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USB corded shutter control for Nikon

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#176 Heddie_77

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 01:54 PM

Hello,

 

I will try to make one of this shutter cables for my Nikon D90. But before I advance to do that, I need to know if with the cable we can still got pictures directly for Astro Photography Tool - APT.

 

Thanks in advance.



#177 ccs_hello

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 03:07 PM

D90 needs USB-serial BULB control cable (like this thread) or DSUSB control cable, in addition to the already needed USB cable for camera control and data transfer.

The above is applicable to BYN as well as APT.



#178 ccs_hello

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 03:09 PM

Need BULB tether cable or not, see this 

https://www.otelesco...ion-otl-byn-p/ 

 ( <--  click CAMERAS tab)   It is Nikon camera's limitation.


Edited by ccs_hello, 26 April 2020 - 03:11 PM.


#179 Heddie_77

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 02:29 PM

Need BULB tether cable or not, see this 

https://www.otelesco...ion-otl-byn-p/ 

 ( <--  click CAMERAS tab)   It is Nikon camera's limitation.

Hello,

 

My D90 needs USB for Tether, so this shutter cable will not work. In another forum topic, I found this shutter cable but with IR. It´s possible to use APT for tethering and shutter (two separated cables and the same program)? Could you please confirm.

 

By the way, on past the week end I have made this arduino project for bulp( https://www.youtube....h?v=hE0Hi440VWQ ),

Were you have the base of the project: https://learn.adafru...-intervalometer

 

I can make 30+sec exposures usind IR . I have also tried this with my old Nikon D50, this program can be costumizated. smile.gif and I can use APT for tether and for maximum 10seg exposures. for more time I use arduino IR wink.gif with APT theter.

 

Thanks,


Edited by Heddie_77, 27 April 2020 - 02:38 PM.


#180 moxican

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 04:10 PM

Yes, this cable should work with APT. This is from APT manual

 

Capture.PNG

 

The corded shutter control cable built here will assign a COM port. As a matter of fact this very thread is linked in their manual as an accepted long exposure solution for certain cameras.


Edited by moxican, 27 April 2020 - 04:29 PM.


#181 Heddie_77

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 01:12 PM

Yes, this cable should work with APT. This is from APT manual

 

attachicon.gifCapture.PNG

 

The corded shutter control cable built here will assign a COM port. As a matter of fact this very thread is linked in their manual as an accepted long exposure solution for certain cameras.

Many thanks for your help, I have already ordered the needed parts and I will make the IR option.



#182 ccs_hello

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 02:39 PM

I don't think Nikon D90 can be controlled thru an IR-based control pad.



#183 ccs_hello

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 02:42 PM

Re: My D90 needs USB for Tether, so this shutter cable will not work

 

No, the Bulb control is on that special shutter control port, which is serial controlled.

Since modern PC does not has a serial port, so it is thru USB-serial dongle to control the shutter in Bulb mode.

 

P.S.  a separate USB cable (PC's USB to DSLR's USB port) is still needed.



#184 Heddie_77

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Posted 28 April 2020 - 02:54 PM

I don't think Nikon D90 can be controlled thru an IR-based control pad.

I will try the option given by moxican, I will use two USB ports, one for tether in APT and the other for the IR. If that doesn't work, I still have my arduino option.  wink.gif

 

My nikon D90 and D50 have IR ports, and both work with the ML-L3 remote control or other universal IR remote control.



#185 otykarol

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 06:12 PM

Hello,

 

First of all, thank you for sharing your project and doing a great support!

 

I have noticed very strange and chaotic behavior in APT on BULB exposures on my setup (Nikon D5100 + FT232 chipset solded with your solution).

 

When I connect serial USB to the camera and computer, the camera takes 2-5 "empty" and unwanted shots. I have noticed that several other people above experienced this as well and ccs_hello explained that it is a "transient state" issue. Is there a way to fix that?

 

Regarding BULB exposures in APT. Sometimes it works fine, but from time to time APT does one of the following, when I press Shoot BULB exposure (for example 20 seconds):

1) Shutter opens for less tan a second, it closes, and then it opens again, and it stays like that (with Status: "C" and Finished Plan - Bulb Shot appearing just after the plan starts) until I close APT or disconnect the camera.

2) When I try to do DARV alignment, I enter 0.5 minutes in the DARV menu, I choose BULB 30 second exposure, it sometimes gets into a loop of doing multiple short-exposure shots, it never gets to doing 30-seconds shot as instructed. I have to restart APT and camera in order to get back to normal.

3) Sometimes APT doesn't even open the shutter on BULB exposure and it hangs on BUSY Status.

 

In BackyardNIKON it works stable, as far as I tried.

 

Do you think it's a software (APT) issue?

 

I'd be grateful for any support.

 

All the best!
Karol


Edited by otykarol, 16 May 2020 - 06:55 PM.


#186 ccs_hello

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 06:40 PM

Re: takes 2-5 "empty" and unwanted shots

 

I'd suggest plug in the USB-serial dongle first and let it finish driver installation (takes less than 5 second), then

plug in the shutter_control plug into the DSLR or power he DSLR on.

 

Re: unreliable shutter trigger or program hung

 

Hard to tell. I'd suggest using the test program (in post #1) to test the hardware first to verify reliable trigger or if cold temperature played a part in it (driving the shutter trigger marginal threshold voltage level.).



#187 otykarol

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Posted 16 May 2020 - 07:06 PM

Re: takes 2-5 "empty" and unwanted shots

When I plug in USB-serial to PC and wait (even few minutes) and then plug DSLR, it works the same (2-5 empty shots). Do you have any idea why?

I just experienced (1) scenario again, but this time in room temperature, with slight difference: Shutter opens in APT, and it stays like that (with Status: "C" and Finished Plan - Bulb Shot appearing just after the plan starts) until I close APT or disconnect the camera (then the shutter closes).

 

By the test program, do you mean DSLR Shutter app? I finally managed to run it (it was hanging on startup before) and it works fine with BULB exposures (>30 secs) on COM6 to which is my USB-Serial Connected.

 

In BackyardNIKON it still works OK.

 

It seems to me that APT has troubles with controlling the shutter with this circuit :( BTW. there is an option in APT "KMTronic based shutter cable for DSLRs" - I tried running it with and without it, but none works OK).



#188 otykarol

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 01:44 AM

The APT author asked me if there is any way to test the stability of RTS signal. Could you help me with that?

#189 otykarol

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 04:00 AM

Here is the photo of my circuit, maybe it would help us with debugging. Could you take a look?

 

I'm using the cable from intervalometer - that's why there is a 2.5 mm jack plug.

 

My assumption that Left/Right channels on the jack plus are Focus/Snap seems right - because the circuit works fine on DSLR Shutter and BackyardNIKON.

 

Also, I'm not sure if I have solded GND + Common properly - can the cables be solded together near the transistor? (you can see it on the image in the red circle).

 

Also, there is 5V/3V switch on the board - how should I switch it? (I guess it's 5V now, but I've tried the other option too - with no success).

 

 

FT232RL.jpg


Edited by otykarol, 17 May 2020 - 04:02 AM.


#190 ccs_hello

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 10:14 AM

The circuit seems to be reasonable.  Perhaps

- please provide the URL link on where you get the 1N34A

- 5V selection is right

- hope there is no cold solder joint

 

Re: testing RTS signal

Need a better grade (not the one has a tiny LCD and using STM32F103) sampling digital oscilloscope (about $57 from Aliexpress and run core software from a PC) and skill.  Thus I don't think it's a viable path.

 

Hardware-wise, all I can suggest is to remake one and change to a different USB-serial dongle, perhaps CP2102 or CH340 based with a RTS output pin, such that there will be no device driver issues.



#191 otykarol

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 02:44 PM

Thank you for answer.

 

I bought diodes here:

https://allegro.pl/o...GEwZGUzNjU4ODY=

 

Is there a way to check for cold joints? I'm wondering if that case might be excluded because BackyardNIKON and DSLR Shutter work fine?

 

May I ask why to use different dongle? Are you suggesting that FT232RL chip cannot work with APT?



#192 ccs_hello

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 03:21 PM

That 1N34A looks about right.

 

Re: different dongle

Most of the FTDI and some Prolific dongles bought inexpensively from Internet are not authentic and/old artificially made obsolete.  This causes problems later on.

 

Anyway, not sure if it's hardware, software, power-related issue, phases of Moon.  I am out of ideas.



#193 otykarol

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 03:25 PM

Okay, one more question - did you test this circuit in APT thoroughly, on a longer-term basis? I'm asking, because those errors happen seemingly randomly (I cannot reproduce them consistently, which is sooo irritating). It can happen right from the beggining or after 30 minutes or anytime.


Edited by otykarol, 17 May 2020 - 03:25 PM.


#194 ccs_hello

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 06:10 PM

No, I have not.

Wish other APT users can chime in to provide feedback.



#195 ccs_hello

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Posted 17 May 2020 - 06:59 PM

If there is a USB related intermittent issue, you'll hear occasional USB disconnect (dong-ding) and reconnect (ding-dong) tones.

Also, check anything that is not solidly soldered, e.g., 2.5mm phone plug, the plug into the DSLR side, etc.

Make sure the DSLR's battery is fairly healthy and well charged.

This is what I can think of from hardware point of view.



#196 otykarol

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 06:07 AM

Following the recommendation on one of the forums, I added an optocoupler to the circuit - and the problem seems to be solved smile.gif

 

Here is the schematic (there are other addons there as well, but I didn't add them):

https://astropolis.p...ts-shutter-v10/


Edited by otykarol, 15 June 2020 - 06:08 AM.


#197 naive

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 05:40 AM

Thank you, ccs_hello, for start this tread. I have modified my Phottix remote controller according to your instruction. On its top I've inserted a microUSB female pin and assembled all staff with the controller. So, at the moment it can function as a standalone remote controller or as shutter release cable. See an attached picture of the final device.

Attached Thumbnails

  • phottix.jpg


#198 ccs_hello

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Posted 22 June 2020 - 06:06 PM

Nice mod!

I think one advantage of this approach is you can either use computerized control or "Shutter Control Handle" based control

and switch mode as you wish.



#199 naive

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Posted 23 June 2020 - 12:55 AM

Nice mod!

I think one advantage of this approach is you can either use computerized control or "Shutter Control Handle" based control

and switch mode as you wish.

You are right! This was the idea.




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