Build a Mechanical Camera Stroboscope / Strobe




Introduction: Build a Mechanical Camera Stroboscope / Strobe

About: I am an American teaching English at Shangluo University, Shaanxi. I like making machines that do interesting but fairly useless things - I call them Quixotic Machines.

After reading a couple of online articles about building your own mechanical camera stroboscope I decided I had to try it. Here are some photos of my build. Its a pretty simple affair. A toy motor turns a disk, with a hole in it, in front of a camera. Shine a lot of light on your subject, preferably with a dark background, set the camera for a one or two second exposure and take a picture. Hopefully you will get a strobed effect. 
Here are two websites that explain in detail the process of building the strobe so I won't be going into any real detail on my build.

The first photo is a bouncing ping pong ball illuminated only with a led flashlight with a two second exposure.
The second photo is a photo of a yo-yo
The third photo shows my disk which is the bottom of a plastic DVD container. I cut a slot in the disk as described in the above links. I attached the disk with part of a toy fan to the motor shaft. The red lens cover is just a plastic bottle with both ends cut off. I darkened the inside of it with a sharpie. Its purpose is just to cut down on extraneous light. 
The next photos show my build. Basically a battery wired to a toggle switch wired to a toy motor.
Every thing is bolted to a piece of plywood which is bolted to a plastic bucket/basket which serves as a  cheap tripod.
The other photos are some quick examples: juggling, a girl dropping her arms, a flashing party light, a Monkey Fist knot., dropping my hand, another party light swirled in PhotoScape.
The links above provide a lot of good information on how to build the machine and how to use it. 

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    4 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Oddly enough the best instructions complete with detailed visual cues that was hosted/ made by have disappeared... Might you be so inclined to go through with a detailed DIY on your set up?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    It is unlikely I will ever get around to making a real instructable for this project but would be happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

    Dave Diamond
    Dave Diamond

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Yeah, very cool! I also made a project with strobe lights ;-) Strobe light is very interesting..