Author Topic: stepper motor motorized camera head for manual (joystick) and pc ( mac ) control  (Read 10584 times)

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Offline yannouTopic starter

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Hi all !
I am a young french film-maker, and I used to build the machinery I use to shoot clips, ads, or short films. 
I want make a 3 axis motorized camera head. I choose stepper motors to be able to control them by pc (or ideally mac) for motion control or manually by joystick.
Later I want to add to this a motorized track dolly equipped if possible of a pneumatic or other arm to make rise the head.

To have a clearer idea of the project, here is which is going to look like the head:

The system with dolly:

And here is what I have for working base :

I must be able to controler 5 engines by computer, and be able to make moves sequences that i'll can reproduce at infinity and by joystick and potentiometers for the manual control. Every command has to be proportional... It is really important that I can manage the speed of engines.
It is there that I am lost... Which control card to take? Which joystick? Which card for potentiometers?

Besides the use on track dolly, I also have a crane on which I am going to put the camerahead , I also think of puting up this head on vehicles to film pursuit sequences, how gyrostabilize the system?

Is my choice of stepper motors is right ?
Many thanks.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2009, 12:13:48 AM by yannou »

Offline dunk

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hi Yannou,
stepper motors are the correct device for this sort of project but it is quite difficult to find ready made equipment to control them.

you might want to consider using radio control servos instead of stepper motors.
servos can be controlled using any radio control equipment.

on an unrelated note,
this range of products might be of interest to you:


Offline yannouTopic starter

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Thanks for the reply.
The problem is that this kind of motorized head is to small for camcorders I use.

Offline SmAsH

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too small as in cannot take the weight or too small as in cam wont fit it?

Offline galannthegreat

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Well see being that you probably have a big budget, look at these servos and

These have massive amounts of torque.

Offline scotty

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Hi You might want to try the Kuper 2001 card or the Kuper Dat  They are pricey USD 10K+ and only work in DOS but for your particular application they have all the features you will probably ever need.  A cheaper USD 1K+, more buggy alternative (if you can convince him to sell you one) might be a Spectrum card and Millenium Software from Al Miller You will need to use WIN95 16bit to drive it and an isa slot (remember them), but the software is easy to use and set up and the control is pretty good.  A more modern solution might be found at  They have set up a motor system for GFM and since you are european besed you might be able to get them to help.

Good Luck



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