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Video camera hack

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by Jantheman, Sep 29, 2013.

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  1. Jantheman


    Sep 29, 2013
    Hi all
    I am a newbie trying to circumvent the on/off button on the camera by the help of Electronics.
    I have used hours on the net, and found that an astabil multivibrator might do the trick.
    But i only need one cycle on the AMV.
    Does anybody know of an easy ( remember newbie ) way to an AMV to do only one cycle ?
    I hope i have explained my problem in a clear way,if not please ask and i will try to elaborate

  2. KennyMcCormick


    Sep 8, 2013
    Do you mean so you can trigger it remotely? Do you mean the record button or switch that powers on and changes from video to still mode? surely you need no electronics you can just put a jack like a headphone jack in prrallell with the switch and get another switch to turn the camera on that you connect to wires and put a jack plug on the end so you can plug it in your socket? or are you trying to activate camera with no wires like by radio control?
  3. Jantheman


    Sep 29, 2013
    Hi KennyMcCormick
    Thanks for your answer
    What i have is : A button (on the camera) that i want to activate via an electronic impulse.
    This button needs to be activated twice, first once, then after about 3 sec. again.
    Over this button runs a current of 3.1 v. And i am pretty sure that i cannot introduce any current directly to this without getting some kind of smoke somewhere ?
    this is why (after hours on the net) i found that an relay or a reed switch would could do it ?
    Now an relay/reed switch combined with am astabil multivibrator ( if i could get it to only go one cycle would be just the thing) I have had a look at some other solutions but this one seems like an easy one for my needs and remember i am a total newbie.
    So yes i am trying to start recording remotely ( in this case a PIR sensor unit ) but maybe later as and start/stop mecanism on my RC plane camera.
    Any help would be apreciated and please try and remember that i am new to this :)

  4. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    Before you fiddle with the internal circuit of a camera, you should get your basics right.
    3.1V is a voltage, not a current. A voltage doesn't run of flow. A voltage is the driving force that pushes electrons through a conductor. It is the flow of electrons that makes a current and it is measured in ampere.
    So when you measure 3.1V this is obviously the operating voltage of the camera or at least the part that deals with the switch.
    A switch is nothing but a short circuit made on purpose. The switch in your camera is one, too. Therefore the internal circuit of the camera will ensure that no destructive current can flow when you press the button/switch.
    It is for the same reason that it is perfectly possible to connect a second (remote) switch in parallel to the internal switch of the camera. You will not "introduce a current" other than what the camera is designed for by adding a parallel switch.

    The remote switch could be a manual switch, a relay, reed contact or a semiconductor switch (e.g. photocoupler).

    What do you mean by this?
    Does that mean that the switch is turned on and after 3 seconds is turned off?
    Does that mean that the switch is pulsed on for a short time, then off again and after 3 seconds is pulsed a second time? If so, how long are the pulses? (Note: typically a manual switch is debounced by an electronic circuit to avoid multiple pulses due to contact bounce. Therefore the switch will have to be turned on longer than the debounce time, otherwise the camera will ignore it. You won't find that time in the manual, You may need to find it experimentally, but the exact time is probably not critical since a person operating the switch manually never will use any exact timing in pressing the button anyway,)

    If you need a single pulse with a duration of 3 seconds, a monoflop (monostable timer) is the right circuit.

    If you need two pulses, two monoflops can be used where the timing is set up to generate the second pulse 3 seconds after the first pulse.
    A more precise technique would be using a microcontroller to generate the two pulses. You can also use the microcontroller to monitor a sensor or remote control receiver's output to trigger the timing sequence.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  5. KennyMcCormick


    Sep 8, 2013
    perhaps will be easier if you explain how you normally operate this camera? why push button twice? is it a still camera and you hold the button halfway down for a while for use autofocus then push all the way to take picture? im sure you said it was video camera.
    is the idea to control it from a short distance away with a wire? can you tell us the model of the camera and what you are trying to do?
    Usually on camera is just a momentary swtch to start and stop recording. all you need to do is have another switch wired in parrallell with it. this second switch can be at the end of a long wire.
    Its hard too answer without more details. you dont have to say exactly which nudist beach you will be putting this camera on ;-P but we need to know some more about exactly what you need to do.

    but it really does sound to me like you will only need another switch in parrallell with the first unless you are trying to have the camera be set off by something other than your finger. is it like a booby trap type trigger like for filming wildlife without being there?
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013
  6. KennyMcCormick


    Sep 8, 2013
    I think this is the important question for us
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