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chargenut

CamMan - Too quick for Camera?

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I've just built the CamMan and have a little problem. It appears that the Opto Isolator (i've added as per your instructions for non-Aiptek cameras) doesn't short my camera shutter button for long enough. I've checked the shorting works but it seems to be for a VERY short period of time.

Is there any way I can increase this time, to give my camera chance to fire?

Many thanks,

Chargenut

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The shutter time is 250mS and is hard coded. If your custom installation needs more time, and you do not use the Wake-Up feature, then this might work for you:

(1) Disconnect the PIC Pin-5 jumper and rewire so that PIC Pin-5 goes to Pin-8.

(2) Use the Wakeup output (PIC Pin-2) to operate your shutter optoisolator.

This will give you 1.5 Secs of shutter time. Please report if it solves the problem.

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Hi Mr. RC-Cam

Thanks for the VERY prompt reply. It's 03:33 am here in the UK but I'm determined to get this working!!!

I tried the changes that you suggested and sure enough you are correct the time that the Opto Isolator pins are shorted has been extended to far more than it was, but alas my camera still won't fire!!!

I've made a short video that explains my testing so far (in the last 10-15 mins and after your suggested change). It shows the CamMan shorting the pins on the Opto Isolator (via a 1K ohms meter test for continuity), then it shows the camera firing when the "external shutter pins" are shorted (to prove the connection in the camera), then it shows the camera connected to the CamMan but not firing.

The camera is a bit slow to fire to be honest, but I think it should be ok with the delay on the Opto after your suggested change.

Of yes one other thing... although not shown on video I have tried to short the pins of the Opto (emulating the CamMan) and the camera does fire, so the connection from the camera to the board is a good one.

Many Thanks for your help so far... Here's a link to that Video:-

http://www.terrymansell.co.uk/CamMan/CamManTest.wmv

Chargenut

Edited by chargenut

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What Opto IC are you using? Have you tried reversing the leads that are connected to the camera shutter?

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The Opto Isolator I have was brought from Maplin here in the uk the model number is SFH618-2 (url link I hope should work:- http://www.maplin.co.uk/home.aspx?&doy=8m1)

Not sure that this was the right one to be honest, but it look very similar, are there any others in the range that might be more appropriate?

Tried swapping the wires over on the camera, but didn't help :(

Many Thanks for you help,

Chargenut

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The opto you are using will probably work, but will be polarity sensitive. But since you already tried reversing the shutter leads, then that suggests that there is something else going on. Please post a schematic drawing that accurately shows how your opto is connected to the PIC and the camera.

EDIT: On the video you posted, where are the ohmmeter leads connected? Are they on pins 3 & 4 of the Opto? If they are, then that suggests your PIC connections are correct (no need to post schematic). We'll go from there once you confirm.

Edited by Mr.RC-Cam

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I use that opto a lot. Just for info pin1 pos to LED, pin2 neg to LED, pin3 neg to transistor and pin 4 pos to transistor. May be worth a double check !

Terry

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Hi All,

Thanks for all the help, but I now have a working CamMan :D .

I rebuilt the CamMan with a newly programmed PIC and a new Opto Isolator, on a Breadboard so that I could more easily check everything out.

I wired everything up and checked the results with my Ohm meter. I got the same results as before... (a continuity swing of the meter) so I plugged in my Camera and low and behold I got a shot (using the longer timed Pin 2 Wakeup signal).

I must admit to "going with the flow" before on the component positions on my veroboard last time I built the circuit, so this time I planned it out using some graph paper and built the curcuit carefully and with as little "soldering iron" time on the components as possible.

I checked the results afterwards and all works brilliantly, I now have the CamMan in my Easystar AP plane with the camera and it all works in situ.

Thanks everyone for your help. Not sure what the problem was (as this curcuit matches the last one), other than the more careful soldering. Maybe I cooked something?

Anyway, brilliant CamMan circuit, which replaces my servo/microswitch lash up, many thanks for providing the HEX code and Schematics.

Terry Mansell AKA Chargenut

Edited by chargenut

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It's good to hear that it is working. I am interested in if the longer shutter time (1.5 Sec) was necessary. With the working circuit, did you try the normal configuration (250mS)?

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No I have to say that I didn't, based on the fact that I generally give my camera about 2 seconds to prepare for the next shot, and therefore the 1.5 secs delay wasn't a problem for me.

If it would be benefitial to you to know, I could retrive the unit back out of the plane and re-solder it for Pin 3...

Let me know if you'd like me to do that and I'll let you know the outcome...

The other option is I'm sure to be making another one of these very soon for a friend so could test this on the Breadboard when I program my next chip and post the results here (this will happen in the next week or so, after I've finished building a CamManXP for another friend of mine). Busy, Busy, Busy!!! :D

Thanks again for the help,

Terry.

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If it would be benefitial to you to know, I could retrive the unit back out of the plane and re-solder it for Pin 3...

No need to undo your working CamMan. I was just curious, nothing of grave importance.

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