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 Another design 
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:38 am
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Post Another design
I started out designing my head just for panoramic and gigapixel photography, but I think it may have some use for time-lapse as well. I've gone through many versions and control systems from dc motors with encoders and now back to stepper motors. I had been looking at Papywizard for control, but it has some requirements that make it hard for a simple Arduino to work with. So I am now looking at OpenMoco as well. Here is the latest rendering of my head:
Image

I am just working out the backlash adjustment system and will hopefully start making parts this week.

FAQ
Will I be selling these?
Yes provided it works well and the pricing is reasonable.

What will it sell for?
I still have to work that out, it's all based on machining time and batch quantities. I need to know how many serious buyers there are for it.

What is the timeline?
ASAP I've been working on this for a while now and want to use the darn thing myself.

How much will it weight?
Presently Solidworks calculates it's weight to be 2.8 kg without electronics & battery, I am trying to reduce that as much as possible without compromising stability.

Will it handle heavy cameras?
If the camera lens combination is relatively balanced it shouldn't be a problem, for nodal point mounting it should handle any DSLR body out there with a wide angle lens. If it can't do this it won't be produced.

Do you need help with making it?
I work as a CNC programmer/machinist so the building of it is no problem, I will be asking for help with software as I go along.

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Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:04 am
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Post Re: Another design
Wow. I really like this design.

Keep us updated... and yes this would be a perfect match for openmoco!


Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:16 am
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Post Re: Another design
Looks like some beautiful gear, Greg. Welcome!


Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:51 am
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Post Re: Another design
I love that you have made it capable of nodal point adjustment.
I would rather have too much weight than skimp on stability. Wind shake has always been a problem for me on longer sequences.

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Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:29 am
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Post Re: Another design
Funny, was just going through the "Really Right Stuff" web-page today and their pano/bracket designs - http://reallyrightstuff.com/index.html - thinking about how to motorize their pano head because it's nodal-adjustable. Looks like you're already there. Good luck and keep us posted!
LB


Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:35 pm
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Post Re: Another design
Thanks for you comments. I designed this at first for VR and Gigapixel photography since I like to play with that. I will definitely keep everyone informed on the progress, I just have a few project on the table at work that have to be rushed but then I will make the parts. It looks like I have several experts that can help out with the software since I'm mainly a cut and paste hack when it comes to code.

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Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:11 pm
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Post Re: Another design
Here are some photos of parts I made yesterday.

Worm wheel housing:
Image

Pitch axis motor mount with mounting holes for carbon tubes:
Image

Camera arm clamp showing outer bearing bore:
Image

Cross tube clamps:
Image

Worm inside motor mount:
Image

Nodal point adjustment arm (short) with clamp showing vernier scale:
Image

Gearhead compared to Nikkor 55mm macro for size:
Image

I changed some of the design to make manufacturing less expensive, the gear center distance is now adjusted with shims instead of the offset mounting of the worm wheel. This makes the gear head a two part assembly but is much easier to machine.

Still to be made are all the turned parts and a few adjustment of these parts. Just thought I'd show some progress.

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:11 am
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Post Re: Another design
Another rendering of the panoramic head.

Image

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:17 am
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Post Re: Another design
wow! that's gorgeous Greg! I'm totally in lust.


Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:20 am

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:38 am
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Post Re: Another design
I am looking at making a modular system of the gearhead, instead of having the round portion on the worm wheel housing it will be straight with a mount system to join two units together at 90 degrees. The output will have a 3/8 stud that will accept ballheads along with some threaded holes and through holes for other mounting solutions. It will be impossible to account for all variations with one mounting plate but it will be easily changed out for other designs.

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 7:25 am
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Post Re: Another design
Those parts look amazing. Great job. I hate to think what it would cost to make each one of those parts if you had to pay a workshop to make them.

I've had ball park quotes for CNC parts to be made locally here in Melbourne which are around $1K for the program and min $100/Hr for CNC. That would cost your 8 components (pictured) to around $8K for one offs! Of course each subsequent component would cost much less but CNC time is still a killer unless you have a market that can bear the cost. I suppose that's why almost everything is made in China!

JJ

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:31 am
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Post Re: Another design
If I was to pay for shop rate I'd owe about $20,000.00 for my various versions I have tried so far. Lucky for me I do the programming and use an idle machine at our shop. I also have spent way to much on electronics trying different micro-processors. I have programmers for PICs AVRs and now Arduino. I've made boards for a dc motor with encoder but found I required a better motor or a brushless design to get the precision I wanted. In actual cash into the project so far I have several thousand, but I am finally getting to where I want to be with it. So if anyone wants to follow my path be warned it is expensive, that's just the way prototyping is if your not willing to settle with something that isn't quite right.

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Another design
Beautiful work Greg.

If you do consider manufacturing something that other people can buy I think the worm modules you describe would be excellent. The single biggest problem I came up against was putting together/buying a precise drive mechanism. The 100USD worm drive I tried was not really precise enough - damned difficult to find too. Attaching your motors to some kind of frame, most people could probably do, and open moco is already available for control.

A 60:1 or higher, precision (+/- couple of arcminutes backlash, absolute minimum periodic error) wormgear for <200USD. Is that possible? Since these drives are only going to be used at low speeds, i was wondering if that affected their design.

I use PICs, what did you dislike about them?

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Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:47 pm
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Post Re: Another design
I don't really have a problem with PICs, but I prefer the Arduino for this project since anyone can update the firmware with a usb connection. The idea is to keep the software/firmware side open to the user.

You are looking for the Holly Grail of drives, unfortunately the higher the precision the higher the cost. We could get into mapping the drive and compensating for errors, but right now for my purposes I will be happy with some error, though it should be minor. I will be able to show more about performance of the unit once I have it together and can get some testing done. It is amazing how good some drives are off the shelf. The worm I use is ground for higher precision so like I say we'll see the final results after some testing.

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Mon Feb 08, 2010 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Another design
Nice craftsmanship there, I sure wish I had access to CNC machinery myself.

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Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:05 pm
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Post Re: Another design
A few more parts have been made, it's been so busy at work I haven't been able to do much. That being said there is only the 90 degree joiner to be made.

Image
Pitch axis gearbox with short camera arm attached. The worm wheel is visible inside the housing.

ImageImage
The axis bearing mount.

Image
The base for the mount. The large bearing rides inside the base while the small bearing rides on the axle shaft.

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Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:03 pm
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Post Re: Another design
Man.... Salivating! Gorgeous Gorgeous Gorgeous


Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:24 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:38 am
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Post Re: Another design
Things are starting to look like a camera head now.
Image
80-200 f2.8 D80

Image

Image
18-70 f3.5-4.5 D80

Image

The upright support tube will be shortened once I figure out what works with my lenses. The basic design goes together pretty good, there are a few tweaks and changes that I'll be doing as testing goes on. The control system is next, most of it is worked out. I am going to try something radical and that is to use a Mini2440 ARM9 board as a front end to OpenMoco. I may see if gphoto will run on the board as well.

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:12 pm
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Post Re: Another design
Great work Greg! Looks good! I don't know if you noticed, but added the ability to do repeats and actions during an individual shot cycle to make it easier to do gigapan programs w/ OM last week or so.

(So, you could say move "up" x steps between cycles, and in each cycle repeat the shot y times, and move "left" z steps between each repeat shot, and then return to the point where the repeat cycle started... So, if you said start a program with a limit of 5 shot cycles, with x=25, y=9, and z=25, it would cover 5 horizontal rows, of ten shots each row, with 25 steps between each shot on the horizontal row, and 25 steps between each vertical row.)

!c


Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:38 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:38 am
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Post Re: Another design
Looks interesting I can't wait to work on it this weekend.

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Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:52 pm
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Post Re: Another design
Really really like where your going with this Greg! If it's not completely obvious! :lol:

Keep up the awesome work.


Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:11 pm

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:38 am
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Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Post Re: Another design
Oops I guess I deleted photos from Flickr that were here. There are 2 videos of it in operation, please note that the camera head is capable of twice the speed now that I have changed my power supply:


Resulting 360/180 image shot
Image



Resulting gigapixel shot
Image

I am still working on the electronics end of things, if you are interested in my not so up to date blog it is here http://owl-panoramic.blogspot.com/

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Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:39 am
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Post Re: Another design
Super Cool!

Have you tried using "content aware fill" to remove the tripod and it's shadow?


Fri Mar 18, 2011 10:31 am
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Post Re: Another design
DerekMellott wrote:
Super Cool!

Have you tried using "content aware fill" to remove the tripod and it's shadow?


I didn't do too much with image it was really only a test shot. I also still use CS4 and haven't up graded yet, see what CS6 has to offer.

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Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:21 pm
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