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First homebrew project:

Trailcam pics, questions, and good links

First homebrew project:

Postby danielw » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:23 pm

Right now, I have pictured a unit with a good camera (but under a 100 bucks), an IR flash, a sensor with adjustable sensitivity, counter capability, a digital display, a 6v lantern battery to power all or camera/slave flash.
As for the control board, would I be able to get by with just one, or would another board be required for an IR flash?
If I have to use a regular flash, should I use a colored lens?
Could an IR flash be set-up as a remote flash?
Which affordable camera will work best with an IR flash?

I was thinking of using a d380 (simple to hack and low $$) and possibly upgrade the camera at a later date.

Need some help here, thanks.
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Postby gtk » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:38 am

danielw, you are going to be hard-pressed to build a good digital cam for under a 100 bucks.

The A402 may qualify, but I am not sure about using it with IR. The D380 is a good camera still used by many.

You have several boards to choose from, most around $40.00 or so.

BG2 from hags
SSS from snap-shot sniper
YETI board
Pix

The BG2 has a built in counter,
All have sensitivity adjustments.
The SSS is the only LCD display board.

All the new boards run on 9vlt batteries and will last over a year easily.

You should be able to get by on one control board for IR.

.........
Greg
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:49 am

Like GTK said, you're not going to build an IR camera for $100.

I tried to stay under $200 building one but ended up closer to $300. Probably have topped $300 now that I had to order a replacement slave flash. Apparently they are very sensitive to being dropped on the ground. :? :?

The SnapShot Sniper board is going to be the one to go with, especially for a digital display. You'll also need a Wein Digital Peanut to fire the slave flash, that's a $30+ piece right there.
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Postby danielw » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:39 am

If I use a slave flash, will I have to disable the regular flash or nothing at all and let the board control flash(es)???
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Postby danielw » Fri Oct 13, 2006 8:49 am

And where can I find info on the yete boards?????
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Postby gtk » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:06 am

http://www.yeticam.com

With IR, I don't think you have to "disable" the camera flash when using a slave. I know you dont have to without IR. I've read where folks cover the flash with something ?

Very good overall starting point for anything you need:

http://www.easy3dcamo.com/building.html

This pinned topic over at hags house has a lot of usefull info as well, including "IR" mods. You must register to view them .

http://hagshouse.ipbhost.com/forums/ind ... dification
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:26 am

You don't have to diable the flash on the camera to use a slave flash. I use it and the slave with mine, I doubt it really helps any but it can't hurt anything either...lol.

Unless PIX has a flash controller, I don't know of any that have been released recently. The digital peanut is the way to go, no extra wires running around inside the case and so far it's been very reliable for me.
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Postby danielw » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:42 am

Thanks gtk, I have been on hag's for a while, studying on homebrewing. I have been reading post in H'sH for almost a year and all this curcuit board tech talk still seems greek to me.?! If I get a camera that doesn't need a slave flash, I would feel a lot better about an attempt to hack. But I would hate to torch a 200 buck cam on the first attempt at a homebrew.

Thanks reb, I think I was on Hag'sHouse reading a thread on a remote slave, VERY COOL, and he had a green lens on the slave flash.

Thanks again for the help and info, when I get my nerve up (and outdoor funds) to start this project, I will post some pics.
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:58 am

No problem.

If you're for sure going to go with an IR cam, I'd do the slave flash. The distance you get is MUCH better than with just the camera flash. It'll be an $60 or so to buy the parts and build one but it'll be well worth it. If I remember, I'll post some pics I've got at home that were taken after I broke the slave flash in my camera. The flash on a P32 just isn't strong enough to pick up more than 5 - 10 feet. With the slave it picks up probably 40 ft or more. I need to measure that the next time I'm down there.
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Postby gtk » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:12 am

remember also, that you don't have to do IR on your first cam :) I've got 5 in the woods now, and two in the "works" that don't have IR.
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:31 am

gtk wrote:remember also, that you don't have to do IR on your first cam :) I've got 5 in the woods now, and two in the "works" that don't have IR.


True. :oops: :oops:
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Postby gtk » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:01 am

i still want to do one or two "IR" , but i also want to go back and start adding slave flashes to some of my other units first...

I just need to order the parts & have at it.. :)
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:27 am

gtk wrote:i still want to do one or two "IR" , but i also want to go back and start adding slave flashes to some of my other units first...

I just need to order the parts & have at it.. :)


I'm going to use the mods that Dkirk has come up with to save power and space. 8) 8) Hopefully I'll be able to put that sucker in a lot smaller box and open up that 1060 case a little.

I've thought about building 1 or 2 IR slave flashes and strategically locating them around the trails I put them on. It'd be cool to be able to get a pic almost as far as the sensor will pick up. :lol: :lol:
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Postby razrback » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:32 am

Man y'all know an awful lot about these hi-tech gizmos. Maybe y'all show get together and write a book. :P
"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic."
- Ted Nugent
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Postby gtk » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:35 am

razrbak,

i'll be the first to admit I know basically nothing about trailcams except how to order the parts and assemble them. :)

A lot of folks have really put time & $$ into making this hobby affordable for most people..
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:35 pm

What GTK said applies to me as well. All it takes is patience and attention to detail.
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Postby danielw » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:33 pm

Well, I got the first of my two victims in today. Beings I was new to this I, little did I know that I was going to start with 2 of the less desirable cameras out there, a olympus d390 and d425. I found this out after the fact that they were mine. So, I need some help. I got the 425 out and played with it in the dark yard, pretty sure I will need a flash enhancer. What boards will work best with these victims???? How small of a case can I fit them into and can board and camera both be powered with 4 or more "C" batteries????

Have any of you attempted to build video camera? I have an old VHS shoulder camera that I may attempt to find new uses for...

this will also be post on Hags House later.

Thanks,
DW
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Postby ufgators68 » Fri Oct 20, 2006 6:22 pm

I have no idea about those two cameras, I've only used a Sony P32 for my homebrew. I don't think you can use one power supply for both the camera and the board without some form of a regulator. I'd just go with the 9 volt battery for the board, they usually last like 9 months to a year on them anyways.
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Postby gtk » Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:05 am

I havent fooled with either of the Olympus cameras, but I think the D390 is a decent cam isn't it ? I know the 380 is a good one.

A flash-enhancer is simply a "lens" that you put in front of the flash. All it does is "direct" the flash, kind of like a flashlight beam. All my cameras use flash-enhancers.

A SLAVE-flash is a seperate flash that works in conjunction with your cameras flash. I am getting ready to start on my first slave flash.

What boards will work best ? I think the Olympus cameras are an "always on" camera, so I know the SSS & BG2 both will work. The SSS allows you to control the "refresh" rate. The BG2 will have to have a chip for the D390. The YETI board should work too. Not sure about PIX.

I use the Pelican 1060's on all my cams. Small enough for me but stil lhave plenty of room. The P32 & P41 are not very wide though. You can always mount horizontally instead of vertically though.

And most all boards run on 9vlt and will last over a year. Does the D390 require an external battery source ? You may be able to get by on rechargeable batteries.
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