Motorized Camera Slider Component Advice

Hey

I want to build and program a Slider Control Box for my DSLR Slider.

I am a Java programmer and also have some experience in C so the programming part should not be a problem. But in regards to electronics I need some advice what I need for that project.

The slider is supposed to use a Nema17 stepper motor to move on one axis and needs to be able to trigger the camera for timelapse photography. I bought a used slider that already has an attachment for inserting a Nema17, so that part is covered already. Reducing the motor noise would be very nice as well. I watched some videos of DIY sliders that use the Nema motors and they were really annoyingly noisy. I briefly looked into ways to reduce noise with stepper motors and found out that there are different kinds of controller boards. Stepsticks seem to be the ones that produce the least amount of noise?

Due to my lack of experience with electronics and the different possibilities I would really appreciate if you could help me figure out what parts I should get exactly. I need some board that allows me to trigger the camera via remote cable and i need a board to control the servo motor.

Thanks!

What is a slider? Perhaps a drawing of what you want to do would be more helpful.

A slider is a pretty standard piece of photographic equipment these days. So long as you’re not doing motion control synchronised to video frames, it’s not hard to do with an Arduino and a stepper.

Microstepping will reduce the motor noise. Most stepper drivers can be configured to make the steps as small as 1/16th or 1/32nd.

Power consumption is going to be an issue. Is this going to be battery-powered for long timelapses? Then it may pay to choose a different motor technology.

For the camera trigger, an optocoupler can be used to isolate the Arduino from any high voltages that the camera may produce. You would usually use two, so that you can control the half-press and full-press actions independently. An ILD2 has two optocouplers in the one package. Here’s a schematic and PCB layout that I’ve used. This layout will also work on stripboard.


Thanks for the tip with the octocoupler MorganS.

MorganS: Power consumption is going to be an issue. Is this going to be battery-powered for long timelapses? Then it may pay to choose a different motor technology.

Later I would like to be able to draw power either from NPF style Sony batteries or a V-Mount battery because both of these battery types are used in all kinds of camera equipment anyway. But as long as I am prototyping this is not neccessary.

For reference: Sony NPF https://www.amazon.com/DSTE-Replacement-MVC-CD1000-DCR-VX2100E-NEX-FS700RH/dp/B00M3P9YBQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1512053093&sr=8-2&keywords=sony+npf V-Mount https://www.amazon.com/MAXOAK-12000mAh-Battery-Camera-Camcorder/dp/B00RN76282/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1512053138&sr=1-4&keywords=v+mount

As driver I would like to use a TMC 2100. From what I've read and seen it seems like the perfect fit.

Now I am still not sure what kind of Nema 17 to get, the regular ones or the geared ones. I want to be able to move the slider carry up a 45 degree slope if possible. Thats something between 4 and 8 pounds of weight, that the motor will have to move.

Awrange: As driver I would like to use a TMC 2100. From what I've read and seen it seems like the perfect fit.

Can you buy a breakout board with the chip mounted, or are you capable of using surface mount components your self

Now I am still not sure what kind of Nema 17 to get, the regular ones or the geared ones. I want to be able to move the slider carry up a 45 degree slope if possible. Thats something between 4 and 8 pounds of weight, that the motor will have to move.

If you want to use that driver make sure you get a motor that can work with a current (amps) that is comfortably within the capability of the driver. The link above says 1.2 amps but it does not say "continuous" so I reckon 0.8 or 0.9 amps might be a sensible limit. However I have not done any detailed research.

Generally speaking the low-current high-torque motors are intended for lower step rates.

Stepper motors have the great advantage of accurate positioning but they are very inefficient and not really suited to battery power. A simple DC motor with an optical encoder might make more sense - and should be virtually silent with any driver. If you use a worm reduction gear it will hold position without any electric power. However it is not so easy to get a DC motor to stop as precisely as a stepper motor. On the other hand if the required motion is slow it will be easier to achieve precision.

You need to decide exactly how much precision you require.

With either system you will need the means to Zero or Home the system to establish the starting point from which moves can be counted.

Lots to think about.

...R Stepper Motor Basics Simple Stepper Code