About: I'm a 36 year old DIY enthusiast from Vienna Austria with a strong background in mechatronics/automation. My DIY field is mainly video/audio/motion control. If you want to see what i do between posting it ...

This Instructable is about building a timelapse/motorshield for a GoPro

Core components:

-Arduino UNO
-280 class motor with a gearbox (mine is 1:380)
-cheap RC ESC (mine is around 12$)
-mounting material of choice.

I slaughtered a trex450 clone recently, so i got small distance shims and a motormount.

The final shield will be able to turn the gopro for infinite turns with steps as small as 0.3degree.

Thats made possible with the gearbox motor, thats 380:1, plus the rubberband is 2:1.
So all in all its 760:1, and gets pulses as small as 90ms where it gets full power.

I chose full power because DC motors are not linear over the powerspectrum, that makes them pretty unpredictible in lower rates.

I will expand the project with a programmable dolly i built, but thats not quite "Instructable ready"

It will be a trike with an endless servo powered and servo steerable rear-wheel.

Next step will be hacking the gopro 20pin connector to see if it outputs anything after taking a photo, if so i will use that to trigger the arduino instead of the reverse technique where the arduino tells the camera when it should take a phot.

My approach would enable me to use tha GoPros Timelapse functions, as setting up intervall etc.

Therefore i could use any camera that has an Intervall timer and at least a flash sync on board, to sync my arduino to

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As i wrote in some of my other instructables, an rc cars ESC needs a startup sequence to start.
In my case, as in most cases, it means to send it 90degree aka STOP for at least 2.5 seconds.

See the script for more information.

Step 2: SHIELD

The shield is made out of two stripboard layers, that are beeing held together with different parts of a TREX450 helicopter-clone.

The most essential beeing the motor mount, and the axle mount/bearing.

If someone requests it i calook up the part numbers of those two.

On the photos you can see the opened cars ESC.
The output of the ESC is onnecd to the motor.
The input (battery in) is conneced to whatever power source you want to use.
Read the ESCs manual to know the exact tolerances, mine are between 4.5V and 12V.

I resoldered the powerswitch to a toggle-style type.

The servo signal for the ESC is split like that:

GROUND -> Arduino GND
POWER -> Arduino VIN
SIGNAL -> Arduino PIN 6 (or any other PWM-PIN)

I extemded the possibilities by building a robot dolly, watch it here:

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    9 Discussions

    R Jordan Kreindler
    R Jordan Kreindler

    3 years ago

    Makes me want to get a GOPRO. Thanks for this post.


    Reply 3 years ago

    thanks :) just take any small camera, even a cellphone would work :)


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Just buy an ikea egg timer for 10$. That is cheaper.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    ;) old story :

    But i think you didnt understand what this instructable is about or you never tried the eggtimer yourself and dont know the limitations.

    The eggtimer is a cheap and funny idea, thats all. Its limited to 360 degrees with a fixed speed of six degrees per minute. So you cant do timelapses longer then 60 minutes and you have to use the fixed speed.

    By using a microcontroller you can set any speed, any lenght, timeramping etc.

    you can even ramp time and the angle, by triggering the gopro in one-button-mode you can start a turn in real time by filming it and hold the same turning speed while ramping into a timelapse.

    And that all for around 20$ without the controller isnt too bad, even if you can use an egg timer.


    5 years ago on Introduction

    very cool, nice and compact too, be great if my gopro didnt turn itself into an expensive paperweight. nice job!


    5 years ago

    So I'm clueless. What this do?


    Reply 5 years ago

    it pans the gopro around 0.3 degrees every 10 seconds.

    but iam about to expand it with an interface and a second motor to run like a dolly.