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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:20 am 
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Hi All,

I'm new to the forum, and currently pulling together my first DSLR trap set up.
I have a Nikon d3200, sb-28 flash on the way, plan on using wireless flash triggers that camtraptions sell (open to other suggestions).

My question is related to PIR triggers.
I made one following this walk through: http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-PIR-DSLR-Camera-Trap/

It isnt mounted in a case yet, as i am trying to work out the following:

If i put the camera in continous mode, it fires off over 10 shots. How do i limit this to say three? (as i have read the first will likely be black due to the flash not firing form wake up).
There are two dials on the PIR sensor, and playing with them i think one is sensitivity and the other maybe the delay or length of pulse?

Is there a better DIY trigger i could make or buy? (trying to keep costs down on first set up if possible).

Any advice on the above would be appreciated.

Regards,

Harry


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:24 am 
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Normally the second dial on many PIRs is pulse length. Minimum is often 1.5-2.0 seconds, which is likely why your camera is firing 10 shots. Also, make sure the PIR is not set to re-trigger mode (sometimes a 2-position jumper clip on the PIR sets this). Retrigger means the PIR signal stays on as long as it detects movement. You want non-retrigger mode which fires a single pulse per trigger event, separated by a 1 second pause.

The D3200 will fire 6fps in continuous mode and there is no way to adjust this. This is one advantage of the D7XXX over the D3XXX line- you can change the fps in continuous mode.

To customize number of shutter pops, you can incorporate a microcontroller like an Arduino if you want to take that on. Not that hard, but requires some code writing. I use the Adafruit Trinket mini's (Arduino platform) on some rigs and like them- low power consumption.

You can also wire your PIR to a hacked wireless radio trigger remote like the Pixel Oppilas and then set the Oppilas to fire several shots trigger per event. This gets rid of the wires on the ground and the 10fps but raises the complexity of the build.

Otherwise, just set your D3200 camera for single frame per trigger and hope for multiple movements. You'll likely get them.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:54 am 
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Thanks for the reply Gartooth.
I think I would like to give the ardunio a go.
I have seen the SSII online but as I'm UK based the cost puts me off.
Do you have a link to a "how to" on adding a micro controller? Am I right in thinking a picaxe optocoupler is another option that can be programmed?
I didn't want to go wireless as I planned on doing the flashes wireless and I'm not sure if you can run both?

Harry


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:14 pm 
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I don’t have experience with picaxe, although I think others here might.

I can post simple Arduino code sample to control #pics when the input (from sensor) goes high. The Arduino are fun to code because you can set them up on a breadboard and instantly see the result.

Wireless systems won’t interfere with each other. I run wireless shutter trigger along with separate flash poppers all the time.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:06 am 
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Gartooth wrote:
I don’t have experience with picaxe, although I think others here might.

I can post simple Arduino code sample to control #pics when the input (from sensor) goes high. The Arduino are fun to code because you can set them up on a breadboard and instantly see the result.

Wireless systems won’t interfere with each other. I run wireless shutter trigger along with separate flash poppers all the time.


Thanks for the info.

The sample code would be great.
as i used a breadboard for sensor trigger i made, i can reuse this with an arduino (which i will gladly steal from my brother who has one lying around).
What battery setup are you using on the arduino trigger system? i only plan on leaving a set up out for a week at max.

Thanks again.

Harry


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:01 am 
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Arduino Uno's are power hungry. You could start with one to get the idea, but I'm thinking you would want to move to a smaller unit soon. Maybe something like a 3.3V Arduino Pro Mini? I think that model draws around 5mA. You can look online and find code that puts them into sleep mode and other tricks to lower resting current. I use the Adafruit Trinket Mini's and they work pretty good.

Here's a sample code for an Adafruit Trinket Mini which fires two shutter clicks per motion event using a standard PIR (Parallax brand). Also works with the HCR501's sold in mass on Amazon. Times and numbers of shutter clicks are easy to manipulate by adding additional lines of "high/low" code. Input pin from PIR is 2, output pin to transistor is 1. You could change those to fit the Pins on whatever Arduino controller you use.

int motion_1 = 2;
int light_1 = 1;
void setup() {
pinMode (motion_1, INPUT);
pinMode (light_1, OUTPUT);
}

void loop () {
digitalWrite (light_1, LOW);

int sensor_1 = digitalRead(motion_1);
if (sensor_1 == HIGH) {
digitalWrite(light_1, HIGH);
delay(100);
digitalWrite(light_1, LOW);
delay(400);
digitalWrite(light_1, HIGH);
delay(100);
digitalWrite(light_1, LOW);
delay(600);

}
}

Attachment:
Arduino Trinket Mini PIR camera shutter controller.png


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:54 am 
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PICAXE would be a good option too. I haven't used the Arduino's, but I know there's a ton of stuff that you can do with them, and looks like Gartooth already has you set with those. The PICAXE would use less power though, and all you would need is the PICAXE and a few resistors, and maybe a voltage regulator, but you could probably get by without it. The PICAXE chips come from the UK, so you can probably get one there for around $3 and wouldn't have to pay much for shipping.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:56 am 
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Gartooth wrote:
Arduino Uno's are power hungry. You could start with one to get the idea, but I'm thinking you would want to move to a smaller unit soon. Maybe something like a 3.3V Arduino Pro Mini? I think that model draws around 5mA. You can look online and find code that puts them into sleep mode and other tricks to lower resting current. I use the Adafruit Trinket Mini's and they work pretty good.

Here's a sample code for an Adafruit Trinket Mini which fires two shutter clicks per motion event using a standard PIR (Parallax brand). Also works with the HCR501's sold in mass on Amazon. Times and numbers of shutter clicks are easy to manipulate by adding additional lines of "high/low" code. Input pin from PIR is 2, output pin to transistor is 1. You could change those to fit the Pins on whatever Arduino controller you use.

int motion_1 = 2;
int light_1 = 1;
void setup() {
pinMode (motion_1, INPUT);
pinMode (light_1, OUTPUT);
}

void loop () {
digitalWrite (light_1, LOW);

int sensor_1 = digitalRead(motion_1);
if (sensor_1 == HIGH) {
digitalWrite(light_1, HIGH);
delay(100);
digitalWrite(light_1, LOW);
delay(400);
digitalWrite(light_1, HIGH);
delay(100);
digitalWrite(light_1, LOW);
delay(600);

}
}

Attachment:
Arduino Trinket Mini PIR camera shutter controller.png


Ah thats great, thankyou!

I think i will go and get a Adafruit Trinket, as they are only around £8.

Regarding the coding you posted, is there a way to send a metering only signal just before the triggering code to allow the camera and flash to wake up to ensure it flashes?
Also do you need code to make everything go back to sleep/standby, i guess the camera and flash will do that automatically if another trigger event doesnt happen?

Regarding wireless flash triggers, is there any you recommend?

Apologies for the questions, trying to get my head around all this!

Regards,

Harry


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:33 am 
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Good point Gary... picaxe is a low-power option, and reportedly easy to code.

Yes, you could signal the meter first, then the shutter. Would probably just use a second output pin and a second transistor. Write a little code to send that pin high first, then go to shutter pin.

The code only proceeds if the motion sensor input is high. So, if the motion sensor is still sending a high signal when the first run completes, it will run again. If the time delays built in the code amount to less time than the "high" signal from the PIR, the code will circle back and continue to run. Returns to "sleep" state after the sensor goes low. Make sense?

I use the el-cheapo Cowboy Studio radio poppers. Range sort of low when everything is in housings, but never really had any issues with them. Battery life is about 2 weeks with alkaline AA's. Sometimes, not sure why, Eneloops don't have the umph (current) to power them reliably.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:57 am 
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Gartooth wrote:
Good point Gary... picaxe is a low-power option, and reportedly easy to code.

Yes, you could signal the meter first, then the shutter. Would probably just use a second output pin and a second transistor. Write a little code to send that pin high first, then go to shutter pin.

The code only proceeds if the motion sensor input is high. So, if the motion sensor is still sending a high signal when the first run completes, it will run again. If the time delays built in the code amount to less time than the "high" signal from the PIR, the code will circle back and continue to run. Returns to "sleep" state after the sensor goes low. Make sense?

I use the el-cheapo Cowboy Studio radio poppers. Range sort of low when everything is in housings, but never really had any issues with them. Battery life is about 2 weeks with alkaline AA's. Sometimes, not sure why, Eneloops don't have the umph (current) to power them reliably.


Do you use the 3.3v or the 5v Adafruit Trinket mini?

Thanks again for all the help, much appreciated.


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