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buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)

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buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« on: 24 / September / 2012, 13:34:22 »
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for those who don't want be bothered with making a remote control... there's a really easy solution.

I discovered this by coincidence. I bought with my amazon order my sx40 and some other stuff, among them a USB charger. It uses 2 normal AA batteries to charge USB devices.... and after a month or so... the idea struck me!!! I can use the USB charger as a power source for the remote control and use the camera's USB cable... no soldering whatsoever needed!! and it worked :)

This is the model I bought: (this is the old link, name changed)
http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Battery-Powered-Emergency-Flashlight/dp/B003XTI5NE/ref=sr_1_13?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1321366809&sr=1-13

I bought it for 2.87 USD, and it has an on\off switch that can be used as the release button. Also, it triples as a flashlight.
So, for 2.78 USD I got: USB charger, flashlight, and a CHDK remote control  :D

There are many other sellers who sell the same exact model, search for the cheapest and most reliable.

One con of this setup is the slide switch on the USB charger. It's not of great quality, and I don't think it can endure a lot of turn offs and ons. You can search for other models though.


Note:
I had some problems with older CHDK versions. Not because of the USB charger, but because the older CHDK programming made using (switch) type button for a remote control almost useless. But the new version I'm using now (1.2.0 - 2171) is prefect.

Go to the CHDK settings and enable the remote control and set it to:
  switch Type: OnePush
  Control Mode: Normal
and you're good to go  ;)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

my eye: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS :)

Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #1 on: 24 / September / 2012, 17:44:30 »
I discovered this by coincidence. I bought with my amazon order my sx40 and some other stuff, among them a USB charger. It uses 2 normal AA batteries to charge USB devices.... and after a month or so... the idea struck me!!! I can use the USB charger as a power source for the remote control and use the camera's USB cable... no soldering whatsoever needed!! and it worked :)
Nice idea - I think I'll try it too.

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One con of this setup is the slide switch on the USB charger. It's not of great quality, and I don't think it can endure a lot of turn offs and ons. You can search for other models though.
There seems to be several different versions of this floating around - I wonder if we can find one that has enough space to sneak in a small pushbutton switch.  That will take some soldering but could be worth it.

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I had some problems with older CHDK versions. Not because of the USB charger, but because the older CHDK programming made using (switch) type button for a remote control almost useless. But the new version I'm using now (1.2.0 - 2171) is prefect.
Glad you like it ! It was technically possible to setup the old version to work as a "one press" but it was really hard to understand how.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #2 on: 25 / September / 2012, 09:51:11 »
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There seems to be several different versions of this floating around - I wonder if we can find one that has enough space to sneak in a small pushbutton switch.  That will take some soldering but could be worth it.
I think I remember that I found an usb charger with one battery... it was shaped like a battery. Now a pushbutton on top of that would be great.
But I'm not 100% sure what I remember is correct cause it was about a year ago.

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Glad you like it ! It was technically possible to setup the old version to work as a "one press" but it was really hard to understand how.
I know, I remember you told me in SX40HS porting thread ;)
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

my eye: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS :)

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Offline Paco

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Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #3 on: 29 / September / 2014, 17:29:03 »
for those who don't want be bothered with making a remote control... there's a really easy solution.
Hey DUDE, this suggestion borders on brilliant! Although I have full capability of designing and building a remote trigger, I will always buy a CHEAP Chinese ready-made unit and re-purpose it any day. I am amazed at what they can make and sell for next to nothing and yet give you something that works.

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This is the model I bought: (this is the old link, name changed)
http://www.amazon.com/Portable-Battery-Powered-Emergency-Flashlight/dp/B003XTI5NE/ref=sr_1_13?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1321366809&sr=1-13

I bought it for 2.87 USD, and it has an on\off switch that can be used as the release button. Also, it triples as a flashlight.
So, for 2.78 USD I got: USB charger, flashlight, and a CHDK remote control  :D

There are many other sellers who sell the same exact model, search for the cheapest and most reliable.
The price went WAY up. It is now $7.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35 and although it says 9 new from $2.16 , you find that the prices with shipping are all the same. Even the one that is $2.16 has a $4.99 shipping charge. And then there's the TAX. E-e-e-e-h-h-h! I haven't bought anything on Amazon since the time I started to order a cable modem and saw that they were now charging sales tax. I ordered the same model from  B&H and saved about $22 over Amazon's total price. But don't despair. Now the Chinese sellers on eBay have taken over and you can get a AA External Battery Emergency USB Charger that is identical to yours for as little as $1.75 with free shipping all the way from Hong Kong. You've gotta love that. I have had nothing but good experiences buying stuff from these guys. They bend over backwards to please you so they can get good ratings.

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One con of this setup is the slide switch on the USB charger. It's not of great quality, and I don't think it can endure a lot of turn offs and ons. You can search for other models though.
Even if it does not last, you could easily replace it with a pushbutton switch from China. One slight concern I had was what happens if you leave the switch on? A number of people in the 1 star ratings said the unit overheats to an extreme when charging their phones. Would this keep supplying a current to the camera and fry it if you left it on?

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Go to the CHDK settings and enable the remote control and set it to:
  switch Type: OnePush
  Control Mode: Normal
and you're good to go  ;)
Is the reason you use Normal instead of Quick so you are forced to turn the switch off before it will trigger and thus avoid the possible situation I outlined above?
« Last Edit: 29 / September / 2014, 17:32:05 by Paco »


Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #4 on: 29 / September / 2014, 23:18:31 »
I glad you find my post useful  :)

[One slight concern I had was what happens if you leave the switch on? A number of people in the 1 star ratings said the unit overheats to an extreme when charging their phones. Would this keep supplying a current to the camera and fry it if you left it on?
I haven't tried it but I wouldn't worry about the running current because that's what the camera is designed to deal with. Remember that the remote control hack is simply taking advantage of the camera-computer USB port. And USB ports constantly supply 2 currents (5v and 12v). Otherwise the hack would be just pushing electric current on a circuit not designed to take it, and that'd have been dangerous to begin with.

Regarding the heating, It isn't a problem because I think units heat up only when the connected device draws high current (500 mA). I think most Canon cameras don't have USB charging (mine doesn't) so they draw low current. Therefore, you shouldn't have any overheating problems.  :)

These are just conclusions I reached based on the general information I know, and I'm not 100% sure about the correctness of my conclusions. So use with caution ;)

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Is the reason you use Normal instead of Quick so you are forced to turn the switch off before it will trigger and thus avoid the possible situation I outlined above?
No, it's just the easiest and most practical mode for me. Otherwise you have to make a very quick on and off to trigger the shutter and it's really difficult on that flimsy switch.

P.S. I'm a traitor cause I sold my Canon about a month ago and upgraded to a mirrorless Fuji  8)
« Last Edit: 29 / September / 2014, 23:22:33 by FREE Spirit »
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

my eye: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS :)

Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #5 on: 30 / September / 2014, 00:06:06 »
And USB ports constantly supply 2 currents (5v and 12v). Otherwise the hack would be just pushing electric current on a circuit not designed to take it, and that'd have been dangerous to begin with.
USB ports don't use 12V - they are 5V only connections.

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Regarding the heating, It isn't a problem because I think units heat up only when the connected device draws high current (500 mA). I think most Canon cameras don't have USB charging (mine doesn't) so they draw low current. Therefore, you shouldn't have any overheating problems.  :)
The camera input USB circuit draws almost no power,  so there is no worry about overheating.  (Except for the Powershot N - which charges via its USB port).

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No, it's just the easiest and most practical mode for me. Otherwise you have to make a very quick on and off to trigger the shutter and it's really difficult on that flimsy switch.
I suspect you are talking about why you use "one push" instead of "two push" as the input mode.   Paco was asking about the Control mode called "quick" rather than "normal".  The "quick" mode fires the shutter as soon as the USB 5V is detected - it does not care how quickly you release the button.
« Last Edit: 30 / September / 2014, 00:16:40 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

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Offline Paco

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Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #6 on: 30 / September / 2014, 01:01:57 »
The camera input USB circuit draws almost no power,  so there is no worry about overheating.  (Except for the Powershot N - which charges via its USB port).

Have you measured the current? Maybe there is a current-limiting device on the inputs. I would hope…

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Paco was asking about the Control mode called "quick" rather than "normal".  The "quick" mode fires the shutter as soon as the USB 5V is detected - it does not care how quickly you release the button.

It is supposed to work that way but on mine it doesn't. In either mode, the shutter triggers as soon as +5V is applied. Normal mode does not wait until it is removed for some reason. (I am simply plugging and unplugging the USB cable to test this feature out)

Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #7 on: 30 / September / 2014, 03:14:55 »
USB ports don't use 12V - they are 5V only connections.
You're right. I'm sorry, I confused USB port with computers' internal power cables.

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The camera input USB circuit draws almost no power,  so there is no worry about overheating.  (Except for the Powershot N - which charges via its USB port).
Yea we agree  :)

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I suspect you are talking about why you use "one push" instead of "two push" as the input mode.   Paco was asking about the Control mode called "quick" rather than "normal".  The "quick" mode fires the shutter as soon as the USB 5V is detected - it does not care how quickly you release the button.
Ah, I forgot about that, but still my choice was based on convenience rather than fear.

Thanks for correcting my info  :)
« Last Edit: 30 / September / 2014, 03:17:16 by FREE Spirit »
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

my eye: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS :)


Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #8 on: 30 / September / 2014, 03:30:36 »
Have you measured the current? Maybe there is a current-limiting device on the inputs. I would hope…
You don't need one. The camera is designed to handle USB current standards, and your charger supplys standard USB current. The only thing you need to be worried about is your charger malfunctioning and supplying 10v instead of 5v for example, which I think is highly unlikely to happen.

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It is supposed to work that way but on mine it doesn't. In either mode, the shutter triggers as soon as +5V is applied. Normal mode does not wait until it is removed for some reason. (I am simply plugging and unplugging the USB cable to test this feature out)
I remember having some difficulty getting the camera to do what I wanted it to. I kept trying different settings until I got there. Unfortunately I can't help you with cause I don't have my camera anymore and I don't remember the details of the settings
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

my eye: Canon PowerShot SX40 HS :)

Re: buy a cheap ready-made remote control (no DIY, no soldering)
« Reply #9 on: 30 / September / 2014, 08:34:30 »
It is supposed to work that way but on mine it doesn't. In either mode, the shutter triggers as soon as +5V is applied. Normal mode does not wait until it is removed for some reason. (I am simply plugging and unplugging the USB cable to test this feature out)
That is quite unusual.  I'm a little bit familiar with the USB remote code and I have access to six different camera models - none of which do that.  However, I guess it's possible here is an error in the port for your A530 - the USB status bit might be inverted (for example).

Can you post a screen shot of the USB remote menu showing your setup?  For example, do you have "Sync" enabled ?   If so, the CHDK code will initiate the shot when the 5V is applied )but it won't complete until it is removed).
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

 

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