[Gene Buckle] built himself a nice custom cockpit for playing Flight Simulator, but during use he found that the gimbal he constructed for the pitch and roll controls was nearly unusable. He narrowed the problem down to the potentiometers he used to read the angle of the controls, so he set off to find a suitable and more stable replacement.
He figured that Hall effect sensors would be perfect for the job, so he picked up a pair of Allegro 1302 sensors and began fabricating his new control inputs. He mounted a small section of a pen into a bearing to use as an input shaft, attaching a small neodymium magnet to either side. Since he wanted to use these as a drop-in replacement for the pots, he had to fabricate a set of control arms to fit on the pen segments before installing them into his cockpit.
Once everything was set, he fired up his computer and started the Windows joystick calibration tool. His potentiometer-based controls used to show a constant jitter of +/- 200-400 at center, but now the utility displays a steady “0”. We consider that a pretty good result!
Here’s [Badwolf’s] team posing with their college project. It’s a 4-axis gimbal mount for a camera that they designed in CAD, cut parts using a laser, then milled them down to specifications. In the picture above there is a tiny point-and-shoot camera mounted inside the suspended ring but the rig’s strong enough to support cameras of any size.
That mounting ring can rotate like the hands of a clock, but it also pivots on a horizontal axis. The bracket that holds the ring can rotate on a vertical axis, and the entire assembly moves along the wire supporting it. After the break you can see some test footage that shows the rig being operated via a handheld radio controller.
This setup let’s the camera travel as far as the cable can reach. But if you want something that lets you take photographs of very tall objects you’ll need to use a different setup. Continue reading “Four-axis camera mount rides on a wire”
No, the picture above is not a store made steadicam. Rather, a CNC machined one by [Matt]. Interestingly, unlike most steadicams we’ve seen before the gimbal is not the main focus of the design though an aluminum machined gimbal would make us drool. The central idea is allowing for X and Y axis adjustment to get oddly weighted bulky camera’s exact center of gravity. [Matt’s] steadicam is also designed to handle more weight than commercial versions, and (if you already have a CNC) to be much cheaper. There’s no video, but from the skill of craftsmanship we can safely assume it’s as good and level as some of the best.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a steadicam, and to quench our thirst is this iPhone 4 steadicam. The system does use the typical 3 axis PVC gimbal and heavy weight setup that we’ve seen before, but (why has it taken so long to get this implemented?) the addition of a hand grip means you no longer get blistered fingers. The tutorial recommends the use of an expensive cup holder mounting system, but we think making your own epoxy one might save another dime and allow a wider range of cameras or phones.
The whole process is also wrapped up in a quick and simple how-to video (after the jump alongside an in action video), which goes to show even though a hack may have been done several times before, presentation can make a big difference and impact.
[Thanks Max Lee]
Continue reading “iPhone 4 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.