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Homemade automated macroslider
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BRTech



Joined: 09 Oct 2014
Posts: 13
Location: The Netherlands (Veluwe)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:19 am    Post subject: Homemade automated macroslider Reply with quote

As promised i would write a little description about my homemade automated macroslider.
Here it is:

Since many years i am using the Manfrotto 454 manual slider. It is a nice tool for macro-photography but it has some difficulties.
When i use this slider in combination with the Canon MPE65 on higher magnifications, the slider becomes unstable.
For stacking it is not easy to handle and get all the pictures aligned.
This is the result from a little space in de slider itself. You can tightening the slider, but then you can hardly move your camera when you turn the knob.



At that moment i had the idea to make a slider with industrial linear bearings. At company i work, we had some old but useful bearings in stock.
These were not used anymore and dusty so i got it as a gift from my colleague.
The sliderplate i designed on the dimensions of the bearings. After the dimensions were known, i ordered the aluminium pieces.
Also a steppermotor was ordered. This motor was necessary for the dimensions of the drive-system.



The electronic system for the steppermotor is a module specially for this type of motors. It is an amplifier which you must give a signal, how many steps and speed it must give.
Therefore is bought a simple industrial PLC from Siemens. The program i wrote by myself. Not very easy but after twelve different versions it worked very well!



In the program it is possible to set the distance to the object, how many pictures to take, the distance between the pictures, speed and much more.
When the picture must be taken, the shutter from the camera is automatic set and there sounds a little alarm for 0,5 seconds. After that the slider runs automatic to the next stop.
Between the token picture and the resume-point there is a break from about 5 seconds to stabilize the slider and camera. This time can also be set.
For manual setting i have added an encoder on the frontpanel. Also some switches are added for more possibilities.


As you can see, i have a lot work to do to finish this system.
Well, i hope you enjoyed this little description and the pictures.
If you have questions, please ask.

Best regards, Berry
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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1457
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work Berry.

Look at all those toggle switches. Geeks rejoice!!

HEY. Hold on a second. The big wheely thing is NOT connected to anything. See last image, bottom right corner.
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 890
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice setup Berry,
The case you showed has lots of industrial grade stuff within, but it's not clear to me what is does.
Did you build a stackshot comparable driver?
I would love to see some schematics. What is the resolution in microns*?
The slide looks very good and stable and also very industrial.
Nice to have a job where all this stuff is in stock and within reach.
What will be the function of the large (not-yet-connected) dial?


*Edit: tested the mu symbol issue
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Canonian@Flickr


Last edited by canonian on Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:37 am; edited 3 times in total
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BRTech



Joined: 09 Oct 2014
Posts: 13
Location: The Netherlands (Veluwe)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Canonian and Abpho,

Thank you for replying. The slider isn't ready yet. There is a lot of work to do. Wink
The encoder (big wheel) is not yet connected because this is a part of the 5 Volts system (left silver colored unit). The main system runs on 24 Volts (right silver colored unit).
So, i will it connect for the last moment to prevent for making the error that it will be connected on the wrong voltage. The encoder will be damaged then.
The function from the encoder is to drive the slider manually.

The system will be comparable to the stackshot driver, but this one is a little heavier Wink . If something is broken or out of order, parts can be easy replaced to running back again.

The resolution can be set with the stepper amplifier. This is the black unit with the green connectors on top.
By choosing the setup from the dipswitches you can set from 400 to 25000 steps per rotation. One rotation is 1,25 millimeter.

Best regards, Berry
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GemBro



Joined: 20 Aug 2014
Posts: 261
Location: Surrey [UK]

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My kind of post Barry ... love a good electronic DIY project ... love the Modular feel Wink ...

Still building stuff myself ...

Gem
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Canon 550D(T2i) ML (Nightly Builds) | Raynox 250 | Palinar 35mm f2.8 (reversed) | EL-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 N | EL-Nikkor 50mm f4 | Bellows | Objectives: LOMO 3.7x 0.11 : 8x 0.20 : 40x 0.65
RiG II - 'Bamboo': Olympus CH Focus Block with Inverted Arca/Swiss | Canon 430 EX (x2) | Olympus T20 flash (x2) | Youngnuo YN-622C Wireless triggers (x3) | Ikea Jansjo 3W LED Lighting (x3)
Optional Arduino based Stepper Focusing system (being built)
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 797
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice!

I built my own actuator and controller several years ago and appreciate the effort required. It is great to have the flexibility to adjust the programming and try different operating schemes.

I like the heavy-duty guides. That should be stiff and provide great flexibility.

My advice to others that are going this route is "don't forget a fuse".

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15171&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=fuse&start=0

Good luck!

Keith
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 890
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying to analyse your setup: what is the role of the two blue thingies right next to the Siemens PLC?
They look like powerful relais.

(Off Topic: Also nice to see some familiar magazines from the Hobby Computer Club (HCC member since last century) en Photoshop Special Very Happy )
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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1457
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canonian wrote:
What is the role of the two blue thingies right next to the Siemens PLC?
A Double Throw Four Pole relay. Most probably around 10A per contact. Hard to tell but they would be used for isolation purposes (different operating voltages). Hard to tell without a closer look. I see the PLC, HMI, couple of input devices, two relays, two fuses, and the two power supplies. The vertical black box on the top must be the stepper controller. A really neat project. Kudos for getting some of the gear from work. Makes these DIY so much easier to handle.


BRTech wrote:
By choosing the setup from the dipswitches you can set from 400 to 25000 steps per rotation. One rotation is 1,25 millimeter.
Wow. That's crazy resolution. And I thought going down to 1µm steps was a big deal. Very Happy

Awesome project.
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BRTech wrote:
By choosing the setup from the dipswitches you can set from 400 to 25000 steps per rotation. One rotation is 1,25 millimeter.

abpho wrote:
Wow. That's crazy resolution. And I thought going down to 1[micron]* steps was a big deal. Very Happy

Let's remember that we're describing a theoretical resolution limit of BRTech's controller, when we think in terms of 1.25mm divided by 25,000 steps. In physical implementation, empirical resolution (perhaps better defined: "consistently repeatable focus steps") will be far more coarse. Forces including friction and stiction should significantly enlarge the size of repeatable focus steps, when using a 1.25mm per thread drive screw on a linear stage.

At present, I have a Velmex stage under my stepping-motor-driven microscope focus block. This stage has a screw drive, roughly similar to BRTech's screw drive, that delivers 1mm per turn; I use it for rough positioning--for which it works splendidly. But no way would it serve for focus stacking at higher magnifications. This I do with the microscope focus block.

Cheers,

--Chris

*When Abpho posted, the forum software was apparently accepting the Greek letter mu as an abbreviation for micron (and I've used the mu symbol myself in previous posts). But in my attempts to reply here, the mu symbol has been rejected. Some change has perhaps occurred at the hosting service level. So, I've substituted the word "micron" for Abpho's (perfectly correct) mu symbol.
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 8459
Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I had to try the mu/micron symbol. It sounds like a manageable challenge for a Monday morning. But it turns out there are about three methods.
Simplest one is to press and hold the "Alt" key then 0181 then let go.
µ should appear as a mu character - it does on my display. Perhaps it doesn't on others'?

Or type
& # 9 5 6 ;
without the spaces. That then actually displays (try preview) as
μ

For complications, see Windows Charmap, Mac Special Characters. An option there is to Copy the characters you need for Pasting into the forum.


Steps and Depth of field. I note that he screw pitch on the machine described in this topic is about the same as the maligned Manfrotto 454 Laughing but yes, it's all about the runners as well.
(maligned, misaligned, malaligned... ??!)

The smallest step size you'll ever need, without using best oil immersion objectives, is about half a micron. See Rik's excellent spreadsheet described HERE .
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 1004

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super impressive - I can't wait to see the look of joy on your PC though when you tell it to make a 25,000 frame stack of a 1.25mm bug Smile
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR, since you and Abpho can make the forum accept your mu symbols, perhaps the problem is specific to my account here at PMN. I used to be able to use the mu symbol with perfect ease. But as of last night and today, I can't--and have tried two different computers and different browsers. No matter what method I use to enter the mu, the forum rejects my post (displays a blank preview and makes my entry vanish from the input box). I can't even quote your post, or Abpho's, without removing the mu symbols they contain. Not to clutter BRTech's thread, I'll take this issue offline.

--Chris
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BRTech



Joined: 09 Oct 2014
Posts: 13
Location: The Netherlands (Veluwe)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I noticed there are some questions about the function from the blue relays.
The left relay is the auto/manual relay.

In automatic mode the PLC output signal is sent to the stepper amplifier.
The 24 Volt output is reduced to 5 Volt by two 1K resistors in series.
This is for the stepsignal and the direction signal.
In manual mode the encoder signal (which is not connected at this moment) is sent to the amplifier.

The function from the right relay is a potential free (only voltage from the camera) contact to the camerashutter.

The resolution from 25000 steps/rev. is not tested yet. Now i have 800 steps/rev. When the system is ready i will test the higher resolutions.
This appends on what i need. With the Canon MPE-65 on 5X magnification, 1600 steps/rev is nice i think.

If you look at the rearside from the system there are no connectors yet for the motor and the camera.
I will order them next week. Very Happy

Best regards, Berry
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
Posts: 890
Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris S. wrote:
... since you and Abpho can make the forum accept your mu symbols...

I also noticed this yesterday. My post with the μ symbol went through ( or stopped working since my reply Embarassed ) and in later replies it resulted in empty previews...???
Chris S. wrote:
Not to clutter BRTech's thread..
Best to make a new thread on this subject to freely test and edit this.
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Saul



Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Posts: 1506
Location: Naperville, IL USA

PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Berry,
Very interesting design, very similar to mine, even PLC Smile (I'm using Crouzet).
Was you able to use encoder ? I tried one, but input frequency was too high for this type of controller
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