Triggers: Part 1

Last night, Jenny, Trevor and I (Sean) had a meeting to discuss what type of triggering system to use with our book scanner. We appear to have two options:
1. Figure out a digital trigger/remote switch system
2. Rig a mechanical triggering system
We liked Ryan’s suggestion to go with the Canon Powershot A2400, so we tailored our options to fit this particular model. Several of the message boards that we’ve looked at recommend using the cheaper model Canons (such as the A2400) along with CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) and inexpensive (around $30) USB triggers. CHDK allows you to add to the control settings of most Canon cameras (via a script) to include remote shutter release. If we go the other route, with the mechanical system, we’ll have to design, cut, and then mount two sets of trigger hammers, much like this one. The hammers are pulled by bicycle brake cable connected to a hand lever.Weighing the options, we decided to recommend the mechanical method. Our main reasons:

  • The CHDK + remote USB method could potentially mess up your camera, if you don’t know what you are doing (which we don’t).
  • Digital remote triggering seems to require a separate power source (battery, adaptor, laptop, etc.) and complicated wiring. [Disclaimer: None of us are electrical engineers.]
  • Mechanical triggering, though a challenge to devise, will be simpler to operate and maintain, since everything is built into the book scanner itself.
  • Building stuff is fun.

We will be presenting these options again with the entire group this Saturday before we make a decision. Before then: Painting and Building, Part 1.

~Sean

Update: See here for our trigger decision!

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