Adding a digital timer to a cable release camera

slr-cable-release-timer

Here’s a completely non-invasive hack for a classic Minolta SLR camera. [Robby] wanted to add to the options available when it comes to remote shutter release. He ended up building a cable release add-on that mounts on the hot shoe.

He drew some of his inspiration from a similar project we saw back in March. He took the engineering example from that project which uses a small servo motor to actuate the cable release. But along the way added his own features.

The system centers around an ATtiny4313 microcontroller. It provides feedback using the character LCD on the back of the auxiliary flash body. That flash body also offers a battery compartment which provides power for the control circuitry as well as the servo motor. Right now it functions as a count-down timer, and also can hold the shutter a specified amount of time. But we could see this extended to work with external sensors to trigger at a set light level, when sensing motion, or from a remote control.

Building a remote control for a cable release camera

wireless-shutter-for-mechanical-camera

A lot of the remote shutter and intervalometer hacks we see are simplified by the camera’s built-in Infrared or other shutter techniques. But this camera doesn’t have a simple way to electronically trigger the shutter. The Fuji x100 is a digital camera, but it uses a cable release mechanism. The box you see on top is [Andy's] method of making a remote shutter release for it.

The solution for “remote” triggering is that black cable which physically attaches to the shutter button. Just depress the plunger at the opposite end and a picture will be snapped. This process is automated with the use of a hobby servo hidden inside the box. It’s driven by an Arduino which is also monitoring the receiver. You could use just about any remote thanks to the Arduino’s flexibility in interfacing with hardware (we would have gone with a Bluetooth module and our smartphone). [Andy] chose to use an RF remote and receiver for a different camera.

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