Bluetooth controlled Bescor MP-101 Pan Tilt Head modification

Bescor MP-101 Pan and Tilt head was very useful addition to my photography equipment which allow me to photograph things remotely, but it had one big limitation, well 20ft limitation – extension cord, yes exactly it was remotely controlled with 20ft or upgradable to 50′ piece of wire. It was very clunky and unmanageable, imagine coiling and uncoiling 50ft of cable?! So I tasked myself with noble challenge to get rid of cable and make control of the Bescor MP-101 completely wireless! In this article I will show you how it is done.

Obvious choices Adruino and Bluetooth! I have quite a lot of experience and success with Bluetooth SPP and decided this will be my goto solution for wireless control. Well Arduino pick is no brainer 🙂

See full video here explaining how it works:

 

Hardware:

So for this project you would need:

  • Bescor MP-101
  • Arduino Pro Mini or any other small as possible Arduino clone which can provide at least 5 digital I/Os, I used ebay clone
    ARDUINO-PRO-MINI-CLONE
  • Small serial Bluetooth module, I used one from CRIUS mainly because of the thin design and connector instead of header to save some space.

CRIUS-BT-MODULE

Arduino uses the power from the main controller board, Bluetooth module powered via Arduino

Arduino connected essentially to the pins of the DIN connector ( Bescor remote control connector) on the main controller board. All features of the original Bescor head remains, nothing is removed, you still can connect wire remote.

 

Here are image illustration how Arduino wired to the Bescor controller board, I think it is pretty straightforward:

Bluetooth controlled Bescor MP-101 Pan tilt head modification

Overall look of the wiring

 

Bluetooth controlled Bescor MP-101 Pan tilt head modification

Overall look of the wiring

 

Bluetooth controlled Bescor MP-101 Pan tilt head modification

Numbers are used digital pins on Arduino Pro Mini.

Bluetooth controlled Bescor MP-101 Pan tilt head modification

Wiring between Arduino and Bescor, Numbers are digital pins on Arduino Pro Mini.

Challenge will be putting Arduino  board and Bluetooth module inside of the Bescor Head 🙂 See my video how I did that 🙂

Software:

Software consist of 2 pieces, Arduino code and Remote code,

Arduino code is very simple reads commands from the serial port and sets appropriate pins to LOW or HIGH

Remote Code is a QT Application which theoretically can be run as Native app on Windows, Linux, Android, iOS, I tried only on  Android. But I believe if you laptop has BT it just should work !

Application is super simple just to have job done.

Both can be obtained from github: https://github.com/riahut-dot-com/btremote
sharing and modification welcomed

Notes: Arduino sketch should be uploaded only via USB-to-Serial before connecting to BT and putting all together, Via Bluetooth it usually pain in the ass 🙂

Trigger wires can be used to trigger different things with TTL levels.

About the Author

Love to tinker all day long

  1. Murathan Araz Reply

    Hello, superb DIY! Thank you very much first of all.

    http://bit.ly/28UMrvx

    http://bit.ly/28TRL1W

    Are these ok for this project? And another question is, arduino is 3.3v. Is there a proper voltage inside the Bescor? I might think about to making an external remote adapter which will be plugged to the remote control 9 pin port.

    Many thanks in advance…

    • Misha Reply

      Thank you!
      I would use 5V version of Arduino in this case, I think Bescor is 5V oriented

  2. patholio Reply

    I took mine apart recently to see how the connectors on the internals were wired up. The angle sensor board is quite simple and only really senses to each 30deg segment. I hope these pics are useful to anybody else – https://imgur.com/a/DSZNT

    • Misha Reply

      hi! Thank you this is very helpful, I had suspicion it will be pretty simple ! Now I have few ideas how to improve it !

  3. Shawn Reply

    Wondering if you could build one for me. I am disabled . I would certainly pay you.

    • Misha Reply

      Hi Shawn,
      Sorry for long reply, I can build you one, but I need Bescor MO-101 for the modification, do you have one?

  4. Elvin Caldwell Reply

    Hello We have a Bescor MO-101 that we use to record our football games. Can we get you to build us one with the BT capability Misha.

    Thanks
    Elvin

    • Misha Reply

      Sure I can build one for you. Where are you located?

      • Greg Reply

        Hi can you build one for me I have bescor 101

        • Misha Reply

          Sure! Can you send me one and I rebuild it for you ?

      • Randy Narciso Reply

        Hi Misha,

        Can you build one for me as well? I just don’t have the technical skills to do so.

        Thanks,
        Randy

        • Misha Reply

          Sure I can, do you have Bescor pan tilt head?

  5. Andrea Reply

    Any schematic? it looks like spaghetti bolognese

    • Misha Reply

      Yummy! 😀
      I don’t have schematic for the Bescor! Would be nice to get one… connection to Arduino is pretty simple 🙂

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