Intervalometer Photography

I have this obsession of tinkering with the things that I own.
Circuit bending, mods, what have you.
Sometimes I'll actually manage to crank out something in the workshop that's of some use.

None of my creations have been particularly pretty. It's all about the function.

1. Time lapse camera hack:
I have a Pentax Kx. It's nice. Can see in low light and does 24fps 720p video.
There are some nice functions in there for playing with colour processing etc, but nothing you couldn't do with a photo editing program.

One function I always wanted was time lapse, but I couldn't afford a camera where this was native.
Fortunately there is an IR received for shutter release on the camera, so I figured I could make a remote control which was automated. Instead of working from scratch and trying to get crystals and all the specs right, I decided to take the easy way around.

This project cost me around $30 and three hours of my life.

Pretty easy to do as well.

I started by finding a cheap 3rd party remote.
It was multi-function and would do basic triggering on a couple of other brands of camera too.
The other components were a 555 timer, two switches, one 1m potentiometer, and LED and a Light dependent resistor. Ok there were a couple of caps and regular resistors in there too.  Time scales can be seen in the image to the right. They're marked at the approximate time value for the position on the dial.

I think I based it on This circuit.

You'll probably need to get a separate housing for the end result as the one I cannibalise was pretty tiny and there was no chance of getting anything else to fit in there.

A: Open and identify button to trigger your brand of camera.
B: Solder LDR in place of the switch.
C: Build basic flasher circuit based on the 555 timer.
D: Align LED with LDR and insulate LDR from external light source.

That's it. You're done.
The Light flashing on will drop the resistance of the LDR to close to zero, this simulates the switch closing and triggering the shutter.

The LDR I used isn't that great at returning to its maximum resistance and that has an impact on the minimum length of time between triggered shots. In this case, it's about 2 or three shots per second. Since most time lapse stuff happens over longer periods, this shouldn't be a big deal to most people.

Now go out and have fun.


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