The Nano Turbo Slider-Dolly (Mark I)

posted: 1910 days ago, on Tuesday, 2012 Sep 18 at 20:42
tags: astronomy, astrophotography, time lapse.

A cheap 'n dirty slider and camera dolly for time-lapse photography, easy to make and giving reasonable results.

The base board is 175 x 52cm plywood. The aluminium tracks, set 22cm apart, are used to edge floor tiles - the holes are for the grout and are handy to bolt the tracks to the base board. The dolly is made from odd blocks of wood with plastic wheels on bolts. The pulleys are the rollers used for built-in cupboards. Nylon thread connects the whole lot.

A one r.p.m. motor, bought at an electronics shop, winds up the thread. In the three pulley configuration, the camera and dolly travel about 1.2m in three-and-something hours; 1mm in 11 seconds. This is a bit slow (see the demo video on Vimeo) but by looping the nylon thread around only two pulleys, it can be sped up.

A major bug in this prototype is the uptake of the nylon thread, which needs to be managed carefully. Adding a spindle to the motor's axis would go a long way to make life easier.

DIY slider-dolly for time lapse photography from Auke Slotegraaf on Vimeo.

nothing more to see. please move along.