Digisnap 2500

User manual: Digisnap 2000 Series User Manual.

The DigiSnap 2500 is a significant extension of the DigiSnap 2000 family, providing a wealth of external interfaces, including Infrared. It includes all of the features of the DigiSnap 2000 and more.

The DigiSnap 2500 leverages the DigiSnap 2000 into any application requiring external triggering and control. The DigiSnap 2500 includes an additional connector for electrical interfacing, as well as an IR receiver!

The internal IR receiver can detect signals from the Olympus RM-1, The Canon WL-DC 100 as well as most TV remote controls, allowing cameras with no IR capability to be wireless controlled.

The DigiSnap 2500 comes with a cable assembly which mates with the DigiSnap, and can be connected to external circuitry as required. A separate datasheet is available which details the connections, and offers some interface hints.

One contact is dedicated for triggering from external devices, allowing the DigiSnap and camera to be controlled by 'real world' events.

Another contact is provided to control external devices, and can directly drive small 12V lamps or relays, with timing roughly synchronized to the shutter.

The connector also provides access to the internal supply power, which can be used to power external circuits, or to source power to the DigiSnap 2500 for long term applications.

The DigiSnap 2500 uses a single AAA battery, will fit into small pockets of camera bags, comes with a 1 year warranty and personal support from Mark and Deborah at Harbortronics.

For More DigiSnap 2500 information, click here.

Accessories

Harbortronics Serial Cable

The DigiSnap 2000 series requires a serial connection to utilize the shutter release. Many compatible digital cameras come with the required serial cable, except the Nikon CP990, 995, 880, 885, 4300, 4500, 5000, 5400, 5700, and 8700. A serial cable for these cameras must be purchased separately. If your camera is not listed, please check our compatibility page for the required connector. (Compare to the Nikon Brand (SC-EW3 $30).)

FastSnap

The FastSnap feature improves the responsiveness of the camera / controller in some limited applications. When FastSnap is enabled, the camera is set to the Half-Press state immediately after each image is taken, so that when the DigiSnap is subsequently triggered, the shutter is released very quickly (on the order of 1/10 sec). Note that this feature is only supported by cameras that use extended protocol, such as the later models of the Nikon Coolpix series. Most applications permit the photographer to control the Half and Full press states of the camera manually, or do not require the minimum trigger delay. FastSnap was developed in particular for sports photography, where a camera & DigiSnap might be mounted behind a basketball backboard, and triggered via an RF slave, such as the PocketWizard.

External Power Mod

Most DigiSnap 2000 models use an internal AAA alkaline battery. This may not be enough power for long term time-lapse applications. The external power modification substitutes a rechargable alkaline battery, and provides an AC wall adapter to keep it charged. Note that the DigiSnap 2500 and 2800 can be powered from an external regulated 5V supply, and the 2800 can also be powered from an unregulated 6V - 16V power source.

Palm Mod

If you have a Palm/ HandSpring computer that you would like to use for advanced configuration of your DigiSnap 2x00, select this option and we'll modify your DigiSnap. You will be able to connect your DigiSnap, using the hot sync cable, with no other adapters.

Low Temperature Modification

The DigiSnap has been used in many applications to well below freezing, but for operation to about -25C, we can modify the DigiSnap, substituting some temperature sensitive components.

MultiSnap

The MultiSnap feature causes the camera to take multiple (1..255) pictures each time the DigiSnap is triggered manually, or during time-lapse operations. This allows use of the Auto-Bracketing feature of the Coolpix cameras! It is also often used for motion control applications, such as with the Snap360.

RC Switch Modification

A number of customers use the DigiSnap to control cameras mounted on small blimps, large kites, and RC controlled airplanes and helicopters. We can modify any of the DigiSnap 2000 controllers with an additional 6 pin cable, for connection to a set of 'RC Switches'. These are devices connected to a standard RC receiver which provide simple switch outputs, rather than the normal servo type signal. This then allows for radio remote operation of the camera system from the ground, allowing control over 5 different functions.

STL Preface Feature

This feature is useful for a limited number of applications, such as underwater time-lapse photography. In some applications, a long initial delay is desired between triggering the DigiSnap, and the actual start of the picture sequence. When STL Preface is enabled, the DigiSnap will take 5 pictures at an interval of 20 seconds immediately after the time-lapse operation is triggered, as a verification that the camera system is functioning.
M
ore Information

The DigiSnap 2500 is a variation of the DigiSnap 2000, adding external signal inputs and outputs, as well an Infrared (IR) sensor.

If you?d like to control your camera via infrared (using a standard TV remote control), then this device will do it! There?s no need to stand in front of the camera to use it? simply orient the DigiSnap to point the IR sensor wherever you want!

If you want to trigger your camera from an external sensor, the DigiSnap 2500 is a great solution!

If you want to control the timing of lights to illuminate a scene only when the camera is ready to take a picture, then this is your product.

IR Sensor

The IR input sensor can detect signals from standard TV remote controls, as well as the Olympus RM-1 remote controller. The initial firmware release for the DigiSnap 2500 will allow simple triggering (i.e. taking a picture), but given customer demand, the capability could be enhanced to include zoom control, etc.

Many camera models (for instance the Nikon Coolpix line) do not include IR remote control capability. The DigiSnap 2500 provides this capability for these cameras! For those who already have IR remotes, but cannot activate them from behind the camera, then the DigiSnap may provide a solution!

The IR sensor is located on the left side of the case.

External Input/Output (I/O)

The DigiSnap 2500 has an added electrical connector to access several internal signals for advanced applications.

The connector is a 4 pin Molex Micro-Fit connector, and has the following pin-out. Note that the DigiSnap 2500 is supplied with a pre-made connector assembly.

1) Power Supply (Red Wire)
2) External Output (Green Wire)
3) External Input (Blue Wire)
4) Common (Black Wire)

The external signal connector is on the right side of the case.

Power Supply

The DigiSnap operates on an internal 5V supply, which can be accessed via the external connector.

For moderate duration time lapse sequences (i.e. less than a week or so), the internal battery is enough to operate the DigiSnap. For longer term un-attended operation, an external 5V source can be used to power the DigiSnap. In these applications, the internal battery should be removed.

The internal supply can also be used to supply power to external devices. For instance, the 5V supply can be used to power an external sensor circuit. The power supply can source about 100 mA total. The internal circuit current draw varies quite a bit depending on the operation, from as little as a couple mA when idling, to perhaps as high as 80 mA peak when driving a heavily loaded serial port, leaving at least 20 mA for external use. Obviously the additional load will drain the battery more rapidly.

External Input

The external input can be used to trigger an action within the DigiSnap, such as taking a picture. The action of this signal is identical to the action of the hardware pushbuttons? it?s function can be configured via the switch menu, and it can be used to wake up the DigiSnap as well.

The DigiSnap is triggered by shorting this line to the common pin of the connector, for instance by a switch or relay contact. There is an internal resistor that will lightly pull this line to the 5V supply. A logic level output from an external circuit will also trigger this line.

External Output

The external output is a high current open collector switch to common. This signal can be used to directly drive lamps, motors, strobe power supplies, relays, and other devices. Note that the transistor is rated for 4 amps and 25 volts. If an inductive load is used, be sure to use a snubber circuit to protect the device.

The firmware for the DigiSnap 2500 offers several configuration options for this signal. The output is activated for a period of time before a picture is taken, for instance to light up a scene. The output remains active for a period of time after the picture is taken as well. These intervals are programmable from zero to 255 seconds each.

A typical lighting application may set both delays to zero, so that the light is only on during the process of taking the picture. The delays inherent in the process may be sufficient for the application, depending on the lighting method used. This output may be used to drive a motor, to rotate a turntable for instance, before taking a picture. It may also be possible use the pre-snap delay to charge up an external strobe before taking a picture in a time-lapse application.

The DigiSnap 2500 may be used as a true intervalometer application, where there is no camera attached to the serial port, or perhaps the external output is used to control the trigger input of an electrically activated shutter. In these scenarios, the serial port of the DigiSnap can be configured to be inactive, saving power. You may want to configure one of the DigiSnap switches to power the DigiSnap down, as the is no way to auto-detect if it?s connected to a camera in this mode!

Most applications will be designed to have the external output ?active low?. This means that the output signal will be shorted to common when activated, and open-circuited otherwise. It is possible to configure the output to be ?active high?, where the reverse is true. This is perhaps most useful on the DigiSnap 2100 model, where the external output can be used to drive an LED as an external status signal.

Custom Solutions

There are probably many more photographers who could benefit from some of these capabilities than have the time / ability / facilities to integrate the DigiSnap 2500 into a complete solution for their unique application. Harbortronics is eager to help you in developing custom electronic packages. Please contact [email protected] for assistance.