My Barndoor Tracker

I made a barndoor tracker based on the directions here.

I made a lot of mistakes I’m still trying to get the most out of the tracker, but here is the basic layout.

First Barndoor Tracker!




The only major change I made was to use a nut epoxied to the gear instead of using a blind well nut. I tried to use a blind well nut but I didn’t have enough room in the gear axle to fit the well nut, and the rubber/plastic did not bond well with my first glue attempt.

Nut epoxied to the main screw gear




There is a bunch of wobble in the bottom where the tracker mounts to the tripod and I don’t have a sight attached so it’s very hard to aim properly. Moving the camera wobbles the mount too much so every time I move the camera I also have to re-align the tracker. So it’s been an effort in frustration

I only used one 3.5″ hinge, but the hinge has a lot of play. I think I will try to find a stronger hinge with less give.

But, at this point I still don’t really know how ‘exact’ the curvature radius of the of the bolt needs to be, or the distance between the hole and hinge needs to be. I need to figure out if the movement rate is wrong, or alignment is wrong based on my photos. We’ll see.

First Photos

You can see that the tracker works in these two shots. One tracked, one untracked.  Even the tracked shot has some focus or lens distortion effect. I also think I may not have had good alignment.

20s tracked.
20s tracked.
20s untracked
20s untracked


More Photos