Monday, 1 February 2010

Instructable: Camera Remote

A while back I mentioned how I managed to get my camera to work wirelessly via remote. In this post I will explain the process I went through.

This started off with an instructable which was looking at creataing a wireless detonator (at this point I was looking at popping the balloon via remote)

-To do this you need a remote control car (the one I used is available from Argos for £9.99) to take apart. Starting off, hacking away at the outer casing and removing the electronics inside. At this point the remote doesn't need to be taken apart so this can be set aside for the time being. The motors are then removed from the wheel attachment, these control the direction of the car: forward/back/left/right.

-Desolder the motor wires from the main circuit board and solder on 2 new fresh multicore wires to the circuit board: red and black if available. You will only need one of the motor connections so take note of which one you use. There are notes on the circuit board which tell you what one is which. You will need to know this later on so you know what button on the remote triggers the camera.
-Desolder the battery compartment and obtain a new battery casing. This will make the final piece a little bit tidier. Solder this on again with wires, red positive black negative.

-This leaves the circuit board completed and ready to be connected to the camera.

-For the camera I used a small lightweight spy camera available on eBay.

-First of all remove the small screws on the camera to take the metal casing off. When this is done remove the next white plastic casing. This makes soldering alot easier without burning the plastic.

-Next prepare the wires for attaching to the camera and the circuit board. This can be two different coloured wires to save confusion with lots of black and red wires all over the place. On the end of these wires solder on a crocodile clip. (Because I was making this for a remote detonator, I needed to attach a piece of wire between these crocodile clips, but for this I found it easy to check everything was all working due to being able to remove the circuit from the camera)

-On the camera, desolder the tactile button. The soldering on this is very small and fragile so take extra care with this, I learnt this the hard way!! when this is done, make a bridge on each side of where the button used to be. This creates two connection points instead of the four. Onto these connections solder the two wires on, one on each side. This creates an open connection to where the button used to be. Touching the crocodile clips together triggers the camera and take a photo/starts recording/stops recording and switches it on.

-Now to attach both components together!!

-Clip the crocodile connections onto the wires of the circuit board. There is a correct way round these should be but to find this out you need to test the camera. When this is done, switch on the circuit board and the camera and then you are ready to go. With the remote, remembering which buttons you need to press, test this out to find out if its up or down, left or right which triggers the camera.

-If nothing works you need to swith the crocodile clips around, it should work after this!

-If you want to take the casing off the remote and rearrange this then you can do that. For my project I need to but i'm still working on the new casing.

-Now you have a camera which is triggered wirelessly via a remote so you can capture pictures from a further distance.

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