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 Project Chronos build thread. 
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Post Project Chronos build thread.
SO i figured it is time to go ahead and start documenting my time lapse system Chronos 1.0

Right now it is still in the early stages of development, but it is functioning and usable at this early stage.

Chronos 1.0 is a time lapse rail based of the Igus drylin W-16a slide rail. The drivetrain consists of a stepper motor turning a lead screw with an antibacklash nut under the carrige. This results in a very small managable and streamlined package. The rail is 39 inches long, and i have managed to get 35 inches of travel by reducing the size of the carrige and ensuring it can reach end to end.

I went a different route with the feet, using a pair of quick release ball heads wish a couple metal brackets for the feet, making it very flexable and able to adapt to various enviornments, with the ability to use tripods as well. So far im very happy with them.

This is a very portable and lightweight system. easy to hike with, easy to get to hard to reach areas. I wanted to make sure this was a system a single person can transport and setup with ease.

Chronos 1.0 is a bare-bones working prototype. The movement is very smooth and yields excellent results with time lapse.



Next i will be working on upgrading this to chronos 2.0 which will include the following

- Continuous movement and SMS ability

- An advanced control box that will plug into Chronos adding greater control flexability.

- A shoulder strap mounted on the bottom to increase ease of transport, as well as offer assistance in setup flexability and stabalization.

- Drilling and tapping a few hundred tripod holes to increase flexability of tripod placement and weight reduction.

- Weather proofing.



After that, I have some plans for Chronos 3.0 which are really going to expand the ability of this rail into new areas. But ill get into that later.


Here are some photos of Chronos. As you can see, small, streamlined, no extra bulk.

I apologize for the crappy pics. my D7000 was busy, so i had to use my cellphone.


Image

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I put a bag over the controls on this while camping because it kept raining. lol.

Image

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:35 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
here are a few timelapse examples

http://taborstreetphotography.smugmug.c ... LKDQ6-A-LB

http://taborstreetphotography.smugmug.c ... Qc6rv-A-LB

http://taborstreetphotography.smugmug.c ... 2BS6s-A-LB

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:37 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.


Neat! I have also done research for 'metal parts' at a local hardware store, but one of the major challenges is the 'slow motor' required for timelapses. Your sample timelapses would be interesting to see, but require a password (?).


Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:50 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Opps. try chronos


ill get rid of the password later, smugmug seems to be having issues

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:36 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Love your work! That looks perfect. I could build a ladder type system, but who wants to lug a ladder around? Its amazing how much just moving the camera a couple of feet adds to a scene.

Is the motor/controller off the shelf or did you build it. I hate wiring and soldering.


Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:11 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Jack Ripper wrote:
Opps. try chronos


ill get rid of the password later, smugmug seems to be having issues


Thanks! Now that I can view the videos, I am even more impressed -- both with the 'tech' and the 'photography' itself :)


Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:32 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
flyfishnevada wrote:
Love your work! That looks perfect. I could build a ladder type system, but who wants to lug a ladder around? Its amazing how much just moving the camera a couple of feet adds to a scene.

Is the motor/controller off the shelf or did you build it. I hate wiring and soldering.




I m trying to make it as friendly s possible, right now it is an arduino microcontroller with a breadboarded easydriver. the setup is not ideal because the stepper is unipolar wired as biwire. I fried a couple chips by being an idiot when i was trying to set it up because i made a bad assumption about the stepper motors wiring. This is a temporary setup, the code is bare bones minimum, no speed ramping, the design has 2 backlash so no backlash compensation, it just turns for now, 2 buttons, in, out, and a potentiometer broken out into cases for speed variation./

the size of this rail is what attracted me, i dont want to haul around two big ass tripods along with a 6 foot rail, 3 feet of movement seems to work quite well. all the videos in that gallery with exception of the night shots are done on this rail.

i gotta be honest my favorite feature right noow is the feet, they are on ballheads and capable of hitting nearly ny angle, or popping right off to be replaced by a tripod. im going to devlop a shouler strap system that can help secure this to trees or what not.


ill get some better images and post them up

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:04 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Ok here are some decent pics.

keep in mind, this is chronos 1.0, the control system i barebone setup i devised so i had it working in time for my camping trip last weekend, it will probably be scrapped and replaced with something far more sophisticated in the next few weeks.


Image

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Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:35 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Wow! That is amazing. Honestly, electronics is my weakness. I was looking and Celestron has a couple of adjustable speed motors for powering a EQ mount. One looked particularly interesting. Adjustable, 9v battery that they claim runs for 40 hours, compact and self contained. It's powerful enough to move a telescope on a mount, so it might work and for about $40. Just can't find too many specs on it like speed.

http://www.celestron.com/c3/product.php?ProdID=518

By the way, are you making those plexi parts or is it your machinist partner? That is something I could do. Used to work as a machinist. If you are making those parts, what are you using?


Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:08 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Yeah plexi, well, lexan actually, cool stuff it is literally bulletproof. He has a 3 axis cnc machine, were using plastic mainly because it is tough as hell, easy to use, and he knows a guy who works at a plastic shop who gives him free scrap material.

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Fri Aug 26, 2011 1:17 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Did some weight lifting today, at a speed that gives 1/2 hour travel across the rail it lifts 25lbs vertically with ease , bogs down at 30.. However at slower speeds it has more torque. I bet it will do 50. I just need a more secure way to set it up before I put that much weight on it, my tripod just is not strong enough.

So chronos is quite the powerhouse. :)

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Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:54 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Small vid of it lifting 25lbs.

http://taborstreetphotography.smugmug.c ... KR2Wr-A-LB

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Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:39 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Jack, have you thought about putting an article up about your build on openmoco.org? We've got some similar projects over there, and not only would it provide a good place to document it - it would certainly be helpful for the others coming along looking for ideas to see it next to the miniE, microMoco, TimeLapse Engine, eMotimo, etc. =)

We'd love it if you created an article there showing off your work!

!c


Tue Aug 30, 2011 4:52 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Yeah that would be a great place to put it!

Im looking all over the place for a place to blog it, where it would show the oldest post first. Unfortunatly most blogs work backwards with newest to oldest, rather than oldest to newest., how do i go about making an article at openmoco? i would love to put it on there!

is that something that would have to be written once then uploaded, or could it be a living document that i update as i go?

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Wed Aug 31, 2011 1:18 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Jack Ripper wrote:
Yeah that would be a great place to put it!

Im looking all over the place for a place to blog it, where it would show the oldest post first. Unfortunatly most blogs work backwards with newest to oldest, rather than oldest to newest., how do i go about making an article at openmoco? i would love to put it on there!

is that something that would have to be written once then uploaded, or could it be a living document that i update as i go?


As long as you're registered, you can create any kind of content (you just can't edit others') - there's a link on the left that says "Create Content", from there - tell it you want to create a Story, and then select the content types that apply: Article, Hardware, DIY, etc. You can always come back and edit it, and people can leave comments. I believe it even floats back up to the top when you update it later.

There've been some really popular projects lately, I like all the cool stuff everyone's been building!

!c


Wed Aug 31, 2011 5:33 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
I see! Very nice!

i need to get some stuff together, i will definatly be putting it on there.

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Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:41 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Added a new speed pot to the rail. I Had to rewrite the code since i swapped out the easy driver for an adafruit motor controller which allows me to run this thing in unipolar mode as it was designed. im able to life 25lbs veritically now.

Also spend some time working with i2c protocol and got a master arduino telling 2 slave arduinos wwhen and how to blink. it works well, but i need to find a booster for the i2c because it does not work well over distances.

all in all im pretty thrilled with how it is going. i feel stagnant though, im waiting on some new parts to get the P+T system running as well as a more robust conroller system based of the DFR lcd shield.

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Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:57 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Jack Ripper wrote:
Also spend some time working with i2c protocol and got a master arduino telling 2 slave arduinos wwhen and how to blink. it works well, but i need to find a booster for the i2c because it does not work well over distances.


A question regarding i2c - while there certainly are buffers to help with longer distances, is there a driving reason you chose this over other protocols, like SPI, CAN, or RS-485? Just wondering there.

!c


Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:21 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
tmp-shutterdrone wrote:
Jack Ripper wrote:
Also spend some time working with i2c protocol and got a master arduino telling 2 slave arduinos wwhen and how to blink. it works well, but i need to find a booster for the i2c because it does not work well over distances.


A question regarding i2c - while there certainly are buffers to help with longer distances, is there a driving reason you chose this over other protocols, like SPI, CAN, or RS-485? Just wondering there.

!c


Well don't laugh but embarrassingly enough the main reason is because I'm a total amateur when it comes to programming and don't know any better. I have no training on this, i just sort of stumble through this as i go along. I did some googling on the subject and 12C seemed like a good way to go, I tried it out and got 3 Arduinos speaking together pretty quickly. I have not explored any other methods of communications, and this is the first time I'm trying this. I've only been programming less than a year, and even then only when I'm working on a project. So I'm not committed to any specific comm protocol. I'm nervous about a serial output because when using the serial out on an LCD shield or to my laptop for debugging my stepper drops to about half speed and i cant get it going faster. My impression is I2c wont slow things down.

i have a handful of P82B715 chips on the way to help with the distance problem, and it seemed like it would be easy to implement. Not to mention it uses A4 and A5, which none of the shields so far seem to do.

I am absolutely open to any alternatives that may work better, the basic architecture of the coding im going to do is to have the meat and guts of the moco in the individual devices such as the pan, focus controller, zoom controller, etc, the box which I'm referring to as Puppetmaster will basically send the required variables to each device to prime them, then control them with a syncing pulse to trigger the movement of each part as well as trigger the camera.

First i just have Chronos, the next part of the system will be the camera trigger using an RBBB and a cable for Canon. (I'm a nikon shooter, but i plan to pick up a Canon 40d for timelapse so i can use bulb ramping)
next will be the pan head, then the focus controller, and so on.

all being on the same buss i can plug and play, Puppetmaster will only recognize and display menu settings devices that introduce themselves on the bus and can be directly connected to any individual part, so it can interface directly with the rail, or the pan and tilt, or whatever else. Also on I2c i can use phone cable to connect them and also supply power to all components so i dont have to have power cords going to eveything. By putting at least 2 RJ11 jacks on each device they can be daisychained together and should all talk to eachother just fine.

each part will have its own Aduino brain (in some form or another) that just needs the setup parameters then the trigger pulse to sync the movements.

im sure this is a horribly inefficient way, but i am pretty sure i can pull it off, if not, ill have to look at other modes. but i am certainly open to suggestions.

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Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:48 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Jack Ripper wrote:
Well don't laugh but embarrassingly enough the main reason is because I'm a total amateur when it comes to programming and don't know any better. I have no training on this, i just sort of stumble through this as i go along. I did some googling on the subject and 12C seemed like a good way to go, I tried it out and got 3 Arduinos speaking together pretty quickly. I have not explored any other methods of communications, and this is the first time I'm trying this. I've only been programming less than a year, and even then only when I'm working on a project. So I'm not committed to any specific comm protocol. I'm nervous about a serial output because when using the serial out on an LCD shield or to my laptop for debugging my stepper drops to about half speed and i cant get it going faster. My impression is I2c wont slow things down.

i have a handful of P82B715 chips on the way to help with the distance problem, and it seemed like it would be easy to implement. Not to mention it uses A4 and A5, which none of the shields so far seem to do.

I am absolutely open to any alternatives that may work better, the basic architecture of the coding im going to do is to have the meat and guts of the moco in the individual devices such as the pan, focus controller, zoom controller, etc, the box which I'm referring to as Puppetmaster will basically send the required variables to each device to prime them, then control them with a syncing pulse to trigger the movement of each part as well as trigger the camera.

First i just have Chronos, the next part of the system will be the camera trigger using an RBBB and a cable for Canon. (I'm a nikon shooter, but i plan to pick up a Canon 40d for timelapse so i can use bulb ramping)
next will be the pan head, then the focus controller, and so on.

all being on the same buss i can plug and play, Puppetmaster will only recognize and display menu settings devices that introduce themselves on the bus and can be directly connected to any individual part, so it can interface directly with the rail, or the pan and tilt, or whatever else. Also on I2c i can use phone cable to connect them and also supply power to all components so i dont have to have power cords going to eveything. By putting at least 2 RJ11 jacks on each device they can be daisychained together and should all talk to eachother just fine.

each part will have its own Aduino brain (in some form or another) that just needs the setup parameters then the trigger pulse to sync the movements.

im sure this is a horribly inefficient way, but i am pretty sure i can pull it off, if not, ill have to look at other modes. but i am certainly open to suggestions.



Oh, no worries - I just wondered if there was a specific driver for it, and I think you answered that question. Largely, I tend to find i2c to be very finnicky for line capacitance, including when using buffers - but for most home-made setups, this rarely becomes an issue once you get a working combination.

The issue with delays are present even with i2c, as the Atmega processor can only operate one instruction at a time, you just tend to see less of it because while both UART and i2c are implemented in hardware on the Atmega, i2c tends to run at a faster data rate than we normally use with TTL serial - but it is not required to run it that slow, however, higher speeds can result in higher error rates.

Interestingly enough, I would presume that since you're using the motor driver shield, you're using the Stepper library. If that is correct, I didn't realize the stepper library had non-blocking driving - and if it doesn't, (i.e. you call "steps" and wait for it to complete) then the issue with your motor slowing down will only get worse. =) (Or, conversely, if blocking, you won't be able to communicate with the device effectively until after the move, as you still need to poll the i2c buffer at some point.) Mainly, blocking movement was a major issue in the original TLE, which is why the latest dev version has moved completely to non-blocking motor stepping, although I'm not sure this will be possible with the driver shield you're using as it requires you to modulate the H-bridges manually, rather than using a step pulse setup. I presume that you experienced delays in speed b/c your code looked something like the following pseudo-code, but I could be wrong *grin*:

Code:
void loop() {
if( read_serial() == true ) {
    do_serial_stuff();
}

step_motor(step_distance);

do_other_stuff();

}


With a step-pin-based driver (there are unipolar ones, such as those from Probotix [$] and Gecko [$$]) you can effectively use interrupts to run the motor, allowing you to operate as normal in the rest of your code. It would still be possible to do this modulating the h-bridges directly, but you have to write very tight code. There will still be noticeable delays at high-speeds, depending on the step rate and time slices one choose, when other interrupt-driven activities occur (like receiving serial data, even if your code isn't presently processing it, or receiving i2c data into buffers), but you'll have better control over it.

If you want to go that way, take a look at Timer1, and using that to drive your motor at the given rate - but remember, delay()s inside of an interrupt don't work - that means in the library functions you call as well =)

Generally speaking though, your architecture is spot-on, that is both how the original TLE worked, and how the new nanomoco-based TLE works - you just get the addressing already in your i2c communication, whereas the nm stuff had to bake addressing into the protocol for use over RS-485.

EDIT: here's a link to the step/dir-style driver from Probotix for unipolar motors: http://probotix.com/stepper_motor_drivers/ProboStep/ - it may be too beefy for your rig, but it's an example of such a beast.

!c


Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:05 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Thanks for your reply,

you seem to have a pretty good understanding of what im going through with this. I am using blocking, but i had it setup for a single step at a time, so with a very basic code even with the buttons, pots, and limit switches it works fine with continuous.

i was getting the impression it was slowing down to write to the serial, then stepper, then serial, then stepper. I was playing around with going from 1 step at a time to 4-5 steps at at time but much faster i was getting strange effects and i figure it was due to it pausing to write to serial. So you have confirmed my suspicions, which makes me happy because it means im starting to understand this stuff better.

In my testing i was using a sparkfun serial LCD, i was just wanting to display certain information while the program was running, i tried increasing the baud rate but started getting very strange effects on the LCD, i assumed i was thinking about it wrong. Plus increasing the baud made no difference in the stepper speed, at least that i could figure out, i assumed i was thinking about it wrong. so i basially abandoned the LCD and decided i would just use some basic labeling techniques, the LCD was not needed and just adds a cool element.

To be honest i might not have been increasing the speed right, i found some sketches where you serial begin at 9600 then you speed it up with a hex code which translates out to ctrl-g or something like that. if i WAS doing it right, it did not seem to make any difference.

This is my first time trying to do a continuous movement setup. My last platform Speedy 2.2 was a small SMS car with panning, i think there is a link in my sig, being SMS i did not seem to run into any problems.

I plan to make chronos a stand alone unit, a button to switch directions, a pot for speed that when cranked all the way to one end start an SMS mode, and another POT for setting the delay between SMS.

The Puppetmaster box is not going to be needed unless i want to tie in extra functions like panning, i may just leave the puppetmaster restricted to SMS. That would eliminate a lot of the issues, even with slowdowns from the comm protocol i can still move the stepper fast enough.

Lots of things to consider.

i tell ya what though, i love working with this stuff. I work in a technical career on VoIP networks, troubleshooting and diagnosing, i love technology, but work is definatly work, this other stuff i absolutly love.


I guess the next step is to experiement with my existing code and implement i2c and see what kind of a delay i get.


Hey i have a quick question, maybe you can help me since you seem to know this stuff pretty well, when using the bus extenders, do i need to implement them like edge devices? have one on each plug? for example one on each device, or if just set a single one in the puppetmaster control module would it boost the entire signal anywhere i have connectivity?

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Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:51 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
You must have one buffer for each device, you should not attempt to use a mixed deployment, where some devices have buffers and others not. Depending on the buffer you use (I'll have to look up the datasheet for that one you listed), you may still need terminating resistors set at the appropriate value for the number of devices in the chain. The buffers basically increase the amount of line capacitance you can support in the i2c network.

Generally speaking, i2c was invented for very short communication paths between two independent components within the same device. SPI and the built-in TTL UART are for moderate cable lengths, and long-haul specs like RS-485 and CANBUS (which runs on RS-485) are used for long runs between devices. i2c buffers and drivers can be used to extend the length of the network, but tend to reduce speed and outside of any benefits allocated via hardware enhancements or software libraries that make tasks easier (like the Wire library), don't provide any additional benefits, to my knowledge, over more proper long-haul specifications. Of course, to achieve the long-haul nature, RS-485 networks do require drivers, but have a benefit of only requiring two wires (vs. three) between devices. However, typical RS-485 is half-duplex, meaning sending and receiving are blocking operations for the entire network. The drivers tend to output typical TTL serial - and, in fact, in the nanomoco, the driver outputs directly to the RX/TX lines of the arduino, allowing for use of the hardware serial capabilities to reduce delays (however, there is still a delay to allow the driver to flush its buffers after transmitting).

You will likely continue to have timing issues, as i2c still requires you to spend time pulling the data out of the buffer, delaying, and then spending time sending back a response (if required). Again, you can't do two things at once, but you can "slice" processing time using interrupts (although there can be issues should two interrupts conflict with each other). For the hardware serial and i2c, the input and output buffers are handled through interrupts. If you were using the SparkSoftLCD library I wrote for the serial LCD (or a similar one), it used a software serial interface, and thus had a large number of delays in the transmission of data, hence the problem in your blocking motor timing - you expected a certain delay between steps taken, but did not account for the time spent transmitting data to the LCD in your delay, perhaps? I do, however, recall needing to set the baud rate on the sparkfun LCD as a single-purpose activity, not something you do every time you run. That is, you set the baud rate in a program, and then your future programs simply use the new baud rate - this setting is retained in EEPROM on the LCD, IIRC.

The general approach for continuous motion is to use an interrupt to drive your motor, and then use normal procedural (blocking) timing to handle activities like checking for data input, etc. You can time-slice through normal procedural timing, but you do end up running a risk when handling incoming/outgoing data, as your timing will be dependent upon the amount of data you are transmitting/receiving, and what you do with it when you get it.

I do have a decent understanding, largely because I went through the same exercise myself a few years back. =) I started with i2c, control logic running on one Arduino, and interface driven by another Arduino, doing all blocking timing. For SMS, blocking is perfectly functional - as long as you don't need real-time interface interaction during a movement, which ended up being a dead-end when you get to having multiple devices on a network, and a GUI for the user to interact with. As for driving motors, updating a UI, etc. on a single Arduino? Yes, it can totally do it, and quite well with the right software. Check out the DollyShield source some time - I can promise it's a bit harder to read than the TLE, but it supports a parallel LCD, five UI buttons, a camera, multiple inputs and outputs at the same time as driving two DC motors very similarly to how one would drive a stepper (by pulsing power to the motor at the right time). The trick is to do the right thing at the right time, and never do more than you have to at a given step. =)

I agree -- it is a blast! So much so, that it now is my work (well, is half my work until the end of the month, and then it's 100% of my work =) - although, I will admit, work is always work, and it's most fun when no one is relying on you to get anything done by a specific time. *grin*

!c


Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:48 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Hi Jack,

Great work. Simply amazing. I would certainly would like to have such a device in the near future. I got interested with doing TL but haven't really started out. Been reading the ins and outs and a lot of FAQ's in this forum where I accidentally stumbled upon the link to this site while viewing some TL's posted online and immediately registered just a few days ago.

I have posted some queries about flickering issues hobbling mostly Nikons and got some generous and warm response from other active forum members, <thanks Bertha! :-) >

I noticed that you were using a D7000 doing time lapse and all the more that i got interested especially employing a Dolly to make the capture more dynamic and interesting. So it's like hitting two birds in one stone as the saying goes.

I hope i could learn more and have a much better understanding of the nuances and pitfalls to avoid while doing TL photography, with the help of all you guys who are so generous to share knowledge and experience..

By the way, how'd you get about that flickering issue with the D7000 without the use of that other cool device i've seen here as well, that cute little bramper (nice!) though i understand the bramper has nothing to do with flickering but rather as a DIY intervalometer. Sadly, for Canons only. Hope @astronomerroyal can make one for us with Nikon cams :(

What lens can you recommend for day to night shooting that works well with the D7000? I'm eyeballing to get my hands with the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII by end of the month. Right now I have Tamron UWA 10-24mm aside from the kit lens that goes with the D7k.

Thank you in advance and hope to read more about TL stuff from you and the other generous guys and gals around here.

All the Best!.


Charlie
Philippines (currently in Saudi Arabia)

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:06 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
ya know, the flickering issue, i think i a bit misleading, if you are stopping way down it may come into play, but so far with nrunning 2.8 glass i can stop down to 5.6 and not get any flicker. I have not tried f11 or f22 or anything simply because i have not needed to, if i really need to slow things down i have a 3 piece ND filter kit with a 3, 6, and 9 stop ND filters that i can stack. but generally i dont find i need them.

As far as good lenses on the D7k, it is just spectacular with the 70-200, i have the first gen version and it really pairs up nice, if you dont need telephoto i highly reccommend the 24-70 2.8, that is on my camera about 90% of the time unless im doing timelapse or astrophotography.

I love nikon, i love the ergonomics, i think they have better autofocus, metering, and glass than canon does. my shooting partner is a canon nut, he has lots of very high quality glass and a 7D, canon makes fantastic gear but i think nikon holds the edge, there is a very good reason they are stealing so much of the market share. So far aside from the Pentax K-7 there are NO crop sensors cameras that offer the color depth and dynamic range of the D7000. I have yet to see anything that is as naturally sharp as the nikon 24-70 and nikon d7k paired up. Insane sharpness with no boosting straight out of the raw file.

however, Canon seems to work with various things better than nikon, including astrophotography which nikon filters out certain wavelengths which make AP much more difficult, also Canon can do the -twist truck to keep the aperature from moving during timelapse, and it seems to work better with bulb ramping. Which is why here in a couple week im going to be ordering a canon 60d. Maybe a base 18-135 kit lens as well as a Nikon G to canon mount adapter.

the nice thing is having a canon shooting partner, so if i wanted to borrow from him he has the 17-55 2.8, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8, a canon 2x teleconverter, the 85 1.2 l, abd a 50 1l.4 and the 100 2.8 macro.

he has a helluva lens lineup that i have access to. Im really looking forward to getting to know canon better, but aftrer proecessing thousands of images from my nikons and his canons, canon would have to do some seriously impressive stuff to make me swap systems entirely.

I think for generally photography Nikon absolutely leads the way, but for some reason it falls short on Astrophotography and timelapse, both of which im into.

But if i know canon, and i think i do, thier next lineup of DSLRs will probably leapfrog Nikon. Only to be surpassed again, so they can jump ahead again.
The best part of shooting nikon, is thier biggest compeditor is Canon, which forces nikon to really work hard to keep on top. and vica verca

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:29 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
I do wonder if the "Nikon flicker" issue varies between models and lenses. On my models (D3S, D700) and lenses (14-24, 24 f/1.4), if I shoot anything but wide open I may get no flicker at all for extended periods of time, but sooner or later the exposure will start bouncing back and forth, seemingly between two levels, giving intolerable flicker. This behavior might vary from lens to lens, and if firmware is involved, perhaps from newer to older models too.

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:42 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Guys, i beg tolerance for my ignorance, but what is SMS? :)

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:58 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Shoot-move-shoot - meaning the camera is moved a step, takes a photo, then moves another step and so on.

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:05 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
"Shoot-move-shoot - meaning the camera is moved a step, takes a photo, then moves another step and so on."

Great!. Now i'm learning. Thanks.

So does it mean that it will be automatically timed to shoot while temporarily not in motion since if takes a shot while even slightly moving or panning will blur the shot.

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:12 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Yes, sort of - though, the movement is usually so slow that it doesn't cause any blur. The exception is if you shoot at night with long exposure times. Jack likes to do that. ;-) For SMS the camera and the cart/dolly should be controlled by the same device in order to make sure that stepping and shooting stays in sync. For most purposes however SMS isn't necessary and it works just fine to control the camera by an ordinary intervalometer while the cart/dolly moves continuously.

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:01 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Hi Jack, been following this thread ever since. Wow! amazing work you're doing. Nice to see your Project is with a D7k. Most of the post i've seen here leans more towards devices intended for Canon. Keep it up. Hope i could get my hands in one of that baby of yours someday!.

I'd really like to see you succeed.. So the rest of us could benefit from such wonderful job. :P

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:29 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
well my goal with this is to make it as easy as possible for anyone who wants to build one.

once i have the controls finalized, and the coding built, then its a few touchups and ill start releasing complete part lists, wiring diagrams, and any instructions i can to make this work.

So fare the coding allows the following in either direction

Continuous 1/2 hr travel
Continuous 1 hour
Continuous 2 hour
Acceleration / Deceleration travel at 1/2 hour

The Acceleration / Deceleration mode is pretty cool, here is a link to how it looks.

http://taborstreetphotography.smugmug.c ... r9LVB-A-LB

Next on my programming TO-DO list will be SMS capability, hopefully with an acel/deceleration SMS function too.

The SMS mode should be easy enough, i programmed my old robot speedy to do that.

I really want to have a full set of features on this rail as a standalone unit, however more fine tuning will be available with the control box Project Puppetmaster, so i have to figure out I2C protocol, but honestly im having a bitch of a time getting it to work, even basic stuff. So ive been scouring the internet, reading tutorials, and i ordered a couple books on programming. Once that is punched out and everything is finalized ill release the code.

The good thing about this rail, is if you can program arduino, it will be compatible with any system you want. My code will be available, but if you feel so inclined and feel you can do a better job (many people can) there is nothing stopping anyone from coding it however they want.

I really want to see as many of these out there as i can!

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Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:20 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Hey folks.

Just figured i would toss in an update.

I have the acceleration ramping working, the control box still looks like crap though.

I have not had much time to work on the programming, but i have pretty much all the parts i need for the finalized Chronos control box. Looks like it is going to run with 4 buttons and 2 analog dials to get acceleration ramping, flat linear movement, sms, and a list of delays.

I plan to finish chronos as a stand-alone unit, but to complete the hardware in a manor i can just change the code to get it working with Puppetmaster.

I also got the DFR LCD keypad shield, which is going to be the brains of Project Puppetmaster which will be used to orchestrate the movements of various parts of the system, linear, pan tilt, focus control, etc.

And ive been trying to get as much time going through as many tutorials as possible, i havent been able to get i2c to work for me yet on a custom program, but it works on pre-made sketches i download so im still figuring that out. In the meantime i got a couple books on programming and have been trying to get as much experience as possible. I need to do some serious learning here to accomplish my goals but im sure ill figure it out.

Sorry for the lack of updates and progress, it gets tough sometimes being a single dad, working full time, part time photographer and still working this stuff in. :)

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:55 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Hey Jack, I was wondering if you had tested outside in 100+ temps.

The guys I worked with who had a Igus like yours (except it was a belt drive), had no end of trouble with an enclosed box, in direct sun, on a hot day, they eventually had to add a fan to vent the box. Worked fine at night or morning or in the shade...

What's your take on the heat generated by the electronic during a higher speed (~1-2 sec interval) daytime shot?

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:11 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
So far i have not had any issues, then again my control box is open on top and very much in its prototype stage

i have not had much problems with head with this motor driver, it seems to run pretty cool.

On Speedy i used an arduino with 2 easydrivers and an LCD all enclosed in a little plastic black box, those easydrivers get real hot real quick, but i never had any issues with speedy malfunctioning due to excess heat. to be fair i never used it in 100+ degree temps, and i did add some holes on the bottom and sides for a passive ventilation system.

I have not programmed SMS into Chronos yet. piggybacked the chips on the motor driver because a single chip was not strong enough, so far running them piggybacked it seems like an easy task for the driver to run that stepper.

The stepper has never become more than marginally warm to the touch. If it gets too warm ill add a fan into the design, im really hoping to get a near waterproof design on this though.

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:41 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Chronos got some D-rings and a shoulder strap today. I added 4 rings because i wanted to have some flexability, you never know, i may use the shoulder strap to tie it to a tree for some vertical timelapses. If the extra D-rings are annoying, i can take em off, i tapped them at 1/4-20,. so i can put tripod quick release plates there too.




Image

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Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:25 pm
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
That is excellent work. Well done.

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Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:18 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
Does that thing double as a "stinger"?

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Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:32 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
its solid enough you could literally beat the shit out of a black bear then run a timelapse of its decomposing carcass.

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Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:53 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
:o Jack, you're one sick puppy! :lol:

Jack Ripper wrote:
its solid enough you could literally beat the shit out of a black bear then run a timelapse of its decomposing carcass.

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Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:40 am
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Post Re: Project Chronos build thread.
BerthaDUniverse wrote:
:o Jack, you're one sick puppy! :lol:

Jack Ripper wrote:
its solid enough you could literally beat the shit out of a black bear then run a timelapse of its decomposing carcass.



lol.. ive run into 3 bears now. So far they have left me alone, but im always nervouce when i come across a corner and there is some blackbear sitting there 20 feet away staring at me with no fence/moat/cage between us.

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Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:49 am
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