Triggertrap V1 Prototyping Update


It's been quiet from us for a little while, as we've been working hard on the Triggertrap (and we've had the odd distraction, including two members of Team Triggertrap getting engaged! How supremely exciting).

Timelapsing for a better tomorrow

The TT testing is going very well indeed - the Timelapse feature is working like a treat. So well, in fact, that we haven't yet figured out how many photos you can take before the Triggertrap runs out of battery. The 'sleep' mode we built in (which turns off all the sensors and the screen when the Triggertrap is not connected to external power*) works so well that the camera keeps running out of battery long before the Triggertrap does.

We're perfectly happy to admit that we're not the best Timelapse photographers out there; we'll leave that to the professionals. However, as a proof of concept of sorts, we made this one:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=louKfVccESs&w=600&h=407]

Let there be light

In other news, the light sensor and audio sensors are working very well, too.

The light sensor introduces the concept of "change". So, to explain, imagine you have the Triggertrap and your camera set up in your hallway, and you've calibrated the trigger treshold so the Triggertrap knows when the light in your hallway is turned 'on' or 'off'.

Now, you can configure your Triggertrap in one of three ways:

On Rise - this triggers your camera whenever the treshold is crossed 'from below'. in other words: when the light levels measured rise from low to high. So: when someone turns the light in the hallway on. In the graph above, that would be at the point marked 2. In this mode, the Triggertrap would trigger your camera whenever the light is turned on.

On Fall - You guessed it; this triggers your camera whenever the treshold is crossed 'from above'; so when the light levels measures fall from high to low: When someone turns the light off. That's the point marked as 1 above.

On Change - if you're with me so far, I'm sure you can guess what 'On Change' means: It takes the photo every time the treshold is crossed. In this mode, your Triggertrap would take a photo at both points 1 and 2 in the graph, above.

Of course, you can also program a delay; you may, for example, only want to take a picture after half a second, to let people have enough time to actually get in the front door properly.

You could use this to photograph sunsets and sunrises as well: Set the camera to "on rise" for sunrise, "on fall" for sunset, of "on change" if you want to be greedy and photograph both...

I, for one, am much happier taking photos of sunrises if it doesn't involve getting up at 5:40 in the morning.

You have the power!

You requested it, and we decided to go ahead and add it in... Even though the Triggertrap is extremely good on battery life (we estimate several weeks of continuous use, at least), there are situations where you might want the safety net of external power...

So, you might have noticed the little asterisk next to the 'external power' comment above. Yes, that's right, we've included support for external power for the Triggertrap!

It works via the USB port, so if you have a Kindle, a moderately recent mobile phone, or any of a hundred other appliances that use the Micro USB-B, socket, you already have the power cable you need. Alternatively, buying one of these and one of these will have you cooking on gas, as they say.

When you're using the Triggertrap with external power, it won't go into 'sleep' mode, so your display will stay on so you can see what it's doing at all times - perfect if you want to keep an eye on things!

The testing continues

So, it looks as if the trusty Triggertrap is finally coming together properly. I've got a big pile of prototypes sitting on my desk (6 different ones, in fact; all with different PCBs and different functionalities), but so far, we haven't found any reason why the current version (version 39, in fact. Yes, that means we've made 38 revisions to our original design. And yes, that's why it's taken us a while to get this far) couldn't be the final production version. Exciting times!

So, the things that are left to be tested are:

  • Laser functionality (for the laser trigger fun and frolicks - however, if the light and sound testing is anything to go by, this testing phase should be a breeze)
  • InfraRed remote control functionality (so we can trigger cameras that only have IR remotes)
  • Camera compatibility testing (The TT works supremely well with my Canon 550D; now we just need to make sure it works on other makes and models of cameras, too)

Finally, once we've settled on the final version of the software, we'll start preparing the manuals (well, really just simple tutorials helping you get used to the Triggertrap), and prepare the software for release as open-source software.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is going to be awesome. More awesome than a honey badger, in fact.

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