Make a Wired SONY ALPHA DSLR Remote (by Brad Justinen)


Introduction: Make a Wired SONY ALPHA DSLR Remote (by Brad Justinen)


I created this simple but powerful shutter release remote for my Sony DSLR. With some random junk (or trip to goodwill) you can create one too.

Step 1: Find Your Items From Old Computers/electronics

Needed Materials.
To ON/OFF Buttons (I used a flip button and a push button)
Small Computer Connector (will explain more in next step)
Some kind of housing or enclosure (i used clear, flexible pvc hose - but you could use a film canister or pill bottle)

Needed Tools:
Soldering Iron
Sander (or sandpaper)
Exacto Knife
Wire Cutters
Wire Strippers

Step 2: Create Your Camera Connector

This is the actual 3-pin connector that plugs into the camera. We will have to make one from scratch (almost).

This was the most difficult part for me but now that i've figured it out it should take you less time.

1. Find a old computer connector (such as the cable that plugs into a cd-rom for audio). I doesn't matter what size it is or how many pins it has. ALL THAT MATTERS IS HOW FAR APART THE PINS ARE.

2. Cut, Trim, and Sand down the plastic on the connector so there are only three pins left. (trim everything outside the yellow box in the photo for example) I made mine from a 20+ pin connector

3. If the pins on the camera are too wide for connector you will need to widen them a little. I stuck my exacto knife in the holes and twirled it a little to open them up. (widen the holes inside the yellow box in the photo for example)

Step 3: Solder Everything Together Inside of Your Enclsure

See the photo for the complete wire diagram.

I won't bore you with the step enclosure creation process. Find your case, cut holes in it for your switches, put everything together. If your this far you don't need me to tell you how to make it. I'm sure you'll use whatever materials you have, and whatever process you want. If your completely lost, you can use a film canister and an exacto knife to cut your holes. I used clear, flexible pvc hosing and my swithes are held in place by tension.

Leave yourself a little extra wire so you can mess with it without pulling any wires apart.

Step 4: Plug It Into Your Camera and Start Shooting Burr-free Photos, Etc.

Sorry i don't have more photos if you get stuck you can contact me and i will help you out.




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24 Discussions

This is great! The wiring harness from an old motherboard power light worked great, what an awesome idea. And the wiring diagram, didn't know that at all. Super handy, saved me ordering something that would do the same thing.

you all know if I can use the wired remote in order to activate the film / recordings button in my soy ALPHA A580 ??

'm doing it now, to him, and with an IR remote MOD

mvg henry

Best brad Justine,

I plan also to make your instructable but want to use it for filming (for the rec. button to switch film / movie to start recording) I have a

Sony Alpha A580 (it does have an IR remote in, but this has only two functions:

photo shooting right and 2seconds waiting to take a picture (no film / recordings button) your wire remote also works with the film / recordings button?

I have sony qx10 and qx100, is it same case to own create wire shuther? If you don't mind, could i have your email? please inform me, need your help

Nice I am on a tight budget and still don't have nearly enough toys
This remote will be most welcome thanks!
Now,,,can we figure how to use an arduino + android + eye-fi to get a remote controller which will operate as a remote camera viewfinder on the tablet (even if delayed by eye-fi transmission time) ,,,I want to use my Android tablet to see pics on my Sony alpha 35 and control the camera as well. (Not asking much, am I?)
Btw some great time lapse apps for androids on Google play might please earlier com enters.

if i have a mic jack, can i use that jack to put my shutter release remote... please reply

Nice article have you tried adding one of these or something similar? 
I would give it a shot but having no electrical background I would be afraid of killing the camera somehow. I'm looking for a way to use my netbook to allow timed photos and using what you have coupled with one of these would be a way to get around not having that ability built into the A200.
2 replies

Hmm... I lie apparently! I didn't think of using a simple Relay with the Arduino - making operating a switch like this very easy. A relay detects a voltage, and closes a physical switch using electromagnets, so the Arduino code could be written to close two separate relays; one controlling the auto focus, and one firing the shutter. I will play around with this for a little longer, until I have something more specific to bring to the table. I will be making an instructable on this if you don't mind me doing so, and I would love to collaborate if you are still interested in a year old topic!

I would also be very interested to see how something like this might work. I have played a little with the Arduino Duemilanove but so far I cannot think of a way to do this using software. As far as I am aware it is very easy to send a voltage through an Arduino pin, but it is seemingly impossible to connect two pins. The only way that I could think of doing this would be by having a servo controlled by the Arduino swing across a metal paperclip and bridge two contacts or something of these sorts, but this would be a very ineffective way of doing it. The timing function would be very simple coding when the rest is complete, the only tricky part is connecting the wires. I will keep looking into ways of doing this, and I will notify you of any breakthroughs that I find. Fingers crossed, and thanks for the fantastic instructable - you have saved me a good £30!

i made mine from epoxy and made a mold and the metal pin for contact at least it work hehe
I like your design

Hi, this stuff is really great, I'm glad i found this site. My question is, I have a Sony cyber shot 8.1 mega pixel. Could I make this remote shutter for this camera. Thanks Clambo

I cant say enough about this, i had wondered as a pro photog if there was another way then buying sonys expensive foreign junk, and then i found some canon and nikon sites, then they led me here.

I changed up your idea a bit, but honestly if anyone is afraid to do this DONT BE, i own a Sony alpha A-350 and i even got it to work without auto focus by changing the wiring a bit (which is good considering the fact that most of the photos i would take at night wouldnt be able to be focused on anyway)

my mods are simple, i used a toggle switch off a fog light kit that never got installed, wired it to a cd out cable after doing the quick and dirty cutting of the connecter down to the three pins. once i wired it and tested it i was at a loss for a container, so i used a coca cola can, yeah i know, lol. I stuffed a sock inside for padding and ran the wire out the bottomm i also used a standard gauge telephone (4 coppers) outside wiring and made an extension elado n it. the whole thing is a coke can with about 4 feet of wire, then the lead allows me to hook another 200 feet to it (if i ever need to go longer that is) with a quick plug in sitatuation. ITs nothing special but when my shutter worked along with the manual focus ring i was THRILLED and i owed you a thank you!

I hope everyone on GOOGLE, YAHOO< MSN, and all the other engines picks this up BEFORE thy waste the 100 bucks on expensive cables, this is so much more fun

I am going to test it now and will provide a link to a photo taken with it soon!

FYI if you really want to see the device you can always click here!

thanks again


Just wondering why you even put the switch in for the autofocus as it must be on for the push-on shutter release to work???   Are you using it as an overall off switch or is there a problem with just making a direct connect of these first two pins and leaving them always on???  I'd like to build one for my alpha 100 and was thinking of looking at modding the Phone mic switch from the other Instructable.  Any thoughts on that?  direct to me is safebat

I have a problem: i have modified the connector and now it fit perfectly in the a200 but the camera don't respond to the buttons,does i have to set something in the camera menu?i can't findi it in the manual!

3 replies

The camera will automatically recognize the remote. 

First off, do you know if the a200 will take the same remote as the a100, I think it should.

it's a connection problem,floppy connector sux,i tryed also fan or cd-in connectors but i can't find one working.

I also used a "double pushbutton" setup(one over the other to simulate the original remote)

I DID IT,it fit perfectly on the socket and have also the anti inversion pin!!!
I used a 4 pin cd-in plug(not every cable have 4 pins),cut the left pin and the plastic on the top(not on the bottom,it fit perfectly as anti inversion pin).

I gluead also 2 buttons one in front of the other to obtain a "dual state" button.
IT WORKS PERFECTLY,like the original(don't have the on/off state only because i didn't want it)

i have a sony a200,a LOT of pc components,want a remote for my camera but don't want to spend money on it!

Make sure you don't take this thing on a bus or plane and pull it out. You'll get some baaaaaad results.

It's pretty funny seeing this... It's the same type of plug as my 15 year old Pentax film camera. Just finished making a cable release for that.

There is a really brief description under the "F Cable Switch for PZ, ZX, SF & 645AF" heading at