Using a boobie board, a 6 TIP121 transistors, 6 diodes, 2 relays and a handful of wire you too can create your own 360 degree image capture platform!
Basically the Boobie board uses 4 transistor outputs to energise the various windings of a stepper motor. This particular motor have 48 steps, so the resulting animation will have 48 images to make up the 360 degrees. The two relays are used after the board rotates one step, the first relay triggers the auto-focus on the camera, the second depresses the shutter. After a suitable delay the process repeats for the remaining 47 frames.
One note, our camera did not have an external shutter release so we had to ‘mod’ it, we will not go into that, I did not have a spare camera to take pictures of the mod!
You can also log-into the unit via the USB port using putty or a suitable program to change the various settings and delays necessary to let the camera save its images etc.
Using GIMP you can easily create animated GIF images, however, we knocked together a little image viewer – the link is at the bottom of the entry.
The rig on its side. Note the stepper motor was hot-glued onto a suitably heavy base.
The top of the board, note the power-transistors and kickback diodes. You cannot see the resistors, I used surface mount ones on the underside of the veroboard.
The final result, with a little care and some photo-shop magic good results can be had – note, we did not take much care or apply any photo-shop magic on this one! You can see a larger version here.
After a little photoshop (just playing with the brightness):
My old mangled relay board:
You can see a larger version here.
Here is a test using a viewer:
We like this so much that if there is enough interest in it, we might even make it into a real product! Let us know what you think. We hope that give a couple of hours most people could use the hardware to get this far, but given a day and a few more materials a fixed lighting rig could be added.