A1/2 wireless remote components

Started Apr 14, 2005 | Discussions
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.

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Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic ZS200
Mojo151 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,993
A Second Design A1/2 wireless remote components

Here is another design for an RF Remote for the A1/A2/A200.

I built one using a Radio Shack car. The cheapest one of their micro-car line. It's the one with only two controls - 'Go' and 'Turn'.

http://vermeulen.ca/minolta-a2-radio-control.html
--
Rick

Phrank Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

May I add another suggestion. If you can find the appropriate television 'video extender' by Tevion, or something similar, you can adapt this to remote control ANY camera which already has infrared control. This works great on my A200, is just so very simple to organise and costs peanuts.

If the link works OK, see my thread at:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=51981&forum_id=20

I agree that it's truly amazing that some of the supposedly advanced cameras, in a giant leap backwards to the stone age, don't have an I/R facility but the A200 ihas been well thought out.

Keith Knostman Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

Hmm, anyone have any ideas on how to find this Tevion kit in the US? Or overseas for that matter if it can be ordered.

Thanks!
--
http://skeetersspot.smugmug.com

So, whats this little round black thing on the end of my camera...?

Phrank Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

Hello Keith,

I don't know how easy these gadgets are to buy from other sources, but I bought mine from the UK retailer Aldi. They are basically a German company, I think, and have branches worldwide. The problem with them is that basically they are a grocery retailer and carry other items (like the Tevion extender) from time to time just for a week or three until stocks run out.

Sorry I can't help more.
Frank

Phrank Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

Hello Keith,

I don't know if this is any use to you but the store chain called Aldi is selling a 'video sender' from next Thursday at £19.99 each. This SHOULD be suitable for conversion to a radio remote control for any camera equipped with infra-red control facilities, like the A200, as I describe in thread:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=51981&forum_id=20

I'll certainly be getting one so that I can free up my original to use on the TV!

Frank

Phrank Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

I should have made it a little clearer - it's for sale from Thursday, December 22nd 2005.

They claim a 100 metre range under good conditions which is way better than plain old infrared!

Frank

Keith Knostman Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

Wow, finding these things is tough! No luck with the ones on Aldi. I'll keep my eyes open! If anyone happens to see em again post away.
--
http://skeetersspot.smugmug.com

So, whats this little round black thing on the end of my camera...?

Phrank Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: A1/2 wireless remote components

Hi Keith,

Sorry you were unable to source one of these units. It may be difficult from the USA.

This is the one I purchased onThursday, complete with made-up battery power sources for 12volts and 9volts. The transmitter - which takes the signal from the A200 remote commander - is on the right,the receiver is on the left. Apart from making up the battery packs there's no techy stuff involved at all.The thing with the red circle round it sticks over the remote sensor on the camera. I've just tried it at 30 metres and it's fine and of course the camera does not have to be 'looking' at the remote commander.

I doubt if there are any left now but I may pop down to Aldi to see.
Frank

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