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Jump to Items: Lightning Shots Shots by Moonlight DIY Shutter Timer Canon Sub mirror Repair

These pictures open up full resolution. All Images are copyright of "TheBassman". Use by permission only

Lightning Shots:

DIY Lightning Detector used to capture the shots above:

Shots By Moonlight:

Read my article "Shooting For The Moon" here:

DIY camera shutter timer/time lapse controller:

Not wanting to spend a ton of money on a $400 camera shutter controller, I decided to build my own.

I had been playing around with a Parallax BASIC STAMP micro controller kit looking for a new project. When it occurred to me that using it as a camera shutter timer was the perfect project. I had already created a lightning activated shutter release that I used to capture the images above, but this was a bit more complex. Using the "BASIC Stamp Activity Kit" from Parallax, I started by planning my outputs, and prototyping the circuit. The shutter circuit is very basic consisting of a 5VDC relay connected to one of the STAMP outputs. The LCD is a 16x2 line red. inverse character display with red LED backlighting. It uses a Hitachi HD44780 4 or 8 bit control. I purchased it here for $13 , but any HD44780 will do the trick. I liked the red option so it would not affect my night vision while shooting at night. Very easy to interface using 4 STAMP outputs. (LCDDemo.rar) Everything needed to wire the display can be found here:

I wanted to use it to take exposures more than the 30 sec. limitation of my Canon Rebel. So I started by writing a simple STAMP BASIC program that would allow me to select any exposure length I wanted. After that, I decided to expand the capabilities to include a "Time Lapse" function.

Time lapse allows me to enter the number of shots I want to take, and the time between shots. This is definitely the more fun of the 2 functions!

After perfecting the prototype, I was ready to build a permanent version. I ordered a "Homebrew STAMP" from Peter Anderson at for $24.95 which consists of the PCB, and a bag of parts. Add a couple of LED's 6 buttons, some type of plug for your camera cable, a $4 Radio Shack reed type relay, and viola! For less than $50, I was in heaven.

Email me if you want the BASIC program I wrote. It is free for anyone interested.

Canon Rebel Sub mirror Repair: Link

After over 100,000 shots on my first generation Canon, my sub mirror stopped moving up when shooting pictures. This is a known issue on Canon "300D" and newer Rebels. I found a great step by step site that walks the slightly handier person through the repair of the sub-mirror pin.

Be VERY, VERY careful when removing the ribbon flex cable from the socket. From many bad experiences, I know that these thing break just looking at them wrong. I had problems with mine, even knowing how they work, and how fragile they are.

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Copyright 2008 Rick "TheBassman" Bassett