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camera acting strange
#1
Hi Everyone,

I've finally manage to put together my slider and the miniE board, but I'm finding I have just one issue with the camera - (the motor, which I originally though would be more problematic works fine!). When I connect the 2.5mm jack to the camera (and the other end connected to the miniE) it makes the camera take a photo, this is with the miniE and Adruino not even powered. If the camera is set to constant/multiple shoot mode it it keeps firing until the buffer is full.

I've unsoldered the jack socket, reseated and get the same result. It must be a short or something, but I'm struggling to find it.

My other thought is that it could be my camera not being compatible? I'm using a Canon 550d.

Has anyone else had similar issues?

Chris.
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#2
(05-18-2013, 11:35 AM)shiltonphoto Wrote: I've unsoldered the jack socket, reseated and get the same result. It must be a short or something, but I'm struggling to find it.

This sounds definitely like a short. Do you have a multimeter to track it down? You need to check the whole path from the camera jack over the optocouplers to the headers that go to the Arduino.

(05-18-2013, 11:35 AM)shiltonphoto Wrote: My other thought is that it could be my camera not being compatible? I'm using a Canon 550d.

The 550D should work fine.

Good luck,
Airic
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#3
Quote:This sounds definitely like a short. Do you have a multimeter to track it down? You need to check the whole path from the camera jack over the optocouplers to the headers that go to the Arduino.

I have a basic multimeter, but no idea how to use it at the moment. I've removed and re-soldered all components which deal with the camera, but still the same result. I have also looked over all of the header pins, but they seem fine. I don't fancy trying to re-solder those as the board is becoming a bit messy with my removal & re-soldering at the moment as its the second time I've done it.

I'll try and swat up on the world of multimeters!
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#4
Strange problem this one....

Having now mastered the multimeter I managed to check the connections from the jack back to the pin heads - no problems.

So, I've been looking at the cable to the camera, which was a cheap one I got from ebay. That tested fine, however I'd like to know what cables everyone else is using - are you making your own?

The reason I'm asking is that I removed the jack connector again (from the miniE shield), cut the cable and soldered two of the cables directly to the board - this works the camera perfectly except from a very occasional 'fail to fire' whereby the camera, if set on auto-focus, doesn't take a photo but does focus the camera.

Very strange, but it seems to be working. Huh
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#5
Well, when Airic said "this sounds like a short somewhere" he immediately blamed it's board and the solderings :-)
But indeed, a bad jack connecter or a bad soldered jack connecter can also be the source.

Indeed, fi you can do it, the best method is having the minimum number of moving parts (that is sockets and stuff).
So, if you solder one end of the cable directly on the miniE board, there is one less possible failure point.
Further, if you put also a drop of hot glue, this will make the whole system even more robust.
Of course, the negative part of this story is that further interventions on the board are difficult.

My advice would be: try to work as clean as possible, don't over-solder, don't use to much flux on soldering.


regarding the second issue, the occasional "fail to fire", you should check either the settings in the miniE (the time setting for focus and for camera shoot) and also to check if you haven't by mistake reversed the wires focus with camera shoot, when you soldered the cable to the board.

Good luck with your time lapses :-)
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#6
(05-19-2013, 12:27 AM)alexella Wrote: Well, when Airic said "this sounds like a short somewhere" he immediately blamed it's board and the solderings :-)

...but its fair comment (you haven't seen my soldering Big Grin ). Having said that, soldering isn't difficult, but things like circuit boards are exceptionally fiddly until you get the right equipment and learn the art. I completed the first year of a course in electronic installation at evening college with a view to being a certified electrician, but it covered the basics in soldering, although nothing like the nano-scale you need to do with circuit boards. It's all about practice i guess, but I think I've got the knack of it now.

Preliminary tests on the system seem good, although I've only connected two of the cables from the camera to the board - I can't figure out what or where the third is for or should be connected to???
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#7
(05-19-2013, 12:27 AM)alexella Wrote: Well, when Airic said "this sounds like a short somewhere" he immediately blamed it's board and the solderings :-)

...well, the board's correct functionality is proved Wink

(05-19-2013, 01:52 AM)shiltonphoto Wrote: Preliminary tests on the system seem good, although I've only connected two of the cables from the camera to the board - I can't figure out what or where the third is for or should be connected to???

There are 2 pins - focus and shutter - which needs to be connected to the GND for triggering the camera. Here is a breadboard schematic which displays how the system is set-up (it is also in the documentation Wink ):

   

This should help you to figure out how to connect the cables to the board. In case you connect them directly - without a jack - then you'll find the signal names besides the jack which tell you where to connect the different cables.

Airic
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#8
Hi Airic

First I just want to thank you for this amazing open souce project. I have built my motion timelapse system base on your design, and it works great for the most part.

I am using Nikon D7000 and I am running into a problem with the camera focus and shutter control similar to the OP of this thread. Is D7000 supported? I checked all the connections and every seems to work fine. the OK does completed the circuit for shutter/focus and ground when it is trying to take pictures (I was able to get reading from the ohmmeters), but however the camera doesnt do anything.

There are two possiblilies I am thinking about. (I am just guesing here since I know nothing about eletrical)

1) Using the wrong cord?
2) not enough current is being supplied?

The other strange thing is when I plug in the headphone jack loosely (insert halfway), the camera starts to focus even if the powersupply is not plugged in for miniE.

Do you have any input?

I am still happy with how this turned out since D7000 has timelapse function built in... so right now I am still able to enjoy making awesome motion timelaspe without this feature, however it would be nice if I get it working.

Thank you!!
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#9
Hello,

I am not aware how the Nikon D7000 is working but thus it is focussing with the half-inserted plug, it seems it is functioning with shorting a signal supported by the camera... Just like most of all other cameras. Because the camera is providing the signal, there is no need for power from the miniE (the miniE is just connecting lines not more). In the documentation is a schematic how it works. You need to figure out how you camera works and adjust it to the system.

Cheers, A.
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#10
Well, I've finally managed to get back to work on the miniE shield and the slide rail and I've thrown in the towel for tonight.

Managed to get a LiPo battery, charged it up and gave it a go in the back yard to find that the camera didn't fire at all, not even once. Confused

And just to compound it all, trying to disassemble the three boards to figure out why, I've snapped one of the stacker pins so that's a second headache to deal with. Angry

One of those days....
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