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PixController Board Time-Lapse Modules (PIC Chips)
Time-Lapse PIC chips are available for PixContorller Universal board only.

Photo courtesy of: Ted Kinsman
Kinsman Physics

Time-Lapse PIC Chip Modules

Simply plug your "Time-Lapse" PIC chip into your PixContorller Universal control board and you now have a time-lapse system. Note: the PIR motion sensing circuit will be ignored in time-lapse mode.

Please read: How to remove/replace a PIC chip.

Photo courtesy of: Ted Kinsman
Kinsman Physics

Your current PixController board can now be converted into a time-lapse photograph system with our new time-lapse PIC chips. You must have or purchase a current PixController board in order to do time-lapse photography.  Time-lapse photography is where a camera in a fixed position automatically records a sequence or series of photos with a set time interval between each image. Individual images may then be analyzed or all of the images can be combined to produce a movie that shows the action faster (or slower) than in real life. A series of digital images can quickly and easily be assembled and may be saved into a variety of movie formats.  Using our LANC PixController Time-Lapse chip your movie will be produced during the time-lapse photography process.

PIC Chip Module Information (PixController Universal Board only)

Time-Lapse DIP Switch Settings (RSS/RSP Type Controller)
Supports: RSS, RSP, RSP3i, RSP4i, Minolta, Sony DSC-PXX, and Sony U-30 digital camera controllers.

                       RSS-UT                   Minolta-UT
                       RSP-UT                   Sony DSC-PXX-UT
                       RSP3i-UT                Sony U-30-UT
                       RSP4i-UT                Digital Concepts 2.1
                       S40/S600-UT           Sony DSC-S40 and S600
Time-Lapse DIP Switch Settings (ACC-Terminal and RS-232)
Supports: Sony ACC-Terminal, and RS-232 digital camera controllers.

                      ACC-UT                     RS-232-UT

Time-Lapse DIP Switch Settings (LANC camcorder version, LANC VTR version)
Supports: Canon/Sony camcorders with LANC ports, and Sony VRT's with LANC ports.

                      LANC-UT                   LANC-VTR-UT


PixController Universal Time-Lapse Chip:

Select the PIC chip from the drop down menu

Price $5.00 each



Applications is time-lapse photography include:

  • Blooming flowers and plant growth

  • Sunset and sunrises

  • Clouds and weather patterns

  • City streets

  • Food plot/field moderating for whitetail deer

  • Wildlife den/burrow monitoring

  • Erosion of soil in stream flow experiments

  • Fungi or fruiting bodies growth and decay

  • Construction sites

Quick Start Time-Lapse Tutorial
by: Bill Powers

We created a time-lapse movie of a Monarch caterpillar to butterfly over the period of a few weeks in our house this past summer. This was a great project for the kids to watch and the results were fantastic as you can see below in the movie. This was a rather simple process to do at home.

We started out by photographing the caterpillars in stages. The photos were taken on 10-second intervals keeping the camera powered up all the time. The setup was a Sony DSC-S75 digital camera controlled via the ACC port (see photos to the right). Each session took about 2-hours total, but I did remove some of the beginning frames so the video posted wasn't too long. The frames are played back at 0.125 seconds in a WMV movie format created using Movie Maker, which comes free with XP. I had to create the movie in chunks since Movie Maker couldn't handle processing all of the JPEG still photos at one time.

Lastly we photographed the Monarch Caterpillar forming a Chrysalis. The caterpillar will attach itself to a branch and the process to form the Chrysalis takes about 12 hours. You have to keep watching the caterpillar to see it start turning darker and start the time-lapse going. You don't have long to catch the whole process.

Click here to watch the time-lapse movie



PixController Universal Board
with Sony ACC-UT Time-Lapse
PIC chip in a plastic box

Sony DSC-S70 Digital Camera
with ACC-Terminal Port
purchased from eBay

Complete system with portable
light box system purchased
from Ritz Camera


User Examples

by Dan Foster:

My wife's orchid is blooming this week, so we decided to test out the time-lapse chip for my PixController Sony P-32 setup.

The camera was positioned about 8 inches from the flower, with a black plastic tray as a backdrop. The lighting varies throughout the day, and the flash and focusing light was used at night. One photo was taken every hour.

I combined the images from the camera using Pinnacle Studio (video editing software) and added a few dissolves to smooth out the transitions from natural light to flash.

For future attempts, I'll try a single flower (the camera wanted to focus on the middle of the stem, not the opening flower) and use a matte background to kill reflections. Or maybe I'll put the orchid in the backyard and make a time-lapse movie of the deer devouring it!

Click here to play: Orchid.wmv

PixController Universal Board Manuals
   PixController Universal

Time-Lapse Camera Setup Tips

Keep the environment consistent - this includes temperature, humidity and lighting

Plan to avoid or prevent vibration or wind. Set up the equipment out of any wind or drafts (e.g. from weather outdoors, from nearby windows or air conditioning indoors). It should be in a rigid location free from vibration (e.g. due to machines, traffic, student activities)

Be careful to maintain humidity where it affects the subject (e.g. young plants) without affecting the camera equipment

Protect the equipment from theft, rain, lightning, snail slime, animal licks, etc.

Keep the lighting uniform and consistent - can use flash or lamps but do not generate too much heat or intensity with fixed lamps - consider fluorescent desk lamps, low power incandescent bulbs or maybe microscope lamps

If using a flash, consider a softer setting for any close-up work. Flash alone may not be suitable for flowers that change at night

Make sure that the digital camera is rigidly clamped on a suitable size tripod. In some circumstances it can be taped very securely in unusual positions with duct tape (but only via the legs of a miniature tripod or on parts of the camera that will not be affected by the sticky gum on the back of the tape)

In areas used by other people put up a sign explaining the equipments purpose. Ask people not to touch, bump, block the view, steal the camera, etc

Take care to compose the image so that all parts of the subject show clearly and there is no distracting background. Composition is critical if the images are going to be assembled into a movie. Clear images are essential if a movie is viewed at quarter screen size or a movie file is saved in a highly compressed format

Estimate a suitable time interval between each photo (e.g. use a trial run or observation of the rate of change). Calculate how many photos will be taken from start to finish. Check the capacity of the digital camera storage and then set a resolution that will allow up to 10% more photos than anticipated. (e.g. if it takes 3 hours for hibiscus flower to open and you have a 64 MB Compact Flash card which can fit 200 photos at 1024 pixels by 768 pixels then it is okay to choose a 1 minute time interval)

Set the time interval, flash setting, date and time imprint or any other necessary controls

Do not place the digital camera too close to the subject. Otherwise after expansion or change the subject may not still be completely in the field of view (e.g. as a flower bud opens it becomes much larger). It is possible to batch process all images later if necessary to crop to a closer view

Take a few test shots and review them in the LCD viewfinder. Make any necessary adjustments. Carry out final checks of the power, camera settings and subject composition

Start the sequence before any activity happens and leave the camera taking photos for a short while after the main event (this allows more scope for editing and assembling the sequence)

For action that takes place over a long time check the equipment and subject at regular intervals

When the action has clearly finished turn off the digital camera and transfer the images to a computer

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