Hackaday Reader [David] Wins A Camera From Make And Nikon


Make the shot fixed[David Schwarz] whipped up this moving time-lapse camera rig and won himself a sweet Nikon setup. You might remember our post about the Nikon Make:The Shot Challenge. [David] saw our post, and started thinking about what he wanted to enter. Like a true engineer, he finally came up with his idea with just 3 days left in the contest.

[David] wanted to build a moving time-lapse rig, but he didn’t have the aluminum extrusion rails typically used to build one. He did have some strong rope though, as well as a beefy DC motor with a built-in encoder. [David] mounted a very wide gear on the shaft of the motor, then looped the rope around the gear and two idler pulleys to ensure the gear would have a good bite on the rope. The motor is controlled by an Arduino, which also monitors the encoder to make sure the carriage doesn’t move too far between shots.

[6__pulley_systemDavid] built and tested his rig over a weekend. On Monday morning, he gave the rig its first run. The video came out pretty good, but he knew he could get a better shot. That’s when Murphy struck. The motor and controller on his rig decided to give up the ghost. With the contest deadline less than 24 hours away, [David] burned the midnight oil and replaced his motor and controller.

Tuesday morning, [David] pulled out his trump card – a trip to Tally Lake in Montana, USA. The equipment worked perfectly, and nature was cooperating too. The trees, lake, and the shadows on the mountains in the background made for an incredible shot. Once the time-lapse photos were in the can, [David] rushed home, stitched and stabilized the resulting video. He submitted his winning entry with just 2 hours to spare.

Click past the break for more on [David’s] time-lapse rig, and to see his final video.

There was some stiff competition, entries like [Matt’s] mirror-less camera based 8mm film converter and [Pat’s] Arduino powered flash sequencer gave him a real run for his money. In the end though, the time-lapse rig won. We want to congratulate [David] on winning Make and Nikon’s contest. We love seeing members of the Hackaday community setting the bar for competitions everywhere. We’re also sending [David] a Hackaday t-shirt and some other goodies. Hopefully he’s already working on an entry for The Hackaday Prize.

11 thoughts on “Hackaday Reader [David] Wins A Camera From Make And Nikon

  1. I feel like this sort of setup could work much better on an aluminum ladder. At least where I live everyone seems to own about 5 of the bloody things, and it would eliminate the twitch he was getting.

  2. I entered this contest and obviously didn’t win so call it sour grapes if you wish but I didn’t like the way this contest was run. The way the voting worked was simply by how many people voted for a project, and you could vote once a day. This takes away the value of the individual vote and instead becomes a contest to see how many of your friends could spam the site. I was tempted to spin up a few hundred cloud instances and have them vote just to make a point.

      1. You shouldn’t be able to vote multiple times though. They should still have to be unique votes. Otherwise you could just give a clickhouse a couple of hundred dollars and get heaps of votes a day easily.

        1. Yeah that’s a terrible way of holding a contest. Seeing as this guy managed to rack up all the winning votes he needed in the closing stages of the competition, then perhaps vote rigging may be involved here, ooooh controversial!
          I really hate the way it banks to the left as it goes along the rope too!

          Not sure about the US here, but in the UK we have regulations when running any competition, a TV channel got caught out once doing some fixing and were brought to a court of law about it, got a massive fine, etc. ITV I think.

  3. So.. what motor types? What brand/type of controllers? This should be on CNN or something when there is so little info, not on HaD as a full entry. Try the weekly roundup for such stuff.

    But I guess it’s the HaD reader thing that makes it notable? Well, whatever.

    1. Addendum, yes I know he mentioned one controller, but the writeup says a controller burned out though, so I’m left assuming the mentioned controller is the second one, but don’t know which one was too weak and other info.
      In fact the article says ‘github’ but has no links, at least not on my browser, even when I enabled all the blasted scripting spyorgs.

      I guess I’ll blame my sensible protection regime nonetheless.

  4. I like this project and the effect of traversing a rope. However, I’d like to point out that when lashing a rope to a tree in some lovely wooded area, please, please, please use padding such that the rope doesn’t abrade the bark and possibly kill the tree.

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