Miniature Vlogging Teleprompter
The idea for this project came from my own inability to speak to a camera. For some reason, my mind goes completely blank every time I hit record, and I end up bumbling like an idiot. To combat this, I built a DIY teleprompter a few years back, and that turned out to be one of the most useful projects I've ever done. So, in an attempt to expand my video styles and to cater to the people that enjoy making vlog style videos, I decided to make a smaller, battery-powered teleprompter to can taken on the go.
This video was sponsored by PCBWay. PCBWay is a one-stop shop for all your DIY electronics and 3d Printing needs, and they provided the PCB manufacturing services for this project! Make sure to check them out at the link below, so you can upgrade your next project with a professionally manufactured PCB!
The code for this project is identical to the original teleprompter I made, which basically spins up a Laravel web server on a Raspberry Pi, and opens up port 8000 so I can access that website on my laptop, using the IP address of the Pi. This allows me to upload .txt files to the website, which I can then replay (upside down and reversed) so they are reflected off the prompter glass. Later, I built a DIY macro keyboard using an Arduino Pro Micro to emulate a SPACE, UP, and DOWN button, so I could remotely control the speed of the teleprompter.
All of these features were integrated into this Mini Teleprompter so a single user could control all of the settings with a single hand, while recording.
- Raspberry Pi: GOOD LUCK!!
- 3.5 in Touchscreen: https://amzn.to/3LAIHRJ
- Arduino Pro Micro: https://amzn.to/3Kznar7
- Batteries: https://www.18650batterystore.com/collections/recommended-value-pack-building/products/eve-26v-18650
- Charging Circuitry: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3256801940542570.html?spm=a2g0o.order_list.0.0.41771802p407x1&gatewayAdapt=4itemAdapt
- Battery Nickel Strips: https://amzn.to/3vQxoyd
- JST XH Connectors: https://amzn.to/3rXgyfS
- Buttons: https://amzn.to/3F40wGA
- Latching Power Button: https://amzn.to/37RCLVS
- Arca Adapter: https://amzn.to/3y79p0n
- Heat Inserts: https://amzn.to/3O1dmrS
- Various Metric Bolts: https://amzn.to/3P1ZEWZ
- ¼ 20 Heat Inserts: https://amzn.to/3AMgYuH
- JST XH Crimping Kit: https://amzn.to/3vVk7nY
- Male Micro USB Pinouts: https://amzn.to/3EZbbC6
- Heat Shrink Tubing: https://amzn.to/3ciLdzv
- Micro USB Pinouts (Male): https://amzn.to/3o9o6tv
- Micro USB Pinouts (Female): https://amzn.to/3o3Aqvq
- Assorted Wire: https://amzn.to/3P8nrol
- PCB Fabrication Files: https://github.com/modern-hobbyist/modern-vlogging-teleprompter
- Schematic Diagram: https://github.com/modern-hobbyist/modern-vlogging-teleprompter
- 3d Printed Parts: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5436768
- Solder Macro Keyboard
- Solder the headers onto the Arduino Pro Micro, and solder female headers onto the Macro Keyboard PCB. I also added JST XH headers to the PCB to more easily connect the input buttons.
- I had already torn the USB slots off the Pi that I have, so I decided to make a micro USB patch cable and soldered it directly to the Raspberry Pi's USB Pins
- I used the charging circuitry from cheap 18650 battery holders I got from AliExpress, and I soldered the batteries in parallel.
- Since I used the charging circuitry from a DIY battery pack, I had to solder directly to the output USB pins, which wasn't hard, but they are small so I had to take my time.
- The output of the battery circuitry went to the power button and then power button output went to a Male Micro USB plug that powered the Pi.
- Wiring Diagram can be found here: https://www.modhobbyist.com/storage/206/WiringDiagram.pdf
- I used a female Micro USB breakout board as the input, since the charging circuitry wouldn't line up easily, and soldered a M/F patch cable that was about 3 inches long to allow me to charge the batteries from outside.
- All of the heat set inserts are M3 sized, except for the Camera Mount which is a 1/4 20.
- Mount the Raspberry Pi and the Macro Keyboard PCB to the standoffs with M2 bolts
- Install the Arca-Swiss Adapter
- Install the Glass
This thing turned out awesome, and I definitely can see myself using it in the future to record more vlog style videos, without screwing up or losing my train of thought, but there are a few things about it that could be better.
- First, the touch screen isn't great. It was just a cheap one I got off Amazon and it certainly works, but it is nowhere near as nice as the Raspberry Pi 7" display that most people use. The size is fine, but I often miss the button I'm aiming for, I can't get a pop up keyboard to work, and I can't scroll by swiping, which is inconvenient. But in the end, I can do all the controls I need to using the buttons on the handle, since I'll only need to go up or down on the screen, I just with I could do it with touch too.
- The final build is sorta heavy, which makes it hard to hold steady while filming. Most of that weight is from the camera, so I won't mark this as a complete failure, but my arm did wear out pretty quickly while filming the video for this project. Luckily, the whole point of making a portable teleprompter, was to allow myself to film vlog style videos FASTER than if I didn't have a teleprompter, so hopefully I can avoid wearing my arm out entirely by just taking less time to film overall.
In the end, I love how this project turned out and I'd love to hear what you all think about it, so make sure to leave a comment on the project video!