Turntable Photography Equipment

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

Take photos in 360 degrees. That kind of photo is actually an animation that consists of several photos of the same product but from different angles. It means that we need a device that can be controllable and that could take pictures on even intervals. As wecan see from the picture above, a device called `Turn Photo` controls the digital camera (focus and shutter) and the device itself is controlled by a PC application written in Delphi 7.

Turntable Photography Equipment
Click here to download the full size of the above Circuit.

Roughly, the device consists of PIC16F628A microcontroller, USB<->Serial PL2303 converter IC, ULN2803A IC transistor array, 2 opto-couplers and one stepper motor. Electronics are powered from USB port, actually from a PL2303 PCB Module, and motor is powered by independent 12V power source. Two versions of this device were built. The first one was with stepper motor from an old 5. 25" floppy drive TEAC 14769070-90. That is a unipolar motor with 4 coils inside, and it has a resolution of 1. 8 degrees per step which makes 200 steps in total per one complete revolution. When we drive it with half-stepping method, it doubles to 400 steps per revolution. A problem with this realization was that I didn`t use gears between the motor and the rotating plate (a circular plexiglass sheet that holds/rotates the product) - it was a direct-drive. A thing to note here is that we need to rotate objects with the smallest speed possible to avoid them dancing all over the plate. So, with a direct-drive and slow motor speed it produced massive vibrations. When motor speeds up - vibrations disappear, but we don`t want it speeding around. After testing and trying to fix the problem by changing stepper motor driver parameters and using dampers I decided to abandon this direct-drive design. Second version of mechanics (the winning combination) is done by using a stepper motor M35ST-7P from an old HP scanner which was also unipolar with 4 coils but...

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