Instructables

Remote Controlled Pan and Tilt Head

Picture of Remote Controlled Pan and Tilt Head
I always wanted a remote controlled pan and tilt head. Maybe it was for my video camera, a rubber band shooter or a water gun aimer. It doesn't really matter what you put on the top deck (as long as it's not too heavy), with this little project you'll be able to aim it. You don't really need any special tools and it shouldn't cost more than $65 (Canadian).

 
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Step 1: Stuff you need

Here are the parts you need:
4 x 1/4 Nylon washers
1 x 8-32 x 1/4 Chicago screw set (it is a 2 part set that screws into itself see pic) (Poulin #222-269)
1 x 3" Swivel or lazy susan flat ball bearing. (In the cabinet hardware aisle at Home Depot)
1 x 28ga 8" x 10" Sheet metal block end (used for blocking cold air returns)
1 x Hitec HS-322HD servo motor (general purpose type), you can use other servo motors, but be careful; some, (like Futaba), go in the opposite direction (Pan motor)
1 x Hitec HS-755MG servo motor (heavy duty 1/4 scale with metal gears and ball bearings) (Tilt Motor)
1 x Hammond 1411N enclosure or deep octagonal electrical box with cover or deep square electrical box with cover
12 x 4-40 x 1/4" machine screws
8 x 4-40 x 3/4" machine screws
2 x 4-40 x 1/2" machine screws
24 x 4-40 nuts
1 x 4-40 washer
1 x 1/2" Rubber grommet
1 x 1/4-20 x 1/2" machine screw (optional camera mount)
1 x 1/4-20 nut (optional camera mount)
Locktite
A servo controller of some type. There are many kits available (google "electronic kits" or try www.bpesolutions.com). A DMX controller is available at http://home.att.net/~northlightsystems/. An RF style controller is available at most hobby shops (like one for a car or airplane - needs 2 servo outputs), there are a few on this site and I will post mine when it is working and not jittery. It may be advantageous to have the controller before you start the project so that you can test your movements as you go.

Tools:
Aviation Snips or Tin snips
Square
Ruler
Drill press (or a drill and a really steady hand)
Drill bits - 13/64", 1/2", 27/64", 7/64", 3/32"
4-40 metal Tap - Optional (see text near end of step 6)
Optional but a great way to make really round holes is with a step bit and a 1/4" bit
A bench vice or a sheet metal bender (called a metal brake)
Hammer
Staedtler Lumocolor fine point marker (fantastic marker with a slim body) or Fine point Sharpie marker
Single hole punch (three hole will work too)
Maalk2 years ago
Hey im kinda a potato cannon enthusiast and i was thinking how awesome this would be to hook a cannon up to one of these. after looking at the video attached, i saw that the rotation and tilt are far too fast for what is required. Any suggestions on changes to your design that would slow down the movement and perhaps provide more torque?

thanks for your time and consideration
CheatGuy282 years ago
Can you somehow connect this to a camera jib/crane. And if you can how? Thanks. BTW love the design!!!
Tiller (author)  CheatGuy282 years ago
I'm sure you could. The gray box that serves as the base would allow for many mounting options. I guess it depends on the design of your jib/crane. What are you thinking?
Im making a metl based jib which is also remote cotrolled. I thought it would make a good aditive.Plans for the jib im making can be found here:
Tiller (author)  CheatGuy282 years ago
Sadly your link was blocked. I think if you simply added a platform (or maybe an L bracket) to the camera end of your jib you should be able to mount the bottom of the gray box to it. This would give your camera excellent left to right movement and from straight up to straight down (Depending on your camera size.) Not quite what a commercial unit is capable of, but not teh same money either. Check out Blue Point Engineering, they have some playback servo controllers (4ch servo record/playabck) and computer controllers(SV203 interface board) with software(VSA) available if you want to be able to do the same shot over and over (Like the really high end movie jibs can).
If you get a chance , I'd love to see the link, maybe email me at typatrick at hotmail.
yannmoritz4 years ago
Hey, very nice work!
I'm interested: how much weight is possible to put on this construction?
Tiller (author)  yannmoritz4 years ago
How much do you want to put on it.  I can try.  It holds a medium sized digital still camera without problem.
i would try to put a 6kg light on it.
would this work?
Tiller (author)  yannmoritz4 years ago
Sadly no.  Not with these servos or metal type.  You could get away with a kilogram but not much more and you would have to carefully balance the load. You can use this idea with industrial type servos and heavier gauge metal and you might have success.  Sorry.
Anyway, thank you very much. Gave me lots of ideas!
Tiller (author) 4 years ago
Hey all who have been looking for a way to control the servos, take a look at the Simple Servo Instructable by nmcclana.  http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Servo-Tester/

 That may give you a good start point.  Also if you search for servo control in instructables you will find a bunch of variations.
dompower4 years ago
Hi Guys!
I am looking for metal fixure clamps to connect servo motors together to construct my own humanoid robo.
Any suggestion from where I can get these fixtures?

thank you.
Dominic Ancelm
Saudi Arabia
dompower@gmail.com
Tiller (author)  dompower4 years ago
Hi Dompower

My favorite place to find robot parts is www.robotshop.ca, however if you google lynxmotion you can probably find a distributor near you.  Lynxmotion makes a variety of brackets that might suit your needs.  Sorry it took so long to respond.  I hope this info helps.

T
evilme4 years ago
Hi, from the hardware and items you have described, it sounds like you are some sort of theatre lighting tech, convinently , so am i, with the dmx, is it like using a pc recordable desk , but trading the lights to motor? I was thinking of using midi to controll somthing simmilar.
Regards, Jack
Tiller (author)  evilme4 years ago
HI Jack

Yup, I am a theatre tech, although my specialty is sound, I also do lighting.  The DMX unit I am using is a Sidewinder from Interactive Technologies.  It is much like a lighting desk but it's operates on a Palm Pilot.  AS far as the interface for the servos go, I bought a DMX to Servo board from Northlight DMX which can control up to 8 servos.  Basically from a DMX standpoint, the console thinks the motor is a dimmer.  As far as MIDI goes, there's no reason you couldn't make something work.  There's lots of MIDI stuff out there, check out http://tomscarff.110mb.com/products_prices.htm  or google MIDI circuits.
Tiller (author) 4 years ago
There's a couple of great instructables describing how to make the electronics for a servo control.  Search for Servo control.  This one especially caught my eye because it doesn't use a microcontroller, just basic parts. http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Servo-Tester/
17hmr2434 years ago
im liking it heaps. but u lost me at buy the servo and then what? how do i tune it in to remote from rc car? is there more i need to no how and where do i learn servo adapting ? all i whant in simple talk is what u made running. car rc to move it.
Tiller (author)  17hmr2434 years ago
Hi. To do the demo video I used a palm pilot running some software called figment and that was connected to a sidewinder DMX unit that outputs a control signal called DMX (Total cost of that stuff was about $500. It was not bought for this project.) Then the DMX was converted to the signal needed for the servo by a converter board from Northlight systems. I assume that you would have no other need for DMX, so I don't think that is the route for you. It would be quite easy to use an RC controller to do what I did. You would need a battery pack (or adapter), a receiver (2 channel minimum) and a remote control. I am not an RC guy, so this is only my thoughts, please check with someone who is an RC person. I would think that you want an aircraft RC because they generally have 2 joysticks. You might want to build the hardware and then take it to a hobby shop. I bet they would love to let you try out some controllers and see which one works for you. Good luck. I hope that helps.
Tiller (author)  Tiller4 years ago
Sorry, I just had another thought. If you don't need it to be wireless, Northlight Systems or Blue point engineering (google them) should be bale to supply you with a wired controller.
exerp4 years ago
I like it.. Will be building myself one very soon
curve126 years ago
Very cool. Can't wait to see your controller when it's done. What did you use as a controller for the video?
Tiller (author)  curve126 years ago
I used a DMX to servo card from Northlight Systems and a program called Figment which runs on a palm pilot with the sidewinder adapter. Having said all that, I only did that because I had access to the Sidewinder (a $400US adapter). There are cheaper DMX programs available on the net. All need some kind of adapter to go from USB or serial to DMX, but there are some cheaper units available. Martin Light Jockey might be cheaper?
what about this?
http://www.vellemanusa.com/us/enu/product/view/?id=522065
or maybe this?
http://www.vellemanusa.com/us/enu/product/view/?id=522038
mind you I'm not shore what the difference is between them?
hope that helped... a bit
CRVerdusco5 years ago
Any one interested in having DMX controlled stepper motors or Servos should look at this link. I found this awhile ago, the circuits are based off of a common DMX transceiver and then from there have different output controllers.

http://www.hoelscher-hi.de/hendrik/english/stepper.htm
jimwig6 years ago
first post - howdy all you pack rats and inventing/reverse engineering types try to build/change moving head lights tiller's pan and tilt is very much part of the mechanism. since i must do a little different effect i must use steppers. anyone got any knowledge this area? thanks sir--- may i have another may i have another
mrgalleta6 years ago
Very nice! I'll try to make one.
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