You are creating your latest Instructable and are at the photography stage. You are trying to carve a notch in a piece of leather but you need three hands. One to hold the tool, one to keep the leather steady and a third to press the camera shutter. Enter the Camera remote foot pedal:
- Two step action. Focus then shoot
- Inexpensive to make - less that $15
- Interchangeable release cable means it works on most cameras
- Fun and satisfying project to build.
- Perfect for photographing your Instructables!
Stand your camera on a sturdy tripod, place the foot pedal on the floor and connect up the remote cable. A half press with your foot on the foot pedal focuses the camera, a full press takes the photo. Perfect!
I started with a few bits and pieces purchased from eBay.
A USB foot switch (roughly $5)
A release cable. I purchased the release cable for the Rhino Slider system but other suppliers are available. The Rhino cables are available for many different cameras all for around $5, pick the one that suits your machine.
A 2.5mm socket to connect the pedal to the release cable. By using a socket to connect the release cable to the foot switch rather than cutting and soldering the pedal can be used for a variety of cameras, just plug in the appropriate release cable.
Two long arm microswitches with the rollers cut off.
Foot switches will, I'm sure, come in a variety of different formats so you may need to adapt these instructions depending on what you have managed to get your hands one. That said, the principles should be basically the same.
The hinge pin on the pedal doubles as a securing pin. Push it out and the two parts of the pedal come apart revealing the opto-isolator switch and a spring that operates the pedal. remove the opto-switch and save it for a later project. Cut all the various lumps and bumps in the case off using a dremel or similar.
The cable in the foot switch is four core. Cut off the USB socket and strip back the outer sheath from both ends of the cable revealing the internal wires. We'll be using the black and white wires as the common connection, the green wire to pull focus and the red wire to fire the shutter.
You'll need an off-cut of wood slightly wider than the spring inside the pedal.
Screw one microswitch to each side of the wood as shown.
Connect the black and white wires to the common connector of the micro switch using spade connectors. Connect the other two wires to the normally open connections on the switches.
Fit the micro switch assembly into the base of the pedal and secure it with a screw from underneath.
Make sure the wires are threaded neatly into place inside the pedal. You could use a multimeter at this stage to make sure that the switches are working correctly.
Here's the trick that is going let your pedal have a two step operation.
Cut two small pads from high density foam. One pad should be 10mm thick and the other less than 5mm thick. Glue the pads to the inside of the pedal top as show using superglue. As the pedal is operated the thicker pad will push the first switch down first then the other switch allowing you to separately control focus and shutter!
Re-assemble the pedal by pushing the pin back into position.
Solder the other end of the pedal cable to the 2.5mm stereo socket.
Twist the black and white cables together and solder them to the common.
Use your multimeter to find which of the two switches closes first and connect that to the focus connection. Connect the other wire to the shutter tag and close up the socket. You did remember to thread the body of the socket onto the wire before you soldered didn't you?!
Connect the release cable to the camera and join the two parts of the cable together. Mount your camera on a tripod and start your Instructable!