Smooth Moving Rigs Etc.

Levers can move very large weights, but also very small things accurately. To rotate a prop very slowly and accurately a lever with marks at a distance is a fast and easy solution.

DC motors with tach generators and gearboxes will move things very smoothly with the right controls. Feed back to the motor control of the motor position or speed makes these motors valuable for camera, camera control and moving anything. C and H Sales in Pasadena California and Herbach And Radman in Philadelphia PA. have stocks of these motors surplus. They also have a lot of stepper motors for motion control.

There are many off-the-shelf larger gear motors for moving dollies and heavy items.

Gear belts (Gilmer belts) and pulleys are easy to use and align. Older variable size copy machines are full of gears, motors, blowers, lenses, linear drives and dirty copy powder. (Be careful) Foreign ones are mostly metric, American made ones more standard. Most of the lenses are not color corrected and made for close work. Later color copiers may have useful lenses. Repair companies will give some away. Early office computer printers also have a lot of linear drives, actuators, power supplies and motors. Studying these machines will give you ideas. Many of the parts can be modified with stock parts to move things. The linear bearings alone would cost a lot. Longer shafts can be bought to use them.

A good source of ideas and solutions are books on mechanisms. The four volume set "Ingenious Mechanisms" are classics (I found elliptical gears in here) and "Mechanisms and Mechanical Devices Sourcebook" by Chironis and Sclater is much more recent. Old machine handbooks are useful. Catalogs are also sources of ideas. Before modern robotics, levers, cams, and ingenious mechanisms did many of our mechanical manufacturing jobs. They still work and can be very simple.

Government surplus is a great source when available, but is drying up. There is still some industrial surplus. ( C and H and Herback and Radman and your local surplus dealer)

Battery powered gear motors and a rubber wheel can a dollies for field work. The rubber wheel replaces one skate board dolly truck. A dolly move for scenic shots gives a 3 dimensional look that is much better than pans and zooms.

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