How to Make Time Lapse Timer Remote for Mobile Phone Camera| DIY Intervalometer

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Introduction: How to Make Time Lapse Timer Remote for Mobile Phone Camera| DIY Intervalometer

Hello Everyone!

I am back with another Instructables!!

If you want to shoot time lapse videos using your smartphone camera because you cannot always carry heavy camera equipment whenever you are travelling or you cannot afford for the expensive Camera rigs.

There are of course many apps that can shoot time lapse videos but, the quality of the output is not very impressive or you cannot access the RAW images to make fine adjustments in Post Production.

All you have to do is just Plug in this remote and set the timer and see the Magic Happen!!

Just Checkout this Video for better understanding.

So in this Instructables let's find out how to shoot time lapses using smartphone and how to make a time lapse remote for your smart phone Camera. Also this works for DSLR Cameras.

Let's start Hacking the Mobile Camera!!!

Step 1: Things You Will Need

Things you will need to Build Intervalometer (Time Lapse Remote)
  • Old pair of Headsets
  • NE555 IC
  • 100 kOhm Potentiometer
  • 47 kohm Potentiometer
  • BC 547 (or any NPN Transistor)
  • 5V Relay Diodes
  • LED
  • Resistors: 10K, 1k, 470ohm
  • Capacitors: 220uF, 0.1uf
  • 9V Battery
  • PCB (I ordered online) or you can use General Purpose PCB
  • Soldering Kit
  • Hot glue and some Basic tools

Step 2: The Basic Idea!

I wanted to make my phone take photographs automatically to make Frame-lapse/ time-lapse videos. There are of course many apps in play store that can capture Time-lapse but the Output quality is not very impressive and I cannot access the RAW images for Post Production.

There is very nice feature in smartphones that captures a Image when a "Call Receive Button" on the Headsets is pressed. Using this feature I Designed the Time Lapse Timer Remote.

What Actually happens when the Button Is pressed is it shorts the LEFT,RIGHT and MIC lines to GROUND of mobile phone. This activates the Camera Shutter, Music player, or Google Assistant

Let us automate this Feature Using Electronic Timer Circuit and Relay.

Step 3: Working of the Circuit and Build

The circuit we are building now is called as Astable Multivibrator built using the 555 timer IC. It turns ON and OFF the output with a preset time interval. Using this we can set the time interval between each photograph we want to shoot.

The circuit design and the PCB layout and GERBER files will be available for download from the link in the description box below. You can use the same GERBER files to order the pcbs online.

You can build the circuit on a Piece of Pref-Board. Assemble all the components and Solder them to make all the required Connections.

Take an old pair of headsets and cut off the speakers. We only need that 3.5 mm jack. Remove the insullation and Connect together the left, right and mic channel wires that are in red, blue or green color. And The two Ground wires that are in copper/golden color. By connecting any one wire to ground wire we can trigger the camera app. We are using a relay for this purpose. You can also use the multi-meter to determine the connections.

I placed all the components in a plastic enclosure. I used hot glue to place the components and soldering iron to make holes for 3.5 mm jack and potentiometers. The circuit is powered by a 9v battery.

Using the delay setting you can vary the time interval between each shot and by varying the shutter time , you can change the on time of the relay.

Step 4: Shooting the Images

Once you have finished building the circuit, Now its time to test it out. Move out and capture some Images of clouds moving, sunset or sunrise, people walking around, etc,.

I placed my Mobile phone on my Homemade Mobile Stand and connected the Remote to my phone Headphone jack.

Vary the Delay settings on the remote to change the capture interval. If you want a time lapse video of duration 10 seconds at 30fps, and you are shooting a sequence for 30 minutes, then your frame interval will be 6 seconds.

I used the formulas for calculating the frame interval from this link.

Step 5: Editing the Images

I use Adobe Lightroom software for editing the Images.

Once you are done shooting the images, import them in sequence to the Adobe Lightroom software.

Go to the "Develop" Tab and Select a photo you want to edit and apply all the edits that you want to make.

Then select all the images and hit the sync settings button. It will sync your edits to all your photos in one click. Then export the Images and remember not to change the names of the photos. Because this will alter the sequence of images.

Step 6: Making the Time Lapse Video

I use a software called MOVAVI to turn the Edited Images into awsome looking time lapse video.

Open the MOVAVI software and select slideshow wizard. Import all the edited images and set the slide duration according to the frame rate you want at the output video.

For example ,If you want 30 frames per second, then 1 second divided by 30 gives roughly 33 millisecond. So that will be the slide duration.

Then select "No Transitions" from the transition setting tab and click Finish Button to create the time Lapse.

You can Watch the time-lapse result from the Video or you can click here.

There are of course many other ways to shoot and edit time Lapse videos but this the method I prefer and I am comfortable in it.

Step 7: Done!

I have Attached some of the images captured Using my time Lapse camera (INTERVALOMETER).

You can download the files that I have attached and use them to Build a Intervalometer on your own! Use Autodesk EAGLE Software to view the schematic and PCB layout files.

Thank you very much for visiting my instructables Page .

H S Sandesh Hegde

(The Technocrat Youtube Channel)

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    2 Comments

    There are actually timelapse apps that you can download, I've started using Stop Motion Studio and it works great.

    Great project! Looking forward many more from you..