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New Toy – Homemade Lightning Trigger

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Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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  • #1650
    caradoc
    Participant

    So, I’ve been shooting lightning for a while – at night.

    I’ve tried several times to shoot lightning in daylight, but the necessarily short shutter means shooting a few hundred images, then having lightning strike in the frame just as I’m swapping the memory card or battery.

    I considered buying one of the commercially available lightning triggers but couldn’t justify the $400 ($329 for the gadget, plus $75ish for their cable for the camera) for what is essentially a hobby.

    Last year, someone pointed out this page which includes a simple design for a trigger built around an Arduino programmable controller and a phototransistor from Radio Shack, plus some other bits.

    And I’ll be damned if the thing doesn’t work flawlessly for about $40 in parts, a $26 FlashZebra pre-trigger cable for my D80 and about an hour of soldering and dumping code into the controller.

    He’s got another project listed on his DIY pages for a flash and camera controller he calls the “Camera Axe,” but I’m not up to that yet.

    #23529
    3Horn
    Participant

    Hey….I saw this post on the Flickr Strobist group. Didn’t know you were a Farktographer as well.

    Oh, and nice stuff!

    #23530
    millera9
    Participant

    Those daylight shots are damn cool.

    #23531
    caradoc
    Participant

    Hey….I saw this post on the Flickr Strobist group. Didn’t know you were a Farktographer as well.

    Oh, and nice stuff!

    Thanks! And I didn’t know you were in the Flickr Strobist group – do you use a different user ID over there?

    #23532
    orionid
    Participant

    Nice shots!

    Looks like I’ve got something else to add to my queue of geek projects.

    #23533
    caradoc
    Participant

    Those daylight shots are damn cool.

    Thank you very much. Since our monsoon storms are in full swing here in the Phoenix area, expect to see a lot more of them… I still need to do the endurance tests on the trigger to see how long the battery lasts.

    #23534
    olavf
    Participant

    I saw that thing the other week. Looks pretty cool.

    I’m thinking about retooling it so it can be a little more versatile – shouldn’t be difficult to make it motion sensitive (motion detectors use IR) and possibly sound sensitive.

    Not much lightning around here, but we there is a fair amount of wildlife…

    #23535
    caradoc
    Participant

    I’m thinking about retooling it so it can be a little more versatile – shouldn’t be difficult to make it motion sensitive (motion detectors use IR) and possibly sound sensitive.

    He’s already got a later version of something he calls a “Camera Axe” with additional triggers, very controllable. Can fire camera or flashes based on sensor input.

    #23536
    3Horn
    Participant

    Thanks! And I didn’t know you were in the Flickr Strobist group – do you use a different user ID over there?

    Basically the same: “Reverend3Horn”

    #23537
    nobigdeal
    Participant

    Thanks! And I didn’t know you were in the Flickr Strobist group – do you use a different user ID over there?

    Basically the same: “Reverend3Horn”

    I’ve seen your stuff there before.

    Didn’t put 2 & 2 together…

    This http://www.flickr.com/photos/3horn/3059811964/sizes/m/in/set-72157610106928956/ was the first shot of yours that I came across. Amazing capture

    #23538
    olavf
    Participant

    I’m thinking about retooling it so it can be a little more versatile – shouldn’t be difficult to make it motion sensitive (motion detectors use IR) and possibly sound sensitive.

    He’s already got a later version of something he calls a “Camera Axe” with additional triggers, very controllable. Can fire camera or flashes based on sensor input.

    Lol, yeah that’s even fancier than I was thinking.

    Now to find a few suckers to go in with me on the project…

    #23539
    3Horn
    Participant

    This http://www.flickr.com/photos/3horn/3059811964/sizes/m/in/set-72157610106928956/ was the first shot of yours that I came across. Amazing capture

    Yeah, that’s still one of my favorites. Back in the days of all green-box shooting, I think I’d had my D50 for about a month when I shot that. I’d love to make it back to Folsom some time, particularly now that I have a little better idea of what I’m doing.

    #23540
    caradoc
    Participant

    Daaaamn, but this thing is fun to play with.

    The triggering strike is actually the one farther to the right. The closer strike to the left just happened to occur while the shutter was still open for the exposure, so it’s got all of the “leaders” there…

    #23541
    lokisbong
    Participant

    Holy crap! Thats one extremely cool shot.

    #23542
    caradoc
    Participant

    Thanks, lokisbong. I’ve got a few more weeks of our local storm season to play with this… but I’m getting stuff I never considered possible.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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