Hello guys.

I know this was discussed probably few times, but I still can't figure it out. Cuz I am not a very tech guy. I need stepper motor slider or even stepper 3axis slider with a head, that I can purchase and connect right away to Dragonframe, without Arduino programing, modifications etc. Like Ditogear has. But not Ditogear)))) What option do you know or even tried? UNPACK, connect CABLES, run DRAGONFRAME and it works))) I found this one DIGISLIDER https://www.digislider.co.uk/collections/digislider-bundles/product...  It says its compatible with Dragonframe.  

EMOTIMO I don't know why, but I can't load to the online store and I am not sure, do they have a 2meter stepper motor slider? What you can advice?

Thank you guys

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And here is a picture of the whole rig. Note that it has widely spaced stainless tubes for smooth running and stability, adjustable ball bearing mounts and a dolly made out of birch plywood with epoxy glue. The camera head is all on a square aluminium tube that fits onto the dolly and can be used on this slider or the other way up on Maximoco.

OK, now the other end....

If it were my decision I would choose to use one of these:


and I would control all 4 axes with this unit. I would not use the controller from Digislider. See this video for how Edu Puertas links it up:


Here's another with all the basic connections:


Note that there is a point in this film where he points to some pins and the caption reads 'No micro stepping'. You will probably want micro stepping, so you will need to buy some miniature jumper pin headers to bridge across the pins:


There are 3 sets of 2 pins for each circuit, so you need 12 bridges.

You will also need a 24V Power Supply Unit. I use one like this:


10A or 15A will be plenty. This connects to the blue screw-in block on the CNC shield, where it says "- + 12-36V". This is the power for the stepper motors. 

Don't forget to attach the little heatsinks on top of the chips, and if mounting in a box, it is a good idea to put a computer fan in there. But if you are in the middle of a project, just make sure there is plenty of air around the unit. Mounting it on some feet, like in the video, would be a good idea.

Then you connect everything up. I assume you know how to connect stepper motors - if not, go to YouTube for videos on how to do it. Remember never to disconnect a stepper motor from the driver while powered up, or you will blow the driver.

On your computer, you then go to the Arduino webpage, and download the legacy version 0023, although I think for DF4 you can use the latest version. Then go to Dragonframe in the Applications, and find the Resources folder. In there is a folder called 'DFMoco' and in that folder is a ReadMe file. Read it and follow the instructions to get your controller working and connected to Dragonframe. You do not need to worry about which pins go to which motor, as the CNC shield has done this for you. You only need to upload the Arduino sketch once, as DF reads it automatically each time.

There is one point to watch. The 4988 drivers are only good up to about 2A for each motor. So if the motors are rated much higher, the better 8825 drivers should be used. They are a bit more expensive, but my rough calculation is that this basic controller setup costs no more than about £50. A lot less than the 350 Euros for the ready-made unit. I appreciate that you are in the middle of a project, so it is a question of time or money... as ever!

It's another £50 to £80 for the focus motor mount and bits. But they are all off-the-shelf and just need a little fiddling to bolt them together. (I have just noticed that the Digislider already has the L shaped mount fitted, so you just need the Fotomate slider, the extra moving piece and the bracket. Even easier!)

One final thing: You may need some connectors and long cables so the computer can be mounted at a distance from the moco rig. I use 4 pin aviation connectors:


and I have been using four core cable that is normally sold for cars:


You could use smaller cable, but it is not easy to solder onto the connectors. If you make a box for your controller, then you can add panel mount connectors onto the side:


Any questions, please fire away!

Yes, the Igus slider is the best of that type of slider, and I think the bearings can be adjusted so they have not much movement. If you search in eBay for "ball bearing camera slider" you will find some and they are likely to be better than even the best plain bearings.

I don't understand your question about connecting cables. Have a look at my post about aviation connectors.

I use 27:1 Nema 17 motors, and have also just bought some 100:1. For stopmo slow and accurate is good. It also gives more torque. The backlash is an issue, and in the Dragonframe control window you will find a backlash compensation dialog box. This means that when you reset the motors to run a shot again, they go a bit beyond zero and then return so the backlash is already taken out.

If you want to avoid backlash altogether you need to use Nema 23 motors without gears to get enough torque.

And, yes, an ordinary Nema 17 with gearing is fine for the focus. But set it up carefully and be sure to set limits for the travel, as it would not be good to break the focus ring on your lens. The gear I use on my motor is 40 tooth.

michelangelo said:

The igus slider is not the most but is of good quality, surely the bearings are better. I thought there was a possibility of connecting cables, I did not understand.
Which Slider Advice?
do you think the 14: 1 gear motors are right for pan tilt and slider?
for focus use a normal Nema 17 bipolar?

Yes, the 14:1 is slow, and the 27:1 even slower. You set the jog speed, which is the speed it moves when you are setting up the shot and moving the moco rig to the correct position, in the DF ArcMoco dialog box. If you set it at 1 step per second, you will not be able to see the movement. Try starting with about 4000 steps/sec, and adjust to get your speed right. BUT, the Focus motor needs only about 400 steps/sec! Be warned - do not have the focus motor moving quickly. Probably best to do a test with it not connected to the camera!

My Italian is not very good, but I assume this is from your expert. These big drivers are similar to the ones that I also use. Mine are a bit smaller, and much cheaper:


The second of questi pezzi below is the L shaped bracket, exactly the same as I use. The first appears to be a standard pan/tilt head, which is probably damped so will not turn very easily. I have used large ball bearings from ServoCity. They make a pan/tilt head very similar to what I constructed:


It has a controller box which does live action moves, but not stop motion. You can buy the parts to make something up yourself. What you need is something with as little wobble as possible, which means large bearings spaced widely apart.

If you want to do live action moves in Dragonframe, the only thing you can do is to make a movie in ArcMoco which uses the lower resolution Liveview frames, and the best you can do is a time-lapse movie. You are correct that to do real live action you would need to buy another box controller from dragon frame or someone else, or use the Servocity box.

michelangelo said:

an expert told me that the stepper motor 14: 1
Nema 17 is very slow and you can not see the live movement.

tutto il mio preventivo per costruire
moco è basato su 3 motori NEMA 23 con questi controlli + arduino


Loro usano questi pezzi per pan tilt:



dragonframe by the possibility of live only if you buy their bridge controller


 can you tell me the list of engines, external gear you use and links?

pan tilt slider and focus?

from an old project I now have: two NEMA 17 (sm-42byg011-25) two NEMA 23 (1.7A, 0.9 ° - 57bygm201) are they good for some use? Did you use external gears, stepper motors with reducer (gearmotor) are not enough to solve the problem?

To do some test with dragon can you say me the right settings for Configure Axis window?

I did a test with nema 17 and the engine moves badly, maybe it has little energy? I use Easydriver mini card to move it.

thanks a lot!!!


Hi there.

The nema 17 motors you have are not very powerful, they are rated at 23 N/cm, which means they can hold 2.3kg at 1cm from the shaft centre. At 2cm this drops to 1.15kg, and so on. Probably OK for the focus motor, but not enough for the axes. For these you need a geared motor. 

The Nema 23 are more powerful, but I could not find your model number. If you look at the motors available, it is clear that the longer ones are more powerful. https://www.omc-stepperonline.com/nema-23-stepper-motor

I don't think the Easy Drivers are big enough for moco jobs. I had a terrible time with Big Easy Drivers. They kept blowing, and then I realised they were operating at their limit. The black box drivers, like you showed, are optically isolated, which means they cannot blow in the same way. They can also be easily adjusted for microsteps and current. I use 6 in my setup.

In the Configure Axis dialog box, you have 200 steps/sec, which is very slow. Mine is at 400, but I am going to add another gear to reduce it more and let the motor move faster and further. 

I am just putting together a document with all the specifications and parts for my rigs. I am going to make that generally available, but will ask for a small contribution to help cover my costs. It will take me a while, so let me know how urgent your need is for the information.

I'm not in a hurry, I stopped because I do not want to interrupt the movie.
What do you think of these slides?  Hiwin


you advised these controllers, you confirm that they are good only for nema 17?
as they only reach 1.5A
For NEMA 23 it serves at least 4A



So it is right and no so expencive


They look similar to the Igus sliders, but they are not ball bearing, which is what you need for a moco rig. They are also quite narrow, and a rig ideally needs a wide base - 200mm or so. Narrow bases mean the rig is more likely to wobble, because the weight of a pan/tilt mechanism is often off-centre.

michelangelo said:

I'm not in a hurry, I stopped because I do not want to interrupt the movie.
What do you think of these slides?  Hiwin


The Arduino Mega 2560 is ideal for motion control, and the 8825 drivers are good for 1.5A without air cooling. They can cope with 2A if you add a small fan, like a computer fan, into the box where you fit them. They are better than the 4988 drivers, so this is a good buy.

For the other drivers, there are a lot of people offering the same thing at different prices. I found one on ebay.it for much less money! http://www.ebay.it/itm/CNC-Single-Axis-4A-42V-TB6600-2-4-Phase-Hybr...

I have used this type of driver for all my stepper motors, and it is good for both types. The only disadvantage is that with the others you get a 'shield' that fits on top of the Arduino, and the drivers plug into this, so less wiring. With the black boxes you have to wire directly from the Arduino to the black box, and wire in the power supply.

michelangelo said:

you advised these controllers, you confirm that they are good only for nema 17?
as they only reach 1.5A
For NEMA 23 it serves at least 4A



So it is right and no so expencive


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