Program camera to trigger at specific date, time in the future

Started by ek0394, August 01, 2023, 02:25:49 AM

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ek0394

New to this forum, so my apologies if this had been covered some time ago.

I have a project idea that would require a camera to be left in a remote location and trigger at a specific time in the future. I currently shoot on a Canon R5, but am not opposed to other cameras/options that are compatible with ML. I have an AODELAN WTR-2 which has a timer option, but can only be set 99 hours into the future, which is likely not long enough for what I am looking for.

I've done some preliminary research the Magic Lantern firmware on an SD card but I'm unsure if it can function how I need it to.

The specifications I'm hoping for are:

Remote shutter release or in camera feature that can be set to day, hour, minute, second (if second is not possible, then having it set to minute might be ok)
Timer for trigger can be set approximately 1-2 weeks into the future
Can "wake" the camera up from sleep mode to conserve battery

Any help or guidance would be appreciated!

names_are_hard

All of this is quite easy apart from automatic wake from sleep.  Even this might be possible.  There's some evidence the onboard RTC can be used to wake the cam at a specific time:
https://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=12542.msg137085#msg137085

But that's CHDK land, which supports different cams.  I'm not aware of anybody trying this with ML.  I can see that M50 and SX70 cams have SubCPURebootRequest string, but R5 does not.  So, maybe, but unproven.

You could use something like an Arduino to trigger shutter at arbitrary times, with a shutter release cable.

kitor

This is likely due to Cortex M0 that takes role of MPU on PowerShots new PS based models. Would need a research for our MPU equivalent.
https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=23296.msg243752#msg243752
Too many Canon cameras.
If you have a dead R, RP, 250D mainboard (e.g. after camera repair) and want to donate for experiments, I'll cover shipping costs.

Skinny

Just an idea, one interesting option, in ML you have sound trigger, the camera will make a picture if you exceed certain volume threshold. So it can be triggered by a sound from a cellphone (headphone out - audio in, or just by sound), and this way you can trigger your bomb your camera from anywhere hehe
I don't know what is your purpose and it is not an elegant solution obviously, but very easy to do.

And I am not sure if it will work with all energy saving options activated, but it's easy to try..

ek0394

Quote from: names_are_hard on August 01, 2023, 02:54:00 AM
All of this is quite easy apart from automatic wake from sleep.  Even this might be possible.  There's some evidence the onboard RTC can be used to wake the cam at a specific time:
https://chdk.setepontos.com/index.php?topic=12542.msg137085#msg137085

But that's CHDK land, which supports different cams.  I'm not aware of anybody trying this with ML.  I can see that M50 and SX70 cams have SubCPURebootRequest string, but R5 does not.  So, maybe, but unproven.

You could use something like an Arduino to trigger shutter at arbitrary times, with a shutter release cable.

In playing around with the onboard intervalometer, I've found that the camera can hold a charge for a battery in sleep mode for about 20 days if set to trigger every 12 hours (just one test case). However, what I've found is that the onboard clock tends to lose accuracy even within a day, which I'm trying to avoid. Ideally an external source for time (connected to internet to ensure consistency) can be used. I'd definitely like to leverage capabilities that can be used on cameras with higher image quality than a Powershot if possible

ek0394

Quote from: Skinny on August 02, 2023, 01:00:21 PM
Just an idea, one interesting option, in ML you have sound trigger, the camera will make a picture if you exceed certain volume threshold. So it can be triggered by a sound from a cellphone (headphone out - audio in, or just by sound), and this way you can trigger your bomb your camera from anywhere hehe
I don't know what is your purpose and it is not an elegant solution obviously, but very easy to do.

And I am not sure if it will work with all energy saving options activated, but it's easy to try..

Interesting suggestion, and as I'm new to the ML world, I had no idea this is possible. This could actually be a viable option, as it would be driven by a cell phone alarm, which would maintain an accurate time due to cell service/internet connection and could then set an alarm at that certain time. unsure what the delay in trigger would be, but if you have any additional information, I'd appreciate it!

Skinny

Almost no delay, I used audio trigger to take a photo when I clap my hands.. Useful when you want to avoid camera shake on a tripod. Like a poor man's remote control :)

names_are_hard

It will however mean any loud noise will trigger it.  Might not be practical if you need to leave it unattended for a long period.  And you're going to need a decent sized battery to keep both the phone and the camera on for all that time.

A microcontroller with a decent RTC, attached to the external trigger, will use a lot less power.  But now you need to mess around with microcontrollers, so, depends what your skillset is :)