Another Arduino Nikon IR Remote

I am a proud new owner of a Nikon D3300 camera and yesterday while browsing the hackaday prize entries I found this project. It’s a pretty neat IR remote for a Nikon camera. And I even have some of those small Attiny13 and Attiny85 processors laying around so I could easily build the remote.

Hmm, but what fun is just reusing the project someone else has done… I figured I could just quickly rewrite the code to run on arduino. Here is the quick and dirty “translation” result:

The IR LED should be connected to pin 3 using a current limiting resistor.

The code uses arduino timer 2 to generate the signal with approximately the right carrier frequency. The timer is running all the time, but PWM output is being turned on/off by setting and resetting the COM2B1 bit.

Note that this code does not just fire a single shot like the original code. It fires a shot every two seconds, so basically we have a simple intervalometer. The time can be changed by varying the amount of time in the delay(2000); statement.

I didn’t have an IR led on hand, so I tried it out with a red laser module and a blue led (connected in series with a 470 ohm resistor). Lol, when I started experimenting I thought I had an IR led, but the LED I got from an arduino IR transmitter + receiver + led package turned out to be just normal blue led…

Arduino IR remote

Actually I got the camera to fire using a blue led as the emitter, but the range was really small, like 50cm or so. I also tried removing the resistor to get higher current, but that didn’t increase the range significantly and it may be bad for the LED and the arduino pins.

DSC_0101a

So here is the selfie an Arduino took. Not much to see actually 🙂 LED is the white spot connected with wires to Arduino.

I have to try this with a real IR led to figure out what range I can achieve. Additionally the modulation depth and frequency could be tuned a bit to get even better range.

Note that there are actually quite a few libraries avaliable for arduino which are specifically made to control the Nikon and other cameras. Using these might be easier than “bit banging” the IR protocol.

And just a note on Nikon IR interface: It seems that IR remotes for the Nikon cameras are really limited, so you unfortunately can not do much more with them than press the trigger. The wireless adapters (like WU-1a) seem to be able to do much more. I have got one with the camera, but didn’t have any time to play with it up to this time.

PS: With a real IR led snatched from an old tv remote and a 100 ohm current limiting resistor the range improves somewhat, allowing you to remote trigger across a room (probably 2-3m range). Using a lower value resistor didn’t really do much in terms of range as probably the arduino itself limits the current available to drive the IR led…

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  1. […] ML-3 equivalent IR remote for remote controlling my Nikon D3300 camera. I recently also wrote the Arduino Nikon IR remote sketch and I figured why not do some reverse engineering on the “original” remote. I took out […]

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