Small Camera Boom


Although the title says 'Small' this boom has a length of 8 feet, if you include the base it's got a vertical reach of about 10 feet, but it's the smallest one that has all the attributes of a boom. These attributes are that it's got a pan and tilt head, a monitor at the base to check framing of the shot, pan/tilt and zoom controls are also at the base, the camera also has zoom.

I wired this one with audio and video, though later decided that you wouldn't want a mic on the camera as it would pick up the motor noises.
Also running along the boom are wires for the pan/tilt/zoom and power.

This is the early stage of development before adding the pan/tilt head


A later development of the pan/tilt head You can see the 2 geared motors and the extra gear for each to give slow and powerful movement


UPDATE 30 November 2010:
The above was designed for a camcorder with integral tape, since then i have purchased 2 Cannon Legria FS37 digital camcorders, they are much lighter.
Although the motors in the above version worked, i was having problems with speed control, so i decided to go for servo's, these are the type used in radio control models, i chose Futaba 5009 F, they are metal geared heavy duty (in the modelling world anyway), with a 6 volt supply have a torque of 9Kg/cm. An advantage of using servo's is that you can make very smooth movements to follow the subject, or you can move fast to get to the next position quickly.
The control for the servo's is a simple cheap circuit based around a 555 timer, there are 2 timers (one for pan, one for tilt), the diagram is below.



You will need 2 of these for pan and tilt.
Also in the electronics box are 2 regulators, one is 6 volts to supply the servo's, the other is 8 volts to supply the camera, the camera probably doesn't need a supply for a reasonable length vid, but i thought i may as well include it, the overall supply is a 12 volt sealed lead acid battery.

On this boom i mounted the controls on the arm in such a way that they are intuitive, if you want to focus on an objective and move the boom, you just hold the controls still in relation to the movement.

It's important to note the reason the brackets are made like this, it's to centralise the lens around the pivot, and to ensure best balance of weight.

Overall i am happy with the result, though there is a little bit of servo vibration at the extremes of travel, i think it is to do with the timers, if this becomes a real problem later, i may have to find a supplier of servo tester circuits, though i suspect they will be larger.

The Video:





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