Archive

Archive for the ‘Hacking’ Category

Robot Snow Plow/Blower

December 6th, 2010 No comments
Categories: DIY, Engineering, Hacking, RC Tags:

AF Assist project: laser pointer triggered by hotshoe

September 15th, 2010 4 comments

None of the Canon cameras turn on the AF assist light (the red light) on external flashes continuously after focus has been achieved.

I’d like to stick a laser pointer (one that projects a pattern) in the flash slot and paint the subject with some sort of laser light pattern to give the AF sensor something to easily focus on. This way, if the laser light is on continuously, then I can use the AI Servo mode to continuously track the subject in low light situations.

In order to turn on/off the laser pointer, I will use the top left most small pin off the flash hot shoe (not the big round one). See diagram in this thread.

Canon hotshoe pinout description here.

I may have to tweak the diagram shown in the link to turn on the laser pointer, but it should be doable.

The beauty of using the signal off the hot shoe connector is that it comes on only when the camera needs to focus, and stays on only for 7 seconds after it’s done focusing, or 3 sec after the shutter is fired.

—————–

Update: 20 Sept 2010

I went to Club neutral last night and shot some pictures there. (Description of results from that night’s shooting at this post) I took the laser pointer with me, but I could not reliably use it. I had no mount for it other then the velcro I brought with me, which couldn’t keep it in one place especially when having to push the button all the time to trigger it.

When leaving the club noticed a red led bike light, and thought it may work for me too. Tried the red led bike light I have, to see how well it would assist the camera in focusing. Compared to the AF assist light from the Sigma EF500 DG super flash, it took almost twice as long to focus, and at times the bike light didn’t even acquire focus. So much for a simple solution.

——————–

UPDATE: 24 Sept 2010

Came across a few forum posts where people are discussing AF assist lights. This chinese site has an interesting idea.

Also this forum and this forum have discussions on AF Assist lights.

—————–

UPDATE: 02 May 2011

I have progressed this project further.  Check out this post for a working laser AF assist tool.

Categories: DIY, Hacking, Photography Tags:

Vivitar 285HV Flash power selector

December 17th, 2009 18 comments

This project started a while ago for me (probably back in July 09), when I got my first Vivitar 285HV flash.

By default, this flash has 4 manual power settings. Full, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/16.
I never liked the fact that there was no 1/8 power. So searching the web I came across some DIY projects to add a selector knob to select different power settings. Read more…

Categories: DIY, Hacking, Photography Tags:

WD TV Live hacking

December 14th, 2009 No comments

I’ve only used the WD TV Live a few times since I bough it a couple on months ago. I had built a XBMC box, that played most SD content, and Iw as content. I was actually very impressed with the pretty interface, and the abilities of XBMC.

But having trouble playing a few file types, and the thoughs of using the XBMC hardware in my car pc have gotten me thinking about the WD TV Live again.

I am going to flash the WDLXTV_LIVE-0.2.2.1 firmware.

Forum info is here.

Instruction from WD on upgrading firmwares is here.

Categories: Hacking Tags:

Hacking the Sigma EF-500 DG Super strobe : Extra head rotation

October 29th, 2008 No comments

The head of the Sigma EF-500 DG Super rotates 180degrees if rotated to the left (photographer’s view) but only 90deg to the right.

I always found that limiting, so since I had the guts spilled on my table trying to figure out the sync port, I decided to modify the head rotation of the flash at the same time.

What follows is my own documentation of what I did to my unit.I will not be responsible if you accidentally destroy your flash, or worse, hurt yourself: capacitors in the flash can hold their charge for a long time waiting for someone to poke them the wrong way.
WARNING: This hack will FOR SURE void your warranty. This hack also involves permanently modifying your unit.

Read more…

Categories: Hacking Tags:

Hacking the Sigma EF-500 DG Super strobe : Sync port – part 2

October 29th, 2008 7 comments

In part one I described how I tapped into the electronics of my Sigma EF-500 DG Super to provide me with an access point to trigger the flash from a sync port.

In this post I will discuss how I added the actual sync port: physical mounting, and lessons learned.

What follows is my own documentation of what I did to my unit.I will not be responsible if you accidentally destroy your flash, or worse, hurt yourself: capacitors in the flash can hold their charge for a long time waiting for someone to poke them the wrong way.
WARNING: This hack will FOR SURE void your warranty. This hack also involves permanently modifying your unit. This hack involves a little soldering.

Read more…

Categories: Hacking Tags:

Hacking the Sigma EF-500 DG Super strobe : Sync port – part 1

October 29th, 2008 14 comments

Recently I’ve been starting to learn more about flash photography compliments of The Strobist.
Then I bought a set of cheap ebay wireless flash triggers to alow me to trigger the flash remotely, but with the Sigma EF-500 DG Super flash, that was not possible.

UPDATE: Recently purchased a set set of Yongnuo RF- 602 2.4 Ghz wireless triggers from ebay (they’re quite cheap), and they work flawlessly with the Sigma flash, without any modifications. If you want a sync port, try the method below, but if all you want is to trigger the Sigma flash, buying a set of the RF-602 triggers is by far the simplest way of doing it.

Most other flashes out there can easily be triggered by shorting out the two main terminals on the hot-show. But not on this sigma. So I had to find another way to trigger the flash manually, which led to the decision to hack my flash to get a sync port.

What follows is my own documentation of what I did to my unit.I will not be responsible if you accidentally destroy your flash, or worse, hurt yourself: capacitors in the flash can hold their charge for a long time waiting for someone to poke them the wrong way.
WARNING: This hack will FOR SURE void your warranty. This hack also involves permanently modifying your unit. This hack involves a little soldering.

Read more…

Categories: Hacking, Photography Tags:
Improve Your Life, Go The myEASY Way™