Instructables

TIC! One-button Time Lapse Camera Timer

This project is a one-button time-lapse camera timer initially developed for my Canon 400D Digital SLR camera but it should work with other cameras.

You can buy a remote switch for the Canon 400D, but that costs at least $35 and at the end of the day it is just a switch on the end of a cable. This project adds a nifty timer to the cable in the form of a PIC 12F675 (or PIC 12F629) micro-controller for about the same price - or less if you build it from scavenged parts as I did.

It can be used to take photographs at intervals from 1 to 65535 seconds (approximately 18 hours). It features:

- A single button to control all functions
- Audible feedback via a piezo speaker
- Visual feedback via a bi-color LED

Using one button to control the timer is surprisingly easy and makes it really cheap to build.
 
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Step 1: Circuit

The latest circuit diagram, source code and hex file can be found on my TIC! Sourceforge project . The circuit diagram pdf is attached to this ible for convenience.
TIC.pdf10 KB
Victor W.2 years ago
Hi Andrew,

Thanks again for this great bit of kit, works very well!

The opto-couplers I used were old P521 types, (from an old fax machine!), but modern CNY, SFH types will work well also, (maybe even the MOC variants too). I simply replaced R12/Q3, (and R6/Q4), on your circuit feeding the 120 ohm resistors straight to the LED side of the isolators :-)

Did enjoy building a multivibrator again, (haven't done that in years!), and love the 'OK' beep, very satisfying. You're right in that a piezo speaker requires AC but you can provide that, (sort of and works), by alternating two of the PIC outputs directly to the piezo. Or the simplest way is drive it one ended, (sink or source), but connect a resistor in parallel with the piezo, (1k or so is fine), and keep near the piezo resonant frequency for the loudest tone with a PWM routine. Remember to reset the output, (hi or lo accordingly), to prevent DC biasing to the piezo after. Did it years ago and when I get a new programmer up and running, (whatever happened to RS232 ports?!!), I shall play around with some PICs again.

BTW, tested this and works great on my Olympus E and modified Fuji and I'm lucky enough to work in a camera store where we played with it on the Canon, Nikon and Sony's. Seems you got your focus/half press pull routine bang on!

Once again thanks and keep up the good work :-)

Victor
zoxxkety2 years ago
http://code.google.com/p/400plus/wiki/UserGuide

a lot easier to build an use and a lot more options without additional external devices
for remote trigger is used proximity sensor above the lcd for instance
simplicio (author)  zoxxkety2 years ago
Heh zoxxkety,

That's really interesting! Now that my 400D is fairly old I don't mind hacking the firmware. I do remember looking into this with the CHDK hacks - and my son's Canon IXUS 70 could do amazing things with it - but at the time there was nothing available for a 400D.

Thanks for the tip!
Andrew A.
Victor W.2 years ago
Simple and effective. Love it!

So much so I had to build one...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/26887294@N05/5746951549/in/photostream

Cheers man!
simplicio (author)  Victor W.2 years ago
Glad you liked it Victor!

You've done a very nice job on building your own unit! Any chance of publishing your version of the circuit diagram too (with opto-isolator outputs)? I used a multivibrator for the audio because the piezo I had (maybe all piezos) needed an alternating current to work, so just driving it with a digital output didn't work for me (I probably overlooked something really simple).

You're right though...the multivibrator adds a little "old world" charm and gives the builder something to put together instead of just programming a chip.

Enjoy!
Andrew A.
Very cool, I'm have got to try this...
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