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Old 13-01-2007, 11:54 AM
Dennis
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Converting a Canon TC-80N3 Timer to Pentax *istDS

Hello,

Here is a sketch and some photos of how I made a modified cable to allow the Canon TC-80N3 Remote Interval Timer to be used on my Pentax *istDS.

This worked for me, but the notes are simply a record of what I wrote down as I tested various connections, etc. The notes and photos are not approved nor are they authoritative advice. If you choose to follow these steps, you do so entirely at your own risk, as all unapproved modifications to equipment may lead to damage.

As at the date and time of this post, I have only tested that the camera auto focus, metering and shutter trip work when the TC-80N3 and modified cable/connector is used with my Pentax *istDS. I have yet to test all the other features of the TC-80N3 such as interval shooting, etc.

Note:
The colours of the wires may change from cable to cable, so you need to verify the wire colour / pin connections for your 8 Pin minDIN cable.

Cheers

Dennis

PS - Thank you to David Ratledge from the UK who inspired me, although I didn't go as far as he did by snipping the TC-80N3 cord and hard wiring a 2.5mm Stereo Plug (http link broken to his webpage as at 13th Jan 2007)
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Pentax remote.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Canon Remote.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Stereo Plug 8 Pin Cable.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (miniDIN N3 Stereo.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Stereo plug soldered.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Steroe Plug Mod miniDIN.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Pencil Notes.jpg)
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Click for full-size image (Remote plus mod cable.jpg)
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Last edited by Dennis; 13-01-2007 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Acknowledgement to David Ratledge added.
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Old 13-01-2007, 12:01 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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That's excellent Dennis.

I use the TC-80N3 every time, it's so versatile, well worth it.

One thing I'm disappointed in though is that it's got no provisions for using the mirror lockup function on the Canon bodies.

I've found a work around and will post it as soon as I've confirmed that the technique works.
Hopefully it will work for other models too.

Well done once again Dennis.

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Old 13-01-2007, 12:09 PM
Dennis
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Hi Andrew

There is no "classical" MLU on the *istDS. From the "Function" menu, you can set a 2.5 sec delay between the mirror flipping up and the shutter opening, so I suspect that should still work with my modification, as it "belongs" to the Pentax functionality. It's a poor man's MLU and is better than nothing, although on some photos there is clear evidence of the shake induced by the mirror, even using the 2.5 sec delay.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 13-01-2007, 12:39 PM
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RB (Andrew)
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Yes that's the trick, that should work.
It's easy to allow for this delay when programming the timer.

Good one.
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Old 13-01-2007, 04:22 PM
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Dennis you are a pure genius!!! great work.
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Old 13-01-2007, 04:50 PM
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Yes Andrew, i find that it is the only draw back with Canon Remote Switch as well, it would be good to have that function,

Cheers leon
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Old 26-01-2007, 10:08 AM
Dennis
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Update on testing - 26 Jan 2007

Hello,

I have now tested the interval shooting functions of the TC-80N3 using the modified cable connected to my Pentax *ist DS, and the DSLR operations appear to behave in accordance with the TC-80N3 instruction manual.

All I need now are some clear skies.

Cheers

Dennis

PS - Here is the (new) link to David Ratledge’s web site which provided me with the motivation to build a custom cable.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:44 AM
cheekygeek (Darren)
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I just wanted to bump this thread and first of all say "THANKS!" for providing the excellent information/tutorial.

I also wanted to pass along this link for DIY types who might want to make their OWN intervelometer. These links are (again) for Canon, so Pentax users (like me) will want to do something similar to the info in this thread to modify it for Pentax.

http://www.sporez.com/honeyjar/?p=347

A video made with the device: http://www.sporez.com/honeyjar/?p=360

In the comments to the first link is another link to a similar homemade device designed to drive Canon Rebels:
http://ozastro.dyndns.org/avr_timer.html

Last edited by cheekygeek; 06-09-2008 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:09 AM
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erick (Eric)
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Now I'm all excited about the opportunities! Thanks guys!

A couple of questions, if I may, Dennis.

The operation of the remote cable as per attached. Do I understand correctly: Short 1 and 3 gives full press; short 2 and 3 gives full press; short 1 and 2 gives half press followed by full press??

The 2.5sec mirror up function seems to have been carried on to the K100D. If I'm using "B", this still works, ie. raise mirror, wait 2.5 sec then open shutter as per shutter setting - eg. B being hold open until release.
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Old 01-02-2009, 11:49 AM
Dennis
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Hi Eric

Okay – let me look at the scanned notes again – it’s been a while! LOL!

The Pentax remote release button is a dual function button, comprising a momentary “press and hold” function and a “slide to latch” hands-free function, implemented by just the single button.
  • The manual “press and hold” operation can be either a “half-press and hold”, or a “full press and hold” operation where the pressure is maintained manually by the operator.
  • The “slide to latch” operation opens the shutter and keeps it open, hands free, until the operator manually releases the button.
1 and 2 operation:
  • A manual half-press made a connection between 1 and 2 (multimeter bleeped).
  • Continuing on to a full manual press kept the connection made between 1 & 2 (my multimeter continued to bleep).
  • Continuing on to a “slide and lock the button” maintained the connection between 1 & 2 (my multimeter continued to bleep).
1 and 3 shorted:
  • No bleep with ½ press.
  • Bleep with full press.
  • Bleep with latch.

2 and 3 shorted:
  • No bleep with ½ press.
  • Bleep with full press.
  • Bleep with latch.

1 and 2 shorted:
  • Bleep with ½ press.
  • Bleep with full press.
  • Bleep with latch.

Cheers

Dennis
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:20 PM
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Thanks Dennis. I'll sort it out from here. Eric
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