Blink User Manual (including Motion Detection)

 

CamDo Blink User Manual Index

  1. Introduction
  2. What's Included
  3. Blink Overview
  4. LED Status Indicator
  5. Powering Blink
  6. Connecting to WiFi
  7. User Interface
  8. Setting a Schedule
  9. Email Notifications
  10. Scripting
  11. Motion Detection
  12. Updating Blink
  13. Specifications 
  14. Troubleshooting

1. Introduction

This manual describes how to get started with your CamDo Blink Time Lapse Controller for your GoPro HERO4 or HERO3+ Black/Silver camera. Blink is a low power, WiFi enabled GoPro time lapse and scheduler accessory that unlocks the full potential of the GoPro camera. Blink allows users to control when and how the camera will trigger based on a daily schedule, motion detection, or other custom made triggers. Configuration is handled through an easy-to-use web interface via a smartphone, tablet or laptop. Read our Quick Start Guide to get started and this more detailed User Manual for further details. You can also view helpful instructional videos in the “Support” section.

Note: Blink is powered from the GoPro battery and does not require a separate power source. Any external power supply should be attached to the GoPro camera to keep the GoPro battery charged.

2. What’s included

A. CamDo Blink
B. Wired Remote
C. USB OTG Cable (for future updates)
D. X-Band Motion Detector (optional purchase)

CamDo Solutions Blink Product Components

3. Blink Overview

CamDo Solutions Blink

A. USB: Blink can be powered from the GoPro camera's battery through the HERO Port and does not need to be powered separately. Blink's USB interface is used for firmware updates (See section Updating Blink for more information).
B. LED: This provides 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.
C. 3.5mm Accessory Input: The X-Band Motion Detector accessory plugs directly into this input. Support for other accessories such as a PIR sensor will be added in the future. (See section Motion Detection for more information). *Do not connect anything other than the motion detector cable into this input!*
D. 2.5mm Input: This input accepts the Wired Remote or other custom trigger. The Wired Remote is used to turn WiFi On/Off, as well as provide LED feedback during operation.

4. LED Status Indicator

Blink is equipped with an RGB LED which provides the user with a full range of feedback. Below is a list of each LED flash type and what they represent.

  • Blue flashes continuously every 5 seconds: Represents that WiFi is on and the user is able to connect to the Blink Wireless Access Point (AP). After 15 minutes, WiFi automatically turns off.
  • Cyan flashes twice: WiFi turned off.
  • Cyan flashes three times: WiFi turned on.
  • Red flashes once: Error writing schedules to internal storage. Remove power and try again. If red blinks continue to occur, please contact CamDo customer support.
  • Red flashes twice: WiFi error. Remove power and try again. If red blinks continue to occur, please contact CamDo customer support.

During the firmware update, the LED will follow the pattern below

  • Magenta flashes continuously every 0.25 seconds: Firmware from the USB flash drive is transferring to Blink storage.
  • Green flashes twice: Firmware successfully stored.
  • Magenta flashes continuously every 0.25 seconds: Firmware from internal Blink storage is installing.
  • Green flashes three times: Firmware successfully installed.
  • Red flash: Any number of red blinks indicates an error has occurred. Remove power and try again. If red blinks continue to occur during the firmware update process, please contact CamDo customer support.

5. Powering Blink

Blink will need to be powered differently depending on the model revision and camera you are using

5.1 Blink (Black Case)

If you have a Blink with a black case, you can chose the following power options:
  • Remove the internal GoPro battery and plug Blink into the camera. Then plug your USB power cable into Blink. Your power supply should be able to supply at least 2Amps at 5Volts when powering the camera in this method.
  • Keep the internal GoPro battery in the camera and plug Blink into the camera. Then plug your USB power cable into the Camera.

5.2 Blink (White Case)

If you have a Blink with a white case, you only have one option:
  • Keep the internal GoPro battery in the camera and plug Blink into the camera. Then plug your USB power cable into the Camera

5.3 HERO3+ Black Camera

If you are using a HERO3+ Black camera, you also only have one option for powering Blink:
  • Keep the internal GoPro battery in the camera and plug Blink into the camera. Then plug your USB power cable into the Camera

6. Connecting to WiFi

Blink is controlled entirely through a WiFi interface. In order to connect to Blink follow these steps:

  1. Plug Blink into a camera. Ensure the camera battery is fully 
  2. Turn on Blink's WiFi using the Wired Remote plugged into the Blink's 2.5mm port by holding down the button of the Wired Remote for 3 seconds. Blink's LED will flash cyan three times to indicate WiFi has been turned on. The LED will continue to flash blue every 5 seconds while Blink's WiFi is active.
  3. With a smartphone or laptop connect to the WiFi network labeled CamDoBlink_XXXXXX, where XXXXXX corresponds to the MAC address of Blink. Use password “1234567890”
  4. Now navigate to “http://192.168.1.1 with your web browser. 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 Blink. Since connecting to Blink's WiFi network does not provide external internet access, some devices will not stay connected. You might need to temporarily adjust the WiFi settings or remove any saved networks in the area for the period required to set up the new shooting schedule of Blink.

6.1 Controlling WiFi

Blink flashes the LED blue once every 5 seconds to indicate that WiFi is on and can be connected to. Once Blink is setup, WiFi can be turned off to conserve power. This is done by plugging in a Wired Remote and holding the button down for 3 seconds. The LED will flash cyan twice to indicate WiFi turned off. Pressing the Wired Remote button down for another 3 seconds will flash the LED cyan three times and turn WiFi back on.

NOTE: After 15 minutes, WiFi automatically turns off to conserve power.

6.2 Creating an iPhone shortcut

  1. After you have connected to Blink with your iPhone / iPad, navigate to http://192.168.1.1 in the Safari web browser.
  2. Click on the small box icon with an arrow pointing up. Then click on add to homescreen.

6.3 Creating an Android shortcut

  1. After you have connected to Blink with your Android phone, navigate to http://192.168.1.1 in the Chrome web browser.
  2. Click on the small triple dot icon in the top right corner. Then click on “Add to Home screen”.

7. User Interface

The following outlines the key features of the powerful Blink web based User Interface (UI).

A. Firmware Version: Displays the firmware version of Blink. CamDo support may ask for this information in the event of a support request.

B. Camera Status: Status information such as the camera type, battery level, and remaining SD space are displayed here. By default, these will show ‘-’ at startup until Blink establishes communication with the camera. Note that this information is only updated when the camera is turned on by either synchronizing the camera time (firmware v2.00 or later), a schedule or the Manual Test Controls.

C. Time and Schedule Status: Camera Time is the time Blink has established with the camera. Next Interval displays the time for the next upcoming schedule, where the schedule# to be activated is contained within the brackets (#). After the Next Interval displayed has passed, you will need to refresh the browser to display the current Next Interval scheduled.

D. Sync Camera Time: Clicking the Sync Camera Time button will push the local device time to the GoPro camera making it very easy to keep the GoPro time up to date. If Camera Time is ever different from the local time, click Sync Camera Time to update Blink and the GoPro camera with the devices local time.

E. Manual Test Controls: The Manual Test Controls drop down provides a way of manually controlling the camera. These controls are typically only needed to test that the camera is communicating with the Blink.

F. Save All/Clear All: Clicking Save All will store the settings for all 10 schedules to Blink. Important: Be sure to click this if any changes are made to the schedules. Clicking Clear All will reset all 10 schedules to their default settings.

G. Schedule 1-10: These are the 10 Schedules which 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 Time Window, Day Selector, Mode, and Action. Setting these 4 elements will fully define what the camera will do and when it will do it.

H. Enable: The Enable button toggles the schedule. Blue means the Schedule is active and will trigger the camera at the defined intervals. The drawer on each Schedule also turns blue as a quick way of determining which Schedules are active.

I. Time Window: Choose when the start and end times for when the Schedule is active.

J. Day Selector: Choose the days of the week for when the Schedule is active. Blue means the day is chosen.

K. Mode: A Schedule can be set to Intervalometer or Motion Detector. If set to Intervalometer mode, the user must input an interval for how often the Schedule will repeat within the time window. If set to Motion Detector mode, no interval is needed because the motion detector will determine when the schedule is triggered.

L. Action: A Schedule can have one of three actions, Photo, Multishot, or Video. If Video is selected, be sure to set the length in seconds or minutes. Be sure to set the particular camera settings (resolution, frame rate, etc) you require in each of the modes that you select as these settings will be used.

8. Setting up a Schedule 

  1. Turn on the camera and set the beep, LED, and AutoOff settings to avoid having to touch the camera once setup. We suggest an AutoOff of 1 minute in the event of an error to prevent the camera battery from draining. If using the HERO4 Silver, turn off the touch display from the GoPro settings menu to conserve power.
  2. Remove Blink from its packaging and connect to a GoPro HERO3+ or HERO4 camera. *Ensure the camera firmware is updated to v03.00 or higher*
  3. Wait 10 seconds. After this time, Blink will turn on the camera, read the camera’s time, and turn off. Don’t worry if the camera’s time is inaccurate, we’ll set it later.
  4. With a smartphone, laptop, or other wireless device, connect to the wireless network “CamDoBlink_XXXX”, where XXXX is the MAC address of Blink. Unless you have multiple Blink’s you will only see one Blink wireless network to connect to.The password is “1234567890”
  5. Open a web browser and navigate to “http://192.168.1.1” in 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.
  6. Click the “Sync” button to update the camera’s time with the local time on your browsing device.
  7. Modify a schedule to suit your capture requirements. In this example, we will create a schedule to take an image every 20 minutes, Monday through Friday, 10am till 4pm. To create the schedule, complete the following:
    1. Tap the days of the week to enable the schedule for that day. As can be seen in the image below, M, T, W, T, F are highlighted in blue indicating they are active.
    2. Set the Start Time and End Time
    3. Select “Intervalometer” under “Select a mode”
    4. Set to your desired interval (20 mins in this example)
    5. “Select an action” - in this case a Photo during the Day is selected.
  8. That’s it! Follow the same procedure to set additional Schedules as needed.
  9. Once the schedule has been modified, be sure to click the “Enable” button. A quick way to tell if a schedule is enabled is by the dark blue colour of the drop-down box. If multiple schedules have been set, and there is a conflict between them, priority is given to the lower numbered schedule. For example, schedule 1 has priority over schedule 2.
  10. Click “Save All”. The page will refresh and your modified schedule should be shown in the appropriate drop-down box. Clicking “Clear All” will reset all schedules to their default values and disable.

9. Email Notifications

Blink has the ability to setup a scheduled email notification every day*. In order to use this feature, Blink must be near an active WiFi network. This notification will send the following information:

  • SD space remaining (HERO4 Only)
  • GoPro Camera battery life (does not display external battery capacity)
  • # of photos and video taken since last email
  • # of motion detections triggered since last email

To enable this notification, click the checkbox to expand the settings. Input the WiFi settings as well as the email address you wish to receive notifications on. Adjust the time as desired, then click Save All.

A sample email notification is displayed below:

Blink Email is a feature added in the Blink firmware v2.00.00. If the "Enable Email Notifications" checkbox is not displayed in the Blink User Interface, make sure your Blink is running firmware version 2.00.00 or newer. The Blink firmware version can be seen in the top right corner of the Blink User Interface and the Blink firmware can be updated by following the process shown here.

*NOTE: Email notifications requires a subscription in order to be activated. CamDo offers a trial subscription of 1 month when you first configure the notification. To obtain the trial, just enter the information in the Blink UI as normal and the device will automatically be entered into our system. Once this trial has expired, you will need to purchase either a 3 month or lifetime subscription.

10. Scripting

Certain applications will require the use of scripting for the HERO3+ and HERO4 cameras*. If this is required, click the checkbox as shown in the image below. When scripting is enabled Blink will still turn the camera on based on the scheduled intervals or motion detections. However, Blink will ignore the Action that is selected in each schedule since that will be controlled by the script.

*Scripting is supported natively with HERO3+ cameras. Sample scripts can be found here. For HERO4 compatibility see our custom firmware patch here.

11. Motion Detection

Blink can be controlled with an X-Band motion detector to capture wildlife or act as a security camera. This X-Band sensor is purchased separately as an accessory.

11.1 Functionality

When motion detection is enabled (See 7 Setting up a Schedule for more info), the camera will turn on and process an action any time it registers motion. If the action is photo or multi-shot, the camera will just take a single image or burst images respectively. If the action is video, the camera will record when motion occurs and continue for programmed time once motion is no longer detected. If movement is detected before the recording time elapses, the recording interval will be reset to ensure you capture the entire motion event.

11.2 X-Band Orientation

Connect the 3.5mm audio connector to Blink. Then connect the 4 pin header as shown in the image below. The X-Band detects motion facing the opposite side of the sensitivity dial. Note also the mounting instructions below.

11.3 X-Band Sensitivity

The X-Band sensor comes with a sensitivity adjustment dial. On first run, ensure that the dial is tuned all the way to the right. Blink is optimized to detect motion with the sensitivity of the X-Band sensor at it’s highest. If you notice the sensitivity is too high, you can dial it back until you find the best setting for your project.

11.4 Fast Capture Mode (Beta)

This is a new beta feature in v1.02.00 of the Blink firmware and is enabled separately for each schedule by selecting Motion Detector mode and checking the box that appears below it. This feature keeps the camera on when the schedule is active and turns it off when the schedule has finished. This allows the camera to take images and record video instantly movement is detected since Blink doesn’t have to wait for the camera to turn on or off in between motion detections. Be wary of the added power consumption when using this mode!

11.5 Mounting the X-Band Sensor

The X-band sensor ships with a high quality 3M velcro strip on the detector side, which can be used to mount the sensor such as inside one of our weatherproof outdoor enclosures. Choose your mounting position, remove the protective covering and stick it down. Make sure it is oriented in the direction of detection as per the image above. The X-band works through our weatherproof enclosure with very little signal attenuation.

12. Updating Blink

Occasionally CamDo will release updates for Blink to improve performance as well as unlock additional features. Follow this procedure to ensure Blink is updated properly. To ensure you have the most up-to-date firmware, click here.

  1. Download the .bin update file and transfer it to a USB flash drive. The USB flash drive must be using a FAT file saving format (default format for PC).
  2. Connect the flash drive to one end of the USB OTG Cable and the other end to Blink. Blink should not be connected to the GoPro camera during the firmware update process.
  3. Finally connect the last end of the cable to a power source such as a mobile phone USB charger/USB battery pack/Laptop, etc.
  4. Blink will start the update immediately. During the firmware update, the LED will follow the pattern below.
    1. Magenta flash continuously every 0.25 seconds: Firmware from the USB flash drive is transferring to Blink storage.
    2. Green flash twice: Firmware successfully stored.
    3. Magenta flash continuously every 0.25 seconds: Firmware from internal Blink storage is installing.
    4. Green flash three times: Firmware successfully installed.
    5. Red flash: Any number of red flashes indicates an error has occurred. Remove power and try again. If red LED flashes continue to occur during the firmware update process, please contact CamDo customer support.
  5. To verify the update, turn WiFi on with the remote and check the top right corner of the UI.

Note: The USB flash drive must be using the FAT32 file format to be able to perform the Blink firmware update. The FAT32 file saving format is the default format for PC and used with most USB flash drives. Large capacity flash drives might be using the exFAT format which is not compatible. If you are using a MAC, the following link explains how to format a USB flash drive to FAT32.

13. Specifications

Table 1: Blink Power Consumption (v1.00)

 Blink Mode Power Consumption (W)
WiFi On .52
WiFi Off .02
Motion Detector Active (WiFi Off) .12

14. Troubleshooting 

Additional Blink Troubleshooting information can be found here.

What happens if there is a conflict between schedules?

If multiple schedules have been set and there is a conflict between them, priority is given to the lower numbered schedule. For example, schedule 1 has priority over schedule 2.