DIY Camera Trigger

Does anyone have plans for a simple camera trigger I could build that can automatically trigger the shutter at pre programed intervals.  Ideally after it was set up, all I would need to do is power it and it would trigger the camera.  I have this one ( but even though I can program it to take pics, it needs to see the receiver signal for some reason and you need to take a picture manually before the timed auto trigger kicks in.  I want to be able to use this on a RTF model that has no extra channels.  

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  • You can check for this one the ShutterBug Pro , got one for my project.

    Remote shutter activation using a model R/C receiver (not included).
    Direct connect shutter interface uses safe solid state switches.
    Standalone intervalometer operation using a flexible internal timer.
    Auto-Sequence shutter control for continuous snapshots.
    Supports two-stage (focus/snapshot) shutter operation.

    maual here :

    buy here :
  • Here's a youtube video of a camera trigger for the "808 keychain camera". It might work with some modification for your camera. It's just a simple 555 IC timer with relay to trigger the camera. I think the interval is adjustable. There are probably some other simple circuits on the web you could use.




  • ---- APCC ----
    DIY arduino based open source advanced photo camera control
    84x48 graphic LCD  with backlight
    IR & Wire Photo camera trigger
    2x Wire Flash Trigger
    onboard light/sound sensor or 2x external sensor
    2x digital IN/OUT
    timelapes function
    onboard RTC clock
    onboard buzzer!/pages/APCC-Advanced-Photo-Camera...


  • Well I would like to do this without adding another electronic device if possible and would like to do it with CHDK which can only be used on Canons.
  • I wrote a post in the Flexipilot/EasyUAV thread at RCGroups describing chdk triggering, including working script and pictures a while ago. Should be possible to find. brakar
  • Well now that I have gone back to the CHDK wiki and seen that they have updated their list of supported cameras and have found a nice small form factor and very affordable Canon, I may just roll with this. Its a toss up but I think I may go with the Canon SD 980IS with the CHDK firmware. There is a "switch" you can build to plug into the camera but Im sure I read somewhere that you can plug the camera directly to the Ardupilot via USB from the camera and that when you set up designated spots in the software where to take pictures, it will send a 3v or 5v (or something) signal to the USB port on the camera and that will get it to take the picture.

    If I am misunderstanding this please someone let me know.
  • As much as I want to add another Canon camera to my collection I have been considering the more affordable alternative, Pentax. I hope I am not beating a dead horse on this but if I get a Pentax that has a USB port (if its needed) how would this suggested item here be interfaced with the camera? I also noticed that the page for that item says its ready to go out of the box, now I know what that means so I hope this doesn't come off as a rhetorical question but other then hooking it up to the camera is this thing going to do what I want it to do out of the box or am I going to need to do some code editing?
  • 3D Robotics
    We sell this one which you can interface with ArduPilot. Or just use a camera that has sequential shutter mode (the Pentax point and shoots do)
  • Jason, I use CHDK ( ) and run it from the SD card. Basically, it's a set of scripts that allows you to program your camera for all sorts of autonomous things like auto triggering. It's an awesome opensource project that has lots of applications outside of aerial photography.

    As far as I know this it only works on Canon cameras but there might be a similar project for other manufacturers too.

  • Moderator
    A simple way might be to just fasten the camera shutter button down so that it will constantly take pictures, but this might not work on some cameras. Otherwise you will need to buy a controller that is abit of a waste if its only gonna take timed pictures, esp a waste cuz it will need its own power supply if you don't have a free channel. Otherwise, another common method is to simply mount a R/C servo on your camera to push the button when you want but it does require another channel. I would reccomend that you buy a new receiver and transmitter. It will be a good investment if you plan on fling more complex aircraft with flaps/ gear, or a camera trigger/ autopilot switch

    Have a look at the forums under the aerial photography section, there is plenty of about camera trigger info there.
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