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Last update : 2020/09/05

Build the Photographer Tools

Do not panic, there is no need for knowledge in electronics and computer to make and build the "Photographer Tools".
Read this tutorial, I give all the information to do it.

If you have any questions or problems during the implementation, they should be asked in the forum, in the
"Questions / Answers" section, in the bottom of the forum (in the left menu of the website, there is a link to the forum).
And the answers will be useful to other people. I do not answer questions by email.

To make the Photographer Tools, you must buy electronic components. I provide a PDF (components list.pdf),
a list of components to buy with all references (in the ZIP file, left menu of the site, "Download" link).
The file "component list.pdf" is composed of several columns: Designation (component name) Boutique (the seller's website),
reference of the component on the seller, the quantity that you order, the price and a comment column.
Caution ! If you want to order electronic components away from my seller E44 ,
resistors are sold per 10, so when I write in the quantity column is 2,
it means in another seller 2 x 10 so 20 resistors.

Some electronic components can be purchased on sites sales electronic components online on the Internet.
I chose the E44 website ( ) to give you all references and price.
This online website selling electronic components,do postage delivery throughout France for 5 Euros (shipping costs).
They can also make deliveries in Europe and also in the world, but for Europe and world, you will send them an email
with the list of electronic components that you want to buy, for know the amount of shipping costs to your destination.
To find the electronic components on the E44 website, simply put the reference that I stated in the PDF file,
in the "search" field at the top right of the site E44 .
I chose the E44 website because I often order from them, the prices are often very low and shipping costs are not expensive.

It will also buy some components on Ebay, as the touchscreen LCD, Bluetooth module, WIFI module ...
In the PDF file "Component list.pdf" I separate the electronic components to buy from E44,
and components to buy on Ebay. For components to buy on Ebay, I can not give you links directly (or vendor names)
as prices change often (often lower). I give you the name of the component to search in the field Ebay search.
To find the correct component on Ebay, you simply specify the name that I wrote in the column "Designation" in the Ebay search.
Do not forget to search including vendors abroad (world search for best price).
By default, Ebay only offers sellers in your country (therefore prices are much more expensive).
For very low prices, choose vendors in China, vendors Chinese deliver worldwide.
Another recommendation for your search on Ebay, do a ranking by "Price + Shipping least expensive." Ebay
payments are made by Paypal, so, you need to create a PayPal account, if you do not. I buy regularly in China by Ebay,
and I've never had a problem with delivery, sellers are very serious. Delivery times are long (between 3 and 5 weeks),
but the prices are really interesting. There are several models of WIFI module, touch screen LCD, Bluetooth and micro.
On Photo01, I'll show you the right components to buy, and those that do not buy.
- For the WIFI module, you must purchase a module to 8 Pins and especially not at 10 Pins, who is not compatible.
- To the LCD touch module, you should check that it is written the word "SSD1289" for the name of the driver,
it includes SD card reader and has a single connector.
- For the Bluetooth module, you will need a bluetooth module slave 4 Pins (Those with 6 Pins are often master Bluetooth modules).
Also check that the Bluetooth module is full, as it can be purchased in two parts that you must solder. The good product
is often sold with a white cord. This cable is required to connect the Bluetooth module to the "Photographer Tools", so buy it directly.
- For the microphone, there are plenty of models, many models are only logic detection (sound is on / the sound is off).
It takes a microphone module for analog to adjust the level of detection directly with the "Photographer Tools".
The right module (the good) is very thin and long and comes with a cable (red, blue, black).
We will need this cable to connect the microphone to the "Tools photograher."
- Photo15, I show you a picture of the webcam (I bought it 2.54 Euros) and those that do not buy.
The green arrow indicates that the color of the lens is purple, which indicates the presence of a filter Anti-infrared.
I'll explain further down why you need an Anti-infrared filter. The red arrows shows the IR LEDS that fit some webcams.
These LEDs can see at night (Webcam 0 LUX) and therefore these webcams have no IR cut filter, so they do not interest us.
Help yourself with the Photo01 and the photo15 to choose the components to buy on Ebay.

For soldering components, it is necessary to use a printed circuit (PCB) because there are many connections.
This project is aimed at people who do not have the knowledge and equipment to make a printed circuit board (PCB).
To optimize and minimize the circuit board, I opted to make a double sided PCB with metallized holes.
Many holes are metallized in the connectors, and are used to pass from the first side to the second side.
So even if you have the equipment to manufacture PCB you can not do PCB with metallized holes and you can not make
contact between the two sides. That is why I propose to order the PCB to a specialized company and you send it.
I do not think hundreds of people ask me a PCB, and the post being next to my home, I therefore propose to serve,
for this a order PCB by 5, which allows a PCB for 29.87 Euros. (for one unit, the price is 80 Euros, includes company shipping).
If you are interested to make this project, send me an email (my email address is written down in the left menu of the website,
in the buttom). I'll give you the link to make a Paypal payment and I will send to you the PCB by postal with tracking.
Paypal gives you proof of payment and a guarantee if you have any doubt about my seriousness.
The sending letter with tracking, provides a guarantee that the PCB has been posted and you have received (it is a guarantee for me).
Depending on your country, Paypal takes a fee for the transaction (from 3.4% in France and 5.2% in other country + 0.25 Euros).
Here is the cost price of the printed circuit board (I rounded up a few pennies).
For France: PCB 30 Euros + 1.47 Euros Paypal fee + Shipping 3.75 Euros = 36 Euros (rounded)
For Europe: PCB 30 Euros + Paypal fee 2.03 Euros + Shipping 5,90 Euros = 38 Euros (rounded)
For the rest of the world: PCB 30 Euros + 2.28 Euros Paypal fee + Shipping 6.60 Euros = 39 Euros (rounded)

To solder the components on the PCB, you need a soldering iron (30 Watts max and fine tip) .
You can buy one from E44 for 6.90 Euros (placing your order for only once, for reduce shipping cost).
Think also of tin to solder (3 Euros for 30 grams or 9 Euros for coil of 100 grams).

Now let's get serious.

Photo02, you can see all the components needed to build the Photographer tools.
From left to right, the Arduino DUE, Bluetooth module, WIFI module, the TCS3414 sensor (color and light), the jack connectors,
the zener diodes, the two transistors, the two capacitors, the switch, the distance sensor, the red LEDs, the BPW21R for the flash meter,
the light sensor for light detection, the socket (in French = support) for integrated circuits, all resistance,
LCD touch screen 3.2 inch with SD CARD slot and finally the circuit board of Photographer Tools, and all headers (In french = barrette)
at the bottom. In this photo, there is missing one capacitor, there is missing on zener diode (I put that 3) and there is missing
the 4 integrated circuits as 4N26.

Photo03, the layout diagram of the components, it is useful, because it has both the name of the component (eg C2)
but also its value (for C2: 4.7uF). So remember to consult the Photo03, when you have a question for soldering a component.
This will allow you to be sure of its name and its value, but also the direction to weld.

Photo04, the printed circuit. This PCB is silkscreened (the silkscreen is what you see in white, the white enrollments).
The silkscreen will also allow to visualize the names of the components to be welded so as not to mislead and meaning.

Photo05, the first thing to be welded, the connectors (Headers) on the buttom side of the PCB.
These first connectors (Headers) are secured upside down relative to all the other components (side without printing = no silkscreen).
They will connect on the Arduino DUE. In this photo, there is a red arrow on the double row female connector (Header) is to show to you,
that I cut it. Originally, it is a 10-pin connector, we need 6-pin (2 x 3-pin).
It will therefore be cut with a cutter or a mini drill with a disc as a lapidary.
The double row male connector header (the great right of the photo) is the 40-pin (2 x 20), it will cut the with a cutter,
to have a 36-pin connector (2 x 18). To make all single row male connectors, I have cut the 36 pin header connector into small pieces.
Cut 5 pieces of 8 pin connectors and one 10-pin connector.
Caution ! Must be that the connectors are properly aligned for easy entry into the connectors on the Arduino DUE.
Tip: You can insert the connectors into the Arduino DUE, put the PCB over the DUE, and finally welding all connectors.
This will allow you to be sure the alignment of the connectors.

Photo06, the PCB returned. You can see the welds of the bottom connectors that you just welded.
We now solder the connectors present on the top side of the PCB. The double row female connectors 40-pin (2 x 20)
on the right is used to connect the LCD touch screen of 3.2 inches.
Above, the red arrow indicates that we will have even cut a connector, the second connector 10 pin (2 x 5 pins)
that must be cut to 8-pins connector (2 x 4). Now, you must cut the female 10-pin header, to create 2 pieces of 3 pin connector
used to connect the TCS3414. Do not forget to put the connectors (red arrows bottom) which will be used to connect the battery
and plug external power. In the middle you see the bent connectors (In french = barrette coudée) that connect the Bluetooth module,
the micro but also, future extensions and/or opportunities.
Each time, look at the pictures to be sure not to forget to have components and welds.

Photo07, welding the two transistors (BF421): Q1 and Q2.
Watch the screen, there is a flat side of the transistor, this will give you a direction for welding and do not deceive you.
The blue components with the black ring, it is the zener diodes D1, D2, D3 and D4. I put a red circle in the middle of the photo.
This is to show you that I forgot to solder a diode zener when I took the pictures.
So, take your time, check each times that you have nothing forgot, compare with the photos.
You see, even me, I made ??a mistake, I forgot a zener diode.
For soldering zener diodes, the tip of the triangle with "S" on the screen, represents the black ring of the diode.

Photo08 solder the resistors of 100 Ohms and the two capacitors.
The 100 Ohm resistors have color bands: Brown, Black, Brown and a final gold band.
There are 12 resistors of 100 Ohms R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7, R8, R15, R16, R17, R18.
There are two capacitors: C2 in the upper left (4.7uF) and C1 (10uF) For resistors, there is no direction,
you can weld it same as you want. The capacitors have a direction (+ and -).
Look at the Photo08 on the capacitor at the top left (C2 4.7uF) we see a white band with "-",
That permit to help you to know the good direction. On the printed circuit (PCB), there are signs "+" and "-" to
avoid mistakes and help you to put the component in good direction.

Photo09, solder the 3 resistors of 10 Kohms: R9, R10 and R14 (rings colors: brown, black, orange and gold).
Solder the two resistors of 100 Kohms: R11 and R13 (rings colors: Brown, black, yellow and gold).
And finally solder resistance of 560 Kohms: R12 (rings colors: Green, blue, yellow and gold).

Photo10, solder the four sockets for integrated circuits. These sockets (support) are used to fix the 4N26 optocoupler.
These Supports for integrated circuits allow to change the component, if one day if it is damaged.
These supports have a small notch to the left, for follow the direction for welding.
This will permit to insert the integrated circuits 4N26 in the right direction without making mistakes.
The 4N26 Integrated circuits, have also, a small notch, or a point that permit to know the right direction.

Photo11 solder the jacks connectors. I cut a pin on the rear of jacks (see the zoom with the two small red arrows).
This pin serves no purpose, and is not connected to the circuit board. This allows you to set the perfect alignment when you solder it.

Photo12 solder the 4 red LEDs.
Tips: I put a piece of cardboard of 7 mm, it is that all LEDs as the same height, and are aligned (large red arrow).
The two small red arrows show to you that I made a small error in design (I designed the circuit printed while I had not yet
received the TCS3414). It will therefore bend a little the two connectors, and bend the legs a little of the TCS3414.
This has absolutely no effect on operation.
Caution ! there is a way to put the TCS3414, look at the signs "SCL" and "SDA".
There is a direction also to put the LEDs. Look at the picture of the LED on the PCB, LEDs have a flat side to put them in
the right direction.

Photo13, it remains to weld the photodiode BPW21R, there is a direction.
The photodiode have a little pin on the side . On the PCB, the small pin is designed, to not deceive you.
You can also insert the WIFI module to the connector (red arrow on the right).

Now I'll explain why, in the list of electronic components, there is a webcam. it is essential to have an anti-infrared filter.
If you do not use anti-infrared filter, values of colorimeter and the exposure meter will be wrong.
Light bulbs and the sun emit a lot of infrared that the human eye can not see.
What interests us is what the human eye sees, therefore it is necessary to eliminate the infrared.

Photo14, I show you that there are anti-infrared filters (IR cut filter) in almost all Webcam, Smartphone and mobile phones with camera.
The red arrows, show to you, the Webcam that I disassembled and broken to retrieve the IR cut filter.
It is an old Webcam which do not works (and the phone was broken also).
Top right, I made an enlargement to show to you what looks like a infrared filter.
They may have a square or round. On a white, they have a blue-green color.
When placed under a certain angle with the light, they have purple hues.

There are Webcams that have no IR cut filter. These are webcams that can see in the dark.
These webcams have small colored LEDs colorless, they are infrared LEDs for night view.
Photo15, I show to you, at left, the webcam that I bought for the project Photographer Tools, at right,
the webcams you should not buy because they do not have Ir cut filter.
The Webcam which I bought has a lens with purple reflections, which proves that it use a filter IR cut.

Photo16, the webcam bought on Ebay. To remove the IR cut filter, unscrew the lens of the webcam.
You should cut the lens lightly of the webcam with a cutter, a hacksaw blade or a mini drill with disk as a lapidary.
Take your time, do not damage the filter or strike out the filter.

You now paste this infrared filter on the TCS3414 as same as photo17.
WARNING! it is necessary to glue it only on the sides and angles, not on the surface. Do not use speed glue like super glue
because it will leave white marks as it dries. It is therefore necessary to use glue like the neoprene, neoprene glue leaves no traces.
Once glued and dry (24 hours), pass a cotton swab with glass cleaner to clean the IR cut filter surface
(on photo17, my filter is full of dust).

It remains to soldering the sensor (HC-SR04). Photo18, shows the distance sensor welded to the PCB.
WARNING! Must bend the 4 tabs on the sensor because I purposely mount upside down on the PCB.
Look good on photo18, the sensor not to deceive you (Gnd, Echo, Trig and VCC). The sensor is mounted upside down because its
height is greater than the height of the PCB located in the housing (box).

Well, you're almost finished welding the components, the "Photographer Tools" is almost ready.
There is still the light sensor (SFH203) and the power switch.
Photo19, the green arrow shows the position of the switch on the PCB. It is welded (solded) at midway of the pad on the PCB,
this corresponds exactly to the width of the housing (the box, in french = coffret).
The photodiode SFH203 is set at the same distance as the switch.
Caution ! There is a direction to put the sensor SFH203, look at the design screen printed on the PCB, there is a flat side on the SFH203.
Tip: check, with the PCB in the housing (the box) that the distances are good. It is worth checking before solder because
it is not easy to unsolder after, if you're wrong. The two arrows blue shows to you, that I have twisted the connectors
for the battery and the external power jack. Photo20, create 4 feet of 5 mm. I used lollipop sticks (chupa chups)
and old screws found at home.

Photo21, you must create two feet of 11 millimeters for the LCD. I use lollipop sticks.
You must make a small change on the PCB of the LCD touch screen. By default, the LCD touch screen are made to work with
ARDUINO UNO and MEGA, and that works with 5 Volts. The ARDUINO DUE operates at 3.3 volts.
SD cards operate at 3.3 volts. So that as SD cards operate at 3.3 volts, but the Arduino UNO and MEGA operate 5 Volts,
the manufacturers of LCD adds 3 SMD resistors to limit the voltage (the 3 small black rectangles with noted above 102 or 202 for example),
Photo22 red arrow. You can easily found these 3 resistors because they are located right next to the SD card reader
(photo22 green arrow) and you can see the tracks that connect the resistor to the SD card reader (blue arrows photo22).
If you do not change this, the SD card reader will operate at low speed, or it will not works following the model of 3.2 inch LCD touch
screen that you purchased. The change is very simple, you solder a thin wire to bypass the resistance, for not use it.
Note: On some models, there are 4 SMD components next to each other, in this case, there is the 3 resistors and a capacitor.
This capacitor will often beige or brown and is denoted "C". Do not bypass this capacitor.
It takes only do short-circuit or bypass on the 3 resistances rated "R" on the PCB of the LCD.

Before continuing and assemble the sandwich (The sandwich is the Arduino + The PCB + The LCD), you must program the Arduino DUE.
To download the program to the Arduino DUE:
I provided in the "download" (in the left menu of the website), a ZIP file named "Tools Photographer"
(DD-MM-YYYY for the day - month - year of the last version of the ZIP file).
Unpack the ZIP file into a directory, for example: "c:\TEMP"
The ZIP file contains 4 directories and files:
- The "Readme.txt" file for version history know the ZIP file.
- The file "component List.pdf" for the list of components to buy in the folder "DOCUMENTATIONS".
- The folder "DRIVERS" that contains drivers or drivers that will be used to recognize the ARDUINO card by the computer.
- The directory "Download program into ARDUINO DUE" that contains the program for transferring the code in the ARDUINO.
- The directory "SD CARD" that contains the files and directories that you will copied to an SD card.
- The directory "DOCUMENTATIONS" which includes various PDF files.
- The directory "CALIBRATION" which contains the calibration program (see "Photographer Tools programs")

ARDUINO programming:
- Connect the ARDUINO card into a USB port on your computer (Windows XP, vista, seven, windows 8) with a micro USB cable.
The micro USB cable is connected to the USB port on the middle of the ARDUINO DUE.
- Windows detects a new USB device, if Windows can not find drivers for ARDUINO, specify the location of the driver that I provided
(for example, c:\TEMP\DRIVERS).
To correctly install the driver on Windows read this link: Installation Guide
- Now that the ARDUINO is properly recognized and installed on the computer, launch the "Download Program in Arduino DUE.exe"
in the directory c:\TEMP\Download program into ARDUINO and click on "Download the program".
A message informs you that the programming operation is complete.

SD card:
Copy all files from the folder "SD CARD" of the ZIP file (SD card formatted FAT16) on the SD card.
WARNING ! Do not copy the folder "SD CARD" but the files and directories contained in the folder "SD CARD".
Insert the SD card into the SD card slot of the LCD touch screen of 3.2 inches.
Personally, I use an old SD card that came with the purchase of an old camera. My SD card is 16 MB, but you can put a 2 GB if you want.

First test:
Now that ARDUINO DUE is programmed and the files are on the SD card, you can test the "Photographer Tools" before putting it in a box.
Disconnect the USB cable from the computer, the Arduino DUE no longer powered.
Insert the SD card into the card reader of the LCD touch screen (if you do not have already).
Plug the PCB with the ARDUINO DUE (Photo23). Plug the LCD touch screen on the PCB (Photo24).
You can now reconnect the USB cable. The "Tools Photographer" should start.
You arrive on the first screen with an image and the menu at the bottom.
With your finger or a stylus, press a button on the menu and start to discover the "Photographer Tools".

At the start of the "Photographer Tools", there is the initialization step. During this stage, some modules are tested,
as WIFI, distance sensor, the sensor TCS3414 and the SD card. If a problem is detected, it will appear in red.
Sometimes the distance sensor is in error at startup, if the distance measurement is greater than 5 meters.

Box set:
The "Tools Photographer" works, you have played around with, it is now time to put it into housing.
You are a little handyman, so you will not have problem for this last part.

Photo25, I show to you some specific cuts I made. Jack connectors being rectangular and the housing is inclined on the side,
I have cut a little the box so that it closes properly (red arrow in the upper left).
The WIFI module is a little too high (due to quartz), it will have to dig a little the box, to close it correctly
(red arrow in the middle). Screw heads that I have used to attach the LCD on the feet in lollipop is not thin,
I dug a little the box (red arrow below).

Photo26, blue arrows are important. The PCB is a little longer than the interior of the housing, I have cutting a little the
housing of the 9 volt battery. In addition to this advantage, it provides access to the USB ports Arduino DUE,
just by removing the 9 volt battery (see the Photo29). Start by cutting the housing for the 9 volt battery,
after you can begin all other cuts. It should start with that. The 2 red arrows on the Photo26, shows to you the little
microphone attached and the external power jack glued.
The green arrow shows the two connectors that will be connected to the PCB. The first for 9 Volts battery "BAT",
the second for the external power "POWER" (see the silkscreen on the PCB).

Photo27, the cuts are almost finished. The box (housing, case) is almost ready.
Tip to cut the rectangle of the LCD:
- Cut a piece of paper the exact dimensions of the LCD screen.
- Put the sandwich in the box (sandwich, it's the circuit board Arduino + LCD + PCB)
- Place the piece of paper on the LCD screen.
- Put 4 small pieces of double sided tape stuck in every corner of the paper.
- Make sure that the piece of paper is perfectly aligned on the LCD screen.
- Gently, cover the lCD with the box cover.
- The piece of paper will stick in the inside the box cover.
- You can now cut the rectangle to insert the LCD in the box cover.
This is the piece of paper who guide, for cut properly the rectangle.
For cutting, I used a mini drill with a mini disc (such as a lapidary).
But you can cut with a cutter but you will be patient because it will take time.

Photo28, we see the housing for the 9 volt battery cutted.
This allows access to two USB ports on the Arduino DUE if necessary, without open the box
(for transfert a new program or update for exemple).
To prevent the 9 volt battery touches the PCB ,and make short circuits, I glued a piece of plastic transparent.

This is the same plastic that I used to protect the sensor from dust (Photo29, red arrows).
Caution ! In the choice of plastic. It takes a semi-rigid transparent pastique as white as possible.
Look closely at the plastic you want to choose from several angles to the light.
Some plastics are slightly bluish (blue), which will distort the measurement of the colorimeter.
Tip: I used a plastic box of chocolate bread.
the Plastic on food pastry radius are often White, it is for see the product, but also because it is not the same plastic
that other plastic packaging (this is normal, it's a plastic for food).
To build the printing, on the box (all black markings on the box), I used " Laser Printer Clear Adhesive Film A4"
(search with Google, we find the unit from 2.49 Euros A4 sheet).
I provided in the ZIP file in the directory "DOCUMENTATIONS", the print model "Box.pdf."
Caution ! your LCD screen may be slightly different from mine, it is possible that the window of the LCD not correspond exactly.
In this case, do it yourself the model to print, it allows you to customize the front of the box.

I hope I have provided enough information to make by yourself the "Photographer Tools".
If you have any problems, if you have any questions, you can ask it in the forum.
I do not answer questions by email, only questions in the forum.
Sorry for my poor english, if you have correction, don't hesitate to post it in the forum,
after I will perform a correction.

All photos and texts are subject to copyright and distribution rights.
Reproduction in whole or in part, photographs and texts, without permission, is strictly prohibited.
Any commercial use of this arrangement is subject to intellectual property rights.
So thank you not to reproduce or distribute internet images and texts of this DIY.
Implementation and use of this DIY is allowed in a personal or school environment.

Copyright 2013 ThierryD -
First update 03/03/2013
Last update 03/03/2013
Reproduction prohibited

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