Micro GPS for Nikon D2X D2HS D200 Project

Started May 16, 2006 | Discussions
Smada Lesna Forum Member • Posts: 96
Re: Cheap GPS Option, I am I missing something?

I use an eTrex for years with a PDA running TomTom software. At the time I had to build my own cable, which was basically connecting two wires to the right pins. Today I believe the plugs are already on the wires so it can never be a problem. Do a search on this site for many links to info can be found.

As for getting lost, never rely on a GPS alone. It's more of a luxury gadget. If the electronics fail or your batteries short out/deplete a GPS is of no value. Always bring a compass and make sure you know how to use it.
Have fun on your trip and show us your shots.

d70_europe Senior Member • Posts: 1,208
you miss something

AnimalsExpression wrote:

all I would need is a Nikon MC-23 cable and a Garmin data cable and
splice the two together? The only tuff part would be to splice the
correct wires together.

When you are not exactly knowing what you do there are good chances that you destroy your camera by that. Especially because as far as I know the Garmin's have a RS232 output. So you can't simply connect two cables. If you want to get sure get Nikon's MC-35 instead. And check first if the Garmin delivers the NMEA dates with 4800 bps.
Werner

OP az_av8r New Member • Posts: 13
don't try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Werner is correct!!!

Most GPS units put out RS-232 signals (-10V to +10V with inverted logic). Computer RS-232 ports love it -- Nikon cameras do not. The Nikons use 0V to 5V data signals (5V CMOS with non-inverted logic).

Directly connecting RS-232 to your camera could result in a very expensive mistake.

-Andy

AnimalsExpression New Member • Posts: 24
Re: don't try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

az_av8r wrote:

Werner is correct!!!
Most GPS units put out RS-232 signals (-10V to +10V with inverted
logic). Computer RS-232 ports love it -- Nikon cameras do not. The
Nikons use 0V to 5V data signals (5V CMOS with non-inverted logic).

Directly connecting RS-232 to your camera could result in a very
expensive mistake.

-Andy

Andy Thank you For the Info.

Marc

frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: don't try it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes use a RS232 to TTL level convertor as interface between the GPS and the camera. Otherwise be sure about the levels. I've a Garmin GPSmap60C, used for walking and cycling and this unit is perfect suitable despite the dimension. But the sensibility is very important if you walk under the trees.

My application are flying insects photography, so the weight is less critical compared to the rest of the setup. I 've a MC-21 10 pins cable for all the function of the setup like metering and shutter command, so the TTL signal for the GPS serial interface is also available into the same cable. To avoid the MC-35 cable I only have to put a RS232 level convertor between the GPS receiver signal and the camera. This RS232 convertor stay into the same controlbox for shutter control and also the power for this chip is furnish by the controlbox. The GPS have its own power by 2xAA and works for 30 hours. Separate power give you advantage, the GPS may have always a fix even if the camera is off, so if you put the camera on the GPS symbol stay immediately ready into the camera LCD display.

GPS info for capture insects is a nice tool, you know always where you have found the insects for identification. On my web the last page (page3 photos 2006) give a Google-earth tab where you see from where the photo is taken (if you have the Google-earth software) and also a Garmin waypoint to see the location on the map into mapsource. Unfortunately at this moment this part of Belgium stay still in low resolution but soon I hope this will also be high resolution because more and more parts of europe are high resolution.

Here a overview of the septup, the 10 pins connector plus signals and levels, the RS232 level convertor and an example of the GPS info into Nikon capture 4.4 header.

Frans

Skidpan Senior Member • Posts: 1,881
Question ...

Presumably you don't need the RS232 level convertor between the GPS receiver signal and the camera if you use the Nikon MC-35 cable ?

Presumably the Nikon MC-35 cable controls the levels, is that why it is so expensive ?

I don't really want to do my own cables and electronic circuits.

I would prefer to just use the MC-35 (assuming that I can get it some day) with a standard Garmin GPS (maybe 60CSx).

frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Question ...

Skidpan wrote:

Presumably you don't need the RS232 level convertor between the GPS
receiver signal and the camera if you use the Nikon MC-35 cable ?

Correct, that's the function of the cable.

Presumably the Nikon MC-35 cable controls the levels, is that why
it is so expensive ?

Yes, but all nikon cables are expensive.

I don't really want to do my own cables and electronic circuits.
I would prefer to just use the MC-35 (assuming that I can get it
some day) with a standard Garmin GPS (maybe 60CSx).

Yes, easy, more expensive, good solution but annoying longer cables.

More and more small GPS modules are disposible, this is why homemade integration is ideal suit. And in my case, I need the 10 pins cable already for the shutter command.

Frans
--
Homepage:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa
Macro and flyings insects photography:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/macro_set.htm
Technique: http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/laser_module1_E.htm

Skidpan Senior Member • Posts: 1,881
Thanks...

I may wait for a little while and see what develops - I can't get the MC-35 anyway.

I have done a little bit of electronics stuff in my life, so may be tempted to do some of that, it just may be difficult to find some of the parts where I live.

The cable length is an issue. I was thinking of a simple Garmin Foretrex 101 connected to the flash shoe (cycle bracket), and with a short cable. I could always cut up the MC-35 and Garmin cable and make a short one. Seems like a waste but may be an easy solution.

BTW, your setup looks very impressive.

frans_vdm wrote:

Skidpan wrote:

Presumably you don't need the RS232 level convertor between the GPS
receiver signal and the camera if you use the Nikon MC-35 cable ?

Correct, that's the function of the cable.

Presumably the Nikon MC-35 cable controls the levels, is that why
it is so expensive ?

Yes, but all nikon cables are expensive.

I don't really want to do my own cables and electronic circuits.
I would prefer to just use the MC-35 (assuming that I can get it
some day) with a standard Garmin GPS (maybe 60CSx).

Yes, easy, more expensive, good solution but annoying longer cables.

More and more small GPS modules are disposible, this is why
homemade integration is ideal suit. And in my case, I need the 10
pins cable already for the shutter command.

Frans
--
Homepage:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa
Macro and flyings insects photography:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/macro_set.htm
Technique: http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/laser_module1_E.htm

d70_europe Senior Member • Posts: 1,208
amazing construction!

...just wondering if the insects are boiled too by the two flashlights

frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Thanks...

Skidpan wrote:

The cable length is an issue. I was thinking of a simple Garmin
Foretrex 101 connected to the flash shoe (cycle bracket), and with
a short cable. I could always cut up the MC-35 and Garmin cable
and make a short one. Seems like a waste but may be an easy
solution.

oh I cut also the PC serial cable from my Garmin GPS to shorten him. That's is a good solution. Some Garmin GPS have TTL levels in this case a single invertor ( because a RS232 level convertor have also invertor function) must be oké.

Frans
--
Homepage:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa
Macro and flyings insects photography:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/macro_set.htm
Technique: http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/laser_module1_E.htm

frans_vdm Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: amazing construction!

d70_europe wrote:

...just wondering if the insects are boiled too by the two
flashlights

D'nt be be afraid, the power is set low to freeze the wings. Lower is better but you need on the other side a small F value for max DOF.

Frans
--
Homepage:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa
Macro and flyings insects photography:
http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/macro_set.htm
Technique: http://users.skynet.be/fotoopa/laser_module1_E.htm

Adriaan Forum Member • Posts: 58
Holux 236 to D200 connection?

Hi Jason,

Your option of using an old MC-31 to direct wire the Nikon 10 Pin into the Holux 236 sound interesting. But I'm not sure how it would work. (How) Would you use the mini-usb port on the Holux wired to the MC-31?

Thanks!

Adriaan

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Bob Christensen 3
Bob Christensen 3 Regular Member • Posts: 437
Re: A cheap bluetooth option...

Is there no bluetooth receiver that we could plug into the 10 pin? Something that would receive from a garmin GPS10?

bob

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Panasonic FZ1000 Sony RX100 III Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +5 more
Jason Goldberg Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: Holux 236 to D200 connection?

Adriaan wrote:

Your option of using an old MC-31 to direct wire the Nikon 10 Pin
into the Holux 236 sound interesting. But I'm not sure how it would
work. (How) Would you use the mini-usb port on the Holux wired to
the MC-31?

It turns out to be more complicated than I hoped. The output on the Holux 236 USB port is serial (not USB) which is great, but the +5V serial still needs to be adapted down to the ttl voltages of the Nikon 10 Pin, so it would still require at least a simple interface circuit.

 Jason Goldberg's gear list:Jason Goldberg's gear list
Sony RX100 IV Nikon D750 Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR +3 more
Adriaan Forum Member • Posts: 58
interested in your project

Hi Roland,

I'm very interested in your project. I have a Holux 236 GPS (with bluetooth) and would like to use a bluetooth connection with the D200.

Could you help to get started? What else do I need when I would buy this module for example: http://www.kanda.com/index.php3?cs=1&bc=direct&bw=%2Fproducts%2FSena%2FPARANI-ESD01-1.html ? Or could one of these maybe work: http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=9717741968&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT ?

Thanks!!

Adriaan

Adriaan Forum Member • Posts: 58
Re: Holux 236 to D200 connection?

Jason Goldberg wrote:

Adriaan wrote:

Your option of using an old MC-31 to direct wire the Nikon 10 Pin
into the Holux 236 sound interesting. But I'm not sure how it would
work. (How) Would you use the mini-usb port on the Holux wired to
the MC-31?

It turns out to be more complicated than I hoped. The output on
the Holux 236 USB port is serial (not USB) which is great, but the
+5V serial still needs to be adapted down to the ttl voltages of
the Nikon 10 Pin, so it would still require at least a simple
interface circuit.

Thanks for your reply. What are the ttl voltages of the Nikon 10 Pin? Cheers.
--
http://www.a3imagery.com

Adriaan Forum Member • Posts: 58
Is this necessary?

Jason Goldberg wrote:

...

+5V serial still needs to be adapted down to the ttl voltages of
the Nikon 10 Pin, so it would still require at least a simple
interface circuit.

I woudn't mind if the GPS uses it's own power source actually. So can I not just omit the +5V line?

-- hide signature --
Louis Dallara
Louis Dallara Senior Member • Posts: 1,051
Re: smaller package

I would be willing to design a HD pcb for the unit.
Using a multilayer pcb with smd's on 2 sides would
reduce the size of the unit. Let me know if interested.
wireless at 2.4GHz would be cool.
--
Lou Dallara

http://www.louisdallara.com

 Louis Dallara's gear list:Louis Dallara's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D200 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED +11 more
Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 24,895
So when can I buy one?????????????????

Sounds like a slam dunk. Tool up! I want one! Now.
--
Steve Bingham
http://www.dustylens.com

 Steve Bingham's gear list:Steve Bingham's gear list
Nikon D7200 Nikon D5500 Nikon D810 Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM Tokina AT-X 12-28mm f/4 Pro DX +29 more
LongTimeNikonUser Senior Member • Posts: 1,112
Re: should be posted on a web site somewhere

jliechty wrote:

Your project is incredibly interesting. I'd love to see you succeed
to the point of commercial availability, because I'd much rather
buy one from you than run several sets of parts attempting to build
one myself.

For myself I would ask that do you the following:

1. Find a friendly web site that would allow you to post your project description. I don't know if dpreview would accept such a posting, but it's worth asking.

2. If/when you think your design is "stable enough" please approach an electronics supply house and ask them to put together this kit. Perhaps it's simply enought to list the entire Bill of Materials as the "kit," so buying the kit really means you've ordered all the item details.

As long as no surface mount parts are involved, I would be willing to assemble the kit myself.

Now if you could figure out a way to interface the design to a Palm Pilot, that would also be cool. Palm sells a USB cable that interfaces to their units, and the cable itself is about $20 max. And for all I know (which is precious little about electronic components) it's realy a standard part anyway with inexpensive connector parts available OEM.

-- hide signature --

LongTimeNikonUser

 LongTimeNikonUser's gear list:LongTimeNikonUser's gear list
Nikon D3 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED +8 more
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