Step #1: Prepare the chassis platesPrevNext
- We’ll begin by drilling holes into the top and bottom plates that make up the chassis. Start by cutting your aluminum bar stock into two 4”×4” squares and sand down any burrs or rough edges.
- Precision drilling matters here, so print out the provided drilling template and apply it to the two squares using contact adhesive, and if you have access to a drill press, use that to drill the holes.
- Countersink all of the ⅛” holes drilled, and tap the hole in the center of the bottom plate with ¼ - 20 threads. Remove the templates and any remaining glue residue.
Step #3: Mount the stepper motorPrevNext
- Attach the pinion gear to the drive shaft of the motor and secure it with the set screw. Mount the stepper motor into the channel assembly and to the top plate using three flathead 6-32 screws and nuts.
- Make sure the shaft of the stepper motor is centered in the ½” hole on the right side of the channel. Place bearings into the bottom of the channel and into the top plate of the assembly. It’s not necessary, but you can use threadlocker to help secure the bearings in place.
Step #5: Build the driven shaftPrevNext
- Prepare the driven gear and the servo mount by countersinking a pair of holes into each of them.
- Use flathead screws to mount them to opposite sides of the clamping collar, ensuring the screw heads are flush with the surfaces, and then secure the collar to the shaft.
- Insert the shaft into the bearings, making sure gears are meshing well. Once a good fit is achieved, prepare some JB weld. Fit the cap screw into the hole in the servo mount with the threads pointing up, and then secure the screw into place with JB Weld. Once cured, check the mounting clearance with your camera. If the screw is too long, trim off the excess.
Step #6: Wiring the keypad shieldPrevNext
- We’re nearly ready to wire up the Arduino, but first we need to prepare the keypad shield to get access to some of the additional pins to drive the stepper.
- Cut and strip 5 equal lengths of jumper wire, using colors that most closely match the ribbon cable of the stepper motor. Solder the jumpers to the underside of the keypad shield using this placement.
- Fit the stripped ends of the wire into their corresponding colors of the motor’s wiring harness. Fit the keypad shield onto the Arduino.
Step #7: Programming the ArduinoPrevNext
- Download the sketch.
- Connect the Arduino to your computer via a USB Cable, and upload the sketch. Once loaded, use the left and right buttons on the keypad to change the rotation of the camera.
- Check to make sure the camera platform is able to complete a full rotation. Once everything looks great, use zip ties to attach the keypad shield to the rods using the mounting holes.
Step #8: Capturing a time lapsePrevNext
- You can attach just about any camera to the top plate using the 1/4 - 20 stud, and the motor should be strong enough to carry a lightweight dSLR.
- Once you have your time lapse set up on the camera, set up the panning on the Arduino. Set your start angle, and then your finishing angle, and then decide how long you want the program to run.
- After you confirm the time, the program will run. You can power the device from any USB power source, or a portable USB battery.