Triggertrap is an universal, Arduino-based open-source camera trigger developed by SharQ.
Universal: It works on all cameras that have the facility for using a remote control
Arduino-based: Being based on everyone's favourite rapid-prototyping platform means that it's easy to add your own functionality, if that's your thing
Camera trigger: It connects to your camera, and triggers it when an event happens; It has light and sound sensors built-in, can do time-lapse photography, and has an Auxiliary port built in as well, if you want to trigger it in any other way.
The project was launched on Kickstarter in late June 2011, and is expected to be fully crowd-funded via the Kickstarter platform on July 31st, 2011.
The Triggertrap has have 4 modes built-in (although you can add your own, if you want to. More about that later). Just as a quick refresher, the modes are:
Connecting the Triggertrap to your camera
With a wire - The Triggertrap has a 3.5mm mini jack port. This is where you plug in your camera. Of course, different cameras have different ports where you connect a remote trigger, but as you can see from our supported cameras list, we’re planning to support most types of cameras.
Hell, when I discovered that there were some cameras we couldn’t support out of the box, I went ahead and put together guides for you, so if you’re handy with a soldering iron, you can connect Ricoh cameras, CHDK-hacked cameras, and even flashes directly to the Triggertrap.
I love geeking out and writing, so I’ll be adding more cool Triggertrap hacks whenever I can. Simply keep an eye on the Hacking and Extending Triggertrap category here on Triggertrap.com.
Wirelessly – In addition to the 3.5mm port, Triggertrap has an IR-LED built-in. This is the same kind of LED that you would find on a remote control, and we’re currently looking into how we can add support for as many digital cameras as possible, using IR remote control.
In theory, if your camera supports an Infra-red remote, the Triggertrap should be able to trigger it.
A laser-beam across a footpath triggers the camera, photographing all the runners passing
The Triggertrap has a built-in, very fast light sensor, that can be used for all sorts of awesome things. Point a laser beam at it, and you have a laser trigger – when someone breaks the laser beam, the Triggertrap knows about it, and you can trigger the camera.
We are going to include three modes in the triggertrap:
- Trigger on break. A laser beam is aimed at the Triggertrap, and it triggers when the beam is broken
- Trigger on make. No laser beam is aimed at the Triggertrap, but it triggers when it detects a laser beam.
- Trigger on change. Combines both of the above. It triggers once when it detects a laser beam, and again when it detects the beam has been broken.
Laser mode will have a time delay setting, adjustable from a few milliseconds to a second or so. great if you want to delay the triggering slightly after the Triggertrap detects a Laser event. It will also have a sensitivity setting, which will help you ensure that the trigger works both in daylight and at night.
The Triggertrap has a built-in sound sensor, which works not entirely unlike the Laser mode, above. It also has three settings:
- Trigger on start. This is how you can trigger your camera by clapping your hands, for example – the Triggertrap detects a loud sound, and triggers your camera.
- Trigger on stop. You might want to trigger your camera when sound drops under a certain level – for example, when a machine stops.
- Trigger on change. Both of the above: When Triggertrap detects a change in the sound, it triggers the camera.
Sound mode has the same settings as Laser mode: Time delay and sensitivity, to help you get the perfect shots
Timelapse photography is the art of taking a photo at an interval. Then, when you show them in rapid succession as a video, you get an animation of the world moving at high speed. The effect is pretty incredible – and Wired has a load of great examples collected here, if you need a bit of inspiration.
There are two time-lapse modes built into the Triggertrap:
- Linear time lapse. You choose how often you want to take a photo, and then you press ‘start’. The camera will take photos every X seconds (or minutes).
- Non-linear time lapse. This is a novel one for the Triggertrap, and I don’t think I’ve seen any other devices that do this. The idea is that instead of taking photos every X seconds, the Triggertrap reduces (or increases) the space between photos. This would give an illusion of the movement you are timelapsing speeding up – or slowing down. You could choose to start with an 1 minute interval, for example, and reduce the interval by 0.1 second for every shot. After 10 shots, the interval would be 59 seconds. After 100 shots, the interval would be 50 seconds. The effect would be that after 100 photos were taken, it looks as if the movement happens 10% slower.
Wire the Triggertrap to the light in your fridge, and add a 1-second delay. Now, a second after the fridge door opens, your camera takes a picture. Why you would want to do that is beyond me, but "because you can" springs to mind.
The Aux mode is what I’m most excited about on the Trigger trap, because it’ll let you connect nearly anything to your camera.
Need some ideas? Well, how’s about this:
- Take a photo when you press your car horn
- Take a photo when someone opens a door
- Take a photo when the temperature drops below a certain temperature
- Take a photo when the sun comes up
- Take a photo when someone rings your door-bell
- Take a photo whenever someone loads a web page
- Hook it up to a clock and take a photo at noon every day
- Take a photo whenever someone switches on the TV
- Take a photo when your dogs step on a pressure-sensitive mat by their food bowl
If you can think of it, you can find a way of connecting it to the Triggertrap – and to take photos of it, too, of course! And if you can’t figure out how to make it happen, I’m sure the Triggertrap community would be more than happy to help you along. I already have a couple of cool ideas for auxiliary mode tutorials that I’ll be sharing with you over the next few weeks.
With a built-in USB port, you'll be able to extend the features of the Triggertrap yourself. Or get your geeky neighbour to do it for you.
The Triggertrap has a built-in display so you see what you’re doing – much easier to work with than guesstimating delays and sensitivity settings, for example, and it’ll give you useful feedback about the features you’re using at the moment.
The Triggertrap is controlled with touch-sensitive buttons. That means that even if you have slightly grubby paws, the Triggertrap should keep working.
We’re currently looking at ways of environmentally sealing the Triggertrap to make it splash-proof, but if you want it to be completely water proof, get yourself a nice DryCase – it has a water-sealed 3.5mm mini jack built in, so you can leave your Triggertrap in the rain for days on end if you want, without causing it to explode in a rain of sparks and hellfire.
The Triggertrap is battery powered, and runs on three AA batteries. We highly recommend you get a good battery charger and some high-amperage rechargeable batteries (Sanyo Eneloop batteries are a great compromise between price and quality): It’s better for the environment, better for your wallet, and they last much longer than Alkalines, as well. It’s a win-win-win!
We are currently working on a power-saving feature, so that when you’ve set up your Triggertrap, you can put it in ‘sleep’ mode. This disables the touch-sensitive buttons, the speaker, and the display, so it can run in the background. This means that the batteries will last much longer, and you can just leave it to do its thing while you go to the pub.
We understand that you love your camera, so we’ve done everything we can to protect it. Your camera is optically isolated from the rest of the Triggertrap. This means that there is no copper wires physically connecting the Triggertrap to the camera – so if you do something unspeakably stupid (such as connecting your Triggertrap to a lightning rod to try to photograph lightning), there’s a fighting chance that your camera will survive the encounter.
In addition to all of that, Triggertrap will have an USB port, which you can use to add your own functionality to the device by programming it. We’re working on making the Triggertrap Arduino compatible, so you should be able to use the Arduino programming environment (which is based on the Processing programming language) to create your own features and functionality. The USB port also means that if we add additional functionality to the Triggertrap later, you can do a software update!
It's not to late to head over to Kickstarter to help out on the project - and if you pledge on Kickstarter, you'll be among the first to get a Triggertrap device... In the world! http://kamps.org/triggertrap
There is a website for Triggertrap as well - on Triggertrap.com