Motion Controlled Dolly + CODE


I’ve got a couple of requests to upload the Arduino Code for my Motion Controlled Dolly again. Since I’ve updated my homepage, some of the old Blog links and resources do not work anymore. Therefore I repost the whole thing again:

Here is the final code for my Motion Controlled Dolly (based on Arduino and Easydriver) with super smooth acceleration and deceleration ramp: You can download it here: Arduino Sketch ver.03 (you’ll also need to download the „Accel-Stepper library“ v1.5 from Mike McCauley) A big thank you goes to the programmer Brian Schmalz from

The motor I’ve used is a hybrid stepper motor from Trinamic that is optimized for micro stepping. The code works out of the box with this motor: QSH4218-51-049 (I’ve got it from for EUR 29,- ) If you use a different motor you might have to ... Read More...

Code For Motion Controlled Dolly

Finally, the code for the Motion Controlled Dolly (based on Arduino and Easydriver) is finished. It has now a super smooth acceleration and deceleration ramp.
A big thank you goes to Brian Schmalz from


You can download it here: Arduino Sketch ver.03
The schematics can be found in my old blog post here

Im using a modern hybrid stepper motor from Trinamic that is optimized for micro stepping. I’ve bought it for 29,- EUR from The code works out of the box with this motor: QSH4218-51-049 If you use a completely different motor you might have to change some values in the code. In worst case the motor will stall and you will not get a smooth motion.

Arduino MocoSlider TimeLapse Unit

Just finished my new Motion Control Unit for the circular and linear tracking dolly. I’ve did the holes, buttons and engraving with my little cnc machine. The electronics fit perfectly in the case and everything is tidied up. A big thanks goes to Duncan Frazier for the arduino code. It contains a TimeLapse & Slider mode. The 9 pin SUB-D jack connects to the stepper motor of my dolly and the mini jack goes through an adapter cable to the Canon camera. Now I have to adjust the code for my stepper motor to work properly.


Skater Dolly + Arduino QUICKTEST

Here is a quick test with the Skater Dolly in action.

diy skater dolly motion control QUICKTEST from Daniel on Vimeo.

Arduino + EasyDriver + Stepper Motor
coding by Brian Schmalz

The speed ramping is not included yet and therefore the skater is stopping abruptly and shakes a little bit. But the other functions are working great.

Motor unit for skater dolly

Finally the house moving is complete and I had some time to continue the work on my “Motion Controlled Dolly”. I’ve designed a quick plate that sticks directly on top of the metal screws of the skater dolly. One little (but very strong) neodymium magnet holds the whole plate with stepper motor to the metal screw. On the motor side there is no magnet because this would affect the motor itself. I’ve also intentionally left out the grey plastic wheel on the stepper motor for you to see how the unit looks like when it’s assembled. The whole motor unit can be fixed and removed in 2 seconds from the dolly.


Now it’s time to power up this thing and do some tests.
Unfortunately Brian didn’t had time to finish the code yet, therefore the acceleration and deceleration ramp is not included. Hopefully he will have more time this year.

Arduino + EasyDriver = Motion Controlled Dolly

A couple of weeks ago I’ve decided to motorize my homemade SkaterDolly but I didn’t know how until I came across the Arduino microcontroller. It’s a great little microcontroller which can do when programmed correctly various useful tasks. It has been already used by the OpenMoco community with amazing results for motion control based time-lapse photography. Check it out it’s awesome!

Myself Im absolutely no programming guy at all therefore I asked for help in a couple of forums until I’ve met Brian Schmalz the designer of the EasyDriver stepper motor driver board. He was willing to do the programming for my retro “EasyDriver Handbox” cable remote control. He’s still working on the programming and I hope he finish it soon :-)

In the meantime, here are some pics of my homemade EasyDriver Handbox remote control + schematic.


This remote control allows me to move the SkaterDolly with the camera back and forth adjusting max speed and ramp for smooth camera motion. Also it makes it possible to save 2 positions and move back and forth between these saved positions. Furthermore by selecting a very low speed Im able to do time-lapse photography too with the SkaterDolly or any other dolly with a stepper motor connected to it. My whole project is Open Source and the code will be available for download here in this blog and on Brian’s page.

Simple Schematic:


My homemade skater dolly

My homemade skater dolly (thanks to DP Bill Hawkins for the inspiration)

The body and wheel cages were cnc-milled from thick plywood to allow mounting of heavy 35mm rigs. For the wheel holders and washers I used POM as material. I designed the scale in Illustrator and printed it on glossy paper. Afterwards they were fixed with screws to each acrylic disc...