This manual describes how to get started with your CamDo UpBlink Time Lapse Controller for your GoPro HERO5 Black camera. UpBlink is a low power, WiFi enabled GoPro time lapse and scheduler accessory that unlocks the full potential of the GoPro camera. UpBlink allows users to control when and how the camera will trigger based on a daily schedule and when an internet signal is available, photos can be uploaded to our CloudX server. Configuration is handled through an easy-to-use web interface via a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
A. CamDo UpBlink
B. Micro-USB Power Cable
C. CamDo Custom USB C Cable
D. GoPro Attachment Knuckle (optional use)
1. Power (Micro-USB connection): You can power UpBlink through the micro USB port. See Section 5. Powering UpBlink for available power configurations.
2. Camera (USB-C connection): This port is used to connect to your HERO5 camera. Connect the included CamDo USB-C cable from here to the USB-C port on the camera. The orientation does not matter since the cable is reversible. This is a custom cable - do not connect any other USB-C cable to this port as it may damage UpBlink or the camera! If you lose or damage your cable a replacement can be purchased from our website: HERE
3. LED Window: This window provides LED feedback to the user during operation, as well as for firmware updates. See section LED Status Indicator for an explanation of the different LED indicators.
4. WiFi Button: This button is used to turn UpBlink's WiFi On/Off, or cancel the currently active process.
5. Strap Slot: This can be used to tether UpBlink to the GoPro or fixture.
6. Port 1 (2.5mm jack): This port accepts a Wired Remote or other custom trigger. A Wired Remote can be used to turn UpBlink's WiFi Access Point On/Off from a distance, as well as provide LED feedback during operation (if the CamDo LED wired remote is used). UpBlink also has an in-built WiFi button - see item 4 above.
7. USB-A Port: This port is used for firmware updates using a USB thumbdrive. This port’s power output also becomes activated when an upload schedule is triggered, allowing it to be used to power a 3G/4G MiFi router to provide an internet connection or power another accessory.
8. Screw Mounts: Two captive nuts (#6-32) can be used to attach the “GoPro Attachment Knuckle” to allow UpBlink to be affixed to the GoPro housing’s pivot mount.
9. Port 2 (3.5mm jack): This accessory port is currently not in use and will become available in future firmware versions.
UpBlink is equipped with an RGB LED which provides the user with a full range of feedback. While the LED is flashing UpBlink is NOT in capture mode and schedules are inactive. Below is a list of each LED flash type and what they represent. Under normal operation, the following LED colors/patterns apply:
Below is a list of each LED flash type when UpBlink's button is pressed and what they represent.
UpBlink is powered externally by via a micro USB cable plugged into the power port of UpBlink. UpBlink will then manage power to the GoPro camera via the USB-C cable. If your GoPro battery is removed, your power supply must be rated for at least 2Amps output at 5Volts. If your power supply cannot provide 2Amps, the GoPro battery can remain inside the camera to provide the additional power require by the camera and UpBlink will maintain a charge to the GoPro battery. However, the use of the GoPro battery will disable the *safety reset feature.
For long term installations, you must remove the internal battery of the GoPro camera to allow UpBlink to hard reset the camera that can restore system functionality should a GoPro camera error be experienced.
*Safety Reset Feature: Removing the GoPro battery allows for UpBlink to fully manage the power supply to the GoPro camera. Therefore if the GoPro camera becomes unresponsive, such as in the event of a camera crash, UpBlink can pull all power from the GoPro to force a hard reset to restore functionality to the system (similar to pulling and replacing the GoPro battery when the camera crashes). However, if the GoPro battery remains inside the camera, when UpBlink attempts to remove power from the GoPro, the camera will not reset since the GoPro remains powered from the camera battery.
If using an external battery pack, ensure that the battery output has an "Always On" operation. It is important to note that most of the USB battery packs on the market have a standard automatic power saving feature which turns off the battery output if the battery pack is not constantly supplying power to a device (Auto Off feature). If the GoPro is powered off for more than a few minutes between scheduled triggers, the external battery pack might automatically shutdown due to inactivity. This automatic off power saving mode would result in the camera system becoming unpowered, while the large battery pack still has lots of capacity remaining.
Our battery packs are specially designed for use with the UpBlink controller because they have an Always On power output mode. Our V50 battery packs have the "Always On" mode enabled whenever a USB cable is connected to either of the USB output ports.
However, our (discontinued) V44 and V15 battery packs have two modes of operation, the "Always On" mode that is required for UpBlink as well as the standard "Auto Off" mode. With the V44 and V15, Always On mode must be manually enabled to prevent the battery output from automatically turning off since the camera system is drawing very low power between scheduled triggers. Below is a video showing how to confirm your V44 or V15 battery pack is set to the correct Always On mode of operation.
UpBlink is programmed entirely through a web interface using its own inbuilt WiFi signal. In order to connect to UpBlink's WiFi signal and use the app, follow these steps:
http://10.0.0.5:5000with your standard web browser, such as Chrome or Safari. It’s important to include the “http://” as some web browsers require this.
NOTE: Some phones and computers have WiFi settings that will automatically connect to a known WiFi network with the strongest internet signal rather than staying connected to UpBlink. Since connecting to UpBlink's WiFi Access Point network does not provide external internet access, some devices will not stay connected to UpBlink. You might need to temporarily adjust the WiFi settings on your device or remove any saved networks in the area for the period required to set up the new schedule of UpBlink.
UpBlink’s WiFi Access Point signal can be turned on and off by holding down the wifi button on the top of UpBlink for 3 seconds. A wired remote plugged into port 1 can also be used as an alternative to the wifi button.
If the LED illuminates green when the button is pressed, holding the button for three seconds will activate the WiFi signal. UpBlink flashes the LED green once a second while booting up the WiFi Access Point and then green once every 5 seconds to indicate that WiFi Access Point is actively broadcasting and can be connected to using your smartphone/computer.
See Section on LED Status for additional LED indications.
Once UpBlink has been programmed, the WiFi Access Point must be turned off to resume capture mode. This is done by either pressing the "Restart in capture mode" button from the programming UI, or holding the wifi button down for 3 seconds. When the button is pressed, the LED will flash yellow indicating that the UpBlink busy broadcasting the WiFi Access Point and continuing to hold the button for three seconds will end this active process. While shutting down the WiFi Access Point signal the LED will flash yellow once a second until the WiFi signal has turned off. When the LED is inactive, UpBlink is now in capture mode and will trigger the camera at the programmed schedule times. When in capture mode a short button press will flash the LED green when not triggering the camera and red if a camera trigger is in process.
To make it easy to access the UpBlink app, we recommend creating a shortcut for your smart device.
http://10.0.0.5:5000in the Safari web browser.
To make it easy to access the UpBlink app, we recommend creating a shortcut for your smart device.
http://10.0.0.5:5000in the Chrome web browser.
The following outlines the key features of the powerful UpBlink web based User Interface (UI).
A. Restart Button: UpBlink's capture schedules are inactive while the WiFi Access Point is broadcasting. Clicking the RESTART IN CAPTURE MODE button will shutdown the WiFi Access Point to activate the schedules in capture mode.
B. Rename Access Point : Click the Access Point drawer to open the renaming menu. The optional text field allows you to change the appended text for the network name of UpBlink's WiFi Access Point.
C. Save All: Clicking SAVE ALL will store the settings for all schedules. Important: Be sure to click "SAVE ALL" if any changes are made to the schedules. The Status message box (D) will display if there are unsaved changed to the schedules. If any schedule errors are present, the SAVE ALL button will become grey and disabled. Correct any scheduling errors to enable the green SAVE ALL button.
D. Status Message: This box will display information about your programmed schedules as well as communication status between your viewing device and UpBlink. The box will display Success if your device is connected to UpBlink's WiFi and the controller has accepted the issued command. If your device is no longer connected to UpBlink's WiFi or a communication error has occurred, it will be displayed here.
E. Firmware: Displays the current firmware version of UpBlink and the GoPro camera.
F. Camera Status: Displays information about the GoPro camera including; if the GoPro is powered on, the GoPro's battery life, SD capacity available, and if the GoPro's WiFi signal is active.
G. Camera Time: Displays the time and date used by UpBlink when triggering the programmed schedules. This time and date will be automatically pushed to the GoPro camera when it is triggered by UpBlink making it very easy to keep the system time up to date. If Cloud uploads are enabled, UpBlink will sync the clock with an NTP server to ensure the time always remains accurate.
H. Sync Time: Clicking the Sync Time button will push the local device's time, date, and location settings to the UpBlink.
I. Upcoming Schedules: Displays the time&date that the next Camera Trigger, and/or Cloud Upload are scheduled to occur.
J. Manual Test Controls: This menu can be hidden/revealed by clicking on the drawer to provide a way of manually controlling the camera. These controls are typically only needed to test that the camera is communicating with the UpBlink controller.
K. Tool-tip: tooltips are located throughout the UI and clicking on them can provide additional information on the feature.
L. Search WiFi Button: Click to verify if an internet connection can be achieved from the WiFi network programmed in the Upload Schedule. If connected to the internet, UpBlink will also check if a newer UpBlink firmware version is available.
M. WiFi Network List: After a WiFi search, this drawer will update to contain a list of 2.4GHz WiFi networks located by UpBlink and the signal strength of each network.
N. Upload Schedule: To upload your images to the CamDo CloudX server, click the Upload Schedule drawer to open the schedule to enter your email address, router details, and upload settings. The Upload frequency is set the same way as the capture schedules. For image upload capability, you must have a 2.4GHz WiFi router/hotspot signal within the range of UpBlink to provide the internet connection. For more information see section 9. CloudX Image Uploads.
O. Capture Schedules: These numbered schedules determine when and how the camera will be controlled. Each schedule can be hidden/revealed by clicking on the drawer. Each Schedule is comprised of a Date Window, Day Selector, Time Window, Mode, and Action. Setting these 5 elements will fully define what the camera will do and when it will do it. For more information see section 8. Setting up a Schedule.
P. Logs Page: Clicking the Logs Page link will navigate your browser to the Event Log page, which can be useful for troubleshooting.
Q. Reset Defaults: Clicking the RESET TO DEFAULTS button will load the default schedules. The defaults will not become saved until clicking the SAVE ALL button. Refresh the page to reload the schedules that are currently saved to memory.
http://10.0.0.5:5000in the search bar. You will be presented with the following interface. Remember to create a shortcut on your homescreen as described earlier in this manual.
By selecting the schedule's action, UpBlink will switch the GoPro camera to the selected mode but will use the default resolutions, frame rates, and Protune settings for photo, night photo, burst photo, and video modes that have been set from the GoPro camera. Ensure to set the desired image/video settings from the GoPro camera menu before deployment.
Selecting the "Shoot a Video", "Turn Camera On", & "Camera WiFi Window" actions require setting the active duration. Note that the duration selected does not include the additional time for the camera to bootup and shutdown when preforming the action. Ensure that your action's duration allows time for the camera to shutdown before the next action is scheduled to be triggered.
For example, a 2minute interval for a 120second video action will only capture footage every 4minutes. This is because the camera is still preforming the current action when the next trigger is scheduled.
Scheduling a "Turn Camera On" action turns the GoPro on at the scheduled time with no further action, such as switching camera modes or triggering the shutter to capture footage. This can be used for scheduling a USB download window, or for using the camera's HDMI video output signal rather than recording to the camera's SD card.
Scheduling a "Camera WiFi Window" action turns the GoPro camera's WiFi on to allow for accessing the camera via the GoPro App. The GoPro must first be paired with your device using the GoPro App before scheduling this action.
Various options available for downloading footage from the GoPro during a time lapse when using our UpBlink time lapse controller are outlined on the following page: https://cam-do.com/pages/how-to-download-your-gopro-time-lapse-footage-with-blinkx
For image upload capability, you must have a 2.4GHz WiFi router/hotspot signal within the range of UpBlink to provide the internet connection. When an upload schedule is active, UpBlink’s USB-A port will supply power to the connected accessory allowing this port to manage power for a "MiFi USB hotspot router". See below for hotspot options.
All images captured by the GoPro will be saved to the SD card with the resolution set from GoPro camera menu. However, UpBlink provides the option to upload either the full sized image on the SD card or a smaller compressed image to reduce the upload file size.
The upload mode menu provides the option to either upload all images that have been captured after a specific date, or upload only the latest image that was captured before the upload schedule was triggered. The Maximum Upload Timeout period is used to ensure the uploading of footage is stopped after a set amount of time has elapsed. The upload timeout can be set for durations as short as two minutes for uploading images between capture intervals. The minimum upload timeout period that is required to complete the upload of all footage will be dependant on the number of photos and router's internet speed.
When the Upload Schedule is triggered, UpBlink will download photos from the camera's SD card before uploading the footage to the CloudX server. UpBlink will always attempt to download and upload at least one image per Upload Schedule trigger regardless of the timeout period set. If images have been referenced for upload but have not yet been uploaded to CloudX, the number of backlogged photos will be displayed in the UI. When photos have completed the CloudX upload, the backlogged photos will be removed from UpBlink's memory. Clicking the DELETE BACKLOG button will remove all backlogged footage from UpBlink as well as clear the reference to the latest indexed file. If using the Upload All Photos mode, ensure to adjust the cut-off date to avoid re-uploading the same footage.
To upload your images using a 3G/4G hotspot, just plug a suitable hotspot/MiFi into UpBlink's USB-A port. UpBlink controls power to the hotspot via the USB-A port incorporated, therefore only turning on the hotspot when upload is scheduled to conserve power. We have some suggested hotspots listed here but generally any 3G or 4G USB stick hotspot that creates a wifi network or identifies as a USB-Ethernet device will work.
From UpBlink firmware version v2.0.1, we recommend the following cost effective modems. IF THE MODEM HAS NOT BEEN PURCHASED FROM YOUR LOCAL TELCO PLEASE MAKE SURE THE APN SETTINGS ARE CORRECTLY SETUP FOR YOUR TELCO's NETWORK. YOU WILL NEED A COMPUTER AND WEB BROWSER TO DO THIS. YOUR TELCO WILL NEED TO PROVIDE THE CORRECT SETTINGS.
The following specific modem models work for carriers in the US.
Any USB powered hotspot that plugs into a USB-A port for power (with no internal battery) and creates a local WiFi network or identifies as a USB-Ethernet device should be suitable, however there are some hotspots that are very power hungry and will not work such as the 'Jetpack' series of modems. UpBlink connects via WiFi/Ethernet to the hotspot to then upload footage. There are many hotspots available in different parts of the world and there are different models being released all the time. We would love to hear which USB modems you have used successfully. USB modems with an internal battery that can be removed may be suitable, but you will have to test if the hotspot automatically turns on, when powered via the modems's USB charging port. This is because UpBlink turns power off to the hotspot between upload intervals to save power, so the modem's battery would not consistently recharge and may become depleted.
The following modems ARE NOT SUITABLE:
Each UpBlink includes a 2 week free trial period to the CloudX upload service and remains unregistered until the first connection to our CloudX server. Upon the first successful connection to the CloudX server, the UpBlink will become registered to the CloudX account for the email address used in the programming interface. Once UpBlink is registered to your CloudX account and has begun the free trial period, you will then be able to login to your CloudX account at
cloudx.cam-do.com to assign any additional subscriptions and manage device settings. Additional subscriptions will be assigned a start date to begin on the day the currently active subscription is set to expire. If the email address used is not yet registered in CloudX, you will be sent a CloudX account activation email within a few minutes.
Additional CloudX subscriptions can be purchased from the CamDo website
www.cam-do.com by using the same order purchasing email address that is programmed into UpBlink for contacting CloudX. A CloudX subscription period does not activate until it has been manually assigned to a spesific device registered to your CloudX account.
See our CloudX User Manual for additional information about the upload service: https://cam-do.com/pages/cloudx-manual
Occasionally CamDo will release firmware updates for UpBlink to improve performance as well as unlock additional features. Follow this procedure to ensure UpBlink is updated properly. The currently installed UpBlink firmware version is displayed in the top of the programming User Interface. To ensure you have the most up-to-date firmware, click here.
http://10.0.0.5:5000to verify the update.
Note: The USB flash drive must be using the FAT32 file format to be able to perform the UpBlink firmware update and Blink does not support partitioned drives or other formats. The FAT32 file saving format is the default format for PC and used with most USB flash drives under 32GB. Large capacity flash drives might be using the exFAT format which is not compatible with UpBlink. If you are using a MAC, the following link explains how to format a USB flash drive to FAT32.
If the red LED continues to occur during the firmware update process, please contact CamDo customer support.
Additional UpBlink Troubleshooting information can be found here.
What happens if there is a conflict between schedules?
If overlapping schedules have been programmed and there is a conflict between a start time for any action, the priority is given to the lower numbered schedule. For example, schedule 1 has priority over schedule 2.
If a schedule is due to be triggered while another schedule is currently performing a task (recording/uploading) the new schedule's trigger will be skipped.
What is the UpBlink Event Log?
When UpBlink encounters a problem, an entry is saved into the Event Log. You can access the UpBlink's Event Log page when connected to UpBlink's WiFi and using your web browser to navigate to the URL:
http://10.0.0.5:5000/log.html or by clicking the Logs Page link at the bottom of the standard UpBlink programming interface.