Trigger Your Camera Using Automatic Air Freshener Parts

Per an earlier post, Glade was nice enough to provide a very hackable set of components in their “automatic spray” air freshener.  Once I had the components in hand, an obvious use was for a remote camera trigger.  After some work in the shop, here are the results:

What you see in the above video is an early feasibility test (there’s a better video later), but I eventually got everything mounted securely and put it on a tripod.

wood assembly for air freshener camera trigger

wood assembly for air freshener camera trigger. Note the hole on left for securing camera and 1/4 - 20 tapped hole on the right for use with a tripod.

Once I had the components from the air freshener free, setting it up as a remote trigger was surprisingly easy.  Taking a piece of 1/2″ and a piece of 3/4″ plywood that I had around from some other projects, I cut the 3/4 inch plywood to a 2 1/8″ x 3 3/4″ rectangle and the 1/2 inch plywood to  a 3 1/2″ x 3 3/4″ rectangle.  I put the 3/4″ plywood on the bottom and nailed the 1/2 inch plywood to the back of it as shown to the right.

motor attachment

Air freshener motor attachment

Towards the top of the 1/2 inch plywood, I attached a small wood screw through one of the holes originally meant to attach to the air freshener.  There is a post on the bottom of the motor housing that will help in aligning the motor at an angle as shown to the right.  It should also help keep it in place.  When it pushes the camera’s button, the post will push down on it in the opposite direction.  Once everything is tightened down, it shouldn’t move much anyway.

assembled Glade front view assembled

Assembled air freshener camera trigger.

Align your camera so the “finger” coming out of it depress the camera’s trigger button.  Depending on your camera, this may take some modification of how high this strip is and the position of the motor.  I used a compact Casio Exilim.  Once you have everything aligned, you can test the camera out.  If everything works, drill a hole and use a 1/4 – 20 screw to secure the camera to the base.  After this, you can drill and tap a hole in the base for a 1/4 – 20 screw to attach the assembly to a tripod.

The following is a video of the “completed” project.  The whole thing is definitely a prototype, but for something hacked together I’ll call it complete for now.  You can buy one of these air fresheners from Amazon.comif you want, or they also have them available at Walmart.

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Update 2/28/2010:

As many people have mentioned, this could be a lot better if you used some sort of remote control with it.  Here it is, a remote control version of this camera-triggering device.  Or just make a remote control robot out of it like this one!
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