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Radio controlled pentax
Posted By: BillM, 01-10-2010, 12:50 AM

Hi,I'm BillM, every now and then I have way too much time on my hands.
This project is an example of that phenomena.In the winter of 85-86 I read
an article about a chap in Florida that suffered from the same thing.
He was into kites and one day he had the ideal to attach a disk camera to
a kite and trigger with an extra string going up to the rig.It worked!
He had a friend that sold property and was asked to take a picture of
a listing,he did,and it worked out great for him.This whole gig worked
so well for him that he turned it in to a vocation.The Article was wrote
by an electrical engineer who later in the article suggested a number of
scenarios for a control interface,one being a R/C unit..
At the time I had a couple of ME supers and a ME winder, I've been
involved with R/C aircraft and real ones since I was 18.I'm an electrician
by trade so everything kind of came together.Anyone who has experience
with the older,anolog R/C units would recognize just how easy it was.
This thing worked the first time I powered up and hit the red button
on the transmitter,it went on to fire 23 more frames.The problem was,
when triggered, the shutter would fire and cycle, then the linear drive
would advance the film and re-arm the shutter enabling another cycle.
(Winder was set on "single"(frame) by the way.)At the end of that cycle the field
would collapse across the coil of the drive and spike the system,
With the addition of a 5.5 vdc zener diode across
the coil and another smoothing cap at the trigger,it worked flawlessly.
Sort of.
These radios were extremely susceptible to spurious and extraneous RF events.
One big event in the 80's were CB radios,if you were within a mile of a
highway and a trucker was talkin up his goodbuddy, your signal was going to be
stepped on.
So many R/C freaks had so many problems along these lines that eventually
the FCC stepped in and enforced a reapportement of hobby-band radio frequencies.
They added a bunch and elimnated a few. That was this units death-nell
The two frequencies it was capable of transmitting on were eliminated.
This units salient feature was its range.There is no doudt in my mind
on a standard day,flat and level ground,line of sight,it would get out
one mile! I never went that far with it, but I did do a measured 430 yards.
We all have skeletons in our closets,I got some clothes for Christmas and
needed some room,so there's one of mine.
Below are pics of that "thing" and below that probably the best I ever did with it.
Same Body as pictured but different lense...Rokinon 70-250 f/4.5
Birds a Nashville Warbler, Rok was zoomed out to 70mm with
Kodacolor II iso 800 f/4.5@1/125x,taken in may of 1995
also last time I used it.
I sure other folks have done things like this and I would love to hear about

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Last edited by BillM; 01-28-2010 at 07:44 PM.
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10-05-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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Location: Netherlands
Posts: 21
Well, as for the digital world of Pentax: I fire my K20D with my remote (tv-) control now and then. That is a Philips SBC RU 538E. Of course I have to instruct the camera via the Fn-button to accept wireless instructions. Done that, I simply push down the OK-button of the remote and when I aim well my camera is so nice as to take a picture. No more, no less.
01-28-2011, 07:36 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Sincerely apologize in being so late in replying pich,sounds like great interface,
completely noise free. Be delighted to hear more about it. Have several old
remotes doing nothing.
02-08-2011, 08:15 PM   #4
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I frecently found this website on a similar subject:
Servo Camera Switch

08-27-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Hi Pretoras,Little late responding,beg your indulgence.Interesting article for sure.
Was a thread here in forum from chap in UK that took somewhat same approach
for a point & shoot.Believe there were commerically available units that used linear actutators
to accomplish same as servo in your article.Use microchip PIC's quite a
bit,in all kinds of proto work.Also use basic stamp often at the start of a project,
as coding changes in assembly can "get away" from one quick if notes arent
kept up to date.Have played around with something a bit in same vein on my K20.
Big difference is Ive used no solenoid's ,linear actutators,or servos in application.
Most,if not all remote wired release's on DSLR's can be interfaced across dry sets
of contacts.Then virtually any control scenario that one wants to use can be incorporated into design.

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