Introduction: D4E1_Camera_Handle

Luc is a 56-year old man, passionate about photography. He uses his camera during trips and travels. Every year he looks forward to traveling, even though it’s exhausting. Luc is a social person, he loves animals and he treasures his family.

Twenty-two years ago, he suffered a stroke which drastically changed his life: It left him with a tremor on his left hand. His right hand is paralysed.

In addition, Luc is visually impaired, it isn't easy to see the tiny, black camera buttons.

Furthermore, he suffers from type 2 diabetes. Every day, he must prick his fingers to check his glucose levels, as a result Luc has lost sensibility in his fingers. Consequently, he struggles finding the right buttons on his camera.

All of this makes taking photographs strenuous.

Luc already has some tools at his disposal to make things easier. He uses a flexible tripod and his camera has a sensitive button, so he doesn’t have to apply a lot of pressure to take a picture.

Luc’s wish is to take pictures autonomously. Currently, caregivers help him to take pictures during trips.

To help him make this process less tiresome, a custom hadle is designed that meets his capabilites and wishes. The handle has a button which takes over the camera’s function to take pictures. The button is red because of his reduced vision. Additionally, pushing the button does not require much strength from his index finger.

The client can use the camera independly because he does not have to search for the right buttons to take a picture and he can use it single-handedly.

Step 1: Supplies

  • a mini-USB cable
  • wires
  • a 5 volt battery or a power bank (in this handle a power bank from the brand Fortinet is used)
  • a push button switch
  • red tape (if the push button switch isn't red)
  • a camera (a Canon PowerShot camera is required because of the software used to control the button)
  • a bolt size 1/4" + 2 washers
  • PLA filament
  • a drill
  • a soldering iron
  • a glue gun
  • two-component adhesive
  • a 3D-printer
  • a wire cutter
  • USB- A (2.0) cable (to use the power connection pins from the USB-A male connector)

Step 2: Installing Software

The first step is to install the software on the memory card of the Canon PowerShot camera (the camera used in this project is the Canon PowerShot SX40 HS).

The software used on the memory card is from the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK). It installs software onto the already existing firmware on your camera (it doesn't make any changes on the memory card).

The video shows the different steps to follow to install the software on your camera (it depends on the type of PowerShot)

When the software is installed successfully, follow these next steps:

  1. To enable USB remote operation, go to the CHDK Remote parameters menu and select "Enable Remote".
  2. Enable the switch type mode "OnePush".
  3. Enable the control mode "Normal"

Switch type: OnePush

Used with simple switch inputs. Pressing the switch initiates a "half-press" state. Releasing the switch initiates a "full-press" state for 100 mSec. There is no mechanism to cancel a "half-press" once this sequence is started. Also note that the "half press" will timeout after 10 seconds even if USB power is still applied.

Control mode: Normal

Reacts to the state of the input device. On half press it places the camera in "half press" mode to focus, set exposure and flash settings. On full press it places the camera in "full press" mode to take the actual photograph

Step 3: Design of the Handle

The design of the handle is accessible via this link:

The filament used to print this design is PLA ( Poly Lactic Acid)

Other options for the handle can be found in the links below (they have to be modified to fit a battery or powerbank!)

Step 4: The Battery and USB-cable

The cut out in the handle is meant for the power supply (5V battery or power bank).

  1. Check if the power supply fits in the cut out
  2. Drill 2 holes in the handle.
    1. Drill the first hole on the side of the handle, this is for the push button switch (see picture)
    2. Drill the second hole on the top of the handle, this is for the mini-USB cable.
  3. Attach wires to the push button switch.
  4. Insert the push button switch in the handle and secure using a glue gun.
  5. Cover the button with red tape.
  6. Attach the mini-USB-cable to the handle and secure with two-component adhesive.

Step 5: Electrical Network and Wiring

The electric network consist of a power source (5V), a push button switch and the mini-USB receptacle.

  1. Remove the USB-receptacle out of the USB- type A (2.0) male connector using a wire cutter.
  2. Solder a red wire to the first pinout (positive wire) and a black wire (negative wire) to the fourth pinout.
  3. Connect the USB-male connector into the USB-port from the power bank.
  4. Connect the red wire to one of the receptors on the push button switch.
  5. Attach a wire to the other receptor on the push button switch and connect it to the first pinout of the mini-USB.
  6. Connect the black wire directly to the fourth pinout of the mini-USB.
  7. Attach the USB-connector with glue using a glue gun.
  8. Connect the red wire to one of the receptors of the push button switch.

Step 6: Attach the Bolt

  1. Heat up the bolt with a soldering iron.
  2. Push the bolt into the top of the handle (because of the material of the handle the heat of the bolt will make a dent in the top).
  3. Secure the bolt with two-component adhesive.
  4. Place the 2 washers on the bolt.
  5. Screw the camera on the handle.

Step 7: Step 6: Results