The cam-do.com 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, and Hero 3+ Black cameras.
The controller is not compatible with the Hero 3 or 3+ Silver 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 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.
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
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.
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.
The time lapse intervalometer (naked or in the acrylic case) fits neatly
in the standard GoPro waterproof extended backdoor.
The backdoor is compatible with all Hero 2 and Hero 3 housings. Please note: these
are recycled GoPro backdoors. They may be scuffed or marked.
Waterproof backdoor for GoPro Accessory Compatible Housing
Hero 3+ owners, please note that the new Hero 3+ housing is smaller.
Hero 3+ cameras fit the Hero 3 housing which is compatible with the backdoor.
the Hero 3 enclosure as the BacPac Compatible Housing.
GoPro Battery Eliminator
For long time lapse project where power is available, the
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.
in Deep Water Enclosure
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
Cam-Do now sells a 3D printed frame that can hold the camera and
the time lapse intervalometer. Choose the Hero 2 or Hero 3, sized to fit your
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 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
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.
I am a hacker. Can I use the extra connections on the board to trigger the camera?
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.
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
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.