intervalometer for daylight hours - Feature Requests - CHDK Forum

intervalometer for daylight hours

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intervalometer for daylight hours
« on: 24 / March / 2013, 18:17:37 »
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Hi,

I am new to CHDK and timelapse. I have been able to load and try out a few different intervalometer scripts but so far have not found the functionality I am looking for. I did do a search of this forum with no luck.

What I would like to do is set up my Canon PowerShot SX130IS to take a series of pics every day for a year. One pic every hour during daylight hours. I would obviously not need to shoot during non-daylight hours. I currently have it set up to take one pic every hour using the "Unlimited Interval Shooting" script, but that goes 24 hours.

Any thoughts on an available script that would do this would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #1 on: 24 / March / 2013, 19:21:40 »
Any thoughts on an available script that would do this would be greatly appreciated.
While a script that does what you want on a day to day basis would be easy to create,  the real issue is that you really can't expect to leave your camera running for a whole year.  For one thing,  the internal tic time will "wrap" after about 50 days and things will likely crash at that point.  But more realistically, neither the Canon firmware or CHDK were designed or tested to run for that long - you can pretty much expect something to crash before the 50 days, never mind a whole year.

So what you probably really want to do is rig up an external timer to power the camera up & down every day.  Assuming you are using an external power supply (as your batteries will not last a year either) then you could even get away with a simple light timer.  Make sure the power comes on prior to the earliest dawn time and goes off later than the latest sunset time.   The trickly bit is getting the camera to startup when the power is applied.   You either need a mechanical plunger / servo arrangement on the on/off switch or a hack to add wires in parralllel with the switch and a small external timer circuit.   You get the idea I hope ...

Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #2 on: 25 / March / 2013, 07:15:48 »
Thanks so much for your reply. I was hoping to set this up and not have to worry about starting it each morning, but only worry about downloading periodically. Sounds like I need to rethink this. The camera is mounted in my home so guess I'll just have to set the reminder alarm clock for a power up each morning and power down each evening.

Do you think that running it as I describe for a week while away would be a concern if I am usually powering down each evening?

Thanks.

Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #3 on: 25 / March / 2013, 08:35:09 »
Thanks so much for your reply. I was hoping to set this up and not have to worry about starting it each morning, but only worry about downloading periodically. Sounds like I need to rethink this. The camera is mounted in my home so guess I'll just have to set the reminder alarm clock for a power up each morning and power down each evening.
Should be easy enough to have the camera shut itself off automatically after dark so you'd only have to remember to power it up in the morning.

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Do you think that running it as I describe for a week while away would be a concern if I am usually powering down each evening?
My guess is that a week would be fine but its just a guess.  I seem to recall at least one forum conversation from somebody who tried this and who got extended periods of successful operation with occasional apparently random shutdowns.   I'll look for the thread - IIRC there was an actual calculation of sun rise & sun set - although you could simple check brightness levels and start / stop shooting based on that. 

You might even set this up and just let it run to see how well it works.  Worst case, you can reset it every weekend as you downloaded the weeks shots. At this point,  its a "try it and see" I guess.

Update :  forum searching seems to get harder every year as the volume grows but I managed to find this :
     15 Month Construction Time Lapse?
and it seems somebody made a wiki page of the referenced script and posted it here :
     Selective Intervalometer

Also, I found an old post where reyalp pointed out that some of the old CHDK cameras would power up when a signal is applied to the USB port.  If you are interested in that approach you can probably find one on eBay.  I'm pretty sure srsa_4c could tell you which ones.
« Last Edit: 25 / March / 2013, 09:13:56 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16


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Offline lapser

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Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #4 on: 25 / March / 2013, 12:34:08 »
I seem to recall at least one forum conversation from somebody who tried this and who got extended periods of successful operation with occasional apparently random shutdowns.
Were the random shut downs in Lua with a strange error message? I think I've tracked that one down to a bug in Lua yield(). That could be avoided with a long sleep between shots rather than a loop with short sleep(10).

Do you think it would work to have the script reboot the camera at the beginning of each day? It's probably worth a try before building complicated hardware hacks to turn on the camera. Maybe you could shift to play mode and turn off the display at night to minimize the amount of camera activity during the long inactive periods.
EOS-M3_120f / SX50_100b / SX260_101a / G1X_100g / D20_100b
https://www.youtube.com/user/DrLapser/videos

Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #5 on: 25 / March / 2013, 12:40:00 »
Were the random shut downs in Lua with a strange error message?
I don't know.

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Do you think it would work to have the script reboot the camera at the beginning of each day?
Good idea - he could try to use the reboot() command every morning :

http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/Script_commands#reboot.28.5Bfile.5D.29

with the intervalometer script set to autostart.   The notes on the wiki page are a little scary though - looks more like a forced crash than a clean reboot.
« Last Edit: 25 / March / 2013, 12:43:26 by waterwingz »
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #6 on: 25 / March / 2013, 13:29:54 »
Hey, thank you both for your input. While I'm not quite ready to start writing my own scripts yet, I will try out the Selective Intervalometer script. That one looks very promising. I very much appreciate your help!

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Offline lapser

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Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #7 on: 25 / March / 2013, 13:41:29 »
The notes on the wiki page are a little scary though - looks more like a forced crash than a clean reboot.
"Canon camera settings that are normally saved on shutdown are not saved. This includes the exposure counter."

That could be a deal killer if the exposure count doesn't get updated. The picture file names could be duplicated. I've crashed the camera, leaving the lens extended, many times. I've never noticed the file names duplicating, but I haven't checked for it.

I wonder what would happen if you just reset the tick count back to 0? I suspect that all reyalp would break loose!
EOS-M3_120f / SX50_100b / SX260_101a / G1X_100g / D20_100b
https://www.youtube.com/user/DrLapser/videos


Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #8 on: 25 / March / 2013, 14:07:22 »
Hey, thank you both for your input. While I'm not quite ready to start writing my own scripts yet, I will try out the Selective Intervalometer script. That one looks very promising. I very much appreciate your help!
I might just play with adding daylight detection to the code.  And / or possibly sun rise & sun set based on this http://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=3815 now that we have trig function support in Lua.

That could be a deal killer if the exposure count doesn't get updated. The picture file names could be duplicated. I've crashed the camera, leaving the lens extended, many times. I've never noticed the file names duplicating, but I haven't checked for it.
I suppose I could risk testing with my disposable camera  (A1200) - { reboot,  shoot 10 shots,  reboot,  repeat. } and see what happens.

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I wonder what would happen if you just reset the tick count back to 0? I suspect that all reyalp would break loose!
Well,  anything waiting for the tic time to hit some value would end up waiting a long time.  Or as another frequent poster likes to say cRaSH!
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

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Offline srsa_4c

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Re: intervalometer for daylight hours
« Reply #9 on: 25 / March / 2013, 14:14:32 »
I suppose I could risk testing with my disposable camera  (A1200) - { reboot,  shoot 10 shots,  reboot,  repeat. } and see what happens.
It's probably noted somewhere, but only reboot when the lens is in retracted state. This is even more important for a camera with a more complicated lens unit (like the SX130).

 

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