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Photographing Flying Insects first version (2005). Part 1

Photographing Flying Insects first version (2005). Part 1

The design begins with construction of a laser module. It is set up to contain 8 laser pointers, plus an additional IR (infrared) laser. This allows for sufficient expansion for other uses, including general high speed photography. A detector is provided for each laser. By pulsing the lasers, it is possible to connect multiple lasers to a single detector. That permits the use of fewer detectors and wires. Each laser can be turned on and off separately. LEDs show the state of each detector. One camera output is set up to handle the metering and the shutter. There are 8 ouputs from which 4 fets 400V/12A, and 4 transistors 50V 800mA. These are sufficient to handle all existing flashes, as well as halogen bulbs of 12V/100W. There are two flash inputs, enabling other flashes to fire along with the camera. A counter may also be added to keep track of the number of photos or, if need be, to limit in time. There is a microphone input for sound applications, and a 20mA current loop. A built-in beeper sounds when something has been detected. This is especially handy in the field for adjusting the lasers. Everything is built into a box that is 200mm x 250mm x 60mm. It is powered by a 6x AA batterys. Battery usage of 170mA is enough for 30 hours of shooting. Here is a photo of the inside of the unit, showing the intelligence module with its Altera chip, surrounded by the various interface drivers.

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