Pentax (and Others) DSLR Cable Shutter Release From Hands-free Cell Phone Kit





Introduction: Pentax (and Others) DSLR Cable Shutter Release From Hands-free Cell Phone Kit

I'm trying to get into HDR photography, which usually requires some very long exposure shots. The best way to do this is with a tripod and a shutter release. I got the tripod off Craigslist, but the shuuter release was too expensive for me, so I set off to make my own. This is inspired by this tutorial for a Canon DSLR.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

To keep this on the cheap, I kept it minimal. The most expensive item was the hands-free phone kit; on sale for $10. Check the comments. One was found at a dollar store. $1!
(1) Hands-free cell phone kit
IMPORTANT: The DSLRs take a 3/32" stereo plug. See the picture for details.
(2) Momentary buttons (two colors)
(1) Mini micro switch
(1) Enclosure, for me a wonderfully ironic 35mm film canister
extra wire

Drill & bits
Soldering iron and solder
Wire stripping tools
Mad Skillz (which you have, because you're cool enough to find this)

Step 2: Break Open the Mic

Be destructive, but gentle
You may not get the same model kit, so some experimentation is required.
Inside the microphone box was a tiny circuit board hooked to 4 wires. I plugged in the kit to my camera for testing. Don't worry, there' s no current in these wires. I took my knife and shorted various combinations and observed the results. I found that two are ground wires, and the other two have functions:
Red: focus
White: shutter
Copper: ground
Blue: ground
By connecting the Red to a ground, the camera focused. Wonderful news.

We will now make button to do this work for us.

Step 3: Solder Up the Connections

Using the diagram below from Roger Cline, Assemble and solder your buttons and switch. Test it often to avoid mistakes. When you're done, protect from short circuits with some tape.

Step 4: Make an Enclosure

Here I used an empty 35mm film can from the girlfriend. I used the recycle symbol on the bottom to perfectly align my three controls and poked holes for drilling. Then using a similar bit to the one recommended on the button packaging, I drilled 3 holes.

Step 5: Mount Stuff

This may be the trickiest step. Maneuver the three controls toward their respective spots. A long pair of needle-nosed pliers help out a lot. Also, the switch has a little groove that the washer uses to stay straight. You'll have to see it. It can be tricky. Tighten them all down and you're set. Test again of course.

Step 6: Test and Troubleshoot

So this step is kind of unnecessary if your buttons work.

But if they don't work, don't fret. Be very patient, take it apart, and test your soldering again. That's always where it fails.

Also when you coil all the extra cable into the canister, use a bit of tape to keep the complicated end of your project inside the can.

Below is a picture of the shutter release in action!

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Great instructable! Can't wait to try and make one. One question though, I feel like I'm missing something, why doesn't the remote need to be powered? Is there a voltage difference from the camera through the jack which powers the switches?

THis looks great...

I will make it - eventually.

eagleapex, nice instructable with cheaper parts.

I'd love it if you went from 'cheaper' parts, to totally 'cheap' parts or scavenged/free parts.

of stuff around the home, or in the free listings at
craigslist/freestuff will contain the momentary toggle switch. Saves
spending $4-9 at radio shack.

And you need to advise people to
look deeply into their attics or basement storage areas for old
electronics to recycle. A headset will not always get recycled into
another headset; but it is just as useful ! Phone extension cables will not always be recycled for phones; yet they are infinitely useful.

Thanks again for the instructable, and consider changing the title from "Pentax cable" to "Pentax & other camera cable".

I'm glad you liked it! I'll change the title a bit.

Here is mine. For reasons unknown I am being told to not take it to the airport.


haha looks like a "clacker"

lol just remember to take off your shoes

Nonsense. Enjoy your freedom while it lasts!

And, since I forgot to say, this was really rather easy and I think you for posting it. . . worked out beautifully.

Is it work with Canon D60?