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Old Nov 28, 2002, 12:51 PM   #1
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Default RF Remote shutter project for the 7i FINISHED!!

At long last I have finished the RF Remote shutter project for the Minolta 5/7/7i/7Hi series of cameras. You can get the schematic and all the info at the link below. Please post feedback on this project, there is always more than one way to "skin a cat" so I would like to hear about it. In the future I will have a circuit with around 1000 feet of range! (although the neat little key fob won't be the transmitter ) .

Pictures will be coming as soon as a get a suitable case and a little time.


Enjoy.


http://home.neo.rr.com/keystar/rfremote.htm

P.S.

There was an errata on my 1/4 wave antenna calculation, please use 8.5" of wire as a receiver antenna instead of 13"

The formula is ((300/(frequency in Mhz)) * 36) /4)
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Old Dec 8, 2002, 9:58 PM   #2
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I scanned over the directions and have a few questions. Can I get all these parts at RodioShack? Any pictures of the final divice?
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Old Dec 9, 2002, 5:05 AM   #3
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You can get them all at www.digikey.com. You may find the chips at the shack but be careful they must be the 'LV' or 'LVT' series which runs at 3volts. The RX chip and TX module I really doubt you will even be able to order from Radio Shack (They're kind of Special). My Circuit Boards that I laid out and case for the receiver circuit should be in later next week, and after assembly I will post some pics.

I even have thought about offering 'kits' for sale (I just can't afford FCC certification on a small voulme, low profit unit - it cost about $6000.00 to test for compliance!!). The problem is that there is not a lot of profit in it (at least not for what I would feel is a reasonable price), so I figured I would just donate the schematic. What I may do is sell the Printed Circuit Boards so people will have an easy time putting the remote together.

These circuit boards are double sided and have silkscreen and soldermask so they are fully professionaly manufactured units, not home etch jobs. If I do they will cost $10.00 plus shipping (they cost me right around $6.00 each).

The receivers are REALLY SMALL!!! (I'm so proud of myself) and have a little LED and all when it receives signal. The receiver is about 1.8"x2.5" x.9" thick enclosed with batteries!!!!

I also belive I have found a source for the 3 pin remote connector, so we can stop ginding down sound card plugs!! I will let u know just as soon as they come in!

I use Digikey TO DEATH!! They sell parts in small quantities to anybody (no account needed) and are really fast over the web.

I hope this helps you and anybody else out.
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Old Dec 9, 2002, 9:00 AM   #4
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Binji7

I believe the Tx is already EMC compliant per their web site:
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ghlight=#19147

You only need FCC part-15 for the Rx which is about $2k in most 3rd party compliance labs. UL is also not required since the device runs on low power batteries (... like the X-box, Nintendo, and PlayStation 2 RF controllers). Don't sell yourself short, this unit is also usable in the Minolta film cameras and not just their digicams!

I agree with you that the selling for a profit will be the hard part though, and not the design or the qualification... I guess that's why they have all theses high power MBA hotshots. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Old Dec 9, 2002, 12:33 PM   #5
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That's right NHL,

The Tx is already a go, just the RX will have to be in compliance. And then comes the profit problem.

The unit will have to sell for around $150.00 and I would have to buy parts for at least 50 units lots in order to make $70.00 a unit (and that's if I assemble them myself) The units take about an hour and a half to build and then test if everything goes right. Factor in instruction manuals (probaly in CD PDF format) , taxes and other misc. and I might walk away with lunch money . That's why I just gave the schematic away.

Personally I also feel that $150.00 is too much for the units, even though when you factor in time and materials it falls in the ballpark (30% margin over CGS and Labor). I rather sell the pre-engineered PC boards and let user invest 'sweat equity' into assembling the units and purchasing the parts. That way they save money, I make money with less hassel and everyones happy.

Although I may send a finished unit to some lucky soul for testing just to get a second opinion........
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Old Dec 9, 2002, 1:28 PM   #6
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Second opinions are my specialty! :lol:
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Old Dec 9, 2002, 9:23 PM   #7
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It sounds like you've analyzed this project pretty thoroughly: there's just no business case... especially at the volume you're talking about. Buying the parts piecemeal at 50 units qty from distributors will eat up all your margin.

Can you imagine all the vendors out there that can sell modem or NIC cards for only $9.99 with a $5 rebate? Their volumes must be way up there and probably with a negotiated long-term chips pricing directly from the manufacturers! The normal rule of thumb is it got to be priced 4 times your BOM cost... (and the final price undercut Minolta, if they make one).
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 6:00 PM   #8
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So if there are any outstanding do right type folk who would like to try out the project after its done, drop me a line and I'll pick a name out of a hat and send it off - with the understanding that you must return it in a few weeks.

That way I can tell if selling even the PC boards is something people would be interested in.

I have seen some solutions that are not so elegant (to put it nicely :P ) and I think alot of people will want to build this unit for themselves.

Heck,
Maybe even Steve himself would like to give the unit a go!!!
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Old Dec 10, 2002, 6:32 PM   #9
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So if there are any outstanding do right type folk who would like to try out the project after its done, drop me a line and I'll pick a name out of a hat and send it off - with the understanding that you must return it in a few weeks.

That way I can tell if selling even the PC boards is something people would be interested in.

I have seen some solutions that are not so elegant (to put it nicely :P and I think alot of people will want to build this unit for themselves.

Heck,
Maybe even Steve himself would like to give the unit a go!!!
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