BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera w/ Servo City Motorized Channel Slider Kit A

If you love building and tinkering, here's a look at another fun little project idea from ServoCity.com. They've added a new low friction channel slider that has very low tolerance, can accept a decent load, and that slides over their lightweight aluminum channels. In this video they have assembled a drive system that pulls the carrier through the channel, to work as a video slider.

These aluminum channels can be purchased in various lengths if you're looking for longer or shorter runs, and the motors can be swapped out for faster or slower RPMs depending on your project. The overall design allows these motors to pull quite a bit of weight even vertically, but if you're looking to carry heavier camera systems, just make sure to look into the channel slider that wraps around all four sides (here).

Slider_Kit_with_Phone_MountSlider_vertical_with_phone_mount

Now if you're looking to do some tinkering of your own, I highly suggest taking a look at the dozens of videos showing you step-by-step on how to build these projects at the Servo City YouTube Channel.

For more information about the Slider Kit A, take a look at their Channel Slider Kit product pages which shows examples and a list of parts required to assemble.

ServoCity YouTube Channel
ServoCity.com Precision Building Systems



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23 thoughts on “BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera w/ Servo City Motorized Channel Slider Kit A

  1. Polar

    All very exciting stuff! I am using an iPad mounted on a 1.80 m tripod, and was planning to use my iPod on a slider as secondary camera. The Kessler Parallax has given me inspiration, and am sitting at the drawing board right now. But I need a slider first for my iPod.

    I have been making my shopping list for the DIY solution as found at cheesycam-diy-auto-reverse-polarity-motorized-video-slider-update. But I'm confused... From what I can see on servocity.com the slider is already fully motorized. But on the DIY example there is a shopping list for both a 12V battery, relay and switches, to add on to the servocity slider.

    Can somebody help me with putting together my shopping list? Many thanks in advance :o)

  2. Johnny

    Hi Emm!

    Thanks so much for the write-up and video review!

    I am looking to build this slider soon - I was just wondering, is it possible to attach this slider to a tripod? What would be need in order to do so? Please advise :)

    Thanks! :)

  3. @Paul. Eventually for flip-flop option I decided to modify the potentiometer side of the Servocity Manual Motor Controller. When I need the flip-flop mode of the slider I replace the potentiometer (by means of a little connector) with a circuit which commutates the resistors relevant to extreme positons of the potentiometer. Two limit switches force the circuit to trigger. The circuit is so tiny that can be placed inside the controller box. If anyone is interested let me know I will share the diagram.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Cody - Yes, it's possible to mount to a tripod. I would fix a QR plate in the center, and then hook up the belt drive.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @John - Yes it will keep running. If you don't want to manage it, you will need to add limit switches.

  6. John

    What happens when the slider reaches the end of the rail? Do the motors just keep spinning, belts come off?

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Nate - This is just a friction arm that I've modified to fit on the slider. If you own a friction arm I think you can figure out how to get one on there. I suggest using the four-sided channel slider.

  8. If you detach the belt, how smooth is the slider?
    Notice any jitter or stuttering while operating with motor or without belt/motor?

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @Chris - Yes, if you choose the correct type of motor. Which one, I think you can ask Servo City, but it should work.

  10. Chris

    Appalling noob question here .... would an MX2/3 be compatible with one of these and use it for timelapse?

  11. @Paul - I sent exactly the same question to servocity two months ago. Here was their answer:

    "You might take a look at our 4 servo recorder. It is cabable of recording motion for up to 3.5 minutes and the playing it back in a loop. To use this you would probably need a continuous servo or possibly the HS-785HB since it will rotate multiple times while retaining feedback. You could also check out using a gear motor combined with our Precision Digital Speed Controller."

    But I had already purchased the Manual controller to that time. The idea is that the motors are reversable. If the polarity of wires is swapped the motor will work in opposite direction. I guess a couple of releys will be enough to achieve the "ping-pong" mode.

    However the recorder would be more beneficial if the task is to have the camera pointed to one particular object (a musician). In this case two channels will be needed (additional one for spinning the camera).

  12. ryan

    And to another point @Rick , I don't know of any other ready made kit that gives you a variable speed motorized slider for under $300. If you find one, share the love :) I suppose I just suck at searching....

    @emm , just curious, what rpm motor are you using on that thing? What would be a strong / good rpm motor for both a dslr and gopro set up?

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @Rick - Servo City doesn't always have ready made products, these are simply ideas that can be achieved using all the products they have available. Hopefully it jump starts more creative ideas on how their products can be used in different ways.

    If you're looking for something off the shelf, there are a few great products already on the market. If you're looking for products that can be assembled and disassembled to work in a variety of different ways for a variety of different purposes, their website is a great starting place.

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @Paul - Actually yes there is a way to do this, and they are sending me more details soon. Stay tuned.

  15. Rick

    Seems like a lot of work for a lot of money. And relatively unproven. They don't sell a ready made kit, or at least I didn't see one.

  16. Paul

    Is there an optional board or way to program something so you can have the rig ping pong endlessly? Im thinking for applications such as a multicam concert shoot - be great to set and forget one or more of these.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @Daniel Hughes - My guess is that there has to be a way to merge two channels together and create one seamless rail.

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