Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 1, 2011

DIY Time Lapse Camera Systems

at 5:08 am. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks, Top 5 and Top 10

SeamusTheTinker built this Time Lapse System using a Parallax microcontroller, VEX Robotic Design System pieces and a bunch of other various bits and pieces. In the end the rig is capable of taking some great growing plant pictures.

“The camera is a Casio QV8000-SX, using the built-in time-lapse mode.  The motor controller is based on a Parallax BASIC Stamp 2 OEM module that I had left over from a previous project. It uses a Scott Edwards Electronics 2×16 serial character LCD module with four button keypad for feedback and input.”

Brian Grabski built this DIY Curved Track Time-lapse Dolly which has a main structure made out of wood but since Brian is a woodworker the system is built very well. Watch the video below to get a peak of what is possible with this system.

“The time-lapse video dolly is electronically controlled, allowing the user to adjust both the speed and direction of which the dolly travels.  The dolly moves down pipe tracks at a rate of about 2′/hr.  It is equipped with an electronic kill switch that cuts the power to the 1 RPM gear motor when the dolly reaches the end of the elevated tracks.  This allows the user to set up the shot and leave without risking damage to the dolly and his equipment in the event the dolly overruns the length of the track.”




Randofo built this Intervalometer to do time lapse photography with his Pentax camera but it should work with most DSLRs. An Arduino lives at the heart of this project and Randofo has provided all the info including the Arduino code so you could make your own if you would like.

“I decided to make a quality DIY intervalometer for my DSLR Pentax camera so that I could do time-lapse photography. This intervalometer should work with most major brands of DSLR cameras such as Nikons and Canons. It works by triggering the shutter using the camera’s remote trigger port. It can also auto-focus before each shot if so desired (or toggle this on or off at any time). The brains of this intervalometer is an Arduino chip. It may seem very complicated at first glance, but is actually a simple circuit and not that hard to make.”



Check out this creative DIY Quartz camera trigger. It uses the guts from a cheap clock similar to the one hacked in the Fire Alarm Bell Clock project.

“So what’s the most common timer you can get your hands on?
— Quartz clocks, easy. They have a 1 second timer inside, which is wired to an electro-magnet, which moves the mechanism. They are cheap too, and you’ve probably got one.

To make it work, you need to extract the complete circuit board, including the battery connections and the electromagnetic coil (tube with a lot of wire wrapped around it).”


This DIY Timelapse Photography Rig is something that Aonomus built in a rush because he needed for a road trip. The Arduino microcontroller monitors a potentiometer and changes the time delay between pictures based on the dialed in value. There’s a LCD screen that shows the number of pictures taken and the delay between pictures.