Friday, May 01, 2009

DIY Film Scanner : One Small Step

This grey and blue thing might not look like much, but it's my very first Windows application! The StepForward and StepBackward buttons tell my StepperBee card to move the stepper motor forwards and backwards. A strip of Super8 film sitting in my DIY film transport moves accordingly... Up until now, I've always been sending instructions to the StepperBee using the controller application that came with the board, so this represents a fairly dramatic development. For a long time I've wanted to make things and control them from the PC, so this is a real first.

To produce this exciting code, I downloaded Microsoft VisualBasic 2008 Express Edition, then pasted in the code found at the StepperBee website.

Unfortunately the middle 'Snapshot' button doesn't do anything yet. Triggering the Sumix camera and saving the images was something I hoped to do within the Sumix camera application, but this doesn't seem to be possible. I think the camera will have to be triggered by my application somehow, and I suspect that a whole other can of worms lies therein.

Next up also I need to find out more about the optical proximity sensor I've recovered from an old Epson printer... can this be hooked up to one of the StepperBee's input channels and if so, how accurately might it pick up on the tiny film sprocket holes? Stay tuned...

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