Cable dolly - Time lapse project
Rig all complete. Hung off some ball bungees between two door handles to test how it hangs!  The camera swivel mount hangs nicely and self levels.  I’ve added a tripod ball head to mount the camera which can then be tweaked for fine adjustments and levelling. 
Now to build the electronics ….

Rig all complete. Hung off some ball bungees between two door handles to test how it hangs!  The camera swivel mount hangs nicely and self levels.  I’ve added a tripod ball head to mount the camera which can then be tweaked for fine adjustments and levelling. 

Now to build the electronics ….

Code

Now i’ve got most of the mechanics working i need to try and work on building a code for the Arduino.  This is probably the most taxing thing for me to do, the mechanics are pretty easy to get together learning a new language is a lot harder. Been getting plenty of help from Richard Iles and my other friend Google thank you. 

Before building the code need to decide how i want this all to work, ideally i need to be able to quickly and easily program the dolly to be able to cover a set distance, take a set number of shots and slew the camera  (if required).

Speaking with Rich, my best bet would be a rotary encoder and LCD screen, how this is all gonna work i don’t quite know yet but i’m pretty confident that its all possible.

Short clip testing the cable drive motor, I’ve used a high friction soft rubber wheel connected to the stepper motor.  For now i’ve used a large rubber pulley belt(i had this left over from ordering the wrong parts!)  to demonstrate how the drive will work.  I’m not sure if i will stick with the rubber band as a motor tension or use something else stronger, i won’t find out till i’ve got it working on a steel cable with the full weight of a camera on it.  

Short clip of the stepper motor and pulley which will be used to rotate the camera.  I’ve used the code from here http://danthompsonsblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/easydriver-42-tutorial.html to test that the Easydriver and motors are all working.  

My aim is to create a dolly which rides a cable or rope,  this will automatically be driven along the cable.  Below the dolly will hang a DSLR camera mount, this will be able to rotate 360’. 

The brains of the project is an Arduino microprocessor unit which will control the camera via opto-isolators and a hacked remote shutter lead.  The Arduino will also drive 2 stepper motors via 2 x EasyDrivers