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ajaxphoto

RC Device to Trigger 35mm Still Camera?

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Aloha everyone,

I am a newbie here looking for some help. I am a photographer looking for a Transmitter & receiver unit to fire a 35mm camera from as far away as possible. My subject is Surfing, & I Currently Own an old Camera system used by an old Pioneer. The System consists of a water housing, which holds & protects the camera, lens, RC Receiver, Servo & Batteries from the outside waters. This system is then mounted to a surfboard & is ridden in the waves & triggered by a Futoba RC Transmitter. It is a basic simple system in which the Receiver moves a servo arm & pushes a button on a switch which connects a circuit & in turn fires the Nikon 2000 35mm camera. I have taken it out a couple times & was never impressed with the range. At best it is 100 yards Line of site!! This system is pretty old & was about to retire it as I am building a state of the art system that uses a Pocket Wizard Transmitter & receiver unit to fire the camera. Pocket wizard systems are made for photographers. They are used for many things but mostly for triggering a flash system wirelessly… But they are also great for firing a camera from long distances… They boast a 1600ft Range!! It occurred to me that I am sure the RC world must have improved in leaps & bounds sense the original system was created. & That sense the system is solid maybe I should not retire it but Revamp it!! I am also familiar with another photographer who recently used a RC Receiver Without an old mechanical servo to trigger his camera. So my questions are:

Is there any thing ut there that can compare with a pocket wizard for range & eas of use. ( the Cavity on the system I am revamping already holds a futoba Reciever & Servo & Batteries, & Will not accomidate a pocket wizard.

I am hoping to do a comparison on the both to see which gives a better range, line of site or not.

Does any one know of a method to use an RC Receiver To trigger a camera, without using the manual servo method???

Does any one know of an Rc circuit switch that could fire a camera?

RC Digital or analog.

What is the best range I can expect from a RC Transmitter - Receiver Futobo?? Or other?

Are there any that are extra long range?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Mahalo,

Ajax

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The RC systems have pretty good range in an airborne application. Several miles are a typical range in open country. But, you need to have the antenna's fully extended and polarized or oriented the same way. An example for surface use would be both antenna's (transmit and receive), extended straight up and fully. IE, not coiled or folded etc.

You can still operate with the antennas not oriented ideally but range starts to limit.

This might be a case where AM is better to use than FM. If I was in your shoes I would consider an AM radio at 75 MHz. AM tends to follow terrain, (waves) better than FM which is more straight line directional. 75 MHz is legal for surface use and uses a shorter antenna than 27 MHz surface use. 72 MHz is not legal for surface use. Maybe look at the brand name “Hitec”. The AM may be a moot point. Maybe Mr. RC-Cam can add in on this. He's highly knowledgeable.

There are electronic triggers out there that interface between a standard RC receiver where a servo would connect. The output goes directly into a connector that fits into your camera's remote shutter plug in port. Mr. RC Cam has circuits for the do it yourselfer to assemble one. Not sure how all that goes and he can help you there.

I sell a hardware electronic trigger that features a buffer to work with any type of receiver pulse and an opto-isolated output for the camera trigger. PM me if you’re interested in going that route.

Dan

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I have taken it out a couple times & was never impressed with the range. At best it is 100 yards Line of site!!

There was something wrong with your installation. R/C systems, even the older ones, should have given you range that would knock your socks off. I'll bet your antenna was in a bad place or was too short. For sure, the antenna needs to be out of the water; A one meter vertical height would probably achieve over a mile over water. Maybe more if the Rx was grounded to the underside of the surfboad.

AM tends to follow terrain, (waves) better than FM which is more straight line directional.

Commercial broadcast AM travels farther than broadcast FM because the AM stations are Khz where as the FM stations are Mhz. However, when the frequencies are the same, AM or FM will travel the same practical distance. So, with R/C apps both AM & FM will work about the same if the Tx and Rx are similar performance.

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