Camera Triggering

I’ve been able to trigger my sony camera with a Skysight Mono using PWM signals from a Raspberry Pi. I would like to do the same thing with the Reach, but I’m not sure if it’s possible. I found some modules that would fit on the Edison, but because the Reach is in the way, I’d need to do it with the output options already there. On the RPi there was an option to use Software controlled PWM. Does anyone know if this has been done with the Edison/Reach?

Also, I was hoping someone could point me towards some information about using the GPS timestamp pin to timestamp the photo’s gps position. Sorry! I know this is planned, but at least an idea of what hardware it would take would be helpful. Right now I have a Sony A5100, with no hotshoe, so I think I’d have to get a different camera to use this.

Another option I have is to use the RPi and connect it with the Edison to get the GPS info. What would be the best way to do this? I’m not too familiar with the RPi, so any pointers would be helpful.

If you look at the To Do list here, it is there on the list of things to do… I’m not sure when it will be complete though.

Yes, I don’t expect Emlid is going to get to it for awhile, that’s why I was hoping someone here would have some experience doing this with Edison’s already.

Reach has PWM available on its header, it is PWM3 (GPIO183) on Intel Edison. You do not need any extensions to make it work.

We are actually coding the timestamping workflow right now, but it is going to take some more time. Initially Reach will be able to store timestamps in Rinex and postprocessing will have to be performed with other software (not RTKLIB), after that we will introduce timestamp interpolation to RTKLIB. There is a lot of development going on around Reach here and making precision mapping easy is our main goal.

On the hardware side of things you will simply need to push one pin to the ground to make a timestamp. It will depend on the camera how exactly that could be perform. I wish that we could hack QX1 flash to get sync signals…


How does this camera compare to the nex-5 is it similar body what gimbal do you use ? I am very interested in this line of cameras from sony i currently just use a gopro.

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I am more used to mapping with Nex5, but QX1 seems very interesting because of the better shape. Gopro is good for beginning, but not suited for professional mapping work.


Use the QX1 exclusively, 20MP, killer form factor, 264g with 16mm lens and battery, using flytron trigger connected to Pixhawk/Navio+/2.

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thanks tim. I want a camera to replace my gopro but i need to for video footage and not mapping as other use it. I love the idea of being able to change lenses. Hows the QX1 video quality ?

It’s 1080p I believe. Check out for more detail.

Here is a comparison between QX1 and NEX7.

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Thank you @igor.vereninov, I don’t know how I missed that! I’ll try to get it working and put the results up here.

@lockheedtristar, you should consider the Sony A6300. I think it’s one of the best entry level cameras you will soon be able to get. 4k video, 24Mp images, wifi, interchangeable lenses, decent image stabilization, and usb interface will let you do almost anything. You have a hotshoe adapter for integration with an autopilot with Pixhawk or Navio or Reach (soon). I’ve liked Sony cameras quite a bit and have been happy with the quality of the A5100, and have just been disappointed in the lack of a hotshoe.

The QX1 would be the better choice if you are limited by weight or price.


We also use the QX1 and absolutely love it, it is in completely different league from our previous Canon S110. What is very nice that we could mount it “camera top facing forward”, which considerably reduced our flight time.

Have you looked at disassembling the flash and capture the “raw” pulse sent to the flash itself?

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@vbnhu, Yes, we had a broken A5100 that I disassembled and used it to test this. But the Voltage off the flash is extreme. I looked around but I’m not sure what to call something that would translate that high voltage to a 3.3v or 5v signal that a Reach or RPi would understand.

There are two tiny wires other than the ones connected to the bulb, but it is very compact and I don’t think I could solder to them. I couldn’t get the voltmeter on them to figure out what the signal is. I’m not sure a voltmeter would be enough to figure out the signal so the computer could recognize it anyway.


Sony/3DR announce new Enterprise camera for Solo

Hi Igor,

I am in searching of a centimeter grade recording of camera triggers for Sony NEX7. Can You propose to me something? I want to use Reach RTK to record exif datas the triggering of my Sony Nex7? What I have to buy for doing this? Hotshoe cable or disassemble, software…

Many thanks!



You will need a hotshoe cable connected to Reach. After the flight logs are processed as shown here:

You will need to use geotagging software to embed processed coordinates in EXIF.

Thnx Igor,

Maybe this?

how do you stop the QX1 from automatically going into portrait mode when the lens is facing down? If I don’t have a phone attached it keeps going from landscape to portrait? All the best


Yes, looks good.

Change exifs on a desktop after. It’s quick and easy to do with exiftool

That is actually not a major problem, pix4d and other software can align the pictures correctly (even when you start the process with portrait and landscape pictures mixed). Since the built in IMU is not providing very accurate orientation the photogrammetry software has to do the pose estimation anyhow.