Helping Gorilla Hands

Helping hands are a common soldering aid. These inexpensive devices usually have a substantial base, a pair of alligator clips to hold a workpiece, and sometimes a magnifying glass. [Yonatan24] (who happens to be 13 years old) built his own set using a siren horn as a base. Lately, however, he decided to enhance it quite a bit to use Gorillapod arms and incorporate a solder cleaning and a variety of other features. Of course, there is a magnifier along with a solder waste collection bin.

The build is well-detailed, although since [Yonatan24] salvaged some of the parts, you might have to make adjustments to match the parts you use. The Gorillapod arms are from a cheap tripod, but a lot of the material was left over or stripped from junk (like the lead weight).

We’ve seen workbench PCB holders before (including a 3D printed one), of course, but you have to admire the look of this one, as well as the overboard set of features.

Panning time-lapse rig

Here’s a simple camera setup that lets you make your own panning time-lapse videos. It uses a couple of motors driven by an Arduino to snap¬†successive still images which can later be rolled into a video format.

[Acorv] was not thrilled with the fact that his new Lumix LX5 didn’t have a time-lapse option built-in. But luckily it does have a standard connector on top for an external flash. He saw on a forum post that someone had built a jig which mounts to the flash bracket and uses a servo motor to depress the shutter release button. He recreated that and had half of this hack done.

The panning portion is facilitated by the Gorillapod. This particular model offers a swivel feature. This is automated by connecting it to a stepper motor with a piece of string. As the stepper turns the string is wound on a spool and gradually pans the camera. Simple, and it seems to work great. Check out the video after the break to see a test which was shot at sunset on the shores of a lake.

If you have a camera which offers an IR remote shutter release the time-lapse portion can be handled with an IR intervalometer, making the mechanical build a bit easier.

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