First Steps with PINE
Find help from other users and share your user experience in our forum.
Download our Android and iOS app and new firmware files for your controllers along with the firmware updater utility program in our download section.
Software Update History
Learn about new features we added to PINE via firmware updates in our release notes section.
There are probably wrong motor profiles selected which results in the motor not receiving enough output current.
Make sure you select the right profiles for each motor. If you have a NT Head, select the proper profile. Motor profiles can be set within the Motor Quick-Setup Window of the PINE Motion App or under the Motor Settings.
The Controller outputs a default current of 0.4A. This is also the current the Default Profile in the App outputs. You either have to go to the Motor Settings and increase the motor current, or select a proper profile, which will set a usable output current for the selected device. The NT Head requires for example an output current of 1.0A
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If you have one of our previous NEMA17 stepper motors, you need additional parts so the motor can be used with the motor quick-release system. Please get in contact with us if you are interested in this option.
We are currently not offering the Motor Quick-Release as a single part. We are, however, checking compatibility with the PocketSlider and might offer a PocketSlider upgrade kit at a later time.
No. Unfortunately the part cannot be mounted directly to the PocketSlider.
You can, however, drill a hole with a thread to the base plate of the PocketSlider so you can mount this bracket.
Yes, the entire slider can be taken apart so you are only left with the 2 rails, the end parts with the legs, the motor quick-release, and the movable base plate.
Standard allen keys are needs for the disassembly.
You can try setting a higher motor current for the tilt axis. You can go up to 1.2A under the Motor Settings section of the PINE Motion App.
Also, make sure to have your camera mounted to the Tilt axis so it is balanced and the weight on either side of the axis is roughly the same. Especially when using a heavy lens, a balanced setup is crucial and important. Otherwise you can damage the motor units.
In same cases, it can be possible that you need to recalibrate the motor units. You will find instructions for this in the NT Head user manual in our support section.
There are 2 test you can do to find out if you need to recalibrate the motors:
1) Units have a lot of play -> needs calibration
2) When you rotate the knurl screws, the stepper motor rotates heavy at some locations and lighter on other locations -> needs calibration
This can be normal under heavy loads and extended use (especially for the Tilt axis) but can be corrected by the user. Please have a look in our NT Head user manual in our support section where you find instructions on how to recalibrate your units.
Always handle the NT Head with care. It is built sturdy, however, when you have additional rails connected to it, it is very easy to put a lot of stress to the internal gears when you pull or push at the end of the rails.
Never try to rotate the axes by hand. This will damage the internal worm-gears. Always use the knurl screws at the side of the unit which are connected directly to the stepper motor when you need to rotate the axes.
Try setting a lower motor current between 0.2A and 0.4A. The absolut maximum current for the lens motor is 0.4A.
We also recommend to set the Energy Saving option between 60-100% for the lens motor. You can set Energy Saving under the Motor Settings section of the PINE Motion App.
Our lens motor unit allows for a maximum motor current of 0.4A only. This is much less current than for our other motor units like the NT Head or Slider motors.
Please never exceed a motor current of 0.4A for our lens unit. You can change the motor currents under the Motor Settings section of the PINE Motion App.
The original PINE (from our Kickstarter campaign) is our most advanced controller. It is able to expand wirelessly and via cables with other original PINE controllers to create multi-axis setups. It is also able to control up to 2 cameras.
The new PINE R is an optimized version of our original controller. We only put into it what 99% of our users need so we can offer a controller to the best price possible. Therefore, PINE R is not expandable with other controllers and can control up to 1 camera only. In all other aspects, PINE R and the original PINE are identical. PINE R is one of the most affordable 4-axis motion controllers on the market with such flexible capabilities.
The PINE LITE is our most affordable controller. It is similar to our PINE R but can control up to 2 motors only and 1 camera.
In rare cases, we have been told that the PINE Motion App does not “see” the Controller when the phone’s location service is turned off. Please make sure you activate GPS and location services on your phone for proper functionality.
PINE only uses your location information to include your current position into the XML files in Gigapixel and 360-Degree Mode.
If your controller just restarts itself, the power supply was usually interrupted.
Please make sure that the power supply is not interrupted.
This can be caused by a loose contact or bad connectors.
The DC connector on the controller must be a DC Barrel Jack 2.1×5.5mm (center positive).
If the matrix is calculated incorrectly, the motor profile for the motors is set incorrectly. It is very important for PINE to know the exact implementation of your engines. Without this information, the calculations cannot be performed correctly.
Select the correct profile in the motor settings or create a new one.
A setup wizard will help you.
Please make sure you have the correct motor profiles selected for each motor. To change motor profiles, you can either go to the Motor Settings menu or tap on the motor icon at the top right corner from the home screen. This opens the Motor Quick Setup window, where you can select motor profiles for each motor from a predefined list, or you can create your own profiles by tapping the ‘plus’ icons and following the instructions. Your self-created profiles will be saved and can be used the next time you use the controller.
Unlike other motion controllers, PINE offers some advanced modes where absolute position data is necessary. Correct motor profiles are also needed if you want to use the advanced keyframe features where absolute positions can be entered.
It is very unlikely that the controller will not finish a recording once it has been started. If you lose Bluetooth connection to the controller, it will still finish the recording.
However, in some cases, we experienced that the wrong DC power supply connectors have been used which result in power interruptions to the controller. PINE requires a 5.5 x 2.1mm DC plus (center positive) for its power connector. If a 5.5 x 2.5mm plus is used, power might be interrupted during movement. It those cases, the controller will shut down because it has no power and might boot up again afterwards. If the wrong connector is used, power interruptions are usually only temporary for a few milliseconds, but it’s enough for the controller to reboot.
Please always use the appropriate 5.5 x 2.1mm DC plug to power the controller.
First, make sure your smartphone or tablet supports the Bluetooth Low Energy 4.1 Standard.
If your smartphone detects the PINE controller but struggles to establish a connection, try to restart the controller by pulling the DC power plug and reconnect it. Also, fully close the PINE Motion App and restart it.
Please double check the motor connector pinouts. Each Hirose connector contains the 4 connections for a bipolar stepper motor (current up to around 1.2A), and 2 connections for a limit-switch.
Double check if all motor cables are tightly connected on both motor and controller side. Try to power-cycle the controller and see if the motors are now being detected. If the motor LED still doesn’t turn green after boot-up, there might be a defect with your motor. Try to use another motor.
Instead of power-cycling the controller, you can also go to the Connections screen in the app, tap the ‘Update Connections’ button and choose the ‘With Motor Check’ option. This will scan the motor ports of the controller again.
Never connect, or disconnect motors while the controller is powered on. This can damage the internal components of the controller. Motors that are being connected while the controller is already powered on will not be detected until you power-cycle the device.
If multiple motors are used with a high motor current, the controller is delivering a lot of torque and power to the motors. The outside of the controller housing will get warm and this is nothing to worry about.
Check if the plugs of the camera trigger cable are plugged in correctly. Check the Camera Menu in the App. This menu can be accessed from all modes by tapping the camera symbol on the top right corner of the screen. Make sure the desired camera port, where your camera is connected, is selected for the appropriate mode.
Any motorized slider, pan & tilt head, turntable, focus/zoom unit that has a stepper motor can be connected to PINE. Here are some examples of systems that work:
– Dynamic Perception Stage Zero Slider
– Dynamic Perception Stage One Slider
– Dynamic Perception Sapphire Pro Pan + Tilt Head
– Dynamic Perception Stage R Rotary System
– MDK V5 Pan & Tilt Head
– MDK V6 Pan & Tilt Head
– Rhino Motion Slider
– PocketSlider PT PRO
– PT Pan Tilt Head (PocketSlider)
– Nic-O-Tilt Head
– eMotimo Turntable
– PureMoCo Focus/Zoom Unit
– GVM Slider
– many more.
If you have a specific system you would like to use with PINE, get in contact with us and we will assist you in finding out if it is compatible.
Once you have set everything up and the system is running, the PINE Controller will run independently from the smartphone app. You can disconnect your phone from the controller, turn it off, make calls, check your emails, play games,…you get the idea.
PINE will finish its duties no matter what.
PINE can be used with bipolar stepper motors. A good size is NEMA17. Maximum output current is 1.2A per channel.
Each motor connector includes the 4 wires for the motor itself (pins 1 – 4), plus 2 additional wires for limit switch support (pins 5 and 6). Limit switches can be used for calibration purposes. If you don’t use a limit switch, no problem. Just leave pins 5 and 6 unconnected.
The PINE Controller has a 1/4″ UNC thread at the bottom as well as four (4) M4 threads.
The four M4 threads are perfect for mounting the Nic-O-Tilt magnetic bracket which comes with the Nic-O-Tilt Bundle or can be purchased separately in our shop. With this you can mount the PINE Controller in seconds.
Yes, you can use the AUX input for applications involving devices like the View from TimeLapse+.
Yes! Activate Night-Mode in the PINE Motion App and all LED lights will be turned off. Perfect for shooting astro-images.
Yes, PINE has a standard DC connector (2.1×5.5mm – center positive). You can use any power bank or AC power supply with DC voltage output from 10-24V.