3 camera booms for your Wednesday afternoon

[Andrew] tipped us off about his Cable Cam built out of some lumber and clothes line. It is small enough to fit into a backpack,  includes a safety line and the camera can pan and tilt. A future version is planned with a small remote motor to move the trolley more effectively.

[Andrew] accidentally linked us to his other Camera Crane, taking the same ‘cheap yet effective’ approach as his Cable Cam. Once again, just some lumber and creative engineering are used to pull this one off.

For those without the ability to weld, check out [Bill Van Loo’s] all wood version of a Camera Crane. Same parallelogram design, without remote video output or central pivot.

Servo hacked linear actuator

[AntonB] has modified a servo into a powerful linear actuator (think: changing rotational motion into linear motion). The process is simple enough, modify a servo for continuous rotation and then add the custom built actuating shaft. You do of course lose the precision of the servo, but a small price to pay to be able to lift ~20 pounds straight up. Inspiration for such a cheap solution came from his Planetary Surface Exploration Rover. Check out a video of both after the break.

[Thanks Eric]

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Five updates for the Steadicam

[YB2Normal] has updated his steadicam 5 times! For those that remember the original, it allowed indie film makers to create smooth and steady video. Version 2 implemented a new gimbal based on a throttle linkage in cars. Version 3 allowed the user to easily adjust angles and weights to prevent accidentally knocking the assembly. Version 4 seems to have disappeared. And finally, version 5 updates the gimbal again using a Traxxas U-joint and redistributes the weight. What should come next? We think a handle, holding onto a threaded bolt can’t be good for your hands.

[Thanks Update]

A different breed of camera controllers?

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We’ve covered almost every way possible to remotely control a camera setup, from lasers, to Lego, to doorbells, and even having a Nintendo DS run the show. But at the end of the day, what if you want something that’s small, simple, has amazing flexibility for future additions, and most importantly doesn’t take away your favorite game system. [Whiternoise] wrote up an extremely detailed guide on getting an AVR to control your camera. We like the clean look the final product has, and the large amount of possible add-ons is a major plus. What do you look for in a cheap multi-function wireless camera controller?

Cheap Yaris cabin filter

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[Jake] never ceases to amaze with his inventions, from his Powered respirator to his Steampunk LCD and more. Today he proves that not every hack has to be an amazing one requiring hundreds of hours, tons of soldering, and an Arduino. Instead, he was tired of being charged $50 for a $5 cabin air filter. With a quick squeeze he had access to the filter bay. It was only a matter of finding a similar filter at a home improvement store and then using a scrap wood jig, he could cut and glue his own filter. It’s stuff like this that tends to make us think, what else are we getting ripped off on?

Collect and analyze ECG data

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Although we’ve covered DIY ECGs before, [Scott Harden] sent in his version that gives an in-depth explanation of what to do with the collected data. He built a basic battery-powered op-amp-based ECG for under $1. The circuit just amplifies the signal from the chest leads and feeds it into a computer via the microphone port. He then used GoldWave to record, filter, and save the signal. From there, he used python to analyze the heartbeat and calculate his heart rate and further manipulate the data. His previous blog posts go into more detail on how the python code works and why he chose software over hardware filters.

Custom flex sensors

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Flex sensors, like the ones used in the Nintendo Power Glove, are generally expensive and hard to find. However, [jiovine] demonstrates that they are easy enough to make from spare parts. He sandwiched a strip of plastic from ESD bags between pieces of copper foil, and wrapped the whole thing in heat shrink tubing. The sensor is able to detect bends in either direction, unlike the original power glove sensors. His version had a nominal resistance of about 20k ohms, but by choosing a different resistive layer you could create sensors that are more or less resistive.

Related: 5-cent tilt sensor