Squashing Bugs!

Hello everyone!

First off.  Happy Holidays! I hope everyone had a good one. Pretty good on my side. I spoiled the crap out of my kid. Legos. 3DS. Go Kart. Clothes, more toys.  The real winner this Christmas in my view was me. My parents went through painstaking details to put together 7 photo albums that include history of my family over 400 years. Some of the photos are over 100 years old!

Mom, Dad, I love you!

I had 6 days off for the holidays. A large amount of that time was spent debugging Otto. This of course means a lot of stepping up a stepstool, dropping something, stepping down, picking up, stepping up, dropping, stepping down, stepping up. Repeat 100x. I have learned quite a bit about patience.

I think I have been working on Otto for close to 4 months now. It has been a major endeavour. A lot of money. A lot of time. But things are finally starting to pay off. I had run a timelapse of a venus fly trap which really did not turn out well for many reasons. One of them was the movement. “Close enough” is not good enough. This rig i have built has the potential to do it perfectly every time. I just need the patience to work through the issues. For those who do not know me personally, I am a fixer. If something is broken, I fix it. I spent over 20 years in telecommunications fixing things. Everything from voice stuff, to IP stuff. DMS, 5ess, Sonus, Cisco, Juniper, Broadsoft, Adtrans, washer, dryer, electrical, automotive, toys, You name it. (well except relationships, I have never quite figured out women)

Troubleshooting is something I have become pretty good at. I had an instructor, Mr. Khuns, he taught me about a Short, and a Known Open while in technical training in the USAF. Everything in troubleshooting boils down to the Short, and the Known Open. That applies for anything you will ever troubleshoot.

So that was my week. Fixing Otto.

The Venus Fly Trap timelapse was a failure in terms of content, but a huge success in helping me understand what Otto’s shortcomings are.  I made some huge steps this past week, and i have just a little bit more to do before Otto will be in top shape.

Bear in mind, I am asking a LOT of this system.  all of the test videos are stop motion. none of them are real time. This means that 12 second clip took at least 30 minutes to gather the footage. The Elevator and Pan/Tilt system weight about 40lbs and extend about 4 feet. Coaxing moves that are less than 0.15mm… well.. lets just say im pretty please with myself.

Here is a video that shows some of the test footage with some voiceover that explains/shows what I was running into and what I did to resolve it. Warning, if you are not into the BTS of the technical side, this may be a bit dry.

The good news is I finally feel confidant that it is time to stop tweaking Otto and to start building sets for filming.

I have been working on an outline for a virtual studio visit. I think it may be a fun project, I hope to start shooting that next week. Subscribe! Also check me out on facebook and instagram on the side bars.

Always gotta be sumthin


Cant just have shit work. Always running into issues.

Om my third attempt for a timelapse in the last few days. Started on Dec 4th. Everything was setup and looking good.
Back to the BCM for timing. Everything was looking good. Checked on the progress last night when i got home from work, and of course the BCM shows 92 shots while Dragonframe only shows 50.

The 6D kept saying FULL.  Best I can tell, it is referring to the memory card, which is NOT in the camera. When tethered the image is sent directly to the PC

I continued to have problems until I removed the Canon N3 connector, after which everything seemed to clear up.

I still had some space available on the hard drive it is saving to.  Not sure why it was doing that. It is the first time I had run into the issue.

I am starting to think the USB connection from camera to laptop is problematic. I have a 6 foot Mini USB to USB, connected to two 10 foot USB extensions for a total of 26 feet. Turns out USB should be under 16 feet. So last night I ordered an Active USB extender which should boost the signal to get a better connection.

I am also wondering about the power supply. The one I am using is a 3rd party power cable. I did notice that the battery level on the camera starts out full, and eventually drops. I have not seen it drop lower than losing a single mark off the battery indicator, just to be on the safe side I managed to find a genuine Canon ACK-E6