Episode 108 DadoStop!

Had a look at the blade(s) after the fact, and found out where the significant cascading sound comes from when the brake activates.  12 separate tungsten carbide teeth ripped loose of the blade.  Most presumably are due to the spacer blades not being in direct contact with the aluminium brake, so were able to move when the blade was (rapidly) decelerating, and knocked the teeth off as they slid past.

It is a good effort, stopping that much spinning steel on a dime!

Episode 96 Shed Build Timelapse

I have gone back to the individual files of the shed build, and bought them together to create this final version (the reason I labelled them 96A, B, C etc)

So enjoy Episode 96 – 20000 photos taken over 5 days documenting the creation of Stu’s Shed V3.0

SSYTC051 & 52 More GoPro Trials

The first video is using the fly-jig, with an additional wire now (as pictured recently) for additional stability.  The second wire will also allow panning effects, by offsetting the attachment points in relation to the main line.  There is still some shake that I haven’t been able to solve – wind is the primary culprit, so this jig is probably more of an interior-only variety.  There will still be more I can do to stabilise it – I’ll just have to think what that is!  Raising the camera so it is directly opposite the line, rather than below it will help a little.  Having some damper system on the line(s) to minimise vibration transmission is probably the next target.  Further slowing the period of oscillation of the jig (in the same way as a pendulum is controlled, or a spring-system) will also help.  Further increasing line tension would help too, but that will require some modification to the jig itself to cope with the increased rigidity that the tension would cause. (BTW, the timelapse is over approximately 20 minutes, not that there is much to watch – a few clouds and growing grass!)

SSYTC052 More GoPro Trials

The second jig is a skate jig.  It uses the same type of motor (30 RPM at 12V) driving directly on one of the wheels.  The camera was used to get the shot, so was notably absent, but is fixed via a tripod screw through the hole that can be seen near the battery.  This jig is either used to run on a smooth surface or track.  It will be interesting to see how easy it is to create a track that it can follow. Vibration is much less of a problem, but getting overhead shots is its limitation.

SSYTC051 More GoPro Trials

There are commercial solutions, but they often can operate over 1m or so, and/or are prohibitively expensive. Cheaper (non motorised) ones are out there – will keep searching for better options.

SSYTC050 Forced Intermission

There is something to be said for forced intermissions.  Both longer term with the whole relocation, as well a current, temporary one, where I have needed some distractions to fill in some relatively immobile time.

May not have been able get any real workshop time in, but that meant I did have time to keep thinking of different approaches to filming, and the integration of the GoPro.

You’ve seen the fly-rig timelapse, and an adaption to the setup has potential to work on a dolly skate as well, so it can be self powered.

_A542BAnother idea I’ve had, is how to mount the camera directly on a wood turning chisel.

GoPro Turning Chisel Mount

GoPro Turning Chisel Mount

Without question I need better lighting for the scene to avoid hot spots – the very limited space I am currently working in does not allow that luxury.  So excusing that (and my technique!), this gives a point of view like this:

SSYTC050 Forced Intermission

Shot at 240FPS, the first portion is at full speed, the second is slowed to 1/20th speed.

SSYTC049 Four Seasons in One Day

Many places lay claim to having such a feature of their climate, and Melbourne is certainly renowned for it.  Today was a very unusual day – hottest July day on record (23.3C), and then the temperature plummeted as a cold front swept in, bringing strong winds and a downpour.  At the time I happened to be conducting further trials of the GoPro timelapse jig, but the winds completely defeated any possible stability improvements I had made.

It goes to show that having a shed designed to survive excessive conditions is particularly important – after all, I have been through a shed collapse before (and it never happens when it is warm and sunny).  Having cast iron tools out in the elements is not exactly good for them!  I will get into more detail on Shed Safe in the near future – one way to add confidence to a shed purchase that it is fit for the conditions.

But back to what I was actually doing today – continuing trialing the time lapse capabilities of the GoPro.  I ended up shooting the following footage of the storm rolling in – if I had been more aware of what was coming, I’d have started filming earlier!

SSYTC049 Four Seasons in One Day

The occasional black flicker are birds flying through the view.  One frame actually caught a flash of lightning.

Soon this view will look rather different.  That little shed’s days are numbered (just not quite sure what that number is yet!)  The way the weather is going, it may go without any assistance!!


2397558-3x2-940x627Ok, not quite what I meant.

Version 2!

Had the first run of the GoPro rig, and it went pretty well.  Certainly the motor worked as desired, crawling over the length of the wire in 30 minutes (not at the slowest speed).  It took 1700 photos in that time (1/second), so the resulting file was rather large!  I wasn’t as happy how shaky it was though.  The rig swung lightly back and forth, so although it looked pretty stable, it wasn’t enough for my liking.

GoPro on a Wire

GoPro on a Wire

I’d already thought about how to modify the setup for extra stability, adding weight that is as low as possible.  After a short while it occurred to me that extra weight didn’t need to be added – the lead-acid battery is already pretty heavy.   I just have to mount it lower.  Also, the closer the camera is to the wire (centre of rotation), the less obvious any movement would be.

So I came up with version 2.

GoPro Fly-Rig Version 2

GoPro Fly-Rig Version 2

The motor on top is slightly modified – the original grommet slipped on the shaft of the motor – too much torque.  Instead, I replaced it with the propeller shaft for a model aircraft.  It was a friction fit, but tight enough not to be a problem.

Will be interesting to see how much of a difference it makes – the centre of gravity is significantly lower than it was.

While talking of V2, I met up with a shed supplier today to advance the plans. The design I had is apparently not do-able.  At least not the triangular section.  That won’t make a great deal of difference – having that section walled off just means it is definitely available for the air compressor and dust extractor.

The other main change that was necessary was the loss of half the mezzanine.  That was disappointing, but apparently it couldn’t extend all the way to the front wall because it would interfere with the roller door, and it cannot stop just short – has to stop at one of the main uprights.  Bummer, but it means instead that the shop will have significant height over the front section, so not necessarily a bad thing.  Overall height has increased 500mm, so there is a little more head room above the mezzanine.

Headed down to the council to chat with the building dept, and they were quite comfortable with what I was proposing.  I still have to go through the required permits, but that is more of a cost than a problem at this stage.

Slowly heading in the right direction.

Fly Rig in Progress

I’ve been working on how to produce a fly-rig for the GoPro camera, for long time lapse photos, tracking over a considerable distance.

Before I get into what, the why is relevant. When shed construction begins (no, I don’t have a start date yet), this will allow some interesting perspectives.

The criteria:

Time – 4 to 6 hours operating time
Distance – 10 to 15 metres
Minimal setup and easy to reposition.

The limitations:

GoPro – 1 hour operating time
Speed of travel needs to be slow, and controllable

So, what I have come up with is this. A length of steel-cored washing line. Stainless steel clamps to secure it at each end, and SS turn-buckle to tension. This can be easily repositioned, or even have multiple tracks set up and left in place.

A 30RPM 12V motor (bought from Hong Kong). Speed controller to accurately wind the speed back. 12v battery onboard so the unit is self sufficient. Two bearing pulleys to run on the wire, and a grommet on the motor to pull unit along.

To add, 12v to 5v voltage regulator, with a filter and mini USB plug. This will allow the setup to keep the GoPro juiced up for hours.

A few initial trials were very promising. There will be a requirement to add a repositionable weight so the unit runs balanced on the wire.

All a bit of a leap of faith. The alternate is a commercial track, typically 1m long, and needing a couple of tripods to hold it. And costing a few hundred $$s

Hopefully it works out!

In progress photos- the top (where the wheels and motor sit), then turned upside down showing location of battery, speed control and GoPro



Episode 93 Installing a Gas Log Fire

Episode 93 Installing a Gas Log Fire


GOPR1234In preparation for the long-awaited shed construction, I’ve been working on a few viewpoints, and techniques that I haven’t tried before. For one, the GoPro was very much intended to provide some of these new angles.

The above-photo is actually a frame from a video (shot low-res, well low-res as far as the GoPro is concerned – it can shoot up to 4k Cin – which is video at 4096×2160) The actual size of the image is a lot larger than seen here. It is also shot on a narrow setting – the wide setting fits the entire backyard in.

The viewpoint itself, approximately 4m from ground level, using a Rode mic pole to mount the GoPro to. One view for a time-lapse of the build. Another I am working on is more of a normal eye-level view, but a tracking time-lapse. I have a couple of 12V high torque 30RPM DV motors on order to assist with that. One to produce horizontal tracking, and a second to allow some control over vertical panning.

So what is actually happening? After all, that looks a lot more like a grass block than a new shed (either that, or the shed seen is a little small to accommodate anything, let alone everything that was in the old one)!

True, but I am very close to being able to show my hand. The main wait has been for the new financial year. Very painful, but for financial reasons it could be no other way.

The pole on the right-hand side (just past the sandpit and the wheelbarrow) is about as far as the shed extends into the garden. Has to be 2 metres from the right hand side fence (as previously discussed), meaning the trailer can be stored long-term around where it is seen in the photo. In that respect, it is not wasted space, as things like the trailer have to be stored somewhere, and around the side of the shed is as good a place as anywhere (and better than somewhere that can be seen from the street).

Surprised you can’t see tracks in the grass from me pacing back and forth. Hopefully for not much longer (please, let it not be much longer!!!)

BTW, you may have wondered (probably not!), but how do you use a camera 2+ metres over your head? In this case, the answer is simple, and isn’t just a remote that you hope has told the camera what to do. It is a remote app that runs on iPhone, iPad (and Android). Not only can I control the camera from an iPad mini I have available, but I can also view life footage from the camera. The brave new world is pretty awesome in places!


SSYTC047 GoPro High Speed Test

Ran a couple of tests with the new camera on its highest framerate setting.  Interesting results.

On the lathe, there wasn’t enough light, but I have some new ones worked out for when I am filming for real – the shed will look like it is residing in the near vicinity of the sun, and will be about as hot, but it will be good for any high speed shots.  Obviously, I won’t use those lights all the time, or even at full intensity, but they will be good when they are needed.

The GoPro is running at 240fps (frames per second), slowed to 12fps for the first test, and slowed to 25fps for the second (the lathe).  The lathe was running at 1000RPM.

SSYTC047 GoPro High Speed Test

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