DIY! Remote Shutter Release Construction Tips/info

Started Feb 23, 2004 | Discussions thread
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MarkQ Regular Member • Posts: 176
DIY! Remote Shutter Release Construction Tips/info

This is (as promised) a follow-on from an earlier thread:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1019&message=7751180

To reiterate: I had been looking for a cheaper wireless remote release than the Canon LC-4. I found the “perfect” solution based on inexpensive pre-built transmitter/receiver component parts from http://www.kitsrus.com/bits.html ... The ones that are of interest are the 2-button transmitter TX-3316RS and the receiver module RX-3302D2-15.

First of all, you should download and/or read the following two .pdf files from kitsrus.com. The first is a general (though erratically detailed) technical discussion of the RX-3302D2-15 receiver board:
http://www.kitsrus.com/pdf/a17.pdf

The second is a description of their remote kit which contains more useful info about how the modules work and some construction tips:
http://www.kitsrus.com/pdf/k180.pdf

OK, on to the details of the shutter release circuit… The circuit diagram I came up with is as follows:

My built version is based on a cut-down RadioShack “experimenters” PC board and compressed into the smallest physical space I could get. The following is a layout diagram showing the component locations and the track layouts (from the top of the board):

Also here is a shot of my cut-down board from the underside, showing the tracks and the two track cuts. To make the track cuts I just used a sharp modeling knife and made two parallel slits in the copper traces, then pried-up/scraped-off the copper between the slits:

I managed to squeeze mine into a small RadioShack box (part# 270-1801) that I probably wouldn’t recommend trying to do again! It involved a lot of work with a Dremel and even required sanding down the edges of the receiver module to get it to fit. Thus, I would suggest you go for a bigger box!

Having said that, the list of parts required is as follows:

TX-3316RS and RX-3302D2-15 modules from kitsrus.com
RadioShack Component PC Board (part# 276-168)
Project Box (e.g. RadioShack part# 270-1801 or larger!!)
9V Battery Snap Connector (e.g. RS part# 270-325)
Power switch (small, low-power)
Pair Jumper posts (or two pieces of sturdy wire)
TR1,2: General purpose NPN transistors (e.g. 2N3904 or similar)
7805 5V voltage regulator
C1: 10uF Electrolytic Capacitor (radial-lead)
C2: 0.1uF (or similar) capacitor
R1, R2: 4.7 K Ohm resistors (1/4 watt or similar)
R3, R4: 1 K Ohm resistors (optional - 1/4 watt or similar)
LED1,2: low power LEDs (optional)
D1: General purpose diode (optional - e.g. 1N4001 or similar)

All of the above are available either at RadioShack or online. RadioShack is undoubtedly more expensive but is convenient and has no shipping/handling charges. If you want to try online I can recommend Digikey.com, Jameco.com and Mouser.com. The one item that is a problem from RadioShack is the 7805 voltage regulator. I used a LN78L05 low power device that looks like a small transistor. RadioShack only carries the 78M05 that looks like a plastic power transistor. It will work fine in the circuit, but has the disadvantages of being larger and using more quiescent current (though whether the few mA extra will affect battery life too much is anyone’s guess). If you use RadioShack’s, be aware that my layout may need to be adjusted accordingly.

You’ll note that some of the components above are marked as optional. The diode I included was to protect against accidentally trying to connect the 9V battery backwards. If you don’t think this would be a problem for you, you can leave it out. I also included a couple of LEDs (and associated resistors) for visual feedback that the signal is being received. They’re good for checking things are working before you connect up to your camera, but not really necessary.

One more thing. Due to my squeezing the circuit into the small box I used, I had to remove the LED resistors from the PCB and solder/mount them directly to the LEDs themselves on the side of the box (epoxy is a wonderful thing!).

OK, construction tips: First solder all the jumper wires (red lines on diagram). Then solder in the components moving up the board (in order: Learn Jumper posts, C2, R1-R4, TR1-2, and lastly C1, D1 & 7805). Then solder in the RX-3302D2-15 receiver module. Meanwhile, attach flying leads to the jack socket, battery connector/switch and LEDs. Mount these to the box and lastly cut to length and solder the leads to the circuit board. Finis!

By the way, I put the Learn Jumper posts down at the bottom (rather than in the middle of the board) so they’re easier to get at. You should only need to use them once, but still (for details on learning, see the .pdf docs).

Oh, nearly forgot... Antenna wire. The K180 kit document suggests using a 17cm (1/4 wave) antenna wire. I found it improved reception distance (by about 15-20ft) to use a 34cm (1/2 wave) antenna. If you don't want to use this remote beyond about 40-50ft, you can just go with the shorter (and easier to deal with) 17cm antenna.

To see the above photos plus others of steps during my construction, see my gallery at:
http://www.bytephoto.com/photopost/showgallery.php?ppuser=1801

Have fun and good luck!

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