Remote camera trigger built from air freshener parts

Remote camera trigger assembled front view

[jcopro] took a look at a Glade automatic air freshener he had sitting around and couldn’t help but open it up to determine how the mechanism worked.  After taking it apart, he found that the automated system was comprised of a 3v motor, a series of gears, and a mechanical arm.  When actuated, this arm simply pressed the spray nozzle of the air freshener canister contained within the device.  After some consideration, he decided that the components would make a great remote trigger for his Casio point and shoot camera.  He fabricated a small plywood rig including both the camera and air freshener components, which was able to be mounted on a tripod.  [jcporo] also mentions that the air freshener has the ability to be triggered by a built-in timer.  Although the presets are locked at 9, 18, and 36 minutes, he suggests that a 555 timer could easily be used to add some custom timing intervals when wired to the manual trigger.  Be sure to check out his video of the remote trigger in action.

Nikon Coolpix S1000pj (teardown)

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Earlier this year, Nikon released the Coolpix S1000pj, a 12 megapixel point and shoot with the usual features, including image stabilization, face recognition, etc. However, the S1000pj features a built in projector into the usual diminutive point and shoot footprint, and also comes with a remote for controlling the projector in display mode, or for remote shooting. iFixit has gotten a hold of the unit, and detailed the difficult teardown process, which included component desoldering to get the extremely compact system completely apart. It is also interesting to compare this setup to other stand alone pico-projectors we have covered.

Camera peltier cooler

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[Gary Honis] has been modifying his Canon Digital Rebel XSi in order to do astrophotography. He previously removed the IR filter and replaced it with a Baader UV-IR cut filter that lets most infrared light through. However, in order to reduce noise in the pictures, he had to cool the camera down. He based the project on a peltier cooler that he salvaged from a powered beverage cooler. He made a small aluminum box and insulated it with styrofoam to hold the camera body. The peltier cooler was then attached on the side. It takes just over an hour to cool the camera down to 40 degrees, but the shots come out a lot clearer.

[thanks adam]

Wireless portable USB tether

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[Pete] has put together a fairly simple writeup on building a wireless USB tether for your DSLR. He’s basically using a pair of USB wireless adapters and a battery pack. In his original version, he did some slight modification to the dock that powers the USB dongle, adding his own battery pack too. He notes that this whole project can be done without the effort he put into it, at a little more expense.  The only improvement we think would be nice would be a better way to package it to keep it out of the way while you shoot.

Chumby digital picture frame teardown

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At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Chumby unveiled their latest prototype. It’s a network connected digital picture frame that runs Flash widgets. Just like the current Chumby model, they’re publishing the software and hardware under a license designed to let you hack it. They let us borrow one of their open chassis evaluation kits to teardown and photograph. We’ve got more pictures, full specs, and the schematics below.

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Cat5 camera flash extension

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Network engineer [Mario Giambanco] recently purchased a cable to move his flash off camera. Unfortunately, it ended up way too short for his purposes. Instead of purchasing a slightly longer proprietary cable, he decided to employ what he had around him: a lot of cat5e cable and ethernet jacks. He cut the cable close to the center in case things didn’t work out and he’d need to repair it. His post on building the custom ethernet flash extension cable goes into heavy detail to make sure you get it right the first time. He’s tested it using both five and 50 foot pieces of cable with no apparent lag.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen cat5 repurposed: composite video through cat5, vga cat5 extension, and cat5 speaker cables.

[via Lifehacker]

GigaPixel Panorama

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[Ewout] sent us some info on this Automated Gigapixel Panorama Acquisition system.  The system automates the process of taking the large amounts of images required to do gigapixel panoramics. You tell it key information, like what lens, and what percent overlap you want and the system will calculate how many images it will take, as well as the gigapixel count. The results are quite stunning, no visible seams with fantastic detail.  Interestingly, this was created for a class in embedded system design (ECE4180) at Georgia Institute of Technology and so was our post earlier today on Digitally Assisted Billiards. Is Hack a Day part of the class curriculum? It should be.