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09-04-2013, 06:57 AM   #1
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Pentax kx remote options and/or PK Tether for Win ME?

I purchased the Pentax kx with the intention of using it for astrophotography, starting with wide field just to get a feel for the camera. However, there's one thing I'd like to have control over: exposure times. I have already disabled auto noise reduction successfully after 30 seconds, but there's no way I can use bulb without a remote or some of the triggering programs available. Since skies have cleared here for the first time in a month, I feel I have to act fast!

Last night I tried just 30 seconds, continuous trigger, at ISO's of 6400/ 12K. No problem as the shutter could be held down by rubber band and the camera took 30 seconds continuously. Problem was that these ISO's were too high for my location and I need to go no more than ISO 1600, but this means longer exposures.

I'm looking for a solution, in a pinch so I can try it out tonight. I downloaded PK Tether, but the catch is that it seems to need Microsoft Framework 3.5 or better and my old ME based laptop doesn't have it, nor do I think I can install it as MS says Framework needs XP or better.

Other option is a remote. Ebay remotes work apparently in bulb mode, but they are days away if I place an order. I've tried other remotes around the house but none of them trigger the shutter. My local Walmart has this one but I don't know if it will work with this camera (has anyone tried?). If anyone can suggest any remotes that would work that I could pick up locally, that would be great.

If I have no other choice, I'll wipe Ubuntu off of my good laptop, replace it with XP, install the framework and PK Tether, and I should be up an running tonight, but this is truly the last option I wanted to use.

Thanks in advance for your help,
Bill

09-04-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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There's a Linux version of PK Tether. Check the Ubuntu marketplace. If Ubuntu doesn't have it, check SourceForge. I've got a copy working on my other laptop (at home).
09-04-2013, 12:47 PM   #3
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I use the cheap $2 Chinese remotes. There's a setting in the camera that allows you to click the remote to open the shutter, then click it again to close it.

Its the thing in this shot in the bottom left if you go hunting one down online - I bought mine from eBay. The nice thing is that they're so cheap and small when you inevitably lose one its not a huge deal.


09-04-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ale_guy Quote
There's a Linux version of PK Tether.
Are you sure?
My information is, that there will not be a Linux version of PK_Tether in the near future.

Maybe you are speaking about PKTethercord?
PKTethercord is another software, which should - once it is fully working - be able to do much more than PK_Tether.
But (that's my experience) at least the actual Windows version is like a construction site and cannot be called stable.

09-04-2013, 01:40 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, but I got lucky and found a universal remote at Walmart today that will do the job. It's made by RCA and can control up to 4 devices. Camera responds when I press fast forward.
09-04-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Following on from Sagitta's comment, I guess you have set the option to use a remote control with Bulb, so that the shutter stays open forever with one press, then closes with the next press:
[Custom menu > Tab 2 > 12: Remote Control Shooting in Bulb Mode > Mode 1].

That should be the default, but you never know. There should be no need to hold the button down to keep the shutter open.
09-05-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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Appreciated the help and suggestions all. The Universal RCA remote did a great job last night overall, so very satisfied. There were some quirks though that I am going to bring up in another thread.
09-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #8
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Sorry for the delay in getting back. The Linux software I was thinking of is PKRemote. It works with both my K10D and my K-5, using an ancient Dell laptop.

Available here:

PK-Remote | Free Security & Utilities software downloads at SourceForge.net

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