Picture of Easy Time Lapse for Most DSLR'S
This is a step by step build guide to making your own intervalometer on the cheap, allowing you to take timelapse footage.

The problem:

I filmed timelapse footage before using my CANON A480 compact camera, which was made very easy using CHDK (the canon hack and development kit) firmware hack. How ever I really wanted the footage to be of higher quality so I wanted to use my Nikon D40.

My Solution:

Most low end DSLR's like mine, have an Infrared remote as the sole external trigger. Other cameras may have pre-made wired intervalometers onsale, but these cost hundreds of dollars. Yet the majority of them have IR remote cabability. This means you can buy a cheap knock off, of your camera's remote and HACK 'IT' UP.

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Step 1: Get The Parts

Picture of Get The Parts
For this easy build you will need :
  1. An IR remote for your make of camera. (this is Crucial for sucess)
  2. An arduino of any type, however the nano is a good size.
  3. A single 2N3904 NPN transistor, yet any comparable NPN will do
  4. One 10K resistor.
  5. PP3 9V battery *
  6. PP3 battery clip *
Extra's that you may want to make it special:
  1. A nice project box or enclosure
  2. Metal toggle switch
  3. L-ion battery pack *

Step 2: Disassemble The Remote

Picture of Disassemble The Remote
In this step we disassemble the remote. The pictures are self explanitory but here we go:
  1. Remove the battery by removing the battery compartment
  2. Use a small flathead screwdriver or knife to carefully lift the front cover / sticker
  3. Peal back the cover whilst holding the circuit board in place
  4. Use a philips screwdriver to take out the 3 screws that hold the circuit board in place
  5. Lightly pull the circuitboard back to remove it from the case
  6. Admire your handy work.
ofey1 year ago

Is this the remote you used?

YN ML-L3 InfraRed Remote Controller for Nikon Digital Cameras

It would be a lot easier to get the exact same one.

Thanks for this great instructable,


dwosullivan2 years ago
There is no problem providing 5v instead of 3 to the remote? Looks great, I'm planning something similar and will mount it all on the hotshoe with the ir led facing down
Very nicely done! Thanks.
eXtremeSomething (author)  nicholas19512 years ago
Thank you. I have now salvaged the arduino from this project so it is now more :( but just wait till you see what I have done with it.
Datawolf3 years ago
You should add some result pictures.
eXtremeSomething (author)  Datawolf3 years ago
I am waiting for the solid grey cloud over england to do something more interesting than just sit there, but I will do.