Introduction: DIY Motorized Panorama Head Photography Tool

About: I like to build everything that works. Diy, how to, RC stuff, gadgets, reviews and everything about technology.


In this project, I had built a very useful panorama photography tool. This motorized pan head is made in a way that this is universal and any camera can be mounted with a standard universal quarter inch thread. The panning head can be mounted on any standard tripod with quarter inch threads and it has a standard quarter-inch bolt on which any camera or mobile can be attached on top of the panning head.

This project is very useful in taking stills, changing pan angles while taking stills. Taking panorama shots. This is also a boon while taking video shots and doing product videography. This will give you smooth panning videos for some professional videography. You can manually track a moving object while moving from left to right or right to left for motion videos. I have mentioned some of the uses else more depends on your creativity.

This project has two parts. One is motorized panning head and the other is the power supply and the control remote. To keep the things simple I have kept the remote unit wired.

This photography tool has the following controls and modes.

1) On-off switch to turn the panning head on or off.

2) left or right panning head switch to pan left or right

3) A switch to pan continuously or a momentary pan switch according to the direction selected in mode 2

4) Panning speed control.

I have listed all the steps involved in the process. I hope you would be tempted to make one.

Step 1: Take Two Pvc Pipe End Caps

Take two 75 mm PVC pipe end caps and make holes at the center.

Step 2: Take DC Geard Motor and Fixing in One of the End Cap

I have used a DC geared motor with 120 RPM as I had one laying with me. Probably using 60 RPM motor will be more beneficial as it will give you more torque at low RPM. But even using 120 RPM will be quite good enough. As we are going to use the speed controller for this PAN head in later on stage.

Step 3: Making Bottom Part of PAN Head

I have taken a quarter inch nut and made a hex pattern slot at the center bottom part of the end cap. Then I roughened the surface from inside of the end cap and secured it with the epoxy adhesive. I also backed the inside of the bolt with an iron washer to make it more sturdy. Then I drilled a hole at one side and fixed a 12v barrel jack adapter socket to give supply to the motor. Two wires were directly soldered to the motor.

Step 4: Completing the Pan Head Assembly

Then I took a pipe piece of 75 mm and closed two end caps back to back. Then I took one quarter inch bolt and filed some of the threaded parts of the bolt to adapt it to the motor adapter. Then I cut the hex part of the bolt and removed any cutting burrs. This will be a universal adapter to fix any camera or mobile phone holder with a standard quarter-inch bolt mount system. This completes our main part of motorized panorama head.

Step 5: Making Remote With 30mm PVC Pipe for Panorama Head

I took 30mm PVC pipe piece of about 230 mm length. As shown in the figure there are following parts in the remote.

1) On-off switch 2 pcs ( one for on off and one for continuous rotation )

2) Push to on switch 1 pcs ( Momentary rotation)

3) Two way two pole switch ( Left and right direction panning of the head)

4) Motor Speed control board ( To control the panning speed of motorized head)

5) 9v battery terminal clip

6) 9v battery

7) RCA socket ( Controlled power out from socket to panorama head from remote)

All the electronics are wired up and fixed in the remote body. The output is taken from the RCA socket and fed to the motorized PAN head. I have later on increased the length of the wire coming out form remote to PAN head for about three meters or say about ten feet so that I can control the PAN head from far away and I think that is sufficient.

Step 6: Pan Head in Action and Some of the Sample Photos

I installed the PAN head on the small tripod and fixed a mobile phone on to the panning head with standard quarter-inch panning adapter for the smartphone. Here are some of the result of the photographs taken with the motorized PAN head. I think you loved making of this simple but effective photography tool. Do let me know your feedback on what you think about it. I have filmed an entire video of the above project and you can find a video on top of this instructable. Thanks for your time and interest.

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