Tuesday, September 27, 2011

DIY Time-lapse Dolly

I recently purchased a Pico Dolly so I could attempt to make a self-contained time-lapse dolly that I could take anywhere.

Here is the Pico Dolly with the first step complete. I used the rim of a lid that went to an old pill container and attached it to the inside of the wheel. I had to take the wheel off and then replace it using a small hex key.

I used fishing line tied through the spokes of the wheel to attach the lid so I wouldn't damage the wheel with glue or drill holes.

Next I took 2 pieces of plywood and attached them to the dolly using 1/4 inch bolts through the predrilled standard tripod screw holes in the dolly.

Then I attached the pulleys from a motorized pulley set from Hobby Engineering.

The miniature metal gear motor I purchased separately from Hobby Engineering came next.

Finally I connected a rubber bands to the pulleys, a battery pack, and a potentiometer to use as an on off switch and to modulate the speed a little further as needed.

Ultimately I had to attach another rim to the front wheel because I had some trouble getting traction with just one wheel and with the elasticity of the rubber band, the motion needed to be a little smoother. Here is the first video I made with this setup.

The biggest draw backs to this rig are that despite gearing down the rpms, it still moves a little too fast for most natural outdoor scenes. Also it has to be on a relatively smooth and level surface.

UDATE: 11/21/11 - Here is my second version using a chain and sprocket system

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 09, 2011

Termites and Their Pests, Mites and Nematodes (Roundworms)

I found some little termites living large on the fringe of my compost heap so I put one under my Celestron digital LCD microscope and this is what I found. These are mites and nematodes (roundworms) which are both known to parasitize temites (or it may be commensalism in the case of the mite). The roundworms were living in the head of the termite.

Here is a study from Florida Entomologist on "Mites and Nematodes Associated with Three Subterranean Termite Species (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae)"

My best guess based on the the above paper and not much else is that the organisms here are as follows:
Eastern Subterranean Termite - Reticulitermes flavipes
Mite - Family Acaridae, Genus Australhypopus
Nematode - Family Rhabditidae, Genus Rhabditis

Anyone with more knowledge of these species please feel free to offer corrections in the comments.

And don't forget to check out Modulator's Friday Ark!

Labels: , , , , , , ,