Motorizing the JuicedLink DIY Slider

Juicedlink first introduced this slider idea as a prototype during NAB2011 (found here). The kit consists of a few different parts which are bundled or sold separately. The basic set will have at least a trolley (rolling carriage) and end clamps to hold a set of rods. The end clamps have three 1/4-20" threaded taps to mount stands. A benefit to this slider kit is that you choose any type and length of 5/8" rod you require. You're not limited to specifically choosing a 24" or 36" like IGUS or Konova sliders. With JuicedLink, you can carry multiple sets of rods if you want to run short or long. Suggested rails to be used are stainless steel rods for it's clean smooth surface and hardness, which run about $20 dollars each for 4 feet (48").

JuicedLink-DIY-Slider
find-price-button JuicedLink DIY Slider Kit

The setup in the video (above) is on 4ft. stainless steel rods with a few modifications done to get it motorized. This is pretty much the same equipment used on the motorized Konova slider by Vimeo member C Light. On one end I have a freewheeling Idler Pulley. On the opposite end is the servo motor, servo controller, and 4 AAA battery pack. These all simply plug in together seamlessly without any soldering to give you a reversible slow speed motor. For the string, i'm just using Nylon Mason Line. Fairly thin, but strong, and readily available at your local Home Depot. I decided on using Velcro at the ends so that I can adjust the tension of the Line. Below is the remaining parts list of what you'll need if you wanted to do this to other sliders.

Basic servos will not rotate 360 degrees. Here you'll find the Continuous Rotation Servo: http://www.hobbyengineering.com/H1429.html
continuous-servo

You'll require a pulley to be mounted on the servo. This fits perfectly and has the proper amount of teeth to fit flush: http://www.servocity.com/html/pulley_wheel__futm2045_.html
servo-pulley

To control the speed and to make the servo move in reverse, you'll need the servo controller: http://www.servocity.com/html/dual_servo_driver.html
servo-driver

To power things up, you'll need a small battery pack. This battery pack will simply plug in to the controller. http://www.servocity.com/html/battery_trays.html
aaa-battery-tray

It's definitely a smooth slider, but the design means you'll need two stands to elevate it. It's important to get solid stands on each side if you want to minimize any rocking or swaying when used in windy environments. Especially if you're shooting with a long lens. Before you consider the JuicedLink DIY slider kit, you should check out some important information about the slider over at the JuicedLink website. He's started a 'CookBook' of ideas and tips about using the slider, and pointing out a few things to keep in mind when going to a longer set of rods. You can find more information and pricing on the JuicedLink sliders (click here).

juicedlink-slider
find-price-button JuicedLink DIY Slider Kit



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49 thoughts on “Motorizing the JuicedLink DIY Slider

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Frankie31 - Yes limit switches basically break a connection. Instead of running one wire to the battery, you could run a switch in between that wire. When something hits that switch, it will break the connection of that wire and it will come to a stop. So on one end you could break the negative wire running to the battery, and on the other end you could break the positive wire running to the battery.

  2. Frankie31

    I use a continuous 360 Servo Motor with a simple controller. But is there a way to add limit switches on each end to STOP the slider on each end. Would be nice to be able to be auto reverse, but I would settle on it stopping at each end.
    Thanks

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Eddie - Possibly, but it would be easier on a roller bearing slider. The Glidetrack uses friction bearings.

  4. Robert

    It'd be nice if we could see the item without all the jarring, jumping and rapid movement from your camera.

    I'll very likely build one of those motorized sliders based on what you have shown me. Thanks. Although I can see a need for attaching a remote to the motorized controller as this will save moving from place to place.

    Robert.

  5. bo

    What a great system. Sounds like there could be some audio issues if you are rolling for sound. Any ideas?

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  7. Brian

    Thanks for the video and details on the motorization.

    What about the noise from the servo? Anyone know of other options that would make less noise to make audio recording (interview) possible?

  8. Jason

    Does the servo controller offer repeatable moves?
    In other words, can you set a speed, and then get back to that exact speed?

    Also, how long does it run on 4 batteries?

    This looks great, thanks for posting!

  9. Gary

    Would you know the part number for the u-groove wheel mentioned in the video? I did not see it on the parts list. Thanks.

  10. Debo

    I'm not too savvy with the robotics, though the logic of what you outlined in this post is very clear hence my previous question - how would I scale this concept up. Since there'd be considerably more friction AND weight to consider. I am assuming a belt (and a grooved one at that such as an automotive timing belt) would be a better bet. From your reply, I am assuming the slower the motor the greater the torque? More torque being better to move heavier loads? (please correct any erroneous assumptions, I'm a noob, lol) If that's the case what should I be looking to get? What are the design criteria that have to be taken into consideration - loading etc? I will be moving a HDSLR, lens, fluid head and a monitor in addition to the rig itself - how does one compute the type of servo needed? Is it safe to assume that the servo controller is just for sending control signals therefore that wouldn't need changing? In the scenario I just outlined, I am assuming I'd need a more powerful servo as well as notched wheel of some sort to stand in for the pulley that mates to the servo as well as a timing belt to replace the string in your configuration. Would I need a notched wheel to attach to the carriage as well? Hopefully you've got the answers or, at the very least, can point me in the direction of where to find said answers. Thanks mate...

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Debo - It might be able to move it across on a very level platform, but honestly I feel that might be too heavy for this same servo setup. You might have to look more into a slow speed motor.

  12. Debo

    Would the servo work for a heavier setup? I am using Cinemover Plus. How would I scale up the servo to compensate for this rig and possibly using a timing belt type setup? Also if I wanted to move vertically how would I go about revising this design.

  13. Thanks for posting this and the links! I'm interested in getting/building a slider, and this motorized option is very appealing. Regarding the motor and servo controller, does the motor plug right in, or do you need any kind of connectors/adapters? Does the motor make much noise, or fairly quiet?

    cheers,
    dave

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  17. Do you think that this would work with the drylin slider? By igus. I know it's not nearly as smooth, so i might need a higher powered motor.

    I was thinking, maybe I could use some old skateboard trucks and some bearings and put them on some piece of wood or something, and then motorize it. Would that be smoother, do you think? It would also be almost free!

    What should I do with the igus then? Do they accept returns? I already opened it and used it a bit, but I haven't drilled yet. Thanks again for the videos as always, emm.

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Sam - The ends are connected with long bolts and we are using basic nuts as 'spacers' to give it some height.

  19. Naoki

    Thanks Emm for your advice. They do seem to make what I need. I'll look into it more. Appreciate your help.

  20. sam

    Hey Emm,

    Are you using the tabletop ends that juiclink has as an option? I noticed that they are not secured to the ends. Im just wondering if I was to mount the tableends by JL if I would still have room to mount the servo kit.

  21. Naoki

    Emm

    Thanks for the excellent video!
    I'm new in this field and I don't even have a slider yet.

    Anyway, in your movie the slider was moving pretty slow when you had the controller set to the slow setting. How slow does that particular motor in your clip move when you set it to the slowest? For instance, can you slow that servo motor down to a point where it travels say for 4 feet in a couple hours or do I need different(slower?) motor or something for that matter? I'm thinking about a timelapse application with stars and auroras. (When I looked at some motors at servocity.com, they list the MAX RPM but I didn't see the slowest speed so I am wondering how SLOW they can move) Thank you!

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  25. Thad

    Creative!

    What is the size (5/8", 3/4") from flat to flat surface on the hex rod that holds the bearings?

    Thanks

  26. Mike Hannigan

    @Emm

    I was thinking of starting with variable high speed for video shots, but eventually try timelapse. I know the difference would be in the type of servo and possibly the controller and power system.

    Thanks in advance for the suggestions!

  27. Jayhas

    Emm, using velcros for a quick build is brilliant. Never thought of that myself when I was anxious to get my rc servo motion control up and running.

    Of course these string systems is limited to keeping the rig operating pretty much level only. Slight deviation in angle it would work in one direction only.

    I have since yesterday rigged a timing belt/pulley setup on my DIY slider (http://vimeo.com/jayhas/videos). It is only 1/4" mxl type of belt but I was surprised how easily the rig move when I lift up one end to more or less 60 deg angle.

    I am mentioning this here because the system I build ran along a similar principle to the JuicedLink, except more DIY.

    Thanks Emm for the velcro tip. So simple. I'll be using it a lot in my other projects.

  28. Emm

    Post author

    @Gray - I'll do a quick look over on that rig. That's the Skier and it's pretty nice, but expensive. The follow focus looks like the Huco gearbox, but it's not. It's a very nice FF.

  29. Gray

    I noticed in the video that you have a carry handle attached to your camera. I'm in the market for one. What kind is the one you are using? And How expensive are the Stainless Steel Rods? Thank you for the content.

  30. Emm

    Post author

    @Kerry - It is continuous and variable speed. Even though it's a servo, it's basically like a simple slow speed motor. It's on or off, and the controller adjusts the speed.

  31. Does that servo controller give you continuous movement with speed based on the knobs or do you have to keep turning it to get the slider to move?

  32. Emm

    Post author

    @Mike Hannigan - Are you looking for high speed vertical, or specifically slow movement for TimeLapse?

  33. Emm

    Post author

    @Fugenie - It's a roller bearing design. It can carry heavy loads and run pretty smooth. A nice option if you want to go longer than the typical sliders, but you have to be willing to travel with two good stands (tripods). It reminds me a lot of when I used the Cinevate Atlas 200. The 4ft is nice, but I would be more comfortable cutting this down to about 3ft, and if i'm in a rush, I want to be able to set this up on one stand.

    The Steel bars add quite a bit of weight at 4ft, so i'm curious about swapping it with Carbon graphite to see what results I can get in maybe 32". Of course those rods are pretty expensive for the 5/8" size this setup requires.

  34. Hey Emm,
    Is the juiced linked slider good value in your opinion? I like the design, but for what it is, it seems a little on the pricy side - especially considering I would need to modify it a lot to make it work for me.

  35. Mike Hannigan

    This looks like it would be one of the least expensive, but possibly most versatile DIY motorized slider set ups you could get. I have been following the JuicedLink slider for a while, and now I am starting to give it serious thought.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on how to set it up for vertical and suspended use? Thanks for all the great info!

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