I’m using the common abbreviation MoCo here, which stands for motion control. It’s been a few months now that I’ve decided to build my own motion control system for timelapse photography. Back then I’d already spent some late night hours researching the different models on the market being sold pre-built as well as the most popular DIY system out there. I was too busy planning my South America & New York trip as well as traveling to some other places last fall to start the project so I decided to start it once I’m back. This is the point I’m at right now. There’s still lots of things to do, but I’m gonna start the project now.

Since I found it quite hard to find good documentation about all those DIY dollies out there I’m trying to provide one more helpful source for others interested in building their motion control system.

So there’s got to be made a decision for the system to develop. Since I’m not an engineer I don’t wanna create a completely new and own system, but rather benefit of the great work some very smart people out there have done already. Unfortunately, there’s still too little information out there on this topic, which is one reason for why I’m gonna write in detail about the process of building my moco system. I’ve chosen the Project Chronos to be the base to build my system up on.

I have divided my project into several stages. I’m about to order and buy all the parts needed to realize my project, so stage 1 is basically about getting all the stuff together as well as gathering all the information and build up my knowledge a little. Stage 2 will contain building the rail and stage 3 will be about the controller. Finally I will hopefully make it all work in stage 4.

I’m also intending to add more features to my system such as a bulb ramper or pan & tilt. So there might be a fifth stage, which would be likely to contain the process of building a JSR Bulb Ramper Shield for Arduino, and a sixth stage that’d be all about making it work with Chronos, then maybe a seventh stage, containing the process of building an MX2 controller, then making it work with a cheap telescope head like the Merlin/Sky-Watcher and synchronize with the Chronocontroller etc. But that’s all just some more ideas which may or may not be implemented in the future, depending on how frustrated I’ll get until then. Let’s just start with the first few stages.

There’s a parts list up on Chronos’s sourceforge site though I’m gonna post all the parts I will have ordered/bought in one of the following Chronos-related articles here. The parts might be somewhat different of the ones on Chris’s list because I will buy most of my stuff in Switzerland or order from other European countries, so this might be helpful for other Swiss or European photographers intending to build their moco system.

And this is it for now.