A1/2 wireless remote components

Started Apr 14, 2005 | Discussions thread
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Tom K.
Tom K. Senior Member • Posts: 1,728
A1/2 wireless remote components

First, a rant. It would cost camera manufacturers like a dollar to incorporate a wireless remote yet hardly any do it. I mean c'mon, the cheapest $35 DVD player comes with an elaborate multifunction remote - why can't a $500 camera have one that just focuses and trips the shutter?!

Anyway.

Here are a couple of threads from the Canon forum from about a year ago with very good detailed instructions on how to put together a wireless remote. Mark Q did this for a Canon but I took his info and did the same for my Minolta A1 - really the only difference is the connector on the end of the cable that fits the camera.

Here's the general description of Mark's project:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=7751180

And here are the details:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=7763957

I believe the kitsrus.com website he references is a UK company, here's the same kit from a US site:

http://electronickits.com/kit/complete/elec/ck1617.htm

If you want to make the receiver the same as Mark Q did, get the CK1617T - Extra Transmitter - $14.95 and A17RX - Receiver Module Only - $12.95 and follow Mark's schematic. For a simpler (but bulkier) build, get the CK1617A (Assembled) - $44.95.

Following Mark's schematic, parts list and instructions will produce a reasonably small package you can hang on your camera or tripod with a key ring (like on the transmitter). I omitted the battery holder and function LEDs, and used a slide switch instead of a toggle and just barely got it all crammed into the Radio Shack box he used - had to use a saw and file on the box's innards, just as he said. I did add a power LED though to indicate when the unit was switched on. I didn't like the antenna wire dangling so I wound it up inside the box - range is still about 40 feet. It was definitely some work to put together (including some redoing - used the wrong transistors initially), but it was worth it.

As I said, you can use the preassembled CK1617A and avoid having to solder transistors onto a circuit board, at the expense of size. The A17RX Receiver Module is the vertical circuit board on the CK1617A, so you can see the size difference between the two. I built a receiver box using the CK1617A to begin with but was dissatisfied with how large it was - about the size of a transistor radio. So I redid the whole thing using the A17RX board so now I have two receivers, one large and one small.

The main functional difference of the preassembled CK1617A is that it uses relays instead of transistors to do the switching, so if you were wanting to remotely control something with noticable current running through it, this would be a better choice. For a shutter release the use of transistors is plenty robust. (By the way, the instructions for the CK1617A say to use a 12V power source but a 9V transistor battery works just fine.)

Using the preassembled CK1617A is simpler because you only have to figure out which wires on the remote cable perform which function and attach them to the appropriate contacts on the relays. You'll need a plumber's knowledge of electricity to figure this out, it's pretty simple. And attaching to the relay is super simple, they have screw-down clamps for the wires. The only soldering you would have to do is to connect the power source and a switch. (Again I also included a LED on mine to indicate on/off condition.)

Give it a try.

 Tom K.'s gear list:Tom K.'s gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic ZS200
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