DSLR homebrew set up v.2
I've made quite a few upgrades to the setup over the last 12 months. Most notably I've switched to using a Camtraption PIR v2, as well as Camtraption wireless triggers and receivers. I've also managed to pick up a couple of ST28 flashes. All of these changes have had to fit into the original case I built for the Canon 5D.
5D with wireless connectors
The original camera trap case was built around a 5D with a Hanhel wireless trigger. The camera and SSII PIR sensor were connected via customised wiring entering the case waterproof grommets. As the new setup uses off the shelf components I didn't want to cut and splice wires to enter the case, so I've opted for a wireless solution, Camtraption triggers and receivers. My case wouldn't allow the Camtraption trigger to fit directly to the hotshoe so I use an off camera flash cord.
The final case is a bit messy compared to the original, with the Camtraption trigger and receiver stuffed into the available space. You can still see the original remote shutter release cable hanging down at the bottom of the case.
I've replaced the Canon speedlite 420ex flashes with two ST28's found on ebay. The standby mode of these flashes is legend and I've noticed that the number of 'no flash' images have reduced to almost zero.
weatherproof case for flashes
The ST28s are a different size and shape so I had to make up some new lock'n'lock cases to house them.
The Camtraption PIR v.2 attached to a Camtraption wireless trigger in a small lock'n'lock case (buried beneath some twigs.
Ready to go
Here's my current setup. The PIR is setup to the right of this image.
DSLR homebrew set up v.1
Here's a quick view of my DSLR camera trap set up. Most of the build is based on the super helpful guide found on www.camtrapper.com
There's a lot of inspiration and technical solutions on there. I'll try and put together a list of items used to make this set up. I attempted to do this as cheaply as possible but I haven't worked out what the final price was. I'll probably shock myself when I do.
Camera and flash trigger
The system is based around a Canon 5D with a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens, housed in a pelicase 1200 that is mounted on a wooden sled using a 1.5" RAM mount. Attached to the hot-shoe is a Hahnel Tuff TTL wireless flash trigger.
Camera housing and PIR sensor
Here's the business end of the housing. A snorkel, based on a PVC sewer pipe connector, has been attached and weather sealed to accommodate the lens. A 93mm clear optical filter seals the aperture of the snorkel. The case was spray painted olive green and covered with camouflage Gorilla tape. On the left is the Snapshot SSII PIR sensor, housed in a small lock&lock box. I have up to 5m of cable connecting the two components. Note small spirit level on the top of the case.
The finished look
Here's the camera and SSII sensor deployed with scrim netting.
My system is using two Canon Speedlite 420X flashguns triggered by Hanhel wireless receivers.
Weatherproof flash housing
The flashguns are mounted in appropriately sized lock&lock forming a perfectly weather sealed housing. The black handle is a cheap mini-tripod fixing the flash into the housing and allowing it to be screw mounted onto a pole.