Project Ottor Session 8

Hello Mom, Dad, and the other person who reads this. 🙂

Great progress this weekend. I got some cable tracks setup and re-cabled the entire rig so everything is nice and in its place.


It is working!!!!! Mostly.  It works yes, but im not totally out of the woods.

The cable saga continues. I managed to get some pre-cut pieces of aluminum for fairly cheap. I did my best to assemble a spool, knowing darn good and well that it would not be perfect but should be usable to make sure the Z axis is going to work the way I want.

Sure enough it did, however the spool has a ever so slight wobble. So I am back to trying to get one machined out, but in the meantime this one will work just fine. I do have some requests for quotes out, but if anyone knows somebody with a metal lathe that can work through 2 inch aluminum round stock I would love to know about them.

The speed is not super duper awesome. Right now i can only coax about 38,000 steps per second from the motor. In comparison, i have the X and Z axis cranking out 75,000 steps per second before they start getting to the stalling point.

I have a possible solution for this by using a Pullman Counterbalance.  The last time I weighed the elevator guts with the bearings and pan/tilt, it was sitting around 38lbs if i remember correctly. The Counterbalance i ordered should relieve between 23-25lbs, cutting the load nearly in half.  This should allow the motor to hit higher speeds before it stalls. I got one used on ebay for $30 shipped.

But everything DOES function on the elevator, It was a bit of a risk going with this design but so far it seems to work just fine.


That’s not all I did this weekend though. Also accomplished….

  1. Painted inner and outer box for the lift
  2. Painted the motor brackets for the Y axis.
  3. Re-ran all the wires through the cable carriers for a nice cable free enviornment
  4. Managed to get X, Y, Z, Pan, Roll, Tilt all working.

I think I put about 5 hours in on Saturday and 8 in on Sunday. A good amount of the time was disassembling/reassembling large parts and lots of soldering on cables.  I cant wait to get this thing working for me so I can have my weekends back. This has been an incredible amount of work.


  1. Need to add support strips under the cable carriers
  2. Need to sort out the camera triggering and get the splitter installed and powered.
  3. Need to wire up the Focus motor
  4. Take the small slider for the 3D work and integrate it. I had an epiphany on how I wanted to accomplish this last night, I am excited to see how it works out.
  5. Run electrical to the camera. I had made a few extensions with 3.5mm cables but the extension caused too much power loss from the box and the camera wouldn’t power on. So now i need to run electrical to the pan/tilt and mount the power box.
  6. Clean the studio
  7. Run some tests to determine how much backlash i have in the pan/tilt portion and make sureI get that compensated
  8. More motion tests to check and see how accurate it is frame by frame on multiple identical runs, both in real time and in timelapse mode.
  9. Lots of speed testing, adjusting, re-tightening, etc. I may end up having to add another motor and ball screw for the Y axis and have one on either side rather than straight down the middle.
  10. Have some Hot Wings and a cold craft beer.

2 thoughts on “Project Ottor Session 8”

Leave a Reply