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11.13.2008

My Homemade Canon Rebel XTi Release w/ Detachable Cable


I've been scouring Google and Flickr for a while reading up on DIY cable releases for Canon cameras. After much reading I came up with plans to build my own cable release for my Digital Rebel XTi.

I saw a few problems with the designs people were making online. Mainly that they used short fixed length cables. Store bought releases only have 2-3 foot of cable, and most DIY projects were also using a fixed length. I wanted to build my release to have interchangable cables. I wanted to have the option of a very long cable, just in case.

I got the following parts from Radio Shack:
2 momentary pushbutton switches.
1 push-on / push-off switch
1 3.5mm panel mount stereo jack (TRS)
1 small project enclosure
1 3.5mm to 2.5mm stereo adapter.

I installed the switches into the housing. The two on the side are autofocus and shutter control. The one on top is a click-on/click-off button for burst mode or bulb settings.
You need to wire the buttons up to the stero mini jack this way:
  • Tip - Shutter buttons (each needs it's own connection, don't wire in series)
  • Ring - Autofocus button
  • Sleeve - Ground / Common, all the buttons need connected to this.



I had a technician at work solder this up for me because he has steadier hands than I.
Pretty much anyone with a steady hand and a soldering iron should be able to do this.

Now I can plug any stereo 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone cable into the remote and then into the adapter and connect up to the camera. This lets me switch between a 10' and 3' cable length easily. This also means replacement cables are cheap if one fails or gets torn up. I also made sure to pick buttons that are large enough that I can operate them with gloves on in cold weather.

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