This project essentially unites two functions in one unit: a housing for batteries, a Tarot ZYX-T3D IV three axis gimbal and its controller, and a motor, gearbox and electronics that rotates the unit continuously through 360º. The gimbal is compatible with Runcam5 cameras and eliminates residual motion beneath the aeronaut suspension. The pan rate can be adjusted: the direction clockwise or anticlockwise can be switched too.
The Tarot gimbal is specifically designed for drone photography and includes anti-vibration rubbers not needed in this application and which were removed. A 3D printed housing carries the gimbal and incorporates recesses for a pair of PP3 batteries. A flying lead from the battery pack feeds power to the upper panning unit via a small 2 pin plug where it is regulated to 12V.
Several design iterations were made of the panning unit before satisfactory operation was achieved. These experiments evaluated several stepper motors salvaged from printers, before a suitable Minibea unit was selected. This motor is driven by a BigEasy Stepper board via a pulse train produced by a 555 oscillator, examples of which litter the Web. A pair of ball bearings support the output shaft on which is mounted a coupling that fits the Aeronaut suspension’s lower flange adapter.