Interested Newbe, A ? or 2  

Everything you need to motorize your head
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21st Hermit
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Interested Newbe, A ? or 2

by 21st Hermit » Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:43 pm

Hello Motorized Panohead Users, I hope to join you soon. :)

I first considered a motorized panohead when I saw this thread on Max Lyons' pano forum. Prior to that time I thought them too heavy for my hiking/backpacking pano style. I got to this forum via Bigwade's post on Max's forum of BeeZed's DIY PanoHead on BrewZone. Small World!!!

The more I've read, I'm 99% convinced that Don French's "invention" is in fact an adaptation of Papywizard to this Video Robot. I searched for Don French on this forum, doesn't appear to be a contributor. I purchased one of those same video robots years ago and now I'd like to convert it to a motorized panohead. The Orion TeleTrack while more universal, is just too heavy and large for my application, I think.

Image

So my Questions:
- I believe the Video Robot uses a simple DC motor, whereas the Orion TeleTrack uses stepper motors. How does one control with precision a DC motor w/o feedback? It would seem to be based on time and as the batteries discharge the same time gives less motion?
- Most of the discussion revolves around bluetooth, can I connect via wired USB?
- The wired hand controller has 4 simple switches for L-R, U-D, how does the computer accomplish this switch "function"?
- Do you see any problems other than the obvious lens offset?

Thanks for any help/comments.
Last edited by 21st Hermit on Sat Nov 22, 2008 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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fma38
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by fma38 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:50 pm

The Merlin/Orion is using DC motors, but also have encoders (quadrature encoders, which just give pulses). A DC motors can't be used to set a position without feedback. The video robot use encoders, or stepper motors.

As far as I understand, the video robot is not used to set a given position, and just have up/down/left/right keys, to move the camera. Without a system to know what is the current position, and to be able to reach a precise position, you can't use it as a motorized panoramic head. It is maybe possible to add some encoders, but you will have to design the electronic.

Papywizard does not make the closed loop regulation; it is the embedded electronic which does that. Papywizard just ask it to go the yaw=xx.x°, ot pitch=xx.x°.

So, I don't think this robot is a good choice for panoramic photo.
Frédéric

Canon 20D + 17-40/f4 L USM + 70-200/f4 L USM + 50/f1.4 USM
Merlin/Orion panohead + Papywizard on Nokia N800 and HP TC-1100

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Sat Nov 22, 2008 8:59 pm

Merlin/Orion Teletrak does not use stepper motors.

I'm 100% convinced that the Automate control software is not an implementaion of the Papywizard software.

The Merlin/Orion Teletrack weighs 4lbs (1.8Kg) without batteries.

There seems to be some uncertainty about the weight of the MP-101b motorized auto pan & tilt head. In the material you link to in one place it quotes the weight as 2.5lb (1.13Kg) in another 800g.

No camera would be close to the correct NPP on the MP-101b.

The MP-101b offers a very limited range of vertical rotation - just +/- 15 degrees.

The MP-101b head appears to offer no form of camera control - eg. shutter triggering.

..................

I'm not sure what it is you hope to do? Do you hope to use The Papywizard software to control your standard MP-101b head?

If the Automate head syetem - which appears to be based around a heavily modified MP-101b head - best meets your needs why not buy that?
Last edited by mediavets on Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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bigwade
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by bigwade » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:06 am

http://www.21best.com/21_best/electronic/security/video/pan_tilt/for_sale_.html
that's the same I guess ?
Spyboy/Kirk made pole pano's with it:
http://nodalninja.com/forum/index.php?topic=110.0
page 1 bottom and more at page 2
On pole and outdoors the NNP isn't an issue that much.

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Sun Nov 23, 2008 12:50 am

bigwade wrote:http://www.21best.com/21_best/electronic/security/video/pan_tilt/for_sale_.html
that's the same I guess ?
Spyboy/Kirk made pole pano's with it:
http://nodalninja.com/forum/index.php?topic=110.0
page 1 bottom and more at page 2
On pole and outdoors the NNP isn't an issue that much.

Well it's a lot cheaper (USD 294 + USD 179 for wireless controller) than a Seitz VR drive or a MK Panomachine for use on a pole. Foot print is quite big though and at 2.5lb plus still quite heavy on a pole?.

Still more costly than a Merlin/Orion + Papywizard setup and far more limited and far less versatile for genral robotic pano shooting.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.

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21st Hermit
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by 21st Hermit » Sun Nov 23, 2008 2:20 am

fma38 wrote:Papywizard does not make the closed loop regulation; it is the embedded electronic which does that.
Papywizard just ask it to go the yaw=xx.x°, ot pitch=xx.x°.

So, I don't think this robot is a good choice for panoramic photo.

Thanks for that reply, it helps.

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21st Hermit
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by 21st Hermit » Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:03 am

mediavets wrote:I'm 100% convinced that the Automate control software is not an implementaion of the Papywizard software.

100% trumps 99%, thanks for reviewing the Automate.

There seems to be some uncertainty about the weight of the MP-101b motorized auto pan & tilt head. In the material you link to in one place it quotes the weight as 2.5lb (1.13Kg) in another 800g.

The one I have is 1 lb - 15 oz, suspect the 2.5 lb is with the controller and in the box.

No camera would be close to the correct NPP on the MP-101b.

The MP-101b offers a very limited range of vertical rotation - just +/- 15 degrees.

Actually not a problem. I checked one of my most vertical arrays, taken 3-years ago:

Image

This is a 33 frame array, 190MP, with a 31 deg V FOV, the foot mounted lens was sitting on top of a video head, so maybe 6" higher than the tilt center. The nearest object is ~100' from the camera. A typical array I might shoot.

The MP-101b head appears to offer no form of camera control - eg. shutter triggering.

I'm not sure what it is you hope to do? Do you hope to use The Papywizard software to control your standard MP-101b head?

That was the hope from my 99%. Clearly not going to happen.

If the Automate head syetem - which appears to be based around a heavily modified MP-101b head - best meets your needs why not buy that?

Several reasons:
- As I mentioned, I already own the video robot.
- $600 for the AutoMate w/o the computer, but I'd need one anyway for the TeleTrak.
- Much hinged on the 99% certainty that it used Papywizard.

Bottom line, I'm still coming up to speed on all this. Didn't even know TeleTrak and Papywizard existed before yesterday. The coincidence of Win CE, bluetooth, robot software had me sure the AutoMate was a derivative of Papywizard. That's why I posted. Are you always so rough on newbies? I thought I started with a friendly hello, no reciprocation?

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mediavets
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by mediavets » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:45 am

21st Hermit wrote:
mediavets wrote:]If the Automate head system - which appears to be based around a heavily modified MP-101b head - best meets your needs why not buy that?

Several reasons:
- As I mentioned, I already own the video robot.
- $600 for the AutoMate w/o the computer, but I'd need one anyway for the TeleTrak.
- Much hinged on the 99% certainty that it used Papywizard.

Bottom line, I'm still coming up to speed on all this. Didn't even know TeleTrak and Papywizard existed before yesterday. The coincidence of Win CE, bluetooth, robot software had me sure the AutoMate was a derivative of Papywizard. That's why I posted. Are you always so rough on newbies? I thought I started with a friendly hello, no reciprocation?

A belated welcome to the forum.

I apologise if you feel I was rough on you. I was just trying to understand what you hoped to be able to do with your video robot because you did not explicitly ask whether it would be possible to use Papywizard to control it.

Also my post overlapped with that from Frederic, the author of Papywizard. He must have posted his while I was still laboriously composing mine.

The capabilities of the video robot you have are obviously well suited to your requirements if only you could control it with something like Papywizard.

Unfortunately it seems this is not possible. AFAIK Papywizard will not run on Windows CE - it runs on Linux, the Maemo OS used on Nokia Tablets and Windows 2K/XP (not CE versions), and should run on Apple Macs although I believe that this has not yet been tested. Papywizard is written in Python and requires that any potential host platform supports Python and certain Python 'toolkits' and libraries. Papywizard also requires that a target robot head has a certain level of internal 'smarts' that it seems your video robot lacks.

The most attractive platform (for Papywizard) at present is probably the very compact and portable range of Nokia Internet Tablets - the 770, N800 and N810 - which run a Linux derived OS called Maemo.

Frederic has designed the Papywizard software with support for other robot heads in mind, but at present the project is focusing on the Merlin/Orion Teletrak head. It is the most suitable relatively inexpensive robot head on the market at the moment for general purpose (mosaic and spherical) robotic pano shooting and requires no internal modifications of the electronics (or mechanics) to adapt it for robotic pano shooting.

Merlin/Papywizard would do everything you want BUT I can see that it may well be too large and too heavy for you to hike around with.
Last edited by mediavets on Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andrew Stephens
Many different Nodal Ninja and Agnos pano heads. Merlin/Panogear mount with Papywizard on Nokia Internet tablets.
Nikon D5100 and D40, Sigma 8mm f3.5 FE, Nikon 10.5mm FE, 35mm, 50mm, 18-55mm, 70-210mm. Promote control.


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