CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability

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CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« on: 29 / June / 2010, 12:53:47 »
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All,

I'm am in the process of designing and building a USB remote control with wireless capability. I am hoping to have these remotes commercial available for sale by mid August. They are very compact, serve as a multifunction remote allowing the same cable to be used for downloading photos to your computer. An off-the-shelf Canon EOS wireless remote control can be plugged in and allow full wireless capability without the need for special hardware. I'm very excited at the possibilities this remote would give to the average CHDK user. One thing I've noticed over the last year or so is many individuals asking where they could buy a remote control. I know not everyone in these forums would be interested in my remote, but I know I would be serving those whom either do not have the skills to build or the time to build their own remote.

I'm still prototyping my remote control having built two fully functional units this past weekend. I'm now working on formalizing the design and packaging.

My hope is that the remote will be as compact as a USB thumb drive and I am working with SMD components to minimize the packaging size.

I intend to photograph the two prototypes and create a movie to show the remotes functionality.
Hopefully this evening I have the opportunity to take the photos and create the movie.
I'm targeting the remote to sell for about $30 US.

I'll keep the forum up to date as I continue to make progress on this project.

Gregg

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Offline colinbm

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Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #1 on: 29 / June / 2010, 21:14:57 »
I am sitting on the edge of my chair waiting :-)

Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #2 on: 01 / July / 2010, 10:57:08 »
Anyone who might be interested in the remotes I'm building, please feel free to chime in and let me know. I'm trying to get a feel for how many I should build on the initial production run.

The units are going to be 2.6x0.9x0.6 inches (resembling a USB thumb drive) and will be all Surface Mount Devices (SMD) except for the battery, the pushbutton switch, the LED and the USB connector. The units will be constructed on a 1/32 inch printed circuit board and should be very professional in both appearance and reliability.

Each unit will be fully tested for proper operation and warranteed for 90 days. The remote will include and 18 inch long USB type A male to mini B type cable (same as you'd use to dump photos from your camera to your PC).

The wireless remote is not included at this time, but any standard Canon EOS wireless remote will work as long as it has the 2.5mm plug. I've seen these remotes range from $25 US to $100 US depending on the features and quality. I have personally tested it with the $25 and $50 wireless remotes and both work perfectly. Possibly later I'll package the remotes with the wireless options.

I'm planning on selling the remotes at either $30 US or $35 US. I'm not making any money on the first production run because the cost of the high quality parts and the small run of the PC boards. Hopefully if the remotes become popular and I am able to build larger production runs, the cost will drop accordingly.

For the techies out there, the remotes utilize a 6 volt battery with a zener diode regulating the voltage down to 4.2 volts. With the pushbutton you will see exactly 4.2 volts, which is entirely safe for the camera. With the wireless remotes there is some small internal resistance (varies slightly by unit) and causes a bit less than the regulated 4.2 volts, The voltage typically drops to about 3.8 volts, which is just fine to fire the camera. I've tested the remote on all my Canon P&S cameras including 1 - A720IS, 2 - A570IS, 1 - S5IS, 1 - A1000IS, 1 - S90, and 1 - G11. It works perfectly on all my cameras.

I will try to post photos of my prototypes soon. I'd also like to post a short movie of the operation of the remote.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,
Gregg

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Offline colinbm

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Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #3 on: 01 / July / 2010, 11:59:52 »
Yes please Gregg.
Cheers
Col


Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #4 on: 01 / July / 2010, 12:41:25 »
Definitely have you down for one Col. I have myself down for a few too. Part of the reason I'm making them in the first place is because I want one. Necessity is the mother of invention.

By the way I have not yet received your SD card. Maybe it got held up in customs?

Mine finally went out on Monday. Sorry for the delay.

Gregg

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Offline fvdk

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Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #5 on: 01 / July / 2010, 18:41:52 »
Anyone who might be interested in the remotes I'm building, please feel free to chime in and let me know. I'm trying to get a feel for how many I should build on the initial production run.

The units are going to be 2.6x0.9x0.6 inches (resembling a USB thumb drive) and will be all Surface Mount Devices (SMD) except for the battery, the pushbutton switch, the LED and the USB connector. The units will be constructed on a 1/32 inch printed circuit board and should be very professional in both appearance and reliability.

Sincerely,
Gregg

Can I ask why you need all of the components because unless I missed something, you can achieve the same result by replacing the switch of a standard USB remote by a 2.5mm female connector (or putting it parallel with the switch).
At least that is what I have done with my remote.

Frans

Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #6 on: 01 / July / 2010, 19:09:13 »
I'm not sure I understand your question, sorry.

It is not just a switch contact closure that the camera needs to see at the USB port but a small low current voltage source around 4vdc. I guess I'm confused by what you were stating. Could you be more specific in your decription of your remote control?

I'd be more than happy to explain the entire concept behind mine once I'm sure what I am comparing it to?
Mine is not only a USB remote but also the interface to a wireless remote control.

Thank you,
Gregg



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Offline fvdk

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Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #7 on: 01 / July / 2010, 19:33:21 »
I'm not sure I understand your question, sorry.

It is not just a switch contact closure that the camera needs to see at the USB port but a small low current voltage source around 4vdc. I guess I'm confused by what you were stating. Could you be more specific in your decription of your remote control?

I'd be more than happy to explain the entire concept behind mine once I'm sure what I am comparing it to?
Mine is not only a USB remote but also the interface to a wireless remote control.

Thank you,
Gregg




Well, it is simple.
See the remotes that I make http://www.flickr.com/photos/fvdk3d/sets/72157624151791739/
If on those remotes or any one like it, you replace the switch with a 2.5mm female jack plug, than it will act as an interface for any standard Canon remote with a 2.5mm plug, supplying the needed voltage.

Frans

BTW... here is another commercially available remote made especially for SDM and it has some very enhanced features.
http://www.gentles.ltd.uk/gentstereo/options.htm

And here is a very nice one for IR wireless control http://www.canoremote.de/

I have no idea how many of these they are selling but CHDK users by nature love experimenting and making their own stuff.
Most of the remotes that I have sold, are to SDM users and just a few to CHDK users.
In my opinion, it is only worthwhile if you regard it as a hobby so my advise would be not to invest too much and see how it goes.

 
« Last Edit: 01 / July / 2010, 19:53:51 by fvdk »


Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #8 on: 01 / July / 2010, 20:09:25 »
Frans,

Mine is really not too different than those except for those are non-regulated voltage sources. From the picture it looks as though it uses 4 x 1.5v cells. That is an unregulated 6vdc. Not entirely safe for the camera. I've heard that some cameras are more sensitive than others, but not sure which ones are which. I'm not going to risk my cameras to 6vdc unregulated.
Mine is a regulated 4.2vdc which is totally safe for any camera that I'm aware of.
Besides mine uses the same USB cable as you would use for copying your photos off the camera to your PC. This saves on the amount of hardware you need to carry with you.
Mine also allows you to plug in a wireless remote control so you may break away from the cord and trigger your camera up to 300 + feet away.
And besides mine will only cost a few dollars more (for those that chose to buy than build). If you have built your own and you are happy with the results, then I am probably not going to sell you one of mine. But if you are concerned about the safety of your camera and wish to have an RF wireless remote then maybe you'd be interested in what I'm going to be producing.

Best regards,
Gregg

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Offline colinbm

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Re: CHDK USB Remote Control with Wireless Capability
« Reply #9 on: 02 / July / 2010, 09:03:38 »
Hi Gregg
Simone has just posted a request on this forum, that you maybe able to help with your new remote trigger.
http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php/topic,5397.msg52356.html#msg52356
Simone wants to activate the camera remotely & have the pics sent to the computer directly.
I suggested a "Y" junction or a double USB at the dongle maybe what is required ?
If this is possible it could open another door, like wireless download :-)
Cheers
Col

 

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