GoPro Time Lapse Intervalometer

GoPro Remote Control

Time Lapse Intervalometer

TL-003 for GoPro Hero 2, 3 and 3+ Cameras

The Time Lapse Controller for GoPro cameras is a programmable intervalometer designed for taking long time lapse sequences.

The controller is compatible with the HD Hero, Hero 2, and Hero 3 White, Hero 3 Black, Hero 3+ White, and Hero 3+ Black cameras.

The controller is not compatible with the Hero 3 or 3+ Silver cameras.

The controller is not compatible with the Hero 4 cameras.

The GoPro camera comes with a time lapse (PES) setting for taking multiple photos timed from 1 second to 60 seconds apart. This can be very useful for capturing fleeting images or rolling an hour's motion into a one minute video. However, the GoPro camera does not turn off between shots, so the longest time you can record using the internal battery is about 2 hours.

The Cam-Do Time Lapse Controller is designed to turn the camera on and off to maximize the battery usage. In most cases, the Hero 2 camera will take about 2,000 images on a single battery charge. The Hero 3 White will take about 1,400 images. The Hero 3 Black will take about 750 12MP images. These images can be spread over hours, days or even weeks.

With the current GoPro firmware, the controller can turn the Hero 3 Black and Hero 3+ Black camera on, but it cannot turn it off. The camera must be programmed to turn off after taking a photo or shooting a video of the desired length using Super One Button Mode scripts which are installed on the SD card. This allows for considerable flexibility in deciding what the camera will do when triggered by the controller.

GoPro Timer Features

  • Compatible with HD Hero, Hero 2 and the Hero 3 White and Black cameras.
  • Programmable delayed start.
  • Autostart mode turns the camera on 5 seconds after remote power up.
  • Repeat cycle or continuous operation once started.
  • Programmable repeat cycle from 15 seconds to one week or more.
  • Programmable on time from 5 seconds to infinity.
  • Programmable Super One Button Mode can be set to take multiple photos or a combination of photos and video on each cycle (Black only).
  • The WiFi can be turned on during the cycle for additional wireless control or downloading images (Black only).
  • Light trigger option enables shots when a light shines on the controller.
  • On board USB connection for powering the Hero 2 camera for extended use (Hero 2 only).
  • External trigger capability is included for advanced users. Trigger the GoPro camera with timers, accelerometers, computer interfaces, cellphones, remote controls and more.
  • External output can be used to turn on lights or interface to an alarm or signalling device

GoPro Time Lapse Controller Read the GoPro Controller Manual and Application Notes for Advanced Users for complete information on features and specifications.

The GoPro Time Lapse Controller is a small high quality circuit board that plugs into the accessory connector on the back of the GoPro camera. The controller is small enough to fit inside the GoPro Hero 3 Frame mount or the extended back doors provided with the GoPro accessories such as the GoPro LCD Bacpac or the GoPro Battery Backpac. Both the naked PCB and the acrylic enclosed versions fit in the GoPro extended backdoors.

GoPro Time Lapse Controller No battery is required. The controller uses the GoPro battery. In standby it uses very little power (similar to a watch) and does not reduce the battery life.

Because it requires no power source and fits inside the waterproof housing, it can be used in any environment the camera can handle.

The Time Lapse Controller is available as a fully assembled and tested naked PC Board or safely encased in a rugged acrylic enclosure.

GoPro Time Lapse Controller

from $111.00

Time Lapse Intervalometer + Acrylic135Add to Cart
Time Lapse Intervalometer - naked PCB   111Add to Cart

GoPro Extended Backdoor

The time lapse intervalometer (naked or in the acrylic case) fits neatly in the standard GoPro waterproof extended backdoor.

The backdoor is compatible with Hero 2 and older Hero 3 housings. Please note: these are recycled GoPro backdoors. They may be scuffed or marked.

Waterproof backdoor
for GoPro Accessory Compatible Housing

2014 Hero 3 White and Hero 3+ Black owners, please note that your housing (now called the GoPro Standard Housing) is smaller and not compatible with these backdoors.

All GoPro cameras fit the larger Hero 3 Dive housing (formerly called the GoPro BacPac Compatible Housing) which is compatible with our backdoor. GoPro markets the larger old Hero 3 enclosure as the GoPro Dive Housing. BacPac compatible Backdoors for the new smaller Standard Housing are available from GoPro. The Cam-Do Intervalometer fits these both size backdoors.

GoPro Battery Eliminator

For long time lapse project where power is available, the battery eliminator will provide power directly to the camera.

Direct power reduces the wear on the camera charging system, reduces heat from the battery and the camera, and eliminates ageing of the battery.

100-240V AC Battery Eliminator
For use with AC Mains Power

DC 9-24V Battery Eliminator
For use with car battery or LiPo power packs.

TL-003 Intervalometer

in Deep Water Enclosure


NEW! Cam-Do can now provide the TL-003 Time Lapse Controller in a professional grade underwater housing suitable for deep water and extreme environments.

The housing is carved from a solid block of aluminum and has been tested to withstand pressures of 4,000 psi (280 kg/cm2), equivalent to a depth of 9,000 feet. The anodized aluminum is resistant to saltwater and harsh environments.

Due to the thickness of the glass lens, some cropping occurs, a small price to pay for an enclosure suitable for long term immersion in deep water.

The time lapse controller can be used to start the camera after a fixed time delay, allowing ample time for deployment and starting to shoot video, or still photos when the camera reaches the bottom. In time lapse mode, hundreds of photos can be shot over several days on a single battery charge.

For more information and other underwater products, check out our Underwater Solutions page.

What do our customers use our controls for?

It delights us to hear from happy customers who have used the remote control to take photos and videos in interesting ways. We have been even more delighted to see customers returning to order multiple boards on their second order.

  • The first beta units were installed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography on a deep sea coral reef in Palau to capture a long time lapse sequence. Since then they have ordered many more and recommended us to their colleagues.
  • Cameras equipped with Cam-Do time lapse controllers were mounted in NASA Mission Control to document the landing of Curiosity on Mars.
  • The Solar Impulse had four of our controllers on the first solar powered plane to fly across the United States.
  • A hiker mounted his camera on his backpack and captured images every two minutes for several weeks on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Lance Hastie created time lapse videos of the reconstrucion of downtown Christchurch after the earthquake.
  • Nature photographers have captured wildlife in the Canadian and Russian north and the African jungle.
  • A production manager keeps a photo record of his manufacturing facility operation.
  • The Time Controller has been used to continuously upload images to a web site for several months using the Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card.
  • One Planet Media used our controllers to create a time lapse video of a Wind Turbine Construction Project.
  • Shay Blackley is creating a time lapse documentary of the Continental Divide Trail as he hikes from Mexico to Canada.
  • Cliff Ferguson has been creating long time lapses and documented his methods to show others how he does it.

Tell us what you used your time lapse controller for.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery (Lance Hastie)

Antares ORB-2 Launch from NASA Wallops Flight Facility

You are welcome to read the manual and make suggestions for new features or improvements.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Time Lapse Intervalometer compatible with the new Hero 3 Silver camera?

The controller is compatible with all GoPro Hero cameras except the Hero 3 and 3+ Silver Editions.

How long will the battery last if I shoot some number of photos per hour?

Calculating battery life is non-trivial. It depends on the camera model, firmware version, SD card speed, lighting conditions, battery size, age of the battery, ambient temperature, and more. To help you understand the issues and to calculate estimated battery life, consult the Camera Power Consumption Study and our Time Lapse Calculator.

I want to shoot a 4 minute video of a 4 month construction job. How do I do that?

You want each month to be one minute of video. That is about 2 seconds per day, or 60 frames at 30fps. Shooting 24 hours a day, that is one shot every 24 minutes, or about one shot every 10 minutes if you only care about the daytime. Program the TL-001 for one shot every 10 minutes. At 144 shots per day, the internal battery will last almost 2 weeks. A 32GB SD card will hold 5-10,000 shots, depending on the complexity of the picture, and the resolution selected. You can put 35-70 days on each card.

So much for theory. In practice, things go wrong. The camera can stop working. The battery might not have been fully charged. The SD card may have a flaw. A bird dropping might block the lens. We never recommend leaving the camera unchecked for more than a few days. Always assume that what can go wrong, will go wrong. Use 2 cameras to get different angles and to provide backup if something happens to one camera.

Shot by one of our customers

I only want to shoot from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. How can I best do that?

Our Programmable Scheduler product is designed for that purpose. It is easy to set up to capture image at certain times, or to enable time lapse captures on a specific schedule.

Are custom versions of the board available?

Yes, we can provide modified versions of the firmware. Simple changes can be had for a as little as $25.00. For more extensive changes our regular consulting rates apply. We will do our best to provide you with the solution you are looking for. We can even create a custom PC board for you if your application needs it.

Does the intervalometer retain its settings when I remove it from the camera?

Yes, the settings are stored in flash memory and will be retained until you program different settings or do a factory reset.

Does the controller board fit inside the waterproof case?

The board does not fit in the standard case. The board fits in the extended backdoors provided with the GoPro accessories such as the GoPro LCD Bacpac or the GoPro Battery Backpac.

Hero 3+ owners, please note that the new Hero 3+ housing is smaller. GoPro markets the old Hero 3 housing as the BacPac Compatible Housing. The controller can be held in the 3+ housing with an O-ring, as shown below, but the extended waterproof backdoors do not fit.

The controller fits in the GoPro Hero 3 Frame Mount, which comes with 2 frames, one for the camera alone, and one which holds the camera and BacPac accessories, such as the Battery BacPac and the Cam-Do Time Lapse Intervalometer. Be careful, if buying on eBay, where you might not get both together.

Another simple way to secure the camera and controller board in the standard case for use indoors or in good weather, is to use an O-ring or a rubber band to hold the camera in the case with no backdoor. Pictured is an AS568-134 which fits nicely and is included with the TL-003.

Outdoor Waterproof Enclosure Cam-Do Waterproof Enclosure

Cam-Do now offers an Outdoor Waterproof Enclosure designed to house the Time Lapse controller or other Cam-Do controllers along with space for a high capacity battery.

Can a solar panel or AC power source be used to extend the operating time?

The cameras can be charged through the USB connector from a solar panel or other suitable power source. See the Operating Manual for more details.

The Cam-Do Solar System includes a solar panel, high powered lithium battery, and a waterproof enclosure.

Can I download images via USB while using the Intervalometer?

Yes, this works very well with the Hero 3. A long USB cable can be permanently connected to the camera. Plug the USB cable into a computer and wait for the scheduler to turn the camera on. The images can now be moved from the SD card to your hard drive. When you unplug the USB cable from the computer, the camera will turn off. The intervalometer will resume shooting with the next image. There is no need to touch the camera. The USB cable can be plugged into a charger for longer battery life.

Battery Eliminator Does the Intervalometer work with your battery eliminators?

Yes, we recommend using the intervalometer with a battery eliminator. There is a slot in the back of the intervalometer for the battery eliminator cable to pass through.

Using the battery eliminator reduces heat from the camera battery and charging circuit.

I am a hacker. Can I use the extra connections on the board to trigger the camera?

Yes! If you have a little knowledge of electronics, you can use the controller board to trigger the camera. The interface is documented in the Cam-Do Controller Application Notes for Advanced Users. It is actually quite easy to connect external triggers such as mobile phones, Android devices, computers, motion detectors, intervalometers, programmable timers, security systems, accelerometers that detect motion, or to configure the camera to start automatically whenever the car ignition is turned on.

I am a not a hacker. I have an idea for a project for our organization. Can you help?

Yes. The controller board was originally designed to handle custom projects we built for scientists and professional photographers. It is very flexible and can be reprogrammed to respond to different kinds of control inputs. It also has an opto-isolated output which can be used to control lighting, or give different types of feedback. Contact us for a quote for your application. Our rates for custom firmware are very reasonable.

I know how to write code for the MSP430 processor. Can I reprogram the chip with my own firmware?

Yes. The SBW interface is brought to the edge of the board, so you can use the Texas Instruments Launch Pad ($4.30) to program the device. There is a tutorial: Use your launchpad as a programmer. Let us know if you come up with something really brilliant!

The Cam-Do Time Lapse Controller is designed for use with GOPRO® products. GOPRO® is a registered trademarks of Woodman Labs, Inc. in the United States and other countries.