Sunday, March 6, 2011

GPS Tripod V3

Thanks to the CNC mill I got, I am able to build much more sturdy mechanics for the GPS Tripod. Initially I thought I will have to use alloy for it but wanted to build a prototype out of PolyCarbonat, but actually, I like the material. Should be good enough for the precision required and later I can still switch to metal.
Overall it looks very good, software got ported to the new platform, a PIC18F2550 microprocessor with the major advantage of having an additional USB port. The board I am using is the MuIn USB from, which is resold worldwide.

In this version I am still relying on digital RC servos, which are fast but not as precise as I want them to be. For GPS tracking it is good enough, put for panorama pictures like the Gigapan I will probably switch to stepper motors and a single gear. But that's a minor change.

The other decision to make is how to control the tripod.

  1. Tripod has LCD and keyboard: More expensive to build and buy

  2. Tripod is configured via a laptop but operates autonomous: a good compromise

  3. Tripod is controlled by the laptop: You have much more options like reading the camera settings, preview images,... utilizing gPhoto2 libraries

For a GPS Tracker I would probably decide on option 2, for panorama applications I personally prefer option 3. So maybe the result is two different models?

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