Posts Tagged “Canon”

Whoa!  I was checking the ‘net to see if there’s been any updates to the CHDK firmware for Canon cameras.  I was poking around trying to figure out what was new, and low-and-behold, remote cable-release is available!  There also is motion sensing, and that had been around when I had last visited (haven’t tried it).  I downloaded Fingalo’s port of CHDK.  It is the one that supports motion detection, remote cable-release, and a lot more.  So I got the firmware loaded, how do I get the remote-release to work?  Simple!   Plug it into the computer and it will fire the camera!  It worked.  Now the trick was to build a remote cable-release button.  I found a link with instructions in Russian.  Looking at the pictures you can get a pretty good idea what is involved.  I went to Radio Shack and bought some parts.  I wanted a radio controlled cable release, but at the moment that is a little more complex than I need right now.  Instead, I went with a small project box, a push button, and a 2 AAA battery holder.  Laying around the house I had a USB extension cable and a lot of phone line cable.

I chopped the USB extension cable (chopped the male end off leaving several feet available to the female end).  I didn’t want to hack at the camera’s USB cable as that one is a bit harder to get a hold off.  So I want to be able to plug the camera’s USB cable in, then plug the other end into my doctored extension cable.  The split end of the USB extension cable then got spliced to the phone line cable I had.  During all of this, you have to take care which end is positive and negative.  Luckily for me, the USB cable and phone line had black and red wires which went nicely with the rest of the project as negative and positive.  After splicing the cables together, I ran the phone line to the box.  I ran the line in, then tied a knot on the inside to ensure the phone line can’t be pulled out.  Then I soldered the red (positive) wire to the button.  Then soldered the battery pack’s red wire to the button.  I did a continuity check (using a multi-meter) to make sure all solder joints were ok.  I then soldered the phone line’s black wire to the battery pack’s black wire.  Again, I did another continuity check.  Looked good.  I then had to get Olessia involved as I ran out of hands to do a voltage test.  Olessia pressed the trigger button while I held the multi-meter leads up to the USB cable.  We got 3 volts coming out in the right direction.  I plugged the camera’s USB cable in to the camera and my USB cable and loaded the remote trigger program, pressed the button, and rejoiced!  It worked.

I hope to prop the camera up in the tree and capture some blue jays and squirrels.  It would be fun to place the camera some where where the cats weren’t expecting.  It will be nice to have this remote cable-release for those tough times when I don’t have a tripod with me and I need to prop the camera up, yet not bump it due to a long exposure time.

I’m working on getting some pictures of this up in the gallery.  Look for the photography experiments gallery.

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