Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nintendo DS Canon Camera Interface (pt1)

I am always trying to find a way to improve my astrophotography, and HDR.

I bought into a Kickstarter project (TriggerTrap) ...but it won't be done until spring...I will talk about it then.

A while ago some smart folks figured out how to interface a NintendoDS with a Canon DSLR.

The project became the Open Camera Controller (OCC). I remembered reading about it, but at the time I didn't have a Canon DSLR.

I don't have the interface yet (hence the pt1 for this post), but I did spend some time getting everything else lined up, and there was a bit of learning curve.

...Now the Nintendo DS...

A while back, some hackers figured out that you could utilize the SLOT-1 on the DS and creating a small interface, you could put microSD cards in, and force the DS to read the files and execute them...one use could put games on the microSD card and not be tied to carrying a bunch of cartridges...use your imagination...

This interface card was originally called the R4...and was banned for a while (in some countries anyway). The original R4 cards are hard to find, and limited to 2G microSD cards.

I picked up a newer replica R4 card...a R4SDHC...here are a bunch of different type cards etc...but the one I got works for what I needed...and it will use a microSD card larger than 2G.

Now that you have the card...the DS still won't read files off it, you need to put some software on the card to make that happen. (they call it firmware)...so the next question is what software etc.

My card had a website on it, and listed the software for the card...and some confusing instructions...I will list what I did for this particular card.

After I downloaded the software for my card (R4 V1.48b English.zip), and unzipped it...I had a R4.dat file and 3 directories...the poorly written webpage left me scratching my head as to what to do next.

Since I am not using this to play games etc, all I needed was the filesystem. (after some trial and error I figured out what I needed on the card)

So on the microSD card I placed R4.dat and the R4iMenu directory. (ignored the other directories).

I popped it in the DS and it gave me this menu.

Of course I hadn't put any of my software on it yet, so I removed the card and put the 4 OCC files on it, (in a directory on the root...or just the files on the rood microSD card would work.)

Now when I turn on the DS, and select the GAME icon, I am taken to the directory with the OCC files. This shot is one of the apps running.

For Part2 I will put it in operation (I am waiting for the cable to come from Germany...I don't have enough free time to make my own).

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