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USB corded shutter control for Nikon

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#51 theChef613

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Posted 26 October 2015 - 11:13 AM

Hello again! i was finally about to get it to work.. although its not exactly the same setup as the one in the forum. basically i goes as follows:

usb ground and mcdc yellow go to emmitter

mcdc red and white go to collector

rts goes to base through resistor

i never used diodes 

im gonna play around with the circuit to see if theres a variation that uses the diodes. thank you again!



#52 simoninthelakes

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 06:37 AM

Hi ccs_hello

Thanks for this thread and the very useful guide to assembly.  Here's my version, using a slight variation in the components.  My board has a mini-USB socket and it fits nicely inside a stripped-out remote clone.  The board arrived with 8 extra pins which I removed as not required.  Completion requires a USB to min-USB cable, which puts the finished item nicely mid-cable rather than right at the PC in an oversized USB plug.

 

I don't think the board is quite in the optimum position in the remote shell yet.  There are two other GND points on the board so the white cable doesn't have to occupy the same GND hole as the transistor.  Also it might be useful to drill a small window in the shell so the user can see the red light on the board when connection is made, and use a longer USB to mini-USB cable so the finished article is about 2 metres.

 

 

The componentry is not expensive but the work does take some time and an element of skill, so I can see why some would not want to try this.  You have said here that you'd like someone to take this over as a project... does that mean you'd be happy for me to make these for other enthusiasts in the UK based on your instructions?  I'd want to cover my time costs of course, so they wouldn't be free.

 

Best wishes

Simon

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#53 ccs_hello

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 12:16 PM

Simon,

 

Sure your effort is encouraged and gratefully appreciated!

Please note that the USB-serial dongle's chipset (say FTDI) may need to get its device driver from the seller's own website instead of the official (or from MS Optional Update.)

 

P.S.  I may release a similar project and this time using a different board (about $3) and using "cooked" command as opposed to using RTS control signal.

         Of course it will be 100% open.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#54 simoninthelakes

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 07:50 AM

Hi again ccs_hello

 

Thanks for the encouragement!  Yes, I downloaded the drivers from FTDI's website.

The more I look at this, the more realise some of the mistakes I made earlier on.  For example, I hadn't seen your other thread showing the USB dongle with the plug that can be prised open, so I had been searching for a hobby-type USB casing to take the independently sourced PCB - hence my comment above about an oversized USB plug.  That's what led me to strip out the insides of the remote, which was a a pretty good solution.

 

However, now I've found your USB dongle I'll have a go at installing the transistor, resistor and two diodes in that small gap, using (say) a 2m cable snipped from a remote clone.  Given that there's no need for autofocus pre-focusing in astrophotography, the focus wire from the remote is redundant, which might save some space inside the dongle by eliminating one of the diodes. That would result in a pure cable with a USB plug at one end and a Nikon plug at the other, and no visible joins.

 

Simon



#55 ccs_hello

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 06:19 PM

For Nikon DSLRs, focus signal is required for camera to fire, even using a telescope OTA.

Also use two diodes as indicated as the proper implementation.  Do not tie these two leads together.



#56 simoninthelakes

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 08:04 AM

You're absolutely right that the focus circuit can't be eliminated, even when the camera is switched to manual focus.  It's easy to test with a remote by opening it and bridging "Common" to "Snap"  -  it just doesn't fire the shutter.

 

Looking at a plain remote, leaving aside the USB/serial/PC question, bridging "Focus" to "Snap" would simply prepare these circuits to be triggered at the same time - which is what happens when the remote trigger is pressed to its full extent, so that top, middle and bottom are all directly connected.  If the focus has been set manually - as it is when using an OTA or manual lens - the confirmation of focus is delivered at the time the circuit is made.  What am I missing here?  By your logic should the standard remote have a couple of diodes in its circuit?

 

Thanks for your patience!

 

Simon



#57 ccs_hello

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 08:56 AM

Simon,

 

These 2 diodes are providing "focus" and "snap" signal isolation when in normal state.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#58 simoninthelakes

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 10:36 AM

Yes of course!  I see now how the circuits are protected even though the leads are tied together upstream of the diodes in this photo http://www.cloudynig...74260101194.jpg

 

The diodes are necessary because there is only one triggering connection in the dongle, exactly the position I was trying to describe above.  They are not used in the standard remote because its rest state is for both circuits to be disconnected.

 

Clear skies to you too sir!  We have wall to wall clouds and rain here at the moment, and for the foreseeable future...

 

Simon


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#59 Joepie

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 07:08 PM

Hi ccs_hello,

 

First of all, thank you for making this topic :)

 

I've ordered the items needed to make a Nikon USB bulb cable, namely:

MC-DC2
Germanium diodes (1N34)
4.7k ohm 1/4W resistors
2SA1015 in-line triode transistors TO-92 0.15A 50V PNP
6pin FTDI FT232RL USB to Serial TTL cable

 

full.jpg

 

Bigger: http://static.tweake...6Qv1r7/full.jpg

 

I want to make sure I solder these things together correctly as this is my first time soldering and because I'm not eager to wait another 3 weeks to receive another USB cable or MC-DC2. So I've made a diagram according to your posts in this topic to show you how I'm planning to solder.

 

full.png

 

Could you check to see if this is going to work?

Did I buy the correct transistor (voltage)?

Since I need this cable to provide bulb over USB and nothing else, I can remove the metal plates from the MC-DC2 and solder everything to the wires right?

 

Pin outs are known by me, so no problems expected there, just so you know.

 

Kind regards,

 

Joep



#60 ccs_hello

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 07:28 PM

Joep,

 

Yes, your drawing is correct.

Please note that the diode has polarity.  The black ring should face right in your diagram.

 

A hint: add a step 0..

There a few FTDI cables around the Internet sellers, to ensure its continuous operation, only use the driver provided/recommended by the seller.

Use that to verify if such dongle is recognized by Windows (as well as note the COM port number.)

If it works, from this point on, do not update driver, even if it is in MS Optional (or even Recommended) monthly patch.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#61 Joepie

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Posted 05 December 2015 - 07:44 PM

Wow, such a quick response! :blush:

 

Good to know about the polarity and the drivers! I'll get going tomorrow :)



#62 skybadger

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:41 AM

I know this is an old topic but I'm having trouble with this....

 

I have the parts and the experience but its not quite making sense and it certainly not operating!

My serial interface (ftdi) provides ttl output for RTS#. Ie RTS is operationally low going back high once de-asserted. I can see that using DSLR Shutter and my scope. 

 

The DSLR I am talking to is a Nikon D5100. I measure -4.4v on the focus and -0.2v on the snap tangs of the MCD-1 manual exposure switch, with reference to what I expected to be ground on the middle tang. Remembering this a two-step switch - ground the top tang to assert 'focus' and then push harder to ground the bottom tang to assert 'snap'.

 

If I assemble it assuming the middle tang is ground, and the Ge diodes (1N60) pointing towards the transistor, grounding the top tang causes a focus action, grounding the diodes does nothing. Since this last action is a test for normal operation, this seems suspect to me that I am getting something wrong. 

 

Does this mean that the middle tang isn't ground ? Is this normal ? The action I am expecting is that closing the first switch pulls the voltage on the 'focus' to ground, further closing the switch pulls the voltage on 'snap' to ground. If that's the case then I have no idea why its showing a negative voltage...

 

I also have a second MCD unit from the same chinese vendor and its exactly the same. 

 

If the top tang is actually ground and closing the switch pulls first 'focus' then 'snap' to ground, then I need to re-arrange the diodes. 

 

I measured the forward voltage drop on the Ge diodes to be 0.32v 

I re-measured the resistor to be 4.7K

 

Anyone have any ideas?

Cheers

Mike



#63 ccs_hello

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Posted 15 March 2017 - 07:34 AM

Mike,

 

No clue on what MCD-1 is. 

The ordinary manual shutter control cord has three blades inside.

Top one (closest to the shutter push button) is focus.

Middle one is the common and the bottom one is the snap.

D5100 camera supplies the voltage. Connect VOM's black lead to the common, to probe focus and snap contacts.

Both should show positive voltage.

 

If still not working, a short-cut work around validation is:

- omit both Ge diodes

- tie focus and snap contacts together

- weld above to PNP transistor "E"

- weld common to PNP TR's "C"

 - temporary short PNP transistor's "B" to "C", the camera should take a shot

 

if tested ok, then weld "B" thru a 4K7 resistor to FTDI chip's RTS; weld "C" to FTDI's gound.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#64 skybadger

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 12:49 PM

Cheers for that. MCD-1 is the camera controller device - the switch that provides the snap and focus signals.
The part that confused me is that using a dvm and a 'scope resulted in the voltages measured, which don't reflect dragging down a 5v high logic signal to ground on switch closure.

Which is why I was thinking that maybe in my devices, they have wired common to the top tang and successive pushing drops focus to ground and then snap as all tangs are combined to ground.
I'll have to play further...
Cheers
Mike

#65 ccs_hello

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Posted 21 March 2017 - 04:44 AM

Mike,

 

Your MCD-1 device's top blade is Common, middle is Focus, and the bottom one is Snap.

 

Clear Skies!

 

ccs_hello



#66 skybadger

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 03:05 PM

Hi CCS, I made the chnages and now it all works.

Interestingly it takes pictures whenever I startup dslr shutter and when I plug in the usb serial if the hand control is already connected. I think its bleeding off charge ..

Mike



#67 ccs_hello

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 07:28 PM

Updated material to be used on the USB-serial "PL2303HXD 6pin" dongle

http://www.ebay.com/...G-/172642087682

(about $3.35 shipped)



#68 Quinnn

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 09:51 PM

Okay so, I got everything and soldered it together, but it causes the camera to shut off when connected.

 

I just realised, that the transistor I got is this one: http://www.ebay.com/...872.m2749.l2649

 

can someone confirm that this is correct? I'm not sure why else it wouldn't work.

 

kszxjCN.png


Edited by Quinnn, 14 July 2017 - 10:05 PM.


#69 ccs_hello

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Posted 14 July 2017 - 11:10 PM

I suspect the issue is in that group of wires (red, black, and grey) close to the camera side.

Without a picture on that side, there is no way to tell red/black/grey is correct or not. 



#70 Quinnn

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 07:22 PM

Grey is white. I assume that red + black is the same as the original red +yellow

 

I'm realizing now that I made the mistake of disconnecting and disassembling the remote before starting. Now I can't say for sure which of the red-black-white wires from the remote go to what.


Edited by Quinnn, 15 July 2017 - 08:29 PM.


#71 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 09:39 AM

Wiring is not based on color code, since different shutter cords have different designs.

 

Either show detailed pictures on that shutter control cord (both ends) or ask a local person who has enough electronic knowledge to help you.



#72 Quinnn

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 04:18 PM

Wiring is not based on color code, since different shutter cords have different designs.

I understand this, which is why showing a photo to you will not help. 

 

I disassembled the controller and took out all 3 metal blades, so it will be hard to determine what the r/b/w wires are. 

 

Considering how cheap these remote are, I think I'll just purchase another one and assemble it without removing the blades, so that I know what wire is snap, ect. 


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#73 Quinnn

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:58 PM

Update, I swapped the black wire with the white wire, and now it seems to work(?)

 

When I plug in the cable, the camera takes like 4-5 shots on it's own for some reason.

 

BYN works for 1 shot, and after that shot is completed, it says "Access to the port 'COM3' is denied."

 

It keeps saying this until I disable and reenable it on device manager.

 

Any ideas?



#74 ccs_hello

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:39 AM

Soldering problems? Burnt/partially working components? Top-n-middle shutter remote control's blade swapped?

 

If your camera is using a "battery saver" (i.e., AC-DC power adapter), try to use a standard Li-Ion battery to rule out. 



#75 Quinnn

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 07:55 AM

Soldering problems? Burnt/partially working components? Top-n-middle shutter remote control's blade swapped?

 

If your camera is using a "battery saver" (i.e., AC-DC power adapter), try to use a standard Li-Ion battery to rule out. 

I rebuilt the entire thing with fresh solder and new components. I'm using a battery as well.

 

 

I will try the 3rd combination of wires. Is there a way to determine without the blades which is which? 

 

I'm not sure it's a wiring issue though, because when the camera is initially connected, it can do 1 shot just fine. I did a 300 second exposure without issue, but after that it did not continue to work until I reconnected it.




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