Starslider Kickstarter – Affordable And Intuitive Multi-Axis Motion Control
Starslider is a multi-axis motion-controlled slider with a pan/tilt cradle. Powered by a V-lock brain and an intuitive app, Starslider boasts an easy-to-setup and quick-to-use design, so check out their Kickstarter campaign.
The Starslider system is built around a 32″ slider with height-adjustable feet, and a belted carriage with motor entry points on both sides.
The heart of the motion control system is a V-lock-powered brain that connects to a series of Ethernet-connected motors, all controlled by an iOS or Android App.
Whacking a motor onto your slider (via the brain) gives you mode 1 (or Starslider Linear). You then have options to upgrade your package into dual and tri (triple, treble? insert correct adjective for 3) modes in the Monolite package.
All sounds pretty standard and familiar, right?
There are plenty of these sorts of systems out there for filmmakers – multi-axis motion control machines with intuitive controller apps. So, what sets this one apart?
I find that, generally, a drawback for these systems is ease of operation; the easiest-to-use systems are usually the most refined and expensive. Starslider seems to have aimed for that sweet spot in the market where affordability, refinement and ease of operation are at one.
Take a look at the motors. Starslider has gone for a clever bolt-less bolt-on method attaching their motors via magnets. There are also multiple entry points for versatility throughout the system; the slider has a motor point on both ends (that you can mount on the top or the bottom) and the pan/tilt motors can connect from both sides of their respective plates.
The app seems to operate as one would hope: set your start and your end points, add keyframes where you want and input duration/intervals/speed to suit:
You have the ability to apply bezier curves for smoother moves, loop, save for repeatability, and bulb ramping.
The Starslider is suited for both timelapse and live action, with its Stealth Mode for a silent motor aiding the latter.
The Control Unit (or brain) is designed with versatility in mind, with power being provided via DC input V-lock, and motor connections happening via Ethernet. The decision to shy away from proprietary cabling or batteries is a huge plus in my opinion. Furthermore, the system features a shutter release port for camera control in timelapse mode, and 12v, 7.4v and 5V outputs for powering various accessories.
Some useful spec info:
Starslider (5:1 motor/14:1 motor)
- Horizontal payload: 50/>50kg
- Vertical payload: 6kg/16kg
- Upside Down 20kg/>20kg
- Min Speed 1m99h
- Max Speed 1m6s/1m21s
- Resolution 26000 step/m / 88000 step/m
Monolite (5:1 motor/14:1 motor)
- Max Torque 4.5Nm/9Nm
- Angular Resolution 0.06°/0.02°
- Min Speed 360°99h
- Max Speed 360°1.4s/360°3.8s
- Backlash Gearbox <=1°
There’s a few added extras available, such as a flywheel for smooth manual operation of the slider, optional extended slide length, magnetic feet for car-mount use, and the promise of a 4th axis in the future.
The packages are priced relatively competitively, and as mentioned I feel this sits in spot where competitive pricing meets ease of use. Prices change according to when you place your pledge, so check out the Kickstarter page for more. As a guide, the Linear Bundle starts at €799.