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A BB being fired out of an air gun. The flash was triggered as the BB broke the laser circuit

A BB being fired out of an air gun. The flash was triggered as the BB broke the laser circuit

Getting the perfect shot can be difficult, especially when the subject or object is moving at a high rate of speed. Specialized equipment is often used, such as high-speed cameras and remote digital triggers to capture images at just the right moment, which carries a hefty price tag.

Matt Kane of Vela Labs has designed a high-speed trigger that’s both effective and will not break the bank. In fact, the trigger costs just under $2 to make provided you already have all the other materials. Matt’s trigger setup consists of a visible (as opposed to IR) laser, reflective mirror and sensor board to capture high-speed objects. The sensor board is outfitted with a phototransistor, 3.5mm jack for a Triggertrap flash adapter connection, an octocoupler and a couple of resistors soldered to an Adafruit Permaproto board.

The schematic.. So simple!

The schematic.. So simple!

The cost for the trigger materials costs just over $1.44 minus the Adafruit board (which is more expensive than a typical breadboard), laser and reflective mirror. The trigger itself allows cameras to grab objects moving at 400fps, albeit with a little motion blur but it is still impressive.

Cabe Atwell

The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew – If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire… the Cabe-team


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