A new project…

16/07/2009
Key parts for the timer

Key parts for the timer

Well, I bought some Arduino boards a couple of years ago and haven’t really done anything with them.  After experimenting with a few devices, I’ve finally come up with a device that I would like to create.

A camera delay controller.

The idea is that the camera can be triggered by the breaking of one (or two) light beams. This would allow for the classic action capture shots of something falling, breaking, bouncing even. The beam could be positioned anywhere in the object’s fall, and a programmable delay will trigger the camera. So for example, the beams could be set up at a height and the delay would allow the capture of the object hitting the floor.

So far, I have the Arduino controlling a display, but I’ve collected a few other items.

A 1 x 4 membrane switch to allow for the control of the unit.  One button for up, one for down, one for mode, the last for manual trigger.

Mode would allow the user to set different modes for control or entering data.

– Delay, allows the entering of the delay time after the beam has been broken.

– Trigger, select input 1, input 2 or both to trigger the start. (the green button will start whatever the setting)

– Shots, How many shots should be taken in total.

– interval, sets the delay between multiple shots.

For multiple shots, the interval cannot be less than 100mS, as most cameras cannot take more than ten pictures each second in any case!

Setting these modes can be done via the membrane keypad, but I will also add an EnOcean receiver to the device.  These allow for operation at up to 300m range, with no batteries in the transmitter.  I’ve already developed the code for the receiver, and have a four button handheld unit as the transmitter.

An 8 x 1 display would be used in the final device for neatness, but at the moment, I have a 2 x 16 display.

Much of the inspiration has come from  http://www.instructables.com/id/SARJDQMFB0B25OG/

I’ll write my own code though, there’s nothing here that is much of a challenge for me with respect to software – the Arduino makes life very simple with respect to driving the LCD and delays, with functions already built-in. The major challenge will be the mechanical arrangement of the beams, but having seen the arrangement elsewhere using piping,

I’ll probably go along that route.

If anyone has further ideas or encouragement, I’d love to hear them!

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