Arduino Camera Trigger: circuits & code

01.06.2014

Despite the distractions of the NFL playoffs, the camera trigger project is coming along great.  I’ve wired up both sensor types that I’ll be using – the laser “tripwire” as well as the sound / vibration sensor.  Surprisingly, both worked on the first try.  I hooked each one up as a separate circuit, with a test LED for each to make sure everything is working properly.  The piezo element I used for testing was not very sensitive, but I’ll be swapping that out with a larger, unshielded one for game-time, so I’m not too concerned.

The flash trigger was a bit trickier, since I’ve never used an optoisolator before, although after a bit of messing around I ultimately prevailed.  I set this up as a separate circuit as well for testing purposes.

Here are the 3 test circuits wired up on a breadboard:

IMG_1409

Once all of the independent circuits were operating, I set to work on some basic staging components for my photo studio.  I needed something to hold the laser pointer above the ground, something similar to hold the photoresistor, a flat surface for the piezo element (which I’ll be putting my targets on top of), and some long wires to connect everything to the Arduino.  I also needed a stand for the external flash (which luckily came with the flash itself), and a tripod for the camera.  Since this is purely a prototype, I focused more on function than on form (= it all looks a bit messy).  Luckily I had a sweet Makedo set at my disposal, which made it easy to fashion simple angled elements out of cardboard.  The rest was just wiring and masking tape.

The next step is to update the circuits and Arduino code for actual use, so that both the laser tripwire and piezo sound detector will trigger the flash.  Then it’s go time!



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