A Motorized Time-Lapse Camera Slider: Page 2 of 2

Build an automated Arduino-based camera slider for your next photography project.

to a mini XLR connector.


Rail Assembly:

To create the tripod mounts for the rail, drill 4 x 5-mm holes 20mm apart widthwise and 40mm apart lengthwise. Counter sink these holes to create a flush fit for the M5 screws. In the middle of the plate drill a hole and tap a 1/4-inch – 20 thread for the tripod connection. Build a plate for each tripod connection, usually only two for the assembly. Attach the plates to the rail by slide 4 –Tee Nuts into the rail’s grove and attach with 4 – 10mm M5 screws.

Next, for the limit switch brackets, repeat the sliding of the Tee nuts into the grooves on the top of the rail and attach with 2 - 10mm M5 screws. Spacers between the screw head and bracket maybe needed to keep the screws from damaging the rail through the Tee nut.

For the belt assembly use one Tee nut to fix the belt, teeth towards the rail, tighten one M5 screw into the Tee nut to hold the belt in place. Then slide the cart on to the rail with the belt between the wheels and rail. Pull belt between the wheels to engage with the gear on the motor. Pull the belt tight to the end of the rail and secure the belt with another Tee nut by pinching the belt between the rail and the Tee nut. Hold the belt in place with one M5 screw.

Electronic Box Assembly:

Internal wiring was done by soldering to protoboard that interfaced with the Arduino. This should be done after preliminary testing on a breadboard. Simple soldering techniques are required to

construct the wiring. The Arduino was secured in places using standoffs screwed to the bottom of the enclosure. The plugs for power, motor control, camera actuation, and limit switches were soldered to the protoboard before being mounted to the enclosure.

The LCD display is soldered to the I2C backpack before being wired in to the Arduino. The button array was simply connect to the Arduino and then stuck to the control panel using the adhesive backing. The control panel was created by cutting out openings in a thin block of wood for the four buttons and LCD display. The panel is secured in place with a screw on either side of the panel, through the enclosure. The enclosure used two Tee nuts and M5 screws to attach the aluminum bracket to the enclosure, and then two more Tee nuts and M5 screws to attach the aluminum bracket and the gantry plate.


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How does the timing pulley drive mechanism work? Does the pulley just scrape along the side of the rail? It is not clear from the diagram.

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