Cheap time lapse switch for XT

Started Nov 13, 2005 | Discussions thread
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MnD New Member • Posts: 22
Cheap time lapse switch for XT

Let me start by saying three things. First, I realize this solution is not for everyone. Second, this is by no means a 'pretty' solution. Finally, try this at your own risk. Although the principles are simple, and the device is safe when assembled correctly, it is obviously an unorthodox solution. By all means, you should be careful not to damage your camera.

With that out of the way, if you can solder (even a little), you might consider trying a Velleman MK111 interval timer kit. A quick google search will reveal a few dozen places you can buy one for under $10. I ordered one and put it together in under a half hour, and I am an electronics novice.

Basically, the kit comes with a dozen or so components and very clear instructions for assembly. When completed, you have connections for power and the relay.

The timer has and adjustment for pause (time between shots) and delay (length of time the relay stays closed). The pause is adjustable from about 2 seconds to about a minute. A more seasoned electronics technician could easily change the capacitor/resistor values to achieve a diffent pause range. So, if you want to depict rotting produce, you might need to look elsewhere or do a little research on these components.

12v DC is the recommended power supply. This could be done with 8 AAA batteries wired in series, but I just used a simple 9v. It seems to work fine, but it may not last quite as long. It is certainly smaller, that's for sure.

I destroyed one of the cheap knock-off remote switches in order to determine how to wire the relay, but it's nothing more than a small three conductor audio plug. Essentially, you just run the tip to one side of the relay and the top to the other. What this means is that you don't use the third wire which is used the same as pressing the shutter half way down. In my tests, I just set the camera, let it focus, and then switched the lens to MF, but there are numerous combinations of things you can try.

When completed, all of it can be mounted in a 'project' enclosure so it doesn't look quite as bad as I make it sound. An inline switch should be added so one does not have to open the box to disconnect the battery and turn it off.

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