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 Servo Controller for timelapse and motor control 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:20 am
Posts: 1
Post Servo Controller for timelapse and motor control
I thought I'd post what I'm using for my timelapse setup as it is a cheap and fairly easy way to control a motorised slider or dolly.
The 3 components are -
Mini Maestro Servo Controller -
Pololu Simple Motor Controller -
Remote Control Shutter Release Cable - bought on Ebay, mine is for a GH4 but you can get them for Canon and Nikon too

The Mini maestro is the main controller. The remote shutter cable is plugged into it to trigger the shutter and it is connected to the Motor controller to control movement.
You can plug multiple motor controllers into one servo controller. I'm just using it for one motor.
The Servo controller has a simple scripting language that anybody can learn, that makes it easy to program your dolly movements and shutter release. You just plug in the servo controller via usb and use
the Maestro Control Center software to save the program to the controller.
The servo controller can read analog inputs so you could add switches and dials to control settings, and read analog input from sensors. I will at some stage add a distance sensor to stop the dolly hitting something or falling off a table. At the moment I just get it to stop after a preset distance.
You can also control the Mini Maestro over USB so it wouldn't be too hard to write a VB or Python interface to run it via a pc. My dell 8" windows tablet is a good size to be a controller. I'm not sure yet if I'll put the effort in yet to write anything.

I have my dolly set up for continuous movement and move shoot move. I'm using the Lil Mule with a .5rpm motor.

The motor and motor controller are powered by a 12 volt battery and I added a splitter and this UBEC to step down the voltage to 5.5 volts for the servo controller. The servo controller can run off 12 volts but the remote cable takes a maximum of 6 volts so I step it down.

Wed Apr 01, 2015 4:18 am
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Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:45 am
Posts: 1685
Location: Merritt Island, Florida, Estates Unitas
Post Re: Servo Controller for timelapse and motor control
What a neat project! The little dolly does a good job. It reminds me of the Camtrac because it is so portable with no track.
Those modules are kind of expensive, but they sure offer interesting possibilities.
You have a nice combination with the two modules.
One being the brain and the other running a DC motor from the servo plug.

Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:19 am
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