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Author Topic: 7ft Camera Slider  (Read 9979 times)
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I'm a DSLR video hobbyist and wanted to motorize this 7ft slider I built with Rig Wheels http://www.rigwheels.com/ and box track.

I used the Arduino mega and motor shield from radio shack, along with a potentiometer and switch to control the speed and direction of the servo. I modified the servo to rotate continuously by removing the control board and plastic tab on the gear that makes it stop.

Here's a video that shows how the project works: http://youtu.be/T3kRqQmtkjY

Here's some sample video with some shots with the slider: https://vimeo.com/37225344

And here's the sketch that makes it all work:

Code:
//This program controls the speed of the servo with a potentiometer

int potpin = A0; // Analog input 0 is used for the potentiometer
int val;
int dirA = 12; // Sets pin on motor shield for direction
int dirB = 13;  // not used in this example
int speedA = 3; // sets pin on motor shield for speed
int speedB = 11; // not used in this example
int buttonPin = A5; // sets pin for switch used for direction change

void setup()
{
  pinMode (dirA, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (dirB, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (speedA, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (speedB, OUTPUT);
  pinMode (potpin, INPUT);
  pinMode (buttonPin, INPUT);
  digitalWrite (buttonPin, HIGH); // Turns on pull-up resistor after input
}



void loop()
{
 

  while(digitalRead(buttonPin) == LOW) //when pin goes LOW
  {
    val = analogRead(potpin); // read the value from the potentiometer
    digitalWrite (dirA, HIGH);  // servo forward
    analogWrite (speedA, val); // Set the speed of the motor to the value of the potentiometer
  }
    val = analogRead(potpin); // read the value from the potentiometer
    digitalWrite (dirA, LOW);  // Servo Backward
    analogWrite (speedA, val); // Set the speed of the motor to the value of the potentiometer
}
 
 

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Port Elizabeth, South Africa
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HAHA! That is either a GH1 or a GH2.....have you hacked it?

Nice...I need to build me a slider as well.
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"The really amazing thing is how many people are successful with their Arduino projects considering the fact that so many of them do not have a technical background.  A lot of them seem to try, and succeed with, projects that no sane engineer would even attempt." - floresta commenting on the proper use of LCD displays

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HAHA! That is either a GH1 or a GH2.....have you hacked it?

Yup - it's a hacked GH2.
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Great project and nice results on vimeo smiley

I have been planning on making something similar for a while now
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Awesome!!

Ten points to you!
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Awesome!!

Ten points to you!

Thank you smiley

It's my first arduino project - hopefully many more to come - super addictive.

My next step is to figure out how to interface with the GH2. There seem to be some threads about controlling various DSLRs but I have yet to find anything specifically on controlling the GH2....
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To my knowledge, external control of the GH2 (like the Canon implimentation) is not possible. The most you can do is play with an external shutter release setup. This is of-course, the last time I checked up on it when I read about the way Canon's can be controlled with, I think a Nintendo DS with custom software.
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"The really amazing thing is how many people are successful with their Arduino projects considering the fact that so many of them do not have a technical background.  A lot of them seem to try, and succeed with, projects that no sane engineer would even attempt." - floresta commenting on the proper use of LCD displays

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Even creating a simple intervalometer would be helpful. They make them in this form:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00404X7V6?ie=UTF8&tag=cheoocsy-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00404X7V6

But I have yet to find much documentation on even just triggering the shutter with an arduino.
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So I went ahead and purchased and assembled the dolly shield from Dynamic Perceptions

Works great for a time-lapse version of this slider.

Learned the hard way that the dolly shield and MX2 firmware is not compatible with Arduino Mega 2560, only Arduino Uno.

http://youtu.be/ETPC0SXt-GU
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I bought two remote shutter releases, I think its Pixco brand from China. Works well. The one I actually want to use for long exposures, although I can see myself modifying it into a nice, custom enclosure which will also house the intervalometer.

I haven't done anything of the sort yet. What I can tell you is that there are three plates in the unit, first two touch and you get the "half-press" function, those two touch the third and you get shutter release. There's two resistors, and if I remember correctly, the one resistor goes between the first two plates, and the second resistor between the second two.

Wish I can tell you more but I have too much on my plate at the moment to focus on that. Hope you get some info regarding. I hope to finally get to this in the next two to three months. I am also thinking of a pan-tilt head with slider. Though I want my pan-tilt head to have the added function of being controller real-time via a joystick of sorts, like a turret gun  smiley-cool
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"The really amazing thing is how many people are successful with their Arduino projects considering the fact that so many of them do not have a technical background.  A lot of them seem to try, and succeed with, projects that no sane engineer would even attempt." - floresta commenting on the proper use of LCD displays

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Hey- just am starting to get involved in open source motion control and time lapse (I am not a big video guy so i will mostly do Time Lapse stuff)
 I saw your project over on the OpenMoco forum- looks really good so far!! I am trying at the moment to create a very inexpensive (<$200) portable, pan/tilt timelaspe head (gotta do what you can when you are a high school student  smiley-mr-green). I noticed that you were based in Idaho- I live in southern Idaho so maybe we are not that far apart smiley

Nice project!!
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wow GOOD JOB!

the possibility to talk with the camera Firmware via USB or Remote would be great.
Im thinking about the IR port or the Wireless interface in some Brands.

Idea 1
It sould be possible to access the shutter, appartue or any-settings in some canon DSLRs with a modification of the Magic Lantern Firmware.
Its open source too.
mybeee this one:
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=125318.0

Idea 2 is to put a USB-Sniffer between a Camera and A computer with tethered Software like Lightroom and get the code.
Maybe its crypted with some Security algorytm like Timestamps to protect it from Manufactures for 3.Party products...

you can bring your slider to the next level If its possible .
Just some daydreamings...
I Dont know... lets see... lets try....
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 10:51:27 am by damarco123 » Logged

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Hello Mitchrichi,
 I am cinematographer..
 I am using CAMTREE 8ft Encoder Motor E-Slider http://www.camtreerigs.com/index.php/motorized-camera-slider/camtree-8ft-encoder-motor-e-slider-with-manual-crank-level-feet.html.
I found it True portable slider at 1/3rd price of any other slider.
Images of this slider:


It is very Silent, smooth and versatile tracking. very easy to set up and give extraordinary results.
I am posting some more sliders here you can watch out http://www.camtreerigs.com/index.php/motorized-camera-slider/camtree-6ft-motorized-video-e-slider-with-manual-crank-level-feet.html
http://www.camtreerigs.com/index.php/motorized-camera-slider/camtree-6ft-motorized-video-e-slider-with-manual-crank-level-feet.html
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