Smartphone controlled Bescor MP-101 Pan Tilt Head modification

hey guys today I’ll show you one of my recently finished project this project was actually started quite a long time ago but just finally I finished all necessary features I wanted to have in it from the very beginning so this is not about specifically Canon camera and lens this is about this best core motorized pan hat so what’s the deal right so so what is best quarter motorized pan head this is battery powered motorized pan and tilt hat which can be used to actually pan and tilt any kind of camera or any other like scope or lands but original originally this lens came with the long long big ass clunky remote control which actually sorry long wired a remote control yeah can you imagine that so which was like a complete bummer for me because you know first of all the ranches limit I think it was 20 feet long because Freya if I’m not mistaken we’re losing the way which is okay but not always you can leave your camera 20 feet away from you plus if you’re outside or outdoors this is really crazy to actually have this wire going through bushes and you know and grass so what so why I wanted to have it so my original idea was sometime you can actually place remotely the camera nearby some sort of poet of interest for example a bird nest or somebody take a photo or video of some kind of very spooky birds which very hard to get close to so this is very helpful there are all on many other applications of this particular setup but the wire was the cuter so what I decided to do I decided to actually make it Wireless and I want to demonstrate you something here so let’s power this hang on and we have so here’s my android phone and I have application here I created so what we can do here we can from this application you can completely control this thing it’s a relatively slow but it’s good so can be used for panning can be used photography for panoramic photography can be used for maybe some master photography I don’t know I haven’t thought about that but it was perfectly working for me photographic birds stats was my main idea photographing and taking videos of birds for example hummingbirds right they are at least here in Canada they’re very like lettuce poop how to say didn’t like people that much so and also I do have a call trigger button here which can actually trigger the shutter so using remote shutter from from Canon and any other camera so those two leads you can see over here they are essentially connected to digital pins of device inside and they are can be used as trigger external thanks when I take a press this trigger button all right so what’s inside I can give give really brief explanation so what’s inside inside is Arduino and bluetooth dongle so I put Arduino and bluetooth dongle inside in order to actually be able to connect to it and control it remotely so I will provide detailed explanation of how I did that how I wired everything inside also I’ll tell about Arduino actually software and actually found software which able to connect to this particular Arduino device all right so I’ve removed the camera in order to actually give you an general overview look of this pan and tilt head so this is the score just a reminder this is the score mp11 motorized pan and tilt head so it’s made in China but I would take quality is pretty decent sure how long it’s going to last under load but so far is my long telephoto lens and you know I’m Canon 7d or 40 d8 it works

perfectly so I’m pretty sure it can handle more weight but this is you know it’s probably about three kilos or some second weight and it works very well so what so what we have here we have a tripod screw which actually connects to the camera this is retractable so we have here excel and power supply which I’m not using his battery bay here contains so for doublea’s I’m using the rechargeable so on the bottom it has another tripod socket you can actually put it screw it in instead of general how to say standard tripod like as if you would connect it to the camera and this goes in between the tripod and the camera so on the back here you can bunch of controls so forget that I said that they’re doing it inside and those wires are sticking out essentially additional controls they still operational by the way I didn’t destroy or you know got anything of the originals so what can it do it can have automatic mode which is a here which will Pan the key head like left to right and there is a different angles it can pan so for a 590 240 degrees it’s going to go back and forth back and forth only painting I think tilting is tilt I think tilting is manual so this socket I forgot the thing it’s called Dean socket over here or something to this extent this socket is too connected to the long wire I mentioned before and then wire have a little remote control is like four buttons four buttons and a switch switch is to change the speed so this thing can run into speed modes like fast and slow I think I’m running by default in slow the reason I left slow in because in at the fast mode I can be it’s not as precise so it’s really easy to overshoot your target especially with long telephoto lens so I left it on an slow mode so you have 340° panning and I do not remember tilting what’s the angle but not big so essentially this is going to go as far as that and as far as this so it’s probably 45 degrees each way so this would be the basic features of this desk or pan and tilt head so the only problem I try to overcome is to remove wired controls to the best core head obviously going to use a high high capacity double ace because there is a chance there is ability to use six volt 1 amp external power supply which may be ok when you are not too far away from the you know power socket but hey it’s not so it’s very rarely the case for me at least so let’s talk about what’s inside so as I mentioned before I have little teeny tiny Arduino inside and the bluetooth bluetooth dongle I call Bhutto’s don’t go but essentially it’s a serial Bluetooth controller which is connected to our Dino via just our X DX and series to set up serial controls only four four wires now ground VCC and their accent a X so that’s enough to actually send commands to Arduino and do appropriate I know controls – we know pan and tilt and trigger there this mech and in trigger mechanism I call it trigger so next step I will be talking about what’s inside will try to assemble this and look what’s inside also you’re going to share as I mentioned schematic and Arduino and Android software for you guys – if you want to try to play with it replicate or maybe improve anyways so that’s going to be part number two of my video all right so so let’s try to take this thing apart and I’ll show how it looks inside all right we have four screws on the bottom let’s screw them may remove this plate four screws all

right you have two more screws over here at the top okay and at this moment all this construction are is pulling away like this it’s really really jam-packed of wires and stuff so you have to be very careful not to rip anything okay well screws are no big deal I cannot just leave that one all right so here we have it try to be careful as much as they can because as you see it’s a mess of wires so as you can see right now we do have a Bluetooth module over here it’s a pretty small bluetooth module the smaller I can find and this is Arduino clone these are doing a clone and this is Arduino Pro Mini clone the only thing it has it just serial doesn’t have any USB or anything so this is great because we need as less demanded like a smaller board as possible because it’s very limited space here and as you see it’s so jam-packed wires and everything else that it’s it’s very hard to actually put everything together like back how it was original state so it’s going to be a little bit of a puzzle me like every time I open this thing it’s a puzzle to actually put everything back together so what’s the general idea here so what I’ve done okay I already explained that bluetooth don’t go connect to just a serial of Arduino and this is very straightforward there is nothing really to talk to here this is by the way three are doing a Bluetooth module is of brand trios or cryos this is the thinnest I could find it has pretty handy little I have forgot the name of those J kind of blob somewhat J something connector this is very nice much better than these kind of headers takes way less space also wrapped it in cellophane or plastic to make sure it’s not going too short anything anywhere so our doing the part okay this is a serial side serial business side over here Rick’s 3 X 2 X and power so on other side I have power coming to Arduino and 4 pins which actually controls and two more pins over here which actually are trigger controls so these are just folded directly because you know it was not enough space for another header or bigger header I should have probably sorter everything and save even more space but he well I wasn’t really sure if this is how long these are doing a board going to last so you know lessons also drink is better this but this is the maximum dimensions you can use because it’s already very hard to put everything together also I had to cut out it was another plate over here which actually screwing over there so drop okay I’ll try to show you there are two more did this up screw holes for those top screws so there is was another over there so this plate and that screw I had to cut out completely so because otherwise there is no way I can and it was no way I can fit Arduino in here so I completely cut it out like I took the side cutters and just cut cut cut so it does not exist anymore as you see it’s kind of kind of a bit broken pieces over here so what I’ve done is the electronic side I try to tilt it will be OC better so essentially I wired a digital pin of arduino directly to those connectors i figured out which one is up and down left and right and just wire them directly so setting a digital one on those pins will essentially emulate pressing a button so

this is as easy as it gets doesn’t require any kind of you know shop I mean fiddling this electronics I just connected directly to the pin of these dean connectors on another side from inside and setting digital one on each of those or on any of those will trigger essential essential triggered and necessary motor and in the direction and I just power they’re doing a from from exactly the same power source this motor controller board powers on this is pretty much it so ardena uses super super basic software which actually receives the seed of commands and converts them into appropriate digital signals set on necessary pin doesn’t report anything back there is no you know acknowledgment of anything just one-way communication same time on the phone I created very simple software which opens serial Bluetooth port with a particular criteria of this bluetooth dongle is essentially hard-coded in software but it’s easy to change open serial port this SPP establish SVP communication and just keep sending the signals when I press the button press the button seen dogs and release the buttons see signals stop signal sent the same for trigger trigger on trigger off down stop right stop up stop left stop so as simple as it can be this is actually clicky a cute or kitty application super super simple it was very easy to make the problem I actually took took me some time because the original application was made for blackberry and not sure if blackberry supports kicking anymore so I had to port to to Android actually I had to redo it in QT for Android and any other platform which actually which support QT can be even I think it may work even on PC doesn’t PC or Linux or whatever providing the Bluetooth support is the same for all of those platforms this is actually a beauty of PT it can work on we cross-compile to any other platform you want all right so yeah application is super simple so this is essentially this is it there is not much to it so there are future ideas I have will be very very nice to be able to actually figure out the angle of either tilt or pan motors I think it is possible in this mash of wires I think there are some kind of like limit switches of something which actually tells when this motor to stop and start tilting opposite direction I could try to hook up to one of those but it is so many wires and I didn’t do enough reverse engineering of this best core had to actually figure out which one is what so I decided to leave it for the future and maybe somebody has more information on it please share because that will be very helpful because this is a lot of wires and I have to actually disassemble all this stuff in order to figure out what is what is what so I also will provide in my on my website detailed description where exactly I solder the Arduino digital pins in order to actually control it I just made the photo and photo Google explains everything and where where do I took power again everything is was pretty pretty straightforward so I think this is pretty much it yeah you in order to actually try to close this bubble itself please go to my blog there will be there links to the github where you can download Arduino and the phone application or client application or complete controller application let’s say and I know if a you have any ideas how to improve this or you know have more information on this hat please share so if you like my video please like and subscribe