Is it feasible to use a sound detector to activate a camera?

I want to put together circuitry/controls ( whatever ), that will pick up sound, then actuate a camera when noise reaches a certain level. Perhaps actuate other indication devices, such as a decibel meter. Noise levels would be higher than 60 decibels. Source of the noise would be about 25 to 30 feet distant.

[u]instruments that I have:[/u] A Sound Detector that combines a microphone and some processing circuitry. It provides not only an audio output, but also a binary indication of the presence of sound, and an analog representation of it’s amplitude. A UNO arduino ckt, and other more basic arduino ckts. An arduino proto-shield, and an SD card shield. A decibel meter. A digital camera that can be remotely controlled.

I realize that a camera requires a button to be pushed as well as a remote controller. I don't know if that will be a problem

Thanks, Patrick

Yes that is a perfectly feasible thing to do.

Since cameras and remote controllers are actuated by push button, is there ways to actuate them electronically?

Since cameras and remote controllers are actuated by push button, is there ways to actuate them electronically?

You can do it with a servo to push the button.

steinie44: You can do it with a servo to push the button.

You can if you don't mind the massive time lag.

There's also the problem of finding a really quiet servo that won't retrigger the sound sensor

You can if you don't mind the massive time lag.

massive?

There's also the problem of finding a really quiet servo that won't retrigger the sound sensor

Noise levels would be higher than 60 decibels. Source of the noise would be about 25 to 30 feet distant.

It's quite remarkable how far the sound of an R/C servo will carry, as anyone who has looked for a model glider in long grass will testify.

What length of time lag would a servo , if such a mechanism is used to actuate a push button camera? What length of time lag?

Half a second or so, plus whatever it takes the camera to focus and shoot. Depending on camera you use and light conditions that can take another few seconds.

You said: "I realize that a camera requires a button to be pushed as well as a remote controller."

It needs both? It doesn't sound right. This remote control is infra red? Arduino UNO can easily pretend to be an IR remote control, but in this case I'd prefer a wired connection.

Does the camera have wire shutter release capability? What camera are you using?

Half a second or so, plus whatever it takes the camera to focus and shoot. Depending on camera you use and light conditions that can take another few seconds.

S3003 servo: Operating Speed (6.0V): 0.19sec/60 degrees at no load. Only need 20 degrees, so about 0.07 second. Or 70 milliseconds. Actually might need it slower, so as the button is pushed half way down, the camera has time to focus.

If not fast enough then use a solenoid and transistor driver.

I have an Olympus stylus 500, which has remote control capabilities, audio pick-up and a USB connection. Could an arduino and/or a sound detector be used to control this camera?

I'm also considering an outdoor surveillance camera, which has three connections, 1 low voltage, 1 video and 1 audio. Could audio and video be controlled by an arduino in such a camera?

atoole: I have an Olympus stylus 500, which has remote control capabilities, audio pick-up and a USB connection. Could an arduino and/or a sound detector be used to control this camera?

I'm also considering an outdoor surveillance camera, which has three connections, 1 low voltage, 1 video and 1 audio. Could audio and video be controlled by an arduino in such a camera?

Like I said before yes.

It depends what you want to photograph.

For example, sound travels much slower than light. If you were trying to use the sound of thunder to photograph some lightning a few miles away, it would not work, the lighting would be finished ten seconds before you heard the sound.

@ATOOLE Is this your camera?

http://www.olympusamerica.com/files/oima_cckb/Stylus_500_Mju_Digital_500_Advanced_Manual_EN.pdf

Do you have the remote control? If so, is it a IR control?

@stein44 I believe that is my camera. I just acquired a used one, but without a manual or a USB cord. And thank you very much for posting the manual address. I will read through the manual, it will be a great help figuring out how to complete my project.

Thanks for the help everybody

The camera uses an RM-1 remote control, which is an infrared device. Note, in my experience, there is some delay in using IR devices between the time the button is pressed, and when the camera finally gets around to taking the picture. It depends on what you are taking pictures of, whether this is a problem.

There is at least one library for controlling cameras with IR controls: http://sebastian.setz.name/arduino/my-libraries/multi-camera-ir-control/

If you don't mind opening up the camera, an alternative way is to add wires to the push button. Obviously, if you do this, you will void a warranty, but in your case, there is no warranty as Olympus warranties generally are for 1 year and only for the original owner (in Europe, Olympus is required to give a second warranty that is transferable, and is longer than the 1 year warranty it offers elsewhere). Just to be cautious, I would put an opto-coupler between the Arduino and the shutter button, so that the camera is not electrically in the circuit with the Arduino (opto-coupler have a LED and light sensor inside the chip, and power on one side turns on the LED, and the light sensor completes the circuit for the other side): http://www.instructables.com/id/Time-Lapse-Photography/step3/Press-my-buttons/

As people have mentioned, you can use a servo to press the button. In this video on making a pole mounted camera, it discusses putting in a servo at about 1 minute, 50 seconds into the video: http://makezine.com/2009/01/14/maker-workshop-pole-camera-on-make/

The Stylus 500 is almost 10 years old (introduced November 29, 2004). Hopefully it is still functioning well for you. I would worry whether batteries still could hold a charge. Compared to other manufacturers, Olympus has a fairly good record of using the same battery for multiple generations, so there was less chance of being stranded because the battery no longer is available. It looks like this battery is still used in current cameras (Olympus TG-850), and you can pick up clone batteries readily. FWIW, I tend to use wasabi clone batteries that bluenook.com sells (http://www.bluenook.com/Wasabi-Power-SP-720UZ-SP-800UZ-SP-810UZ/dp/B0049XIDBW?field_availability=-1&field_browse=2533795011&field_keywords=olympus+li-12b&id=Wasabi+Power+SP-720UZ+SP-800UZ+SP-810UZ&ie=UTF8&refinementHistory=brandtextbin%2Csubjectbin%2Ccolor_map%2Cprice%2Csize_name&searchKeywords=olympus+li-12b&searchNodeID=2533795011&searchPage=1&searchRank=salesrank&searchSize=12). I do have problems with the 3rd party chargers, as they are somewhat fiddily in terms of seating the battery so it charges.

Unfortunately, it uses xD memory cards (common to Olympus cameras of the time). I don't believe the xD memory cards are still being manufactured, but hopefully you can still get them in the used marketplace. If memory, serves there were 3 generations of xD memory cards, and early cameras could not use the 2GB cards. I have gotten rid of my cameras that took xD cards, so I no longer worry about xD.