My Pi Description

My Experiences With the Raspberry Pi -- Tracking My Learning -- My Pi Projects

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Gertboard Project - Camera Remote Control - Introduction

I have a remote control device for my camera that consists of a receiver and a hand-held transmitter. Wouldn't be great to have a motion detector trigger the camera using this remote control receiver? I could also take exposures at timed intervals without my being near the camera. The Pi and the ATmega microcontroller on the Gertboard provided most of the hardware to do the job. I only needed to add a $10 motion detector from Adafruit, and a four dollar 433MHz RF transmitter from Sparkfun.
I have not made an enclosure so everything is just loose wires and components. When using the motion detector, once the ATmega microcontroller is programmed, the Pi can be disconnected. Just a source of 3.3V will be required. While the Pi and Gertboard combination is a good development platform, a standalone project that does not require a user interface would be much simpler. Adafruit has a couple of ATmega32U4 development boards that are tiny, cost only $20 and can be programmed over USB. Check out this one, and this one.
This is what my Pi-Gertboard combination looks like now:
Tangle of stuff to Remotely Control My Camera From a Motion Detector
I have a Canon RF remote control receiver and transmitter combination. It works with Canon's digital SLRs and their G series cameras. Luckily, the documentation that came with the remote control gave me the frequency of the RF devices. It is 433MHz, which, I believe, is more commonly used in Europe. References to the frequency of these devices seem to be reported as 433MHz or 434MHz. Most RF remote control devices manufactured in the US use 315MHz. Sparkfun also supplies receivers and transmitters for 315MHz.
The following is a block diagram of the setup showing only what I thought was necessary to show. You may wish to click on the image to see the fine details.
Block Diagram
The next post will report on how I ascertained the information the remote control transmitter sends to the remote control receiver to control the camera. Subsequent posts will present the code to control the camera using the ATmega microcontroller.

1 comment: