Fuji Date AF60

ArkansasElkHunter

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I have been looking for a supercheap camera for My Fort Chaffee cam (high risk public hunting land).   I found the Fuji Date AF60 at circuit city for the everyday low price of $14.96 with a $5 rebate.  I can add a timer with refresh for $20 and put it in a ammo can or junction box and still have less than $40 in it.  So thats the plan.

Does anyone have a pictorial of the mods for this camera.   I don't know if anyone but Arch has used it but if there is any info on it please let me know.   My searches turned up nothing.   I know it needs a refresh and there is an issue with the picture indicator.

Arch,  I snaped some pics with no film and the indicator advanced but returned to S when I opened it.   Is that the same problem you had or have they fixed it.  Are there other issues that I should know about.  Seems to fire very fast.  If it take halfway decent pics I'll be satisfied.  Unfortunatly the way people are I don't expect to have it long.
 

hamiltoe

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ArkansasElkHunter,

Here's a mod that I did a few months ago.  I haven't experienced any problems with the number film indicator returning to 0 or S.  It appears to be a mechanical reset that resets when the film door is opened.  I've built several cams using this camera.  The night pictures aren't the greatest, but it takes pretty good day pictures.

The picture says to use a refresh of 3-4 minutes, by mine work just fine with a 9 minute refresh.



(Edited by hamiltoe at 8:46 pm on July 25, 2002)
 

gizz

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As usual, Nice job Hamiltoe. One pic with details says it all!
 

Archilochus

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Hi AEH,
The frame counter problem is this:
You insert film and close the door.  Film loads and counter reads "1"  The roll gets used up and film rewinds automatically and the frame counter goes back to "0".  Now - if the cam is still out in the woods and more animals are detcted by the sensor, the cam will fire and the frame count will begin advancing again (even though no film is loaded)!!  This is what you noticed when you pressed the shutter and the frame count advanced with no film loaded.  Now when you go to check your cam, the film counter might read 2,3 or whatever - but you'll have NO WAY to tell if the film is used up or still only on frame 2,3 or whatever!!  This problem is unrelated to opening the film door which always clears the counter to "0".  With Brians controller chips built-in event counter you can work around this frame count problem - but make sure to reset the event count any time you load new film!

There are a few other notes on these cams (specs might have changed by now - I bought the cams a few years back).

1) Disconnect the green indicator LED near the viewfinder.  It stays on for 3 minutes any time the shutter is pressed (refresh) - drawing 3.5mA

2) The cam consumes 90mA for 23 seconds immediately after pressing the shutter either halfway (refresh) or fully (picture).  So with a refresh of 8 minutes (like Brians controllers), you'll end up with an average current of about 4mA - TOO MUCH!  You'll need to have a longer refresh cycle of (according to the notes I took) *at most* 1/2 hour.

2-a) This is for those of us up north - If you have a 1/2 hour refresh, and the temps are below about +25F - the flash will self-discharge to the point where the flash will not go off! (or if I remember right a pic will not be taken - working from dusty memory here).  So in the winter a shorter refresh of about 7-8 minutes is needed to keep the flash 'charged-up'.  Since batts don't last as long in the cold, you'll get even shorter batt life in the winter.

3) More winter stuff - the cams flash stops working at about +5F - pics still get taken and film winding works, just no flash.

4) I found that this cam does take somewhat better pics if you have the AF sensors exposed.

The pic quality is good.  Flash range with 400 film is around 15 to 20 feet.  If you're using the cams in a warm climate and you're aware of the frame count and power consumption problems - this is a decent cam for the price.

As I mentioned above - specs might have changed by now.  At 15US$ can't hurt to buy one and try it out.

Archilochus
 

Brian

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Man Arch that is one stout memory.  You must have put some time in this camera.

It is like you guys read my mind today.  I had a guy ask me about this camera.  Now all I have to do is point him to this post.  Thanks
 

kmitch

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I need a refresh on refresh. Refresh is just a timer which puts out a one second pulse every 9 minutes or so to keep the cam from going to sleep?  Would a 555 circuit acomplish this?

Keith
 

Archilochus

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KM... here's a refresher to refresh your memory on the refresh.... :)

A 'refresh' when used on the Owl series of cams:  You can 'refresh' the flash so it stays fully charged.  This is done with a 1/2 shutter-button press.  You don't HAVE to do it with the Owls - it just helps keep the flash topped off so a pic can be taken quickly.

On other cams - like the Fuji AF60 et al - you NEED a 'refresh' to keep the camera from going to 'sleep'.  You might call it a 'wake-up' rather than a refresh.

Any adjustable 'astable' type timer can supply your refresh timing - a 555 will do the job.  But note the bit above about the refresh timings for the AF60 - you'll want more than 9 minutes (in a warm area).  For low power consumption and easy assembly - use one of Brians cam controller chips - built-in refresh timer and all sorts of other features.
Save a place in your trash can for the 555's ;-0

>>>>

Brian... I wish I had that kind of memory!... I actually took a few notes when I tried out the AF60's - and I can even read some of them!  The stuff above was mostly clipped from an e-mail I sent someone a few weeks back regarding the AF60. .... now what was I writing about????.... where am I ??? how did I get here?????

Archilochus
 

ArkansasElkHunter

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Arch,  Thanks for all the info,  I figured you would have something in the archives.    Any idea how long the batteries will last with the led cut and 30 min refresh.  Is 30 min the max time, I'm sure it probably is if you posted it, just wondering.  I bought two.  $9.96 each is worth the risk.  
 

Archilochus

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Hi AEH,
30 minutes is what I have written down in my notebook as the time when the cam powers off.  After that a FULL press of the shutter is needed to wake the cam up.

Assuming power consumption specs are still the same as my older cams - with a 28 minute refresh (knocked off 2min just to be safe) - you'll have an average current of about 1.2mA - or a conservative estimate of 36 days (no pics / flash):

2100mA hours(AA batts) / 1.2mA = 1750hours
1750hours / 24(hours) = 72.9 days
72.9 days / 2(just for good luck) = 36 days

With lots of flash pics being taken, you'd probably do well to divide that in half again.
The flash can not be manually disabled on this cam - and once the cam is in a box it seems to flash on just about every pic.
Go figure - the math almost equals what I remember to be the batt life!

>>>>

Now that I think of it, I actually used circuits involving 3 cascaded 4538 (or was it 4047??) 'one-shot' timers that allowed me to use an extended 1 hour refresh for stretching battery life.  So the 28 minute refresh should have a shorter batt life. I'd guess around 2+ weeks.

Maybe ask Hamiltoe what kind of batt life he's getting with the 9 minute refresh.

I more-or-less gave my Fuji equipped trail-cams away to some friends once I started using the Owl PFs, so I don't have the cams here to poke around with.

I'd be interested to hear if the power consumption specs are still valid.  At 10 bucks each I could live with the frame counter problem!

Archilochus
 

hamiltoe

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I've done the same with the AF60....gave to friends and family, to test my circuit boards.  I also disconnect the green LED to extend the battery life.  I think the longest any of the cameras have been out at a time is 3 weeks.  They always replace the batteries after they grab the film, so I'm not sure the exact battery life either.  Also, they have only been out in the spring/summer, so I expect the battery life will be further reduced once winter arrives.  During my testing, I was measuring around 4 mA's with the green LED on, and 1 mA ad idle, which is real close to what Archilochus was getting.  I would say that their power spec's haven't changed.  Walmart had them on clearance a few months ago, so I picked up several.  I personally like the Owl PF's much better!  I still have one left, once I get a chance, I'll check the battery life out and report back.
 

ArkansasElkHunter

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Well I wire the AF60 and tried it and nothing.  Fires when I short the wires be hand but not with the opto.   Tried everything double checked the camera for the proper wiring.  I got an owl out and wired it up and it works great with the opto.  Thay are both wired the same relative to the plug.  I checked continuity through the plus and it's fine.

Hameltoe,  you use an opto, is there something I'm missing.  

I even added a socket so i could jumper an opto and reverced the polarity , nothing.  Is it a current issue.   what can I try.  It doesent fry the opto or anything just no results.  I'm using brians ship on my boards. Works great with the owl.
 

Archilochus

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Hi AEH,
Don't know if this is what you meant when you 'reversed polarity'....
But I forgot to mention that the AF60 shutter needs to be hooked to the optos outputs opposite to the way all the other (known) cams are hooked up.

In the AF60 the "common" shutter contact should go to the 'collectors' © of the optos output, and the 1/2 & full press contacts should go the the 'emitters' (E).

That hookup works fine for me with the NEC 2501's with a 1K resistor to the input LED. The other way around didn't work at all.

Archilochus
 

ArkansasElkHunter

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Thats what I ment by reversing the polarity.  I still don't understand the Collector/Emitter lingo.  I'll keep trying
 

Archilochus

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Hi AEH,
Nobody understands that stuff! - they just pretend to ;-)

Just look in the specs for the letters 'C' and 'E'.  Last time I looked - NEC's web-site was hopeless. A pinout diagram can be found in Mousers catalog (assuming you're using a part they carry).  If a 'C' or 'E' isn't shown in the specs - just look for the little arrow on the diagram of the opto's output transistors - those are the 'emitters' (not the arrows between the LED and the transistor - that just represents 'light')

For the NEC 2501-1 single - pin #3 is the emitter, #4 the collector

On the NEC 2501-2 dual - pins 5,7 are emitters, 6,8 collectors.

Other parts have different pinouts.

You can test your optos by hooking up an LED & resistor at the output just to see if they work (opto's emitter to ground - collector to the 'negative' pin of the LED - resistor from other pin of LED to +V).

For the AF60 using 2501-2 dual optos - tie pins 6 & 8 together and connect to the cams 'common' shutter contact.  Use pins 5 & 7 for the 1/2 & full press contacts.

Oh yeah... for the 2501-1 - pin #1 is the input LED "positive"
on the 2501-2 pins#'s 1 & 3 are "positive".

Hope that helps,
Archilochus
 

Hill Hopper

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Archie, I've been able to get the same opto to work well with a 10k resistor and brian's chip, have you had any problems with a 10k insted of a 1k?
 

Hill Hopper

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Just tested an AF60 with an inhibit board w/ opto, and it worked fine. AEH, I'm afraid you've got something screwed up.
 

Archilochus

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Hi HH,
I probably just used 1K's becuase they were laying out on the workbench - yeah, I'm a lazy bugger ;-)

If I ever see the cams again I'll toss in some 10K's - save a bit of power.

Thanks for the info,
Archilochus
 

BowDoc

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Are there any over the counter timer kits  that I can use with this camera. I like the price and would like to use them. I put a few cams out on state land and I alway worry they will get snatched.
 

Hill Hopper

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I don't think there are any over the counter, but several of us make some, or boards that will work with them
 


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