Introduction: Pentax DSLR Remote

Picture of Pentax DSLR Remote

I recently bought myself a nice Pentax K100D camera to complement my traditional film cameras.

Whilst taking some self portraits, I realised that I could benefit from a remote for the camera, rather than relying on the self-timer. There are two official choices:

1) A Pentax cable release that connects to the 2.5mm socket on the side of the camera
2) A wireless Pentax IR remote

Now The first option didn't really appeal as I'd need a reasonably long cable and there is the potential for it getting in shot. The second option was preferable but rather more pricey and would also require waiting a week or two for one to be ordered.

So what did I do? I spent �2 and created my own.

Note: Whilst I did this for a Pentax camera, it should work for any camera that has an IR receiver built in to it for a remote.

Step 1: Obtaining the Components

Picture of Obtaining the Components

Now, the wireless remote is IR based, so my first thought was to create my own with a few spare components I had lying around. But then I thought I'd have to figure out the IR modulation that Pentax use. Not impossible, but more effort than I wanted to expend.

Then I realised that a universal remote control (intended to amalgamate all your TV and DVD remote controls into one device) would possibly work, since out of th ehundreds of supported TVs one is likely to have a similar IR code to the pentax remote.

Universal remotes can be found at any high street electrical store and usually cost around £15-£20 for a basic model. Now this was more than I wanted to spend as I might as well buy the official Pentax remote in that case. So, a quick trip to my local Poundland (That's a $1.90 dollar store to my American visitors) in my lunch break and I was equipped with:

1) An incredibly cheaply produced universal remote.
2) Some AAA batteries for the remote.

Step 2: Find the Code

Now you need to find a code for your remote that will activate the camera. Obviously the instructions that come with your remote won't contain a code for your camera since they are designed for TVs and the like. Instead you'll have to use the manual search mode to step through each code to find one that works.

The details for doing this vary for each remote so read the charming engrish instructions for your remote.

For me it took 2 minutes of working through the device codes on manual search and the remote was operating the camera shutter when I pressed the power button!

So there we have it, for £2 (less really since I still have 16 batteries left) I have a working remote for my camera that also lets me change channels on my tv :-)

Admittedly the remote is much bigger than the Pentax one but I'm unlikely to be carrying it round with me so that doesn't really matter. And yes it's rather flimsy but again that's not an issue for me since I'm not going to be putting it to heavy use.



onemoroni1 (author)2012-12-23

I like cheap. Why pay big bucks for something you will only occasionally use. Good thinking.

booliminator (author)2011-03-08

Does anyone know what code would work on a sony @330 DSLR?

mickryobe (author)2011-01-10


I have a Pentax K100d and an inexpensive DSLR remote shutter release.

The infra red sensor on the K100d is, for some inexplicable reason on the front of the camera. This rendered my present DSLR virtually useless for most wildlife photographpy.

I have devised a rather convoluted and inconvenient system using a disc as a reflector to direct the IR beam into the camera's sensor.

See photo.


Can your method be used from behind the camera?



michael.coxy (author)2010-05-16

 I just tried this with my Nikon D40 and it worked great.

Universal Remote Used: Shaw Digital Cable Box Remote
Device Code is Specified for: TV
Device Brand: Wards
Universal Remote Code Value: 0111

I have done some searching and found that this TV brand and universal remote code is available on lots of other universal remotes so you might want to try it if you have a Nikon D40 or similar camera.

I have been unable to find a code for my Pentax Optio 750Z if anyone knows of one that works please post it.

This worked for me with my D40 using my OLD RCA remote (RCR311W) .. code 1000 (wards and a bunch of generics, including my newer RCA TV)

Power button was taking turns turning off my TV and firing the shutter button.. haha

hugedom (author)2009-01-07

Prices really came down of late and a lot of places sell OEM camera remote for less than the price of a universal remote now.

motweek (author)2008-12-30

im wondering were jads or txoof successfull with their olympus cameras? oly is what i use

SgtMopar (author)2008-10-13

What code worked for Pentax? Not the number but the device/manufacturer. (DVD/Sony for example)

le Nordiste (author)2008-06-12

Hi good idea in fact, Can you give the code you discover or ity particuliar to each K100D device? Tnaks

cjdold (author)2008-05-14

I just tried thi.

Pentax K100d Super. BRAVo 13 in 1 remote. set tv1 to 556 and power operates the shutter.

B setting just gives a slow shutter.

Snap in focus does not work , not surprising if there's no hold down.

I'm guessing that the B signal on the Pentax remotes sends a signal in two halves or something e.g

message begins
open shutter

message ends.
close shutter.

ll.13 (author)2008-04-29


Trevor Christensen (author)2008-03-24

Do you know what brand/system uses the same modulation as your Pentax?

Because I bought a universal remote and couldn't get it to work. I was thinking that maybe if I knew the specific code that could help.

john_g (author)2007-05-11

Great idea, but it's not quite working for me... I've just bought a Samsung GX-10, which is a clone of the Pentax K10D. They will both work using the Pentax remote control F, so I hoped the remote code (556) you gave would work in this case. I also have a URC22B remote, which seems to be one of the most widely available. And it kind of does work - it fires the camera occasionally, more often from the front IR sensor than the rear one. I've tried searching for other suitable codes but without success. Has anyone else had better luck? p.s. the remote works other devices fine.

Stubzi (author)john_g2008-02-08

Hello john g I have just come across this site whilst looking for a remote for my GX10. Did you have any success with the universal remote ? If so I would be pleased to hear your comments on the subject and from any other readers.

john_g (author)Stubzi2008-02-08

No, try as I might (and with two separate remotes), I couldn't get this to work. In the end I bought a really neat "Seculine Twin 1-R3 UT Universal Remote Control" that offers both wired and wireless release. It's cheap and works really well, allowing me to trigger the camera from surprisingly far away or use 'B' mode with it's wired, lockable release button. I know it's not really in the spirit of Instructables but I came to the conclusion that giving someone else my hard earned money was the only reliable option.

Stubzi (author)john_g2008-02-08

Hello John. Thanks for the prompt reply, I have been pressing buttons most of the afternoon with no success, so I will be going a similar direction that you have already, thanks for your help.

gpaterson (author)john_g2007-05-11

Hmm, try setting the code to a different device button. I think mine might be set to "AUX". Also, due to the very low build quality of the remote, it could be that the ir led is getting obscured by the case.

jads (author)2008-02-08

what a great idea! I was looking for a remote for my Olympus but I'm going to see if I can get my universal remote working. One question though, most of these remotes when searching will switch off the TV when you hit the right code. When you found the right one for your camera, did it just open the shutter or do something else?

Drackar (author)2007-03-11

I'm going to have to try this with my Nikon...great idea.

dev3 (author)Drackar2007-12-14

Any Luck?? I have D40 & would like to know if it works..

txoof (author)2007-11-24

Fantastic ingenuity! I'm going to keep my eyes out for a craptacular cheap remote for my Olympus E510 now.

eagleapex (author)2007-03-10

FYI, I'm working on a cable remote that uses a hands free phone kit. It works so far, I just have to make an enclosure and post it up here. I'll comment again when it's done.

gpaterson (author)eagleapex2007-03-11

Ah, that's a great idea. My remote isn't too good for long exposures - you have to hold the button on the remote down for the full exposure. A cable release would be better for that as you could fit a proper switch to it as opposed to a push button. I'll be interested to hear how you get on.

Bigdog (author)2006-12-03

I agree Great Idea. I think it should work with most DSLRs, I have seen "5 in 1" remotes advertised. Question though, what buttons do you use to take the pictures, any of them? The power button?

gpaterson (author)Bigdog2006-12-04

ah yes, I probably should have mentioned that :-) Yes, it's the power button that triggers the shutter.

ve2vfd (author)2006-11-09

I also have a few pentax digital cams, would you be so kind as to share which "brand", device and key ended up working? Thanks!

gpaterson (author)ve2vfd2006-11-10

Being a very cheaply produced generic remote, it doesn't have a brand. The only identifying mark on it is the model number "URC22B" I found the code by doing a manual search until one worked, rather than entering the specific digits. I'll try and get the remote to tell me the code (which is supposedly one of its features) but it only took a short while of trial and error searching to find one that works.

gpaterson (author)gpaterson2006-11-12

Well, the code I ended up using turns out to be "556" for this particular remote, which according to the manual is for a Sony CD player.

westfw (author)2006-11-12

You'd think there would be a table of what codes worked with which cameras out on the net somewhere...

trebuchet03 (author)2006-11-09

great idea :)

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