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Topic: The Last Shuttle needs a little help (Read 2546 times) previous topic - next topic

Robert Fisher

I am working on a project called TheLastShuttle.com I am building camera triggers and 3D rigs for shooting the last days of the shuttle program. I am building the hardware and could use some help with the software side. Trammel Hudson of Magic Lantern has been helping with programming 5Ds for what we need. If you could help we can give you credit and possibly get you in on a launch. At the moment our budget is very constrained so there is no money but I am hoping that will change. I have several different devices using Arduinos I need to get going and my time is stretched on building lot of other gear. If you would like to help please contact me either here or offlist "bob@rcfisher.com"

RC Fisher, cinematographer


Some explanation of the coding help you need might be useful.
The art of getting good answers lies in asking good questions.

Robert Fisher

I have 3-4 bits written for various camera triggering applications.

1.  I have a camera to trigger that gets triggered by sound and needs to run for say 20 min. This Arduino will have RTC, I don't want the acoustic trigger to trigger the camera before the launch window opens. The launch window times are published in advance so I could program 7 days of sequences at once. we are able to service cameras when delays happen so we can change cards and batteries. This camera also may have a servo to slide a cover off of the lens prior to activating the acoustic sensor. That part still to be worked out. another thing that would be good is to have a test switch and software to be able to check camera after setup. Flip switch and acoustic trigger would operate and run cam for 5-10 sec.

Simplest setup

2.  Arduino w/RTC and optocoupler, wakes arduino at set time, triggers camera to run (.5 sec pulse through the optocoupler). Again with all possible launch windows programmed.

It would be nice to have the clock and acoustic trigger on the arduino, right now I have boxes with timers (hacked from Home Depot 120v timers) activating acoustic triggers which in turn trigger the cameras as long as there is noise to trigger off of. These work ok and we have very few issues with these actually at the last launch. But I have more complicated sequences to run on a few cameras. The other thing is they need to be low power so they can run for a week or so on the same batteries. I have some Mini Pros I want to experiment with to figure out the power thing. Those would be just Mini, RTC, and optocoupler to see what the power consumption is like. 

Does this give you a better idea? I don't think anythings too complex. I have tried to make everything simple so there is less to go wrong. My goal would be to have everything run on similar hardware so just software changes need to be made.



Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Robert Fisher

If you just start the stills cameras and then they delay the launch you may run out of camera buffer or card space. Near the launch pad, our cameras are about 1/2 mile from the actual rocket. The main engines start at t-minus 7 seconds so there is lots of sound to trigger the cameras. Last launch the actual launch happened 2 seconds from the end of the launch window which is about 5 minutes long. 2 seconds and they would have delayed until the next day and the weather report wasn't as favorable. They say that when the solid boosters go off the sound alone would kill you. It's pretty intense even from 3 miles away, which is where I was last launch. For our video we shoot 5Ds and they are triggered by time which works fine. Even with almost a 5 minute delay we still had the launch and then some.


As a photographer and also an ex EE/SE I find this very interesting and I'd like to help, but I'm 10,000 miles away and pretty busy with other projects. Also in about 2 weeks time I'll be back in the outback with no reliable internet connection.

Rob Gray aka the GRAYnomad www.robgray.com

Robert Fisher

10,000 miles isn't too difficult to overcome these days but time is another mater.

RC Fisher


Oh I should have mentioned it on this forum!  I took this on...  You can follow along on github, and I'll post something with details when it's all done.

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