DIY Motorized Camera Slider

This project combines several of my passions all into one… Video, Circuit bending, Arduino, and DIY.

Last week I purchased the Glide Gear DEV 235 Camera Slider.

Now this slider isn’t much on it’s own. When I got it, I was a little disappointed with the friction rail system it uses. It is VERY hard to get a steady slider shot when pushing the camera sled by hand. The smallest variation in pressure causes the camera sled to jitter, giving a very unpleasant look. This also makes the slider almost useless.

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Needless to say, I didn’t want to have a slider that couldn’t give a smooth shot. Not to mention, it’s just too irresistible to not make a motorized slider. So I set out to Radio Shack and Galaxy Hobby to get parts for a slider.

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Parts:

In terms of parts needed, there isn’t really a whole lot too it. Of course, I went a little crazy and bought a bunch of things I didn’t really need (i.e. project box, Arduino motor shield, multiple sizes of servos, the list goes on). I spent about 100 dollars over all. However, you could easily spend much less than that.

  • Camera slider $130
  • Arduino Uno $30 (or other programmable micro controller)
  • Servo motor $10
  • Belt (my prototype used a piece of bright orange ribbon that I had in the closet)
  • Concave bearings $2 x2 (used to guide the belt)
  • Tread spool $2 (I found plastic ones at a hobby store that were easy to modify)
  • Camera bracket mount for DSLR $5 (or a piece of metal with holes drilled in it)
  • 2.2k resistors x2 $1

You will need some other things too like random nuts/bolts/screws, a soldering iron, solder, wires, etc. Hopefully you have some of this lying around.

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Steps:

  1. Convert servo to full rotation DC motor gear box
  2. Hook converted servo to to Arduino
  3. Write code for Arduino
  4. Attach converted servo to slider
  5. Construct belt system

The entire process involved quite a bit of discovery for me. So, I will write a few more posts to explain the different parts and the steps required to completing this Arduino motorized camera slider project.

More to come…

Happy Bending!

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