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MX2 controls Merlin

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:00 pm
by vertrider
Hi Guys,

looks like the MX2 Arduino device (part of a cool Dolly System) here can control a Merlin / Orion mount for continuous AND stop-motion-stop TimeLapse... (so it would be best of both worlds)...

but it needs
- a special DIY cable to connect to the Merlin
- and obviously a Library Upgrade of the Merlin's Firmware (made by Guzzt)??

Has anyone done this or used the MX2 before?

It seems that the pricing for the DynamicPerception Dolly System is quite fair and it would add another movement possibility...

There are some quite impressive TimeLapse Movies been done using this system for example the one here from the IceLand Volcano is truly excellent:


PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:15 am
by claudevh
Hello Chris and the others ...

I am the "happy" owner of a MX2 controler !
I confirm that this controler is really able to control:

1. the "Dynamic Perfection" dolly system (I don't have it :/ ... at this moment) but I have tested with my own dolly successfully ! (my Dolly use the same motor as the DP system)

2. the Merlin head (a smal cable should be made DIY) , I have also tested successfully !

3. A camera in Timelapse, also tested successfully !

4. Something to come ... I don't know the details

The Merlin firmware should not be modify, you have just to load the "Merlin library" into the Arduino controler of the MX2... this is very easy and don't ask special knowledge nor special material, just a PC and a USB cable ...
This Merlin library is the results of the work of "FMA38" on the Merlin protocol and the work of "GuzZzt" on porting this protocol on the Arduino controler.

I have buy the MX2 controler in kit and mounted myselve ... quite "tricky" but feasable !

The big advantage of this controler is the "huge" flexibility in a "multiple axis" system combined with Timelapse etc ...
Actually, I am looking for the possibility to include the usage of "Papywizard" presets into the MX2 Arduino ...
But that's another story. ;)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:31 am
by vertrider
Hello Claude,

niiiice... We just ordered the complete Dynamic Perfection Dolly System today inkl. MX2 for our Company at the German Distributor (we do both Photo and Video productions, so the DP Dolly is a welcome addition). Matthias is very competent and uses the DP Dolly system himself too, together with a Merlin head.

It's fun, we had looked at the DP Dolly System some time ago, but had not realized the compatibility with the Merlin Head by then. So finally, all ends meet.

According to his info the (newer?) MX2 has the library for Merlin already loaded, and there should no upgrade be necessary (but you managed it anyway). DP is also planning to offer the connection cable as a stock item, and Matthias solders them by himself on request for a little upcharge.

Yes, after looking to all the possibilities of the complete System and what the MX2 can do with the Merlin head, this is a unbeatable package. I'd say Dynamic Perfection has done a very good job and together with the AutoPano Merlin Head that Kolor sells this looks like a bright future for both systems.

The including of PapyWizard Presets for MX2 would be the next logical step - thanks for your work on that, and big thanks too to "FMA38" and "GuzZzt" for the work on the libraries. We all owe you a lot of beers.

Happy TimeLapse :)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 8:24 am
by fma38
This MX2 system looks very interesting! As soon as I have time, I will give it a try...

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:55 pm
by klausesser
claudevh wrote:4. Something to come ... I don't know the details

Hi Claude!

I´m just about ordering this slider:
I guess there must be a way to adapt the MX2 to it?

The price is very good and they build it for all lengths needed - they´re in the area where i live . .

best, Klaus

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:53 pm
by vertrider
Hi Klaus,

the sliders look very well made.


PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:06 pm
by claudevh

This system look very smooth, the problem will be that the MX2 itselve has the "built-in" motors drivers and the "built-in" camera release system etc ..., this mean that the MX2 travel with the Motor and the camera on the platform of the dolly ...
With the model of your link, the motor is fixed at one end of the rail and the belt is a "closed loop", therefore you will be obliged to have long cables between the MX2 and the motor.

Have a look on the MX2 and the Dynamic Perception dolly at the next link, you will understand what I mean ... (here the belt is fixed !)

See mainly the third video,where the Platform dolly is well detailled ...

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2011 11:33 pm
by claudevh
The next video is a exemple of 3 axis control with the Merlin head on the dolly system:

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 2:22 am
by vertrider
Wow, Claude, were did you find it? It is not on the DP site... However, very nice footage, much options!

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:06 am
by skyml
vertrider wrote:Wow, Claude, were did you find it? It is not on the DP site... However, very nice footage, much options!

Actually, this is on the DP site... Jay (aka Milapse) shot this to show the capabilities of the Merlin and DP Dolly. :)

Yes, I too am very happy to see the two working together. I have loved my Skywatcher (aka Merlin/Orinon) since I got it last summer and use it mostly for time lapse. I get to order my DP Dolly finally this Thursday... it's been a long wait and I am anxious to start using the features of both of these items together! My only other wish is that some how the DP Dolly/Merlin and the Little Bramper could all be used in sync together. 3 axis time lapse from day to night and visa versa! :cool:

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:42 am
by claudevh
To all ...