on tv. yesterday.'   

       S*^t, I wasn't supposed to do that.
scubadooper, Aug 08 2004
  

       Please don't tease me [2 fries]. If this exists I must have it. Please expand on the description of your viewing experience.
Worldgineer, Aug 08 2004
  

       It was a program that I made my son go back to while he was channel surfing so I only saw a few seconds of it, but two guys were going around asking tourists if they minded having their aerial photos taken as they dragged this camera around on a string. I assumed it was tethered to a balloon because it wasn't windy enough for a kite.
I'll see if I can find a link.
  

       This would be a fun toy. In fact it has been a fun toy for thousands of Science Fair entrants and other students since photograpy became available to the masses. Can it get any more baked?
bpilot, Aug 08 2004
  

       You'd wanna hope it's reliable. Imagine the flash doesn't ignite the gas, there goes your expensive camera. Or the gas takes out the parachute, it could land rather hard
Spatula Head, Aug 09 2004
  

       Wouldn't it be funner to go up with the camera?
k_sra, Aug 09 2004
  

       [bpilot] I'm sure the concept of a camera on a balloon has been done, but this is a device that can fit in your pocket for that quick essential skyshot.   

       [Spatula Head]
1) Great login name
2) True about reliability. This could be handled in a few ways. I shall list them in order of funness (imaginary word used intentionally in honor of [k_sra], as "fun" should be the root of many more words than currently allowed by proper grammar):
- Small charge of C4 wired to balloon
- BB gun free with purchase
- Instead of lighter and H2, just use He and a pin
- Instead of lighter and H2, just use He and a valve (makes balloon reusable)
- Thread/string/dental floss/carbon nanotube tether
  

       [2 fries] Love the link. I want one of those. Shows that tethering is a possibility.   

       [k_sra] Yes, and assuming an adequate parachute, fun to come down as well.
Worldgineer, Aug 09 2004
  

       Rather than relying on the helium in the baloon to take it ub, and then waste the balloon by burning it - how about this for a plan. Have the device start with the H2 canister attatched and the balloon deflated. Flick a switch on it and throw it in the air. After a second or so to gain some initial altitude the balloon inflates from the canister, but slowly deflates through a very small hole. The balloon when inflated will hold the device upright for the camera shot, and then the whole thing will float gently back to earth. Replace the canister and have another go.
miasere, Aug 09 2004
  

       I think the attraction of this idea is that it seems within reach. I would like to see a jpg of [Finflazo]'s abovementioned rig.
bungston, Aug 09 2004
  

       [mia] That's on the same track as my valve idea. I like that it will always come back down, no matter what kind of failure happens while in the air.
Worldgineer, Aug 09 2004
  

       Dental floss is heavy? The hundred foot package in my bathroom doesn't weight THAT much.   

       Maybe the balloon is too small.
WordUp, Aug 10 2004
  

       Dental floss isn't that heavy. But it would limit you from the 10,000 foot picture unless you really up the balloon size.
Worldgineer, Aug 10 2004
  

       Ah, dental floss! Now it all makes sense... <looks slightly sheepish>
k_sra, Aug 11 2004
  

       Instead of a baloon, use two giant beach balls. I think they are 8 or so feet across. Fill one with helium (easer to find than h2 unless you want to make your own with electrolisis or lye, h2o and aluminum) fill the second beach ball with a netural mix of Oxy-acetaline from a cutting torch. Use 30 feet of cannon fuse attached to the oxi-acetaline ball (15 minutes at 30 seconds a foot) connect mercury switch to camera so that it will take picture when the ball explodes. This way everyone within 20 miles will know where the picture was taken. Note: You may not want to put your address on this one..
dlapham, Aug 11 2004
  

       That prototype made a great photo. You should see the terrified faces looking up, and that one unlucky pigeon. Good thing I armor plated the camera - the thing ended up embeded 4" into the ground.
Worldgineer, Aug 11 2004
  

       (bungston) The zeppelin still exists, but I gave the whole circus to a friend, and I was quite busy flying the thing, so apart from the pics taken with the film camera (looking from the cabin)...perhaps he's got some. I'll look.
finflazo, Aug 11 2004
  

       [world] only 4 foot? You couldn't have been very high then.
scubadooper, Aug 12 2004
  

       (scubadoo) Ah! But it was 4 feet deep in GRANITE.
finflazo, Aug 12 2004
  

       (please share)
Worldgineer, Aug 12 2004
  

       Bad jokes are always welcome annos on my idea (afraid of the pandora's box I may be opening).
Worldgineer, Aug 12 2004
  

       Croissant to you [Tabs] for a joke I had not heard before. Come to think of it I still haven't.   

       Does that mean I have free rein to tell a bad joke about women not being able to park cars? (for any women out there, by definition it'd have to be a bad joke)
scubadooper, Aug 12 2004
  

       Feel free.
Worldgineer, Aug 12 2004
  

       Apparently it's because they keep getting told this much: >>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<< is six inches   

       It's a dangerous road you take [world] when there's people with as bad a sense of humour as me around (thanks though)
scubadooper, Aug 13 2004
  

       That must be the ribbed version of six inches.
bristolz, Aug 13 2004
  

       You mean ribbed's not the only option?
scubadooper, Aug 13 2004
  

       A variation and put it more literally in the category of "fireworks": use fireworks with a camera attached. The cam drops off a fraction before the firework explodes, and chutes down. When the raindrops of light come down, snap, and you have a bizarre pic of a crowd gazing up in awe, surrounded by a ring of light.   

       The timing may be difficult to arrange here.
django, Aug 13 2004
  

       Cool..this could be used for some really good shots of migrating birds , migrating butterflies, and the like. It could be used in caves to get pictures of bats safely. I could even be used at events (weddings, etc.) for overhead shots. croissant for you!
Around TUIT, Aug 14 2004
  

       It could also maybe be installed on four sides of a plane. If the plane's software detects a crash coming up, it could eject the cameras in each direction to record the crash. Investigators would have an easier time of understanding what happened and plane builders would have data on how to make a better plane. Good stuff!
Around TUIT, Aug 14 2004
  

       A friend when I was a kid had some thing like the rocket in the link I'm about to post. As far as I can tell it does something similar to the original idea.   

       However I like the idea of quietly sending a balloon up to take the picture. Also If I remember rightly the rocket used as a kid had no options for changing altitude of photo, etc.   

       Modify the Idea into a controlled balloon (IE zeppelin) and I'll buy one.
afrocelt, Aug 14 2004
  

       Why do you need to get your camera back? Use a Polaroid camera, and a timer, and you can share your balloon photos with the world. Charge the balloon, let it go, and every hour a Polaroid will drop to the unsuspecting people below. Add a website address to the back of the photos, and you can plot where its traveled. You miss out on the exploding balloon but…   

       …yeah we’re gonna need to add some fireworks to this.
brodie, Jan 18 2005
  

       I like that. Paint the back side and front edges of the polaroids bright orange for easy location. I fear it ending up as litter though. Make it a camera cell phone, and you can e-mail yourself pictures along the way instead. The fun will then be to figure out where it ended up based on the pictures. Once you are close it's just a matter of calling yourself.
Worldgineer, Jan 18 2005
  

       Link added
Worldgineer, Jun 21 2006
  
      
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