Time Lapse Intervalometer

180102

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Product Code: TL-004N (Naked)
TL-004A (Acrylic)

The CamDo Time Lapse Intervalometer for GoPro cameras is a programmable intervalometer designed for taking long time lapse sequences. The Intervalometer allows the camera to be turned off between triggers to conserve power.


  • We now have limited stock of the Naked Time Lapse Intervalometer (TL-004N) which is suitable for older GoPro cameras. If you are using a HERO3+ or HERO4 cameras, we suggest purchasing the all-new Blink, which has the same features but has more programming flexibility and is configurable using a simple Web Interface and more!

    The Intervalometer is a small high quality circuit board that plugs into the HERO Port on the back of the GoPro camera. The Intervalometer is small enough to fit inside the GoPro HERO3 Frame Mount or the extended back doors provided with the GoPro accessories such as the GoPro LCD BacPac or the GoPro Battery BacPac.

    In the time lapse operating mode, the Intervalometer can be programmed to turn the camera on at a regularly spaced interval so that the GoPro can capture an image or video before turning the camera off to maximize the battery life. In most cases, the camera will take about 700 images on a single battery charge (2,000 on the HERO2). These images can be spread over hours, days or even weeks without recharging the battery.

    The Intervalometer has multiple operating settings and input/output pins that allow for the board to be applicable to various custom solutions. Read more about the Intervalometer's other features for advanced applications here.

    Note that the Intervalometer is only capable of turning on the HERO3 Black and newer GoPro cameras but not off. Functionality on these cameras is achieved through the use of our scripts saved to the SD card. The scripts are normally used to take a picture or record for a set amount of time before turning the camera off so that it can be re-triggered by the controller. (Blink can control the power, mode, and shutter functions of the HERO3+ and HERO4 cameras without scripts)


    settings_applicationsProgramming Flexibility

    • Programmable delayed start
    • Automatic Start mode turns on the camera a few seconds after remote power up (all compatible cameras except the HERO4)
    • Repeat cycle or continuous operation once started
    • Programmable repeat cycle from 35 seconds to one week or more
    • Programmable Input/Output pins (See Advanced Application Notes)

    battery_stdNo Additional Battery Required

    • The Intervalometer uses the camera’s battery. In standby it uses very little power (similar to a watch) and does not reduce the battery life.

    crop_freeSmall Form Factor

    • While typically used with our Outdoor Enclosures to also house extra battery packs, it will also fit inside the extended backdoors included in the GoPro Back Door Kit that are designed to fit GoPro BacPac accessories.

  • Compatible with the GoPro camera with a HERO Port connector on the back of the camera (with the exception of the HERO3 Silver).

    Camera

    Compatibility ( Y / N )

    HERO5

    HERO5 Session

    HERO4 Black

    ✔*

    HERO4 Silver

    ✔*

    HERO4 Session

    HERO (2014)

    HERO3+ Black

    HERO3+ Silver

    HERO3 Black

    HERO3 Silver

    HERO3 White

    HERO2

    HERO

    * HERO4 compatibility can only be achieved through a custom firmware modification to the camera. The firmware modification is explained in detail here.


    With the current GoPro firmware, the Intervalometer can turn the HERO3 Black, HERO3+, and HERO4 cameras on, but it cannot turn them off. The camera must be programmed to turn off after taking a photo or shooting a video of the desired length using scripts which are installed on the SD card. This allows for considerable flexibility in deciding what the camera will do when triggered by the Intervalometer. Sample HERO3+ and HERO3 Black scripts can be seen here. HERO4 scripts are structured differently, and their feature set can be seen here.


    Scripts are not required for HERO2 or HERO3 White cameras.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    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 (acquiring shots for daytime only can be done using our Blink Controller or by removing nighttime shots during post-production). Our Time Lapse Calculator can be used to estimate the SD card and power requirements based on your setup.

    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 two cameras to get different angles and to provide backup if something happens to one camera.


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

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


    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 Intervalometer board fit inside the waterproof case?

    The Intervalometer does not fit in the housing shipped with the camera. It fits in the extended backdoors provided with the GoPro accessories such as the GoPro LCD Bacpac or the GoPro Battery BacPac.

    The TL Controller fits in the GoPro HERO3 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 CamDo 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 O-ring which fits nicely.


    Do you have a weather resistant enclosure to also house battery packs?

    CamDo offers an Outdoor Weather Resistant Enclosure designed to house the HERO3, HERO3+ or HERO4 cameras with the Time Lapse Intervalometer or other CamDo controllers along with space for a high capacity battery packs.


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

    The cameras can be powered by external batteries charged from a solar panel or another suitable power source.

    The CamDo Solar System includes a solar panel, high powered lithium battery, and a weather resistant enclosure. Our Time Lapse Calculator can be used to determine if a 6Watt or 9Watt solar panel would theoretically be able to keep your system running continuously throughout your project.


    Does the Intervalometer work with your Battery Eliminators?

    The Intervalometer utilizes the HERO Port on the back of the camera so it cannot be used at the same time as the HERO Port Battery Eliminator.

    When using the Intervalometer with HERO3 or HERO3+ camera, we strongly recommend using an H3 Battery Eliminator. There is a slot in the back of the Acrylic Intervalometer for the H3 Battery Eliminator cable to pass through.

    Using the Battery Eliminator reduces heat from the camera battery and charging circuit. A Battery Eliminator also bypasses the problems that some users have had with the GoPro charging logic when charging from the camera’s USB port causing the camera to freeze and require a hard reset.


    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 Intervalometer Naked PC board to trigger the camera. The interface is documented in the CamDo Intervalometer 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 Intervalometer 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 optically 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 Launchpad ($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!


    What do our customers use our Intervalometer for?

    It delights us to hear from happy customers who have used the Intervalometer to take photos and videos in interesting ways. We have been even more delighted to see customers returning to order multiple units 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 CamDo Time Lapse Intervalometers were mounted in NASA Mission Control to document the landing of Curiosity on Mars
      • The Solar Impulse had four of our Intervalometers 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 reconstruction 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 Lapse Intervalometer 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 Intervalometers 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 Intervalometer for!

    Canterbury Earthquake Recovery (Lance Hastie)

    Antares ORB-2 Launch from NASA Wallops Flight Facility

  • Setting Up Your Time Lapse Intervalometer



    General support can be found on our Support pages here.

    Average GoPro recording times in each video setting

    Also read the FAQ's tab for more information.


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