Multifunction Timer

Brian

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Everyone,

I thought I would post this new topic to see about getting some ideas from everyone for building the ultimate universal timer/refresh/what ever chip.

I would like to have everyones ideas on what this chip should be able to do.  Example. A pin would be used if needed to add a refresh pulse to the Owl PF.  Other pins could be used to trigger the camera shutter. Another could be used on conjuction with the shutter to turn on a digital camera and then the shutter.  There could be a pin for a push button that would allow for a computer to change these timings depending on the camera used or cycle through the hard coed timings with a visual indicator like JoeD's.  Pins could be connected to an led for indicators like JoeD's does now too.

These are just some examples.  I just wanted to gather some ideas for building one that might could possibly have everything in it at once.  This Doesn't mean you would have to use it all but you could.

I guess the refresh pulse is what started me to thinking of this.  JoeD's could drop one of his inputs or change chips and do the same thing but I thought I could do this too so send me your ideas and I will see what I can do about making a chip that has them all incorporated.

Also, be reasonable the heat seeking stuff will have to be in 2003 or later.  :)

Brian
 



gizz

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Heck, here's my list:
1. Definately "One-shot" capable
2. Maybe 2 or 3 interval settings (10 secs, 15 min, 30 min) or some variation of that. Definately would like the "immediate" stage though.
3. Flash refresh

Would this thing be able to "store" data?
If so:
4. Date/Time recording so could be used as trail timer only.
5. Temp/Barometric pressure recording.

Now for the Ridiculous things I'd like:
1. Built in grunt call
2. Built in "automatic pee" - just load your favorite urine and it would spray some out every now and then.
3. Ability to radio control some of those new robo decoys.
4...............
Ummm, how many Pins are on those chips?
 

davered1

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I like gizz ideas but with times like 15 sec,1 min 10min.

make sure one pin  can call my cell phone imediately after it takes pic of horns over 150 b&c

hehehe
 

hamiltoe

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How about a live video feed via satelite, a laser aiming system with attached gun....live computer hunting! :)
 

Steiner

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Brian,
My thoughts are:
1. Flash refresh pulse that can be set to either every 30 minutes or every hour.  This should allow several cameras other than the Owl PF to be used.
2. Date and time storage assuming it is accurate to help when the time stamp on the film doesn't show up well.
3. 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 minute camera delays
4. Very low battery consumption.  I am assuming your going to use a PIC chip so this shouldn't be a problem.
5. Maybe an adjustable time interval for the shutter trigger.  Some cameras seem to need a few seconds to take a picture while other cameras will take more than one picture if the shutter is held too long.
 

Tinhorn

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I'd like it to,  well ah,  somebody mentioned that, ok, then lets have it......Oops, that's been mentioned too

I can't think of anything that's not been mentioned.....

Tinhorn
 

Possum

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I want one pin to control a 20 ft leash that will be shot out of the side of my ammo can and lasso the deer only if it is a multi-tined buck and hold him safely until I can be beeped (which is controlled also by the chip).  Upon greater consideration, what about a do-it-all unit that controls the capture, humane harvest, butchering, freeze wrap, cold storage, and disposal of the carcass with a sample platter of the aforementioned animal in delectable marinades.  That would be my dream chip.  I forgot a memory photograph in there somewhere.
 

Brian

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Thanks for all the ideas.  I haven't thought of a lot of these.

Wish List for Universal Timer

1. Adjustable picture interval timer. Computer configured from 8 sec to ½ hour.

2. Adjustable refresh timer. Computer configured 3 min to 1 hour.

3. Input for PIR.

4. Input for Day/Night/24 hr operation.

5. Adjustable frame counter with power down at selected count. 12/24/36 exposure.

6. Ability to switch between “test” and “run” mode.

7. Setup Indicator output. “Test light or other status indicators”

8. Extra outputs for Data loggers, event counter modules, and external flash so forth.

9. Adjustable multiple exposure timer.  Be able to adjust interval and exposure number. 10 to 30 sec interval and 2 to 6 frames.

10. Adjustable shutter trigger.  Computer configured time for how long output stays on.

11. Outputs to control Digital camera with adjustable timing. Computer configureable.

I will start working on these and see what I can do.  Maybe hard to get everything on one chip but I will try.
If you see anything that is not listed let me know.

I will look at some of the other things as well but they require extra chips or other components and are tricky to put together and keep accuracy.  I may have to test these things for some time first but the above things should be easier to do right away. I hope.

1. Time/Date/etc. Not sure how accurate it will be until I put it on a board and see.  It seems to work well at home.  Ran now for about two weeks and it is about 1 sec ahead of my watch.

2. Use temp to shutdown system for summer heat.

3. Use time to shutdown system.

4. Data logging to EEprom. Allows unit to store time/date even when film runs out.

All these things will require a computer interface to make them flexible.

Brian
 

dharter

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Something to prevent false pictures from being taken would be nice, but how do you determine what is a false picture?
1. You could limit the number of pictures taken in a given period.
2. You could change the timing resistor on the MS20 and detect the animal as it passes through each zone.  You could set the chip to only take a picture after it passed through a certain number of zones.   Hopefully when it took the picture the animal would have walked to where it is right in front of the camera.
3.  Extra inputs for additional sensors to prevent false triggering.  You could have a motion detector and an MS20 and only take a picture when they both were triggered within a certain time interval.  I wonder if 2 different MS20s would false trigger at the same time.
4.  According to Archilocus the canon owl pf date refresh period should be about 8 min. to keep the camera always ready.  If you were counting the zones then when the animal crossed the first zone on the fringe of the camera's field of view then the camera could be refreshed.  Hopefully when it crossed another zone the camera would be refreshed by then and ready to take a picture without any delay.
5.  You could add a humidity sensor.  I have heard that there may be a correlation between ms20 false triggers and humidity.
 

JoeD

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Hi everyone,

I was just talking to Santa, telling him what I'd like for my home brew camera.  I don't know if you guys know this, but Santa moved.  He now lives in Wiscassett, Maine.  And he changed his name from St. Nick to Rick.  I told him I would like to mount everything on one board.  The board will consist of a PIR, a timer/event counter.  The PIR and Timer event counter will be hooked up to a LCD display.  By pressing a button a bar graph will appear on the LCD display, so you will be able to adjust the sensitivity of the PIR to prevent false triggering.  Also, by pressing a button you can adjust the time delay to any delay you would like.  All events (250) will be displayed on the LCD.  This will tell you: the date, time, and temperature of every event.  

Santa suggested maybe he could put an alarm system in the camera.  After you mount the camera, you set the alarm, and if someone tries to walk off with it, they will trip a mercury switch that will set off the alarm.

I know Santa is working on this project.  We'll see how close he comes.  In the past, Santa has always come thru.

JoeD

p.s.  It seems like all you guys want a refresh pulse. Since I never had any problems with my cameras,  I never read any posts about the refresh pulse circuit.  But if someone can fill me in on this, I could add this to the list for Santa.

(Edited by JoeD at 9:41 am on Dec. 15, 2001)
 

Passthru

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 Hey,On that Murcury switch,if your cam housing is metal you could just fix it up to where when its tripped it knocks hell out of ya,HEHE every time murcury switch is tripped it will shock the thief,how would you like to carry that out of the woods.
 Now all you need to do is fix up something that hurts bad instead of annoy.how about guts from a stun gun grounded to the case!
 

Archilochus

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Hi guys,
Sounds like Santa (A.K.A.- Rick) Brian and Jaggermax might look into teaming up on this project to make an awesome trail-camera controller.  Each has great ideas (and obvious talent) to add to the core concepts.  Maybe divide the project up by "subject" - timing, data logging, display, security, etc. - and each could concentrate on the code for a given "subject"
Sort of a 'subset' of the whole "home-brew" trail-camera project.

'Course the rest of us code-illiterate clowns will keep you busy with all sorts of 'features' to add on ;-}

Archilochus
 

Jaggermax

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For any of you that are interested, I have the code for the ATMEL AVR to do 1,3,4,5,6,7 and 8 from Brian's list (data logger is built onto the board using phillips PCF8583 RTC and  DALLAS DS1629 RTC/TEMP chip and 24C16 EEPROM).  I also have code which reads the temperature from the DS1629 and adjusts the PIR sensitivity based on a short, medium, or long range setting using a digital pot.  One problem though, I used the Glolab PIR circuit and am not to happy with it. It seems to detect false signals to easily.  The Mainstay board is much better, but I have to figure out how to digitally adjust the sensitivity on the board.  

Anyway, I had a lot of the features on my controller board that a lot of you mentioned and Arch was right.  The hardest part was the adjustable PIR detector.  The temperature vs range characteristics gave me fits.  I got it close now, but still needs some tweaking.  I tried and tried to get Nicera to send me RE200B spec sheets on the temp curves to no avail.  Some things I will do differently next time would be.  

No LCD display!  They do not work well below freezing.  I will use LED numeric displays.  

3Volt CMOS all around

An infrared pulsed beam system instead of PIR.  The IR receiver will have a 3" lens built into my cam housing.  The transmitter will be a seperate box mounting 50' or so from the cam.  I really only want deer to be recorded and the PIR will detect anything if it's close enough.  

External hot shoe flash for those all so far night shots.  

Get rid of the external programmer/data downloader and store the events on some type of removeable storate device like Smart Media, Dallas E Button, etc..  It's a pain trying to keep track of the programmer.  

I am now working on a video system recorder and will use many of the same features.  I have a schematic of my circuit used for any interested and a PCB EXPRESS PCB layout.  I also can supply code to any of you interested for the features I listed above as soon as I get all of the tweaks completed.  It is based on the AT90S8515 AVR chip.  For those of you without an AVR programmer, you can send me your AT90S8515 PLCC chips and I can program them for you.  

If there is enough interest, why don't some of you get a final list together of ideal specs for the "SPECTR BOARD" and I will design the board and write the code for it.  I can supply the programmed chips if the rest of you can get your own boards built.  I am sure with all of the excellent ideas we all come up with here, that it could blow away many of the commercial cams out there :moon: .  My guess is the total cost of the my controller board was around $50 bucks.  








(Edited by Jaggermax at 7:54 pm on Dec. 15, 2001)
 

gizz

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I agree 100% with Arch. You guys are obviously extremely skilled. Maybe you could email each other and share ideas. I like the idea of the all-in-one board and I'm guessin others do as well. Wish i knew how to do some of this stuff.
 

Brian

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Man sounds like Jaggermax/JoeD has it all worked out already.  No since in re-inventing the wheel.

All I was trying to do was come up with a single chip everyone could integrate into their design like JoeD's timer but with more features that could handle all the different sensor inputs and give complete control over the outputs like relays, refresh, and maybe some internal control over other neat stuff like temp and trigger lengths so forth like I listed. Something easily wired into.

No since in both of us working on the same thing.

I will try to offer ideas best I can.

Jaggermax,

You might want to use some type of to-92 package for your temperature sensor because if you use an internal chip like the DS1629 it will give you the temperature inside the box which can be several degrees higher than the outside temperature.
How power efficient is the AVR? Just curious.
Also, if you look at the glolab circuit where the last stage is connected and the feedback diodes for the falling edge trigger is located you can add a .1uF cap to ground and stablize false triggers.  These are usually caused by layout problems with the length of the wires or traces causing an internal feedback stabilization problem that can be cured with this cap.
Just something you might want to try.  May not work but it might be worth a try.

It made my boards rock solid.  I can even separate the board into pieces and stack them with interconnections from one to the next and it is still rock solid.

Brian
 

Jaggermax

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Thanks for the tips Brian.  I hooked up the cap to the output and it's working like a charm.  I was having what seemed to be an oscillation problem due to feedback but now it's gone.  EXCELLENT!.  As far as current draw, my board normally pulls about 10mA. I think the AVR circuit minus the PIR circuit draws about 3mA.  

When the two relays are on, it pulls about 15ma.  There is however a standby and power down mode for the controller which allow it to only draw 50uA.  The only thing you have to do is connect the output to the PIR to the nonmaskable interrupt pin on the controller.  That is my next task since I did not know it at the time and laid my board out with the PIR input going to a standard input port.  
 

Brian

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Jaggermax,

If you use the Glolab PIR it shoud draw about 20uA when Idle and with your chip in power down/sleep at 50uA for a total of 70 uA that is not bad.

Your trigger to the AVR is it 0 to 5 volts from the MS20 rising or falling edge and do you enable port pullups and match the edge trigger to the port. The non maskable interrupt port.

The reason I asked is I noticed on the PIC's if I do not enable the pullup on the interrupt pin and use the falling edge trigger then I can get false triggers during LED switching or relay switching even with diode protection and filter caps on the supply.

I started to use the AVR but I went with the PIC due to the vast database of examples and help.

Brian

PS.

Also, I have an infrared active circuit that I can turn on and off in the cam housing.  You can select whether the camera is working off the PIR or the active receiver with transmitter.  Either one works.  This way when you need to get pictures in clearcuts or West Texas where the heat and false triggers are bad you can switch from one to the other.  The only bad thing is the power drain.  My receiver in the cam box alone draws 2.4mA and the transmitter which I need to play with some more for power efficiency draws about 10mA.  I am using NiCD 6 volt pack to power the external transmitter.  It works great just not effecient.

Brian


(Edited by Brian at 10:49 am on Dec. 18, 2001)
 

Archilochus

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Hi Brian,
Check the following company for low-power IR reciever modules:
http://www.vishay.com/products/optoelectro.../photomods.html
Claimed power at around 0.6mA, but I've measured 12 samples at 0.45mA each.
They work great!  These are the lowest power modules I could find.  You could probably make a micropower version with discretes - but at 0.45mA that does not seem worth the effort.  They have reciever, amps, bandpass filter, demodulator, all on-board.

Archilochus
 


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