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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:57 pm 
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Just finished up an interesting build- active infrared beam break unit that fires camera wirelessly and can be set to take photos or video. The units essentially create an IR trip wire. It is certainly not new technology, but from a build standpoint it is new to me.

The housings are inexpensive 1" electrical junction boxes which I have quickly grown to like and will be using on some basic PIR units too. The guts contain a set of 5V active IR emitter/receivers. The IR emitter is power hungry. I placed a 40 ohm resistor on emitter side to slow down the bleeding and save some battery life... we'll see how well that works. My meter showed it cut the mA by 2/3, but the field test has yet to be performed. Range is still greater than 15 ft.

When the beam is broken, the receiver unit sends an active low pulse to an Arduino Pro Mini and the Mini responds according to the sketch written to it. The Mini is nice little microcontroller unit because there are plenty of pins and it only draws 5mA. There are low power sketches that can be added but I haven't gotten there yet. 4 AA's power each of the units.

The Arduino is outfitted with header pins so additional sketches can be added when needed via USB cable to FTDI connector. A small panel of dip switches controls the sketch behavior by changing high/low status of various pins. The signal from the Arduino outputs to a radio transmitter (pulled from Oppilas) and the Oppilas transmitter fires to an Oppilas receiver plugged into the camera. I have used the Oppilas on many builds and like them a lot.

Currently I have 4 basic options on the Arduino sketch- 2 photos or 3 photos or 10 second video or 20 second video. The video feature works on Nikons (and Canons I think... I don't run any) like the D3300 or D7200 where the camera shutter button can start/stop video. There is an interesting bit of code included in the Arduino sketch that prevents the receiver from continuing to fire if the units are pushed or interrupted permanently (livestock, wild hogs, coons, tree limbs, etc...) or if the emitter battery dies and the receive "thinks" the beam is broken.

Next step is a little camo and 1" Ram balls on the bottom of the units.

This build stretched my brain. From programming the Arduino, to configuring the units, to the wireless hack... it was a tough one. But it is one I have wanted to do for a long time and I am hoping it solves some challenges inherent to PIR's.

I'm pretty stoked to get this thing out in the field.

Attachment:
Beam break 1.jpg


Attachment:
Beam break 2.jpg


Attachment:
Arduino Pro Mini Wireless AIR Receiever Circuit.png


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:40 pm 
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Very exciting. I am eager to see hear of your results. Good luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:48 am 
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ArthurV wrote:
Very exciting. I am eager to see hear of your results. Good luck.


X 2 ....


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:48 am 
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Nice work! Excited to hear how it works out.

Do you think it would work to add a PIR and only turn on the IR emitter after the PIR detects motion, maybe for a 1 min. period? I was thinking this could be a solution to the power consumption of active IR and the issue that some of them have with rain/snow/bugs causing false triggers. If I could make my Eltima Jokie units sip power and not false in rain they would be the perfect trigger.

cheers
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:15 pm 
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That could be done. Could run output from an onboard PIR to transistor to control power to AIR. Would solve the power issue and help with false trigger (although it never rains or snows here). :-).

With dip switches, one could also control sensor combos as one, other, or both.

Hmm... You could put the PIR on both units for overlapping protection and maximum battery savings, or just put it on the main battery hog- the AIR transmitter.

Attachment:
AIR-PIR Transmitter.png


Attachment:
AIR-PIR Receiver .png


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:49 pm 
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Thanks for posting -- you guys are leading the way.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:00 pm 
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Casey,
Looks awesome! Would you be willing to share what you are using for the actual sensor pair? I'm very interested as I've been working on my own using a IR laser and IR sensor but haven't looked at any actual manufactured pairs that had that sort of range.

Brilliant idea on the electrical conduit housing too!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Thanks Drew. I built several laser triggers too. They work great, extremely accurate, cheap, battery consumption not too bad. But, keeping them precisely aligned in the woods was a crap shoot and animals seem wary of the tiny red glow emitted from the diode module.

So, I was looking for the right AIR modules.

I came across Stinky's instructable tutorial here:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Buildin ... rap-for-W/

Like you I was mainly interested in finding the AIR units. Here is the link straight to those:
http://yourduino.com/sunshop//index.php ... etail&p=86

The receiver unit is normally high, goes low when beam interrupted.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Perfect! Looks like I'll have to pick up a couple sets of those soon to give it a shot. I'm doing everything I can to get a couple cameras finished by mid February so I can get them in the field during some travel, but not sure I'll have the time! Too many other projects going. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:04 pm 
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The problem I had with the Instructable is that the Aruduino is power hungry, and I couldn't get more than 24 hours out of the build, but that was fine with me because I was using it mostly on a day-to-day basis. I wrote the instructable mostly to learn how active IR sensors work. I'm really not a hardware guy, but I'm going to have to look at using the Arduino mini and revisit the project. Thanks for getting some new ideas into the project. I have a another active IR system that I have been playing with, I just haven't had the time to get things into a system I can get out into the field or document.

Alignment with the yourduino.com sensors is super easy. He seems to be the only local seller and the price is right.

I like your housing for the IR sensors. Cleaner than the pelican case I used. Love to see some pics taken with the rig.


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