Strobit Triggr Prototype Finished

After a hectic and very hot Christmas (41DegC) I managed to get some development time and finished 2 prototype boards.¬† My RFM12 header boards still have not arrived, caught up in the christmas mail I guess ūüôĀ¬† So I’ve had to resort to hand soldering some wires to the header in the meantime.¬†(Murphys law suggests that as soon as I finish soldering these headers the breakout boards will arrive in the mail)

Tomorrow/Later tonight I will test both of them and see if I can get a remote trigger happening woohoo.

Sorry about the quality of the photos as they were taken with my phone ūüôĀ

Strobit Triggr PrototypeRFM12 HeaderRFM12 Header SolderedRFM Development

StrobIt Triggr

Introduction

20/03/09 *UPDATE * This project now has a new home and is actively being developed on Google code project hosting http://code.google.com/p/strobit/

IMPORTANT    This page is no longer being being maintained please go to the new project page.

Welcome to the Strobit Triggr Project, an open source hackable wireless trigger used in photography lighting by using low cost strobe units triggered remotely via RF. This was started while trying to find a cost effective and reliable solution to the commercial alternatives out there. At one end of the market is the Ebay or Cactus Trigger, which is low cost but rather unreliable. At the other end of the market there is the industry standard, Pocket Wizards, very reliable, but very expensive (i.e. way out of my price range).

What I wanted to do was to create an open platform that anyone can easily build for a low cost and then be expand upon by the community. The pair of prototypes I’ve built were a proof of concept that I can get a camera to trigger a strobe unit reliably at a low cost. From early tests it appears that I’ve succeeded in my goal, but further testing is required.

triggr0103

Project Status :

– Prototype successfully working in single master/slave configuration !

– (20/03/2009) Project now has a home at Google Code – http://code.google.com/p/strobit/

Still Todo:

  • Specifications
  • Hardware Design
    • Schematics
    • PCB
  • Software Design
    • Wireless
    • User Interface
    • Protocol
  • Hardware Prototype

License

The strobit hardware design is covered by The TAPR Open Hardware License. Please see http://www.tapr.org/ohl.html for further details.

Schematics:

Strobit Triggr Block Diagram Strobit Triggr Topology StrobIt Triggr Schematic

Prototype Details

Firmware Description

Protocol Description

Downloads – Files associated with the project

Tests – Tests done so Far

In the Wild – Version of this trigger made by others

I’m toying with the idea of putting together a low cost kit for the enthusiast. i.e. PCB, pre-programmed PIC, etc. So we could all benefit with a bulk order of the components. If your interested please email me using the contact form the top menu or use the mailing list signup on the right to give me an indication of numbers interested. Once I finaliaze the design and get some idea of numbers I’ll get a better idea of price. At the moment it will only be available in kit form due to FCC and other Licensing regulations.

Future Improvements:

  • Higher Sync Speed.
  • Frequency Hopping.
  • Forward Error Correction.
  • Power management.
  • UI to change settings, Channel etc.
  • Save settings in Flash memory.

SHT-15 Humidity Sensor

I couldn’t get any¬†hands-on hardware development time¬†for the Strobbit open triggr project today, so¬†I¬†designed a breakout board for the Sensirion SHT15 Humidity/Temperature sensor for my weather station I’ve been intending to build.¬† I have a couple of these sensors at home waiting for something this so I can have a play with them.¬† PCB¬†uploaded for fabrication today.

As a side note:  While uploading this for fabrication at http://www.batchpcb.com  I noticed that my RFM12 PCBs has been panelized and so should be in production, hopefully they should rock up on the doorstep sometime soon.

SHT15 schematic

SHT-15 PCB

EBAY Trigger Receiver PCB

A couple of design changes,¬† main one being I could not physically fit a single design into the existing housings that would¬†encompass the Tx and RX, the RX housing is the problem as it’s a fairly small board so that means I’ve had to change the processor so that I can physically fit everything as well as the RF onto the board, so now a single design using the¬†PIC 16F873A now becomes 2 circuits, Tx and Rx using a PIC16F88 as the MPU.

Receiver PCB

Continue reading “EBAY Trigger Receiver PCB”

CNC Bug Bites

Over the past number of years, along with my interest in robotics and software development,  I have also had a keen interest in machining and metal work, I suppose ever since I build my first Stuart Turner stationary engine when I was 15 on my fathers Lathe,  BTW my father is also a very keen model engineer/machinist.  So wanting to merge my interests along came CNC.

I don’t own a lather / milling machine, actually I don’t¬†even have a workshop myself (about to change with my new house being built), although I do have access to them when ever I want its still not the same as ducking out to the shed to whip up a part, in general I find making small components and PCBS a bit of a pain, mainly though lack of tools and proper work area.¬† So Getting back into the robotics/electronics scene after a long break has also re-kindled my interest in the CNC Area, especially for small robotic parts (plastic and aluminium)¬†and one off PCBs (routing and drilling).¬†

So in my quest for knowledge, I¬†spent the last few nights browsing what’s out there, and was very surprised to see the huge amount of work that people have done.¬† I must admit it had been a couple of years since I’ve last looked, and there¬†there are some truly amazing machines out there (check out http://www.cnczone.com/).¬†¬† Anyway I think I want to start off small first with a low cost pcb router/drilling using a 3-axis with a dremal.¬† Plenty of photos out there with low cost designs and common parts have inspired¬†me to take some steps and begin¬†some design work, so stay tuned.