Motorized Panorama and Timelapse Pan Tilt Sytem

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Introduction: Motorized Panorama and Timelapse Pan Tilt Sytem

This is my second motorized panorama and timelapse pan tilt system.
This one is more portable, power saving and effective.


Two 1:50 harmonic geared stepper motors are adopted as the key driving
mechanism. Owing to the low backlash of the harmonic gear drive, the wobble
caused by the wind has been reduced greatly. And it got significant effect
on the timelapse video.


An Arduino nano and three A4988 are being used as the controller.
Simple and small. Much better than the Mega 2560 and L298 ever used in my
last system.

Step 1: Pan Tilt Tripod Head

This pan tilt tripod head consists of two 1:50 harmonic geared stepper motors,

three camera quick release adapters and some aluminum bars.

No additional gear, bearing, timing belt or else are required.

It makes the fabrication works very simple.

Precise workmanship is not required basically.

A bench drill and some fitter's tools will be OK.

Of course, a bench milling machine will help a lot.


The dimension of the tripod head is counting on your camera and lens.

My tripod head is strong enough to handle a full frame camera and a 400mm F5.6 lens.


As an advice, before go into the detail of your own design,

make sure that you understand the concept of "nodal point" for panorama.

Step 2: Controller

The two steppers are controlled by an Arduino nano and two A4988.

An additional A4988 is spared for the slider.

And the camera shutter is controlled by a small reel relay.

Step 3: Functions

This system gets four major functions for the timelapse and panorama.

Step 4: Program

In order to control the steppers and camera shutter precisely, no stepper

library is used. And to minimize the wobbling, acceleration and

deceleration have also been included in the program.

The first program is to set up the default values in the eeprom.

And the second program is the main program.

Step 5: Results

Some timelapse clips and a 880 million pixels panorama photo have been taken.

And it is the time for further field testing.

Just put everything in a backpack, and ready to a day trip for photo taking.

2 People Made This Project!

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51 Comments

If you get an error on "lcd.init" when compiling than try to change all instances to "lcd.begin". Worked for me.

Thanks a lot for this project! Very informative!

Very good work. You could pass the templates of the structure.
Thank you

Hi, how to wire power supply layout and how many volts and amperes are required for power supply?

thick red line : 12V in

thick green line, thin green line and green earth symbol : common ground of 12V and 5V in

thin red line : 5V in

1A for 5V

3A for 12V, count on the current requirement of the steppers

Hi, Do I connect all the thin red wires to the 5 v rail? even the ones on the steppers drivers?

I used AWG30 wire to connect all the signal and 5V lines by soldering.

thank you verry much.

Thats it......... its so easy

Hello, I have exactly search for such a great software for the arduino to control my diy pan tilt head. I tried to load it on the nano and on the uno. I
do not know how I must proceed since there are two sketches, always when
I load both sketches in the arduino ide and compile them, there are error
messages. Only load one of them to the arduino is without mistakes. And witch arduino IDE version i must use? Can you please give me a tip how to do that?

best regards, Oliver

the 1st program is to initialize the eeprom of the arduino.

load it to the arduino at first. and the eeprom will be initialized

then load the 2nd program. and that.'s it.

Hello, I have tried the software but I have problem with navigation
on the LCD. I can not get to all rows for setting up all parameters. Do
you please have any idea? Then I would like to know if D13 pin must be
connected, I have tried the program with 2 motors and it works except
for that navigation menu I mentioned ... Thank you!