dkirk

5 MP Crystal Clear IR With 2 Second Trigger

94 posts in this topic

First of all we need to thank Hill Hopper for planting the seed and enlightening us to a few quirks with this camera.

 

We were looking for a camera with time/date stamp, fixed lens, good IR, quick trigger time (and not discontinued). We selected the Samsung A503 based on a few data points.

 

Reports were that the camera was fast during the day, but became slow at night. We felt we had a solution to maintain fast night time pictures which was possible since we would be using a slave flash within the same enclosure. The A503 flash capacitor is a 110 ufd (330 volt) capacitor, and it bled off fairly quickly which really degraded the trigger time. Our idea was to replace the 110 ufd cap with a 1ufd cap with hopes that the 1 ufd cap would charge up very fast (almost instantaneously) upon power up and that it would still generate enough light to trigger our slave flash.

 

My partner in crime (Hags member Willraygreen) had previous experience with the Samsung A402 IR mods, and he was able to quickly modify our A503 lens based on this experience. Turns out that the A503 lens modification was very easy, and provides post mod focusing.

 

Hillhopper alerted us to the fact that this camera uses what he called a "positive common" for the power and shutter control. We had some ideas on how to interface to the camera, and we came up with a 3 wire interface that does not require optical isolation.

 

Based on our testing, the 1 ufd capacitor provides enough light for our slave flash triggering. With the 1 ufd capacitor, the capacitor is instantaneously charged when the camera powers up, and therefore there does not appear to be a need to refresh the camera. Our trigger time is identical day or night using the 1 ufd capactior. Initial trigger time testing yields 2.2 seconds from start of motion to acquisition of the picture. Since our control board requires the motion to be present for 0.23 seconds to be a valide trigger signal, the Samsung A503 takes a picture in 2.0 seconds from the start of our power up signal.

 

Below are 3 IR pictures taken in the dark using a Vivitar 2800 as the slave flash (resolution reduced for posting).

 

Standard Picture

post-2799-1168629732_thumb.jpg

 

Camera Red Reduction Feature Enabled

post-2799-1168629718_thumb.jpg

 

Camera in Black & White Mode

post-2799-1168629700_thumb.jpg

 

We wanted to share our initial results since we are very pleased with our find. We still have a lot of work to do, and we now intend to put one in a 1050 case for more extensive testing.

 

Just FYI,

Don and Bill

Edited by dkirk

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Fantastic!!! I love the R&D on the forum lately!! Dont get that most of the other sites! Thanks for of the hard work!!

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Nice post, it's great to see people trying different cams.

Keep up the good work.

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Great work, guys like you are the ones that drive this hobby, no doubt about it most of us would be getting game pics with a camera and a string across a trail without you guys!

 

Thx tons

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Don once again you and WW come through. This may be the answer to our needs I love the ir cams and feel they all need to have a slave anyhow especially the auto focus sonys that we have been playing with.

 

Put it on my to get list to try out Thanks again for the hard work and research

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Still playing around with the timing a little bit to make sure it's reliable, so the timing may change just a little bit when all is said and done. Probably will be a little longer, but just a few tenths of a second more than originally reported.

 

Don

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Fantastic picture quality, been wanting an IR but wanted a good focus picture.

 

How is the flash if you don't go IR with your cap change? Would it work out to 12 feet or would you still need a slave? The shutter time would work great, I don't have any problems with the 600 on my type of pictures so anything under or around 2 seconds is great.

 

Nice work.

 

cliff

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Great work guys, the clarity looks great and the speed even better. Thanks for sharing :D

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Unfortunately, the flash with the small capacitor is just what you would expect, very weak. There is no way it would reach 12 or 15' with the IR filter over it. There may be a happy compromise though. We have not considered a more substantial cap, while keeping the cam set up for normal pics. Our goal was to get a good IR cam.

 

Like Don said, the trigger time does not currently change with the small cap, so the charge time is not critical yet, it is other functions the cam is going through before it shutters a pic. I would imagine a cap which is much larger would start to eat into the trigger time at night. Only testing would answer this though.

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But also you two are missing what you have found is that if we leave the camera white flash with a slave we should have Nice focused picture with great flash range and in little more than 2 secs I would love to try one as a white flash slave build when you release the info What a great find Thanks again for the work

Edited by treetop

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dkirk,Willraygreen and Butch you guys are great and we all appreciate you more than you will ever know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where is that little worship smilie face when you need him :P

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How much are those new Sammys going for? I notice there isn't any on ebay yet.

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I think they have been around for close to a year. There's quite a few on Ebay and Walmart currently has them at $99.

 

Mike

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Treetop,

 

We have basically eliminated the white flash, and will not even put a hole for the camera flash. The only thing we are using the camera white flash for is to trigger the IR slave flash (but you are right that you could keep the camera as a white flash unit using a slave, and have a good response time camera with good range when using a slave flash. I again would not bother cutting a hole for the camera flash.).

 

Bill did remove the camera IR filter in order to provide IR pictures.

 

I will probably try reducing the camera flash capacitor down even more from the 1 ufd cap that we are using to see if I can shave just a little more time from the system (or to make sure we don't loose time under cold operating / low battery conditions). The 1 ufd cap provides plenty of light for our local flash triggering (triggering where the phototransistor is right next to the camera), and suspect I can go a little lower in the cap value and still provide enough light for the phototransistor.

 

Just FYI,

Don

Edited by dkirk

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