Edit (3/29/2014): When I first posted this instructible earlier this month I didn't describe what I was going to be using this rig for or where my requirements were derived from, but now that I have gotten some film back I thought I would share.
I needed a way to take low volume high resolution photos of liquid rocket launches and static fire (hold down) tests in the Mojave desert. Last weekend was my first opportunity to photograph such tests with this wireless shutter release on my Pentax film camera and I was very pleased with the results. I have added a results section at the end of this instructable that reflects some of my lessons learned from that weekend.
I needed to take high resolution photos remotely with my Pentax 645 medium format film camera. I could not find any off the shelf solution, let alone one that meet my requirements, so I decided to build my own.
- Triggered by a remote TTL level signal or a remote break-wire
- Wireless trigger range >100 ft. (expandable to 1000ft.)
- Robust method of serial communication to avoid inadvertent shutter actuations.
- Mount to camera in less than 30 seconds
- A 2.4GHz xBee modem DIO pin changes state based on a user defined input
- The xBee modems are configured for DIO line passing, which sets up virtual wires between matching DIO pins on two paired modems, so when the DIO line on the remote node changes so does the matching DIO line on the camera node
- The output of the Camera node DIO line pulls a pin high on a simple microcontroller
- The microcontroller issues a command to a servo
- The servo depresses a shutter release cable
- The shutter release cable trips the shutter of the attached camera.