Kinect Hacking 102: Foot-Pedal Operated Camera.

While hacking on the Kinect sensor, I became frustrated with taking pictures for tutorials. Most of the things I want to take pictures of involve me using my hands, which means that my hands are not free to take pictures. I had the idea that I needed a foot-operated camera. It’s not the first camera foot pedal to be put online, but it’s simpler than most others, and it’s mine. Video:

Gather your stuff in one place:

  • An SDM/CHDK capable camera.
  • A USB extension cord or socket.
  • A tattoo machine pedal from eBay.
  • A 3AAA holder.
  • 3 AAA batteries.
  • A soldering iron.
  • A screwdriver.
  • A wire stripper.
  • Heat shrink tubing or tape.
  • Remove the screws that hold the top of the pedal.

    Inside, you’ll see a switch and a spring. See them.

    Unsolder the top wire from the switch. This will become our ground wire.

    Put heat shrink tubing on one side. Solder it to the black wire from the battery pack.

    Apply heat. Your torch may be blurry; that’s OK.

    Solder the red wire to the top terminal of the switch.

    Apply foil tape or some other tape to the bottom of the battery pack.

    Stick it in place.

    Screw it back together. You know you want to.

    The cable that comes with this pedal is actually two cables with weird connectors in the middle. I cut the connectors off of the cable and soldered the two sections together to make an even longer cable. I also applied heat shrink tubing. Then I torched it to shrink it.

    Locate your USB socket. Of course, you could solder a mini-USB cable right on the end, but that’s not as nice as having a socket and being able to use different USB cables.

    Cut the end off. Strip the red and black wires. Red is the V+, black is GND.

    Rather than trying to remember which wire is which, I just step on the pedal and check the polarity with a multimeter. It’s positive, so the red lead is touching the positive wire.

    Solder the positive wire to the red wire of the cable coming from the pedal. Black wire to ground. Heatshrink and heat.

    Complete unit. Plug it into your SDM/CHDK enabled camera.

    Make awesome tutorials and share them with the world. I will be using this footpedal system to activate my IR camera.

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    3 Responses to Kinect Hacking 102: Foot-Pedal Operated Camera.

    1. ups says:

      May I suggest always put a schematic. This is a great tutorial with great pictures. But a schematic always helps and one does not have to scroll down and up to see where each wire is soldered to.

      Another idea, is to put a USB socket directly in the pedal!

    2. admin says:

      A schematic is a great idea, as is a socket in-pedal. I think I’ll do that for my second version…

    3. biche. says:

      i think.. you know what im going to say/request… and yes it involves knitting.

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