Introduction: IPhone Camera Remote

Picture of IPhone Camera Remote

As a an avid photographer, I carry two things on me constantly - my phone and my camera. Once I discovered there was a way for me to use my iPhone as a camera remote with the DSLRbot app, I knew I could easily build my own remote trigger for my DSLR with Radio Shack parts.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Step 2: File Down the LEDs

Picture of File Down the LEDs

To get the LEDs to be flush with each other, I filed down one of the sides one each one. Holding the LED so that the positive lead was to the right, I ground down about an eighth inch of material from the LED using a metal file.

Step 3: Glue the LEDs Together

Picture of Glue the LEDs Together

I used a quick-setting two-part epoxy to glue the two filed down sides together. You just need a little bit, it goes a long way.

To mix the epoxy, gently squeeze out of the tube on to a piece of wood or cardbord. Then, snip the end of a popsicle stick or coffee stir to thoroughly  mix both parts of the epoxy together.

Gently apply a small amount of epoxy to the LEDs' filed down edges, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.


The LED's leads are wired in reverse parallel, so you need to file down the same side on each LED. The long positive lead from one LED must be wired to the short negative lead of the other LED, and vice versa. Please see the schematic attached to this step.

Step 4: Prepare the Headphone Jack

Picture of Prepare the Headphone Jack

Take the sleeve off of the headphone jack by unscrewing it, and then snip the end off where the cord comes out of. Using the metal file again, I ground down the end I just snipped off to make it even again. Lastly, I took a box-cutter, and split it in half to accommodate for the LEDs I would be putting in there.

Step 5: Solder LEDs to Eachother, and to the Headphone Jack.

Picture of Solder LEDs to Eachother, and to the Headphone Jack.

After the epoxy had set, I bent the leads of each LED towards each other, then solder them together at a very high spot close to the plastic dome of the LED. After I soldered them to each other I trimmed a lead from each end, so I effectively had two leads for two LEDs (instead of four leads). I then threaded the leads through the holes of the stereo jack, and soldered them into place.

Step 6: Re-Sleeve the Headphone Plug With Heat Shrink.

Picture of Re-Sleeve the Headphone Plug With Heat Shrink.

I took the cut plastic casing for the plug and re-sleeved the stereo connector with it. After the metal components had the original plastic on it, there was still a gap. I cut a small piece of 1" heat shrink, and slid it around the original plastic. There are many ways to seal heat-shrink, I personally like doing it with the barrel of a soldering iron. Others will tell you to do it with a heat-gun, and I have even seen it done with butane lighters.

Step 7: Get the App and Take Pictures.

Picture of Get the App and Take Pictures.

There is an app available for iPhone called DSLRbot. With this app you are able to turn your iPhone into an intervolometer, a wireless remote, and even a shutter release for bulb modes on Canon and Nikon cameras. As long as your camera has an infrared module long on the front of it, and you can be line-of-sight to the camera from your iPhone, this app is extremely handy.


Pavlex4 (author)2015-08-26

Where to solder 2 IR LEDS on audio jack with 4 rings ???

bizare (author)2015-06-17

i surely not plugging this to a 600$ + device lol

Tbus (author)2014-12-28

I'm enrolled in a learn at home iDevice Repair course ( ) and this was a great project to combine with my course! Thanks Audrey.

سالأنمي (author)2014-11-21

Wow that's very awesome ?
I love it

سالأنمي (author)2014-11-21

Wow that's very awesome ?
I love it

vedranius made it! (author)2014-07-22

I made it, and it was fun! ;)

More about it, here:

Thanks for sharing this DIY with us! :)

vedranius (author)2014-07-14


Can you tell me will this work with the normal shutter
cable converted (attached photo) to 3.5mm connector connected to

As I have a cable from battery grip which is on one
side a Nikon's connector and on the other a 2.5mm plug. What if I get a
adapter from 2.5mm to 3.5mm?

Like this one:

Thanks! ;)

ebony44 (author)2014-07-03

Can this application be used with a smarthphone? I have a Nikion D5100, just curious.

ldmquyen (author)2014-07-03

I make sure LEDs works invidual but after I solded them together with jack 3.5mm, they don't work. Anyone have problem like this?

cwchoi made it! (author)2014-06-10

Made one for iPhone 4S Lifeproof case. To match the case, you will have to sacrifice an adapter cable (which can be found easily on eBay.) Cut the cable. The cap has to be cut half, soft plastic makes it easy. I did it after pulling the cap out, you could probably do it directly while removing the cap, since it's hot-glued inside. Remove the hot glue, match cap length and solder LED to 1 + 2 (see pic). Test, it works! Fill the soldered part however you like, seal with the cap. It feels quite secure this way, so I didn't add extra enclosure to the LED.

ghobgood (author)2014-03-04

Any chance you may know how to wire up an cord that can act as a sensor and be route to back of the camera? I could use this for still photos, but front of camera is a bit of a hassle to trigger from.

gluppinator (author)2014-02-12

Can I wire another LED to a mic input (on a TRRS male jack) to receive signals from another infrared device? (possibly creating an app to learn and duplicate ir signals)

mjoneja made it! (author)2014-02-12

Awesome instructable, I used it with this app:

Works like a charm :) Thanks!

SuperTech-IT (author)2013-12-19

That's actually kind of cool...but I am curious - are the LEDs filed simply to conserve space?


Cool, because I have much smaller ones that I an sure would work taken from IR sensors.
Neat little instructable.

shanejcunningham (author)2013-12-15

This looks awesome. But is it safe to use? I mean there's a lot of stuff about phone security that I read on and I wonder if it can cause a vulnerability?

shanejcunningham (author)2013-12-15

This looks awesome. But is it safe to use? I mean there's a lot of stuff about phone security that I read on vpnexpress,net and I wonder if it can cause a vulnerability?

fletchstar (author)2013-10-25

Great instructable!! Question...can this device be used successfully with other IR Remote Camera Apps that require specific brand IR devices (i.e. Numbert IR Remote Control App which says that you need a Numbert "i-Red" IR transmitter )? Thanks!!

painfull (author)2013-04-21

Thanks so much for this fantastic Instructable! So basic and yet very effective.

I made some modifications of my own:

Gold plug - for that exclusive look :) (well of course it is, I made it myself)
Shrink wrapped everything inside the plug so I could wrap the LED's in foil, which seemed to give them better direction and range.

JFARNSWORT (author)2013-02-07

Thanks for commenting on my berkey filter. I've looked at your work and am totally impressed with the quality of image and text. Wow you and your work are fantastic!!

audreyobscura (author)JFARNSWORT2013-02-07

Thank you!

zorwick (author)2013-01-10

It is here for Android:

JTomM129 (author)2012-11-27

Thanks for the 'able! I just got a Sony Nex 5e for astrophotography and this is going to be perfect companion for setting up stacking w/o more cables in the way. Since I have a ton of old orphaned remotes to tear into this will be a nice cost effect way to control the camera.

jimvandamme (author)ckgarside2012-09-25

Those should work fine. Here's a data sheet:

If you have an old remote control or two laying around, you can use the LEDs out of those. Use a multimeter (analog, or one with a diode checker) to figure out which lead is which.

AXracer (author)2012-09-25

What is the reason for using two leds? Is it to increase the IR?

jimvandamme (author)AXracer2012-09-25

LEDs are diodes, meaning they only conduct one way. When you hook them back to back you get IR emitted on both positive and negative parts of an AC wave. Most remote controls, though, don't use AC, but just a pulsed DC so they only use one LED. The drivers are cheaper too, just one transistor to the power supply.

iceng (author)2012-09-25

Can I use this iPhone app and IR LEDs  to trip the iPad built-in IR port ?


gnach (author)2012-09-23

oh curse my droid!

Adrian N. (author)gnach2012-09-24

Well maybe... Aside the application on iPhone, should work on android too. Instead of this application, the Android version is called DSLR FREE. I didn't try it but should work.
Same principle of working is done on TVs, hacking the service menu, especially on LGs, by connectiong the IR LEDs to a MP3 player and playing a certain sound secquence which powers up the LED into the needed codes.
To the author: nice instructable. Clean and comprehensive. Thanks.

Adrian N. (author)Adrian N.2012-09-24

Sorry I made a mistake: the android app is DSLR REMOTE which is Free. Please accept my apologies.

zorzal (author)2012-09-23

EXCELLENT tutorial, well documented, neat idea... +5

rnmerchant (author)2012-09-23

I think I must have missed something - not knowing much of anything about LED's except to imagine that they are not all the same. Which LED's should one use? Beyond that this is a great idea that I'll make asap!

lug big lug (author)rnmerchant2012-09-23

Infared LEDS,

omalachowski (author)2012-09-23

This is an awesome project! Kudos!
And you've done a really good job of keeping the instructable clean and easy to follow.

tjk1939 (author)2012-09-23

Now that's what I call a first class ible. Excellent job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

DNMEBOY (author)2012-09-23

Mine only used one ir led. I've not had any issues with it either using dslrbot. Using one led makes for a cleaner looking project as well. If I can find a way to post an image of mine I will. It was made completely with things already at home home. I wish I had though to make an instructable :)

XxsonicxX (author)2012-09-20

Super helpful! I always would lose a remote but now it's on iphone? Best technology instructable! I like the way you made it out of a head phone jack to make it super portable. 5* right there! :)

Edgar (author)2012-09-19

Why weren't there cool girls like that in School, when I was a kid?
Anyhoo, this goes to my Blog, along with the Small Business Assembly Bot:

binoyxj (author)2012-09-18

Neat execution. Should try this out.

mamalove (author)2012-09-18


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Bio: I'm an Instructables success story! After relying on the site to DIY my way through art school, I was able to join the Instructables ... More »
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