Component recommendations please: camera pan tilt head


Hi all,

I want to build a remote controlled pan/tilt tripod head for a 10kg video camera (broadcast quality). I know programming and electronics, but the knowledge of the strength of mechanical components is what I lack.

The camera triax adapter has available control outputs - analog 0-5 volts. I can program a PicAxe micro-controller or similar to generate the appropriate drive outputs and initialise sensors to know where the head is at during bootup. There are 2 digital circuits in the port. Not sure yet whether they are input or output.

There are of course retail products, but either they do not interface to the CCU controller I have or they cost $8000USD, so diy it is.

The basic plan is a downward facing motor for pan and an L shaped bracket mounted on a horizontally mounted motor for tilt. Centre of gravity may change with pan and tilt with obvoius goal to minimise this during design or choose components strong enough to cope.
Pan +/- 180 deg from centre
Tilt +/- 60 deg from horizontal

What would be most suitable drive mechanism given the mass? Servo, dc motor (with reduction gears) or worm screw drive, stepper or ??

I realise that a fairly hefty power supply and quite a bit of torque will be required.

Any component recommendations which would handle the load?


Hey Linzmeister,

Thanks for our question!

There is a good tutorial on Instructables on how to build a heavy duty Pan and Tilt w/ Arduino

and another chunky pan and tilt used for time lapses here:

another system you night want to look at is this one:




Thanks for the reply Marcus,
I will have a read and super size it.

I have spent some time today learning the physics calculations for torque and looking at the steppers on the product pages here trying to match specifications with calculated values.

I found a really nice rotational sensor on RS components web site for $42 with an index mark for home position.