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Old December 21st, 2009, 01:37 PM   #1
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Motion Sensor and HD Camcorders?

I'm looking for a field system to sense motion (e.g., of animals) and then operate (i.e., turn on) a HD camera (Sony) via the Lanc or A/V port. If the system could also trigger an infra-red light (for nighttime work using Nightshot mode) that is a plus. I've yet to find an acceptable system so I'm hoping someone can help me out. Here's what I've found:

* Wildlife Eye by M.A.D. No longer made but occassionally available on EBay. Operates my Sony HDR-HC3 and FX7 via Lanc and has a IR light, problem is the longest record duration is 17 seconds (and you loose several of those seconds as the camcorder wakes up)! Apparently a firmware issue and not fixable.

* Penn's Woods Video-Scout Scouting system (Video-Scout VS-04). Haven't tried this unit - anyone?

* Keene Lanc Remote witih PIR Detector (Keene Electronics). Apparently only available from the UK. Would require a case be made for it. Anyone?

* Pixcontroller Remote VideoEye (PixController, Inc. - Motion activated camera control systems). Really designed for wireless operation but you can buy a wireless motion sensor to work it. Anyone?

* Pixcontroller and "Bigfoot" boards. These boards are sold for do-it-yourselfers (apparently the Pixcontroller is discountinued). I've tested the Pixcontroller board and it didn't start up my HD units. Apparently the Bigfoot board my have a similar issue (although they work with older 8mm cameras).

Last, (but of less importance) I've tried using Sony cameras (HDR-SR12) with the A/V port and a Lanc adapter but it didn't work properly on the Wildlife Eye so I'd appreciate any experiences regarding using the A/V ports to operate the camera.

Any feedback is appreciated. Cheers.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 03:56 AM   #2
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I have had a bit of success with this sort of gear by purchasing and modifying suitable kits from the local electronic shops. However you have to be prepared to put them together and maybe make a make a few modifications. One kit that I use that makes use of the interruption of an infrared light beam to trigger my Nikon. Combined with a timer it could just as easily switch on infrared lighting or turn on a camera. There are also ready-made battery operated security lights with PIR sensors. These could easily be modified to do likewise, in this case there would be no beam to cut.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 06:05 AM   #3
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all input? like Alastair i could think about building one.

Radioshack portable motion sencing alarm, 555 timer curcuit, Relay batteries solinoid (or servo), transferable between any camera , total costs about 25$ and about 45 hours of labor and tweaking and testing.
hmm the premade units look cheaper every minute :-)

RS makes this portable motion sencor that is cheaper than most Kit motion sencors, it is easy to adapt to also, and has the usual stuff you would want for false triggering that some kits dont have. use it to trigger turn on with relay and solinoid, 555 timer curcuit starts the time down to turn off, triggers solinoid again, sequence finished. (obviously you dont have the alarm chime speaker connected)

did you need to turn on the camera first?

because it would be pushing the button, it could be dropped on about anything that you would buy later to do the same thing.

if you had a partial unit that just needs some sort of motion sencor triggering, adapting the rat shacks portable toy would be a good sencor, it will pick up on my dog when aimed lower, and avoid my dog when aimed higher, is never on (in the house) when it isnt triggered, and finds a human everytime.

Pelican case , Hole , probably the easy part.

then add in the computer and motion tracking software, down converter , video input card, pan tilt head , create serial port controller to adjust pan tilt head , completly redesign the software and create a zoom alogrythm, add in a USb to lanc controller , $1500, 350 hours of labor and testing.

at some point sleeping by the camera with yourself covered in elk urine starts sounding easy :-)
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 11:49 AM   #4
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Some of your answers may be found here: Motion activated recording hardware

And something about my experience with the trailmaster:
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 01:53 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. Very interesting (and in some cases, amusing!). I did see the prior DVInfo thread on the subject, in fact, that was where I started my research. But to be honest, I'm no eletrical engineer and I was hoping that someone had found an off-the-shelf solution. (I was also aware of the expensive Trailmaster but forgot to include that in my original post.) Hadn't thought about a "mechanical" approach (i.e., pushing a button), but its something to keep in mind.

I did get a response from someone who said they could build me a unit for $500 (with IR). I'm tempted to take them up on it as my time is more precious than my funds (to be honest, anything that someone else can build in 40 hours will probably take me 400!).

Thanks again.
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Old December 22nd, 2009, 04:26 PM   #6
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describe exactly what you need and what use it would be for.
camera used, range, autonomy etc.., it could help.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:27 AM   #7
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motion detection for photobooth?

Hi I am doing something totally different but I think the tools needed are the same? I am trying to use a video camera to automatically record people as they go into a photobooth? I was thinking about using the canon fs11 camera because it is cheap and records to sd media so the files can be more easily uploaded to places like youtube.com.

I have found the remote control it uses is the wdl88 and aparently there are companies that make remote IR triggers for use in applications like aerial photography.

I was thinking an IR beam that was interrrupted might work, but honestly like the originla poster I was hoping for an off the shelf solution. The booth is only about 3.5' long and 3.5 feet wide and it is a very controlled environment so reliability should NOT be an issue.

Seat Switch | Delta Systems, Inc.
is a seat sensor, but honestly some people like short kids dont' sit down so that would not work.
PRISM IR Camera Control for Canon WL-D88
is the remote IR trigger I found, but the issue is I want the camcorder to STOP when people are NOT in the booth. I am fairly handly if someone could guide me to what parts I would need to make this work I would really, really appreciate it!
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Old February 19th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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Rolland
I have made a few controller to operate the Sony video cams using the Lanc port
using motion sensors and also using wireless RF remotes (300 yards)
also some hard wired controller of the small newer digital recorders that use mem. cards
if I can't help I may can send you some were that can
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 09:14 PM   #9
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software

I think the easiest solution for me is to use video motion detection software. thanks for the reply though.
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 01:09 PM   #10
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if you can I would agree.
I've got one wireless setup using a sercurity cam (in my backyard watching a feeder) record to my hard drive using motion software and capture card
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Old February 23rd, 2010, 04:30 PM   #11
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yes, a laptop would allow to detect and capture event, allow direct to disk recording, and even retro capture, plus eventual ftp transfer of the shots to a server and for less than the price of an average camcorder.
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Old April 9th, 2010, 12:46 PM   #12
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For a $300 self contained solution depending on what you need the Stealth cam Prowler HD does a pretty good job. Shoots color during the day and Black and white at night. Here are some you tube links:

YouTube - stealth cam prowler hd
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