BlinkX User Manual

CamDo BlinkX User Manual Index

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

1. Introduction

This manual describes how to get started with your CamDo BlinkX Time Lapse Controller for your GoPro HERO5 Black or Session camera. BlinkX 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.

2. What’s included

A. CamDo BlinkX
B. USB OTG Cable (for future updates)
C. CamDo Custom USB C cable

3. BlinkX Overview

1. Micro USB: You can power BlinkX through the micro USB port. See Section 5. Powering BlinkX for available power configurations. This port is also used for firmware updates (See section Updating BlinkX).
2. USB C: This port is used to interface with the HERO5 cameras. Connect your CamDo USB C cable from here to the USB C port on the camera. The orientation does not matter since the cable is reversible. Do not connect any other USB C cable to this port as it may damage BlinkX or the camera!
3. 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.
4. Port 1: This port accepts the Wired Remote or other custom trigger. The Wired Remote is used to turn BinkX's WiFi On/Off, as well as provide LED feedback during operation.
5. Port 2: This port is used for Motion Detector Schedules and can be used with our X-Band Motion Detector accessory, or another 5V trigger signal such as a PIR sensor. (See section Motion Detection for more information). Do not connect anything other than the motion detector cable into this input!
6. Port 3: This port is unused at this time, however future updates may utilize this port.
7. WiFi Button: This button is used to turn BinkX's WiFi On/Off

4. LED Status Indicator

BlinkX 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.

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

5. Powering BlinkX

BlinkX can be powered by plugging a micro USB cable into it. BlinkX will then manage power to the GoPro camera. For long term installations, we recommend removing the internal battery of the camera (HERO5 Black only) to ensure any camera malfunctions can be remedied by BlinkX.

6. Connecting to WiFi

BlinkX is programmed entirely through a WiFi interface. In order to connect to BlinkX's WiFi signal, follow these steps:

  1. Plug a micro USB power source into BlinkX.
  2. Hold the WiFi button down for 3 seconds. The LED will flash cyan three times to indicate WiFi has been turned on. The LED will continue to flash blue every 5 seconds while WiFi is active.
  3. With a smartphone or laptop connect to the WiFi network labeled BlinkX_XXXXXX, where XXXXXX corresponds to the MAC address of BlinkX. Use password “1234567890”.
  4. Now navigate to “http://192.168.1.1 with 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 BlinkX. Since connecting to BlinkX'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 BlinkX.

6.1 Controlling WiFi

BlinkX flashes the LED blue once every 5 seconds to indicate that WiFi is on and can be connected to. Once BlinkX is setup, WiFi can be turned off to conserve power. This is done by holding the WiFi button down for 3 seconds. The LED will flash cyan twice to indicate WiFi turned off and will no longer flash blue every 5 seconds. Pressing the WiFi button down for another 3 seconds will flash the LED cyan three times and turn WiFi back on.

NOTE: After 5 minutes of inactivity, WiFi automatically turns off to conserve power.

6.2 Creating an iPhone shortcut

  1. After you have connected to BlinkX 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 BlinkX 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 BlinkX web based User Interface (UI).

A. System Status: Displays various information about BlinkX and the camera such as firmware version, battery life, SD capacity, time, and upcoming events.

B. Sync Time: Clicking the Sync Time button will push the local device time to the BlinkX making it very easy to keep the system time up to date.

C. 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 BlinkX.

D. Email Notifications: The email notification settings are stored here. For more information see section 9. Email Notifications.

E. Save All/Clear All: Clicking Save All will store the settings for all 9 schedules as well as the email notification settings. Important: Be sure to click this if any changes are made to the schedules. Clicking Clear All will reset all settings to their default state.

F. Schedule 1-9: These are the 9 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 Date Window, Day Selector, Time WindowMode, and Action. Setting these 5 elements will fully define what the camera will do and when it will do it.

 

8. Setting up a Schedule 

  1. Turn on the camera and adjust the beep, LED, and AutoOff settings to avoid having to touch the camera once setup. If using the HERO5 Black, set the AutoOff to 5 minutes and turn off the touch display to conserve power. (These settings cannot be adjusted for the HERO5 Session).
  2. Remove BlinkX from its packaging and connect to a micro USB power source.
  3. Turn on BlinkX's WiFi by holding down the WiFi button for 3 seconds. The LED will flash cyan three times to indicate WiFi has been turned on. The LED will continue to flash blue every 5 seconds while BlinkX's WiFi is active.
  4. With a smartphone, laptop, or other wireless device, connect to the wireless network “BlinkX_XXXX”, where XXXX is the MAC address of BlinkX. Unless you have multiple BlinkX’s you will only see one wireless network to connect to. The default 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 Time 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 5 minutes, Monday through Friday, 8am till 5pm. To create the schedule, complete the following:
    1. Set the Start Date and End Date of your schedule.
    2. 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.
    3. Set the Start Time and End Time.
    4. Select “Intervalometer” under “Select a mode”.
    5. Set to your desired interval (5 mins in this example).
    6. “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

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

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:

*NOTE: Email notifications require 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 BlinkX 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. Motion Detection

BlinkX 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.

10.1 Functionality

When motion detection is enabled (See 8 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.

10.2 X-Band Orientation

Connect the 3.5mm audio connector to port 2 of BlinkX. 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.

10.3 X-Band Sensitivity

The X-Band sensor comes with a sensitivity adjustment dial. On first run, ensure that the dial is turned all the way to the right. BlinkX 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.

10.4 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.

10.5 PIR/External Mode (Advanced Users)

BlinkX is also compatible with PIR sensors and external interfacing. This means that a schedule can be programmed to accept an external input to trigger an action. Unlike the X-Band which requires a set amount of pulses within a certain timeframe, PIR/External mode only requires a pulse for more than 250ms. See this blog post for more details.

11. Updating BlinkX

Occasionally CamDo will release updates for BlinkX to improve performance as well as unlock additional features. Follow this procedure to ensure BlinkX 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 the FAT32 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 BlinkX. BlinkX 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. BlinkX 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 and check the firmware version in the system status box.

Note: The USB flash drive must be using the FAT32 file format to be able to perform the BlinkX 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 BlinkX. If you are using a MAC, the following link explains how to format a USB flash drive to FAT32.

12. Specifications

Table 1: BlinkX Power Consumption (v1.00)

 BlinkX Mode Power Consumption (W)
WiFi On .52
WiFi Off .0025
Motion Detector Active (WiFi Off) .12

13. Troubleshooting 

Additional BlinkX 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.


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