Digital Camera Control Chip Finished

Brian

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Guys,

I finished the testing and programming of the eight pin chip for the digital control last night.  I used the Canon Elph S100 and the AOL Photocam in my tests. They both worked fine with just some simple timing changes.

The Digital system uses the same chip as the 35mm and the only difference is the refresh is now the camera on/off.  So the circuit I posted for the 35mm will be exactly the same as the Digital except the relay for refresh will be the relay for on/off.

Most of you may not have seen a post I made on the Canon Elph S100 some time back but I noticed that when I changed the Compact Flash card out from 32MByte to 128 MByte it took the Digital Camera longer to power up so it could take a picture.  The Canon Elph S100 evidently scans the memory card at power up and this delays how long until it can take a picture after power up.  So I designed a way in the Digital chip to change this time depending on which card you are using.  

Pin 1 is VCC
Pin 2 is LED w/470 ohm resistor
Pin 3 is Shutter [10K to base of 2n3904 w/relay in collector]
Pin 4 is Mode Button w/1K protection resistor
Pin 5 is Trigger from PIR negative going pulse
Pin 6 is Counter Button w/1K protection resistor
Pin 7 is ON/OFF Button [10K to base of 2n3904 w/relay in collector]
Pin 8 is GND

The schematic is posted here.  The Refresh in the circuit would be ON/OFF for a digital system.

http://briang.netfirms.com/page12.html

Information on modifying the Canon Elph S100 or S110 is located on Jesse's site at this location.
http://www.jesseshuntingpage.com/brian-s100-digital-mod.html

Features:

1. ON/OFF of Camera
2. Shutter
3. 5 modes for delays after picture.
4. 3 modes for delays on power up till picture is taken. Compact Flash  Card dependant.
5. Double picture option with any mode
6. Counter option w/clear
7. All modes and counts are retained on power off.  They must be cleared or changed with the buttons.
7. PIR Testmode

ON/OFF:
This relay turns the camera on and off.

Mode Operation:
Delay before next picture can be taken

There are five modes.
Mode 1  One blink      30 seconds delay
Mode 2  Two blinks     60 seconds delay
Mode 3  Three blinks 120 seconds delay
Mode 4  Four blinks   240 seconds delay
Mode 5  Five blinks    360 seconds delay
You can define the individual times for each mode but once programmed it is final.

Compact Flash Modes:

There are three modes.
Mode 1  One blink      3 seconds delay
Mode 2  Two blinks     6 seconds delay
Mode 3  Three blinks  9 seconds delay

These delays can be set to your specification.  Once programmed they are final.  If a different digital camera is to be used than the ones I have tested then you would be flippin a coin on whether it will work with certain timings.
I would need to know exactly how long each stage took.  Power up seems to be the biggest variable.  The Canon Elph S100 varies with Compact Flash card and the AOL varies by camera so some timings would work with some AOL cameras and not others.

Counter Option:

Will count to 254.

Four Second Pulses for hundred's digit
Three Second Pulses for ten's digit
One Second pulses for one's digit

If the count is zero then four quick pulses.

Double Picture Option:
Allows you to take two pictures with one PIR trigger.  The timings between pictures depend on the Digital camera.

Operation:

On power up there is a delay to keep from taking a picture right off the bat then the LED will blink just as a confidence builder that everything is ok.

Once the PIC has been triggered the PIC will turn the camera on wait for the Compact Flash delay set by you Mode 1-3 then take a picture.  Once this picture has been taken then the PIC will wait for the appropriate process time of the picture.[Canon Elph S100 is about three seconds and the AOL Photocam is about 16 seconds] Then if the double picture mode is not enabled it will turn the camera off and go into delay between picture mode also set by you numbered 1-5.
If the double picture mode is turned on then the PIC will take another picture wait the appropriate process time which is camera dependant (Canon 3 sec AOL 16 sec) and then turn the camera off.  Now it will go into the Delay between pictures mode set by you Mode 1-5.

Pressing the Count button will display through the LED blinking how many pictures have been taken.  Once the final blink has occurred you have about 5 seconds or so to push the count button again and clear the counts.  The counts are saved so powering on and off will not affect the counts it must be cleared with the count button.  If the count button is not pushed after the last counter pulse then the chip goes back into normal operation.

PIR test mode.
If you hold the count button down while the camera is in normal operation until the LED comes on and then let off the LED it will stay on for four seconds followed by a train of eight pulses. This tells you that you are now in PIR test mode.  Now everytime the PIR triggers instead of taking a picture the LED will go on and then off.  You can retrigger like this as long as you want.  Your PIR in this mode needs to have a short delay between triggers so you don't have to wait for it to time out before you can trigger it again for testing the distance of your PIR or aiming your unit.  To take it out of this mode simply press and let off the Count button again. You should see eight short pulses again to let you know you are out of PIR test mode.  At this point the camera is back into normal operation.  Remember when the PIC is in normal operation mode to see the count simply press the count button and let off before the LED comes on solid and the LED will show you the count.

If you press the mode button on and then off without holding it then the led will blink according to the mode it is now in.  There is about a 2 second window right after the last blink for what mode it is in that if you push the mode button again it will turn the double picture mode on or off.  Double picture mode is denoted by four short blinks for single picture mode and eight short blinks for double picture mode.  You can toggle these conditions back and forth right after the mode blinks have ended.
An example would be if you pressed the mode button and the led blinked once then you are in mode one which gives a 30 second delay.  If you do not push the mode button again in about 2 seconds the PIC will go back to normal operation with the 30 second delay.  If you do press the mode button again within the 2 seconds depending on what picture taking mode the PIC was in double or single it will change to the other mode and blink the LED four quick times for single mode or eight quick times for double picture mode.  This allows you to use double picture mode with all delay modes.  A power off will default the picture mode to single pictures even if you set it for double pictures before you toggled it off.  I figured this would be a safe way of not waisting film if someone forgot they had double picture mode turned on.
To change the Compact Flash Mode push the Mode button in and hold it until the LED comes on.  The LED will stay on for four seconds and then you will see eight short pulses this means you are now in Compact Flash mode.  If you push the mode button again and let off the LED will blink once for Mode 1 twice for mode 2 and three times for mode 3.  You can toggle between these modes using the mode button.  Once you have the desired mode push the count button and you will see eight short pulses now you are back into normal operation mode.

Any questions on this let me know.  I will try to get a flow diagram but once you have done this it is pretty simple.

Keep in mind that every digital camera is different on powering up and taking a picture.  If you use one I have tested then you will not have any problems.
Otherwise, I can't guarantee anything.
The Sony P50 is next on my list to take apart and try out.

The chip draws 7.8uA when idle even during the delay between pictures.  I used the power saving commands when ever possible to help battery life.

These chips will be the same price as the 35mm  $7.25 a piece and $3.00 shipping.



(Edited by Brian at 3:18 pm on Jan. 31, 2002)
 

Dbworld

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I'm ready for digital I HATE film development....I'm trying to finance it now.
 

max

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Great Work Brian!!!!
Just a question, what camera is the AOL PhotoCam? How much? Where to find?
                    Thanks  MAX
 

ECO

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I found the AOL Photocam on Ebay.  Do you have any pics taken with this camera?
 

Tinhorn

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We're going to have to start calling Brian's Chip the "Do-All" IC

and like I said before, all that with only 8 pins   WOW - Good Job -

Tinhorn
 

Dbworld

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Truth is I print very few pics...but I do share with friends and family via the internet and burning CDs.  With the game cam pics, I'd just as soon have them all digital, then the few I wanted printed off I could.  So in my own individual case, I would end up saving money in the long run.  Best part about digital, you can go out and change your memory card, even if you only have two pics on there...go home and download them.  At least with my Sony digital I can do that with the memory sticks.
 

Brian

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Dbworld,

That's funny I was trying to do the same thing.
Check out this website.  I am going to use it to try out the Sony P50.  6 months no interest and no payments.  I don't know if it will work yet but I am going to give it a try.
http://www.sonystyle.com/digitalimaging/Promo12.shtml

Max/ECO,
The AOL photocam is a cheap digital camera offered by AOL.  The only way to purchase one of these is through Ebay unless you want to pay too much.  It has its quirks too.  The on board memory for pictures will not let you see the time and date the picture was taken once you download the pictures to your computer or to a compact flash card.  You can see them on the camera but when you download them to the computer or from the internal memory to a compact flash card the camera puts the current time and date with the picture thus overwriting the time and date the picture was actually taken.  I scratched my head on this one for awhile.  I did find a way around this by keeping a compact flash card in the camera the time and date remains on the picture while downloading it to your computer through a USB reader but now the year is messed up and shows 1985 or 2045 no matter what you do.  The time and date will be correct other than the yeat so I use it.  It is a minor problem that I dealt with.  Also, they are power hogs and they take longer to process pictures and turn on.  They do work though and the pictures are low resolution 640X480.  I will post a link to my website that contains some pictures I took with mine this past summer.  Oh yeah the flash is weak too so i have an exteranl flash unit that I use with each one.
http://briang.netfirms.com/page10.html
http://briang.netfirms.com/page11.html

I don't necessarily recommend the AOL one but it will work for a cheap digital setup.  I think I bought my last one off ebay for around $70 to$100 bucks.

I do the same thing DBworld I keep all my pictures archived now on CD's.  I even scan the 35mm and 24mm ones I get out of my Owls and Advantix Elphs.

See ya'll
 

Dbworld

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If my scanner did a better job I would scan all mine too then store the pics in the shoe box.   Unfortunately my scanner doesn't do the photos justice....
 

jayber

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I ran some quick numbers the other day and I figured you'd need to process ~65 rolls of film to spend the same $ as using one of the better resolution digital cameras.  But for me, the pros of going digital outweigh the cons.  Looking forward to making one!!
 

Dbworld

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I figured about 50 rolls of film.  So far I've been burning at least a roll a week per camera.  That's one years worth at the rate I'm going.  
 

Brian

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For me personally I have yet to print one out.  I use them for scouting and I take a bunch of pictures.  Over one mineral lick on two separate occasions I got over a hundred pictures.  I had the camera on the shortest delay of about 20 seconds and the outcome was like looking at a slow action movie of the deer.  The digitals make zero sound in the daylight.  Only when they flash do you know they are there.  The Canon Elph S100 does make some sound on power up because of the lens but the AOL and Sony do not.  Just something you can't do or afford with a regular 35mm.  Not only that how many times have you been out in the woods and all your pictures have been taken up and you had a 36 exposure roll in the camera.  Just how many deer came by and was the old big one number 37 or more.  I can't tell you how many different deer I have coming to a scrap that a conventional 35mm would have never caught on film.  It would have run out way before I got the picture of the deer. This also lets you leave the camera out for longer periods of time due to the picture capacity.  The benfits out way the initial cost to me by far.  Most every one looks at the high cost of the first time buy.  Once this cost is over though it is over.  The 35mm keeps on taking.  The more cams you have the more money you speed. Not so with digital.  To me there is no comparison.  The digital wins hands down.
Just my opinion.
 

gizz

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I've been testing one of Brian's Wonder chips and it is working great! I just have it on the bench but it works as designed. I have a couple things to clear up with Brian but I can say it'll do the job. This thing is pulling very little juice and a 9v batt should last a very long time.
I have 9 35mm cams and I'm gonna sell 2 of them to my Bro-in-Law to finance a digital. Should be a good tradeoff. For my use, digital pics would be all I need. ----- I still Love my 35mm cams tho!!! ----i'm just thinking that a digital would be especially nice for scouting close to the season, you can check it on the spot and move it etc knowing what's there.
 

Brian

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ArkansasElkHunter,

I am not familar with the Yashica and Yes the AOL has time and date associated with the picture. It is under the properties of the picture and not on the picture itself.  I explain the problems with the date and time on the AOL earlier.  It is a pain but it can be dealt with.  
I think the Sony does both.  It can overlay it on the picture like a 35mm and in the properties.
I think the sony 1.3MPixel(Sony P30) is $249.95.
I have a P50 on the way for testing.  I can't wait.


BTW, You can use Steve's site for Camera Reviews.  This guy goes above and beyond when he reviews a camera.  He does a great job.
http://steves-digicams.com
 

Brian

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Knobby,

I use the 32Mbyte and the 128Mbyte.  Just recently got the 128Mbyte for $45 a piece off Ebay.  I was sceptical about the Manufacturer but they work fine.  The Canon Elph S100 will hold 51 pictures on the 32Mbyte card at the 1600 X1200 mode and the compresion level on the next to highest.  It will take 200 + on the 128Mbyte card at the same settings.  These settings produce an excellent 4"X6" photo even on normal paper.  I don't know what it would do on good paper.  I have only printed out one and it was at work on a Color printer with normal paper.  It really looked good.  The pictures on the computer look awesome.  Lots of detail and you can zoom in on areas without loosing detail.

The AOL photocam on a 32Mbyte card which is the max it will accept says it can take 502 pictures but it is not true.  Each picture can vary in size due to the lighting and what is in the picture.  Some may be 70Kbytes and others may be 130Kbytes.  The most I have ever got out of one card was about 220.  Don't even try to print those.  It ain't worth waisting the paper.
 
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