Monday, January 18, 2010

Auto KAP with a 555 timer

In order to get my camera to take pictures automatically, I installed a 555 timer onto the circuitry of the camera and literally removed and replaced the shutter button.

The 555 timer sells at Radio Shack for less than $2.00. I purchased two in case I messed up the first one. The packaging of the timer comes with a schematic that shows the pin-out of the device, and Wikipedia has detailed schematics for the circuit that creates the timing intervals, (look up 555 timers on Wikipedia).

All you need is positive, ground, and output. When reviewing the Wikipedia page, use the Astable schematic, which will allow for the device to take pictures repeatedly.

One lesson I learned was that I had a very difficult time disassembling the camera I bought from eBay, and in the end I had to simply take a pair of cutter and break some of the plastic housing in order to get the camera apart. The next time I do this, I’ll purchase a fully functional camera, as well as one that is selling as “for parts only” of the same make and model. I’ll use the broken camera to learn how to disassemble that particular model. If I break it, so what, it’s already non functional anyway.

After having installed the 555 timer, I tested it to make sure it worked and then I used a hot glue gun and poured hot glue over the entire circuitry of the newly installed timer so that it would not be exposed to the outdoor environment.
That was my second mistake. If I had made the circuit with some kind of plug connector between the 555 output and the shutter circuit in the camera, I would now be able to power on the camera without having it immediately start taking pictures. I also would be able to use the video function from my kite, but the 555 timer will now cause the camera to take only 4 second videos

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