jgentsch 7:05pm, 2 May 2008
For the hard core DIY-people out here: Have a quick look at my version of the Strobit-Trigger (have a look at blog.everythingrobotics.com blog.everythingrobotics.com/strobit/ for the original idea). The design has been adapted for the Atmel Mega8 microprocessor. The unit size is 6x6x2.5 cm (excluding the antenna)




It syncs reliable at a 250th and a range of approximatly 40m. I haven't finished programming yet, so for example channel switching isn't implemented. There are some parameters which can be tweaked, so I'm quite confident that the range can be increased some more, although sync-speed may have to go down for that.


I won't bother posting schematic or printed circuit board design. Lets face it, if at this stage your are up to building these things you won't need them, all the information is at blog.everythingrobotics.com—strobit blog.everythingrobotics.com/strobit/. If I were to build new ones I would change the design anyhow, use a different processor (propably the ATiny2313), correct the problems on the circuit board, different case ...


So sorry folks no simple howto yet, but a strong encouragement to experiment for yourself. If you klick through on the image above, nevertheless you will find some additional design info.
very1silent PRO 10 years ago
Very very cool.

A little bit more detail on how the hardware is put together, and I'll be building a round of these myself.
Aaron Spicer PRO 10 years ago
Wow. I wish I had this kind of technical know how. Congrats!
ttstam 10 years ago
I'm headed to Electronics City (HuaQiangLu) in Shenzhen later this month, if you want gimme the gerber files and I can get you a quote for the PCB in lot size of 100 and 200. It'll be a good step forward to getting these as kits into the strobist community.

Offer still stands with regards to building you a prototype housing on my 3D Printer :-)
Avec Lumière 10 years ago
very nice. how is this compared to the $25 trigger
combo, 16-ch that operates about 100m or so?
Zeke.K 10 years ago
Slick. Simple and clean. Well, simple in looks, I mean, I wouldn't have the first clue how to make one of these.
josh.r 10 years ago
Creative Lightworks: it presumably works which the Gadget infinity triggers you linked to do not like to do.
joel and a camera 10 years ago
I have the triggers that Creative Lightworks linked and they work great.

nice work to the OP though. I admire your ability to diy.

blushing sofa [deleted] 10 years ago
Looks cool, I saw an exact design copy of this in Moonraker.
elv0000 10 years ago
Any idea what happened to the plan of a PCB kit ??!
josh.r Posted 10 years ago. Edited by josh.r (member) 10 years ago
they work, sometimes. I have them also. As far as the Strobit M8 screw the kit how about somebody just sells some.
nickburlett PRO 10 years ago
I was about to start working on a project just like this! I prefer the AVR micro-controllers, so that was my plan. I guess I need to decide if I want to just use yours, or do it myself. Probably myself, since I'll learn more!

Anyway, thanks for sharing!
jgentsch Posted 10 years ago. Edited by jgentsch (member) 10 years ago
@josh: I believe that this will always remain a DIY project. If you had a kit, which I would estimate to be in the 20-25€ range without postage, it takes an evening to assemble it. Add that to the costs (lets see, i give you a real bargain on my regular consulting fee: 4 hours at 350€) you end up at only just 375€ a Unit.

Seriously if you want an off the shelf product you will be best served by the existing products on the market, including the hopefully soon to come radiopopper junior. If you are the type who is willing to invest your own time (a lot of time actually for this project) and likes to try things out, this project might be for you.

What makes this project interesting (@Creative Lightworks)?
- First off: They are in the same price-range as the GI-triggers if I factor in postage to europe (for the GIs) and factor out my own fun in building them.
- So far they work reliably, although I don't own any others to compare with. And, you can choose between speed, distance, reliablity.
- The transmiters are coded with my "secret" number, which basically means that in theory you can have a 100 people in the same room at the same time using Strobits (I believe pocketwizards also allow to "professionally" encode your units)
- You can extend/adapt the system, e.g.: Remotly changing the power of a moded flash, adapt housing, merging it with a power pack for your flash, change into a camera trigger, have 2,3,4 isolated flash outputs (maybe cycle through them for faster shooting intervalls), build a fancy control unit (like in moonraker) an have different flashes fire at different times after the original trigger ...

The challenges are:
- Fit everything into a small housing but allow it to be soldered by hand and have enough room for the necessary ports (a USB-Port for programming would be nice).
- Come up with a circuit-board which fits into different housings and which nevertheless can be extend/adapted easily (see above).
madeinoz PRO 10 years ago
awesome well done !!!!

If you have any links to circuits / code and I'll link / put them up on blog.everythingrobotics.com/strobit/ for you.

Psinewave Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Psinewave (member) 10 years ago
Sorry about what might seem a stupid question but where have people been able to get the HopeRF modules from? I can't find an Australian supplier anywhere! :-(

Or are they pretty free with samples?

(The fact that www.hoperf.com appears to be down doesn't help ...)

I'm trying to put together a remote variable power system (my strobes support either flash/quench or Minolta protocol which has been reverse engineered), all I need now is the RF modules! :-D

Well, that and time ... *sigh*

EDIT: Ah, the site is back up, request for samples sent, let's see what their policy is. I'm guessing everyone here who has made them has ordered directly from them rather than from a local distributor?
Jon_Senior 10 years ago
@psinewave: Yep. Ordered direct. Shipping was fairly pricy (To France), so it's worth ordering a decent amount.
Psinewave Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Psinewave (member) 10 years ago
@Jon: Thanks, I was fearing that ... what was their price-per-unit and shipping cost? I'm guessing you got the non-long-range version?
Psinewave Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Psinewave (member) 10 years ago
Aha! Got a reply ... $3USD per short range (200m) version, $8USD for long range (3000m) version, $20USD for shipping up to 40 units plus around $5 Paypal processing fee. Quite reasonable! Add in maybe $5 per micro (let's say you use an AtMEGA48), let's say $5 per circuit board (if you get some blank board, some press-and-peel and some ferric chloride - add in another few dollars if like me you don't own a clothes iron and need to buy one of those!), another $10-$20 for misc components and I recon you could make up a radio trigger for around $30-$40USD or so plus your time (and of course how much your time is worth would depend on if you actually enjoy tinkering with this sorta stuff).

Note that the ranges are quoted for 1.2kbps - to sync at anything decent, looking at the protocol you'd need to be running somewhere on the order of 12.5kbps or higher and your range will no doubt drop ( blog.everythingrobotics.com/strobit/tests/ has some tests).

Still, even if you quarter your range to get a decent sync speed, on the long range modules, this is still 750 meters - longer range than anything else I'm aware of on the market that's for sure! Your battery drain goes up though ...
madeinoz PRO 10 years ago
The design files for Jans design are now online for download (Thanks Jan)


MikePerrault 10 years ago
Is this something someone without any soldering or electronics experience could try and be reasonably succesful in?
madeinoz PRO 10 years ago
@MikePerrault: At the moment....No.
abrupt yard [deleted] 10 years ago
Where might I find instructions on what I need and how to build this?
Jon_Senior 10 years ago
@thephotographerman: About three posts above yours!
jgentsch 10 years ago
duckgrabber 10 years ago
You're saying you can make a RELIABLE trigger that will fire my flash at 750m/2,400 ft.??? Where can I buy these and how much will they cost? I might be interested in 10 of them.

Kent in SD,
The Noct Foamer
jgentsch 10 years ago
If you throw in a big highly optimizied antenna, propably yes. In real life, from what I've picked up on the net, I expect you could propably reach up to 100m syncing at around 1/60th.

This is and likely will remain a diy project. Nothing to simply buy but plenty to play around with.
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