home-made light-operated camera trigger

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

This device is used to photograph moving objects by triggering a camera or flashgun when one or two light beams are interrupted. It was designed to capture insects in flight, but can also be used for projectiles and anything else that moves too fast or irregularly to be photographed by hand. It cost around $30 to build, and was used to make The Ba

home-made light-operated camera trigger
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rista Collection. There are several commercial triggers available (a good example is The Time Machine ), but they all have a single beam that fires the camera when interupted, anywhere along its length, whereas this device has the option of having a second beam perpendicular to the first, so that the triggering area is much smaller, resulting in fewer out-of-frame subjects. Plus it`s a lot cheaper, and can be modified to perform more specialised tasks. You can see the circuit diagram here. Putting it together probably needs some experience in electronics, and if you find it too ambitious, try the CamTrigJunior. If you have trouble finding the IPL530 (DAL), try these guys, or replace that part of the circuit with a phototransistor as used in CamTrigJunior. To use the trigger, connect the sensor cable to the 8-pin DIN socket (11), and position the sensors in an appropriate place. Then shine a light source at each of the sensors, preferably with a fairly narrow beam width. LED lamps work well if the background light levels are low, and these can be powered by plugging into socket 12 of the box. Otherwise pocket laser pointers are excellent sources. Now adjust the sensitivity of sensor A (2) so that with the beam uninterrupted, the red trigger-confirmation LED (4) is just illuminated. Interrupting the beam should then make the LED go out. If it does not, turn the dial anti-clockwise a little more, whilst still keeping the LED...

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