arduino

DLSR Lightning Trigger 4

Success again!  This time the lightning trigger managed to capture a good bolt (though not as photogenic as I would have liked).  I ran into trouble again with my camera exiting the “Quick-response remote” release mode.  This caused me to miss more than a few events, but I did find the solution.  Buried in one of the custom settings is a timeout for the remote feature.  It defaults to 1 minute!  I’ve now set it at the max of 15 minutes.  Maybe this has worked some of the kinks out and the next storm will produce some good lightning opportunities.

Posted by Chad Dotson in Hobbies, Photography, Programming, Technology, 0 comments

DSLR Lightning Trigger 3

DSC_0539

Finally Some Lightning … IT WORKS!

Tonight, I was finally able to deploy the prototype of my lightning trigger.  The storm wasn’t particularly photogenic, but it at least helped prove the concept.  Lightning was slim and no bolts were in the best area for my camera, but the camera did capture the image to the right.  Not very good I know, but if it will work for such a poor example of lightning, I think during a real storm it will perform splendidly.  My next steps are to research moving to a wired trigger (replacing an MC-DC2 ) instead of the IR LED, add a potentiometer to adjust the sensitivity in the field, and installing the circuit into a project box.

Lessons Learned / Observations

Perhaps this won’t be a problem during a storm with a lot of lightning, but one problem that I encountered was that the camera would exit the “Quick-response remote” release mode and return to my prior setting in the absence of regular input.  I guess this was due to the camera entering a suspended state.  I will have to see if I can modify this setting, if not I may attempt to keep the camera awake.

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Posted by Chad Dotson in Arduino, Hobbies, Photography, Programming, Software Engineering, 1 comment

DSLR Lightning Trigger 2

Lightning Drought

Back in September, I created a simple Arduino-based lightning trigger (original article).  I’ve been waiting since then for the chance to test the circuit in the field.  Yesterday provided the first real chance to test the circuit; unfortunately, I missed it.

Improving the Program

Even though I missed the event, I did decide to improve the program a little.  The major change, if it can be called major, addresses a weakness in the original program.  Originally, every event would attempt to trigger the shutter twice (once when the lightning occured and again when the brightness returned to normal).  To fix this I am removing the absolute value function from the brightness test.  Now, it will only trigger if the new brightness is brighter than the previous.

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Posted by Chad Dotson in Arduino, Hobbies, Photography, Programming, Software Engineering, Technology, 5 comments

Hardware vs Software – A Realization

I spent some time over the past year tinkering with Arduinos and Raspberry Pis and had a bit of a realization: Hardware circuit components are simply the syntax for creating physical devices.  As a software person, putting hardware into that context has really given it a lot of meaning.

Posted by Chad Dotson in Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Technology, 0 comments