Author Options:

Voltage boost Answered

I'm trying to make a remote shutter release for my large format lenses. I found a solenoid that will do the trick. It's 12v / 36 ohm push solenoid with 3/8" travel. I prefer to drive this thing with a single AA battery. Is there a simple way to boost 1.5v?


I've been trying to figure capacitors out for some time now. I can build one out of aluminum foil and wax paper but I still have no clue on their application. They're obviously useful because they're on about every circuit board I've ever seen. I understand that caps will store up current until it reaches capacity. If a cap is charged with 1.5 volts, can the discharge exceed that? How do I compute the proper capacitor / charge to actuate the solenoid?

You can't get more volts out of the cap than you charged it with. Capacitors store CHARGE, effectively adding up current until the voltage on them equals the charging voltage/

Somehow , I don't think the 1.5 volt setup is going to bring you much joy in the field.
Here's a tech link to battery info, by the way :http://data.energizer.com/

Why not make a custom tripod with legs that double as battery holders.
I mean like 8 D cells in each of the three legs .

Sure , it will be a little heavy, but  then you don't want to risk a bald eagle
or something landing on the camera and knocking it over, do you? :)

Try a camera flash circuit, and a nice fat capacitor.

I don't need the solenoid to hold closed on this project. By the time it closes, the shutter has already been actuated. It's pretty certain that all I need to do is get a double A battery to provide 12 volts. From my limited understanding, the best option is to convert to AC and transform back to 12v DC. Of course I have no idea how to do that which is why I originally posted.

Isn't 12V the peak the solenoid can cope with? It might still trigger at 1.5V, but with less force (which might be OK, since a camera shutter doesn't take much force to trigger).

Solenoids will generally close and run on a 100% duty cycle at their rated voltage - 12 here, though they will often hold once closed on less than 1/2 their rated volts. Its always a good idea to bang them very hard for a few msec to close them, then reduce the voltage to the hold level - this saves them getting almighty hot in use

I'm already using an Arduino for this project. My 4x5 camera will be near wildlife where I can't be. The shutter will be triggered by an Arduino based optic sensor.


5 years ago

Perhaps a micro controller and a servo set up would work. Might be a good time to get an arduino board, Then you could set it up to take pics using things sound or light as triggers to get cool shots of lightning or action shots. Just a thought.

And with a servo you could set the amount of movement in the sketch.

You can use a circuit like a camera flash charger.

I hooked it up to my variable power supply set to 12v. It isn't very strong until it's extended all the way. I'm not sure that the full 12v is going to be enough to be reliable.