How to build your own set of Kino Wheels
If you intend to use Kino Wheels to practise operating with our software, please download the Kino Wheels Simulator before you start and test if it works on your PC. The software is currently only available for Windows 7/10 and you need a decent graphics card to run it.
In the first part of the tutorial we’ll go through installing the Arduino IDE and loading the code onto your Arduino Microcontroller. In the next step we’ll be wiring up the rotary encoders to the Arduino. Now you are already able to control pan and tilt in the Kino Wheels Simulator, but we still need to mount the handwheels and attach them to the rotary encoders. The final optional step is to build a housing: We’ll go over this briefly in the last section and show you an example how to package everything neatly in an outdoor case.
Feel free to join our Facebook community to get in touch with other people building their set of Kino Wheels and share your finished unit!
This tutorial and the Kino Wheels Simulator Software are provided “as is” for educational purposes only and it is your responsibility to use it properly and at your own risk. If you are unsure about working with electronics ask someone with experience, as some parts may get damaged if connected the wrong way. We’ve written this tutorial very carefully, but cannot assume responsibility for any errors.
Now that’s out of the way, here comes the fun part!
Parts and Tools
You don’t need a lot of tools for this project: a wire cutter, a Phillips screwdriver and a set of Allen keys will get you through. If you plan on building a housing, you’ll also need a power drill and a step drill bit.
The following are the parts we used. The electronic parts should be widely available, but you might need to substitute some mechanical parts in case they are not available where you live. Don’t worry though, we don’t have mechanical engineering degrees either, it just can take a bit of research to find exactly the right parts. We’d suggest getting the electronic parts first and shop for the mechanical parts while or after assembling the electronics.
2x Steel angle
We used them to mount the rotary encoders to the wooden board. It’s best you take one encoder, head to a hardware store and find a steel angle that has its borings at the right position to match the encoders. If you have access to a metal shop or a 3D printer you could also make a custom bracket.
4x M3x10 screws
To attach the encoders to the steel angles.
1x Wooden board
Used as base to mount everything onto while working on it. You can of course switch to a housing later.
x Various wood screws (Philipps round head)
x Various washers
1x B&W Outdoor Case Type 4000 b-w-international.com
Empty case without the cubed foam or separators.
x Wooden boards of various sizes
Used to mount everything inside the case. If you don’t have a saw, you can have them cut to size at your local hardware store.
1x Small can of black paint
Just to give the inside a bit less of a DIY look 🙂
1x Panel Mount USB-B Cable
To comfortably connect and disconnect the USB cord.
Setting up the Arduino
Connecting the rotary encoders
The following section can look a bit overwhelming if you have never had anything to do with electronics. Don’t worry though, we’ll go through it carefully step by step and it is actually not difficult at all.
The moment of truth
It’s time to connect the Arduino to your PC again. Open the serial monitor of the Arduino IDE and start turning the shafts of the rotary encoders. You should now see the values changing. Clockwise rotation should increase the value of the corresponding axis, counter-clockwise rotation should decrease it. If it doesn’t work, don’t panic: Double check each and every connection you made on the breadboard. Most likely you’ve just made a tiny mistake somewhere.
Congratulations! If you made it this far, you’re already past the complicated parts of this tutorial.
Mounting the mechanical components
Balancing the handwheels
Building a housing
Step by step
It’s a wrap!
Congratulations, you made it! Now you can use your Kino Wheels with our free simulator or do whatever you’ve set out to do with them! We’re curious what you come up with so please post your build to our Facebook page or tag your photos on Instagram with #kinowheels.