Posted on 06/22/2012

Photo taken on June 21, 2012

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Intervalometer Hack

Intervalometer Hack
I mashed the proprietary plug on the $18 intervalometer the second time I used it with the infraredified D80. With a little fiddling around and a few visits to Radio Shack, I doubled the cost of the thing and got it working again.

The Phottix cable is a $4 replaceable item, in case the Nikon D80 plug tip gets mashed up again. My goal was to alter the intervalometer (here branded Shoot, but I've seen them under several names for a very wide range of prices) so that no further hacking would be necessary: wreck a plug, throw away the short cable and plug in a new one. No splicing, no new jacks, etc.

An added bonus is that I can eventually add a plug to microcontroller driving the slider dolly, and have it control the shutter as well as the motion of the carriage (so that it remains still while the shutter is open, something useful for longer exposures).

For those who want to try this at home, the pinout on the Phottix cable's 2.5mm plug is: tip = shutter, middle = focus, base = ground or common. On the intervalometer cable, red = shutter, white = focus, and yellow = ground or common.

Inline 2.5mm stereo jacks are apparently very difficult to come by (later found them in-store at a Fry's while on a business trip), so I used instead a 1/8" jack and an adapter plug to make it all work together.

Notice I also added a slider switch to the intervalometer body, since it required inserting and removing the batteries to turn it on and off (an exceptionally idiotic design excuse for it, none). This was far more difficult than it should have been, and I don't recommend it.