Controlling the power of a flash with a tv remote

For those who do fancy photography, setting up the lighting ends up being one of the larger tasks of each session. There are flashes out there that can be controlled via a remote control to help ease the process, but they can cost a considerable amount more. [Dsvilko] shares with us a fairly simple circuit that allows you to use a tv remote to control your flash. He’s using a picaxe 08m and he states that before this project, he had never messed with microcontrollers. We say great job on your first microcontroller project. You can catch a video of it in action after the break.

[via Makezine]

Comments

  1. Brennan says:

    Awesome! Great job, I bet you learned a lot on this project.

  2. Fallen says:

    Well done. Quite clean too.

  3. Squirrel says:

    Without too much modification, imagine the possibilities:

    Turn on/off computer
    Activate microwave/set cook time
    Command your robot butler to bring you a cold one
    etc

  4. Circuitmage says:

    I was going to ask why you couldn’t you just use an IR detector module without a controller…then I read the article. Nice job, finished product looks good.

    Time to get back to work on my flash weapon.

  5. error404 says:

    Does this flash already have a remote trigger or something? Seems pretty pointless without…

  6. aw says:

    @error404 they used a YN460 which has an optical trigger and they installed a headphone jack (shown at the beginning of the video) which can be used with wireless triggers.

  7. Whatnot says:

    “The receiver will respond only to the Sony TV remote (or any universal remote set to Sony mode). This is a picaxe limitation and can not easily be changed.
    Some inexpensive remote recommendations:..”

    Now that’s a pity, but surely there are ways to overcome that.
    There are other projects that read IR remotes and you can merge the two projects to end up having the ability to use other brands.

  8. Domjan says:

    Hi!
    I am the original author if this hack and I am glad you like it. I was actually toying with the idea of building something like this for a few years but as I knew nothing about uC i thought that it’s far too complicated. Then I have accidentally discovered the PICaxe and couldn’t believe how accessible the uCs have become to non-experts. It was quite an easy first uC project and I have learned a lot and had a lot of fun in the process.

    As someone has already mentioned, I am using the independent RF triggers (the cheapest I could find but they work great!) for the actual flash triggering. My mini IR remote is actually permanently mounted on my RF transmitter and this combination works quite well together.

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