I would like to know if there is a ready made solution for configuring the APM2.5 to take photos at fixed distance intervals, by using a voltage based trigger, e.g. as with chdk on canon cameras.

I know this question has been asked here before, (several times), but I am however still not aware of any good answer to the question. So, any help is appreciated.



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I second this request. After all this time it's amazing that there still isn't a straight forward set of camera triggering parameters.

I have simply been using the servo commands in the mission planner to fire the camera at 3 second intervals from launch to land.

Which servo commands?

I was thinking to use a free port on the MinimOSD ATMega to trigger a CHDK Cannon. If you want to use a timer, that's easy, but then the CHDK alone will do it. What I wanted is an event-based trigger, like when switching from stabilize to loiter, read off the MavLink parameters.

Maybe someone with a lot more missions then me can answer this: If I program a course with a few waypoints, and instructions to loiter for let's say 10 seconds at each waypoint, what MavLink parameter shall I follow to have the camera snap a picture at every waypoint ?

Good idea Para if it possible to implement this :)

Interesting for no Canon cameras like me, I have a Lumix, How do you trigger it? Thank's

To trigger a Lumix you'd need to submit PWM pulses to a servo so the arm will physically push the button. CHDK looks for +5V on the USB port.

Principally, there are little difference between triggering different cameras. The Cannon's are usually triggered via chdk/usb (since it is available), but almost every other camera can be triggered in a similar way. Usually by using one of the available connections and a simple switch of some sort, or by hot-wiering  the camera in some way. (Search "trigger" and "camera name").

With regard to the actual implementation, I think the problem is the ArduPilot is actually unable to perform distance-based actions, like triggering -and maybe also lacks a hardware-based switch to interact with hardware like a camera.

This is however the hypothesis I would hope someone with insight would deny and clearify.


Hi are you guys still looking into this?

I did something similar to this with my APM 1.

Camera: I have an old samsung still camera that I pulled apart and soldered some wires with a connector across the focus/shoot button. The camera still works from the original button or can be triggered through the connector by shorting focus and shoot to ground.

Camera Control: I'm using 2 NPN transistors (1 for focus, 1 for shoot), controlled by a simple 5V digital outputs from the APM to activate the focus and shoot on the camera.

APM: I used the 2 expansion ports on the top of the oil pan (A5 and A6 are analog inputs but I configure them as digital outputs). Then in the arduplane code, added a basic function to calculate distance intervals (accumulative or straight line), or time interval, focus and shoot control.  I also modified the dataflash code so that the onboard GPS log has an extra column for 'log camera trigger'. Which writes 'zero' when not shooting and writes '1' when a trigger command is sent. This can be used to geo-locate where the image was taken. It all runs independently of the mission planner though . It's really scrappy in its current form but it got the job done for me.

Sorry that it isn't the clearest description. The main point I'm trying to get across is that fixed distance or time interval triggering and APM camera control is entirely achievable. It's just that there isn't yet a single neat and tidy solution. If/when I decide to upgrade my camera I'd probably go for a canon with CHDK and use hacked USB control from the APM. And I'd look into the MavLink commands to make it more user friendly from the GCS.

Hey Mike! Sent to the APM 2.5 code, which is based on the distance of the camera to start?
Thank you, Joe

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