So I’ve spent the last three weeks with doing lot of research and browsing online shops. The result is a shopping list with all the stuff I needed to buy or order to build the rail and controller, which basically consists of most parts listed on Chris’s parts list but with links to online shops in or near Switzerland. Of course, many of the parts are not exactly the ones he used.

I ordered a bracket set from Kyle and Chris which includes carriage, spacers, anti-backlash nut bracket as well as front and end brackets. They have shipped this stuff only a couple days after my order and I have received these beautiful parts two days ago. Have a look:

Since it’s pretty hard to get a 1/4 inch lead screw as well as some of the other non-metric parts Chris uses, I chose to go with some similar products in metric standards. I’ve bought a 1m threaded rod at a local hardware store the other day, just because it cost less than 2$. I still won’t use this for my rail though, I’ve ordered a lead screw by Igus now so I’ll use that.


In addition to the parts for the rail and controller, I’ve included the stuff needed to build two shutter cables: one N3 cable for cameras like the Canon EOS 6D, and a 2.5mm jack cable for cameras like the 500D (Rebel T1i / Kiss X3).

The links point directly to the exact article I have ordered, whenever possible. The words in the square brackets are translated to German (I’ve found many of these technical terms to be quite hard to translate sometimes – I still don’t know a German word for D-rings – can anyone help?).

Two essential parts (coupling to connect stepper and lead screw, shaft collar) are still missing in the list, since I haven’t found a store with reasonable prices to order them at yet / didn’t get the answers back from several shops yet. Gonna update the list later with those and with all the needed screws and some other stuff like batteries, tripods, ballheads etc.


  • Bracket set including carriage, spacers, anti-backlash nut bracket, front and end brackets from Chris and Kyle, 230$
  • Lead screw [Trapezgewindespindel] 8mm diameter RH 1250mm (about 4ft 1″) long PTGSG-08X1.5-01-R-1250 at Igus Switzerland, 50$
  • Double rail [Linearführung, Führungsschiene] DryLin W, 1250mm long WS-16-60-1250 at Igus Switzerland, 126$
  • 4x housing bearing [Gehäuselager] WJ200UM-01-16 at Igus Switzerland, 34$
  • Anti-backlash thread nut [Anti-Backlash Mutter] JSRM-AB-2220-TR8X1.5 at Igus Switzerland, 32$ NOT THE RIGHT ONE! Don’t order this, I’ve posted my solution in a later post (it’s a part uniquely made for this).
  • Stepper motor [Schrittmotor] NEMA-23 76mm bipolar at Active Robots, 45$
  • 2x limit switch [Microschalter] at Conrad Switzerland, 9$
  • Ball bearing [Kugellager] 8mm inner diameter at Conrad Switzerland, 3$
  • Coupling [Kupplung] 6.35mm to 8mm inner diameter at eBay Switzerland, 6$
  • Shaft collar [Stellring] 8mm inner diameter 10 pcs at Conrad Switzerland, 11$
  • Plasti Dip [Flüssiggummi] transparent at Conrad Switzerland, 25$
  • 2x D-Ring [Öse mit Loch] at the hardware store (OBI), 12$
  • Shoulder strap [Tragegurt] at the hardware store (OBI), 2$


  • Stepper driver chip [Schrittmotortreiber] Pololu A4988 with 16 header pins at Swiss RepRap Tardo, 13$
  • 16 header pins [Stiftleiste] for the Pololu driver at Swiss RepRap Tardo, come with the Pololu driver
  • Heat sink [Kühlkörper] 8 x 6.3 x 4.8 mm at Conrad Switzerland, 1$
  • Arduino Uno [Arduino Uno] R3 usb board at Boxtec, 30$
  • Arduino Shield Proto [Arduino Shield Proto] PCB R3 board at Boxtec, 8$
  • 28 header pins [Stiftleiste] for the Arduino Shield at Boxtec, 1$
  • D-SUB connector [D-SUB Stecker] 9 pin male at Conrad Switzerland, 1$
  • D-SUB connector [D-SUB Buchse] 9 pin female at Conrad Switzerland, 1$
  • D-SUB connector hood [D-SUB Kunststoffhaube] 9 pin at Conrad Switzerland, 2$
  • Heat shrink tubing [Warmschrumpfschlauch] 6.4mm unshrunk 1m at Conrad Switzerland, 3$
  • Heat shrink tubing [Warmschrumpfschlauch] 1.6mm unshrunk 1m at Conrad Switzerland, 3$
  • Serial display [Serielles Display] 7-segment at Boxtec, 16$
  • 2x control knob [Drehknopf] at Conrad Switzerland, 13$
  • 2x stereo jack female [Klinkeneinbaukupplung] 3.5mm at Conrad Switzerland, 6$
  • 2x potentiometer [Potentiometer] 1 kΩ 6mm shaft diameter at Conrad Switzerland, 3$
  • 4x button [Drucktaster] at Conrad Switzerland, 10$
  • Velcro strip [Velcro-Klettband] 1m at Conrad Switzerland, 4$
  • Hookup wire [Schaltlitze] 26 gauge 5m at Conrad Switzerland, 2$
  • Opto-isolator [Optokoppler] DIP 4 at Conrad Switzerland, 1$
  • 4x Carbon film resistor [Kohleschicht-Widerstand] 100 Ω 1/4 W 5% 100 pcs at Conrad Switzerland, 4$
  • 4x Carbon film resistor [Kohleschicht-Widerstand] 10 kΩ 1/4 W 5% 100 pcs at Conrad Switzerland, 4$
  • Metal film resistor [Metallfilm-Widerstand] 390 Ω 1/4 W 1% 100 pcs at Conrad Switzerland, 4$
  • Carbon film resistor [Kohleschicht-Widerstand] 220 Ω 1/4 W 5% 15 pcs at Conrad Switzerland, 2$
  • Carbon film resistor [Kohleschicht-Widerstand] 2.2 kΩ 1/4 W 5% 15 pcsat Conrad Switzerland, 2$
  • 2x stereo jack male [Klinkenstecker] 3.5mm with 3 poles to build the shutter cables at Conrad Switzerland, 10$
  • Stereo jack male [Klinkenstecker] 2.5mm with 3 poles with cable to build the jack shutter cable at Conrad Switzerland, 6$
  • Remote shutter release [Fernauslöser] Canon N3 to build the N3 shutter cable at Ricardo Switzerland, 7$
  • Case [Gehäuse] ~ 108 x 89 x 38 mm at Conrad Switzerland, 8$
  • Battery [Batterie] 6800mAh rechargeable EU plug at Deal Extreme, 22$

Screws and Nuts

  • 8x socket head screw [Zylinderschraube] M8 x 30mm for the carriage to housing bearings at the hardware store (OBI), 10$
  • 4x socket head screw [Zylinderschraube] 3/8 x 16 x 1-3/4 for end brackets to rail at Hess Moto, 10$
  • 4x cheese-head screw [Linsenkopfschraube] 10-32 x 1/2 for motor to housing at Hess Moto, 5$
  • 4x countersunk screw [Senkkopfschraube] 2 x 12mm for limit switches to brackets 150 pcs at the hardware store (OBI), 6$
  • 4x cheese-head screw [Linsenkopfschraube] M3 x 10mm for Arduino at the hardware store (OBI), 1$
  • 4x nut [Mutter] M3 for Arduino at the hardware store (OBI), 1$
  • 2x socket head screw [Zylinderschraube] M4 x 16mm for anti-backlash housing to carriage at the hardware store (OBI), 1$
  • 2x socket head screw [Zylinderschraube] M3 x 10mm for anti-backlash housing at the hardware store (OBI), 1$
  • 2x nut [Mutter] M4 for anti-backlash housing to carriage at the hardware store (OBI), 1$
  • 2x nut [Mutter] M3 for anti-backlash housing at the hardware store (OBI), 1$
  • 4x cheese-head screw [Linsenkopfschraube] M6 x 10mm for D-ring brackets to rail at the hardware store (OBI), 3$

Shipping, Packaging, Cutting and Customs:

There are a couple of tools needed to realize the project. If you don’t have these, most of ’em can be bought online for little money. The most important are the following.


So all in all it cost me about 917$ (no tools included) so far, which is more than I’d initially expected. (I will have some leftovers / spare parts though so it’s actually a little less.)

All the orders are submitted now and I’m basically just waiting for my stuff to be delivered. Only thing I have to buy are some screws at the hardware store. I’m gonna have to be patient now since Igus won’t be shipping the parts until week number 17 of 2013.

Couplings have arrived from China: