DIY Panning Timelapse Device Build Tutorial + Test Video

Author Abandoned not Forgotten - Last updated: 22.12.2012

This is a video I made using my homemade panning time-lapse device from a mechanical water timer. I got the idea from something I stumbled upon online, but can’t for the life of me find the article or video. Credit goes out to whomever posted the idea on the internet…

Materials:
-1x Melnor 3010 Mechanical Water Timer
-1x 1/4"-20 x 12.5mm Insert Nut
-1x 1/4"-20 x 3/4" Machine Screw (or Bolt)
-1x 1/4"-20 Nut
-2x Washers
-Epoxy
-Electrical Tape

Tools:
-Drill
-Drill Bits (I don’t recall the exact sizes used, but it’s really not difficult to figure it out by eye)
-Small Flathead Screwdriver
-Phillips Screwdriver
-Pliers
-Hacksaw
-File
-X-Acto Knife
-Rubber Mallet
-Vise

Instructions:

Step 1
Unpack the water timer and secure it in a vise. Using the hacksaw, saw off the hose connections on either side.

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Step 2
File down the remnants of the hose connections to make it flush.

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Step 3
Using the phillips screwdriver, unscrew the bottom cap of the water timer. Be not to lose the spring while removing it.

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Step 4
Find and mark the center of the bottom cap. Secure it in a vise, and drill a hole all the way through.

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Step 5
Put an insert nut into the hole drilled in step 4, and using a pencil mark the location of the insert nut’s "teeth".

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Step 6
Using an x-acto knife, cut small notches for the insert nut’s teeth marked in step 5.

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Step 7
Place the insert nut back in the hole, aligning the teeth with the notches cut in step 6. Hammer it into place with a rubber mallet.

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Step 8
The teeth should pretty much keep it in place, but just in case mix up some epoxy and spread it around the insert nut on the inside of the bottom cap. Set it aside to dry.

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Step 9
Looking into the center of the exposed body of the water timer, you will see a piece of black plastic that stands out from the surrounding dark-purple-ish plastic. This is the clip that holds the top cap and actual timer section to the body / valve section. Use a flathead screw driver to release the clip, and pull apart the two sections.

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Step 10
Using a small flathead screwdriver, pry apart the black timer section from the yellow top cap. This will not be easy, and you will probably end up breaking a few of the black nubs holding the metal timer and black plastic parts together. Don’t worry if you do, you don’t need them. In addition, try not to morph any part of the yellow (like I did), as that will prevent it from spinning properly. If you do morph it, it’s not a big deal – just use wire cutters to clip off the affected area.

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Step 11
Secure the yellow cap in a vise, and drill a hole perfectly in the center.

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Step 12
Place a washer onto the machine screw (or bolt) and insert it at the bottom of the yellow cap, through the hole you drilled in step 11. Place another washer on top and secure the whole thing with the nut.

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Step 13
Put the timer device and black plastic piece back inside the yellow cap. Make sure it’s completely snapped into place.

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Step 14
Screw the bottom cap back onto the body, and place the top section back in – making sure the clip snaps back into place.

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Step 15
For aesthetic reasons, wrap the body of the timer with black electrical tape.

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Step 16
Screw on your camera, attach to tripod and enjoy!

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