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DIY wireless tethering for Nikon D300s

This DIY wireless tethering for Nikon D300s was created by Jamie Carl.

"As you can see, I have it mounted inside my MB-D10 vertical grip. To do this I used my spare MS-D10 battery holder which holds 8xAA batteries. I then cut off the battery mounts from one side so that I could fit the Trulink device board inside but still be able to mount 4xAA batteries, which is what is required to power the Trulink board. I then modified the battery circuit by pulling out the top connector plate at the back of the battery holder and effectively cutting it in half. At the same time I cut off the top contacts so that the batteries would no longer supply power to the camera and become a completely independent circuit. I then soldered a wire to the remaining part of the back plate, ran it up the front to a switch, then soldered the last wire to the bottom contact plate to connect the positive.


Fitting in the Trulink board was probably the most tricky part. In the end I just drilled a hole for the antenna to stick through, then I grinded down the plastic around it so that it would sit flat and straight. I then had to use a washer as a spacer because I needed the antenna to screw in tight to hold the board in place. After that it was just a matter of wiring up the power and modifying the USB cable to the right length."

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  • Henry

    Nice, 1st?

  • http://www.Del-Uks.com Del-Uks

    What’s that Sigma lens ?

    • http://nikonkrab.multiply.com/ HotDuckZ

      Sigma lens will increase your Wi-Fi function.

      • ElPadre

        ehheheh. since it’s got no metal in it, it’s sure to not meddle with your signal, right? :D

        • The invisible man.

          good one
          :)

    • Apooo

      Sigma who?

    • Mike

      Obviously since he’s shooting wirelessly he wants to get the most wide image possible. (It’s a 10-20mm)

  • http://www.prgh.co.uk PRGH

    But what data is the truelink device sending and where is it getting it from? There must be software to do it but I don’t understand how you are getting the data from the camera.

    • http://halphotography.net Hal NL

      My guess is it works the same way as how Nikon’s own WT-4A works:

      http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Wireless/25365/WT-4A-Wireless-Transmitter.html

      “Image Transfer mode: Images stored in a memory card and those just taken can be transferred and saved on a computer or FTP server.

      PC mode: With Camera Control Pro 2 (optional), camera settings can be controlled and images taken can be transferred and saved on a computer.”

      Admin: I hope you can get him to write the guest post, would be very interested to see this in action, I’m thinking of trying to rebuild one for myself!

    • mikycoud

      Nice DIY…
      I wonder though, in what respect is this transmitter different from say an Eyefi card?

      • http://www.sdphoto.com.au Sam

        From what I gather, it uses wireless USB.

        As for practical differences, now that the Eye-Fi supports AdHoc mode, it’s probably no different unless you’re using a camera that only takes compact flash cards.

        • http://www.jamiecarl.com.au Jamie Carl

          You can’t control the camera from you laptop with a Eye-fi card, so yeah, it’s a bit different. ;)

      • http://halphotography.net Hal NL

        From what I understand, aside from transfering your images, what eye-fi does as well, you can also use it to remote control your camera from a laptop, including having live view.

      • Michael Firstlight

        This beats the WiFi X2 card by a mile. See the link to my post below as I’ve tried both.

        • PHB

          I am less than impressed by the eyefi.

          I put one on my canon vixia videocam. Result was six files partially downloaded. No idea on progress or how long it will take.

          Part of the problem seemed to be that the canon powers off after som inactivity.

          Cant get it to work on my nikons at all. D50 is not supported and D300 is cf only.

          Dont like the eyefi only going to their file service either.

          • Efroh

            D50 will only work with the Eye-Fi classic cards, as these are standard SD. The X2 Eye-Fi cards are SDHC which the D50 can’t read.

            Also, do a search on the Canon Vixia on the “compatiblity” and support forum – there are usually instructions for how to increase the camera time out if the camera supports Eye-Fi.

  • Andreas H

    It is basically wireless USB, so much more is possible with this setup compared to an Eyefi card. He can actually use tethering software with this setup and change camera settings remotely. I did not have time yet to check out tethered shooting for myself, but I read that even Lightroom supports this now, with the just snapped image immediately available on the PC screen in Lightroom.

  • Bennyd

    Although it seems an interesting idea, the Trulink wireless adapter he used is not available anymore so this post becomes useless….

  • http://halphotography.net Hal NL

    For those thinking it’s not available anymore, I found one on Amazon.com under their used products:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001JEPC3Q/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used

  • http://Www.Faroeislandsphoto.com FaroeIslandsPhoto

    Smart

  • Michael Firstlight

    I strongly prefer using the Cables Unlimited Wireless USB 2.0 transmitter/receiver pair for similar rig I built about 1 year ago (also based on Pete’s ramblings – thanks Pete!). Those units don’t have nor require the external antenna which I think would break off too easily and the Cables Unlimited adapters use USB 2.0 providing up to 480Mbps transfer rate compared to the 12Mbps rate provided by TruLink’s USB 1.0 solution. Here is my rig:

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1025&message=37822806

    This rig also requires only a pair of AA batteries to power the 5V adapter (I recently found a single AA battery 5V adapter as well). It appears there are many of us that want a wireless USB wireless solution packaged in a MB-D10 grip much like the original wi-fi grip they offered with Nikon’s WT-3 wifi version; the WT-4a really sucks having to be wired to an external pack – to me the WT-4a is not truly unteathered. I mean c’mon Nikon, if I am wired to my body I can’t put the camera down without removing the wire or the pack!

    Folks like Pete, Jamie, and I are building these rigs because there is demand for such a product. I went so far as to write Nikon a few months ago via their online product suggestion site (recommended to do so here on Nikon Rumors!) with a detailed overview of these builds requesting them to build one as a product in a WT-4a package. Since Pete’s blog essentially created a published invention disclosure exceeding more than a year creating prior art I don’t believe anyone could try to patent Pete’s idea anymore. Will Nikon listen? Who knows – I hope so.

    By the way, my build costs only around $80 and it would be easy to package the Cables Unlimited USB 2.0 adapters just as easily into an MB-D10 grip with a little soldering for those so inclined.

    Regards,
    Michael Firstlight

  • Ole

    Saw the photo before the headline, and thought it was the D800 :(

    • The invisible man.

      I know what you feel….
      :(

  • The invisible man.

    Sunday is father day, I told my wife that If she can’t find a D900 at the store, to get instead a 300mm f/2.8 AF-s VRII
    :)

    • father’s day

      If Nikon releases a new camera every father’s Day …

    • I_still_want_d800

      how many super telephotos are you going to stock up before the D900 would finally show up? assuming you buy 1 per father’s day without a D900? :D

    • Ronan

      Why would your WIFE buy YOU something for FATHER’s day?

      ;)

      • The invisible man.

        Because her Dad is a monster and she like to think that she would have the chance to have a father like me.
        :)

  • fiatlux

    Looked interesting, until I realised:

    – those adapters require OS drivers which are only available for Windows (I’m on Macs)
    – those adapters seem to operate in the WiMedia Band Group 1 (3.168 to 4.752 GHz) which is not available in Europe… :-(

    Surprising that Wireless USB did not really take off…

    • Michael Firstlight

      This is true; Oh how I wish there were drivers for Apple (especially for the iPhone and iPad!)

      Regards,
      Mike

      • fiatlux

        Alas, despite being around since 2003, Wireless USB hasn’t materialised in many products, most of which being already discontinued, I would not bet on the future of this technology…

  • Kingyo

    interesting hack, and came out looking nice & clean.. I agree that Nikon should come out with an affordable wireless-capable mb-d10-type device. I had no idea the WT-4A has to be wired to your body..that’s ridiculous! :D

  • Ollie

    I just think they copied it from Samsung when they were still producing DSLRs.
    But nice!

  • Mox Factor

    Nikon WT-4a Wireless Transmitter ($699 @B&H)
    Camera Control Pro 2.0 ($145.95 @B&H)
    $844.95

    vs

    Nikon MB-D10 Multi-Power Battery Grip ($233.95 @B&H)
    TruLink Wireless USB Device Adapter Kit ($99.99 used@Amazon) *discontinued item*
    (Original MSRP $179.99 for 4-Port Wireless USB Hub and Adapter Kit)
    eg. NKRemote ($175 @Breezesys)
    $508.94

    difference of $336.01 not including drills, soldering iron, etc…

    hrm… it’s cheaper, but is it worth the time and effort? it’s a discontinued product which means support is probably minimal. not to mention how do the 3rd party software(which according to another poster above, doesn’t work with Macs) compare to CCP2.0?

    • father’s day

      Oh common, this is a gearhead forum, not business school/MBA rant forum, lol.

    • NiknWontRepairMyGray

      Third party battery grip = $60
      Wireless USB kit (Cables unlimited brand etc.) = $50
      Any pirated software = $0
      total = $110

    • PHB

      The form factor of the Nikon device is ridiculous. This approach is much cleaner and what Nikon should have done. Though future pro Nikons really should have WiFi in as standard.

      If I had video on my D300 then I would be making one myself (round a third party grip!) to allow use of a professional mic and an XLR connector.

  • yrsued

    Dumb question???

    Why save time, go to the Store and get the Nikon unit??

    Time is money…. I don’t have time to waste messing with this, while I can be making money in Photography.

    • http://www.jamiecarl.com.au Jamie Carl

      That’s a really good idea, I wish I’d thought of that before I had all that fun actually making something for myself.

      Seriously, if you have to ask “why?” you are missing the whole point. ;)

  • http://eleventhphotograph.com elph

    Darn it, first time around I read the title as “The D800 will be released next month.”

  • http://marossi785@gmail.com Jason

    very interesting, feel free to email me at marossi785@gmail.com for details

  • http://www.fiordmedia.ro filmari nunti

    If is working I want one of this!

  • broxibear

    Japan: three months after the quake http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/06/japan_three_months_after_the_q.html
    Picture No.10 is Sendai, home of Nikon’s professional body factory. I’m not suggesting the area around Nikon’s factory is like this but it gives you an idea what’s changed in 3 months.

  • The invisible man.

    Nikon you better release your D800/900 anytime soon because I have the Champagne in the fridge for quite a while and it does not get better with age as the wine does.
    :)

    • broxibear

      You mean it won’t keep until Sept 14th ?

      • The invisible man.

        And what special september 14th ?
        A new f/4.5-8 DX zoom lens ?
        :)

  • James P Dehnert

    Nice to know I’m not the only person squirming while waiting for the D800/D900 and/or D400. I have the $$ and the waiting is killing me.

    The wireless hack is cool, but I worry about the antennae. It would be nice to run that up the strap so it sits higher and flat on the strap. Add something like a mag-connect type connector and it would make me feel allot better. Wish I had more time/tools/spares etc. to hack things like that myself.

    • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

      If you’ve ever been on this website… ever… you’d know you’re not the only one. EVERY single post turns into a “Where’s the D800?” thread.

  • Donz

    clever, clever people out there

  • Zim

    sounds like a lot of work

  • http://ronscubadiver.wordpress.com Ron Scubadiver

    Nice science project. All quiet still.

  • The invisible man.

    When was announced the D700 ?
    I can’t fin any precise date on google.
    Thank you.

    • broxibear

      1st of July 2008

      • The invisible man.

        Thanks, so only 3 years…..
        The camera is perfect if you can live with 12MP, we may have to wait until next year.

  • Commento

    I don’t completely understand how this wireless stuff works. Does it allow you to wirelessly view on your laptop what your camera is seeing before you shoot the photo, and then wirelessly shoot the photo, and then wirelessly view on your laptop what you just shot? Or does it allow only one of those things or what?

    • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

      It’s literally wireless USB. It operates exactly the same as if you were tethered directly.

      You can do whatever you want both ways.

    • Michael Firstlight

      Yes, it depends on the application you use on the PC. With Nikon Camera Control 2 for example, you can completely control the camera from the computer (live preview, focus, adjust controls, shoot and so on). When you are connected your images are sent from your camera to the folder you want on your computer’s hard drive. For example, with the USB 2.0 one I built it wirelessly transfers both the full size RAW and JPEG large file close to instantly within 30 feet of the computer – ideal for studio use. With Nikon Capture 2 (and maybe some other apps), it will give you an option to display the last image as you capture them in full screen mode – so its a wonderful way to shoot and instantly preview the images on a large screen. I save my images to a network drive folder so the images are instantly available on all of the computers I have (meaning, no unloading a storage card, copying, uploading and so on), so I can shoot in the studio, preview, then go to my post-production workstation and start working on the images using Photoshop. People wonder why we want this kind of device – its about simpler, faster, and more convenient workflow. In the studio I also use wireless digital remote control strobes – PCB Enistein 640’s with the CyberCommnader system – so my dream of total wireless control is now real.

    • Commento

      @Sean Molin:

      I appreciate your reply but unfortunately it did not shed much light on the subject for me.

      You said: “It’s literally wireless USB.” I don’t know what that means because I have never used a camera via USB.

      You said: “It operates exactly the same as if you were tethered directly.” I don’t know what that means because I have never tethered a camera.

      You said: “You can do whatever you want both ways.” I don’t know exactly what you mean by “whatever you want”.

    • Commento

      @Michael Firstlight:

      Thank you very much. I learned a lot from your post.

  • http://www.seanmolin.com Sean Molin

    I like the mini handle on top of their D300s. I did that on my Rolleiflex!

    • http://www.jamiecarl.com.au Jamie Carl

      Haha. That’s actually just the strap flopped over the camera for the photo. It’s just a normal bog standard D300s. I mainly use it on my D700 though but I used that to take the top picture. I’ve also had reports of people getting them working with D3Seseses.

      Also, thanks for answering some of the questions above. Saves me from doing it! :)

  • InfraRed

    NR Moderator: not much is going on and I see a lot of fillers on this site.
    I’m starting to get bored… Sorry

    • The invisible man.

      NR don’t make rumors, he is just reporting them.

      • InfraRed

        Invisible Man: I agree and support that. My point is more on the frustration that just two months prior to what is supposed to be potentially three new DSLRs or two DSLRs and one mirroless, we don’t get more visibility (you can call them “rumors”). Kudos to Nikon for maintaining secrecy; disapointment that we aren’t able to get more info.

  • Gio

    If you can make me one using a D80/D90 battery grip. Ill pay you. Let me know.

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