December 20, 2000

After months of development and testing, version 2.0 is finally complete for current owners of the DigiSnap 1000. Thank you all for your patience!

DigiSnap 1000 - Firmware Release 2

New Features Added:

The LCD on all cameras may now be enabled!

Shutter delay is reduced!

Multiple Time-lapse Sequences may be now triggered depending on the time of the day!

Additional Support is added for Nikon Coolpix 990 & 880:

  • Half-Press may be used to reduce shutter delay dramatically!
  • Bulb operation is full supported, for Single pictures, AND Time-lapse!

Future firmware upgrades can be installed by the end user!

Pictures may be manually taken during Time-lapse operation.

The upgrade is available for the cost of shipping ($8.00). You may return your DigiSnap when it is convenient for you!

Here are the steps for making the upgrade quick:

  1. Please remove your battery from the DigiSnap so it will not be depleted during shipping. The battery is not necessary for the upgrade, so please do not ship it.
  2. Enclose a check for $8.00 for return, insured, priority shipping.
  3. Enclose a copy of this e-mail or a note requesting the upgrade.
  4. Please provide me with your return shipping address and e-mail address.
  5. Please return your DigiSnap 1000 and the previous 3 items to:
5720 144th St NW
Suite 200
Gig Harbor, WA 98332

Feel free to contact us with questions!

December 18, 2000

Due to overwhelming demand, the DigiSnap 1000 has sold out. Please e-mail [email protected] if you want to be notified when it becomes available again.

Thank you to all of out loyal customers! Version 2.0 is on its way.

October 19, 2000

This month Jon Cox reviews the DigiSnap in Digital Camera Magazine.

October 6, 2000

Version 2.0 is still being completed. I'll be sure to send out e-mail to all on our list when it is available.

September 19, 2000

Notice: Nikon has recently release a firmware update for the Coolpix 990, updating from version 1.0 to 1.1.
We have found some improvements in some aspects of the serial interface which may enable the use of additional features in subsequent firmware updates for the DigiSnap 1000, but also a bit of an issue for current DigiSnap users.

The initial power-up delay used by the DigiSnap serial cable for the Coolpix 990 using the modified serial cable may now be insufficient. When the DigiSnap is activated, it signals the camera that the serial port is active, which shuts the LCD off and puts the camera into a low power mode. After about 0.8 seconds, the DigiSnap then tries to establish communication with the camera. With version 1.0 this delay appeared to be sufficient, but with version 1.1, it does not. In fact, if the delay is not long enough, the simple act of trying to communicate with the 990 can cause it to lock up! This is rather exasperating, but there is an easy work-around.

The DigiSnap 1000 has a number of programmable constants to tailor it's operating time constants. It is relatively simple to increase the delay to re-establish proper operation. Connect the DigiSnap to a terminal, as if to configure the time-lapse settings. Enter the command "CC_PU", which then prompts you to enter a value. The factory programmed value is 90, but we have found that increasing it to 110 or 120 may be required to get it to work with the updated camera firmware. Quit the terminal as normal, and the new value will be saved.

Note that this change is only required for DigiSnap 1000 owners that use the Coolpix 990 with the modified serial cable. Note that if you use another camera, or the standard Nikon serial cable, this delay value can be reduced to zero to minimize the overall delay.

August 1, 2000

Nikon has recently honored Harbortronics by releasing to us, under a non-disclosure agreement, the full serial protocol specification for the Coolpix 950!

Having access to this specification will allow us to refine our product's firmware to better comply with the camera's protocol, as well as provide other feature of which we were previously unaware. Since the protocol is common to other camera makes, we anticipate most of the future enhancements will also be applicable to cameras beyond the Nikon Coolpix series.

Since receiving the protocol we have already improved the support for the Coolpix 990! When using the 990 with the modified serial cable, the camera will sometimes fail to recognize the attempts made by the DigiSnap to communicate with the camera, which obviously tests the patience of the photographer! We have developed a workaround to this problem, making the process much more reliable. All units shipped starting from July 10, 2000 will incorporate this workaround. This firmware is now available as Version 1.2, and is available to all DigiSnap 1000 owners. They simply need to return the unit to Harbortronics, where we will re-program the unit and return the following working day. The only cost to the owner will be the shipping and handling charges!

We have also determined that it IS possible to use the LCD on the Coolpix 950 when controlling the camera via it?s serial port! This is a VERY exciting development, tremendously increasing the functionality of the DigiSnap 1000 for use as a simple remote release, in addition to it?s excellent performance as a time lapse controller. This feature improvement will be available in Version 2.0.

We anticipate a general release of firmware Version 2.0 in mid September, which will incorporate all of the above changes, plus enhanced features for time lapse photography, and possibly other goodies! This firmware release will again be free to all owners. Another exciting feature of the 2.0 firmware is that it will provide a much easier upgrade path to further feature improvements, allowing the owner to upgrade the DigiSnap firmware via a PC! The upgrade to Version 2.0 will be the last time the owner would need to return the unit to Harbortronics for feature improvements!

Harbortronics has plans to continue supporting the DigiSnap 1000 product, adding features and enhancements. The comments by the owners have been a great source of inspiration to enhance the product, and we encourage feedback!

We have already begun development of an accessory board for the DigiSnap 1000 (the entire package will be released as the DigiSnap 1500), adding external I/O all within the same small package. The DigiSnap 1500 will incorporate relay outputs which could be use for external lighting (i.e. charging a flash, illuminating a time lapse scene at night), as well as Infrared signaling for wireless control of the DigiSnap and camera! No other information is yet available about this product, but feel free to email [email protected] if you have specific I/O requirements.

Keep checking here for further announcements!