This Arduino-powered DIY camera slider has a joystick remote control
DIY camera sliders come in all shapes and sizes… Well, sizes, anyway. They’re usually all a pretty similar shape. Long poles along which a platform moves. But this one, I thought, was particularly interesting. Not all of the information has been released on it yet, although it’s expected to be teased over the next day or two as the video gains more attention.
It was posted to YouTube by MERT Arduino & Tech and like many DIY sliders, it’s powered by an Arduino. What makes this one stand out particularly, though, is that it features a joystick remote control, letting you operate it from afar without having to touch it.
It manages to get the remote control feature using a simple 2-axis joystick and nRF24L01 wireless transceiver modules. These have been a staple in the wireless Arduino community for a while now so are widely supported and very inexpensive. The remote does use a custom PCB for which the Gerber files don’t appear to have been released yet, although the schematics do appear as a screenshot in the video itself if you want to pause it and have a look. The schematics for the receiving end that connects to the motor on the slider are also contained within the video.
Also not linked in the description yet is the source code for the whole setup. Bits of the code are shown in the video, but not enough to get a system up and running. The description does say that the details for the project will be added to the video throughout the day, so maybe they’ll be there by the time you ready this. We’ll update this post as we spot more info.
The build for the mechanical side of the slider is also pretty simple and also quite inexpensive, using just a couple of linear rods, mounting blocks, bearing blocks and a piece of hardboard for the basic functionality. A stepper motor, GT2 belt and some pulleys give it that control and smoothness you can only get from a motorised slider.
A very cool slider design and a great way to give it some remote control functionality. I’m very curious to take a look at that code, though!
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.