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Thread: A call for inventors

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    Default A call for inventors

    With all the ingenious ideas we have on this forum for adapters of all kinds, I still wait for someone to come up with an idea how to use the RM-UC1 remote control cable (connects to the USB/AV socket) with the E-330.
    I think the E-330 is more advanced than the new generation E-410/510, and the lack of a remote cable is the only thing which holds it back (besides an option for external power).
    Moshe

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    I don't think it's going to happen, I've not seen anyone who can modify and release Olympus firmware.

    On your second point, someone here modified a battery casing to allow an E-500 (same battery compartment as the E-330) which might be of use to you.

    John
    Olympus E-1, Olympus E-500, Olympus E-330, Olympus DMC-L1, Olympus E-510, Olympus E-3, 7-14mm,12-60mm, 14-42mm, 14-45mm, 14-50mm(Leica), 14-54MM, Sigma 30mm, 35-100mm, 40-150mm(Mk1), 50mm (macro), 50-200mm, 'Bigma' 50-500mm, EC-14, EC-20, FL-36, FL-50, HLD-4, Lowepro Rezo 140AW, Slingshot 100AW

    Panasonic GF1, GH1, 7-14mm, 14-140mm, 20mm F1.7, DMW-MA1 Nikon D700, 24-70mm F2.8, 50mm F1.4G, 70-200mm F2.8, Fuji F72EXR, Casio EX-FH100


    Though I fly through the valley of death I shall feel no fear, for I am at 80,000 feet and climbing

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    What is needed here is for someone to crack the USB communications protocol, and create a simple little microprocessor unit that can send the camera an appropriate USB encoded message to fire the shutter.
    It can't be done with a simple switch.

    Actually it probably shouldn't be too difficult since you can analyse the signals that Studio sends the camera to do this in camera control mode.
    If you have the right equipment !

    However, as far as I know the camera has to be put into its USB Control Mode to do this, so that maybe too limiting.

    I have explored this, but neither I, nor an associate have any useful knowledge of the USB protocol layers.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Quote Originally Posted by rally View Post
    What is needed here is for someone to crack the USB communications protocol, and create a simple little microprocessor unit that can send the camera an appropriate USB encoded message to fire the shutter.
    It can't be done with a simple switch.

    Actually it probably shouldn't be too difficult since you can analyse the signals that Studio sends the camera to do this in camera control mode.
    If you have the right equipment !

    However, as far as I know the camera has to be put into its USB Control Mode to do this, so that maybe too limiting.

    I have explored this, but neither I, nor an associate have any useful knowledge of the USB protocol layers.
    Someone on the Olympus SLR Talk forum at dpreview was talking about going into limited production on a product like this a couple of months ago. I don't know where he is with his plans, but a search there may turn up something.

    Lawrence

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    To be honest, creating custom hardware to emulate usb signals is not really my ideal of simple, I would think that breaking down the firmware and identifying where the modification should be applied, especially if an E-410/E-510 was available. Admittedly the lack of anything like this in any of the E-series cameras doesn't suggest this is realistic either.

    John
    Olympus E-1, Olympus E-500, Olympus E-330, Olympus DMC-L1, Olympus E-510, Olympus E-3, 7-14mm,12-60mm, 14-42mm, 14-45mm, 14-50mm(Leica), 14-54MM, Sigma 30mm, 35-100mm, 40-150mm(Mk1), 50mm (macro), 50-200mm, 'Bigma' 50-500mm, EC-14, EC-20, FL-36, FL-50, HLD-4, Lowepro Rezo 140AW, Slingshot 100AW

    Panasonic GF1, GH1, 7-14mm, 14-140mm, 20mm F1.7, DMW-MA1 Nikon D700, 24-70mm F2.8, 50mm F1.4G, 70-200mm F2.8, Fuji F72EXR, Casio EX-FH100


    Though I fly through the valley of death I shall feel no fear, for I am at 80,000 feet and climbing

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    The fellows handle on dpreview that was going to manufacture this USB product is BorisK1.

    Here is the link to the thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=21438373

    Lawrence

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Moshe,

    Help me understand why you insist that this funcionality be provided though the RM-UC1 as opposed to other means. For example, that functionality exists today through Olympus Studio and a USB connection. You also can have it wirelessly using the Olympus RM-1 IR remote. If you are going to be tethered, you might as well be tethered to aBlink IR emitter glued to the built in IR receiver on the camera. That two conductor cable to the emitter would run back to a Xantech 280 IR receiver which could be placed anywhere you like. So in effect you would point your Olympus IR remote at the out of the way Xantech RX which in turn would give rise to an LED current to the Blink IR emitter, causing shutter release. Logically this is what you are seeking but it just doesn;t use the USB port. Who cares?

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Quote Originally Posted by johnblue3 View Post
    current to the Blink IR emitter, causing shutter release. Logically this is what you are seeking but it just doesn;t use the USB port. Who cares?
    When this came up some months ago the primary complaint about the IR solution was that it introduces a substantial delay between button press and shutter release while the USB remotes are nearly instantaneous.

    Me, I wish they'd return to mechanical releases as I felt they had a very clear firing point and bulb operation, and worked with accessories like the double release and auto bellows combination. Plus no batteries.

    Beyond remote releases, full camera control in a little black box would be a very useful accessory for some, providing much of the nitty gritty access that's typically left out of a consumer camera's internal firmware.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    acme,

    There are two modes that can be set in the camera for IR Remote behavior. One of these provides a 2 second delay, presuming you are taking a self portrait. The other settable mode has no delay at all. Evidently you would prefer the latter.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Quote Originally Posted by johnblue3 View Post
    acme,

    There are two modes that can be set in the camera for IR Remote behavior. One of these provides a 2 second delay, presuming you are taking a self portrait. The other settable mode has no delay at all. Evidently you would prefer the latter.
    Actually we had a user here who measured it. I think his handle was OlyFlyer, though I can't find his posts anymore.

    He found that with the RM-1 the "0s" delay was close to 1 whole second, which one may find interminable when shooting action. The USB delay was imperceptible.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    I'm glad that my provocative call for an 'invention' stirred such a wealth of responses. However, a good invention is measured by its simplicity.

    A USB host or an IR communication channel are possible, of course, (will probably need a battery) but cannot compare to a simple switch (actually two switches, half-press and press).

    It all boils down to the question whether the two required connections reach the USB/AV socket. If not, how difficult is it to open the camera and solder two wires. People have disassembled cameras to the smallest screw, so let's see some constructive initiative.

    Moshe

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Quote Originally Posted by mronen View Post
    It all boils down to the question whether the two required connections reach the USB/AV socket. If not, how difficult is it to open the camera and solder two wires. People have disassembled cameras to the smallest screw, so let's see some constructive initiative.
    In another post from roughly six months ago a fellow documented opening up his camera and hotwiring the shutter release button out to a mini phono jack, neatly fitted through the chassis.

    Either my search-fu is failing or some archives are missing, as I can't find the threads. Probably they're not technically tremendously interesting to those willing to consider such surgery anyway. The brave will muddle through or not regardless of having had a guide.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Re - Whether the 2 required wires come out at the USB socket.

    They almost certainly do not.
    The USB socket is for USB - a serial communications port, there are some extra lines which are used for video out.
    Others have played about and published their findings and not found there to be any extra wiring

    How the shutter is activated using USB is, (simplified) that a digitally encoded command is sent as a message over a communications protocol overlaid over an electrical protocol.
    Its not necessarily easy to do this, but also not impossible for an amateur - if you know and work with this sort of technology and have access to the right equipment its easier !
    It is more difficult for an average hobbyist to decode and reverse engineer the commands and processes Olympus uses and then build a suitable microprocessor device to do this.
    Not impossible - but someone has to spend a lot (make that enormous amount) of time and effort, have the right electronics and USB comms skills to do this and probably spend upwards of $3-500 to make the first one.

    Certainly an interesting challenge for someone so inclined.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    I have an E500 and removed the LED from a IR remote, and added two feet of wire to it. Then velcroed to the front of the camera. It works better than hand holding the remot but the successful firing rate is not 100%, and there is still a delay plus no prefocus.

    So I opend up my camera and connected 3 wires to the back of the switch and ran them to a stereo socket on the bottom of the camera. See this thread http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/showthread.php?t=5275
    This has worked perfectly and I am glad I did it. I was hoping to use some unused wires on the USB port, like the E400, but to get to the USB port required more disassembly than I was prepared to do.

    To get the E330 to work with the RM-UC1 will probably require disassembling the camera and connecting wires from the back of the button to the USB connector. Not for the faint of heart.

    Richard

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Quote Originally Posted by rally View Post
    Re - Whether the 2 required wires come out at the USB socket.

    They almost certainly do not.
    The USB socket is for USB - a serial communications port, there are some extra lines which are used for video out.
    Others have played about and published their findings and not found there to be any extra wiringes
    They probably do not for E-330, and that's the problem. They certaily do for E-400 and later, because they accept the RM-UC1 remote control cable which connects to the USB/AV socket. I don't know how many pins are on that socket (tried to count, but failed), it may be that some do double-duty. The AV display, for instance, could go blank while you press the shutter release.

    I don't think that using the USB protocol is a viable solution, and that's not what Olympus did. They use just a simple switch.

    Moshe

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    There he is!

    Anyone at Olympus watching? People take their remote releases seriously! Drop in a darlington alongside the CF activity emitter on the back of the camera and don't omit wired release support on future models!

    A shutter button with better tactile feedback of the firing point and mechanical release support would be super nice as well.

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    Default Re: A call for inventors

    Wow! It is amazing that they would have omitted some of these simple things on such otherwise sophisticated cameras. Again, I come back to the fact that Designers need to be engaged in the use of products they design. I see these oversights all the time in a host of differt types of products.. TVs, DVD players etc.
    The curious thing here, though, is that some of these features we a longing for, are already included on some of Oly's lesser cameras. I was looking recently at an SP750UZ and it had, for example, a built in port for an AC adapter to plug in, right along side the USB/AV port. Indeed, all of these things we are discussing here could be easily implemented.
    Do these omissions go back to the initially Luddite attitude of many folks in the Photography Profession?

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