Focus Stacking with a Raspberry Pi – Focus-Stacker Project Parts List

I thought it was time that I set down the list of parts that were used to build my focus-stacker. The cost was less than £120. If you live in the USA you could probably do it for the same in dollars – or less!  And it does depend a lot on what you have lying around at home that you can use for this project. I have not included anything to do with lighting or camera equipment other than the IR trigger. Most of the parts were purchased on e-bay with some like the Pi  itself coming from Amazon. You do need to check when purchasing cheap electronic parts on e-bay to make sure they are not coming from Hong Kong if you want them quickly. Shipment from HK  can involve up to a ten week wait for the item to be shipped surface, though sometimes items arrive remarkably quickly. Factor shipment time from HK into you procurement and build schedule if going down that road.

For the working parts – electronics, motor and rack drive:

  1. Raspberry Pi RBCA000 ARM 1176JZF-S Motherboard 512MB RAM – £ 27.39
  2. 8GB SDHC SD Card pre-loaded with Raspbian “wheezy” Linux operating system – £8.29
  3. iZKA® High Power Micro USB UK Dedicated Mains Power Wall Supply Charger For Raspberry Pi – (5V / 2.1A) – £6.99
  4. 40 wire ribbon cable Male to Female with ends broken out to individual contacts – £4.99
  5. 40 wire ribbon cable Female to Female with ends broken out to individual contacts – £4.99
  6. Arduino 5V 4-Phase Stepper Motor with ULN2003 Control Board – £6.90
  7. SainSmart 2-Channel 5V Relay Module – £8.00
  8. Micsc LEDs, resistors, switches, nylon stand-offs, nylon screws and bolts, solder pins, Veroboard, fibreglass sheet, and project boxes – approx £35
  9. Camera infrared remote control for Sony Alpha – £2.69
  10. Stalk for camera remote IR  – salvaged from flexible USB LED lamp £ 1.98
  11. DVD Rack – salvaged from old DVD player
  12. Misc Lego Technic gear wheels – approx £5
  13. Other miscellaneous electrical components and cable ties – from a box in my shed

For the chassis:

  1. Aluminium channel 3/4″ x 3/4″, aluminium angle 3/4″ x 3/4″ and 1/8″ aluminium plate – all  from  my shed
  2. S/S and other hardware to hold everything together and three rubber feet
  3. Camera Rack – old Minolta rack lurking in my junk cupboard

I will cover the software side of things in another post.

2 thoughts on “Focus Stacking with a Raspberry Pi – Focus-Stacker Project Parts List”

  1. Thanks for all the info on your focus-stacker project. I am wondering if there is anything to look out for in the choice of a DVD rack for the project? Can you use the motor that comes with the DVD to drive the rack?

    1. A DVD or CD rack will do. I only ever looked at the one rack that I had given to me and it worked perfectly well. I imagine they are all built to similar tolerances to be able to read CD tracks without error. As far as using the original motor, I am guessing that it would be very difficult to make it work unless you were an expert in such things and that for most people it would be much simpler to just buy a stepper motor and controller that is guaranteed to interface with a Raspberry Pi.

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Here are my jottings about my photographic projects and activities. I have been working on a focus stacking macro photography rig. There are quite a few posts about that. In addition I write about other photographic activities as and when!


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