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Allen Rowand

MixPre 6/LANC remote control project

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Like @INARI, I tried to use an Arduino as a keyboard emulator to control my MixPre 6- I want to build a remote that will start and stop the MP6 and my Blackmagic camera simultaneously.

 

Sound Devices is doing something funky with their USB keyboard protocol and nothing I tried would make the MP6 recognize the Arduino; SD's response was that they couldn't give me any info on the USB spec as it was "engineering data." And that's when I got medieval…

 

I found an old USB keyboard that worked with the MP6, then hacked it apart and traced the switch connections to find what contacts needed to close to get the proper keystrokes. I added a couple optoisolated relay boards and this happened:

 

I have a LANC controller that I pulled out of a cheap camera pistol grip; the plan is to build a record button with a DPST switch that will trigger the LANC board and the Arduino at the same time. When I built my camera tether I included an extra line for this, so the switch will live on the camera or tripod arm and the relay box will go in my bag.

 

I need to source a few more parts, then start physical design. More to come soon (hopefully)!

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SUCCESS! Sorry for the potato cam, just wanted to show it off quickly:

 

 

If I decide to use a fader pack once v3 is released I should be able to repurpose the relays to do contact closure on the transport buttons (assuming they're supported). Kind of a drag that none of the compatible fader packs have a footswitch input…

 

But for the moment I'm just happy I got this silly thing to work! The control "brain" has a built in LiPo battery and charger, next step is to give it a full charge and see how long the battery will go. It's 1200mAh, so it should be able to run the microcontroller all day. If not I can plug in an external USB battery (the charger will load balance the internal battery and external power while it charges). Woot!

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6 minutes ago, Mark LeBlanc said:

Very Nice!

 

Thanks! It's been a fun project. I made some changes today; I wanted to lay the controller down in the bag so it took up less space where I put my receivers, but that meant not being able to reach the power switch. Designed what's probably my most complex 3D printed item yet:

Screen Shot 2018-09-16 at 5.07.56 PM.png

 

And voilà:

IMG_20180916_170545.jpg

 

Remote power switch, with a three color LED for power, low battery, and charging. It hangs in the bag on a strip of one-wrap:IMG_20180916_173025.jpg

 

Next up is making a proper mount to hold the record button on my pan arm and shoulder rig.

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This will probably be the last update for a while, because at this point I think it's done. I designed and built mounts for the record button. The mount is designed for the record button to slide in and be held by friction. One for the tripod head:

IMG_20180917_171827.jpg

 

And one for my shoulder rig:

IMG_20180918_073552.jpg

 

IMG_20180918_073604.jpg

 

If I'm handheld running audio into the camera I can still use the remote to start and stop the camera without the MixPre. If I'm shooting handheld and carrying my bag then I can start and stop the camera and MixPre with one touch, and without having to move my hand from the shoulder rig grip.

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