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Time Lapse Camera Rail

Discussion in 'Other Builds' started by gjwest, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    gjwest published a new build:

    Read more about this build...
     
  2. Tweakie

    Tweakie OpenBuilds Team
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    An excellent build and a truly excellent presentation. :thumbsup:

    Tweakie.
     
  3. Neilyboy

    Neilyboy Well-Known
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    Very good stuff. I just did a similar build with openbuilds vslot hardware running 'The Chronos Project' open source arduino controller http://thechronosproject.com/
    I will have to check out this build further thanks again!
    Neil
     
    Amish Schulze likes this.
  4. Mark Carew

    Mark Carew OpenBuilds Team
    Staff Member Moderator Resident Builder Project Maker Builder

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    Great build! I second what @Tweakie says 'excellent presentation :thumbsup:
    @Neilyboy the chronos project looks like a nice controller system. If you get a chance to share your build version with the chronos controller and V-Slot that could be helpful for others working on a camera rail.
     
  5. mattkrebs

    mattkrebs New
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    Great write up, very detailed. You have inspired me to change a few things on my build.. Just when you think you have it finished....haha. Nice work.
     
  6. Mehmet Kah.

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    Hi gjvest,
    excellent work, thank you very much for your detailed information and efforts. I built a time lapse slider. It is little bit shaky and heavy.
    i am planning to build a camera slider (mobile) similar like your slider. I have got doubt about your sliding mechanism. I would appreciate if you answer them.
    - You used Nema 17 stepper motor, what is the step angle of the motor ? If it is 1.8 step angle, wouldn't it be more precise 0,9 angle ?
    - what is your motor specs ? Especially about power consumption..
    - This question is very important for me; How is the performance of your slider when you shoot just video ? Is it smooth ? I am asking because, i have got doubts about shaky movements. The step motor and camera on same plate. I have to select one of two sliding/movement mechanism; first is your system and second is motor on beginning of rail ( There is a project on openbuilds forum ).
    - I plan to built a slider for travel. It must be max. 1 meter. I use Slik 400 pro tripod. Do you consider 1 meter slider and one tripod is ok to carry all of them safe and stable way ?
    -My last question, maybe i should open a topic on forum for this, have you got any plan to add second axis for panning ?

    Thank you very much.
     
  7. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    Hi

    the motor is a NEMA 17 17HS8401 it has 1.8 ° step so 200 steps per cycle. However the controller does microstepping down to 1/16th so it can do smaller movements than that specified. The motor is rated at 1.8A but I'm pretty sure it is not drawing that as the chip on the Big Easy driver never gets hot, I haven't measured it.

    As far as using it to capture video directly I don't use it for that, I specifically made it as a move stop shoot, move stop shoot type of system as I only use a still camera to capture the imagery and put it all together as a video later on a PC. It can do continuous running but I haven't really tried it. It could probably be used to do as you asked but I can't really say as I haven't don it.

    I have found it to be very stable even in windy conditions, But as I said I only use it for stills not continuous video. With regards to the motor and camera on the same plate. there are no issues as the camera only takes an image once the motor has stopped so no vibration, There is an option in the software to delay the camera a few seconds after the platform has moved to ensure minimal image movement. I have a 1.5m rail and use two tripods, it can be heavy if carrying a long distance, particularly as you also have to include the power supply, which for me is currently a small sealed lead acid battery. It depends on distance and type of terrain, I stuff as much as I can in a backpack but have sometimes needed a second person to help out, particularly if you need to walk a couple of km to the location, or if you have a laptop and other hardware to carry.

    I currently have no plan to add a second axis, I'm revisiting the electronics and trying to get it smaller and mostly on a single board. There are system already out there that have panning, but if the need arises or if I feel like a challenge I may look into it.

    Hope this is helpful

    Let me know if there is anything else you want to know.
     
  8. Mehmet Kah.

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    Thank you very much for your response. Let me introduce my self.

    I live in Istanbul / Turkey . I am a photographer mainly. I have started to shoot short footages when i see something in good composition as a photograph at Istanbul streets. My another interest is star trails in photography. Time lapse and maybe hyper lapse don't need very accurate/precise movement or they don't need continuos sliding. I shoot video with Nikon SLR cameras not a dedicated video camera. My first slider is enough to shoot time lapse (I wrote details of it end of my post). But it is little bit shaky and i haven't satisfied for shoot video and decided to build a new one. I used DC 12 V 30 RPM motor, and T5 timing belt, maybe motor maybe timing belt and 30 tooth pulleys caused to small vibration. I bought GT2, 6 mm width belt and 20 tooth GT2 pulleys and i couldn't try them still. But even if new belt and pulleys cure my problem, it is very heavy, i can't carry the slider just by my self.

    It is always problem to shoot video on a windy weather. I just want to be sure my decision ok about sliding mechanism (because i want to order new parts from openbuilds). Are step motors can run vibrationless movement ? Most sliders use two pulleys; one of them at top another is at end of rail ( my first slider same ). Yes i saw similar projects as like as yours. Belting the slider only one side of rail is very attractive for me about less parts and looking more practical.

    Thank you very much again ..

    My slider parts,

    160 cm anodized hardened aluminum, similar Igus rails
    2 x T5 30 tooth pulleys
    T5 timing belt ( i dont advise T5 type for smooth motion )
    HSK TL 12
    Dc 12 V, 30 RPM, 1-1.5 A motor
    Dc 12 V, 5 RPM, <1 A motor for pan action

    for control motors and camera,
    St32 board (Arm cortex cpu, i advise it if you have got good programming skills (similar Arduiono boards programming but little bit more complex), it is a solution for all kind expansions for your projects. On board touch sensitive color display and many options)
     
  9. snokid

    snokid Master
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    I'm planning on using a lead screw should smooth out movement quite a bit.
     
  10. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    Thanks for the info. There are many options for making the Slider rail and mine is only my take on it. I have found mine to be very stable with minimal movement, but it depends on also having a stable surface and tripods particularly in windy conditions to minimise camera vibration/shake. With regards to the mechanism itself, I have not had any issues with vibration or movement whilst taking the imagery. The motor is totally inactive once the gantry has moved to the next position and only becomes active after the camera has taken the photo so there is no interference from the motor. Te GT2 timing belt works fine, it neatly fits into the rail slot and provides smooth enough motion when moving the gantry between shots. The motion between shots is very smooth, but it is not really an issue as the camera is not doing anything during the moving step, it only takes a picture once it has all stopped.

    I'm not overly good at programming but I will look into the St32 board it looks interesting.

    Do you have any pics of your slider rail??
     
  11. p40whk

    p40whk New
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    Hi Greg,

    Was wondering if the 4N25's that you used had any specific specifications or if you could use just about any of them (I've seen 4N25M, 4N25SM, and Digikey has about 75 different configurations.)

    I was also wondering where you got your information on how to connect the camera remote cable? Is the wiring an industry standard or is it specific to the camera manufacturer. I have a newer Olympus and it used a Micro USB for its remote so not sure if this will present a problem.

    Thanks!
     
  12. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    I'm not 100% sure,it's been a while since I've looked at these. I've linked to the data sheet for the 4N25 here it covers the 4N25, 4N27, 4N26 and 4N28. The original MiniE that this is based on uses 4N35 with a different resistor. The 4N25M is a through hole mounted chip whereas the 4N25SM is a surface mounted chip. for me the 4N25M is easier to mount.

    With regards to the remote I've only dealt with Nikon cameras so can't comment on how the Olympus remote works. The nikon one was simple in that it is essentially grounding the focus and shutter wires to fire the camera, the hard part was that there were 10 wires in the connection to the camera. I'm not sure if USB type remotes work the same. For mine I initially purchased a couple of cheap Chinese ones off eBay and pulled them apart to figure out the wiring, then purchased the desired cable again from eBay and retested the wiring before soldering the connections to the socket on the controller box. There was a bit of fiddling around initially but it worked in the end. I'd suggest having a good look on the net for DIY/custom camera triggers for your camera, there is a good chance that someone has already got a wiring diagram to make a start with otherwise I'd get a cheapie from eBay and strip it down you could potentially even make a cable by modifying one of these.

    Greg
     
  13. Jim Watters

    Builder

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    Thanks for the write up. My build is now in progress. waiting for timing belt. Next step it to figure out the electronics.
    To attach the tripods, I 3D printed a couple plates.
    Camera_Plate_20X60_top.jpg
    http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:900804
     
    M. Tamim likes this.
  14. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    I'm glad the project is getting some interest. I like the printed plates, very nice.
     
  15. tadej

    tadej New
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    Very good project. i realy want to build on my own but afraid i cant.
    Is possible to buy the asembled electronic from you?
     
    #15 tadej, Jun 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  16. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    I haven't worked out the cost to build one for someone else. There is probably at least $150 in parts by the time you factor in the Arduino, big easy driver, proto shield, lcd, i2c/spi backpack, switches and other components. Let alone the time to put it together and test it, plus it would depend on the camera not all remotes operate the same and may need to be wired differently to suit. and then there is the cabling/connectors if needed. I currently have electronic two units, my original one, that is described in the original post, and I'm working on a newer modified one. The original one is sitting there not being used, but I'm not sure I'd want to sell it.
     
  17. tadej

    tadej New
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    To bad because the original motion controlers are too expensive for me, maybe i will consider to buy one in near future because i'm traveling a lot across the USA and for hobby and for my friends back home in europe i like to show the beauty of land which i'm visiting in the best light is possible.

    Curently i'm using the nikon d5200 and d600 so if you will have in near future tested component for this cammera i will be happy if you will help me.

    tnx
     
  18. Xertzski

    Xertzski New
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    Awesome project, I'm currently in the process of putting it together myself. Most of the hardware I've got sorted, however, when attempting to compile with the alterations to line 176 in the MiniE sketch (Changing the LiquidCrystal lcd(8, 9, 4, 5, 6, 7); to LiquidCrystal lcd(0); ) I get the following error:
    Code:
    miniE:176: error: no matching function for call to 'LiquidCrystal::LiquidCrystal(int)'
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\LiquidCrystal/LiquidCrystal.h:56: note: candidates are: LiquidCrystal::LiquidCrystal(uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t)
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\LiquidCrystal/LiquidCrystal.h:54: note:                 LiquidCrystal::LiquidCrystal(uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t)
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\LiquidCrystal/LiquidCrystal.h:52: note:                 LiquidCrystal::LiquidCrystal(uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t)
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\LiquidCrystal/LiquidCrystal.h:49: note:                 LiquidCrystal::LiquidCrystal(uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t, uint8_t)
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries\LiquidCrystal/LiquidCrystal.h:45: note:                 LiquidCrystal::LiquidCrystal(const LiquidCrystal&)
    I'm not a software engineer or nearly as competent as I'd like to be, but google has failed me on this one. Have I misinterpreted the instructions in some way to cause this?

    Any input would be gladly received at this point!

    Also, thanks for the great project!
     
  19. gjwest

    gjwest Well-Known
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    Hi Xertzski

    Make sure the sketch looks like this:

    //LiquidCrystal lcd(8, 9, 4, 5, 6, 7);
    LiquidCrystal lcd(0);

    and that you have the correct Liquid Crystal library which I've included here,it is an Adafruit version that replaces the original Arduino one.

    I replaced the original Arduino LiquidCrystal library in C:\Program Files (x86)\Arduino\libraries with the one above. Adafruit have since updated the library and changed its name. It may be better to use the new Adafruit one and add it to your library and update the sketch to include the Adafruit_LiquidCrystal library and comment out the original #include "LiquidCrystal.h" and rename the LiquidCrystal lcd(0); to Adafruit_LiquidCrystal lcd(0);

    Best of luck
    Greg
     
  20. Xertzski

    Xertzski New
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    Hi Greg,

    Worked like a charm. Thanks so much for getting back to me and thanks for the excellent build, keep up the good work!
     
  21. philip100

    philip100 New
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    Hi gjwest :)

    Thanks for sharing your build. For me, it was the easiest one to follow for timelapse slider :thumbsup:
    I'm totally new to arduino. I have some experiences with web programming with PHP/SQL/JS, but never tried C++
    I found the MiniE program a little too overcomplicated for my needs because I need only shoot->move->shoot functionality (milkyway ;) ) and I don't want to use remote cable for triggering shutter as I made my own program to calculate exposure values for holly-grail timelapses. So I decided to try cook my own program based on your setup.

    As for now, I'm using just simple LCD keypad shield, which uses most of the arduino pins and I'm wondering if I could expanse my setup by saving some of the pins as you did.

    I'd like to have just basic settings:
    START : a value of how far (in mm) from home point (left limit switch in your case) should the timelapse start;
    END : an opposite setting to START;
    INTERVAL : a value of interval setted up on the camera program;
    PICTURES : a value of how many pictures should be taken;
    DIRECTION : left/right
    RETURN TO HOME : left/right (go to left/right limit switch in your case) affectig the DIRECTON setting when selected, or will set up the camera position by default on startup (based on the DIRECTION)

    The program will automatically adjust motor steps to make "PICTURES" amount of photos in a START- > END mm distance of the slider . It's not too overcomplicated to implement if I know pulley teeth count and pitch of the belt (RepRap Calculator - Prusa Printers)

    The question is - how would you achieve this? Would you still use limit switches to find out RETURN TO HOME point and START -> END positions, or you have some other idea?

    Kindly,
    Artur.
     

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