Friday, April 12, 2013

Progress is being made

Learning as I go, waiting for parts to come by mail, realizing I’d missed something and so more waiting for parts to come by mail (repeat several times), repurposing materials to new uses, screwing something up so having to start over… That’s been the story of this project so far.
But progress is being made and today was the first test of the panning servo. Some weaknesses identified but otherwise about 75% successful I’d say.
So now it’s back to the shop – a warm refuge from the freezing rain and snow pelting down outside right now.

20 comments:

  1. Canajun:

    I was thinking of you this morning when I heard that Ottawa was forecast for 15cm of snow or freezing rain.

    It's a perfect time to test your Panning contraption. I like it, but will it withstand 120 km/hr on the highway ?

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    Replies
    1. Bob - That's what I hope to find out if I ever get to ride this year. The biggest issue is going to be getting a solid, minimal vibration mounting system but I have some ideas there that I think will work. We'll see.

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  2. Canajun:

    I have an idea for a manual rotating mount, but I need a machinist. It would be simpler and less prone to break

    AND why aren't you at work ? (oh oh, perhaps you are like me)

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast

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    Replies
    1. Bob - Surely you can find a machinist in Vancouver. As for work, I took a snow day. :)

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    2. Canajun:

      let me rephrase. "I am looking for a geek machinist who would do this as a challenge and not be looking for any form of reimbursement"

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast

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    3. Bob - Ah, that explains it.

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  3. Looks like a great start. Can the pan speed be changed on the fly? It looks like the camera mount is directly attached to the motor shaft. A longer, larger shaft wouldn't shake as much if the bearings are widely spaced and a friction drive to the motor will allow things to not break if the camera movement was blocked or moved manually.

    Pretty cool project....

    Bob:
    Work is where the Internet is faster right?

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    Replies
    1. Richard - That is what is known as creeping specifications.
      Right now I'm just using a hobbyist servo to do a proof of concept, and as an excuse to dabble in some new stuff for me (electronics). The camera is mounted right onto the shaft which will be a weak point over time, and I'm not sure how it will stand up to the vibration, but that's what prototypes are for - to find out. If it works I expect I'll be in the market for a better servo (or even a small motor) to drive it.
      I hadn't thought of being able to change rotation speed on the fly, but since it's software driven it would be easy to add in a rheostat speed control. Alternatively I could just drive the panning with a rheostat and control speed simply by turning the control faster or slower. Will probably mock up both options to see what's easier to use.

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    2. Feature creep, that's why what we're here for! How do you like working with the boards and what programming environment are you using?

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    3. Richard - I'm using the Arduino platform. I must say it's pretty easy to use but the learning curve is steep for me because of my lack of electronics knowledge (last I used any of this stuff I was patch wiring analog computers at school).

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  4. Ooooh! I love the GoPro videos on their site with the time-lapse sunrises and sunsets.

    How difficult could it possibly be to set pan limits, time delayed panning... Oh the mind reels at the possibilities. It's all just a circuit board away, and there you are with the undeniable talent.

    Maybe Bob and Karen and I could be beta testers!!!!!

    Don't let me stop you Dave, get back to work on that gizmo pronto :)

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    Replies
    1. David - Easy on the "undeniable talent" bit. I'm learning this as I go with my trusty "Electronics for Dummies" book right here beside me.

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  5. That looks like it is working pretty slick so far.

    Will be neat to see the results when it is done and mounted on the bike. You can always pan a shot of the snow from inside the warm garage - just raise the door.

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    Replies
    1. Trobairitz - But that would let the heat out! :)

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  6. That is pretty cool. I am guessing the noise of the motor will be picked up by the camera mic, so you might have to remove the sound from the videos and go with music only?

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    1. Gary - I expect you're right about the sound. A quieter servo might help but then again normal riding sounds aren't all that great to listen to anyway. I guess I'll just have to dig into the heavy metal library.

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  7. Canajun - you've gotten a little more high tech than I can imagine. Myself, I might just mount it on my helmet and turn my head - so lame eh! I know a couple of motorcycling machinists ... I'll have to check if they are geekie enough!

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    Replies
    1. Karen - Why take the easy route when there's another infinitely more difficult and complex? :)

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