a work in progress

As part of my photography interest a while ago I stumbled across a site by a chap called David Hunt describing a timelapse photography rig where the camera was moved. The results are very impressive. Here are a couple of links

At the time I was working as a mechanical designer for a Design Consultancy as I used the CAD design software Solidworks every day I designed my own rig in my lunch hours. Having a good working relationship with a local CNC machinist he made all the bespoke parts for me. The electronics are based on a Raspberry Pi, not knowing anything about electrickery I was fortunate to have colleagues who did! The rails that the camera dolly runs are standard 25mm chrome plated steel tubes similar to shower curtain or shop display rails at about £8.00 for a 3metre length.
The scheme I came up with allowed for the length of travel to be adjusted by using different length rails the limiting factor being the available length of the toothed drive belt.
The whole mechanical build went very well, the electronics build had its moments and challenges, but the the help of my electronics experienced colleagues I ended up with a working system.

The plan when I retired with ALL that time to spare was to get out and about and use the rig. People say after they retire “I don’t know how I had the time to work” how right that is. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t used the travelling rig in anger apart from a few test runs of very boring vistas. I have made a static timelapse rig that again uses a Raspberry Pi computer in conjunction with a very small Raspberry camera and I have used that a few times successfully.

More recently I have been playing with the Raspberry Pi Zero W which has an even smaller footprint than the already quite small standard Pi. The Pi Zero is 65mm x 30mm compared to the standard Pi which is 85mm x 56mm, the Zero W also has WIFI capability which allows very easy interfacing. The combination of the Zero W and the standard Pi Camera module does allow a really quite small timelapse camera to be packaged not including the power source of course which is always a challenge in these situations. However, I have found that the Pi can be powered very efficiently using a standard USB power which come in all manner of shapes and sizes and can be directly connected to the Pi via the on board standard micro USB. Hopefully, mobile phones will continue to have micro USB and then these power banks will also continue to be very competitively priced. Please click on the Pi page button above if you are interested.

Below are a few random static timelapses