Ultimate Intervalometer - a script for shooting over a long duration - v4.5

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A question: 
1) what is the info in brackets after the Tv value?  i.e. [t323|a362|s507|b50]
When the script checks the current exposure values,  its gets the shutter speed (tv) the aperature setting (av), the ISO sensitivity setting (sv) and the scene luminance value (bv).  So the t,a,s,&b values are a printout of the actual measured values.  They are just there for interest and potential future improvements.  You can get the same information from your photos EXIF tags (although obviously not during periods where the script isn't shooting).

Internally,  these are stored a unit system called APEX96 - based on the APEX system described here : http://dougkerr.net/pumpkin/articles/APEX.pdf  but each value is multiplied by 96 to make then usable in an integer math environment.

As I said in my first note, using the bv value is probably a better way to start and stop shooting. However, I think that a minimum shutter speed is easier for people to understand than millicandela  so I went with that.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Ultimate Intervelometer script
« Reply #11 on: 23 / May / 2013, 09:18:42 »
The batteries are 'hot swappable', the camera does not need to be turned off.
It would be nice to see a schematic (or wiring diagram) of how you put everything together.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Re: Ultimate Intervelometer script
« Reply #12 on: 23 / May / 2013, 09:41:57 »
The batteries are 'hot swappable', the camera does not need to be turned off.
It would be nice to see a schematic (or wiring diagram) of how you put everything together.

I do not have any suitable drawing tools but that does not matter, it is so simple.
The battery powers a buck/boost voltage converter.
The converter +ve terminal connects to the cathodes of two diodes and the diode anodes are connected to wires that terminate in two Faston tag connectors for the battery +ve.
The converter -ve terminal simply connects to two wires terminated with Faston connectors.
Connect the new battery, disconnect the old battery.

HOWEVER, I will no longer be using this in my applications because I wish to turn off the camera anyway when I visit the location.

In addition, I have a rig recording an apple tree from bare branch to fruit.
When I checked this morning, the lens was extended and the protection covers closed.
The one-amp diode had gone short circuit and melted the (possibly poor) solder connection.
I reconnected without the diode and it is still working.

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Offline bwh13

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Thanks for the info on the log file values: much appreciated!

I've got a mini-report on the Ultimate script.
I've done two test runs (both very short - I'm still working off the internal battery.  The parts to power the rig have been ordered and are en route.  I'll update the post when I get a working solar battery setup.)

The first test I ran took a picture every 2 minutes and and everything worked perfectly.  The 760mAh internal battery ran out after 3 hours.  It's an old battery.  I expected as much.

The second test took a picture every hour and worked perfectly as well.  The battery didn't run out in the 7 hours that I ran the test.  After every shot the playback mode came on to display the picture just taken.  This lasted about 5 seconds.  I presume that is according to spec.

One thing that I will bring to your attention is the ultimate.log file that is created.  I was going over the 1 hour test log and noted that for every minute there were approximately 4 entries noting that the display had changed.  There was no such log info with the 2 minute test.  I've included some of that log info below:
MAY 25 12:15:34:2013: === Started: 12:15 ===
MAY 25 12:15:35:2013: CHDK 1.2.0-2797 ixus70_sd1000 101b May 20 2013
MAY 25 12:15:36:2013: CHDK version 120 okay
MAY 25 12:15:40:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:15:41:2013: starting a new day
MAY 25 12:15:42:2013: start time : 06:00 stop time : 20:00
MAY 25 12:16:52:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:17:26:2013: display off
MAY 25 12:17:27:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:17:41:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:17:56:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:18:11:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:18:26:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:18:41:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:18:56:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:19:11:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:19:26:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:19:41:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:19:56:2013: display changed
...
MAY 25 12:59:11:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:59:26:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:59:41:2013: display changed
MAY 25 12:59:56:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:00:09:2013: --shot: 1 tv:1/500  [t890|a448|s795|b543]
MAY 25 13:00:13:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:00:15:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:00:18:2013: display on
MAY 25 13:00:21:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:00:59:2013: display off
MAY 25 13:01:00:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:01:14:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:01:29:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:01:44:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:01:59:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:02:14:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:02:29:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:02:44:2013: display changed
MAY 25 13:02:59:2013: display changed

The file looks like this for pretty much the entire 7 hours.  The file size for this test was only 56KB, but for a weeks or months long deployment, it could be significant.  Is this a result of one of the settings that I chose?  I went for maximum screen blanking to conserve battery power, but I doubt that would drive this logging.

Thanks again for your attention; I'll be testing the reboot configuration the next couple of days and be going for my solar build.  I'll keep you posted.

One last thing:  is there a way for the log file to capture battery voltage?  Or maybe internal temperature?
Thanks!


After every shot the playback mode came on to display the picture just taken.  This lasted about 5 seconds.  I presume that is according to spec.
The script supports multiple "power savings" modes.  Your SD1000 has an optical view finder so the the DISP button on your camera should be capable of totally disabling the LCD display.  Just select the DispKey option for the "Display blanking mode" parameter.  This mode actually saves more power than any other incidentally.  If you press the "SET" button (or anything other than "MENU") the display will come on for 30 seconds/button press if you want to see what's happening.

As far as the playback mode coming on to display the picture just taken, that's something you setup in the Canon menu while in shooting mode.  The menu item will say something like "Review" and may give you choices like OFF,  2 sec, 3 sec, ... HOLD  (taken from my A1200 menu - YMMV).  Select OFF and the switch to playback mode after each shot will not happen.

Quote
One thing that I will bring to your attention is the ultimate.log file that is created. 
..
MAY 25 12:18:11:2013: display changed
...
The file looks like this for pretty much the entire 7 hours.  The file size for this test was only 56KB, but for a weeks or months long deployment, it could be significant.  Is this a result of one of the settings that I chose?  I went for maximum screen blanking to conserve battery power, but I doubt that would drive this logging.
Frankly,  I didn't pay much attention to what I was shoving in the log file.  Even with months of running you would only use up the equivalent of one or two photos.  However,  the "display change" was more of a debug message I used while trying to get the various power savings, display blanking and display enable from a button press working.  I'll nuke it. 

I also gave some thought to adding two logging levels - normal and verbose.  But that's a bit bigger cleanup project than I have time for today.

Quote
Thanks again for your attention; I'll be testing the reboot configuration the next couple of days and be going for my solar build.  I'll keep you posted.
The reboot is probably the dodgiest part of the code - I did a lot of testing but testing ones own code is at best suspect in most cases.

Quote
One last thing:  is there a way for the log file to capture battery voltage?  Or maybe internal temperature?
Trivial change - I'll add to the shooting log printf statements.

Updated version later today.

Note to Myself
One additional feature that occurs to me.  When going to night mode,  it might be nice to switch the camera to playback mode (even if a different power saving mode is selected) so that the len retracts. Keep the lens clean, safe and maybe condensation free?   The only issue would be Tv mode - where it would have to come out of playback mode to periodically check the exposure.  Need to think a bit more about that one.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

Updated the download link to v1.6.   This version gets rid of "display changed" log prints when display mode does not actually change. 

https://www.box.com/s/muq2pumz3cqv5qk7kpej

Also added Optics temperature & Battery voltage to the little status string at the end of every shoot log statement.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

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Offline blackhole

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    • Planetary astrophotography
Quote
When going to night mode,  it might be nice to switch the camera to playback mode (even if a different power saving mode is selected) so that the len retracts.
It is a good idea.
I often use the camera outdoors at night, and condensation can be a big problem, especially if the lens is directed toward the sky.With the gradual warming camera, the problem becomes even worse with falling ambient temperature.

I often use the camera outdoors at night, and condensation can be a big problem, especially if the lens is directed toward the sky.With the gradual warming camera, the problem becomes even worse with falling ambient temperature.
Hmmm ... this is tricky.

If the camera is warmer than the ambient air,  it seems like should not cause condensation?

In winter,  when I come in from outside my cold glasses "fog up" (cold glass & warmer air).  In the summer,  when I leave an air conditioned room and go out into the heat & humidity - same issue.

But at night as the outside air temperature drops,  it cannot hold as much moisture so some of it condenses out and becomes "dew".  I'm not sure if warm vs cold surfaces make much difference at that point?
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16


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Offline blackhole

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  • A590IS 101b
    • Planetary astrophotography
On the lens appears fog with falling outdoor temperatures. I deal with it with a home-made heater that warms the air in front of the lens, inside the dew shield. The same problem occurs in people who have an airtight cooled camera on the outside of the glass in front of the sensor (in this case the warmer side) appears water droplets.

Updated to version 1.7 with the addition of code to automatically disable flash,  image stabilization and focus assist lamp.  These should all be OFF for tripod mounted intervalometer shots.
Ported :   A1200    SD940   G10    Powershot N    G16

 

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