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New User Queries.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:08 am
by thepanoguy
I have been reading the forum for a while and decided to join because I have a number of queries members may be able to answer.

I live in Perth, Western Australia. I noticed a while ago that one of the forum members lives in Perth. If you are reading this post, where did you buy your Orion from?

I am computer literate. I can set up and diagnose hardware problems and the OS. Programming I am useless at.

I found this site during a web search a while ago. I have been collecting technical information on building panorama heads for a while. I have a Canon S3IS with the CHDK hack. I have been designing a rotator to suit the camera.

I have searching for technical information on the Orion unit. Are the circuit diagrams for the unit available and what is the maximum speed of the motors?

I have some high quality geared motors which I salvaged from some commercial equipment years ago. They were manufactured by Globe in the USA. They run on 12 volts and do one revolution in 20 seconds.

I am looking at pulse width modulation speed controlling the motors. The S3IS with CHDK and RAW enabled will shoot one photo every five seconds. The timing to control the pan unit can be very simple. Cascaded 555 timers will do.

Will the Papywizard software interface into a microcontroller board and control and drive motors. If so what microcontroller board is recommended and what is involved in driving the motors?

Thanks for your help.

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:44 am
by fma38
Papywizard is a high-level application, and can't directly drive motors. It is up to the firmeware embedded in the hardware to provide routines to drive these motors, read encoders...

Papywizard usually calls these routines through a serial connection, which is in turn reachable through BT converters, USB converters, ethernet converters... In fact, it is now possible, through plugins, to adapt it very quickly to any kind of hardware, but you still need to provide the routines. You can use the micro-controller you want (Arduino is a good choice), and implement any protocol you want.

The needed routines are:


and if your hardware can trigger the camera, through a contact:


PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:33 am
by thepanoguy
Thanks for the reply.

The reason I am taking the build approach is that Perth is one the most isolated capital cities in the world. I want to shoot panos in isolated locations. In the event of a breakdown I need to be able to repair the unit immediately instead of waiting weeks for parts to arrive from overseas.

I have some arduino technical information. I will download all the information from the arduino web site. There is an open servo project on the net; I can build a heavy duty servo unit. The reason I want to use the Globe motors is that I cannot find any comparable product in Australia. Importing parts is a costly exercise. The Globe motors are a heavy duty unit which use a precision motor with planetary gears. I have 5 units and a spare motor. I want to be able to drive a heavy video camera. The motor units are unstoppable with the human hand. At this stage, rather than carry multiple pano units, it is best for me just to build one heavy duty unit.