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total remote transmitter alternative ? need for shooting hdr exposures on the fly

Hey Chieh,

you`re a genius ... I just got your book. It`s amazing what can be done with workarounds.

Since a few months I`m thinking about how to send programmed exposure-rows to my canon eos 350D.
I would like to automate the shooting of hdr exposures. My first thought was to write an application with the eos SDK for my ipod Touch.
Now as I`m reading in your book that it can be recorded as audiofile (mp3 works aswell or are important signals cut off ?), I`m searching for the total remote transmitter to connect to my ipod touch and just select the audiofile
depending on which of the 12-exposure-rows I need for the time of day/weather condition.

The problem now is that I can`t find that total remote transmitter anywere.

Is there a way to change the firmware, so exposure bracketing is possible with up to 12 shots instead of 3 ?
I just need any kind of remote to not touch the camera while shooting and let the camera fly through the shot settings that i programmed.
I`m planning to buy the 450d, so it should work with that camera.

thank you very much in advance.


Marco Bauriedel
Mon, 28 Apr 2008 18:57:30 +0000

I'd say to make your own. At the end of Engadget's "How-To Turn your iPod in to a Universal Infrared Remote Control" article, the author alluded to being able to make one of these IR transmitter/receivers out of Radio Shack parts. Their Radio Shack links no longer points to the parts that they mentioned, but here they are:

I don't know if these part number they give actually works or not. But since they are a few dollars a piece, it's worth a try. I'd love to hear back from you on whether you are able to put together this transmitter.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 28 Apr 2008 19:45:08 +0000

is`nt this the same kind of transmitter ?


I`m seeing three other problems:
1. As I`m using a 180 degree fisheye to shoot fullspheric hdrs, it will be hard to hold the ipod the way the ir transmitter has "eyesight" towards the cameras ir receiver at the front !?
2. I was searching for CCF files to load into the software. I didn`t find any mention of a function to change the exposuresettings with an ir signal (maybe because there`s no option of this in any remote that is sold).
3. I don`t have a pocket pc, it seems I need to buy one for this.

So is there another way to get the automated bracketing of 12 exposures ?

Thanks alot

Mon, 28 Apr 2008 22:51:07 +0000

I have no clue what that Elan IR2040 thing is. Maybe it does what you need. I don't know. I did a search and found this:

ELAN Home Systems / Accessories

Looks like it's for a security system. Maybe it'll work. But you still need a receiver to record the IR into audio. Maybe ELAN IR2020 will work . . .

To get around the fish eye lens, you can use a mirror to reflect the IR beam into the sensor.

As for the 12 exposure bracketing, you can't get that unless the camera supports it natively. The only other way is to use the RemoteCapture software that comes with the camera and maybe even tie into the USB port itself. I'm just assuming you can change it in RemoteCapture, as I don't use it myself.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 28 Apr 2008 23:34:04 +0000

thanks alot ... beside the post on the forum here is a quick idea of mine:

using the bulb mode on the camera and edit the audiofile with start and stop release options depending on the exposure-time wanted (all the same release signal), might be the solution in case the mini-ir emitter is the hardware I need ... :)

As I have no pocket pc, is it somehow possible for you to record the "focus" and more imporantly the "immediate release" signal for the 350d from this CCF file and send me ?
(I`m sorry to ask if theres a windows version for a regular pc that I didn`t find yet ;) ) :

RC Files: Philips Pronto - Canon EOS350D Digital Rebel XT Digital Camer by Wim Koopman

Thanks for helping me to think in whole new ways about approaching this problem.
I`d be very happy to hear back from you.

Have a nice day

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 17:11:26 +0000

That's an interesting concept to use bulb mode to vary exposure. I'll try it tonight, when I get home, and see if I can get you the sound files.

Chieh Cheng
Tue, 29 Apr 2008 19:55:27 +0000

It took me all night to get Total Remote to work on my iPAQ again . . . I haven't used it in a while. Luckily I had documented the process of recording of Canon RC-1 in my Hacking Digital Camera book, because I was pulling my hair out when it kept failing to learn the signal. Now it's finally working.

I have since then transfered the signals to WAV files. And verified that the WAV files on the PC can trigger the Canon EOS Digital Rebel.

Attached below is the WAV file that immediately releases the camera trigger. The volume has to be all the way up on the PC (and the PDA) for these WAV files to work.

Attached File: Immediate Release.wav (646 KB)

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 30 Apr 2008 07:48:50 +0000

The following attached WAV file triggers the camera, but the camera waits 2 seconds before actually releasing the shutter.

By the way, I did test out your bulb idea with the Canon RC-1. In bulb mode, the first trigger starts the exposure, while the second trigger ends the exposure. So it does seem that your idea will work.

Good luck. Let me know how your project goes.

Attached File: 2 Second Delay Release.wav (603 KB)

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 30 Apr 2008 07:51:33 +0000

this is fantastic ... thank you so much.
Now I just have to wait for an answer of ELAN / or simply buy the thing at US ebay.

I`ll tell you how it works.

Have a nice day

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 19:45:46 +0000

I read my book more carefully . . . it reminded me that the Total Remote IR transmitter hardware is purely a transmitter. There is no receiver. The Total Remote software learns remote codes using the built-in IrDA port on the PDA. That means two things:

1. You can record remote control sounds files through a PDA using the Total Remote software, which you can still purchase or try the trial version, without the hardware.

2. The Total Remote hardware has two transmitter LED's. So it's probably one LED for each stereo channel.

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 30 Apr 2008 22:51:16 +0000

Hey Chieh,

sorry I totally forgot about this idea and am now getting back to it.

I bought the parts for the transmitter, attached them but didnt get them to work ... I wonder where to get more info on that now ...
It`s a shame as the idea is thought out to be working, but I`m just not able to get the transmitter ... arg ...

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 13:14:49 +0000

this might work ...
I`m waiting for feedback of them ... so lets see.

Sat, 20 Dec 2008 14:00:49 +0000

wow, this is very very intresting..

tell me if Im wrong or right..

I can have 5-7-9-15 sound files, each file would run for the lenth of the shutter, somthing like this..
1/30 1/60 1/125 1/250 1/500 1/1000 1/2000
and while in bulb mode the camera would release the shuter to those speeds and take a bunch of braketed images. More sounds at different lenths would alow for more or less images being taken?

I noticed on the wav file theres a 2 secs of nothing...and then a beep followed buy some crackle. What is the crackle and can the beep be extended to say 2secs?

Oh.. I also use a 30d and 5dMk2, both of which do not have an IR recever, I assume that if I ever got this working I would have to buy a IR recever for my camera?

Sat, 27 Dec 2008 14:59:43 +0000

Hey Matt,

yeah that`s the idea basically:
startsignal 1/30s stopsignal startsignal 1/60s stopsignal startsignal 1/125 stopsignal ...
The sound is the start and stopsignal at the same time, so by editing it in an audiosoftware you could create your own HDR-Presets each in one MP3 !

If I was just able to build the transmitter ... any help is highly appreciated.

I don`t know if there`s an option to attach an ir receiver to the 30d or 5dMk2.
The other way to get this going is to write a software for iphone/ipod touch to send the signals by cable connection to the camera.
Of course you could do the old fashioned way and carry a laptop with you all the time and start that program from there, but that`s the case I`m trying to avoid.

Gonna take some more time to research the electronics needed for the transmitter.

Marco Bauriedel
Mon, 29 Dec 2008 14:12:07 +0000

I like the sounds of this... I was thinking I could do something like this with a Graphing Calculator. Using my XTi this would just be a matter of connecting via a 2.5mm male to male cord from what I've read.

So say someone were to make a MP3 file for recording the HDR images at different shutter speeds like 1/30 1/60 1/125 etc above. Now what if I stored this on my cell phone (attached to XTi with 2.5mm cord) the sounds could trigger the shutter in bulb mode?

Or say you just wanted to make a simple remote, I could use bulb mode and just one sound? Play it to open the shutter, play it again to close the shutter?

Mon, 05 Jan 2009 20:21:10 +0000

So I`ve gone a long way on testing this.

First I tried to build an IR Emitter for my Ipod, which didn`t work out.
Then Lukasz from helped me out to build a trigger that is able to send signals that let the camera shoot depending on the signals lenght.
the problem here is, that short exposure signals aren`t recognized by the camera.

Chieh did you do any tests with your total remote on short exposure times like 1/4000 - 1/200 ?
I`d like to know if the IR Version of this idea would work out.

Sat, 06 Jun 2009 13:41:20 +0000

Hi Chieh

I downloaded your wav file tried to run and did not work on Canon EOS 400D. I also made trandmitter using two 940nm IR led. Do you know why?

Arif Shaikh
Tue, 08 Mar 2011 08:16:35 +0000

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