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Time Lapse Cable Cam

By Michael Mikkelson |
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Sometimes it is nice to capture a time lapse sequence using motion with a larger distance than you could get from a slider. I have seen many cable cams that are used in video production, and thought it would be a good idea to make one that went very slow to capture time lapse sequences. The original cable cam was used with dual GoPro cameras attached to servo blocks that could be controlled remotely. However, the final version of this just has a static camera mount on the bottom with a motor speed control to slow the rotation of the gears. I built the entire cable cam using parts from www.servocity.com.

*** Since this rig only uses a single cable, this rig can only be used outdoors when there is no wind. Otherwise, there is too much swing on the camera.

I recently upgraded my cable cam to use the ServoCity Digital Manual Speed Controller. This allows me to control the speed of the rig, as well as which direction it moves on the cable. I also used some heat shrink on the hub pulley. The cable that I use is plastic coated, so my thought was that using the heat shrink would give the pulley more grip on the cable. It would probably work without this. The rig moves along the cable at a little less than 10 feet per hour. Swapping out the pinon and hub gear could slow it down even more.

The battery is connected to the rig with Velcro, and is a generic 12V rechargable battery pack from Amazon.