I started creating a controller using a single Arduino Nano on a breadboard. Although it was very basic it worked fairly well. It allowed me to control a solenoid valve and trigger the camera shutter. I also added basic camera control and a timelapse function (intervalometer). This part worked well. I could set the frequency and the number of shots and the Arduino did the rest.
Initially had the Arduino controlling the solenoid and then triggering the shutter after a delay. I later added an interrupter sensor and a laser beam sensor to detect the water drop and activated the shutter based on a delay after the sensor was tripped. As the controller developed more the breadboard became very messy and this started to annoy me.
I separated the functions in to two units; a drop controller and a camera controller.
I wanted to try taking water drop photos and see what worked and what didn’t. Overall the results were better than I expected but not as good has I had hoped. Lighting is not good but I knew this from the beginning and concentrated on the drops and the timings. Working on the lighting can de done later once I have the other things sorted out.
I noticed that I got different results even when using the same timings. All the below had exactly the same settings.
The only difference was the time between shots. I suspect that as you wait water in the bottom nozzle moved towards the exit hole and you get a cleaner drop. Couldn’t really tell and I may be completely wrong.
Here are some of the better shots
Here is the camera and stand setup. The stand is a 80cm lab stand. I bought 2 of these with various clamps and supports. Another Taobao special.
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