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02-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #1
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long range remote firing for K10D or Kx

I hope to use one of my Pentax's for aerial photos, thus need to be able to either (a) set up some sort of timed shutter/lapse to take an image every x seconds or (b) be able to remotely trigger the shutter from great distances.

Option (b) is preferred, and there is a couple of ways I think I can do this, one is to trigger the shutter or the remote IR unit with a servo arm which is linked to a channel on my radio transmitter, the other is to use a cable activated shutter release remotely with a servo, basically accomplishing the same thing.

The trouble with the IR is I found that when using it to take pictures of birds from my front deck, if I didn't use it frequently the camera would go into standby.

Then I saw this cable here and instructions on how to build one, and got thinking, if one wired that right into the receiver on my AP platform, I could bypass the button part and do away with having a servo arm operate the shutter remotely.

Hoping someone here has enough knowledge of this sort of thing to say whether this is doable or not.. ?


thanks!

02-22-2011, 05:22 PM   #2
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If you are wanting to take a picture from an RC airplane (the way I'm reading your post) and want to use a servo to activate a wired remote, I would suggest something like This.

SPDT SNAP-ACTION SWITCH W/LEVER | AllElectronics.com

I don't know how to tell you to operate the Kx though, it does not accept a wired remote.

02-22-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
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you could also use an FRS radio, or a cell phone, and just wire the earphone output into a transistor to trip the shutter.
02-22-2011, 07:01 PM   #4
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You are correct, it will be from an RC plane. Never seen those kind of switches before, can these be used to trigger the shutter directly? or would I still need a servo?

If I am going to be triggering with a servo, I think I may as well have it tripping either the shutter directly or a cabled remote.


thanks

02-22-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Have you got the schematics and an output control list. Maybe we can pick an unused function
02-22-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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How much range are you looking to need? There are a number of RF remotes for the K10D that claim to work up to 300ft., including some that include an intervalometer. k10d remote wireless items - Get great deals on Cameras Photo items on eBay.com! Beyond that, Pocket Wizards claim a range of 1600ft.

Last edited by Jodokast96; 02-22-2011 at 07:16 PM.
02-22-2011, 07:22 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Glen_S Quote
You are correct, it will be from an RC plane. Never seen those kind of switches before, can these be used to trigger the shutter directly? or would I still need a servo?

If I am going to be triggering with a servo, I think I may as well have it tripping either the shutter directly or a cabled remote.


thanks
The way I envision it is building the servo actuator with the switch as part of it. Yes, you can trip the shutter with ANY switch. It's just a contact. What that particular switch will not do, is the AF (half shutter button press). Bottom line, it's a mechanical device needing an outside action to activate it. You could certainly rig the servo and camera arrangement and kill the middle man of the remote and just use the servo. I thought you wanted to explore using a remote though.

02-22-2011, 09:03 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
The way I envision it is building the servo actuator with the switch as part of it. Yes, you can trip the shutter with ANY switch. It's just a contact. What that particular switch will not do, is the AF (half shutter button press). Bottom line, it's a mechanical device needing an outside action to activate it. You could certainly rig the servo and camera arrangement and kill the middle man of the remote and just use the servo. I thought you wanted to explore using a remote though.

There are two contacts on the wired remote one for shutter trip the other for the half press. This means you can af then trip. But since you are shooting from some assumed elevation just pre focus to infinity and forget focusing

02-22-2011, 09:44 PM   #9
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The range I'd need would likely be closer than 500', but once I start framing shots with a live downlink it could and will be a lot further than that. That's why I was thinking if I could bypass the "button" on the cable switch, and wire directly to a receiver plug - which would be plugged into the receiver on the aircraft, the toggle on my transmitter would now act as the physical switch. If I can do that then my range should be only limited by my transmitter range.

I don't think I would worry about the AF aspect, I would likely be shooting with one of my old light prime lenses, likely my 28mm & 50mm with the focus set on infinity.
02-23-2011, 01:01 AM   #10
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I would think the wired remote option for your k10d would work.
Based on the link you provided above it seems like you just need to close the circuit between the feed and shutter.
I would try an opto kill switch for RC gas engines to close the circuit. Here's a link to an opto switch with a good explanation of what it does.
http://www.rcaer.com/userfiles/file/RC%20Aero%20-%20RCEXL%20Opto%20Cut%20off...20How%20To.pdf
If you have a speed controller laying around that might do the same thing too. Use a continuity tester to check if the circuit opens and closes with the gear or aux switch channel.
I don't have working RC equipment around anymore to test this but hopefully it gives you some ideas.
Here is a light switching device that could also work:
http://www.killerrc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=84

Last edited by crewl1; 02-23-2011 at 01:22 AM.
02-23-2011, 08:52 PM   #11
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thanks for the helpful info all -

Some good ideas to try. I was hoping to get the Kx airborne as its smaller and lighter, but I think the bird I am building may be able to hoist the K10D. If not I may have to look for something smaller than I can remotely trigger.

I'm not in a rush, the first cam I'll have airborne and one I'll probably use most will be a GoPro helmet cam - which are impressive little unit's on their own, but for some primo still's I want to be able to use a DSLR
02-23-2011, 09:30 PM   #12
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i have one remote that can trigger shutter from 50m away..

to avoid camera from standy, you can disable auto off function from custom menu..that is easy..
02-24-2011, 01:13 AM   #13
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Did something along same line years ago Glen,was FM R/C radio with two 555 timers
on a common die (c7555) configured as inverted missing pulse detector,output was
buffered by going to npn tranistor which in turn went to optocoupler for isolation
which then triggered ME winder,power supply was back fed from winder.An issue I
dealt with,is still present but largely minimized by technology.That issue is the chance
of someone else being on same channel.In addition to multiplexing schemes which
skate around this in modern radio's, Encoding/decoding assemblies are available
that can be configured as sort of a 'coding' schema to get around said issue.Biggest
problem there being input/output signal latency...
how long it takes equipment to react.Isnt long time but there is a delay.

Dont have a K-x,as I understand no wired remote port,could trigger with
servo/bellcrank assembly which would be downright funky,but doable.
also linear output servo,little more straight forward(pardon pun) in operation.
FRS radio suffers from same mentioned multi-user problem,some have ability to
transmit morse code,with addition of encoder/decoder and something along line
of programmable microcontroller....again doable
Cell Phone is free from said interference,is expensive.
Both radio and phone are heavy add camera and your in quarter scale sized R/C aircraft
keep in mind liability is no diiferent for that or full scale 747 in U.S.A.
Im at work now,dont have info...There are companies that offer complete systems
including still/video camera. Source for parts...might try ace R/C if still in buisness
at one time offered radio&reciever with output switch(es) for hobbiest doing crazy things like this.
With a bunch of electrical engineers currently,they're all laughing cause I let them read
the thing by the chap and his plastic gears,if they were coherent,would be some help
02-24-2011, 05:12 AM   #14
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Depending on your budget, needs, etc., you could also take a look at the Nikon P7000. It has a built in intervalometer if I'm not mistaken and definitely wouldn't pose any weight penalty in comparison.
02-24-2011, 09:23 AM   #15
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Stone G. suggested this product to me when i was looking for remotes. Phottix® Plato. I never tried it but it is on my long term wish list.
PHOTTIX® PLATO - Wireless Remotes
Plato Wireless Remote C8 for Canon 30D 40D 50D 5D II 7D - eBay (item 360346282398 end time Feb-27-11 21:28:23 PST)
Amazon.com: Phottix Plato C8 2.4GHz Hybrid Wired Wireless Remote Set For Canon 20D/30D/40D/50D/5D/7D/1D/1Ds/Mark II/Mark III/MKII/MKIII Using C8 Plug: Camera & Photo
you tube tutorial:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE1Ov5z_19Y
Looks like at least 3 versions are out there.
it claims 50-100m range but that is radio not RF so with a camera in the air it might be longer. It has MANY features and might allow you to keep the camera on.

Keeping the camera on is a pain. I am a hang glider pilot. We rarely strap SLRs to the wing, too much weight and windage. Most cameras shut off after 5-10 minutes. You rarely launch in <10 minutes. The Minolta explorer could be overridden by taping or rubberbanding the zoom into the zoom out position and it stayed on. That was back in the film days. I have yet to find a digital that will fall for this trick or stay on.
There are some buttons that can be programed on my k200d. I have not tried it but programing the 'ok' or the 'raw' button to do things and perhaps holding those down will keep the camera on. I know you can shoot while the 'info' or 'menu' option is pressed as well, it might stay on when strapped down. I might try this tonight.

Last edited by cadmus; 02-24-2011 at 09:32 AM.
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