Homebrew P41 problems

shoogie8779

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Hey gang. I'm working on my first homebrew camera. This is using a Sony DSC-P41 with the PixController board. I get the board to light up (flash like it's supposed to) but can't get it to take a picture.

Under the instructions you're supposed to wire a "ground" wire to the controller board, but there doesn't seem to be a place to wire a ground to so I left it off.

When I plug in my camera to the board it automatically opens the shutter, even if the board isn't turned on. After waiting for the board to move beyond the 1 min walk test I still can't get it to take a picture. It will flick the shutter on and off now and again, but never takes a picture. Anyone know what the problem could be?
 

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drifter9

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I would think you need some kind of comon or ground to get it to work
 

D Letho

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I think the one you have labled is for the external light . I could be wrong but , I do not think that is for the cam .

I hope I do not have to take my foot out of my mouth !

Also under the P32 mod on pix site it says
"Soldering Directions:
1. Solder the “Shutter Flat Flex Contact” wire to the “Red” PixController camera cable wire. Camera
Shutter
2. Solder the “Power On/Off Flat Flex Contact” wire to the “Green” PixController camera cable wire.
Camera On/Off
3. Solder the “Common/Ground” wire to the USB hood and solder the other end to the “Black”
PixController common wire. Camera Common/Ground
"

Not sure if it is the same for this cam .
Don
 

KANSASBUCKHUNTER

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You are right D Letho

There are 3 ways to connect your camera(any camera) to this board. The 2.5mm plug, the phone plug, and directly soldering to the board. The port you are looking at is for the flash.
 

shoogie8779

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K. I used the telephone cord and connected the shutter, ground, and power on/off. The camera will come on, sutter will open, no pitures will take.
 

D Letho

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I am shooting in the dark here since I do not have any P series cams built yet . All my cams are the 380 .

My thinking would be it is an ON/OFF style setup and does not need a refresh . Once again I could be wrong .

Double check your solder joints , make sure they are in the right spot and you dont have any bridge .

Wait a bit and someone that has built one will help you out more tha I can .

I'll look around and read up on it since I have two sitting here that I have toput togeather !


Don
 

Haymaker

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shoogie8779,

Looks like these guys are helping you out, but you wired the shutter and refresh to the external light port.

Look on the web site for the "Camera Port", which will show you where the correct locations for shutter, power, refresh, and common (ground) are.

I'm sure things will start working then.
 

shoogie8779

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OK... I'm pretty sure I've narrowed down the problem. Sandwitching the flat cable into the shutter/power on-off thing seems will allow it to turn on and open the shutter; however, it won't allow it to take a picture. Just running a quick test I turned on the camera manually (w/o the flat cable connected) and took a picture... worked fine. Then I insert the flat cable and it will turn on, but won't take a picture. Not sure how to resolve this.
 

jayber

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You do not have to connect refresh/auto focust to anything.

As far as not taking a picture, are you waiting for it to cycle through it's 1 min aiming cycle? I ran into the same thing the other evening and when I let it be long enough it worked as expected.
 

shoogie8779

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Haymaker: is the shutter truly connected to the shutter or to the control to take a picture? Reason I ask, when I used the telephone cable setup (on the Camera Port page) the camera will power itself up using the controller board and will even open the shutter when you wave your hand... just no picture. Since the wires are connected only to the power on/off and shutter, what causes the camera to take a picture?? Maybe I'm just to dumb for this kind of stuff.
 

D Letho

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In case you want to double check your ribbon solder joints .

Don
 

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headnurse

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Another thing to check is the tiny metal tabs at the top that slide in with the other cable. I had made my own and afer a couple of times 'carefully' (supposedly) folding it over to close it inside the case, one of the little tabs had cracked. Had to redo the whole thing, hopefully sturdier and not moved around so much this time....
 

shoogie8779

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double checked my ribbons... according to the P41 instructions, (left to right) ribbon 3 is power and 5 is shutter. I'm attempting to use the camera port this time... see if it works.
 

shoogie8779

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Ok. I did another format using the camera port. #1 Shutter, #3 Power on/off, #7 Ground (Common). All others are left empty. You can see in pic the LED's are on. The camera (not shown) shutter is open and is powered up. I'll wait a while and see if it will take a pic.
 

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shoogie8779

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Well... I appreciate everyones help so far on this bang-up job I'm doing on my first trail cam.
I'm about to go nuts over this. I guess I just need more patience and diligence since this is my first go at it.

Everything appears to be working properly except the fact that it doesn't take a photo. I left for around 5 - 10 minutes and came back, it powered up, opened shutter, sets there (no picture) and closed shutter, and powered off.


Anyway, I'm gonna delay my trip to the woods this weekend until I can get this thing resolved. If anyone has had a similar problem send some help my way.
 

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