40mm retractable camera turret

I think that we need to restart the blog on this. 

This guy built a 40 mm ball turret that would work great in small UAS's. He said that he would not sell it but i think having him post details of how he built would be nice.

Here is a video of tit working.

If anyone has other turret systems to share of Pan and tilt systems please post... I am looking for a good design to integrate into my UAS...

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • We had a retractable camera system in the AeroSonde UAV we flew.  I can tell you from from personal experience, stay away from the pulley idea.  They are delicate and will jam.  Please note, the bird was HIGHLY developed and it still failed.

  • I like the new design. I sure does have mor moving parts. Do you think this might cause problem later down the road?

    I would love to see one complete.

    Great work.

  • i may look at making a quick prototype soonish, but till then u guys are welcome to have a crack at building one :)


  • 100KM

    @Monroe please do..! I'm waiting with baited breath ;)

  • hi guys again, 

    ino this is an old thread but i updated my design so that it shouldnt jam moving up and down (thanks Joseph). 

    My concept uses a system of gears, tell me what u think of it :) https://tinkercad.com/things/gFKeLbnssqP? 


  • I would suggest some sort of gear or pulley system to even out the preasure of raising it and lowering it. 

    also you might want to think about maybe a spring tension system that might always press on the other side? 

    You could even relocate the lift point to the center of the load?

    keep us informed of the progress.

  • @joseph 

    flipping the pan servo is a good idea, i was originally going to do that but thought i would post for an initial opinion first. 

    @joseph and Robert

    i agree that it will most likely jam but could not think of a way other than adding another servo which might not remedy the problem and also adds weight, if anyone had ideas on how to get it to not jam in a not very complicated way, it would be great !

  • Interesting design.  But I don't think the retraction mechanism will work unless you use some expensive linear bearings on those posts, or use two servos.  It will just jam soon as the one side lifts and it gets cocked on those posts.

  • @Shane,

    I like the design. It is a simple approach to a problem.. I has a very low part count and minimum moving part. 

    If I ma sugest 2 things. 

    1: Flipthe pan servo over so theta the output shaft is pointing downward so that you might get more down motion when extended.

    2: Add som type of compression support on the other side of the assembly so that it tracks up and down on the guide poles evenly. (you could even put 2 micro servos one on each side) 

    Other then that awesome design. I like where you are going with this and I would love to see it in reality...


  • hi guys 

    ive been following this thread for a while and came up with a different design that should do the same job but hopefully avoid the patent infringement. You can view it online at

    https://tinkercad.com/things/bvBOB9PQH2R (im new to CAD so ignore the poor work)

    The yellow piece moves up and down to allow the retraction, which is done by the dark blue servo on its side moving the push rod attached to the plane hull. Rotation is done by the vertical servo with the belt and vertical movement would be handled by a servo inside the camera ball (which isnt in the design as of yet). 

     Would like to know what you guys think of the design, ps there is a screen shot below of the design. 


This reply was deleted.