Friday, March 15, 2013

I blame Bob

A few months ago in response to my post about camera mounts Bob Skoot offered this comment:
BobSkoot
The video was pretty cool so I spoke to a friend who’s an electronics geek about the feasibility of doing something similar.
Well the first thing that happened was that he got all excited and immediately started talking crazy talk about things I knew nothing about - servos, rheostats, stepper motors, microprocessors, etc. - developing, at least to my mind, the Taj Mahal of remote control GoPro apps. But the more he talked and the more questions I asked the more it all made sense to me. Soon we had a concept and a development approach that seemed pretty simple and straightforward.
He then offered to build one for me but by then had done such a good job of convincing me it was really quite easy that I decided to have a go myself. And so now I’m neck deep in Arduino development environments, bread boards, cheap Chinese electronic components, and a new hobby (long-suffering spousal unit rolls eyes at this point).

As they say, at least it keeps me out of the poolroom.

15 comments:

  1. seems complicated- but you know, the heart wants what it wants

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    1. No Name - Not as complicated as it looks, fortunately. But still it's a good excuse to learn something new and maybe get a useful part out of the deal.

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  2. Canajun:

    My ears are burning . . .

    I still want one, but I have an idea for a manual model. I just need to find a cheap, hobbyist machinist

    If you get it working, put me down for one

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    1. Sorry about that Bob. :) I'll be posting progress (assuming I make any) and I'll be sure to keep you in mind.

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  3. How did anyone ever manage to ride a motorcycle before the GoPro ... you lost me right after electronics geek! I thought I'd like a GoPro type cam, but now - too complex! Good luck - am looking forward to hearing how it turns out and just exactly what it does.

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    1. Karen - Don't let this discourage you from getting a GoPro. They are a good unit right out of the box and surprisingly easy to use. It's only those of us who always want more that make it complicated. That's true in all things I suppose, including riding.

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  4. So you are trying to pan the camera remotely on the bike? Excited to see the outcome!

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    1. KT Did - Yes, that's the plan. Initial prototype will use a switch/controller mounted on the handlebars. If it works as well as I'm hoping revision 2 will be a wireless connection. But I'm getting ahead of myself there.

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  5. The Arduino seems to be a great development environment with lots of support from other enthusiasts. What are you thinking of using for user control?

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    1. Richard - I'm learning a lot about the Arduino environment, and it does seem really good, although to be fair I have nothing else to compare it to. As for controls, right now I'm trying to decide whether to go with a 2-button, pan left, pan right option or a rheostat for better positioning control and speed. Technically either is not an issue but I'm worried about staying focused as a rider with too many things to do/play with so I may keep it simple for now with just a couple of buttons for the first version.

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  7. Geez I got lost in the servo, rheostat talk. Heck I just pull over and take a picture. Good luck with the project, who knows maybe you will have a gizmo you can market to other riders.

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    1. Dar - So did I at first but electronics has always been sort of an unfulfilled interest of mine and this seemed like a really good way to get my feet wet, so to speak.

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  8. That all just sounds like a foreign language to me but I am sure hubby could understand all of it.

    Hope you get it sorted. If nothing else it gives you something to do until Spring.....or Summer depending on how long it takes.

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    1. Trobairitz - With the current weather we're getting I expect I'll have a lot more non-riding time than I want!

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