Nice job on the webpage NC Bowhunter. How much hair did you loose getting it to work right? After I made my first webpage it seemed so easy, but the first couple of nights making it was torture. The learning curve almost killed me.
Enjoyed your web page, and now have it book-marked. I picked up a nice little digital camera at Circuit City for $50. It's an AGFA CL18 with a power saving feature that shuts off the camera in a few minutes. Can't figure out how I will modify this camera so that a motion detector will turn it back on?
I'm glad that you guys liked the page. It really wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I just went to geocities/yahoo's page and followed the instructions using their pagebuilder, and in one night I had finished most of it.
I wondered if the pictures take too long to load on a normal interenet connection. Since I have a cable modem, they load very quickly for me but I started wondering if I should save the pictures in a lower quality to get faster loading.
By the way Jesse: Do you remember a couple of weeks ago when you were going to add my camera to your page?
Before making a circuit to defeat the power-down feature of the cam, you need to determine how the power-down works.
There are several methods that cam manufacturers use for power-down - here are the typical ones:
1) The cam powers-down and can then be "awakened" and take a picture with a single full press *AND HOLD* of the shutter button. This is how the Canon Owl series works. This is the easiest kind of power-down to deal with. You just need to design-in a shutter press long enough that so it allows the cam to "wake up" and then take the pic (around 2-3 seconds for the Owls).
2) Once the cam powers down, it needs a half or full press *AND RELEASE* of the shutter button followed by a second full press in order to take the picture. This is how my Fuji AF 60's work.
3) The cam powers-down and needs to be physically switched off and then back on with its power switch before it can take a pic.
To add to the confusion: Any of the above power-down systems might allow you to reset the power-down timer with a half press and release of the shutter button. Other systems can only be reset when an actual picture is taken. But you probably will not want to reset the power-down, because - being a digital cam - you will probably want to conserve your batts.
Once you determine the type of power-down system your cam uses, you then have to look at power consumption. With a digital cam, the "active state" power consumption will probably be unacceptably high. Ideally, your cam would have a #1 or #2 type power-down. In that case, you'd just let the cam power-down to conserve batts and only wake it up when needed to take a pic. Of course, this assumes no long delays between when the cam gets its "wake-up" signal and when its ready to take a pic (my Sony FD-85 takes around 7 seconds from power-on until it's ready to take a pic - too long!).
So - if there are no unacceptable delays, and you have a #1 type power down, you're all set. Just have a shutter press long enough to do the job.
With a #2 type power-down you'll have to do a bit more work. Assuming that you'll want to let the cam power-down to save batts, you will then need a three stage shutter control timer. This is the type I made for my Fujis' in order to maximize battery life.
Please let us all know the results of your experimenting as it would be great to find an affordable digital cam that works well in this application.
At first glance the blinking LED, the Beeping, and the short range flash seem to be the big problems with the CL18. It seems like A Multifunction Relay Kit @ http://www.qkits.com/serv/qkits/velleman/pages/K8015.asp could activate the camera's outer buttons via electro magnets or activate a switching transistors internally. The big plus for a setup like that would be to display images on your RV's television while out in the field. The CL18 stores 32 VGA 640 X 480 Images, and they look pretty good on a TV Screen. Am I on the right track?
When I visited your web page I noticed that you added a daytime only feature using a photo resistor. I'm in the process of ordering the parts for the same cam that you built, and wonder how you wired in the photo resistor? Is it working okay?
gizz, getting the turkeys on roost was just plain luck. I was driving some back roads and came across a hen and brood of 3/4 grown birds. Those two flew up beside the truck and sat there and let me take their picture.
All I did was wire a photoresistor in series with the camera on/off switch. I then just cut a hole in the top, glued a piece of clear plastic over it, and put the photoresistor there so it would see the light. It had the same effect as turning the camera off during the night. I really didn't expect this to work that well, but after the first role it worked perfectly with all of the pictures taken during the day. The photoresistor that I used was one I bought in a multipack at Radio Shack.
Thanks for help with the photoresistor. I have a 10 year old boy who is raring to go, so don't have time to read my old ham radio books. Here in California we have had a lot of expansion in recent years, which has condensed our wild animals near urban developments. We plan to set out these trail cams close to home in places where sometimes a flash will draw a lot of attention. Also, the small size of your cam will make it easy for us to conceal it. Good engineering on your part.
I'm glad I could help, but if you have to hide the flash it might not work perfectly. Since it is not hooked up directly with the camera, some of the pictures taken near dawn and dusk still had the flash go off. Apparently the camera sensor is less sensitive that the photoresistor. I'm sure some that knows more about this could find a better solution, but I would try covering a small part of the photoresistor, and experiment with it.
Hi Richard, ToddP,
Looks good so far Richard - might go with smaller file sizes on the pics. Took some time to load with my slow connection.
ToddP - You forgot the '~' between the '/' and 'plank'. I like the very clean, simple layout.