DSLR Lightning and Sound Trigger

A Bluetooth controlled DSLR camera trigger to capture high-speed photos

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Lightning Triggering
By using a photo transistor, lightning strikes are detected and triggers the camera at the same instant.

Sound Triggering
Sound triggering mode is used to capture sound events such as water droplets, breaking glass, and fireworks.

Calculates the number of photos for a given length timelapse, given the photo duration, interval, and total timelapse length before taking all the required photos.

Currently has support for two triggering outputs (can trigger two devices at once) with an additional two outputs being added in the next revision.

Control is through an Android app using the HM-11 Bluetooth module.

Power is from a li-po battery and is charged using an onboard li-po charger.

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Aaron wrote 05/04/2019 at 16:01 point

I built a very similar "lightning trigger" based on a photo transistor about 5 years ago, and unfortunately, I found the idea does not work.  At least not for a DSLR.

A DSLR requires ~100ms delay to take a picture after being triggered.  This is the time it takes for the mirror to flip and open the shutter.  By this time, the lightning strike has mostly ended.  Mirrorless cameras can have a delay well under 10ms.

Most successful lightning photography involves just opening the shutter and hoping you capture a strike.  You might try using this idea to open the shutter and then using the lightning detector to close the shutter after you detect a strike.

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Dan Maloney wrote 04/25/2019 at 16:07 point

I built something like this many years ago to capture things like light bulbs breaking. It was a film camera, so the idea was to shut the lights out, open the shutter, and smash the bulb with a hammer. The sound would trigger the flash, making your exposure. DSLR makes this so much more versatile. Nice job!

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Kane wrote 04/26/2019 at 01:43 point

Thanks Dan!! That's pretty much the process I've used to capture objects falling into water with my DSLR. I might need to find some old bulbs to try.

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