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Dedicated cable release cord for iPhone camera Answered

How could I make a dedicated cable release cord for the iPhone? 
I have looked and looked for this end product - but cannot find it anywhere...

Knowing that we can use the volume up button on headphones for the iPhone/Touch to snap pictures, how could we make a cord that is dedicated to this function (instead of using earbutds).  I am wanting to use this feature to help with making stop motion movies.  Using the earbud control is useful. 

But I'd really like to have a cord a bit longer than the standard earbud cord lenth.  And also would be nice if the cord could have a very easy to press buton.  Clicking on the headphone volume control can be sort of akward sometimes.  Perhaps we could take some old earbuds and cut off the earbuds and do something with the remaining wires and make a some sort of switch with the remainder.

Any thoughts? 

I am pretty sure that I could waste an amazing amount of time and figure out via trial and error - but thought it might be better to ask for some quick direction!

I believe that the more recent models of iPhone/Touch use a TRRS plug as described on this page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS_connector

Any thoughts  - THANK YOU  VERY MUCH!



5 years ago

can you simply cut off the wires leading to the headphones after the switch and use the switch and wire? I am willing to cut up the set if that will work. Anyone tried that?


6 years ago

I'm here, looking to do the same task. Anyone have any luck at all with this? I searched through HackADay for that hack and came up empty. Any chance you have a link, or could it have been somewhere else?

The small board on the inside of the control switch is so tiny, it's going to be quite the tsp soldering anything to it.

I had a pair of busted Apple earbuds (left speaker wire snapped) so I decided to try this out with what I had on hand... Duct Tape K'nex and the earbuds. I present the Push-button-inator-thingy.

Elvenchild - nicely done. Am I correct that you were essentially making a more convenient button which is mechanically connected to the up volume button on your old apple earbuds? Thanks for posting video - like the music too.


6 years ago

I am looking for a solution like this too. My main purpose is a button to snap pictures. I want to build a button emulating the + remote button on a long cable serving as a stutter release.

Please update when you have found something useable.

possum, Thanks for the link - that might be really useful. I just got a bluetooth headset to mess around with - I'll see how that goes. Also the Design Guidelines book may give some good insights for custom build.


6 years ago

I'm probably just wasting a bunch of energy trying to do this - but I think I may learn something trying to conquer it!

Alternative to making this work... I have seen several accounts of people successfully using a bluetooth headset volume control to fire the camera. I'll try this one with one of my kids headsets.

Also Belkin appears to be making a bluetooth device that is specifically for iPhone camera control.   It's Called Belkin LiveAction Camera Remote.  Looks like you can get one for about  $40 shipped .  See: http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Product_Id=588162


6 years ago

Here's what I'm hoping to do....

iPhone shutter release sketch.jpg

One could simply cut the cable between the volume buttons and the connector and lengthen it with more of the same wire or some other type, then pop open the volume buttons and replace the microswitches with a larger button, like the one in your image.

Kryptonite, Thanks for the reply. That is sort of what I was dreaming of... More specifically, I was thinking of getting a wiring diagram for the TRRS (miniplug) connector and only utilizing the volume portion. And placing some sort of easy button (thank you Staples) for an easy trigger of the camera. I'm guessing it may not be just this easy... I thought it might be cleaner if I did not hack up old headphones, but rather started with a fresh plug and wired accordingly.

I've done this myself though not with a set with the volume buttons. Do you have a multimeter? It would be quite hard to check which buttons does what and through which portion of the 3.5mm jack.

Kryptonite, I do have a multimeter. Never really used it. But you may be the person that motivates me to use it. The only thing I've used it for is as a battery checker. (OK that's pretty lame) I'm not afraid to read a manual. Am I correct that I would be essentially looking to verify a change of state when the given button is depressed? Thanks for the reply.

You just need to wire a button to the right two contacts to emulate the button press.

I don't use iStuff but you might check if this works on bluetooth too, just a thought.

Killerjackalope, Thanks for the reply. I'm digging through and finding pictures of the in-line control mechanism for headphones. Am I correct in assuming that I will need to keep the small circuit board as part of this? It won't be as easy as wiring some switch to then end of some stripped cables?

Depends on if there's anything actually on the circuit board other than buttons, however you can simply wire the switch to where the original switch was to the same effect.

I remember something on HackADay that someone cut apart one of those cords and created a box that had the working buttons on it. I think you can't just cut the cord and wire it up, there might be electronics in the mic to tell if it is genuine or not.

dombeef, Thanks for the reply - I had not checked out HackADay - I looking through and finding some interesting info...