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Last update : 2015/09/21

DSLR Remote Module for Photographer Tools




DSLR Remote module can monitor and control a DSLR.
DSLR remote module is equipped with a wireless module to communicate
with the Photographer Tools, but also a Bluetooth module to communicate
with a smartphone or a touch pad.

It is possible to use this module without Photographer Tools (bluetooth mode).
The advantage of this module when connected to Photographer Tools is able
make measurements with the exposure meter, the flash meter, and the colorimeter,
and update the settings of the DSLR in real time.

Photo01, different connection possibilities with flashes.
This module attaches to the flash hot shoe. I put a TTL shoe in order to use with my
SB600 flash over the module and retain the TTL Automation.
Sync socket lets you connect a second flash via a cable (not TTL).
It is also possible to trigger all flashes connected to the Remote Modules and therefore
remote control up to six modules.
The maximum flash sync speed with the DSLR remote module is 1/200s.

PRINCIPLE:

To use this module, simply attach it to the hot shoe flash of the DSLR and connect it
on the reflex with a USB cable (USB cable supplied with your DSLR).

If you use the Photographer Tools and Remote Modules:
- In the "Depth Of Field" menu (calculation of depth of field), the values ??of focal and aperture
are read directly from the cameras, so if you change the focal, photographer Tools calculating
in real-time the new depth of field.
- In the "Manual flash power" menu, aperture and ISO values ??are read directly from
the DSLR, so if you change the aperture on the camera, the new power value
flash is calculated directly.
- In the "Exposure and WB" menu, the metering can update the settings reflex
in real time. the value of white balance is also updated on the camera.
Pressing the "Hold Value" button to lock the exposure.
- In "Flash Exposure" menu when a flashmeter measurement is made, the value is updated
directly on the camera.
- In the "Configuration" menu, there is a "DSLR" button. If the DSLR remote module has been detected by the
Photographer Tools, when you press the "DSLR" button, the menu on Photo01 appair.
In this menu, you can manually, and remotely, change settings reflex.
A button "Photo" is present in this menu, to shoot a photo and trigger all flashes connected
on all Remote modules (maximum flash sync 1/200s).
By default, the Nikon DSLR used with USB, disables the rear LCD of the DSLR.
by pressing the checkbox "Connect DSLR", it is possible to disable USB and therefore have
access to the LCD screen and view the photos, for example. Do not forget to press again
on "Connect DSLR" if you want to change the settings of the DSLR, or shoot a new photo.

The Android Application who permit to control your DSLR from a Smartphone or a tablet is
available in the google play. IF you want see it directly, clic HERE

If you use a Smartphone, I provided a PDF file in the ZIP of the project (Bluetooth commands list.PDF).
In this PDF file, there is the list of all commands to communicate
with DSLR Remote Module. If you are doing development on Android or Iphone,
no problem you can create a small application.
I provide a first application for ANDROID smartphone (the APK file is included in the ZIP file).
It does not have a lot of features for the moment.
You can, with the application ANDROID "DSLR Remote Module", change the settings on the DSLR
and take a photo. The picture is stored on the SD card of the Digital camera.
Photo12, four different views of the application.
Photo12 (1), The ANDROID application starts, a small window for BlueTooth activation appears,
you must click "YES".
Photo12 (2), the Android program search the DSLR Remote module.
Photo12 (3), if the DSLR Remote Module is not found, an error message appair and the program close.
The Bluetooth is automatically desactived.
Photo13 (1), the yellow message indicates that the USB cable is not connected to the DSLR
or the DSLR is not power on.
This message appair when the program start when it check the connection.
Photo13 (2), the connection is established. If you change the settings, they are automatically
changed on the camera. If you change the settings on the camera, they are automatically
changed in the ANDROID application.
The button "CAPTURE" permit to trigger a photo.
The settings you can change are: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, color temperature
of the white balance, the choice of white balance (auto, sun, cloud, ...).
In the version 1.1, it is possible to change the exposure compensation.
You find the value of the mode (auto, manual, ...), the battery level and the exposure
mesured by the DSLR.
Photo13 (3), if you click on the checkbox "Connect DSLR", this will disable the connection
USB between the DSLR Remote Module and the camera.
For Nikon DSLR, when the USB is active, it is not possible to access the LCD on
the camera and therefore see the photos, for example.
With this chekbox, it is possible to disable USB, and therefore have access to the LCD screen.
If you click again on this checkbox, this allow to put active USB connection.
I will continue to provide additional functionality to this ANDROID application.

The Zip file of the project is available in the menu of this website (the left menu)
by clicking on the link "Download".
The ZIP file is named "DSLR Remote Module for Nikon XX-XX-xxxx.zip" or
"DSLR Remote Module for Canon EOS XX-XX-XXXX.zip" for Canon.
XX-XX-XXXX is the date of the updated version online.

RESTRICTION :

- It is not possible to transfer the photo to the Photographer Tools or Smartphone
or a touch pad, the image is stored on the SD card reflex.
- It is not possible to use your DSLR video mode (not supported).
- If you want to put a flash on the hot shoe of the "DSLR Remote Module",
please measure before the voltage accross the flash.
The voltage does not exceed 3.9 Volts (for measuring the voltage, see Photo09, arrows
black and red). all recent eTTL or iTTL flashes have a lower voltage to 3.7 volts.
If your flash a voltage greater than 3.9 volts, you can make the small module
"old flash adapter" but replace the 5.1 volt zener diode with a 3.3 Volts zener diode .
- The program works with Nikon cameras (D90, D7100, D300, D800, ...).
It also works with Canon EOS (400D, 450D, 1100D, 5D, ...), by cons with Canon DSLR,
it is not possible to change the color temperature of the manual white balance,
and to have the level exposure, and the focal length used.
The rest of the options and features are operational.
The electronic part is exactly the same for Nikon and Canon DSLR cameras (except TTL hot shoe).


BUILD :

The build is not very complicated. This is just wiring connection, no really electronics.
On Photo02, the schema of the DSLR Remote Module.
It is composed of five small electronic modules to be assembled:
The USB Host Shield (1), an Arduino Pro Mini 3.3V (2), a wireless module (3), a 3.3V to 5V converter (4)
and finally a Bluetooth (5) module. It will also need a flash shoe (6), I will discuss about it a little later.
I put different colors for wiring on the scheme, for easier reading.
Black is ground (GND). Red is the 3.3 volts that powers the wireless module and the BlueTooth.

in the ZIP file, I provide a complete list of electronic components to buy.
Photo03, the components used to make the "DSLR Remote Module".
On Photo03, it lacks the two switches, the box, and the small PCB pre-drilled and the flash hot shoe.
The numbered Module 1 of photo03 is an FTDI module. It is a USB / Series converter of few Euros,
which will be used to program the Arduino Pro Mini. The Arduino Pro Mini does not have a USB programming connector.
FTDI Module is therefore used to program the Arduino Pro Mini.
"USB Host Shield" and converter 3.3 volts to 5 volts are modules created
by an American Oleg (http://www.circuitathome.com).
If you live in Europe, you can buy them on the website http://lipoly.de
For the rest of the world, you can buy directly from the website http://www.circuitathome.com
In the PDF file from the list of components, I give the direct link to purchase these two modules

As you can see on the Photo02, there is a track on the PCB of the USB Host Shield to cut.
Photo04 I show you in detail the track to be cutting on the PCB.
This is the first thing to do to be sure not to forget.
It is very important to cut the track and check with an ohmmeter that there is more contact.
Technically, when the runway is connected to the USB VBUS, it feeds into the VBUS 3.3 Volts.
The voltage 3.3 volts is too just to establish a reliable link between the USB USB Host Shield and the
DSLR. That is why I include in the project, the module converter 3.3V to 5V voltage.
you must connect the OUT of DC-DC converter module 3.3-5Volts on VBUS (purple son on Photo02).

Personally, I preferred to use HE10 connectors to connect the USB Host Shield Module, and Module
Arduino Pro Mini. This allows to separate this modules if needed (Photo05 (2)).
But you can weld the two modules as the Photo05 (1)
to reduce the size of the DSLR remote module.
Photo05, start to solder the connectors on the USB Host Shield (Photo05 (3)) and
the connectors on the Arduino Pro Mini (Photo05 (4)).
The connectors on the Arduino Pro Mini have long legs to be able to fit into the connectors of the
USB Host Shield as the Photo05 (2).
Do not forget to weld the angled connector (Photo05 (2)) that will be plugged on the FTDI module.

Photo06 (1), connect the FTDI module with Arduino Pro Mini and connect the FTDI module to the computer via a USB cable.
Run the program (include in the ZIP file) to transfer the micro code in the Arduino Pro Mini.
Caution! There is a way to connect the FTDI module.
To connect the two modules correctly, there are indications (BLK and GRN)
listed on the Arduino Pro Mini and the FTDI module (red arrow Photo06 of (1)).

To set the other electronics modules of the DSLR Remote Module, I used a PCB pre-drilled.
If you want, you can do not use this PCB, you can connect directly to the modules with wires.
The printed circuit board pre-drilled (Photo06 (2) and Photo06 (4)) connects to the Arduino Pro Mini with
connectors.
For that the length of the male connectors are sufficient, I used pliers to force the tabs of the
Connectors as in Photo06 (3).
Photo06 (2), the PCB with the different modules and connectors welded.

Photo07 (1), you can see the connector 2 x 4-pins, I planed it, to earn a few millimeters so that
the entire assembly, enter into the box I chose.
Photo07 (2), the module DC-DC converter 3.3Volts to 5Volts welded to a 3-pin male connector.
Photo07 (3), 2 x 4-pin connector for the wireless module and the converter 3.3 / 5 soldered to the printed circuit.
Photo07 (4), the wires are welded to the connector pin 2 x 4, and DC-DC converter module.
There are two red circles on the Photo07 (4), to show you the location of the connectors.
The red arrow shows the wire used to connect the VBUS and DC-DC converter module (Photo02, purple wire).

Photo08 (1) and photo08 (2), the connector for the Bluetooth module.
By default, the Bluetooth module has a bent outward connector (photo03 (4)).
To attach Bluetooth module on the DSLR Remote module, you must bend the pins of the connector upside down.
Caution! you have to twist very gently to avoid breaking them.
If you break a pin, it does not matter, simply weld it on the connector.
Even if you have not broken pins, I suggest you do a weld (photo08 (3), red arrows)
to strengthen the resistance of the pins.
Photo08 (3), DSLR Remote module to its location in the box with 9 volt battery.
You can put another type of battery or accumulator Rechargeable (minimum voltage 4.5 Volts).
Photo08 (4), the LED and the resistor soldered to the printed circuit. if you do not want to solder on the circuit
printed, you can place them where you want with wires.
What is important is to follow the scheme of Photo02.

Photo09, the flash hot shoe. In red, the center pin (the +), in black the ground (GND).
The purple circle is the sync socket.
You can choose to use a TTL hot shoe or a none TLL.
if you choose a TTL hot shoe, for keep flash TTL automation, it will take
an iTTL for Nikon or an eTTL for Canon.
The two wires to connect , are the black wire and the blue wire, same as Photo02 (the blue wire is the red arrow in photo09).
On the Photo02 (top right), I show to you, the TTL flash hot shoe open.
It will simply replace the existing wires with longer wires.

Photo10, setting up the flash hot shoe on the box.

Photo11, the finished DSLR Remote Module.
In the photos, I did not put the USB cable that connects the remote module DSLR with the DSLR.



I hope I have provided enough information to make by yourself "Remote modules".
If you have any problems, if you have any questions, you can ask in the forum.
I do not answer questions by email, only questions in the forum.






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Implementation and use of this DIY is allowed in a personal or school environment.




Copyright 2013 ThierryD - http://rienquepourlesyeux.free.fr
First update 16/06/2013
Last update 26/01/2014
Reproduction prohibited

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