Photogrammetry Photo Booth

I’ve been playing with the photogrammetry a little more over the last few weeks.  Using an Arduino programming board I even managed to put together a little system that would take turn a turntable then send a signal to an infra-red LED to activate a Nikon camera, then keep repeating the process.
The only problem with that is that I seem to be getting better photogrammetry results with my older Fuji S9600 camera.  The remote activation for that is through a remote that physically plugs into the camera.  Luckily the remote also has an input plug which sets the camera off if you put a 2.5mm jack plug into it and short circuit across the terminals. This is like a very basic switch, one of the easiest things to do in electronics – it’s literally like touching 2 wires together.
You would think that such a simple task would be possible without issue with a board like the Arduino, right? WRONG!  I’ve literally spent the last 3 weeks getting more and more frustrated at how to do it, as it’s not as simple after all.  Sending an electrical current like the one to light the LED? Easy. Just closing a switch on another circuit? Nope. Just Nope.
After hours of internet searching and questions on both Reddit and Facebook, someone in a Facebook Arduino group came up with a solution. Well, three people came up with solutions, but one has the potential to damage the camera, one needed a few more electronics parts, and the last one was able to utilise the one electronics part that I already had bought from reading something a few weeks ago – An Omron 5volt relay.
Thankfully he was able to explain it and add a diagram. I’m going to summarise the instructions in another post just in case someone else needs to do it and by some fluke it ends up in a Google search.
Anyways, I made the prototype on a temporary electronics board (breadboard) and it worked. I then soldered the parts to a small proper electronics board. It still worked!  Pushing my luck, I decided to go really crazy and see if it could activate BOTH cameras together!  So I adjusted the code, built the original LED circuit on the breadboard…..and it still worked!!  I knew I was on a roll at this point, so jumped in with both feet and soldered those parts onto the permanent board…. and it didn’t work. What?!? Why?!?  Because I’d dislodged a wire out of the Arduino, that’s why.
I popped that back in and mother of all  surprises, it actually all works!
I’ve took a step back to just the single camera for the moment though.  I’d now like to find a way to have the camera on a rail or support at a low angle – take a full set of pictures from one revolution, move up, take a set of pictures, move up a third time, and repeat – essentially automating a full photogrammetry run.
Do I know how to do it? Of course not.  Will I work it out? I hope so.  Watch this space!

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