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Make a wired release for any Pentax IR camera
Posted By: JimJohnson, 05-14-2012, 11:51 AM

Well, it took me a couple tries, but I now have a wired remote release for my IR only Pentax K-r camera. I can release the shutter at almost any practical distance from any orientation to the camera.

This text will go with the pictures attached below-
#1- I purchased a generic remote for US$1.65 from this location: eBay dealer If you are going to tackle this project, I suggest buying a couple just in case you screw up.

#2 - Make sure your new remote works with your camera in its stock form.
  • Remove the battery
  • Carefully peel off the top cover; it is just a big plastic sticker - I used an X-acto knife to lift the edge then slowly pulled it up. Set it aside where nothing will touch the adhesive.
  • Note the pattern of the circuit board tracings where the remote's 'button' makes contact. Follow the tracings down to two holes in the circuit board.
  • Remove the screws and lift the circuit board out and turn it over. Do you see the same two holes you previously noted? Follow the tracing from those holes up to the 8-legged chip near the IR LED.
  • This is the most delicate part of the modification. Tack solder two insulated wire leads to the two legs you just identified. A tack solder means you pre-tin the wires and quickly melt that solder to the chip's legs to create as little heat as possible on the chip. Each wire lead needs to be about 4 inches (10cm) long.

#3- After the solder has completely cooled figure out where you can route the excess wire to outside the case and clip a small notch in the side of the case; just big enough for the wires. Be careful you do not stress the solder joints you made. Tack solders are not all that strong.

#4 - Put the circuit board back in the case with the wires coming out the notch.
  • Put the screws back in place.
  • Strip a small amount from the end of the wires outside the case.
  • Insert the battery.
  • Set your camera to fire with the IR remote and touch the bare wires together. If you did this right, you now have an external switch for your IR remote.
  • Carefully align and re-install the cover. Try another test shot using the remote's original button. It should still work fine.
  • I used a matching set of mono 3.5mm jack and plugs. Disassemble the jack and slide the sleeve part over the wires. Trim the wires so you only have enough to solder on the 3.5mm jack.
  • Disassemble the 3.5mm plug and plug it into the jack (careful you don't stress those wires!). Now do another test shot by shorting the exposed connectors so you know your jack is working properly.
  • Remove the plug. Use electric tape to secure the jack to the side of the remote with the opening pointed toward the battery end of the remote. I carefully stuffed the excess wire into the jack's sleeve then used liquid electric tape (a fast drying plastic goop) to seal the wire end of the jack and the small gaps between the tape and the jack/remote. It also helps minimize the stress on those lightly tacked wires.

#5- make a wired cable. I used small gauge stranded speaker wire. One end will be the 3.5mm plug and the other end will be a momentary contact switch. My cable is about 25 feet (7.5m). If I want it longer, I can simply use a cheap 3.5mm stereo headset extension cable - it will work fine with the 3.5mm mono connectors.

#6- put a small Velcro dot (soft side) on your camera below the IR port, and the opposite Velcro dot on the back or your remote just below the IR LED.
  • Even though the 3.5mm jack is secured to your remote, always get a good grip on it when plugging or un-plugging your cable.
  • Stick the remote to the camera with the IR LED pointed at the IR receiver on the camera. Do another test shot.

I suspect one could also tape a small 'hood' of reflective aluminium foil to the remote to both shield the camera's IR receiver from direct sunlight and act as a reflector for the remote's IR signal. That might help with some of those outdoor family self-portraits.

EDIT August 27, 2013: A friend has modified an IR remote such that it can work with Triggertrap Mobile (advanced intervalometer controls using Android or iOS). You can download his supplemental information from: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/235397-triggertrap-mobile-ir-...r-release.html

Attached Images
           


Last edited by JimJohnson; 09-03-2013 at 12:24 PM. Reason: supplemental information
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05-14-2013, 06:20 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vufer Quote
I mean that shake reduction can'r work with remote shutter.
That has nothing to do with the modification of the IR remote to support a wired switch. Pentax says that Shake Reduction should not be used when the camera is mounted on a tripod. And to support this, the camera firmware (not the remote) is programmed to automatically turn off Shake Reduction when you use exposure modes that typically indicate the camera is not being hand held - including any use of a remote release.

Neither the K-x nor K-r (nor I assume Pentax P&S cameras) have a port for a wired release. It is the standard release or an IR remote, period. This also means you can't use most RF based remote releases out of the box with these cameras either because they are designed to plug into a wired port. You CAN use a RF release with these cameras by modifying the IR remote to work with a wired release.

The modified IR remote will work with any Pentax camera that has an IR remote - that includes bodies like the K-5 and K-30, but both of those bodies also already has a port for a wired release, so under most circumstances, why bother?

05-17-2013, 05:05 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
That has nothing to do with the modification of the IR remote to support a wired switch. Pentax says that Shake Reduction should not be used when the camera is mounted on a tripod. And to support this, the camera firmware (not the remote) is programmed to automatically turn off Shake Reduction when you use exposure modes that typically indicate the camera is not being hand held - including any use of a remote release.
I know, but i still waiting for someone, who can do some hardware modification for using wired remote. I use my k-r with this construction , and i dislike use shutter button. now i use weapon trigger connected to IR, but... can't use SR
I don't want to change my camera to k-x or other simmilar/new.
Sorry for my bad english
05-17-2013, 12:31 PM   #18
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From my perspective, this is a more difficult project. But this is what you want to do:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/142591-diy-dslr-k-x-cable-cable-release.html
05-30-2013, 12:37 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
From my perspective, this is a more difficult project. But this is what you want to do:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/do-yourself/142591-diy-dslr-k-x-cable-cable-release.html
Mechanical... no i want clearly electrical system

05-30-2013, 11:15 AM   #20
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As I see it, you have 4 choices:
  • Use your finger to press the K-r's shutter release while also using your pistol grip (Shake Reduction (SR) can stay on)
  • Construct a modified IR remote release like the one in this post to add an electric trigger - and know that SR will automatically be turned off.
  • Construct the mechanical system as described in another DIY thread to put a mechanical release at the trigger point (Shake Reduction (SR) can stay on)
  • Buy a non-Pentax camera with a built-in electric release, and shake reduction built into the lens.

Even if you buy a Pentax body with a built-in electric release, SR will automatically be turned off when using either IR or wired remote release.
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