Open source Single operator Folllow Focus project completed

Discussion in 'Follow Focus' started by Eric DeHaven, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am a bit new here to the forum, Just recently bought my first Movi M10 and thought I would create something that I saw was missing in the community.

    A low cost follow focus for single operators.
    Every solution I have seen out there is over $1000 if you want to control a manual lens by yourself with your thumb or whatever.
    This to me was a problem as most lone operators are not working with the budgets to spend 2 to 3k on a wireless follow focus with a thumb control when they dont need the wireless part.

    So I made one.
    I am really proud of this. It took my a day or two of development and this is only version 1 now. But I plan on open sourcing the entire project.
    So its FREE to all.
    Parts cost was under $50 and the few items you cant buy I will 3D print for you for a small fee to cover materials or share with you my STL files.

    This project is Arduino based so the sky is the limit to its expandability and feature set we can add.
    I will be posting a full parts list as well as source code in the next few days as I tweak the last bits.

    So here is a quick video explaining what I have done.
    Keep in mind right now this is prototype so the current stepper motor is quite loud. I will have that sorted out tomorrow when the new motor I ordered shows up. 1/4 the size and no noise.
    (this motor was a spare from my timelapse rig)
    Currently I am using a Arduino Uno which is very big. Tomorrow I will scale this down using a Arduino Mini which should make the control box about 2" square.

    The box that houses the Thumb Joystick and the Arduino and motor driver are all 3D printed of my own design.

    The basic system allows for a thumb controlled focus. The motor can be driven at 3 speeds based on joystick position. You can program the extents of your lens so you dont over drive and damage the focus ring.
    You can also reset the program to change lenses at any time.
    There is LED feedback so you know where you are on your program.

    Things to add in the future.
    Quick to Focus - Preset focus points that can be accessed with a single button click.
    Focus programs - Preset specific focus moves that can be repeated with single button clicks
    OLED focus distance display - I would like to have a very small display that gives you the focus distance from the lens
    Wireless - Actual focus controller like any other available system out there. Possibly Wifi or Bluetooth based to save cost and ease of use.

    Ok guys here is the video, made it late at night so excuse the quality.
    If your interested in this, or in helping me develop more please contact me at
    ericdehaven@gmail.com
    Hope you like
     
  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    This is awesome. Thank you for doing it. I look forward to following your progress.
    Do you think you might consider selling a pre-built version of this?
     
  3. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    What Steve said! Please continue to keep us updated here:). Very interesting.
     
  4. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    Thanks guys.

    I will for sure update soon. Just waiting on Amazon to ship me some parts ;)

    As for Selling a prebuilt version. I would happily assemble it for you for a small fee. Basically parts plus a little of my time.
    There are two main reasons I have for not packaging and selling this as a product.
    1. is support. I wish I had more time to be there to support a product, and I dont.
    2. I am a big fan of open source. All my components are open, so the only two things that are unique to me are the code and the 3D prints. So that work is something I am happy to share for free in the hopes that others that are so inclined will take it further and even better it.

    So, stick with me a few days, I will get a final version together by next week and I can start posting parts list, code etc. And I can build a few for you all if you want as well!
    thanks
    Eric
     
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  5. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    Well here is the first update.
    Got the parts in to cut the size by half.
    So total size now is about 1x2"
    [​IMG]
    This is using a $7 Arduino Nano, A pololu stepper driver and 1 47mf capacitor.
    Very simple very cheap. I am currently using 4 4pin connectors for the Thumb controller, Motor, and power input. Each one will have a respective port in the box
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    Full parts list
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UACD13Q?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 $7.50
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TNGOGGG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 $6.99
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CP0TMU2?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 $4.99
    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/con-234/4-pin-connector-w/header-0.156/1.html $1.50 x3
    https://www.pololu.com/product/2981 $8.99
    https://www.pololu.com/product/1207 $12.95
    https://www.pololu.com/product/1203 $7.49
    https://www.pololu.com/product/1018 $.59 x2
    https://www.pololu.com/product/2180 $.99
    https://www.pololu.com/product/2181 $.99
    https://www.pololu.com/product/2609 $4.25
    https://www.pololu.com/product/2649 $5.00
    50v 100uF capacitor $.50

    Total of about $66
    This doesn't include the 3D printer parts that are coming later today. Those would cost a few $.. maybe $10-15 in material

    This includes wire and everything. Only thing I didnt include is solder and shink tube.


    So there are options.
    You can go even smaller on the PCB and the arduino with a micro. This removes the FTDI USB port. So you can program the board, take the port off and cut the arduino by half!

    You could use more industry standard connectors like Lemo (though I think way to expensive for this)

    But other then that.. You might be able to source the parts cheaper from a few places. Maybe go with a smaller cheaper stepper motor and stay under $50 in the end.

    Anyway.
    I will post the code later today or over the weekend as well as the STL files for the 3D prints.

    Enjoy
    Eric
     
  7. Howard Dapp

    Howard Dapp Active Member

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    Hi Eric, the photos are not showing up on my end...I'm on a Galaxy Tab
     
  8. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    No images showing Eric. What were the file types of the files that you uploaded, please?

    Andy.
     
  9. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    Sorry that should be better.
    Posted a link to a private folder.. oopps.

    More to come
     
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  10. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
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    Nice bit of hardware/software engineering. Good to see the Arduino being used for this kind of solution!

    Andy.
     
  11. Jason Smoker

    Jason Smoker Active Member

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    interesting piece of kit.
     
  12. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    Quick update,
    I will be posting more hopefully tonight.
    But till then. I have started to work on a new version that is servo based.

    A few reasons for this.
    Servo's draw much less power, are less noisy and I can remove the need for the stepper motor driver and just use the arduino alone.
    This allows the system to be scaled even smaller, so it can run on a single .75" square chip. No other boards needed.

    There are some very good 360deg high torque servos out there for under $15 so this also reduces the cost of the whole unit to well under $50.

    I will get that finished this week and hopefully post all of them for everyone to share!
     
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  13. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    A few pics of the board in its box.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    --------
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Oops no images again
     
  15. Eric DeHaven

    Eric DeHaven New Member

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    stupid free image hosting.. haha.

    Anyway. tried again. should work now.

    Got the servo based solution working last night. Will post it all soon
     
  16. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

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    Amazing. Can't wait to see it all working. :)
     

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