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Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig with Remote

Posted: 03 Jun 2010, 20:21
by jck57
100_1881bulb.jpg
Stomp shutter bulb made from turkey baster
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Version 1.1 demo Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtPpR8amlfA


The goal of this design is ease of construction, high availablity and low cost of materials, low weight, small portable package size, fast set up and operation utilizing an inexpensive point and shoot digital camera. Should be practical for library use.

Weight: 4 pounds without camera

Collapsed package size: 24 x 10 x 3

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version 1.1
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RESULTS

I was concerned about page bulging up in the middle but the OCR didn't seem to be affected by this distortion. Perhaps a less expensive OCR program would be more affected. Relying simply on the weight of the books and the rubber mat for friction seems to be enough to keep the sticks from moving. Of course, it's a good idea to raise up out of your chair periodically to check alignment on the camera's viewing screen. I suppose the rubber baster bulbs have a fatigue limit, so It may be a good idea to keep a couple extras handy. This version handles book page widths to 8.5" and heights to 11".

COST

About 15 bucks not including the hand nut, carriage bolt, screws, and wood I already had.

Camera: Canon Powershot A480
OCR: ABBYY Fine Reader 9.0 Professional

Saw the sticks from straight grained oak. Use a table saw and be safe. First cut them to 1 1/8 x 3/4. Then, cut 11 " of each stick to 1/4 width. Sand the narrow parts so books don't get damaged.

MATERIALS

6' 3/8 OD clear vinyl tubing

(2) turkey basters

(1) 1/2 PVC female adapters

6" of 1/2" PVC pipe

(2) plastic hose barbs, 1/2 MPT x 1/4" barb diameter

(2) 1 1/2" hose clamps

3/4" plywood scraps

1) 2" strap hinge

(2) 3/4 x 1 1/8 x 24" oak sticks

(2) 5 1/2 x 10" sheets of 1/4" luan plywood

(1) 1" diameter superball

(1) short extension spring

drywall screws, various lengths

10-24 screws and nuts

3/8 x 5" carriage bolt w/ hand nut

12 x 24" sheet of kitchen shelf liner

Re: Monson's Sticks

Posted: 04 Jun 2010, 03:55
by Antoha-spb
Pneumatic remote trigger is really cool!

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig w/ Remote Shutt

Posted: 05 Jun 2010, 09:58
by rob
I think you definitely win an Internet for the turkey-baster switch!

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig w/ Remote Shutt

Posted: 05 Jun 2010, 13:01
by phaedrus
I can never look at pneumatic devices such as this without remembering my early days with vehicles...

A friend had something called a Hillman Imp (un-affectionally known as a 'Limp' or 'Blimp' to those in the know!) that for reasons only known to the manufacturers had a pneumatic throttle. Probably this was because the motor was in the back ala VW. I will never forget the number of times we had to virtually pump this car down the road because the throttle system developed a leak. It could become quite wearisome on the foot/ankle joint to have to continually work the throttle up and down to achieve some sort of forward momentum. Naturally it meant we couldn't get full speed out of it either, something that was fairly important for us when we were 16 or so....

However I'm sure pneumatics have come a long way since and I applaud the lateral thinking that's gone into this :-)

Cheers, P.

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig w/ Remote Shutt

Posted: 05 Jun 2010, 15:15
by jhitchcock
I love it! It doesn't look like the speed is very limited, even though you are only using one camera. It basically cuts the cost in half.

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig with Remote

Posted: 06 Jun 2010, 12:31
by jck57
Thanks. This morning I scanned 280 pages in 20 minutes. I can live with 14 pages per minute.

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig with Remote

Posted: 06 Jun 2010, 23:38
by StevePoling
Can you explain the actuator a little better. It looks like nothing but a fairly stiff piece of wire that's pushed onto the shutter. Is it stiff enough? Is it twitchy to adjust? I was impressed by the bicycle brake cable actuator's shutter-presser. And I was really, really excited with the turkey basters until that last step of pushing the button on the shutter.

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig with Remote

Posted: 07 Jun 2010, 04:15
by univurshul
friggin cool man. the turkey baster:...nice touch. :mrgreen:

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig with Remote

Posted: 07 Jun 2010, 08:35
by jck57
StevePoling wrote:Can you explain the actuator a little better. It looks like nothing but a fairly stiff piece of wire that's pushed onto the shutter. Is it stiff enough? Is it twitchy to adjust? I was impressed by the bicycle brake cable actuator's shutter-presser. And I was really, really excited with the turkey basters until that last step of pushing the button on the shutter.
The video link shows the actuator in operation.

The actuator is twisted 12 ga. solid copper electrical wire with a pencil eraser. Yes, it is stiff enough. It takes little pressure to depress the shutter button and the springiness of the wire is a good thing because you don't want more force than necessary on the button. Positioning the wire is fairly easy because of the extra length and long radius bend.

All my initial ideas for the various parts were more expensive and required metal working. I have a shop full of metalworking toys but I had to force myself to think cheaper and limit the project to common materials, skills, and woodworking machine tools.

An alternative actuator arm could be slotted metal with a wing nut adjustment to vary the length and angle. Another option is an articulated arm that is adjustable for length and angle by opening or closing the "elbow."

Re: Monson's Sticks: Cheap Single Camera Rig with Remote

Posted: 07 Jun 2010, 12:48
by jck57
Version 1.2 Made a new actuator arm from an oak cut-off. The trick to threading the 10-24 eyebolt through the oak: I predrilled the hole a little smaller than 3/16", then tapped it with a 10-24 self-tapping sheet metal screw, but not all the way. I left a few imperfect threads so the eyebolt would have some resistance and stay put when adjusted . The little red plastic end is called a thread protector. 13 cents at the hardware store. I like this set-up a lot better than the twisted wire. It takes less foot movement to fire the camera now. The actuator still has "spring" in it because the air is compressible. Thanks for the comments.