Picture of Timelapse Panning controller for GoPro Cameras
This instructible will show you how I built (and you can also build) an Arduino Timelapse Panning controller for GoPro cameras. There are obviously some refinements that can be made to the design, but in general I am very happy with the results that I've captured with it. Check out the video below for a quick overview of the device.

Step 1: Everything you need

Picture of Everything you need
What you will need:

1x Arduino Uno Board R3
1x SainSmart LCD Keypad Shield
1x 28BYJ-48 Stepper motor
5x Female-Male Solderless Jumper Cables
1x 7-pin male header pins
1x 6x3x2" Radio Shack project Enclosure
1x 12 tooth drive gear
1x 36 tooth driven gear
2x 3x3 plate from Hillman Hobby parts
2x 1x3 bracket from Hillman Hobby parts
2x 2x3 right angle bracket from Hillman Hobby Parts
8x short screws and nuts
6x long, slender screws and nuts
4x nylon spacers
3x Buttons
1x 5mm drive shaft

Helpful haves:
Dremel or similar Rotary Tool
Picture hanging putty
2-part metal epoxy

Really nice job, the resulting videos are amazing !

Thats is exactly what I was looking for. Many thanks for posting ! :)

mwheeler3 made it!10 months ago


I rewrote some of the code to prompt for # of Rotations and Duration in Minutes.



my name is Tobi, i coose this to be my first real arduino project (i've bee playing around with it a while).

I wanted to modify it as i want to use a LCD 1602 and seperate push buttons.

My questions now how to wrap it up together, or how to modify the code to run.

Another question is, if i need to run the stepper with a ul2003 driver, or if i can directly wire it to the arduino.

I don't know it its important, but i don't use an uno, instead i chose a nano v3.0.



aounmc1 year ago

Hi Tyler,

I tried to build something up similar. I thought that with microstepping the stepper, that the 4096/rev resolution would be smooth enough to use direct drive, but it isn't. I am observing some "cogging" in which even though there are supposed to be 8 (micro)steps per phase, 6 of them barely move and two of them move much more. Did you observe this kind of behavior on your stepper? I have another one so I guess I'll see if the other one does it also. At any rate, I guess I'll end up using gears. I found that hobby king has metal gears that should work at a much lower price (around $3 or $4 dollars each). What did you use (where did you get), your 5mm drive shaft? Thanks!

aounmc aounmc1 year ago

I got around to making my own based on your concept. I made a few changes and wrote my own software (I'm a software engineer so I figured I ought to write my own!). Thanks for the inspiration!

buffcleb1 year ago
Thanks for the great project... I just finished building my own based on yours. I created a page with the parts I used and put up a youtube video


hacourt1 year ago
You can find gears cheaply in old scanners and printers :)
twinegarner (author)  hacourt1 year ago
My first build of this design used nylon gears that I'd harvested from a hand-crank powered LED flashlight. I had to drill the bore out of the gears quite a lot and warped them in the process, so they weren't suitable in the long run - but it was a great proof on concept. I definitely will be eyeing abandoned printers in the future!
No doubt though that metal ones are the best solution.
ckonecny1 year ago
thanks a lot for that wonderful project. since i had all the electronics at home I put them together, loaded your software and it was working straight immediatly! after finding tooth drive gear (used nylon gear) in a local hobby store, i decided to go for a more easy and stylish case using two acrylic glass pieces I got for cheap, brass standoffs. doing that way, except drilling holes at exact places no additional Mount for the shaft is necessary.

check the following Pictures to get an idea, what I am talking about: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/azsx2rrjdx11i2p/L_wYMblZvZ 

Best regards from vienna, Austria!
twinegarner (author)  ckonecny1 year ago
Christian, that looks super elegant! Do you use a drill press to get your accurate drilling?

I'm glad the code worked straight away. Its really exciting to see my code on the screen of an arduino a continent away.
use just my dremel 8200 on a dremel workstation.
the acrylic glass comes with a protective cover film while still remaining transparent enough.
this makes it super easy to take the exact points for holes as it is enough to hold the components where you want them to have at the end, mark it with a water restistant pen and the drill the hole.
you just remove the film after you are done with the last hole and the surface of the acrylic glass still is absolute without any scratches or something.
sparc11 year ago
Hi Tyler,
Thanks for the great post! Your project looks great.
I am a bit overwhelmed by the sdp-si website. I don't know much about gears... Could you advice me as to which models to buy?
Thanks a lot!
twinegarner (author)  sparc11 year ago
Yeah, it was pretty overwhelming to me at first, too. Took me a while to realize I could isolate search fields by internal bore, gear pitch, etc. Anyhow, the two gears I used were the following part numbers. Pop these in the search field and it should come right up:


hacourt1 year ago
Very nice. Might adapt this for the iPhone. ( time lapse apps )
Oh, and instructions. Some of us aren't so up to speed... (smiles)
It would be great if you could provide the contact for a supplier for these parts. It would be VERY nice to provide all of them to interested parties - as a DIY kit!
twinegarner (author)  fingersitchy1 year ago
I can put together a shopping list if that'd be helpful Trickiest part is the Hobby Parts, since I could never find any sort of parts fiche from Hillman - I just needed to rummage through the drawers in the hardware section.
That'd be great a shopping list, and for the hardware bits I can rummage around/improvise. It's the arduino, electricals and electronics, wiring etc that I'd love for the parts list...
Thanks in advance...
photomanz1 year ago
Great Stuff ! would you be interested in building one for me at a price that suites as i just don't have the time.
Very nice job! First Arduino project? Wow!
twinegarner (author)  FoamboardRC1 year ago
dmoonen1 year ago
You ever thinking of selling one? I'm intrested
twinegarner (author)  dmoonen1 year ago
Likely no. Between the cost of parts and the quality of my machining at the present time, I don't think I could sell one at a decent enough price margin that it would make sense for my time or the buyer's wallet - not when there are already great products like the Radian or the SpinPod. I think as DIY project it can only improve by it passing under more hands and eyes. Thanks for the consideration though, that's hugely flattering!