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How can I make a switch that will make a camera take a picture when a door is opened? Answered

I'm trying to figure out how to make a camera photograph someone when a door is opened and/or fire the flash. Easy would be good ...

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on youtube, under weekend project under the make account, Bre Pettis did a bird house. With this he set up a webcam which only took video when there was active motion. Try looking for that

The original idea was to surprise people - e.g., if nosy guests decided to open a medicine cabinet door, something really bright would flash in their face. A photograph is secondary - actually completely unnecessary, though it would be fun. I like thematthatters idea, but it brings up another question - how to connect to an external power supply. All of you are awesome for your responses. Thanks again.

that makes stuff way more simple get the flash circuit from disposable camera connect the wires to the 2 metal parts that go to the mechanics done

Get some magnetic reed switches. An external power source for your camera and the ablility to override any autoshut off timers. Attach the magnetic reed switch to the door. Wire up the switch so it runs from the shutter button to either the - battery terminal or to the + one. I think this is how shutters work on digital cameras. Try the - one first. so you got wire wire <- battery terminal> Then turn on your camera and power it with an external power supply

you mean the shutter button metalized surface seen from outside is a connection entry ?? that should be amazing

naw, from the inside of the camera. Your going to have to open up the camera and run the camera outside his case. But i think the shutter works by connecting to the - battery terminal. if you take a wire and poke from the soldier joint for the switch to the - battery terminal it should take a picture. Or you can always just run a wire from each side of the shutter button to the magnetic reed switch.

if you dont know for sure then 2 wirs are safer i think you might get into freak conditions like static discharge diode (thats inside a chip) connected across the battery and burning the chip etc

The easiest thing, if you don't need a lot of quality, would be to set a webcam on motion detect.

Thanks for you help, folks. Any other tips and tricks will be welcome, and if I figure it out, I'll post an Instructable.

There are various ways, but the easiest switch is going to be taking a momentary pushbutton (normally closed)and placing it on the door where it meets the doorframe. Then, when the door is opened, the button will close and complete the circuit, which you can then use to fire the camera.

I guess the larger question is how to connect to the camera itself - what wires go where?

if there is a place to plug in a remote control that has exactly 2 entries - try to short them and see if it shoots if no - parallel with the button inside (same 2 entries as the existing button without disconnecting it) if there is 2 depth button (focus and then press deeper to shoot) you need the button that is deeper if you dont want to mess up with the camera internals you can make a pneumatic device that actually presses the button from outside

There are various uses for these switches, so they are quite common (refrigerator door, car doors dome lights , etc.)

What purducer wrote is a reasonable solution. You could also just use the commercially available (Radio Shack, Home Depot, whatever) two-piece magnetic contacts that are used to wire doors into alarm systems. Just take the leads from the door jamb and connect time to the remote trigger for your camera.

Yes, they word very well. Make sure the contacts are Normally Closed. This prevents tampering by cutting wires, as that would "open" the circuit taking a picture of the person trying to cut the wires :-)

take a thin pipe and 2 syringes - one large and one small pull out both syringes connect them together with the pipe push in the small one duct tape the small one to the camera and the large one to the door