Spring seems to finally be here. I needed to spend some much needed time cleaning up the garage, so I decided to put the new DIY time lapse rover to the test and let it run while I was busy doing other things. I really wanted to test this thing outside, and snow sort of put a damper on that until recently. The amazing thing about this custom rover, is that you're not limited to short distances like you would be with a slider. This test footage was captured over about a 30 foot stretch of sidewalk for 1.5 hours taking a picture every 8 seconds. The destination is outside my house, and not very exciting, but keep in mind that this is a only a test.
eMotimo only offers 2 options for 3rd-axis stepper motors on their website, the (5:1) for faster moves needed for video and the (27:1) which offers more torque but slower speeds for time lapse. Unlike my Dynamic Perception slider dolly with quick release mount, it takes a bit of time to get the motor mounted to the rover. So, I've ordered and installed a permanent (14:1) stepper motor specifically for the rover, and hopefully, it will have a good combination of speed and torque and I'll never have to take it off. Special thanks to Gunther at LRTimelapse for posting the proper wiring instructions.
This initial test, I set up the rover to go in pretty much a straight line down the sidewalk. Since the sidewalk wasn't completely level, the rover did drift a bit. I look forward to setting up a time lapse using a circle or arc, which wouldn't be possible with a slider. I used Actobotics parts from ServoCity to build the rover, and it allows me to set the angle of the front tires. Each time there is a break in the sidewalk, the rover dips when each of the wheels traverses the crack, causing a bump in the video footage. I'll need to keep this in mind when finding suitable locations for the rover, and try and get as smooth of a surface as possible. I'm not sure if there is a limitation to the distance the eMotimo can handle, but I plan on creating something this summer that is at least a couple hundred feet.
Headed to Las Vegas for a business trip this week. Just need to decide whether to bring the rover to capture a time lapse of the Vegas lights, or stop by the NAB show!