100m Rail domecamera

I am new, yes.
Want to do a project, did do the basics on ARDUINO UNO R3, leds, motor & sensors.And did I enjoy it, so proud in the achievements. Proud South African but life is not easy, very hard & expensive. first time speaking in a forum feels great hope for the best.

I want to build a trolley that will hang upside down on a rail in the air that will be moving on wheels only forward & backwards with a motor( type) ? 100m of rail track. Then I want to install a dome camera into the trolley that will be controlled. The motor also needs to be controlled. Need to insall sensors also to prevent trolley from running of the beginning & end of track. I got a passion to do this.
What do I need to do a project like this, I turn my coins around a few times before buying wrong stuff. Ain't got to waste What type of ARDUINO board, type motor (trolley 3kg) Type camera that will work with ARDUINO and what type of coms ? would like wireless though.

Thanx for all of you out there, keep up your dreams, and for those who made it great stuff.

An Arduino does not have the speed or memory to deal with images. However if the camera just transmits image data to something else an Arduino could be used to control the camera.

Your description of the project is too vague for me to offer any ideas about the mechanical system.


How do you want to power the motor? Add the power supply (batteries?) to your inventory list. Eventually a motor cycle battery may work, depending on the operation time between recharging.

The required motor power depends on the desired acceleration and speed of the trolley, and the inclination of the rail.

First thank you all

DrDiettrich- Regarding the power: The (100m) rail will have a +/- copper strips for power to the ARDUINO board-(?) so that it will power both the ARDUINO & motor driver-(?) and more. Thank you for your’e concern on that one.
Robin2- Regarding the image: at this stage I think RF-antennas?But, over 100m ? What strength will I use? I’me just troubled about noise over that distance. What do you think? Thanx in advance


Robin2- Regarding the image: at this stage I think RF-antennas?But, over 100m ? What strength will I use? I'me just troubled about noise over that distance. What do you think? Thanx in advance

Sorry. I know a little about programming Arduinos. I know nothing about wireless transmission of images.


I initially read that as 100mm. 100m is pretty big. Where do you have 100m of ceiling to hang this from? Or does it go outdoors on poles?

Outdoors is difficult. You can't just use copper strips for power pickup. Copper will oxidize in the air and become an insulator. Often it will be easier to use the steel rails as the power lines. Just mount them on plastic brackets as insulators.

There's lots of neat little pan/tilt mechanisms available for Arduino to point a camera. But the video feed back from the camera must be a totally separate wireless system. The Arduino can be controlled with a cheap wireless system, like the ones on the same frequency as garage-door remotes. Or you could be clever and impress the control signals on the power wires for more reliability.

Are you putting the traction motor on the camera carriage, or using a pulley/long-line system to push/pull it across the distance?
The second option will significantly reduce the weight and power requirements on the dolly (aka stability and speed control), but will still need comms for camera control and signal.
There are many variables to consider in both scenarios - momentum, inertia, lash, overrun, weight of the interconnects, stretch and support of the cables / wiring etc. Vibration in frame, image stabilisation...
An interesting project, but be prepared for several iterations and significant investment!

Power via the rail might suffer from bounce. If the carriage looses contact with the rail, the Arduino will reset. You need to take counter measures. A big capacitor and/or some form of spring loaded contact come to mind.

A similar problem can occur with signal via the rail (and a capacitor will not work in that case).