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 MyDolly TL motion control system 
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 72
Post MyDolly TL motion control system
After much back and forth I think I am converging towards my complete motion system. As I wrote somewhere, I know I can buy the DP or motion timer etc, but like many others I like to have a hobby building some of my own gear and also some of the nice stuff is (rightly) $$$.

So here's what I plan to build

- Arduino Mega + 128x64 glcd + IR controlled button free TL/motion engine, supersmall package
- IR and HW shutter control. Maybe USB at a later stage (PTP protocol). Maybe bulbramping at a later stage
- single 12V power for Arduino, camera (battery bypass), p&t head and dolly motor driver (see below)
- Merlin head for pan & tilt (shared 12V supply, 2nd serial from mega board)
- Nanotec NEMA 17 0.9deg step stepper motor for dolly
- micro Microstepper driver with proper heatsink, ... 2eb4676d65
- DYI 1m dolly. I don't have access to a machine shop nor my own workshed and in this country it's very difficult to get any proper materials. Ideally I use alu plating and cut and drill, but it's not an option. Terrible. So it's got to be basic. See figure below. I plan to use 3 L-rails, use rack gear on the middle rail and drive by having the shaft from motor vertical. Support and carriage I have to make from wood. Not ideal, but should work. Not sure if the rack gear is going to work but it's worth the attempt. It's not meant to be going steep which is fine with me. I made the drawing with Google Sketchup, great tool!
- stepperdriver to be mounted next to motor (not shown in drawing), controller on the side of the carriage (not shown). Power is separate and connects to everything via powerleads.
- controller has 12V in and 12V out 3x (camera, stepper and merlin) + serial out (merlin), usb-in, IR out and HW out (shutter control). LCD for programming and status. Control via IR remote.

I made the 1st version of the controller, I am getting the Merlin head and will integrate that next. I am ordering the motor, controller and some Servocity parts to get going with the dolly. Hopefully it works, at least well enough for what I want. I'll post an update when it's getting into shape...

mydolly.jpg [ 40.55 KiB | Viewed 1912 times ]
Sat Apr 30, 2011 3:15 pm

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:18 pm
Posts: 20
Post Re: MyDolly TL motion control system
looks awesome! can't wait to see photos of the rig....

have you worked with interfacing with a camera via USB at all yet? very curious about that....

Sat May 07, 2011 9:50 am

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:52 pm
Posts: 72
Post Re: MyDolly TL motion control system
- I ordered the stepper but in the end not via Nanotec, they were charging an arm and leg for shipment, small order charge and whatever not, it tripled the price. I ordered almost the same NEMA 17 unit via Ebay, somewhat less high-end but will do as a start
-Ordered the stepper controller
-Ordered gear parts from servocity
-Made the frame and glider, it's silky smooth for my purpose; now waiting for the other parts so it will be some weeks before everything is complete. Can't wait to see it working. In some other thread someone wrote he had ditched the rack gear for timing belt but I think rack gear is just going to work well.

USB connection via PTP, there was another thread on the same issue on auto-bulb-ramping viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4317&p=28181&hilit=ptp#p28181 Problem is that it's more sw involved, even when using the libraries. Also, not necessarily ALL camera's are supported. So it's not so flexible but if one gets it to work it just blows everything. I need to check if I have enough free pins as I need a lot of pins for the LCD, IR, Motor, but if so I'll probably order the USB host board for the Arduino mega and get going with it.

I'll update this thread with pics etc as I move along.

Sat May 07, 2011 2:34 pm
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