Brian's Timer

Brian

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I finally cracked the problem with my program and was able to use addressable switches and put the refresh opto, shutter opto, LED and external flash control all on one pin.  This freed up a pin for the CDS cell for day/night operation and a pin for RS232 transmition to the computer for trouble shooting for me.

The only question I have for everyone is this.

On the CDS cell.  What do we need the day night operation for.  In my mind I would like it for say catching a picture of someone driving down a pipeline (trespassing) so I would want to set the camera up for daytime pictures only so it would not flash right.  I would also turn the flash off.  This would be the only time I would probably not want the flash unit working.  If I wanted it to only take pictures at night then the flash doesn't matter.

What I am trying to get at is the setting of the CDS cell. I wanted everyone opinion on how accurate the CDS cell would need to be in the transistion periods of dusk and twilight.  If you are taking pictures of deer no problem.  You have access to the flash via the camera and if for tresspassers it would be the same.  I guess the only problem is that the CDS cells vary somewhat even in a particular group that are suppose to be the same so any calibration I do will be off some at twilight and at dusk so the camera operations will also have to be used to control the flash so it will guarantee that the flash will not work if you want daylight only pictures.
Also, I have programmed the chip to ignore the external flash commands if in daylight only mode.

I want to know everyone's opinion on this as far as the CDS cell is concerned.  I plan on calibrating it by using the Owl PF.  I will set the unit up and hook it up to a computer and watch the CDS reading and when it starts to get dark start pushing the shutter button until the PF flashes once this happens then I know what the reading for the CDS cell needs to be and that will be my number that is hard coded for the calibration for dark.  I will do the same for daylight. (ah man I have to get up early this is going to cost ya'll  :smile-blue)

The additional cost of the switches may make this not so good for most of you trying to keep cost down but the functionality may be worth it.  

The addressable switches add $2.00 a piece to the cost and you will need one for the shutter, the refresh and the external flash(the optos will not work with pulling in the external flash so a relay will be needed along with a transistor driver).  I can even add a temp sensor on the one wire bus to give people in the south an over temp shutdown.  This adds about $6 by itself but it may pay for itself in pictures.

So if someone wanted all this stuff it would add $12 dollars in parts alone.  I haven't laid out the board yet but it would only be slightly larger.

None of this stuff is in concrete but I have it all working and I will be tweaking it over the next couple weeks with all of your input.

I will probably offer this as a completed board.

There are a lot of details that I have not listed here because I am still working them out.  I just wanted to post this so I could get some feedback on the CDS stuff.
 



Hill Hopper

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For the time being, I'd leave it as it is, or offer it as a different chip. Later, there may be more demand, but right now, I don't see it. Just my openion.

Butch
 

Brian

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This will definitely be a different chip setup.  The original chip will still be available.  This is just me playing with some new features that I thought would be cool.  I feel like most people will not want the new stuff but some may.
 

ArkansasElkHunter

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Brian,

I'm definitly interested.  I'm an Option type of guy.  I like bells and whistles as long as the control sequence is simple.  I was intimidated by the first chip at first but they are really easy to use, and setup.  It's easy and like you said after a couple of times it's really straight forward.

I'm not planing any recon with my camera so i'm not sure that calibration is that important.  If I had it set to day only I want to make sure it still took pictures all the way to dark.  I'm just thinking there are times when a camera will flash during the day in the shade when it's cloudy.  I'd still want a picture at that time.  I'll have my flash turned off when i want day only anyway, I just wouldn't want the camera to shut down early.

I'm thinking more for this chip on my digital set-up.
 

Brian

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I think your right.  I will run the calibration all the way to the point the camera would probably flash but it is not really dark yet.  This way if a storm rolls in or clouds the system will still work up to the last bit of light.
 

TNDEERHUNTER

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Brian I agree, I would want it to take pics up to the last minute of daylight. I have people coming in on my property (610 acres)and I have been wanting to set up some of my cams to catch them. They have not only tore down two of my gates but they have stolen them and the posts.I have been reading up on infared film but sounds expensive. I would be interested in a chip like you are talking about.Thanks for all your hard work.
 

Tinhorn

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Good Work Brian, u-da-man!

I've been out of town over a week and see that I missed about 3 pages worth, of posts,  wow, that's great, YAWN.....  (from being up late, not bored)

I think I would sometimes want to turn off the camera during daylight hours for these reasons:

1.  When over bait, so no pix's of crows, etc.  The birds will be on the roost
       (too bad but lose turkeys too)

2.  Hot weather and PIR problems (Thermo Switch would/could take care of this tho)

3.  During the windy season, I get too many false alarm pix's, the winds usually lay             after dark.  (I've noticed I seldom get false alarm pix's after dark)

I don't think sensitiviey would be critical for my needs, actually would not want it to be full dark before cam energized.  

I can't think of any reasons why I, personally, would want to have Day-Time Only Pix's, by the way

Tinhorn
 

jayber

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I can give a reason for daytime only pics......how about seeing what deer are in or passing through a particular area during legal shooting hours?
 

Gator

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Jayber,  It has been my experience over the last 4 years of taking deer cam pics, that most of my buck pics are at night.  I usually put my cams near a food source knowing that I will get the most bang for my buck(no pun intended).  All I am doing is scouting to see what is in the area.  Knowing that during the rut some of these bucks will move in the daytime.  These night pics tell me which direction they are coming in from and leaving and so forth so I can setup in the woods accordingly.  I will move some of my cams in the woods around prerut on scrape and rub lines, but even most of these pics are at night.  I think I got a total of about 6 daytime pics of decent bucks this past season, but probably got 15 different decent bucks on film that I wouldn't have known was around if I had it set for day pics only.  I personally want to know all I can about the # and quality of bucks in the area I hunt, even though most of them are primarily going to move at night, in hopes that if I do everything right maybe I can catch one of them on the move during the rut.  Just my 2 cents worth about night pics.
 

jayber

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I totally agree with ya Gator.  That is why I don't bother with having a day only, or nite only for that matter, setting.  For me, it's more advantageous to have the thing run 24-7.  For some, it might not.
 

ArkansasElkHunter

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A local Gas company wants me to build them 10 cameras in plain old grey junction box's to put on some of their locations that they have a problem with vandelism at.  They wan't to bolt them to a header, even wanr some flex. conduit coming out to make them look real.  I know they can just turn the flash off, but it would still be nice to have the day only option for this type of use.

I would also like to play at my feeder with it.  I watch the deer at night so I'm pretty sure about what is out there.  My deer don't like the flash, so I would just like to take some rools of all day pics.
 

Brian

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I am working on finishing it up.  I bought some of the switches in the surface mount style so I can integrate them into my design a little easier.

With a test this past week and Easter Coming up this weekend my work time has been cut to just about zero lately.

Will pick it up as soon as I can.  It all works I just need to finish it up.
 

jayber

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I feel for ya Brian, buddy!  I'm gonna take a little hiatus from camera building myself.  I told the wife a few weeks ago that I was done for awhile, but it was a couple of days later and I was starting my digital.  HeHe  Got two cameras in the woods currently.....think I'll just sit back and let them take pics.  Like I have a choice......got a baby coming in 4-5 weeks and the wife's got a loooonnng list of Honey Do's.......yikes!!
 

Brian

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Jayber, Man I thought my time was at a minimum.  Yours is just about to cease all together.
Sounds like you got your camera making done just in time.  I am pushing off the little rug rats for as long as I can but my wife may see it differently.  Her sister had a baby several months ago and my wife thinks that little rat hung the moon.  She is a cutie but a lot of responsibility.

That digital should help the save a little money after the initial cost any way.  I haven't develped film in over a year.  Kind of got spoiled.

My wife has been pulling out the Honey Dos lately too.  Not near as long as yours but a pain none the less.  Got to love her though if she is capable of putting up with me.

:crygreen:


Congrats! again.
 

jayber

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Was lucky to have time to get the digital and a 35mm up in the woods on friday.  I tested the waters sunday afternoon to see if there was a chance I could peek at the digital, but FORGET THAT!!  Thankfully I'm travelling next week.....for sure I'll be scheduling it so that I have time to visit the woods on my way through!  
 

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