Friday, December 30, 2005

Building the Beast 1

This one goes out to Jesse. He has been trying to talk me into hacking my camera for a while. He's the little red devil on the shoulder telling me to start experimenting with expensive equipment and spending many hours pulling hair out because certain electrons aren't going where I think they should....... No wonder solid-state physicists drink whiskey.

Now that I have an SLR to play with, and I found a free chapter from a 'hack' book that Jesse told me about, I got really excited because of how easy the hack seemed. Instead of spending $300 to buy a fancy box that will make the SLR do interesting things, I thought that I should go build my own box that does fancy things for $50, the only catch being that you have to figure out the wiring yourself. This shouldn't be too big of a problem, but unlike Jesse, I'm a little rusty at my schematic skills. Here's the first part -

It's a headphone jack, a speaker-extension cable, a few wires and a button that pushes two wires together. Easy enough. That tells the camera to take a picture. You'll notice that my left hand is pushing a button....... Ta da!

The next step is going to be the royal pain though - I want to build a box that sends pulses like this at a regular interval, which means timing chips and power sources..... I'm part way though it, but it's not as straightforward as the manual would seem. And you know how well solid state physicists communicate. After the whiskey, maybe they'll mumble at you a little bit, but for the most part they just make plots and schematics with all sorts of funky symbols that they defined in some other book on page 712.233 that they don't tell you about. I've got two days to get this thing working before I go observing on Mauna Kea, and I WANT to timelapse the sunrise dammit!! Where's my coffee. Even though it's 9am, and I was up till 4, perhaps I need some whiskey in it myself.......


Post a Comment

<< Home