DIY D200 Remote Release

Started Jun 3, 2008 | Discussions
F3StillWorks New Member • Posts: 2
DIY D200 Remote Release

So, being cheap and a tinker, I thought I could buy a Zigview RC06 shutter release cable, a couple of momentary-on switches, and prove that I could outsmart Nikon. An interesting idea, but it didn't work. Here's what I did:

I used my trusty VOM to measure the voltage present at the mini phone plug of the RC06 plugged into the D200. Camera off, I get nothing. Camera on, I get 4.25 volts on the inner tip, and 0.2 volts on the end, with the collar as ground. Using a jumper wire, between the ground collar and the inner tip, the camera autofocuses. The jumper between the ground collar and end tip, gives me nothing. Sorry if my mini phone plug terminology is confusing-- the ground collar is the part of the plug closest to the cable, the inner tip is the middle conductor, and the end tip is the end of the plug farthest from the cable.

I'm thinking the real Nikon MC-xx remote must use it's own batteries to apply a voltage to the camera to trip the shutter. If that's true, what's the voltage?

Has anyone else tried this? I'll be glad to try some experiments with applying varying voltages to the camera until it works (or the camera is fried), but I'll need someone to donate their D200 for the testing. Did I mention that I'm cheap? Thanks!

canfield Regular Member • Posts: 366
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release

The MC-30 remote has no batteries and works just fine. Are you using the 10-pin socket? I have seen diagrams around of the pinout for that socket. You'll have to look around.

Chuck

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Nikon 1 V2
troysg Regular Member • Posts: 138
Look at the last 5 posts in this Sportsshooter thread.....

http://www.sportsshooter.com/message_display.html?tid=16292

This should give you an idea of how to wire up the switches. Unfortunately the mc-27 is no longer available.

How's this for tinkering - I bought M$ Streets and Trips which comes with the Pharos iGPS-500 and rs232 to USB adapter. The gps is powered by 5v but has a 3.3v output. Used 1/4 of a 74HCT125 buffer as a level converter whose output goes to an opto-isolator which then goes to the camera input . I'm powering the gps with AA batteries with a low drop out voltage regulator to derive 5v.

Took the gps and adapter out of their plastic and stuffed that along with the buffer, opto, a usb 2.0 connector, a barrel connector, a mini jack for a remote release and a slide switch into a project box. The regulator was stuffed into a small void in the battery holder which is from radio shack - the 4 AA holder with the on-off switch. The switch was originally wired to break the negative which seemed backwards to me so I changed it around to break the positive. I made a small bracket out of aluminum to mount the battery holder to the camera. Attached a BS-1 to the bottom of the project box so it's hot-shoe mountable.

We all know how power hungry the d200 is so the slide switch breaks the signal going to the camera so the meter can shut off. I got my 10 pin cable off of ebay from Nova Photography. Be careful with this cable though as the wire colors don't match that of a genuine Nikon cable.

Cool thing about having the camera optically isolated from the gps is I can connect the gps to a laptop and the camera simultaneously without fear of letting the magical smoke out of anything......

Now I know there's the blue tooth solutions but being the tinkerer that I am I'm not going that route. Plus I think they are too expensive for what they are.

OP F3StillWorks New Member • Posts: 2
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release

Thanks for the quick replies, and I apologize for not getting right back to you.

The Zigview cable has three pins, and terminates in a mini stereo plug. So I assumed that one was a common, one was for focus, and one trips the shutter.

I went back and tried it again with the camera and lens (17-55/2.8) set to Manual focus, and it still didn't work. I did get an interesting "R19" code when I jumped the conductors that previously had caused the camera to focus. Not sure what that means, but I'm going to assume it translates to "do this one more time, and the camera will start to smoke."

I checked out the link to Sportshooter, too. Thanks for that. Hmmm, he had three wires and a the braided shield (common?) that he worked with. By the way, troysg, you're levels beyond my tinkering capability!

Thanks for both of your help on my first post. I guess I'll head over to the B&H site to look for an MC-30 or MC-36. Now, how can I make a cheap extension cord, so I can fire the camera from the group side of the group photos? Sounds like another thread... someday.

HenrikNikon Junior Member • Posts: 48
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release

Just remember that ALL electronic equipment run on smoke not by power -if the smoke gets out it stops working

You can get some pretty cheap cable release for the D200 on eBay, it's not worth DIY.

I bought one, inside it's just a double contact, first AF then shutter. There is NO battery inside.

Henrik

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(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 14,338
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release

HenrikNikon wrote:

Just remember that ALL electronic equipment run on smoke not by power
-if the smoke gets out it stops working

ROTFL. Outstanding and one I'd never heard before.

bob elkind Veteran Member • Posts: 5,832
speaking as a design engineer...

HenrikNikon wrote:

Just remember that ALL electronic equipment run on smoke not by power
-if the smoke gets out it stops working

You can get some pretty cheap cable release for the D200 on eBay,
it's not worth DIY.

I bought one, inside it's just a double contact, first AF then
shutter. There is NO battery inside.

Henrik

Speaking as a design engineer, I can confirm Henrik's assertion that electronic equipment does indeed run on smoke, and smoke alone. Smoke is an interesting power source. If you have not enough of it, the electronic stuff doesn't work well. Too much smoke, and the electronic stuff gets all clogged, requires cleaning with a stiff wire brush, and sometimes backs up (in which case you'll see the smoke escaping from your camera, etc.).

When the smoke is particularly sooty, you will probably need a smoke filter to catch the big chunks.

Smoke comes in various size containers. The most popular smoke containers are called AA. There are smaller ones, the AAA size, but they don't hold much smoke at all and soon enough they need to be replenished. There are car chargers for the smoke container... they hook up to your exhaust pipe, but be careful because they get hot back there.

This is all old news to most of us. Over the years, when something wonderfully overpowered is available for a good price, this is often called a "smoking deal", referring of course to the power source behind the kit.

Be careful of power sources that are "clear smoke", as in methane (the famous "cow charger")... it's a powerful energy source, but prone to be somewhat smelly.

  • Bob Elkind

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Raymond Lowe New Member • Posts: 22
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release

DId you ever get this to work? I have worked out a "DIY wireless remote control" system for my D300 -- but it involves two laptops and wifi! I call it the worlds most expensive wireless shutter release. Good range but hardly very convenient to carry around.

So something using wire and a switch would be a lot more practical.

Raymond

JimTech Contributing Member • Posts: 999
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release, eh?

You know,tinkering is one thing but with stuff that could let the smoke out of an expensive (and cool) camera? Buy the Cleon from Ebay for about $35 and be done with it.

Alternatively, good luck; keep a towel nearby so you can send smoke signals.
--
Don't think outside the box; assume there is no box.

CMalsingh Senior Member • Posts: 1,557
Nikon v. cheaper alternatives

F3StillWorks wrote:

I guess I'll head
over to the B&H site to look for an MC-30 or MC-36.

I too was struck by the price difference between Nikon's branded remote triggers and the generic ones.

Is there much to choose between these (eg. are the Nikon ones better engineered, less prone to failure over time etc) or am I just as well off buying the unbranded copies?

-- hide signature --

Colin Malsingh
-------------------
http://www.pbase.com/cmalsingh

TuckerUK Senior Member • Posts: 1,812
Re: Nikon v. cheaper alternatives

Oooh, try this thread, you might find it illuminating:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1039&thread=28565962

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Geoff
http://www.pbase.com/tuckeruk

WSSA member#68

Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,674
Here's a link explaining what to do.

F3StillWorks wrote:

So, being cheap and a tinker, I thought I could buy a Zigview RC06
shutter release cable, a couple of momentary-on switches, and prove
that I could outsmart Nikon. An interesting idea, but it didn't
work. Here's what I did:

I used my trusty VOM to measure the voltage present at the mini phone
plug of the RC06 plugged into the D200. Camera off, I get nothing.
Camera on, I get 4.25 volts on the inner tip, and 0.2 volts on the
end, with the collar as ground. Using a jumper wire, between the
ground collar and the inner tip, the camera autofocuses. The jumper
between the ground collar and end tip, gives me nothing. Sorry if my
mini phone plug terminology is confusing-- the ground collar is the
part of the plug closest to the cable, the inner tip is the middle
conductor, and the end tip is the end of the plug farthest from the
cable.

I'm thinking the real Nikon MC-xx remote must use it's own batteries
to apply a voltage to the camera to trip the shutter. If that's
true, what's the voltage?

Has anyone else tried this? I'll be glad to try some experiments
with applying varying voltages to the camera until it works (or the
camera is fried), but I'll need someone to donate their D200 for the
testing. Did I mention that I'm cheap? Thanks!

I've done my own DIY shutter release cable. Mine was intended for using Pocket wizards as remote shutter releases, but you can also use them hard-wired.

All Nikon's cameras that use the 10-pin connector work the same, at least for shutter release.

The Nikon 10-pin connector does not need voltage applied to it.

I don't have the pinouts in front of me, and didn't worry about them. I used an MC-22 cable as the starting point for my design. That cable has a 10-pin connector on one end, and 3 wires coming out of them. One of the wires is a common ground. One is the shutter 1/2 press lead, and the third is the shutter release lead.

You connect the shutter 1/2 press lead to the ground to enable the shutter 1/2 press functions (metering and/or AF). You connect the other lead to ground to trigger the shutter. In fact, you really want to momentarily connect all 3 wires together to trigger shutter release.

I wrote a thread a long time ago describing what I did. Here's a link:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1021&message=12478790

If you put a diode in the cable then you can connect the shutter 1/2 press and shutter release wires together without loss of function. I describe that further down in the thread above.

Regards,

Duncan C
--
dpreview and PBase supporter.

http://www.pbase.com/duncanc
My macro gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/duncanc/macro_pictures&page=all

Jay J Hector Regular Member • Posts: 173
Re: DIY D200 Remote Release

Go down the page at this link . . .

http://www.nickdidlick.com/services/camerabag/index.html

"Nikon manufactures six - ten pin remote accessory cords for use with the D1 Digital Camera, the F5, F100 and F90X. They are the MC-20 Remote Cord, the MC-21 Extension Cord, the MC-22 Remote Cord (pictured right), the MC-23 Connecting Cord, the MC-25 Adapter Cord and the MC-30 Remote Cord. The most common and cost effective cord to work with when making a remote cable is the MC-22 Remote Cord which has the camera connector at one end and three banana plugs at the other. To make a remote trigger for this cable follow the instructions below." . . .

DStan
DStan Forum Pro • Posts: 10,726
Re: speaking as a design engineer...

Bob, sounds like you've been smoking something - lol. Now you've got too much ripple in your VCC.
--
Stan ;o()

In the spirit of Occam’s Razor one should embrace the less complicated formulation or simply put, less is more.
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