StackShot: camera does not fire

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nielsgeode
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StackShot: camera does not fire

Post by nielsgeode »

Since today, I (finally) have most of my new canon equipment and the StackShot :D I'm trying to make some test shots. When the stacking sequence on the StackShot has started, the rail moves and you can see the red lamp blinking for the exposure.

However, the camera does not respond and no pictures are taken. Of course, it is connected to the stackshot controller with the "Canon D Series Shutter Cable" and the camera is powered on. Also, when you press the shutter button on the controller, nothing happens.

Is there anyone here who has suggestions for what is going wrong? I'm using the Canon EOS 6D.

Thanx!
Niels

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Post by rjlittlefield »

I run into this problem quite a lot.

There is a note HERE that says
Press Live View button on camera so as to make the camera display the Live View image on its own monitor. (This is important. If the camera is in Live View mode but is not displaying the Live View image by itself, then the camera will ignore shutter commands coming from the StackShot.)
--Rik

nielsgeode
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Post by nielsgeode »

rjlittlefield wrote:I run into this problem quite a lot.

There is a note HERE that says
Press Live View button on camera so as to make the camera display the Live View image on its own monitor. (This is important. If the camera is in Live View mode but is not displaying the Live View image by itself, then the camera will ignore shutter commands coming from the StackShot.)
--Rik
Makes sense, Rik. The physical release button on the camera also does not work when the camera is connected to the PC with remote live view. However, I also have this problem when I have nothing connected at all to the USB of the camera and live view on the LCD of the camera is enabled.

johan
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Post by johan »

Are you using the remote trigger whilst using a different system before? You have to reset it for Canon if that's the case (I use Pentax and I have the same thing)

-Johan
My extreme-macro.co.uk site, a learning site. Your comments and input there would be gratefully appreciated.

nielsgeode
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Post by nielsgeode »

johan wrote:Are you using the remote trigger whilst using a different system before? You have to reset it for Canon if that's the case (I use Pentax and I have the same thing)

-Johan
I have used my PC (via USB connection) to fire the camera, and I use the RS-80N3 release cord to fire the camera.

How do I reset the Canon, if necessary?

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Post by rjlittlefield »

nielsgeode wrote:The physical release button on the camera also does not work when the camera is connected to the PC with remote live view. However, I also have this problem when I have nothing connected at all to the USB of the camera and live view on the LCD of the camera is enabled.
I'm not sure I understand the symptoms. With nothing in USB, and Live View showing on the camera, does the button work but the cable not? Does the cable release work from the StackShot if the camera is not in Live View at all?

--Rik

nielsgeode
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Post by nielsgeode »

rjlittlefield wrote:
nielsgeode wrote:The physical release button on the camera also does not work when the camera is connected to the PC with remote live view. However, I also have this problem when I have nothing connected at all to the USB of the camera and live view on the LCD of the camera is enabled.
I'm not sure I understand the symptoms. With nothing in USB, and Live View showing on the camera, does the button work but the cable not? Does the cable release work from the StackShot if the camera is not in Live View at all?

--Rik
The StackShot cable does not work at all, not when the camera is on USB, not when the camera is in live view and not when the camera is not USB connected and live view is disabled.

This is the same for the button on the Cognisys controler. The "button" that does work (of course) is the button on the camera itself.

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Post by rjlittlefield »

nielsgeode wrote:and I use the RS-80N3 release cord to fire the camera
...
The StackShot cable does not work at all, not when the camera is on USB, not when the camera is in live view and not when the camera is not USB connected and live view is disabled.
Ah! With all this, it seems pretty sure there is a problem either with the cabling or with the StackShot controller (probably the cabling).

Be sure that the cable is well seated in its socket on both ends, then if it still does not work, contact Cognisys to let them know of the problem.

--Rik

nielsgeode
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Post by nielsgeode »

rjlittlefield wrote:
nielsgeode wrote:and I use the RS-80N3 release cord to fire the camera
...
The StackShot cable does not work at all, not when the camera is on USB, not when the camera is in live view and not when the camera is not USB connected and live view is disabled.
Ah! With all this, it seems pretty sure there is a problem either with the cabling or with the StackShot controller (probably the cabling).

Be sure that the cable is well seated in its socket on both ends, then if it still does not work, contact Cognisys to let them know of the problem.

--Rik
Thank you Rik, I will contact Cognisys because I am 100% sure that the cable is well in its socket at both ends.

Are you sure that the problem cannot be caused by an incompatibility between the Canon EOS 6D and the controller? The release cord connections of the 1D, 5D and the 6D are the same...

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Post by Chris S. »

Niels,

If you have a multimeter, you might want to check the output of the controller and the continuity of the cable. Assuming they both pass multimeter testing, you could also use your multimeter to check compatibility between the controller/cable combination and your camera.

--Chris

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Post by rjlittlefield »

nielsgeode wrote:Are you sure that the problem cannot be caused by an incompatibility between the Canon EOS 6D and the controller? The release cord connections of the 1D, 5D and the 6D are the same...
As I understand it...

At the controller, there's not much to be incompatible. All the StackShot does is to bridge the socket with an FET switch. See figure 13 on page 36 at http://www.cognisys-inc.com/downloads/S ... al_1_5.pdf. The switch is normally open (not conducting). It closes (conducts) while the expose pulse is going on. Any more complicated protocol has to be implemented in the cabling. With the cable for my T1i, the cabling doesn't provide any protocol either; it just connects tip-to-tip and shell-to-shell.

I don't know what's needed for the 6D.

On the Cognisys web site I see this description:
Canon D Series Shutter Interface Switch
[SHS_CD_01] $65.00

This cable was primarily designed as an interface between your camera and StopShot for high speed triggering of your camera but it will also work with StackShot. It is extremely useful for keeping shutter lag to a minimum for Canon users and it will allow StopShot to wake up your camera from sleep mode. It also gives a method of quickly disconnecting and connecting StopShot from your camera, very useful for setting up sensors.

Compatible Cameras:
Canon EOS 50D, 40D, 30D, 20D, 20Da, 10D, 7D, 5D, 5D Mark II, 1Ds, 1Ds Mark II, 1Ds Mark III, 1D Mark II N, 1D Mark II, 1D, D60, D30, 1V, 3
(uses 3-pin Canon N3 connector).

Cable Length: 3m - 1m Camera Side, 2m RCA side

NOTE: When using the Shutter Switch with StackShot use Sleep position.
Does that last NOTE about Sleep position have anything to do with your situation?

--Rik

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Chris S. wrote:you could also use your multimeter to check compatibility between the controller/cable combination and your camera.
One small caveat here: if you test the StackShot with an ohmmeter, you're likely to get different results depending on how you connect the probes.

Testing just now with my Fluke 29, everything behaves "as expected" with red to tip, black to shell. The meter reads infinite ohms most of the time, 2.5 ohms during the expose pulse, and the light on the controller nicely tracks the expose pulse.

But connected the other way around with black to tip, red to shell, the results are a bit weird. The meter reads -3.63 Kohms most of the time (yes, negative), 0.1 ohms during the expose pulse, and sometimes the red light comes on for no obvious reason even though the resistance is still large and the button hasn't been pushed.

Voltage and current readings provide a bit more insight. Those show +3.61 volts from tip to shell most of the time, and 0.00 volts during the expose pulse. In 40mA DC mode, the meter reads 1.529 mA most of the time and 0.038 mA during the expose pulse. The red light glows continuously whenever the meter is connected in this mode.

So, it seems that roughly speaking this controller includes its own 2.4 Kohm pullup to a 3.61 VDC source, and the red light indicates current draw. These aspects are not shown in the Cognisys diagram that I linked above.

The StackShot controller that I'm testing is one of the earliest units that provided a USB connection. I don't know whether newer units will behave the same.

--Rik

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Post by Chris S. »

Rik's observations with his multimeter in ohmmeter mode made me curious to check my own StackShot controller with my Fluke 80 V meter. I do get similar weirdness, though my absolute numbers are different. (I didn't record them, before anyone asks, and they probably don't matter--I did not exercise great care, and there is considerable interference in the area where my StackShot is located.)

However, I was thinking that Niels could learn what he needs to know very simply by using a multimeter's continuity-testing mode. Since the StackShot fires the camera shutter by briefly closing a switch, a continuity tester placed on the StackShot's camera output should be normally open, but closed briefly when the shutter button on the StackShot controller is pressed. The way I have my controller and multitester set up, that means I get a 1/5 second beep from the tester every time I hit the shutter button on the controller. For this, it doesn't matter whether the red goes to tip and black to shell, or vice versa.

If the StackShot closes the switch appropriately, it's time to test the cable--without the camera attached. Put the shutter cable on the Stackshot controller, place the continuity tester's leads in the appropriate spots on the far end of the cable, and press the shutter button on the controller. Is there momentary continuity?

As to what the "appropriate spots" are on a Canon 6D shutter cable: If the pinouts are correct as shown here, third picture down, it would be the pins marked "Release shutter" and "Ground." (You Canon users have it easy! Many Nikon cameras have a 10-pin release socket.)

If the StackShot and cable perform properly in this test, it's time to check the camera. If you momentarily connect the camera's "Release shutter" pin with it's "Ground pin," does the camera fire? If not, that's where the problem is.

--Chris

nielsgeode
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Post by nielsgeode »

My apologies, but the problem was caused because I am (brand) new to Canon. I have been using Minolta and Sony for twenty years and there the release cord slips in place with almost no force, there isn't even a "click", like you hear with the Canon RS-80N3. So, the cable was not completely in the socket of the camera. It felt firmly in place, but it wasn't.

This morning, I only did a couple of quick shots with the camera on M and this is working perfectly. At least all the hardware is fine :D

Niels

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thank you for letting us know the cause. I learn something new from every one of these experiences.

--Rik

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