Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Next Arduino Project

For a long time I've wanted to make a long term time lapse video. Yesterday I saw a project on the Instructables site which inspired me to get started. That project was designed for a Raspberry Pi to control lighting and the camera. My version will use an Arduino Nano as I had one in the junk box and I find them easier for my remaining grey cell to cope with the programming.

The basic set up is simple.
The Arduino (on the right) doing the timing to control two relays (on the left):


One relay will switch some 12V LEDs on for each shot.
The other will fire the camera, in this case an old Canon 350D.

The sketch (instructions for the Arduino) is simple:

Arduino Time Lapse

This has a fixed delay time of 15 minutes though any other could be used by changing the value for waitTime (in seconds).
Normally I wouldn't use 'delay()' for such long periods as the Arduino can do nothing else during this time but that is exactly what is needed in this case. I tested the timing with a stop watch and it was within a second over the 15 minute wait.

The camera and Arduino will have to be powered from the mains as they could well be running for many days,  possibly weeks, depending on the subject I choose.

I am also toying with the idea of writing a sketch where the delay time can be set on starting the program and displaying it on a small display.


  1. The results should be spectacular no matter what the subject.
    I looked into this but Have nowhere to set the job up. Adapters for Mains were a horrendous price but on the 5D there is access via a rubber plug for a cable and chopping an old battery up for the connector is a half hour job. I seem to remember that Canon feed voltage varies model to model.
    I was going to use strobes on ETTL mode as then light would be constant.
    I have been looking for that moss that Phil showed a week or so ago. It grows fast and then fires spores. I could manage twenty four hours but am looking forward to you running days or weeks.

  2. Adrian: I keep looking around for a subject, maybe a bulb or one of the living stones when they are about to flower. The 350D battery is an awkward 7.4V. Fortunately a third party mains unit is only £14 so that won't break the bank. That moss did look interesting.

  3. frog spawn in a small dish? Endless possibilities.

    1. Wilma: Good idea, thanks. Still waiting for the frogs to appear yet though.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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