Has anyone ever come up with an electric shutter actuator?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by hoffy, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I have been thinking of better ways to fire the shutter on my Koni-Omega for longer exposures, but getting away from the standard old cable.

    I wonder if anyone has ever come up with an electronic way to fire the shutter on such older fully mechanical camera's. The idea I have been thinking about would either require a little electric motor with a small rack attached to a short cable OR a small solenoid, fired wireless via remote control.

    So, is there such a product available, or should I be butchering my kids Mechano sets and coming up with one?
     
  2. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Horseman made a nice solenoid to fire the leaf shutters on the 6x9cm cameras. It runs off a 22v battery and has a 8 or 10 foot cable.

    An electronic shutter solenoid was also available for Speed and Crown graphics.
     
  3. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    yup,

    made an intervalometer for a bolex (timelapse thingy, exactly what you're after but it could be programmed by a computer to repeat how I wanted it to)

    Solenoid is the way to go, or an RC servo or - well anything you've got ... It would be a collection of smaller circuits put together to achieve your end, you've just got to know how to search for those circuits - how much money do you want to spend ? do you want the remote control to be bulletproof ? Is it 'manual' in its usage - i.e. you hold a button for the duration or will it have timer functionality ? - an LED display and data encoder knobs ? or a black mystery box with a battery taped to the side ?

    etc...
     
  4. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I was afraid you would say that.....
     
  5. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Depending on your requirements it might not be that hard...

    Firstly, just as a quick test: do you have a soldering iron, a multimeter - do you know what breadboard or veroboard are ?

    If not then, hmmm maybe not the project for ya - if yes, then do any of these mean anything to you:

    '555'
    relay
    diode
    '4805'

    If yes, then yes, should be easyish to build something :wink:
     
  6. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    One concern with a solenoid would be vibration, as it moves quickly, unlike the cable or air release you can move slowly. You wouldn't want it to be any bigger than necessary, for that reason.
     
  7. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    Put a few bits of rubber/dense foam/soft stuff between the armature and the shutter release - or between the solenoid body and the camera and let it slide a little ...

    It will take time for the solenoid to overcome the mechanical resistance which in turn will dampen the vibrations.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The Horseman solenoid is made to eliminate the camera shake when using one's thumb on the mechanical cable release.

    There is no shake induced by the solenoid. The mass of the plunger is small and it only moves a small distance to trip the shutter.
     
  9. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Thanks Nick. I am familiar enough with electronics to get me by. I do, though, have a friend who is well versed in doodads and gizmo's who would be able to help.

    As for the solenoid's, yes, that had me concerned a well, hence the idea of a motor. I think a RC actuator may not have the power to do what is required....hmmm, thinking, thinking....
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Some of the servos are pretty strong.
    There's a linear adapter that use a worm drive for one of the older fuji servos.I think Tower Hobbies had them listed not too long ago.
     
  11. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    Yes. All the old press cameras from the era of flash bulbs used an electrical solenoid with a variable delay to fire the shutter. The leaf shutter was fired only after the bulb ramped up in brightness, but this delay can also be adjusted out of most of them. They're dead simple and easily found.
     
  12. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    I have a homemade setup using an air cylinder to drive a cable release. I tried the solenoid approach, but found that for the larger (and older) LF shutters, the travel required is longer than a cheap solenoid will handle without a mechanical linkage.

    I think that for the smaller shutters a solenoid would work just fine. The easy way is to use a large-ish capacitor to supply the peak current, with a small-ish battery to recharge the cap. As it happens, the force exerted by a solenoid increases towards the end of the stroke, which is just what you would want. McMaster-Carr has a good selection of both 12 and 24 volt solenoids, and they also have industrial time delay relays (more expensive but less fiddly than a 555 circuit) that work well for things like this.

    The servo idea sounds good, although I don't have any experience along those lines.

    Using a cable release between the drive mechanism and shutter simplifies the mechanics, and also provides some "give" to make damaging the shutter less likely.
     
  13. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    Besides searching the various parts archives of the RC hobby world, try the world of animatronics too.
     
  14. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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